Sunday, September 27, 2009

French Seams -- American Style

For the uninitiated: French seams are a beautiful seam treatment used for very fine and sheer fabrics that might ravel, weaken with use and/or show through sheer fabrics. It is a double-stitched seam that encases the seam allowance in itself.
The traditional way to construct one is to sew the pieces wrong sides together, then trim the seam allowance very close to the stitching, turn to right sides together, and stitch again. It does produce a beautiful finish, that is quite strong, while appearing very delicate. The process takes 3-4 times as long as a traditional 301 butterfly seam, and is a bit tedious.
Not anymore!!!!!
Thanks to a serger method for making French seams that I learned from Serger Secrets (ISBN # 1-57954-464-9) I now whiz through French seams!
Here's all you do:

Using your serger, serge the wrong sides together with a narrow rolled hem, leaving a 6in tail, fore and aft. Then, on your sewing machine, equipped with a zipper foot, stitch right sides together, holding the serger tails taut. Viola! A very narrow, strong French seam with NO trimming. [I can't tell you how many pieces of thin silk I have had to re-stitch because I trimmed a tad too close!] Beautiful, non???

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Bodice -- done!

It's done. It's finally done. I think it turned out lovely, although, of course, Kali has final say. We meet for a fitting next weekend, so there may yet be some 'tweaking' to be done, but, for the non, I am moving on!

The last bit required attaching the lining (sans sleeve lining) to the bodice at neck and bottom, and attaching each sleeve lining to sleeve at hem, then pulling all three pieces through, pressing, and then my least favourite part of any construction project: hand work!!! I whip-stitched the lining to bodice at the 2 CB's (loops on the outside), and then whip-stitched the each sleeve lining to the bodice lining at each armsceye.
It will ultimately need more pressing, but I think it turned out lovely.
Now: on to the other lining, or: the inner bodice attached to the skirt. There's a little work involved in this.
Report to follow.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

My Purse -- revealed

Over on my younger daughter's (Varina) blog, she posted a note about purses being the true window to a woman's soul.

She's a great writer, with some interesting insights into the world and its inhabitants. Ergo: I have decided to follow suit, and bare my soul, as it were.
No pictures, however. I can't find the camera, and, while I am willing to let you know what is in my purse; I am unwilling to have you see the effort it takes for me to actually locate anything usable.

The current purse is a warm pink Sigrid Olsen hobo, lined in bright green silk. It is, however, a little too 'spring-like' for the cool weather we have finally gotten, so I shall be changing to a Fendi teal baguette, or an olive croc envelope soon.
The contents:
In 3 small inside pockets:
1) cell phone
2) business cards in gold case
3) foundation stick (Laura Mercier ) and small bottle of essential oils (Rosemary, Lavender, Geranium) that I sometimes put in diffuse in my car.
Zippered pocket in lining:
1)Passport (U.S.)
2) Keys to my office
3)defunct credit dard that needs to be shredded
Makeup bag (yellow leather with pink piping -- a La Mer GWP):
1) Compact (Benefit)
2) 2 lipsticks (Mark - Dew & Peachy)
3) 2 Lip Glosses (Stila - bronze & rose)
4) Lip Balm (Clarins)
5) Hand Cream (Cream de La Mer)
6) tweezers
7) 3 emery boards [you'd think form that, that I actually take care of my nails]
Tin of Altoids - Cinnamon
Bottle of Tums for Kids (they're cherry-flavoured)
Bottle of naproxen Sodium
Day Planner
Receipts form various grocery stores and restaurants
Towelettes (4) from Buffalo Wild Wings
Keys to the Armory (oops! that should have gone back to the Commissioner's secretary last week)
3 ball-point pens (2 blue, 1 back)
Black leather tri-fold wallet:
1) Cash: $15.73
2) Loyalty cards:
Sam's Club
Hancock Fabrics
Jo-Ann Fabrics
High Fashion Fabrics
Membership cards:
Blue Cross
Medco (Rx)
Central Market Foodie
American Sewing Guild
Dillard's Hosiery Club
Houston Museum of Natural Sciences
Sammy Brown library
Credit Cards:
USAA Debit Master Card
First State Bank Debit Card
Capital One Master Card
Neiman Marcus
TX Driver's License
US Military ID card
Texas AgriLife Extension Employess card
University of Texas Student ID card
Voter's Registration card

That's it.
So: what does my purse say about my soul??

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Bodice, unlined

I promised pictures. Here they are.
The carriers on the back look backwards because they are. They will flip perfectly when the lining is attached at the CB.
Stay tuned, as the lining, floating lining and, eventually: THE DRESS all take shape.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Wedding Gown Bodice: Kapitel Einz

The shell of the bodice is done.
No pictures, yet, because I am quite tired, and I'm not sure I like the neckline. It looks too narrow, but I dasn't cut it down, without seeing it on the intended. So: tomorrow, I shall cut out and assemble the bodice lining, then Thursday eve, I shall cut out and assemble the floating lining.
Sometime soon, Katie, Kali and I shall get together for a fitting, and THEN those linings, et al will get attached to each other, the skirt, etc & etc.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Slopers, part deux

On the left, you see the sloper for the bodice of Kali's Wedding Gown. I shall, of course, be sharing with you all the details of the construction of said gown, so the sloper eventually, will bear little resemblance to the finished product. If it looks strangely unfinished, and way too colourful -- it is. It is constructed with basting stitches that are not intended to be permanent -- so I used up little bits of bobbin threads. Kali's sloper is ready for the mail, and I have 3 clean bobbins!
On the right is a sloper for a vest I am making for David's Aunt Neno. If you look closely, you can see each piece labelled with the name of the panel, and the name of the wearer, and date of construction. This is the way courtiers and tailors label slopers.
I didn't bother to do that with Kali's sloper, as we assume this is the only Wedding Dress she will ever need, or want!