Someone once asked me if there was a fabric out there that scared "even me." At the time, the answer was a definite no. But this stuff... this stuff gave me nightmares.
Yes, I actually woke up panting like I was being chased by a full on serial killer with eight arms, no head, and a never ending banshee scream in my dreams. Ruggy opened his baby blues in that half asleep state you use when you know your loved one is okay, and just needs to be lulled back to dreamland, murmuring s'kay, babe, bbbrrbbb, mmm s'kay. I slowed my near hyperventilation down to a dull roar, and cautiously recalled the dream:
I HAD FORGOTTEN TO THREAD TRACE ONE BACK BODICE PIECE.
I'm sorry, I need to pause there to reflect.
Alrighty. Let me get back to the source of my fear. The celestial fabric. The fabric made of moon and stars and firecrackers. She's more purple here, no? She changes colors like i change my moods. I LOVE THAT.
Y'all know I've been desiring something more substantial to work with for some time...I don't know, maybe it's the tres chic hollywood air? I first spied this Italian brocade in mood's online shop, and surprisingly I knew what it should be. I'm not like that, I buy fabric because it's
cheap awesome, and eventually I figure out the plan. But I knew right then this 'spenive stuff wanted the simple funky shape of burdastyle 108A.
Still, being a touchy feely sort of gal, I needed reassurance. After a quick email to mood's LA locale, Silvana happily pulled it for me in advance, and I headed down to lay hands on the goods. I was flabbergasted when she led me down the aisle: nothing but black. Darkness everywhere. This was not a kalkatroonaan lane! Excuses would most certainly need to be made! But then, we started flipping those fabrics over... oh glory. Explosions of color! Metallic flickering lights everywhere! I was head over heels. The unexpected pink pleather piping was the icing on the cake.
And then I stalled. This Italian brocade was certainly the most glorious stuff I've ever had on my table. I'd walk past it daily, giving it a wide and respectful berth, occasionally allowing myself to carefully refold and pet it. Practically deifying the precious. My pattern choice wasn't helping my confidence. Because really, adjusting a Burdastyle pattern is not fun... can I get a lengthen/shorten line? And drat it all, I already had a perfectly adjusted copy waiting for me 3,000 miles away. Just about a year ago today, I made my first honest to god full muslin for this dress, and like a good sewist I adjusted the paper pattern accordingly. In my mind, it was the bee's knees.
Why are they knees? Why not the bee's wings? They are obviously a more important and actual part of a bee.
But when I looked back on that post, I saw that I was the victim of delusions of grandeur. (I am often this victim, there ought to be a support group.) Gaping neck and back, droopy bust. So I bit the bullet and printed out the whole shebang again.
I graded from a size 18 to 19 through the bodice, and that seemed to easily fix the gaping. The back neck was a little high, so I scooped it about 3 inches lower. I left the shoulder seams as is, I love how narrow they are. I also found the armsyce to be quite wide... so I pinched out a quarter inch, vertically, right where the side seam would be, on bodice and skirt pieces. Possibly not the right thing to do.
Even though this is geared towards the petite lass, I still raised the bodice 1 inch, and went up another quarter inch for the final. I just eyeballed my own shorten line, marking it at the same place on all bodice pieces. Although the extra quarter inch was probably overkill, much happier am I with the perky bust fit!
But the back bodice. Perhaps my night terror was a premonition, because THAR SHE BLOWS. She is too long. essentially, I haz given myself a wedge of fabric in order to produce a swayback. This could also be due to the armhole balance, as beautifully summed up by madalynne earlier this week. There's no side seam, but her description of the issue does seem to fit. Or maybe it's my eyeballed line? The unconventional side seam pinch?
At any rate: insert much gnashing of teeth here. I stood stock still staring in the mirror, deciding what to do. At this point all seams were finished, after all, I'd MADE A MUSLIN so that I could insert my piping without a care in the world, why would I need to try the damn thing on... stomping away, I decided I could live with it, and if not, I could live with it until I was reunited with my serger.
And I mean, look at what I would have had to take seam ripper to. I think the insides look like a rock concert. Or a pinball game. OH MY GOD IT'S THE WHO'S TOMMY, Y'ALL. No way I was ripping that out, or covering that up with lining! Apparently 'spensive fabric makes me step up le guts game. I pored over my Claire Schaeffer library, and decided on bias facing for the raw edges, which I HAND OVERLOCKED. And I enjoyed every minute of it. This fabric was delicioso to play with. For pressing, I used a large piece of organza, and more of it to hong kong finish all my seams. I stay stitched each piece at 1/4 inch and they held up fine until I was ready to do my hong kong finish.
Or, as Ruggy immediately dubbed it, my Wrong Kong Finish. For some reason I always tell him when I'm not doing something to the letter. He exploits this information at every opportunity. That ruggy. He's a card.
Laugh it up, fun boy. But sleep with one eye open. Me and the Italian brocade are friends now, and we rule the night, yo.
this neon shimmer was using my monthly fabric "allowance" as part of the Mood Sewing Network.