Sharon and I exchanged work items yesterday, so now I have the dress and she has the coat. I will be putting lace onto the dress, and she will be doing the final stitching and setting in the sleeves. (I asked her to set in the sleeves because I am not very good at that…afraid of botching it!)
So I spent this morning carefully pressing the rest of the seams, basting the pearls in place, and laying out lace on the bodice and sleeves:
The lace comes down a trifle further than I’d like, but partly that’s because there’s a flaw in the fabric that I want to cover up. I’m also considering getting rid of 2/3 of the lace on the bodice, and just putting it over the bust. I think it would look simpler that way, though I’d have to fix the flaws, which might be difficult.
I’m still waffling about the sleeves – personally, I think they look softer and more feminine without the lace. (They also show off the fabric much better – if I cover them up, the bodice won’t have any beautiful handwoven fabric to admire!) I do have some flaws in one of the sleeves that need to be dealt with or covered up, but I checked and I have plenty of fabric, so I think I’m going to recut the sleeve from a flawless region of the weaving, and leave the sleeves “plain”. (I’d love readers’ thoughts on the matter, though!)
The back will be lace-covered down to the waist, I think, but not beyond. I’m still thinking about that piece.
In addition, I found quite a few flaws in one of the back panels that I need to deal with. Needleweaving at 72 epi is damn near impossible, especially after several hard presses. So instead I will be cutting out the teeny-tiny weft floats. I don’t recommend this as a general practice, since it doesn’t help the integrity of the cloth, but since this is very finely woven and will never ever EVER go in a washing machine, I think it will be OK. And it will get rid of the mini-floats that are catching the light in unsightly ways. The only difficulty is that now I am trying to find and clip floats that are about 1/32 of an inch long, and damn near invisible unless the light catches them just right. Embroidery scissors with needle-sharp points and very good light are called for. Plus I’ve had some success by simply removing my glasses/contacts – my eyesight is very very poor but that means I can see lots of detail very close up, so long as it’s within 4 inches of my face.
Of course, I also have a magnifying lamp in the garage somewhere. I could use that, but that would employ far too much common sense. 😉