In case you missed the prequel to this, here it is The Wedding Dress – part 1 of the unknown.
So in preparation for cutting out S.’s wedding dress this morning I undertook numerous activities that are alien to my Monday morning routine:
- I got out of bed on time.
I only hit the snooze button once!
- I washed the floor. Or intended to wash it – it was more of a spot clean.
I had hoped that I could cut out the bodice first on the kitchen table and save my back a bit of grief but there was no way the skirt was going to fit. So I washed … err … correction … spot cleaned the living room floor.
- I filed my nails.
It use to be that rock climbing kept my nails short. I knew I hadn’t been in a while if my nails needed cutting. Now they are a bit of scraggly appendages I tend to ignore or have cropped close to the bone. But in terror that I might snag the fabric I filed my nails. They’re looking pretty nice now, maybe I’ll even paint them later.
- I cleaned the kitchen table for the 5th time.
I’m paranoid that in the time I have been out of the room, G will have placed a coffee mug on the kitchen table (I mean who would do such a thing?) or in buttering his toast marmite will have been flicked accidentally off the knife and in slow motion the too small to see sticky glob will land smack where I am about to place the fabric resulting in a stain front and centre. Just thinking about it is enough for me to get the dish cloth again.
So time to just get on with it right?
I decided to start with the lining which is silk georgette or maybe a charmesue (it’s got the shine of a charmeuse but also seams semi-sheer)? Six pattern pieces (cut twice), 100 pins, and 1 ¼ hrs later I finished the lining. All in all it went pretty well but there are three tricks I used that I think made it much easier.
- Cut on high surface.
I was quite relieved to be able to use the kitchen table – what a difference it can make if you’re not kneeling to the whole time. Of course I wasn’t able to lay out all the fabric, but to be honest I also don’t have a room that is 5 metres long. To avoid having the weight of the fabric ‘pull’ too much when handing off the edge, I draped it over a kitchen chair. By pining the fabric even where I wasn’t placing the pattern pieces I was able to keep the fold in the same place as I very carefully pulled the next section onto the table top.
- Pin like shit.
A recent Snippet suggested pining, pining, pining to help with the slippery factor. Which I did. It also suggested using silk pins because they are so thin and sharp. While I do have some really sexy Merchant & Mills entomology pins (I’m serious these pins are super sexy and lush) they only came in a box of 100 so I’m rationing them. When pinning the pattern to the fabric, where ever the pin placement is within a seam allowance I use my not so nice, bog standard pins, but in all other places I am using my sexy little pins.
Again in the same Snippent, it was suggested to use heavy pattern weights. While I don’t have the real deal, Oxford Dictionary, Magnam, Energy and Security, and A nice Wee Present from Scotland did the trick. I think it’s like a meeting of beauty and brains (or is that just going a step too far, personifying my pattern pieces and books?). Anyway this had such an amazing impact on the stability of the fabric, I can’t believe I hadn’t thought of it sooner! It also helped with keep the fabric from being pulled off the table.
So lining done, time for a cup of coffee in the sunshine, then I’ll tackle the main body.
Venturing fourth into the land of silk chiffon …
So the layout of the main dress requires NOT folding the fabric.
With right sides together, fold fabric CROSSWISE . Cut fold from selvage to selvage. Keeping right sides together, turn upper layer completely around so nap runs in the same direction as lower layer.
This threw my iner dyslexic child into a bit of a loop for a while. When I triumphantly figured out what the heck they meant (to be honest I wasn’t 100% sure what the selvage and nap referred to – you’re allowed to snigger) I then turned and looked at my living room floor with dismay. Would it fit? Just.
30 minutes spend trying to fold 60” wide, 5 ½ meter long fabric in half. Success. Except its not right sides together – but you’ll remind me of that later wont you?
The main body also required several more books. They’re quite handy for using as stepping stones too, cause there isn’t much walking space around the edge and the leap across the room feels a bit precarious. And for reaching the middle of the fabric to pin!
Seven pattern pieces, 150 pins, and 1 ½ hrs later the main fabric is all cut out. Phewww.
Now the question remains where to put everything? I found another ironing board in our back shed that is in remarkably good condition and will be the perfect thing to place the 19 pieces for the duration of this coup.
Tomorrow I’ll begin sewing, but for now the sunshine is beckoning.