Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Aqua and lime dress update

So I have failed miserably at keeping track of the time spent on this dress. I was using an online stopwatch and the tab closed, resetting it. It was around 16 hours at that point and that was when I had just started sewing godets into the top skirt. I estimate that since then I've spent about 6 more hours putting the remainder of the godets in, making a pistachio chiffon underskirt with a fishing line hem, and now I am working on a turquoise organza underskirt. This one is going to be detachable so I can use it for another dress I've got in the planning stages. It will be crinoline trimmed and as of now, is at 4 full circles (though it starts low, around the knees. I'm trying to get that big fluff out at the bottom going).

When I last left you guys I was just finishing pattern drafting. I have since made the bodice, bodysuit, and inserted the mesh side panels. I'm afraid I didn't get any pictures of that before I started inserting the skirt panels. The top skirt is made of 6 quarter circles with circular ruffles on the edges and a gathered ruffle at the bottom. There are a lot of ruffles, and for a while my sewing area looked like a green dress had just exploded everywhere:

This is all of the ruffles organized by type, there are 5 different kinds, small, medium, large, double length small, and giant gathered ruffle for the hem (see pile on floor).

The best way to make a super long (500 inches!) ruffle is to zigzag stitch over a heavier thread. Due to the length, I cut my heavy thread at a couple places so I could adjust individual sections more easily as I attach it to the rest of the skirt.

This is a single skirt panel with the 3 ruffles (small, medium, and large) basted to it. I was going to pleat the double length small ruffles and top stitch them to the one side of the panel, but I think that might be too much ruffle now that it's coming together.

Two panels inserted!

Here's the dress with the top skirt finished.

The first underskirt, chiffon with fishing line trim. 12 quarter circle panels

After stitching them together, I staystitched the top and pinned it to the back of a chair to let the bias settle out. Trimming these bits is much like giving a haircut, trim to the shortest bit and make it all even.

This was my first time doing a fishing line hem, not as hard as it might seem, but more difficult than crinoline. I used my serger with these tension settings:

Every once in a while the fabric will start to bunch, usually if I'm going too fast or holding the line too tightly.

Pushing the line through though will "inflate" these curls and get rid of the bunching. This is easier if you catch it sooner or you'll have a lot of fabric to try to move the line through.

I inserted the line between the needle and the blade. After it gets started, it pretty much takes care of itself, as long as it isn't getting too tangled. This is a case where a light touch makes it go so much better. Gently guiding the line rather than trying to push or pull it worked best. Moderate speed also gave the line enough time to get moved by the feed dogs at the same pace as the fabric.

When I had only 10 inches to go, I sliced through the line for the first time. Sad face.

Fixing it is no big deal though, I overlapped the new line with the old by a couple inches and just serged over it.

And here's the underskirt complete with fishing line! I like the curl the 40 lb line is giving to the chiffon.