As of today, I have all the machine work done on my dress. The zipper still took awhile because of different sides of the dress getting caught in it, despite my precautions, but I tried it on and it zips up fine and everything. So now I just need to sew the ties, the bodice facing, and the hems, and I’m done!
I’ve had problems in the fitting stage before, but this is the first time I’ve literally had to seam-rip my way out of a garment!
It’s not the fit of the dress, really, it’s the zipper. The main seams of the chiffon layer went together really well, so today I was hoping to get the zipper and the rest of the machine work done. Well, I’ve just spent the last two hours trying to put in the zipper, and I think this one is jinxed. This isn’t the first time I’ve done an invisible zipper, this one’s just been the most problemmatic. First I accidentally basted one side on the wrong way, but caught that quickly and fixed that. Then it was too tight and I couldn’t zip it up, so I ripped out the basting to try again. Then the fit worked, but the back of the midriff panels weren’t lining up on either side of the zipper (over half an inch difference, so it was pretty obvious. So I had to tuck the skirt slightly on one side. Then I basted it in again, and both sides were off. So I took it off, hand-basted the zipper in, checked to make sure the panels were lining up (which they were), and went to sew it in.
I couldn’t get the dress on because the zipper got stuck, and then the teeth ripped out from the bottom up. So I literally had to rip the seam out on one side of the zipper to get out of the dress. I think I’m done with the machine for today… my plan is now to take the other side out, hand-baste in a different zipper (it’ll now be visible, which makes me sad, but hopefully it’ll look ok), baste the rest of the lower seam(s) closed (that way I can make sure the panels line up and make the seam work with that), and try with the machine again tomorrow.
Since I’m kind of at a stand-still in the job hunt, this is what I spent most of the afternoon doing–handbasting pleats into the chiffon, pinning the skirt over the dress, and then draping/cutting the joining pieces. All the seams on that middle section are exposed right now, I have to actually sew them, but this is a general idea of how it should look.
I have it hand-basted to the armholes and the back seam (which is also hand-basted closed to keep it on the dummy.) So the next step is going to be determining how much length to cut off my fabric for the overskirt, and starting the likely-to-be-tedious process of hand-basting the pleats that are already in the fabric down so I can have an accurate measurement of the gathering to cut out the skirt. The middle section that’s going to join them will be last, mostly so I can see how much fabric I’ll have left to work with to know whether to do it pleated or not.
No pictures today, because I need to baste the back seam closed while it’s on the dummy first before I can go to the next stage. But I did get the underlayer of my dress cut out and as sewed together as I can get it at this point. I’ll still need to do the armholes, the zipper and the rest of the back seam, but I’m going to wait on that so I can treat the sheer and the rayon as one layer in the zipper and armholes. So once I get it basted on, a whole lot of draping is the next thing.
Well, I’m back from my epic road trip vacation, and feeling desperately in need of some photo editing software to deal with my nearly thousand photos. Because you know the scrapbook from this is going to be monster-sized. On the plus side, I think I’ve figured out a way to do it less expensively. I really like the weathered-looking papers (such as this one from BasicGrey). But I have no idea how much paper I’m going to need, and it’s hard to find more than a couple papers from each company in the stories around here. Plus with the color scheme I have in mind, it’ll be really hard to find papers that are both subtle enough and match each other.
So I stopped at JoAnn’s yesterday to get a coat pattern (in keeping with the Wardrobe Refashion pledge, and as a result of frustration with coats that are never long enough for my arms and still fit everywhere else, I’m going to attempt to make my own winter coat this year to replace my battered, worn and torn leather one. Yes, I tore a leather coat. The upper sleeve somehow got punctured by the screen door handle, and I still can’t figure out how I did it. It’s being held together by glue.) I just hope I can get it warm enough. Anyway, the point of that ramble was, while I was there, I found this DIY distressing kit, and was able to get it for a decent price thanks to the 40% off coupons. I already have a ton of craft paint, so I think I’m just going to get packs of cardstock in the colors I want (easier to match anyway) and go nuts with destroying it. (And I also got props from the cashier guy for my Nintendo shirt, and it’s always fun to get compliments on the stuff I make.)
In the meantime, I’m back to working on my dress. After two episodes of Doctor Who and an episode of Eureka (almost caught up on what I missed while I was away!) and a lot of hand-basting and trying it on, I have a completed muslin, based off of Butterick 6406:
The slightly bluish lines on the right side of the picture are due to me scribbling over all the seams on that side with a highlighter so I can just trim the muslin down to seam allowance size from there. I’ve decided that the next step is going to be cutting out the underdress after all, so I can be working with the actual dress for the chiffon in case I need to tweak anything else. And though the fit is pretty close overall, I needed to make a few adjustments (trim the armhole, add another dart) that I only did on one side, so that’s what I’ll be taking the pattern from. So tomorrow’s plan is probably going to be starting the ripping out process.