Jun 29, 2010
Friends, I owe you an apology.
The color of my McCall's Twenties dress is not frappe di fragola, strawberry parfait, Slightly Spam, or whatever I'd been calling it up to now. It is the color of that most thirst-quenching of summer fruits, watermelon.
Now before you run off to your local Whole Foods, Piggly Wiggly, or roadside stand to pick some up, let me tell you about my dress.
Things are going well despite the fact that this pattern has no formal written instructions as we've come to know them. It shows you what's attached to what and then you're on your own. Presumably women sewing in the 1920's were up to the challenge and let's face it: this is a shift dress with a yoke and a sash.
I wouldn't have minded some hand holding though. I'm underlining for the first time and I have never worked with poly chiffon before (let alone two layers) and it has presented some challenges.
I cut the yoke out of the solid sheer chiffon I purchased on Saturday and needed to finish the slightly scooped neckline. I'd intended to finish it with bias cut from either the dotted or the sheer solid (self) chiffon but neither takes a crease very well and I didn't think it would look clean. So I used the cotton/poly Wright's bias tape I'd bought and, while I generally don't like the stuff, it came out great.
Yesterday I found just the right color Gutermann thread and I was able to top-stitch the tape very discretely.
I wanted to finish other edges -- like the attached drape -- with my rolled hem foot.
Generally I have good results with this foot, especially with cotton shirting and with the aid of some of Susan of Spare Time's fantastic tutorials. Poly chiffon is simply too shifty for the task, however. My test samples looked like this -- or worse:
So I improvised. I've serged the edges, folded them over once and stitched (You're only going to see the outside).
In a perfect world I'd have serged with pink thread but this isn't a perfect world, not nearly.
I'm reinforcing most seams with Hug Snug rayon bias tape, especially where there are gathers. The sleeves are my next challenge.
So there you have it. I'm hoping to finish this up later today and then maybe treat myself to a large iced coffee and an hour with Connie Stevens in "Susan Slade." Keep it simple, that's what I always say.
Another 90+ degrees here in NYC.
If you'd like to read a highly romanticized view of what it's like to shop with me in the Garment District, pay a visit today to In the Heyday. Of course, it's mainly about Shona, but still interesting!
Have a great day and wait -- is this indeed watermelon???
Labels: works in progress