Carolyn asked in an entry she wrote this week about how many steps you take to make a garment.
I won't go through all the steps here, but rather sort of document my process,
in part so that I can remember WHY these dresses take a week to make. ;)
1. I had this pattern in a size 18 - 22, so the first thing I needed to do was grade the pattern down. That size range may work for me on the bottom, but I need a pattern size 14 - 16 through the neck, shoulders and upper bodice. while doing this I moved the shoulder seam fwd by 3/8".
2. Make a full muslin. In this case, I used muslin for the bodice which will be constructed of lace too - the muslin is stiffer and more tightly woven, but I needed to see how the pattern was drafted. I was THRILLED with the fit, first time out on this muslin. Not a change to be made, except one fix at the underarm where my grading fell a bit short of perfection and the seams didn't match. I still consider this an essential step in both figuring out fit and style appropriateness.
3. Lay out lace, place pattern single layer, taking care for placement of embellishments. I chose to use the scallop edge for the back. A lace like this has no grainline but there is a definite directional aspect to the design. (see post from yesterday for picture of whole lace, the directional aspect is evident). My pieces are small enough that the whole of the pattern is lost, but I was still cognizant of it while laying out the pattern. Fortunately this pattern made good use of the piece I had, so there is very little lace leftover.
4. Cut out illusion (fine soft nylon netting typically sold for bridal veils). I'm using illusion to underlay the lace. Pictured here on black, so that it'll show. I'm having the hardest time working with this only because I can barely see it up against the lace.
5. Clean up seam allowances by taking the embellishments off the lace. Below is one of the back pieces after cleaning up.
The sequins were first stitched together along a cable - each one individual on another ply of the yarn, then the whole was attached as a line. It made it easy to remove whole elements however made it challenging to remove individual sequins along lines that terminated in a seam. Even cutting into a sequin and removing it from the line was a challenge.
6. Mount the lace bodice sections to the net illusion, Then individually tack the flower sections to the illusion.
6. Steam the silk 4ply to be used for the skirt.
4 ply, as well as any crepe will shrink due to the weave structure. Steaming it is a process.
7. Cut the silk skirt, the machine washed and dried silk organza for underlining the skirt, then the charmeuse for lining. Cut bias strips for finishing the seam allowances.
If I'd had silk crepe de chine on hand I would have preferred that for underlining the 4ply. However, I didn't have any, and I was really determined to make this all from stash. So I draped the 4ply over some machine washed silk organza and I was happy with the resulting fabric, so decided to use it.
8. Mark the underlining for the darts and match points, then mount the underlining to the 4ply.
OK....this process took all of 2 days plus some more of the 3rd, and I hadn't even started sewing anything yet.
More to come.