Bluebird of Happiness - Dress - Part III
I'm still working on the collar, but some things have stalled my progress. I am out of size 8 gold beads, a fact which I did not discover until last night. I will get some today. I've finally decided how the collar is going to be attached to the coat and where the ties are going to be attached. That isn't the problem, though. The problem is that my fabric has not arrived for the ties and I still need to do a mock up for those. I will need to do some re-engineering for this all to work anyway. For right now the collar will have to wait. Instead, I've been working on the dress. The next few BOH posts will be regarding the dress.
The skirt is made of seven panels. The fullness of the skirt is controlled not only by the shape of the panels, each looking like a triangle, but also by a dart at the waistline extending into the skirt. Many of the very full skirts of the 50's have gathers or pleats at the waistline, which can be bulky. The darts are much more slimming, but still allow for a very full skirt.
I have decided to underline the dress completely in muslin as the dupioni is thin and such a light color. This helps to support the fashion fabric and to provide opacity. Since the skirt seams will still be able to be seen if the lining is pulled up, they need to be finished. I've used the underline and finish method to join both the muslin and silk for each panel and then stitched all the panels together before making the darts. I believe this method or a similar one might have been published in a book by Sandra Betzina (not sure, I know someone out there will know); there is also a tip for this method on PatternReview by JulieB. Here's how I did mine:
To line/underline cut your lining or underlining fabric 5/8" wider than the fashion fabric at both side seams.
With right sides together, stitch the pieces together at the side seams with a 1/4" seam. Notice that when pinned, the underlining fabric will bubble because it is too big. Not to worry, that will be taken care of in the next step.
Turn pieces right side out and press, wrapping the extra fabric of the underlining around the seam allowance of the fashion fabric. This will look like a Hong Kong or bound finish. The seam on the right has been pressed, but the seam on the left has not.
When completed, the edge of the underlining can be top stitched to keep the underlining in place and look neat. In the photo below of the skirt, you can see the edge on the right before top stitching, with the pin holding the fabrics in the proper position. On the left, the edge has already been top stitched.
In the photo below you can see from the wrong side what a completed seam will look like using this method. Both seam allowances are neatly finished.
The darts were made after the underlining and fashion fabric were joined together. Both fabrics were treated as one for making the darts, basting down the center of each dart and along each dart leg before stitching.
For right now, the skirt is ready for joining to the bodice. Of course, that would happen if the bodice were done! It is partially constructed, but I need to add the boning channels before joining the skirt and bodice. I also have a feeling I might have to do a little work with the seams and darts to make everything line up right since I'm using a bodice from pattern and a skirt from another. That remains to be seen!
Parting Shot: Button. I completed this button yesterday, as just a little side project for a diversion from BOH.