Sunday, August 28, 2011


Well, I'm stuck until tomorrow morning.  I mean, I would be, anyway, because it's Sunday, but until Joanns opens 9am tomorrow, I can't go any further--my tapestry thread and needles have disappeared!  Only thing I have left is crochet thread, which is much too thick, and embroidery thread, which isn't thick enough.  I got everything cut out twice over--once out of the lining, and once out of the organza.  Then I drew the lines for the pleating on the wrong side of the lining.

I used this tutorial.  Basically, the rows are 1/2" apart, and the columns are 1/4" apart.  Then you do a running stitch on the row lines, putting the needle through on each intersection.  But before I ran the stitches, I hand basted the two layers together.  Hand basting is much easier to pull out than machine! 

The grid is easier to see here.  :)   In order to make sure that the pleating went through both fabrics, I decided that basting it first was a must so they'd be in the same place.  Next, I did the pleating stitches.

This is the result from the wrong side.  I used a pencil for the lines, so they'll wash out, and the black thread will be pulled out after I do the smocking.  The slashes you see on the sides are due to the construction of the front panel of the dress--the skirt bits are gathered and then attached to the bodice in a dart-like fashion.  I/m going to do the lining and the organza separately, and finish the seams with my serger.  I want the skirt of the dress and the lining skirt to be completely separate for floatiness.

This is what it looks like from the right side.  I know the neckline looks huge, but the excess will be taken up when I draw up the pleating threads and do the honeycomb smocking

I've made some design changes--I slit the middle of the back skirt piece and I'm adding a continuous lap there so this will be easy to get on and off of Bit.  Strangely enough, even though there are "stay" pattern pieces, they're not attached to the dress.  I'm seriously considering cutting them out of the lining fabric, interfacing them, and adding them anyway to protect the smocking stitches.  If you examine commercially smocked garments, most of them don't have the stitching showing from the wrong side because they're covered by an extra piece of fabric.  I figure I'll finish the edges of the "stays" and carefully hand stitch them to the lining. 

This has the added advantage of reinforcing the areas that I need buttonholes in for the sash, or as the pattern says--the girdle.  (The word "girdle" gives me an image not of a sash, but of a lycra body shaper...)

This is the organza ribbon I decided to use for the sash.  I think the pop of solid color will be just the thing to set off the waistline of the dress.  And, well, if it doesn't look right, I have the fabric to make one from the lining and the organza!

Plans are to have the dress and the lining only attached at the sleeves, neckline, smocking, and back bodice.  I trimmed the lining back to the fold line, and I'm interfacing the organza past that.  It should give me a nice placket with enough body to easily do buttonholes.  I still need to attach the bows to barrettes, but they're otherwise done.  I have two versions--a skinny version and a fat version.  I think I like the fat one better!

The red is a closer match to the dots on the organza, and I think the fatter one just looks better!   The knots are only pinned on because I was out of barrettes.  I'm going to pick some up tomorrow at Joanns when I get the thread.  We'll see which one I end up using, though both will be sent home with the dress.  This kind of bow is so easy to make that I can't believe how much premade ones cost!

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