I have not been entirely idle the last day or two; I’ve been dyeing yarn samples for the wedding-dress project. Here are some of them:
The ones to the left of the metallic gold are 60/2 and 70/2 silk; the ones to the right of the metallic gold are approximately the size of 30/2 silk, in a variety of yarns including alpaca, muga silk, wool, and a 75/25 silk/cashmere blend. I dyed them in various colors without paying much attention to the exact ratios; most are a mix of Sabraset mustard and Sabraset chestnut brown, sometimes with a little turquoise thrown in.
I had a surprisingly difficult time getting pale colors, as you can tell from the strong browns and strong golds in the mix. I kept cutting and cutting the amount of dye and finally got it right in the two skeins on the end (still drying, thus not wound onto pirns yet). It will be really interesting to see how this works!
I have thought some more about yarn choices for the wedding dress and have decided that the warp will either be 60/2 silk (15,000 ypp) or a 75% silk, 25% cashmere blend at about 6500 yards per pound. Both are strong enough for warp, are white, and (more importantly) I have enough of each in my stash to do all the yardage for a wedding dress (14 yards for the overrobe, another 12 for the dress). I do tend to buy in large quantities but it is pretty rare for me to have 26 yards’ worth of anything on hand!
I am still debating whether to sew the dress underneath out of handwoven or commercial fabric. As there is no immediate urgency to this project (note that Mike and I are not engaged, therefore there is no wedding scheduled, thus a leisurely course is just fine) I suppose that question can wait for awhile. I think it would be fun to weave it in an advancing twill heart shape, modeled loosely after the hearts in the Twill Thrills: The Best of Weaver’s book.
Coat-wise, I have done the back interfacing and taped the neckline, and the next step will be sewing it all together. I have reluctantly abandoned the idea of doing it using Claire Shaeffer’s methods in Couture Sewing, primarily because I don’t have enough experience with coat construction to puzzle things out from her instructions. Instead I’m using the “custom method” in Palmer & Pletsch’s “Easy, Easier, Easiest” tailoring book, which includes all the hand-sewn details. I’m reading through Shaeffer and hope to use her methods in the next coat and perhaps in putting in the lining for this coat, but the Palmer & Pletsch instructions are much clearer, so I’m going with them for now.