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Monday, August 15, 2011

A Dress and a Dinosaur (or Two)

My Janome Horizon acted up last week, and went in to the shop.  I consoled myself by visiting some fabric stores and researching a costume I am to make for a friend.  Said friend also needs a dress to wear to a wedding in mid-September, and wanted it in ice blue.  So guess what I found on sale?  I'm making the upper right view, without the drape.  Even the thread is named Ice Blue.  I took this as a good omen.

After cutting out the dress, and having rather low expectations as to what my old (1970s) sewing machine might do to a few satiny scraps, I unearthed my Sears Kenmore.  Ain't she a beauty? 

I fully expected the old girl to make mincemeat out of the fabric.  To my surprise, the fabric fed smoothly and the tension was about right!  So I went ahead and did the stay-stitching, figuring it wouldn't show anyway. 
As you can see, my Kenmore and I were in the I just kept going.  As I stitched, I tried to remember the last time I put in a zipper.  1984!  The last time I remember making a dress was before that.  At this point I felt a kinship with my trusty, old Kenmore - she was there for me then, and now in my hour of need.  Had to chuckle, because in some (considerably younger) people's eyes, I am a bit of a dinosaur myself! 

Though my flash bulb makes the fabric look overly bright, it actually has a soft sheen.  Very pretty.  I need to take out the top stitching that I did against my better judgement.  I'm removing that with a tweezers so as not to snag the fabric.  Then I'll finish the second arm hole and tack down the interfacings.  This weekend we hope to visit Kami, so I can take the dress in. 
I actually made this dress once before in muslin - thank goodness - because I wanted to be sure it fit right before cutting the costume fabric.  The results were dissappointing.  I made cutting errors which affected the length of the dress, and even though Miss Kami weighs about 95 lbs and is very slim and trim, and the dress came up about 4" short at the waist.  Go figure!  Maybe the designers thought women still wear corsets?  At any rate, in cutting out the blue dress, I added 1/2" to all 6 seams that are tapered at the waist, and added 3/8" to the center front fold.  So now I'll need take the waist in accordingly.  Then I'll need to hem it.  Wondering if I could do all that in one trip....thinking it'll take two. 

But that's OK - it provides a good excuse for one or more road trips to Platteville, WI, where I can visit Hidden Quilts and the Driftless Market. 

This dress will also keep me away from my latest quilt project (Quodlibet) until after I have taken a class at the Wisconsin Public Television/Nancy Zieman Productions Quilt Expo - where I'll learn to quilt in sections.  I'd been itching to put that quilt all together, rather than waiting.  So the dress is a wonderful diversion.  Lots of sewing/quilting fun in store in August and September.  :)

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