Readers, do you ever come up against a sewing block (block, as in obstacle)?
Are there things you're simply afraid to try: insert a lapped zipper, pad stitch a lapel, underline a bodice? Would part of you like to be able to tackle these challenges but you just can't get over your irrational fear?
I, for example, have a fear of crinolines. I don't know why. Perhaps I was Little Bo-Peep in a former life. Or Alice Lon.
I've gathered tulle and nylon net with my ruffler attachment with great success. I know it can be done.
But there's something about all that measuring, all those long, loooong cylinders of net that has me spooked. Well this is the week I'm going to do something about it. I mean, I must.
I even have a petticoat pattern, though I doubt I'll use it.
Instead, I'll likely follow an online tutorial, like this one. I've looked at a lot of crinolines in person, and some of them are thrown together without a whole lot of finesse; it doesn't have to be perfect to get the job done.
Yesterday, I saw a gorgeous vintage silk dress with a Saks Fifth Avenue label at the flea market ($525!) and it had an attached three-tiered net crinoline whose edges were simply folded over and stitched: no ribbon, lace, or what have you. The rougher edges were facing the skirt (as opposed to the legs), of course, where they might snag one's nylons.
But it reminded me that this can be a simple job.
Anyway, I have my nylon net.
I have some light poly lining material I can use for the top, or I can use lightweight cotton. I have to decide whether I want this to zip up the side or just have an elastic casing. That might add a little unwanted thickness in the waistline area, though it would likely sit lower, and certainly beneath the waist stay of the dress.
I also have tons of tulle, which I may or may not even use.
The stiffer net provides the greatest amount of loft. The tulle, while soft and pretty, is less effective. That Carolyn Schnurer tulle petticoat I found on Saturday, for example, while pretty, provides essentially no loft at all. It just sort of hangs there, droopy.
So this is likely to be a net crinoline. I even have a roll of ivory polyester ribbon if I need to trim edges, as well as a roll of poly lace, if I want to use that (the same lace I used for the hem).
So I'm good to go. I need to push past this block, is all. Hey, I had the same block about boning and lining a bodice and I got over it!
A few of you asked whyever svelte Cathy would need a Maidenform "Control It!" Waistnipper Brief, mentioned briefly in yesterday's blog post. Here's the thing: it's not so much that Cathy is lumpy, which she isn't, or needs to "tame her tummy." But the brief, which rises well above the waist, provides a smooth layer between the lower part of the bodice and Cathy's skin. Party due to the heat and humidity, no doubt, the cotton bodice lining had a tendency to stick to the skin, which is not only uncomfortable, it drags on the dress itself, particularly in back. With that extra layer of smooth nylon/elastane, the dress hangs smoothly. Trust me on this one.
Finally, the length of the dress: is it too long? I can only say, we shall see. In the worst case I can shorten it, though it might be faster to just grow Cathy a few inches. I consider this dress "tea length" and tea length is a much debated topic on sewing blogs, I've discovered. Some consider it unflattering to nearly everyone. We'll just have to see how it goes.
Friends, in closing, do you have irrational fear of certain sewing tasks?
Is there something you yearn to master, like, I don't know, working with faux fur or sequins (no wait, those are mine) but you just can't quite get up the gumption to do it? Maybe this fall -- which is just around the corner, alas -- we'll challenge ourselves to take one (or more) of these on.
Remember: fear is just another word for too scared to try! (?)
I'm a native New Yorker and self-taught sewing fanatic! I've been sewing obsessively since 2009 and today make all my own clothes using mostly vintage patterns and vintage sewing machines. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!