Sunday, January 22, 2012

Trim for the Bride

Today has been filled with little tasks, like cleaning up trimming, handbasting the gathers in the bodice and making adjustments according to her last fitting, and making final decisions about the trim that will be applied to the bodice/skirt seam.

I have an "inspiration" picture somewhere, but I can't find it. No wonder since I work off of 2 laptops and have not been disciplined about putting my work on the home server. That's where it is supposed to be and YES, I have been lectured, lectured and lectured. Maybe NOW I'll listen...

However... I stitched this up and sent a pic to The Bride:

She approved! This is being stitched on a layer of the satin topped by organza. The blue washout pen will come right out (I tested) with water. When it's all stitched up, I'll trim and fold back the fabric, creating a beaded band, which will be hand stitched to the seam after the skirt is joined to the bodice.

This will be a good project for sitting in the evenings after work. It's all set up and ready to follow me upstairs:

I have never beaded like this before and was a little bit intimidated, but it is much easier than I thought.

I still HAVE NOT CUT OUT THE SKIRT!!! But will. Next weekend :)  I have, however, taken the muslin apart and have created the pattern pieces. So that's progress. Who knows. I'm feeling a bit guilty just typing this! I have an hour before I have to go upstairs... Anything can happen in an hour, right?


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Beading :)

No pictures today BUT... I am happy to report that the bodice is beaded and I have started on the band that will be attached to the bodice/skirt seam. I am pretty happy with the design of the waist band and can't wait to get enough completed so I can send a picture to DD for approval. I KNOW she will like it.

....And it's still FUN!


Friday, January 20, 2012

...and then the rain came...

Yesterday looked like this:

But per established procedures in the Beautiful Pacific Northwest, any major snow storm is followed by the rainy thaw. That is where we are at now. Two feet of snow as measured yesterday is now being compacted and melted down by a slow and steady rain and skyrocketing tempuratures.

We suffered very little compared to many people:

1) the loss of my beloved 15' lilac bush, a gift that was planted on my first Mother's Day in this house to replace the one we had to leave behind. She is now laying on her side in the pitiful rain. I will miss her deep purple double blooms and the many bouquets she shared over the past 18 years.

2) my 3' daphne. She uprooted in the wind early in the winter and the neighbor helped wrestle her into a sturdy pot. But she was too weighed down by the snow and is currently straining to keep a little upright. It does not look good. I will miss her heady fragrance early spring thru hot summer days.

3)... and this is the worst. The deer are no longer welcome in the yard. They took after our newly aquired pyramidalis hedge, nearly stripping 3 different trees in various places. The tree on the right side is severely damaged from about 1 ft up from the ground. Another is stripped behind, between the fence and the hedge.

I have always enjoyed the sanctuary our land gave them, never cared if they ate my roses or stripped the Hibiscus Syriacus right to the trunk. But these I care about. The hedge was brought in as 6ft mature trees to try and regain some of the privacy lost when the acreage next to ours was developed. So we are looking for ways to protect the trees and right now, that means chasing the deer off. This, of all things, is the thing that is hardest to bear. We'll look for a way to accomodate them, perhaps by erecting more fencing. But there is nothing that makes me feel more grateful, more at peace, than watching them bed down at night in the north lawn, or meandering through the yard to the next property, their ears erect, twitching, ever watchful. Their wild beauty and the opportunity to see it on any given day, is a gift.

Four days working from home are behind me, a two day week end is ahead. Wedding dress bodice beading is underway, if the basement stays dry, the satin skirt and train will be ready by Monday.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Winter makes a visit...

No sewing to post because I had a SNOW day and worked from home. Oddly enough, when my commute is down the hall in my robe, I end up working longer days. Hmmmm. Tomorrow will be another one as I can't get out of my drive. It's a steep hill, turning on to another steep hill. Temps are supposed to warm up on Thursday, but until then, it's home office time!

Beading on the dress bodice continues. I started out with what she wanted but I didn't feel it was enough so I am adding more. She will like it or she won't, but I' guessing she will.

