After another day of hard work, I have five of the seven pieces cut out. It is surprisingly slow going, but that’s because I’m taking the time to do it “right”. This means:
- pressing each length of fabric, with a silk organza pressing cloth, to remove any wrinkles
- putting the fabric on a large piece of paper, marked at 1″ intervals, and carefully straightening the edges
- laying out the pattern piece on the length of fabric, avoiding flaws where possible
- fixing (or minimizing) flaws that lie under the pattern piece – very time consuming!
- folding the pattern piece along the grainline, and matching the grainline PRECISELY against one of the stripes, to make sure that the grain will be dead-straight in the finished dress
- pinning the pattern piece to the fabric and underlying paper
- cutting the fabric carefully with a rotary cutter.
For two of the pattern pieces, there were a few additional steps as the pattern piece was too wide for the fabric:
- Cut two pieces of fabric to be attached to either side
- Hand-baste the “extra” pieces to the length of the fabric, basting precisely down the center of each twill stripe, so the pattern will be one continuous pattern when pressed
- Sew the pieces of fabric together exactly along the hand-basting
- Press the seam closed and then open, using the organza pressing cloth.
Whew! After explaining, I understand why I’ve put so much effort in for so (apparently) little return.
Task for tonight: finish cutting out the pieces, and begin marking. I am going to thread-trace the markings, as a snipped edge won’t be visible once I finish the raw edges with Seams Great. After I complete the markings, I expect to spend one full day (at least!) finishing the raw edges with Seams Great, so that’s what I’ll be doing on Thursday.
Meanwhile, I’m continuing to weave, but only about 1.5 hours/day. I’m trying to strike a balance between weaving enough fabric to finish the coat, and getting the dress shell sewn. I’d focus primarily on weaving, except that I owe Complex Weavers Journal a photo of the dress muslin, and am hoping to use the real dress fabric for the photo. It’s due by the end of the week, so I’m working under a bit of time pressure. 😉
This is all very time-consuming, but it’s important to get it right. I want this to be the very best quality I can make, which means paying attention, and not cutting corners.
Now, some answers to questions:
- Kujo asked what Mike is going to wear. He’s going to wear a suit. He refuses to wear a tux, which doesn’t bother me one bit, but he won’t let me make him a vest or anything to go with the suit, because he says it just looks silly. Fine with me; he could wear cutoff shorts and a T-shirt, as long as he turns up and says “I do”. (The important part, y’know? 🙂 )
- Lisa asked what I was planning to do with the scraps. I had originally intended to use them to make small bags filled with <something> as wedding favors, but the scraps turn out to be much smaller than I expected, so I’m not sure I’ll have enough to cover 75 guests. I do have considerable extra yardage (mostly stuff that was too flawed to include in the dress), though, so maybe I’ll be OK. I’ll think more about it AFTER the dress is done! But for now I am just saving the scraps.