(no subject)

I didn't get much sewing done yesterday. I feel like everything is just totally fighting me with this dress.
  • I cut out the bodice and skirt, then realized I would probably need way more fabric than the 12 yards I purchased. The fabric color was discontinued, but luckily I found more.
  • I really liked the idea of velvet ribbon trim, but only had enough left for the neckline. No stores near me sell blue velvet ribbon, so I went to Amazon. The only color they had in stock at first wound up being too aqua (and narrower than I wanted). Luckily, a few days later, a different color came back in stock in two widths, so I bought it, even though it's a little brighter than I wanted. 
  • Over the weekend, I was flatlining my overskirt, and wound up running out of cotton organdy, so I had to totally piece the flatlining, which took way longer than it otherwise would have. 
  • Then yesterday, I was putting the trim on the sleeves - it looked great while I was sewing it on, but when I stepped away from the bodice, it didn't look right, so I had to unpick two lines of sewing and redo the lace (I still have to redo the 2nd sleeve).
  • Then I started putting the gathered net around the neckline, but halfway through sewing it on, I realized I had gathered it too much, so I had to unpick that. 
So yeah, this dress is really frustrating me! :(

My goal today is to hem the skirt, redo the sleeve trim on the one sleeve, put hooks and bars on the skirt and overskirt waistbands, and finish the couple of closures on the bodice. Then the bodice will be done and the skirts will be wearable, and all I will have left is tons of pleating for the skirts. 

(no subject)

I had two full sewing days over the weekend, and yet, it feels like I got nothing done. The bodice now has sleeves, and the sleeves have their pleated trim, In fact, all the the bodice needs is for the neckline pleats to be sewn down, gathered net to be added on top of that, and velvet ribbon on top of that and on top of the join for the sleeve pleats. And one additional buttonhole and button to be added on top of the neckline trim. 

I also cut out, assembled, and even hemmed the overskirt, and all the bustling tapes have been sewn into place. Both the overskirt and underskirt just need all the pleats added, and hopefully velvet ribbon trim on top of the pleats. 

I've been having a hard time finding the right velvet ribbon trim, but I ordered more in a different shade from Amazon, and it arrived today, so I will be able to find out if that will work. 

So yeah, pretty much this week will just be spent pleating forever. I might cheat and use my ruffler foot, to be honest. 

(no subject)

I didn't get to trying on the bodice yesterday. But I did finish assembling the skirt panels and pleated them to the waistband. So now I can try the bodice and skirt on, and mark and pin the skirt hem. 

Then I need to start on patterning/assembling the overskirt. And I should probably do sleeves at some point, too. It's amazing how it can feel like I'm pretty far along on this project, but also totally not...

Anyway, I won't have any sewing time today, since I'm ushering for the Frozen tour tonight after work. But my plan tomorrow is to not leave the house other than doing some yardwork. So I should get a lot done tomorrow! I think Sunday is currently all free for sewing as well. It should be a nice, productive weekend. :)

(no subject)

I mostly fluffled about with bodice trimming yesterday. I hemmed the edge of some strips of the cotton (after trying to see if I could fringe the edges instead, which would have worked fine had I managed to cut the strips perfectly on the grain. But naturally, I hadn't managed that). Then I pleated it all up into spaced box pleats, and pinned each pleat directly to the bodice so that it would play nicely around the neckline. I think I am going to layer gathered net strips (assuming I have more net left over from my turquoise ballgown, or can find more), plus velvet ribbon, and use that as a recurring trim throughout the gown. Though that also assumes that the velvet ribbon I ordered from Amazon yesterday works, since I only currently have enough velvet ribbon for the neckline. 

Here's a pic of the neckline trim.

I did also do my buttonholes, which is good, since honestly, I probably should have tried the bodice on before pinning all that trim into place. I will probably try it on this evening, though I think I might attempt to finish assembling the skirt/waistband first, so that I can also maybe mark the hem. I'm not sure I have time for all that tonight, but here's hoping. 

