Sunday, January 9, 2011

Ruffles and Seams - Weekend of January 8-9

All right, so I sewed the seams on my lining and dress, and I began the large amount of handwork.  I also decided that my tulle ruffles were too wimpy.  Back when I bought the fabrics, I didn't realize there were so many types of fabric under the category of "netting".  So I read that as tulle, when I should have read it as that super stiff netting they use in really poky tutus.  So, since I had so much tulle, and because I like the softness of tulle compared to the stiff pokiness of the other stuff, I decided to use three layers of tulle for each ruffle.  Which means that at the hem, my dress will have 1 + 9 +2 + 1 layers of fabric...that's 13 (plus the petals...).  At the top, there will be 1 + 2 + 1 + 2 +1...that's a paltry 7 layers of fabric.  :-)

Here's a few pictures of the ruffles...these are tame versions of the tulle explosion I was wading through yesterday and today...


Lady Liz said...

Hi IowaHoodlum! I was in the PR wedding dress online class with you...I just picked back up on my dress again and was going through the class notes, and I think I'm using the same Vogue pattern as you! Keep the posts coming, they are invaluable!

IowaHoodlum said...

Hi Lady Liz, I'm thrilled that this blog of mine is useful for you! Please keep me posted on how things are going, and if you want someone to bounce ideas off of, please let me know. I love problem-solving.

I miss our online class, that was so much fun! I'm trying to resist signing up for more classes at the moment because I have to finish my gown. :-)

Lady Liz said...

Oh good! None of my friends know what I'm talking about when I complain about muslin fitting :P Anyway, my biggest issue right now is the muslin. I hurried through it (of course) and now it's a wrinkly, awful mess. So I'm going to pick it all apart and fit the lining muslin and dress muslin separately. Did you fit the lining/dress separately? I should avoid inordinate wrinkles in the muslin, right?
I'm sure you're busy these days, no hurry. I'm cracking down on this over the next week or so.
I know, PR keeps coming up with such cool classes!

IowaHoodlum said...

Hi! I know what you mean! It's worth taking time on the that I'm sewing up the actual fabric, I'm much more confident about setting needle to fabric. I did not sew my different muslin sections (lining, dress, overdress) at the top edge. You do need to fit them with the underlayers present, though, or the outer layers will end up too small. At my first muslin fitting, I already had my foundation garment and shoes the fitting was done (inside to outside) with 1) foundation garment, 2) dress foundation muslin, 3) lining muslin with muslin ruffles (maybe this was overkill, but the point was to get a more accurate idea of the eventual hem length), 4) dress muslin. I did not do a separate muslin for the overdress until Susan K. said that I should. I made one then by adding 1/8 inch to each seam (only to about hip level), giving 7/8 of an inch in added ease around the torso. I'm glad that I did it, because if the overdress was too snug, it would pull on the delicate organza. With the extra ease, I will get a skimming effect instead of a bursting at the seams effect. Having the actual muslin pattern pieces made it a lot easier to keep track of what was what when my apartment was swimming with cut but not sewn pieces of silk. I hung each piece together with its muslin piece, so it was easy to identify once I got back to it.

Yes, it is a good idea to pay attention to wrinkles in the muslin! After doing my full bust adjustment (I jury-rigged mine, I hadn't heard of FBAs yet...but it worked!) I discovered I need to do a pretty significant swayback adjustment, but instead of ending at the waist, my wrinkles pointed at the bust, so my swayback adjustment meant taking 1 1/2 inches from the waist in back and then tapering to just past the side seams, but curved up towards the bust. I also learned how to correctly sew princess seams by fixing my wrinkles and puckers (The KK threads tutorial is what I use to help me).

Okay, all that said about taking time on the muslin, I will also recommend not spending too much time on it! When I was working on it, I was thinking, "boy this is going to go so fast once I get to the actual dress!!" But, the reality is that all the handwork I'm doing on the dress is SO time consuming! Of course, a lot of it can be skipped, but if you are planning to hand overcast the seam allowances and catchstitch them, it just takes a lot of time. Or maybe you're really fast at that! If so, I could really use pointers on how to be quicker with my hand sewing. :-)

Anyway, this is perhaps much more long-winded than you wanted. Hope it is helpful!

Lady Liz said...

No, it was very helpful--thanks so much! I took it all apart and re-fit the muslin this weekend, doing lining first, then the dress muslin over that. What a difference!
I think you're right about allowing a lot of time for the sewing of the actual dress. I definitely don't want to speed through and have it look messy. I am familiar with hand-sewing, since I started out doing reproductions of 18th-c. clothes, but I'm definitely not quick at it! My best advice is a nice wide, flat space to work on, sitting up straight (it helps me sew faster for some reason), and some nice mindless TV on in the background...

IowaHoodlum said...

Hi Lady Liz,

Great, I'm glad that was helpful. I'm also glad your muslin fit has improved!

Thanks for the encouragement re: hand sewing. I think I'm getting a little faster at it, too. I even did some on the airplane last weekend. Bet my neighbors in my row loved that!

I know what you mean about mindless TV on in the background...I've "watched" so much of it I feel like I have some shows memorized. The funny thing is that when I happen to look up at a commercial I feel like I know by heart, I'm actually surprised to discover I've never actually seen the images on the TV screen. I might as well listen to the radio! Hmmm....maybe this is an opportunity to catch up on NPR.