Here's a pic of DS shoveling his way out his attempt to get out of the drive this morning. Did not go well. Goes to show, it's NOT the size of the truck, it's knowing how to use it :)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Back to Business pt 2

Family got in the way today BUT... I did make some great progress on the bodice.

This is the inside of the bodice. It was going to have underwires but she really didn't like that. I was going to take the channels out, but when I removed the underwire and she tried it on, it didn't bother her so I decided to leave it in. All seams have been catch-stitched down and it's just waiting for the lining.

This is the satin bodice with the lace overlay. Everything looks pretty wonky on Elsa because she is not a perky 22 year old... Fits beautifully on the bride :)

And here is the back. Again, all the wonk is the result of Elsa's 53 year old "body".

With all of this completed, I will start the beading on the bodice. She doesn't want as much as we started out thinking we'd apply, so it will go slow, but not as slow as it could!

While I had the camera out, I thought I'd take a shot of what's on the loom:

This is a deflected double weave. The warp is black and purple tencel. the weft is the same black tencel and a varigated rayon novelty yarn seen in the shuttle at the bottom of the picture. This is the same warp I made my MIL's scarf out of for Christmas but I used the purple and black tencel for the weft as well. When I washed it, it created a wonderfully drapey scarf so I am very excited to see what this will look like after it is wet finished.
That's it for now!


Back to Business.

I'm terrible about Christmas. I sucks the life right out of me. I bake for family and friends, weave for closer family and friends and that's about it. I HATE TO SHOP. If I didn't have a husband who loved to shop on- line, that would be it. You'd get a cake and a dishtowel unless I really like you. Then you'd get a scarf :)  Due to DH's efforts, DD, her fiance, the son, DH and I had a lovely Christmas morning, progressing to brunch with my delightful MIL and FIL. We rang in the New Year, DD and DSoon-to-be-SIL headed back to school and DS and I went back to work. The End.

Today I packed Christmas away in the designated boxes and am back to business.

I made GREAT progress on DD's wedding gown over the Christmas break. All fitting is complete, the satin bodice is complete less some catch stitching and the lining, the lace bodice overlay is complete less some trimming of the lace applique. Today's task is to complete all of the little bits on the bodice and to cut out the satin skirt and piece it.

The most important part of our fitting sessions was to test out the gore placement and fullness on the skirt as well as devise where I'd "stop" stitching to allow for any weight loss or gain. Seriously. This makes me crazy. But I know it has to be done and 1 week before the wedding, I will put the final stitches in and it will be fine.

The biggest challenge so far has been the lace. I really wanted to spring for nice lace. She didn't like anything I showed her. We don't have a big selection in the greater Seattle area, but there was a good variety to choose from. The rayon lace that she chose (while I was fondling the Chantilly lace) is lovely and far less than I had planned to spend. The drape is perfect. The border is a nightmare.

The dress style demands a lace that you can applique the border for the neck, back and armscye trim. This has a border. Did I tell you it's a nightmare already? I'll probably say it several more times.

I cut a bit off for experimentation. The minute my scissors trimmed it free, the fraying started. Fraying isn't quite the right word. Disintegration describes it much better. Several "trucker" words later, I calmed down enough to take a closer look. There's a cord bordering the motif. Cutting the border loose also cuts the cord loose. The fill on the border pattern is done with something like wooly nylon. Any pulling or tension put on the border after cutting it free resulted in a "bloom" effect. Lovely in a garden. Not so welcome on a WEDDING DRESS.

I am through menopause (TMI). I don't have hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings. Yet I experienced this cocktail of physical events for a full five minutes. Or ten.

I've tried several things to tame this nightmare of mess. First I spent a good three weeks looking for a complementary trim I could use instead of the border. Nada, much to my dismay.

I finally settled on... and I can't believe this is really the best solution emotionally... glue. AWK. But it's working. I'm using Fray Block. I transferred it to a bottle with an ultra fine application tip so I am using the bare minimum. It definately changes the hand of the lace, but it controls it and for this application, I really don't know what else to try (this was the best out of the 8 or so things I tried). 

Yes dear, mother is using as many couture techniques as she can. And glue. Lots of glue.

So that's it for now! Pictures later!