After a five day hiatus (entertaining guests mostly, plus busy at work), I am back to weaving. My goal right now is to finish as much of the silk warp as I possibly can before going to Laura Fry’s – she has generously offered to let me use her industrial steam press to wet-finish any fabric I bring with me. I am worried that if I wet-finish half the warp in one way and half the warp in another, the differences will be visible…so I am weaving, weaving, weaving in an attempt to finish the warp before July 30, when I fly out. I’m at the 7.5 yard mark now, so I have (roughly) 12.5 yards to go…it will be a real stretch to finish it in just 22 days, especially since my mom is visiting the weekend before I leave, but I’ll give it my best shot. At least the warp is (finally!) behaving itself – the last yard or so of weaving has been easy and rapid. I’m thrilled with this, as you can imagine, after all the nightmares. No doubt other problems will crop up eventually, but I’ll enjoy it while I can. (Not a bad life philosophy, now that I think of it.)
I have also been working on what I hope will be the final muslin. In this one, I’m raising the shoulders by 1/2″, and dropping the back by about 3/4″ in an effort to get the sleeves level and on-grain. Currently the back is higher than the front, which means the tops of the sleeves are off-kilter.
For this muslin, I decided to do it the “real”, couture, way, and changed the pattern to allow a 1″ seam allowance (appropriate for muslins). I also marked the seamlines (rather than trying to assume a consistent 1″ seam allowance, which is almost never the case), and carefully basted along each seamline, matching them with precision, before sewing them with the machine. I feel a LOT better about this muslin than my previous ones! When stitching directly by machine, matching seam allowances instead of seamlines, I always feel the work is sloppy. It’s just not possible to match up the seam allowances perfectly, and then of course the method breaks down over sharp curves – this way it comes out exactly according to plan, and if something doesn’t work quite right I know the issue is with the pattern and not with my sewing. So, while it takes considerably longer to baste everything, precisely, by hand, I like the results a lot more. Especially with things like wedding gowns, which are tight-fitting. If I were making a box jacket, I don’t know if it would be worth it, but for this dress, it definitely is.
So watch this space! I am mostly weaving and working on Weavolution right now, but I hope to have the muslin done this weekend.