Today its time to start sewing. Except so far this morning I have done everything but.
I rummaged through my bobbins tin (I use a very old Golden Virgina tobacco tin – what do you use?) trying to find an empty one. Which there wasn’t. So I had to choose which had the smallest amount of thread that was going to be sacrificed. I like to pretend that later I’ll put it back on and it won’t be wasted but in reality during the course of the day it will disappear. Then when taking out the current bobbin from my machine, I discover it had run out of thread. Oh well.
I’m using a 100% silk Gutermann Col. 802. It feels really lovely and smooth.
I’ve got some new machine needles and will use the 60 to avoid snagging or even just leaving little holes in the fabric. For the same reason instead of using pins to mark the fabric I’m trying pencil markings.
While doing further procrastination this morning and researching sewing with silk (you’d have thought I might have done this before taking on the project huh?) I came across A Fashionable Stitch’s blog on the subject who is helpful and she referred me to Gorgeous Fabric’s great blog on ironing.
I think it’s a bit like yesterday, I was nervous to start, but once I made the first cut, it all melted away and I just got on with it. I’ve read through the instructions (for the 8th time?) and my little notes and I’m ready to start.
So already I am putting into practice some of the things I learnt in my morning’s procrastination and already I am having to quickly adjust my methods.
I consider myself to be pretty big on pressing my sewing as I go along, but my efforts are nothing by Gorgeous Fabric’s standards. So I decided every single time I put a stitch in, I’m going to press it. While my iron is set to the ‘silk’ setting I lowered it a bit more as on some test fabric I could see ever so slightly the outline of the iron (probably no one would notice if there face wasn’t 5″ from said mark and know what they were looking for but hey-how I’m feel picky today. So having reinforced the inter corners of the bodice, I pressed them, on BOTH SIDES. And you know what? It looked brilliant.
But I ran in to trouble when I went to put in the gathering stitches. The fabric was just too fragile. I tried twice before realising I was going to wreck the fabric. Then I thought, why not just do this by hand – it was quick, simple, works just fine and the fabric is intact. I’m kicking myself for not having just done this from the get-go. On the test version I did use some slippery-I-don’t-want-to-guess-what-your-composition is fabric and while it was lightweight and slippery it was nothing compared to what I’m working with now.
Ok I’m just gonna put it out there. I’m not loving sewing with this bloody chiffon. I love how soft it is, color, the slight shimmer and the weight. But I don’t love sewing with it. It and my machine are not taking to each other, and the first shoulder French seam took me nearly 15 minutes. I also have my first snag, from removing a pin as I sewed the seam. Annoying. I get the feeling that I am going to need to revise my timeline.
I had a wee break to chat with my best friend on Skpye and she put me on to the BBC radio’s Book at Bedtime. So after our catch up and a cathartic whinge I went and listened to Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane. It was really nice to listen to as I trundled on joining the bodice front to back at shoulders, neck and side seams.
So steps 1 -11 (essentially all of the bodice) is finished but it’s taken several hours. I had hoped to get a start on the under-bodice today but I think it’s time for a break so I’m going to head to the haberdashery shop for a few zips and some flowers.