Sunday, 2 June 2013

Progressing, pressing, and pinking

Hi all... the deadline is getting near, and progress is not as fast as I want! Although, I think it is at least as fast as I need.

Silk double georgette has surprised me. It doesn't fray much, it doesn't shift as I sew it, and it presses nicely. The silk crepe de chine is somewhat more delicate - I sense that it might tear if it were under stress (wouldn't we all). However, it also cuts easily and has minimal fraying. I'm learning not to fear fancy fabrics!

I've been doing lots of pressing (with silk organza and a spray bottle full of water). It's satisfying, and it makes such a difference to the final product. Who would have thought using the iron would be enjoyable?

There has also been plenty of thread-tracing. This is tedious at best. I have to have lots of breaks, because I have no comfortable place to sit! It's either cross-legged on the floor, or at my slightly-wrong-height dining table. I do as much as I can in 15 minute blocks, then I stretch... Thankfully, this part of the job is over now.

The next step was machine-basting underlining to fashion fabric. First, I thread trace the underlining piece. Then I pin it (in the seam allowance) to the fashion fabric, which is pulled taut. Next, I cut around the whole thing, and carefully relocate it to my sewing machine.


The machine basting is done in the seam allowance. Hopefully I can leave it there to minimise fraying. The pinking shears will then be used to reduce the width of the seam allowance. I don't have an overlocker, so that isn't an option. I also think overlocked seams may show through to the outside of this flimsy fabric. The garment will be fully lined, so there won't be any loose threads anyway.

There is an additional gathered layer to go over the two layers photographed above - the bodice ultimately has four layers of fabric. While I was/am a little worried about show-through of my underwear, it will probably be fine. The skirt only has two layers of fabric though, so it will be nude knickers for me... and possibly a half-slip.

Have you tried any new techniques or materials in your hobbies lately?

8 comments:

  1. Wow! It's fascinating hearing all the stages. I'm beginning to think bridal dressmakers really, really earn their money. I love pressing my sewing too. Pressing seams so they turn into things of beauty is way more rewarding than ironing a shirt.
    Kia kaha! Can't wait to see it!

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    1. I'm glad you're enjoying hearing about it! I love to know *how* people do things that I haven't tried before.

      I think dressmakers are worth every cent they are paid, for sure. Which is why it hurts me to think about how little some Chinese dressmakers must be paid, in order for people to buy $200 beaded/ruched/hand-detailed wedding dresses online :-(

      Thanks for the support - it's not too long before I can share the finished project (I hope!).

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  2. oooh lovely :) I'd love to get a pair of pinking shears... they add such a lovely textural and practical aspect to seams! I don't even half blame you for getting brain-numbed by it all though... yikes. And that gorgette looks as delicious as I thought it would!!!

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    1. I rarely use the pinking shears, but they seem to work well on light-medium fabrics that have a little stiffness. They really do reduce the fraying, too.

      The ruching has nearly been the death of me. It's so tricky to get something to look random and pretty! I've been prick-stitching the folds down (as you suggested, thank you)... The front is nearly done, at least. The back should be easier because the pieces are smaller and I've had some practice!

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  3. Your preparatory work is just beautiful! I agree,leaving the machine basting in place and pinking the raw edges is a much more sensitive finish that overlocking this lovely delicate fabric.

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    1. Thanks Carolyn. After having worked with this fabric for a while now, I'd be scared to try an edge finish that might end in munched-up silk. Pinking has definitely been a good idea.

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  4. I'm so impressed with your work, Kat. It makes me wish I'd been more involved in the sewing of my dress - although I think IC's aunt was so scared of the lace that she was glad I wasn't there when she cut into it.

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    1. With the precious lace you had, I think it was probably for the best that someone else was responsible for your dress... it's stressful enough sewing with fabric that isn't sentimental :-)

      I loved your wedding dress, it was so personal and beautiful. I think having something made for you by someone you care about really makes it special.

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