Yesterday was supposed to be a “day off” from working on the dress, since I couldn’t put on the final lace until the lining was put in, and the lining fabric is currently located at Sharon’s house. You know, a day of R&R. Instead, I got up in the morning and decided to baste down the bottom section of the lace in the front, below the neckline, figuring that wouldn’t be as affected as the neckline when it came time to put the lining in. And then, I started trimming the edges of the sections and clipping out the extra bits of lace, so I could see the finished results. It took me probably about four or five hours to get everything arranged and basted to my satisfaction – a lot of minor adjustments and filling-in of small blank areas with leaves and such.
Here are three photos – it’s hard to make out the detail in the smaller photos, so do click through to the larger ones. If you look at the three-quarter view, you can get an idea of what I plan to do with the sleeves – use just the border of the scallops, decorated with pearls, and a tiny bit of lace at the top to “unify” the sleeve with the bodice. The scallops and pearls will continue around to the back, which will be lace-covered down to the waist (I have some flaws to cover up), but no further.
This is essentially the lace as it will appear on the dress in the end – the only difference is that the neckline portion will drop by about 1/2″, once the lining is sewn in.
After finishing that,I went off to the farmer’s market, and when I returned, the yarn for my double-happiness ribbon had arrived!! Many thanks to Laura Fry, who did me a HUGE favor by ordering a giant cone from Silk City, then winding off just the amount I needed and mailing it back to me. Saved me from getting four pounds instead of one. It’s Silk City’s 2/28 merino, ivory – the perfect color and also quite glossy.
I’m a bit worried about whether it’s strong enough for warp – it does break easily – but various people on WeaveTech have said that the 2/30 Supramerino from Silk City is strong enough for warp, and this is about the same size, so I’m going to give it a try. If it doesn’t work, I’ll fall back to using silk. (I want to use wool so we can shape the ribbon using steam.)
So then I started beaming on the warp for the double-happiness ribbon. I’m weaving it 9 inches wide, just to be safe, leaving two inches on either side of the motifs so there will be plenty of room to turn the edges under. I’m weaving two rows of motifs at once – that way they will match as they run down the front of the gown. (I learned my lesson with the eternity knots!) I haven’t decided yet whether to use the thicker gold metallic or four strands of the thinner one yet; I’ll do some experimentation at the beginning of the warp and see.
I’m HOPING the warp works and is not too weak – I could rewarp with silk instead, but that would lose precious time. I’m figuring I have three weeks, and it will take half a week to wind and weave two yards of the ribbon fabric. Figure a week to put on the lace and pearls, since that is fine detail work. That leaves me (and Sharon, who is getting collaborator’s credit on the dress since she is doing far more sewing than I had anticipated earlier) a week and a half to do everything else. Tight but do-able, but it doesn’t leave much room for rewarping and rethreading. The only reason I’m not doing it in 30/2 silk to begin with is that I really want to have a single row of double-happiness characters, and to do that we will need to be able to shape the ribbon with steam. Thus, wool or another feltable yarn is in order.
Today I’m going off to Sharon’s, dress in tow, so we can start putting in the lining. We may also mark off for the hem of the dress and coat, depending how far along we get. I’m personally impatient at this; I’d rather be home weaving, but since Sharon and I can only really work together on weekends it makes most sense for me to go up there today.