Late last Thursday night, as I was nearing the finish line, I commented something to My Sweet Babboo about the craziness it has been sewing three out of the four Mother Of The...dresses. The Rayon Maxi dress had zero drama, but the other three...oy, there was drama. With the first one...it was just my own bone-headedness, which included things like twisting the dress before I sewed in the invisible zipper. Then there was the Aunt Lena Quasimodo dress I made for the Flute Player's wedding...but I am blaming those problems on the fabric.
Rayon crepe is bad enough when it's cut meticulously on grain. Cutting it cross grain, which I had to do because of the orientation of the print, just was hopeless.
And that brings us to the black lace dress...
My first problem was probably that I picked the wrong pattern. I picked a really fitted sheath dress...
Here's the pattern, which I actually purchased because I was smitten with the jacket:
Nope. LOOK at the curves in that dress.
I. Am. Not. Curvy. Like. That.
I had to straighten out the hip curves considerably after sewing up the first muslin and seeing the poufs I had. The second muslin was better but I probably would've gotten along MUCH better if I had just started with a less shapely pattern.
And, to be honest, I probably should have just made a black sandwashed silk dress and used the lace for a duster coat. Although I probably would have needed more lace fabric; I had bare inches of scraps left over after all was pieced up and done.
But...back to my lament to My Sweet Babboo about the drama. He just looked at me and said, "Why?"
And that pulled me up short. Why DID I do that to myself? Well...I hated to drop what would likely have been $250 bucks on the MOTG dresses I was eyeballing. (I got that lace at a significant sale price) And those RTW dresses were 100% polyester. My dress was poly lace over sandwashed silk, lined by rayon bemberg. Much nicer than just being wrapped in plastic.
And it fit. I think that was the biggest thing. The dress fit ME.
And for some strange reason, I just wanted to tackle a lace dress.
You know, I learned a lot. I'd never really tried this type of construction before. The Flute Player saw the dress just before it was finished...and gasped. 'How long did that take you???'
'A lot longer than I expected,' I replied. Then she spotted a scrap of the fabric and looked at it closely. 'OH! The fabric has the little dangly leafs. I thought you sewed all those on!'
Well, no wonder she was shocked, lol.
I have come to the conclusion that there must be a lot more engineering in the couture world; I think they must either engineer the patterns so that the seam lines hit the fabric just so or engineer the fabric so that it accommodates the pattern. Each of the little leaf motifs is sort of framed by scroll work and I ended up with several small void places...where I had to trim out the motif to sew a seam but there wasn't enough room to replace a motif in the now much smaller framed area after sewing the seam. Granted, it's not obvious with the black background but if you look closely you can spot them. And I just don't see any way to avoid that...unless the math was done before hand. But that would be way over my head, lol.
If you look close, you can see that I'm sewing down a motif that I had to trim away from the only conventional seam on the whole lace overlay. I just trimmed one side off, sewed the seam, and then tacked the loose side down. It overlaps the scroll work a bit but from a distance...on the black background...it doesn't show.
But here's a repeat of a picture from an earlier post. The void spots jump out with the white background; there isn't room to attach a motif without overlapping another motif, which is lumpy. Fortunately they are not nearly so obvious with the matte black silk.
One of the things I learned... I am NOT a couture-level seamstress.
I *did* finish and it *did* look just fine and either no one noticed the void spots or they were polite enough to not mention them, lol. And, should a suitable occasion arise, I will happily wear it again. Assuming, of course, that it still fits at that point, lol.
Unfortunately, aside from the windblown picture I posted Saturday night...I don't have any pictures yet.
But now...I have a HUGE mess in my sewing room. It is staggering how many little motifs are EVERYWHERE. On the cutting table. On my sewing machine table. On the ironing board. All OVER the floor...I can't believe I cut that many off.
And I did manage to throw a bunch of them in a little box as I was trimming, so ...crazy.
I have a dress to hem for a friend's daughter before I pull the black thread out of the machines. Gonna pin that up on Wednesday and sew it whilst My Sweet Babboo is off primitive camping this weekend.
So...I'll do that, and I'll clean up all the little leafy scraps. Gotta come up with something creative to do with those...somewhere down the line...