I have been stalled on a dress I have been making. I have been trying to make this dress.It is from the Voice of Fashion book. It has been a daunting task because it is my first attempt at enlarging a pattern to fit me…with scanty instructions on how to put it together. I managed to get the skirt together…with the little pleats… so that it fit. The hem edge was a weird length so I cut it shorter but ended up with an uneven hem and that threw me off and stalled me. I feared it would end up too short once I straightened it and I was too frustrated to look at it. Dreamstresses Historical Sew Fortnightly challenge was to finish something on the UFO pile. This skirt was my UFO pile. I had to face it. But, now that I’ve carried on, I’ve decided it is not too bad.I have not ironed this so I’m hoping that it will improve with an ironing. I also have not added the ribbon dangly bits as this fabric is so light sucking and drab that it might work for a first level of mourning dress. I think the ribbon may be too cheery for first level mourning. I have to do more research on mourning in the early 1900s if I’m going to make this a first level dress. I could make it second or third level and then I wont have to worry as much about getting it wrong. In which case, I may yet add the ribbon.
The pleats were an excercise in math let me tell you. I had fabric this wide and I needed it to be that wide and I had this many places to pleat so the pleats had to be that deep. Not fun. The pleats are more or less straight except at the hip area where the fabric is curved in towards the hip. That was tricky to get. Also, I decided to sew down the seams between the gores so that they’d look like one of the pleats. It looks great most of the length of the skirt but at the hip it looks like I was taking a swig of straight vodka while sewing. Oh, well. Like I said, this fabric is so light sucking that I doubt anyone will notice unless their nose is right at my hip.
I stopped the pleats before the hem so I’d get the flair. That worked out.I considered hand sewing the hem but figured it would be under the lace…who would know so I machine sewed that. Then I was going to hand sew the lace on but was going blind trying to hand sew black on light sucking black with black. And there was just so much of it! Then I figured…it will be on the floor. No one will know unless they have their nose at my feet. It is so freaking black you can’t even tell there is lace there…never mind being able to see how it was sewed on. (So minus points on historical accuracy. Since I’m using curtain material of questionable fiber content, I’m obviously not working towards creating a dress for museum guides. I’m going for impression rather than accuracy.)
I guess, if I sew the ribbon on, I’m going to have to hand sew that. Machine sewing along the length of ribbon WOULD be visible. I’m not looking forward to that. Hey, wait! There is a cheat I could use one of my embroidery stitches on my sewing machine and embroider all that ribbon down……hmmmm.