So maybe you thought after 2 initial posts within a week there would be some sort of consistency to my updates regarding where I’m at with the dress… ahhahaha- HILARIOUS! That is not to say I haven’t been obsessively thinking about, questioning, and planning every micro-step of this dress- oh, believe me, I have. It is only to say that progress has been slow and time to actually sit down and write about it, well, non-existent.
So a month and a half later, here’s where we’re at:
I have completed my practice project, a sweet lil’ olive green party skirt made sans-pattern with the help of a delightfully straight-forward YouTube video.
+ It took about 2 hours longer than I expected (I mean the video was 7 minutes long, shouldn’t it only take 7 minutes to make??!! I joke of course- I had estimated around 2.5 hours).
+ The gathers aren’t perfect (which is my fault for not practicing what I preach and purchasing material much heavier than what is obviously being used in the video- causing the thread to snap while pulling my gathers).
+ I most definitely did NOT remember to give extra allowance for ease of motion/wear- resulting in it not being the most comfortable piece of clothing I own.
+ I may or may not have melted my interfacing in a small area because I misunderstood my iron settings.
However, it is cute as shit (if I do say so myself) and since I’m calling it a “Party Skirt” I feel comfortable enough wearing it with the assumption that all who will behold it in person will be too drunk to notice the flaws. Although, as my mother oh-so-cheekily pointed out “Well, hopefully we won’t all be too drunk to notice on your wedding day…” but then again, Mom, you forget said wedding will be IN NEW ORLEANS.
And again- that was the point of doing a practice project. I am the first to admit that I was rusty and knocking this skirt out on a Sunday afternoon allowed me to get comfortable behind a sewing machine again, realize what I should have stopped and fixed immediately to prevent bigger issues down the road, and reminded me that the garment measurements should not be the exact same as my physical measurements. As a bonus I even got to practice making pleats (even though I ended up scrapping them when I realized my length of fabric was too short).
In addition to finishing up this little project, I’ve been meticulously stretching my weddin’ shoes, got my weddin’ invitations ordered, and have sketched my dress out:
I have also re-read (and re-read and re-read) and modified my pattern- more on that to come (“but when??” you ask? Oh, wouldn’t YOU like to know? Actually, even I’d like to know… but alas, it will just have to remain a mystery to all involved). Finally, I consulted with one of my very best friends and professional burlesque performer, producer, instructor, and most importantly (in this instance) self-taught costume designer and seamstress (not to mention a slew of other titles), Deanna Danger, on one of life’s (or sewing’s) great questions:
To pre-wash fabric, or not to pre-wash fabric?
It is pretty common knowledge that most professional, or even just serious, seamstresses pre-wash their fabric prior to starting a project, the idea being that you should pre-wash your fabric in the same fashion you intend to wash the final garment so it doesn’t shrink. Which is normally how I proceed…. but according to Deanna, who is constantly working with “Fancy Fabrics” as she calls them, it’s not all that necessary in this instance. “But the chemicals!” you say, “What if it shrinks when you wash it?!” you say, but let me hit you with some real talk- I’m only wearing this dress ONCE. This is not a dress I’ll need to wash or intend to re-wear on multiple occasions (of course that statement has now got me thinking of future Halloween costume possibilities- but I digress), and let’s face it, we all know I’m kiiiiinda a slacker, soooooo I’M NOT GOING TO WASH MY FABRIC AND YOU CAN’T MAKE ME (and hopefully writing that in all caps won’t come back to bite me in the ass, y’all have my permission to say “Mmmhmmm, I told you so.” if such a moment arises). And before you Stitches get all mouthy on me about only consulting one source, I did find an article on this exact point of contention on The Sewing Loft, in which “rebels” and “slackers” have found it’s not the end of the world if you don’t pre-wash. So in short: bite me.
And so, that brings us to the conclusion of our wordy little update, in which a substantial amount of trash has been talked without much substance, and a few laughs were had by all (hopefully with and not at me). Join me next time for cutting, chalking, pinning, and most definitely, more sass.