The washing of the silk is done, and it’s after January 15, so it is time to start sewing the Little White Dress!
Cutting the silk was easier that I thougt it would be. I started on the lining – a China silk which is SUPER thin. From this I cut a sweetheart bodice and skirt. I decided to cut the main fabric and lining an inch shorter than the lace overlay. I pinned a lot, and think everything went fine, but am glad I was using new fiskars scissors – the kind that spring open.
I assembled the lined bodice before moving on to the fashion fabric – just in case there was a suprise. But, no. Looks fine. I’m using silk organza for the underlining, and cut that first. I was afraid I wouldn’t have enough – it calls for 3/8 yard, and I actually have a half yard, and need every bit of it to get even half the waistband on the grain. Though it seems weird to cut a waistband on the grain – seems like it should be an area that has some give. Maybe I shouldn’t have trusted the pattern on this one…
Cutting the charmeuse was no big deal, though I did have to take a deep breath before making the first cut. It is super thick and didn’t move around as much as the wispy china silk. I’m not going to have much left over, but that was kind of the idea. I made the markings on the organza in a blue wax free paper for edge markings, and used thread tailors tacks to mark the circles (stopping points for stitching the back hem and front center bodice.
One mod I did make is to swap out the skirt. As I learned from the Hazel dress, gathered skirts are not flattering. So I went with the skirt from New Look 6208 – it has three pairs of tucks in the front and back. And a side zipper that I’ll have to modify to work with the back zipper for the bodice pattern.
This is the first time I’ve used boning, so I turned to the internet for some advice. I found Tasia’s blog post on this very helpful: http://sewaholic.net/sewing-a-boned-bodice-with-plastic-boning/ To finish the seams, I’m just pinking them so they don’t ravel. They should be invisibly bound up inside the garment, so no need to get too fancy. And surging the edges would totally add bulk.
I like the idea of using boning to add some support and to keep clothes from slipping down. I’m hoping it works out well, that I’ve filed the edges down enough so they don’t poke out or poke me, and that I’ll be inspired to use boning again (huh, huh. Boning).
Basting the bodice to each organza piece really stabilized it and made it MUCH easier to work with. So worth doing. I used silk thread to baste by hand because it pulls right out when you’re done with it (if you didn’t accidentally sew over it).
I read conflicting reports about what thread to sew with: cotton, poly, or silk. I heard pros and cons for each, and finally decided on cotton. I thought silk was overkill and might be too slippery, and… I guess I just wanted to try something other than poly. It worked out ok for a while… but the spool of Gutermann that I had it is a little thicker than the polys, and it kept hanging up my machine. So I switched back to poly half way through. We’ll see how that goes…
I also invested in some new needles – super sharp with a tiny little hard to thread hole.