(no subject)

As I kind of figured, I didn't get everything done yesterday that I wanted to. I finished all my errands, but I wound up having way more branches down than I thought, so I cut all the branches off the tree that fell, and hauled the trunk out to the street so it wouldn't be in my garden or on my lawn. Then I cleared all the branches out of the backyard, breaking up as many as would fit in the yard waste bin, and piling up the three large branches that are too big for me to cut. I have a friend coming over with a power saw today to help take care of the big ones. I didn't get to mowing my lawn unfortunately. 

I did manage to do some sewing, though. The skirt is mostly assembled, but I realized that I need a wider back panel than 1 width of the fabric. I kind of figured this was the case, so I have two app. 12" strips that will need to be flatlined and sewn into the skirt. Other than where those new panels, go, though, the skirt is assembled, and I even pleated up most of the top of the skirt already, so putting it on the waistband should be a little easier, and I hope to get to that tonight. 

I also cut the strips for all the bodice trimming. I'm not exactly sure what sort of pleated trim it will be - I think I need to look up a little more inspiration first, but before I start playing with it, I need to hem all my strips, because supima cotton frays when you look at it wrong. I'd love to get that started tonight, but I don't know if it will actually happen.

(no subject)

I fixed all the small tweaks on my velvet gown before our shoot on Friday, but during the shoot, a much more glaring problem presented itself - the chemisette is a little on the narrow side, so while it is actually wider than my neckline, it's not by enough. When I move, it untucks itself. I think I'm going to add a little bit of width, and make that width fasten under the armpit somehow, so that it stays in place better. 

But overall, the shoot went well. First, my friend Emily came over to help me shoot my "getting ready with me" Youtube video, and gave me a surprise gift of Lynn McMaster's bustle-era hair tool. So naturally, I decided to film my first time playing with the tool as part of the video, and it turned out wonderfully. Here's a link to the video.

Once we filmed all the getting ready/getting dressed parts of the video, we went to a park about 20 mins away that has a couple log cabins at the front entrance, and met up with my friend Rachel, who is a photographer. We took pictures there, and went a little further into the park, but the path was muddy in many places, so we didn't go too far because white silk+mud=sadness. (It emerged almost completely unscathed, though, luckily.)

I've been slowly posting pics on instagram, though I'm trying not to flood it with the velvet dress, so I think they'll be showing up slowly over time. Also, I need to get all the pics back that Rachel took, since I just had Emily taking some with my phone. 

Anyway, I also had my last weekend of my show this weekend, so again tried to prep as much hand-sewing as possible. I managed to bind/face the entire Tissot bodice, make fabric-covered buttons, and sew them on. All the skirt pieces have also been flat-lined with organdy, but I have yet to sew them together. I hope to assemble the skirt pieces today (I still have to cut out the pockets), and I would like to start on trimming the bodice. Of course, I also need to do my sleeves at some point!

That said, I'm not sure how much sewing will actually happen today, since a) I have a few errands to run after work, and b) we had a large storm early Sunday morning, and I have to figure out how to dispose of a small tree that fell in my front yard, and a couple large branches that fell in the back. And the grass is starting to look very long, too. 

(no subject)

I tried on the velvet gown on Tuesday, and as I suspected, it needs just a couple tweaks. The hem length actually did not seem to be a problem (though I feel like I'm still slightly not trusting that), but I was right about the bodice being a tiny bit large. I will be moving over almost all of the buttons today - I think it needed to come in about 1" at the waist, and will need to be tapered up and down from there. I also need to move the bars on the skirt about 3/4"-1" -- I guess I just didn't realize what my waist size was or something? Which is weird, since it has not changed. 

I also did a bit more on my Tissot dress. The bodice is assembled, and the fronts are marked for where they need to be bound, at which point they will be ready for buttons and buttonholes. I wound up altering the hem of the bodice, making it shorter and a little pointier in the front, and a little more rounded in the hem of the back. It looks much earlier now, which is good. Today, I will be applying bias tape to the neckline and hem, so that I can sew all that down backstage at the show tomorrow. I also drafted/cut out the fashion fabric for the skirts. I will be flat-lining it all with organdy, which I still have to cut out, but will probably happen this weekend. 

