Saturday, March 19, 2011

Drawings for the Map Dress

Progress with the dress: The facings are applied around the neckline and trimmed away. They'll be hand-tacked and slip-stitched to the zipper just like typical facings would be.

Now I can get out the baker's parchment paper and draw some maps to add for sleeves and bottom ruffles. Here are the sleeves before they are cut out.

The sleeves are lightly gathered and set in like any sleeve.

Now for the bottom ruffles. They're wide so I draw an overlapping collage of maps of different U.S. areas.

Gathering with traditional gathering stitches.

The ruffles are sewn to binding strips of maps to be attached to the hem of the dress. These are going to be the last step. First we've got to figure out how to stitch the dress's side seams when I can't really turn paper inside out! That's for another session...

More Map Dress Update

Well, I wrote this on a previous weekend and am just now publishing it. Meanwhile the dress has been completed! But then I tried it on - read on, there's more to come...

This is it, the weekend when I really finish the map dress for the Fabric-Free Fashion Exhibition. And the deadline is still over a month away! (It seems like I have the same goal every weekend but this time, I'm serious.) In the last couple of work sessions some real progress was made. Here's a review.

The skirt was attached to the bodice and the front and back were finished as well as the shoulder seams and neckline. After a lot of thought, I realized I couldn't sew both side seams and turn the dress right side out, like a fabric garment.

I sewed the bodice sides but what had to give was the front waist seam. Then I sewed the skirt sides and turned that right side out.

Turning the dress right side out was like a birth.

The dress is wrinkled and softened by the manipulation. Now there is only the bottom ruffle to attach to the handkerchief hem.

This image shows the ruffles (illustrated parchment paper, gathered) attached to binding strips so they can be easily (ha ha) stitched to bottom of the dress. Below, they're pinned and ready for sewing.

You can see that the sewing process is challenging:

 Next, finishing details like hand-stitching the facing down at the zipper placket.

Cheers, it's apparently finished! Nothing to do now but celebrate and try it on.

So yesterday I tried it on, a bit of a challenge but my husband helped me get into it. Unfortunately, I looked like Little Bo Peep - I'd hope that the shape of a body would fill the dress and make it appear less wide and stiff. I'm going to taper the skirt sides by 4 inches at each side and create an elasticized casing for the silly-looking sleeves. The bodice fits beautifully - the good news.

Back to the sewing machine...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Guest Blogger: Creation Station

This post is from one of my Apparel Construction students, Kirsty Holland. She inspired me when she described the new sewing space she has created in her apartment. It is in a portion of her fortunately large kitchen. She says...

"There is still a little 'organizing' to be done, but the space is complete as far as furniture and equipment.

"As you can see, there is lots of natural light (so much so, that I had to close the blinds to take the pictures) and I have some favorite pieces of my children's artwork above the windows, which helps to keep me smiling! My sweet guy even put up a TV for me (on the wall in the left of the picture) so that I can watch CSI re-runs while I work (don't know if you are familiar with the TV show? I find a bit of Nick Stokes very inspiring hahaha).

"I use my kitchen table and large island (not pictured) to work on patterns/cut fabric, etc. To use my sewing machine and serger, I just pull out the bottom wire basket of the storage to make room for the foot pedal. The wire baskets also mean that I have lots of room to store the foot pedals when they are not in use, and also for my ever-growing fabric "stash" and patterns. I have a spool holder on the wall above my computer to hold my threads, shelves to the right to hold my pattern paper roll and favorite sewing books that I like to keep, and I have my ironing board and iron close to hand. You might even have noticed my yardstick hanging up :) Add a fabulously comfy chair, and it's complete!
"I love my sewing space and it's so nice to have somewhere dedicated to doing something I enjoy so much!" Thanks, Kirsty, it's a pleasure to teach you more sewing skills.