Oh sweet baby Jesus, I am getting pretty dang tired of looking at this dress. But at the same time, making progress … just ever so slowly.
Yesterday after work, I stopped by Gala Fabrics to find out that they carry Bemberg lining at 14.95/m. It seems a little bit thinner than the Bemberg at Fabricland but for less than half the price, I was pleased with it. I was also delighted to find a perfect colour to match this fabric. I picked up yet ANOTHER colour of invisible dress zipper, this one matching the lining.
As you can see from that photo, I cut out and sewed the bodice lining together, and then attached it to the main piece with piping at the edge. Once more, loving that piping foot.
Last night I was a bit torn about what to do with the centre back of the dress. If I pipe it with the centre back zipper, I sort of have to do two rows of piping.
Lining up the seams for the bodice, midriff, and skirt, with all those bits of piping, is gonna be a right pain in the ass. And then what do I do at the bottom of the zipper? I posted on the Self-Sewn Wardrobe group on Facebook about this, and someone suggested moving the zipper to the side seam. This may prove to bite me in the ass later (in which case I’ll probably cry and give up on this dress), but it seems like a good plan for now.
The other thing I did last night was start thinking about armholes. I’d like to do cap sleeves on this dress so that I can wear it in places where the dress code encourages covered shoulders. Yes, I occasionally go to places like that. Also, it’s such a ladylike dress… even though I think I have fairly good shoulders and arms, there’s something more polished and professional about even a slight sleeve on a dress. I won’t have to worry about throwing on an over-layer to go to more formal places. And then I started thinking about how cool a tulip sleeve would be (I found this online tutorial on drafting and sewing cap sleeves) and how great that would look with piped edges. That was the end of my sewing adventures last night.
Tonight, I got home and decided it would be good to re-do the bodice with no centre back zipper, though I am leaving in the seam for slightly shaping the back. Also I do NOT want to re-cut the centre back pieces on the fold (and doubt I have enough fabric left to do so at this point).
First though, I needed to make more piping… somehow I have used up 5.5m of piping already, though I have three pieces left that are about .5 – .75m cut. None were long enough to re-do the bodice neckline incorporating the centre back pieces sewn together, and none of those are long enough to do the midriff. So, I made approximately 5.5m more piping. If I want any more bias strips from that fabric, I will have to make it in short stubby pieces.
So, I got the centre back re-sewn, with piping that I’ve inserted and then pressed OPEN instead of to one side. That might be a sewing no-no, but it kind of works, I think. Then I re-sewed the lining to the bodice with new piping at the edge, and top-stitched it… and then pinned it on to my dress form and… what. The. Fuck.
Somewhere along the way, my seam allowances for the main fabric and the lining got to different dimensions, and I just could not make the lining sit properly under the bodice. There was much gnashing of teeth and furrowing of brow.
I took apart and re-sewed the middle front bodice seam in the lining, but it was still screwy. Then I noticed that my seam allowance on the main fabric at that seam in particular was only about 1/4”, by mistake. So I seam-ripped the damn thing again, and had to take out the shoulder seam and undo part of the neckline seam, just to get at the damn thing and re-sew it with a 1/2” seam allowance. If you’re doing the math at home, that change actually takes 1/2” out of the bodice on that side. I think this will be okay, because there’s still a fairly healthy amount of ease even when I pinch a 1” side seam. The adjustment took me until bloody 11pm, and involved re-doing the matching of the piping on the shoulder seam about four times, but it is finally done. The lining and main fabric aren’t a terrific match still, but the difference is only about 1/4” and that’s something I don’t mind trimming off at the end. *gasp*
That’s where I left it for tonight. I’m still thinking about the sleeve options. The pattern calls for sleeveless but … don’t you think a pretty little tulip cap sleeve with piping would look incredible on this?