Tomorrow, my friend is hopefully going to take pictures of the velvet gown in a little photoshoot, and ideally, I'm going to do a sort of "get ready with me/hairstyle tutorial" for youtube. I just have to figure out the logistics of that. My house is so small that I have no pretty backgrounds, and I feel like angles/lighting on that kind of video are going to be a lot more challenging. So hopefully it works out!

(no subject)

The velvet dress is sooo close to being done. I have about 1/4 or so of the sash around the skirt to stitch in place, plus I think 8 or so skirt tapes. And that's it. Unfortunately, this sort of thing has to be done on the form, so I wasn't able to bring it with me to the theatre yesterday, despite the fact that I had already finished all my other hand-sewing. I finished the chemisette on Saturday, for example. 

I've put together a couple more of the Tissot bodice pieces, and finished flat-lining everything, but otherwise didn't work on that this weekend, since I was focused on the velvet dress. I hope to finish the velvet dress today, though, so that I can take it off the form and start on the skirts for Tissot. 

And I filmed/edited/uploaded my longest youtube video yet - a nearly 40 min video all about my process for the velvet dress. I'm tempted to go back and make a tiny update video to go along with it, which will address how I bustled the skirts and attached the sash, since that's the only bit of the process that's missing from this weekend's video, but that might wait until I can combine it with me wearing it. I'm tempted to arrange a photoshoot soon, since otherwise I'm not wearing it for over a month. 

Here's a link to the youtube video.

(no subject)

Between naps two days after work this week and zumba two days after work this week, I have not gotten much sewing done. Mostly I've just been feeling super exhausted. I did work more on the chemisette, though - at this point, it just needs the ruffle for the collar gathered down/attached, and the collar facing sewn on. I'm pretty sure I have to gather the collar by hand, so that is waiting for backstage tomorrow night, along with finishing the stitching on the sash for the skirt. So yeah, I think all that's left with the velvet dress is hand-sewing. 

And so on that note, I've switched to the Tissot bustle. I assembled the flatlining I cut out a while ago, just to test to make sure the lines were right. I'm glad I did, because I determined I wanted more flare in the tail of the bodice. I decided the best way to achieve that would be to add pleats in the CB and the next seam over, so I added some additional strips of the flatlining and declared it good. I have since cut out all of the fashion fabric of the bodice (which is supima cotton from Joanns, bought during that ridiculous sale last year). And I've flatlined the back and side back pieces and assembled them. The other pieces have their flatlining pinned in place, and I hope to assemble the rest of it today, or possibly tomorrow, since I'm ushering a show tonight. Here's a pic of what the back currently looks like: www.instagram.com/p/B8f4Pfcg-Dz/

My goals for this weekend are to shoot/edit/upload another youtube video (ideally about the velvet dress), and to actually finish the velvet dress. Plus assemble the Tissot bodice. I don't want to start on Tissot skirts till the velvet dress is finished, though, so that I can take it off the dress form and not have to put it back on. 

Best Laid Plans...

The velvet dress is not done. The bodice is complete, but the overskirt still needs bustle tapes and the sash. And half the sash still needs to be hemmed on the sides, which I honestly think I might leave for backstage sewing on Friday night. Part of that is because I ran out of velvet ribbon on Friday, and the new spool came Sat night, which was after my sewing time. But the other part is just that I'm super slow at hand-sewing. It does have all the velvet ribbon on it now, though, and both hems are pressed and pinned in place.  

While waiting for the ribbon to arrive, though, I did start the chemisette. I found some lawn or batiste in my stash, gathered up the front piece, cut a neckline, and cut the back pieces and the neck ruffle. The backs are attached to the front, so I plan to try it on today and mark where the side hems should be, and where the bottom should end. I think I'm going to do 1-2 buttons and loops at the back towards the top, plus the drawstring around the bottom. It's a back-closing chemisette, though, so it seems kind of weird. 

The funny thing is, in last week's youtube video, I mention never winging it for a project, and then I totally winged it on the chemisette. Here's a link to the youtube video.

Anyway, other than doing whatever machine-sewing I can on the chemisette today, I'm probably going to switch projects and start on the Tissot bustle, and leave the remaining hand-sewing on this project until the weekend.