Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Forget Me Knot - Final Post

Photo Shoot

Without further ado, the front and back:

Here's the dress without the vest, although I still need to switch the zipper! I hope to get the zipper in the mail today!

My daughter was the photographer last night, as it was past my son's bedtime before we actually starting taking pictures. She was excited because she just loves the really full skirt and because she missed seeing it the last time I tried it on because she was somewhere else at the time. She loves the sort of pose shown below, so she took plenty of those. Here's one of the better ones of the group:

Overall, I am very pleased with this ensemble - it turned out pretty much exactly as I had envisioned it! It is pretty and feminine, and even twirly. I have finally found and altered a vintage bodice to fit me that is very basic. That means that I can take that bodice and use it with a variety of skirts and a variety of embellishments and not have to think so much about fit. Even better, I was able to incorporate some old and new techniques in one garment.

So, what did I learn from this garment? As always, there is something! Everything is a learning experience. Just because something doesn't work for you the first time, remember at least you now know what *doesn't* work and you can set about finding something that does.
  • I learned how to use heat-set rhinestones. There are about 300 or so in the project between the dress and vest.
  • I learned to give myself plenty of time for deadlines. I had to put in some extra hours a few nights to get this ready for a show, when I probably should have declined the invitation for this particular garment.
  • I learned to be patient and get the right materials to do the job right the first time. If I had, I wouldn't be replacing the white zipper with a purple one!
Parting Shot: Favorite Shot. I shall leave you today with my favorite shot of the whole photo shoot. This was one of the last photos taken last night.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Forget Me Not - Accessories - Part II

Accept No Substitute!

In preparation for the photo shoot and wearing FMK on the runway in a few weeks, I've been trying to get the accessories together. The jewelry wasn't too difficult. Simple is better in this case with all the many details of the vest and bodice. Shown below is the necklace and earrings made of glass pearls and Czech crystals beads:

The shoes are another story. I bought a pair of white vintage 50's shoes on eBay:

While they are the right style and I thought they would fit, they are a little bit too tight. I also don't like the decoration on the shoe as much as I thought I would. I mainly bought these because another pair that I fell in love with were a bit more than I wanted to pay. As I have found out, that was a big mistake. I should have never settled for second best and bought the other pair:

Now, what am I going to do? Well, I went back and bought the other pair today and I'm hoping to get them in time for the show. As far as the photo shoot, I will wear a pair of silver shoes which I bought in the late 80's/early 90's. (They originally were bought to match a dark teal silk gown with all over silver beading, which I still have.)

I was a bit frustrated over the whole thing last night and this morning, when I was getting things together and rearranging the studio for the photo shoot. This morning, on the bus, I thought about it a bit and realized that I had accepted a substitute for what I really knew was a better shoe - in terms of size and style. I don't do that with other sewing things, so why should I do that with vintage accessories? I then started to think of other things I don't accept a substitute for. For example, I don't buy cheap interfacing. There is no substitute for good interfacing, whether fusible or not.

So now I ask you, dear readers, what are you not willing to accept a substitute for?

Q/A: KathleenC. had a question regarding the refashioned sweater: "I wouldn't have thought to interface the bands. I guess I assumed that it would interfere with the bias curving. What kind of interfacing did you use?" To solve that problem, I shaped the bands first and then cut interfacing in sections to match the curves. I just used Fusiknit interfacing, nothing terribly exciting.

Parting Shot: Green Things! I have living green things in my flower beds! This is pretty exciting considering the winter we've had.

I'd like to thank you all for your comments regarding the vintage patterns I've put in the Parting Shot recently. I didn't know they'd elicit the comments that they did! I really enjoyed hearing your stories and memories of these patterns. While not all of them are exactly my style, I do have some sentiment attached to them, as these are the styles I remember my mother sewing and wearing in some of my earliest memories. I do have more patterns, so maybe I'll post some of those in the future.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Forget Me Knot - Dress - Part III

Petticoat Power

Behold the effects of a petticoats on the dress:

No petticoats:

With petticoat ruffle attached to lining:

With petticoat ruffle attached to lining and separate petticoat:
I just love the effect of petticoats. Petticoats can take a very pretty dress and make it something special.

To achieve such a look, I started by adding a net ruffle to the lining of the skirt. Here's what it looked like in progress:

That's quite a jumble of fabric and netting! There are 576" or 16 yards worth of netting 11" wide attached to that lining. To manage such a large amount of fabric, I divide the skirt and the ruffle into quadrants and work on in it one section at a time, pinning and stitching down only one section and then moving on to the next.

I first cut all the netting into 11" wide strips. The best way to do that is to use a rotary cutter and mat. It makes very quick work of cutting the netting. Why so wide? You'll see in a minute, but it was sort of an experiment. (Great time for an experiment, huh? Especially on an almost finished dress for competition!) After cutting and seaming all the strips together, it was gathered down the center.

The skirt was then marked for the ruffle placement. My finished ruffle is 5 1/2" wide, so I marked a line 5 1/2" from the hem as my stitching line:

The whole ruffle was divided up and then stitched to the skirt in sections down the center of the ruffle. The section below is stitched but the basting threads haven't been removed.

Now I know that ruffle looks very unusual with half of it above the stitching line and half below the stitching line, but there is a good reason. I actually wanted to attached two ruffles, but only have to gather and stitch the ruffle once. When the ruffle is folded down at the stitching line, you get a double ruffle:

Much improved! Now, if I get the zippers I ordered in the mail, and one actually is a close match, I'll be putting in the new zipper and finishing the dress this weekend. I did actually get the vest finished to my satisfaction, but there is nothing on the outside that has changed. If all goes well, and I get the accessories completed, there should be a photo shoot and final post sometime next week!

Parting Shot: Coat and trousers, 1970. This is a great pattern, and I'd actually consider making the coat for myself. The pattern envelope art is really great. There's a smart red version, a blue version, a tan version (notice the long striped scarf on the model with the tan one.) Then there's the snake skin print version with the silvery white over the knee boots in the center paired with a fuchsia turtleneck!