|Bodice Nearly Finished and a Hat Plan|
|Double Fold Bias Tape Pinned to Bodice Front, Ready for Machine Stitching|
Sewing in the sleeves was weird. I'm used to sewing things that are pretty flat -- quilts and draperies. Sewing a tube inside a hole was just all kinds of uncomfortable! I used my free arm and, so I could concentrate on sewing a seam without puckers rather than watching my seam allowance, I used my little cloth guide attachment that came with my #97D patchwork foot. I am also not used to what a 5/8" seam looks like, since I use 1/2" seams for home dec and 1/4" for quilts.
|Setting the Sleeves|
Once we got the bodice pretty much together (it still needs buttonholes and buttons sewn on), I decided to switch gears and make the ruffled trim from my black silk shantung. For one thing, my pattern instructs me to finish the bodice with trim and all before starting in on the skirt. I was also half afraid that, if I didn't have the ruffles already made and ready to go by the time I was ready to stitch them on, I might be tempted to skip them.
|February 1863 Peterson's Magazine|
Of course the black silk shantung fabric ravels and frays just as badly as the green silk shantung, so after cutting and seaming my strips into one ridiculously long strip, we starched it crisply with heavy spray starch and then I attempted to follow the pattern instructions, finishing the L-O-N-G edges with a "narrow double hem." Well, first I tried the 4 mm narrow hem foot on my Bernina 750 QE, and didn't like the results. Too wide, and too fussy getting the edge to roll properly. Next I tried the 2 mm narrow hem foot on my 1935 Singer Featherweight sewing machine, and it was lovely... but I still had to sew fairly slowly to ensure the fabric was rolling around the metal coil properly, and I despaired of ever finishing the ruffle that way. What's more, the edges of the long black ruffle snake were beginning to ravel as I handled the strip, and I worried that I would run into serious trouble trying to roll a severely frayed piece of silk by the time I was halfway through hemming the edges.
|Silk Shantung Ruffle Strips, Raveling Already|
|Circa 1862, Met Museum|
I just hope I have a long enough fabric strip to go around the bottom of my enormously full skirt a few times. My pattern called for 5" cut width ruffles, but if my math is correct they were only supposed to be about 1.6 times fullness. I need to put my pleated ruffle trim around both sleeve edges as well as several rings around my skirt hem, and I really don't want to have to buy more black silk and then spend another ENTIRE DAY making more ruffle trim! I still have to pleat this stuff, too!
|3-Thread Rolled Hem on Edges of Silk Shantung|
|Black Silk Ruffle Strip for Dress, Green Silk Ruffle Strip for Hat Trim|
This dress still needs:
1. Buttonholes and buttons sewn on the bodice
2. A skirt (panels are cut and silk shantung fashion fabric has been hand-basted to the silk organza underlining -- Mom did that while I was making ruffles today)
3. Ruffles need to be pleated and stitched by machine
4. Ruffle trim, purchased gimp trim, and bows all need to be stitched to the dress. (The trim definitely needs to be stitched to the bodice by hand... But I wonder whether I could possibly get away with stitching my pleated ruffle to the skirt by machine?)
5. White blouse "undersleeves", not even cut out yet
6. Some kind of fichu or chemisette (per the pattern) to fill in the neckline of the dress
7. Decorate the ugly black cheapo bonnet
8. Still need to make a fabric cover for my music binder
9. I need to make a little drawstring purse ("reticule") for my keys, chapstick, etc.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I've already got close to 50 hours into the making of this dress. I REALLY hope it's more than halfway done!
I'm linking up with Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts, Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt, and Design Wall Monday over at Patchwork Times.