Are you bored with this dress yet? I know I am! I am definitely someone who needs a deadline to spur them into action. Still, I am struggling on and trying very hard not to be distracted by other projects.
I decided not to underline the dress with silk organza. I have found that the dupion I am using has plenty of bounce and I didn't want the whole thing to become too poufy.
I chose to finish the seams by zig zagging and trimming the edges. It may not be the prettiest seam finish but it won't leave a ridge on the outside as french seams or bound seams might. It reminds me of when I first learned to sew - before you could get domestic overlockers! Sorry for the blurry picture - I desperately need a new camera.
You can also see the stay-stitching I did on the waist edge of the skirt. This is really important on a skirt this shape. I also stay stitched the neck edge but I didn't bother with the armholes, I just handled them very carefully until they were permanently stitched.
As the side seams are on the bias, I hung the skirt (and lining skirt) to allow them to drop while I was sewing the rest of the dress. I'm glad I did as the bottom edge has dropped (unevenly as expected) and the lining is well and truly longer than the skirt. Better now than after I've gone to the trouble of hemming!
I did french seams on the silk habutae lining. I bought my sewing machine from a quilter so it came with a bunch of extra feet including a 1/4" foot which really helped me keep the seams the right width. Everything was going swimmingly until - argh!
When I was trimming this seam I *felt* something was wrong but I kept on until I realised one of the layers had folded up and I'd cut a hole in it - f&#k! I carried on and finished the french seam which took care of the worst of it and then I just ran a sneaky row of zig zag to reinforce the wound. Stupid me forgot to take off the 1/4" foot (which has a single stitching hole in it) first though and I managed to smash my needle into several pieces, one of which flew up into my face - double f^*k! Fortunately it didn't hit my eye and I don't seem to have done lasting damage to my machine. At this point I was beginning to think this dress didn't want to get made!
I took several deep breaths, had a minor tanty and then got back to it. Even though things weren't going well I do always try to improve my skills with every project, so I worked extra hard to match the midriff seams at the invisible zip. Shabam! Take that invisible zip!
Buoyed by this success I decided to consult my Christmas present to myself - the Industry Insider Techniques DVDs from Threads. Money well spent BTW. I finished the armholes using the technique demonstrated in part 2. I had seen this done in a magazine (maybe Threads???) before but it didn't really sink in until I saw it on video.
Now you can't tell me this isn't a thing of beauty! Maybe you all have mad skills in this area but my curves always look a bit crappy and I am (was) rubbish at trimming seams so I am really happy with these armholes. I keep going into the sewing room (that's a lie, the dress is hanging in my hallway where I can see it all the time) just to look at my beautiful curves. Not mine, I mean the dress's.
Now I just have to close the shoulder seams, bind the neck (yes, I am making the dress a bit differently than the instructions) and hem the skirt and lining. Almost. There.
***Sorry Marls, if you're reading - spoiler alert!****
Just as an aside, I realised that the pattern I am using is from the Hilary Duff line. And the inspiration is from Gossip Girl. Aside from being old enough to be both Hilary and Blair's mother, it also struck me that the girl who 'designed' the pattern is the very same girl who is currently being squeaky and annoying on the very same show that inspired the whole project. I was hoping that squeaky Hilary would soon get written out of the show (preferably breaking that pompous git Dan's heart in the process) but having just seen what Hils, Dan and Vanessa got up to in this week's episode now I just want to poke my own eyes out - ugh, so wrong!
Okay, enough stalling, I need to get on and finish this thing. This hot weather is inspiring me to dream of Autumn - lovely jackets and coats mmm!