Friday, 14 March 2014

Spring Yellows.

Spring is in the air! And with a bit more sunshine and less rain, I've been lapping up the positive vibe. The Sewing Tree is full with bud and emerging leaves and the chiff chaffs are marking a new season with their song. I've even made some progress on my slightly neglected Marci Tilton dress, this week being the week for matching up the sometimes vast fabric pieces and seeing it come together. There are elements of the 'Krypton Factor' about this pattern and it feels sometimes as though you are feeling your way a bit, following the pattern instruction whilst still waiting for it to make visual sense, (which it does eventually) ! Certainly this has been a case for using a tailor's mannequin in order to work in 3 dimensions, rather than flat on a table, in this instance our trusty classroom mannequin, AKA Dolores ;o)
                                                So, I have managed to move from this :

to this :
Currently it is falling somewhere between the kimono / nightgown vibe , (the fabric was purchased in S.E. Asia which may partly account for it !). It currently awaits a central contrast panel of yellow, which will have a shirring effect detail at the top, achieved with a heavier top stitch thread. 

Today's task was the lining and construction of the fabulously huge pockets, inviting plentiful suggestions as to what I will be able to keep in them once the baby arrives - or even the baby !?
Pocket inside out and in progress.

The pockets are a quirky feature of the dress, (and which drew me to the pattern in the first place) and it was ultimately happy circumstance that saw me without enough grey fabric left to line the pockets in the same grey floral, (its a long way back to Vietnam) and instead laying my hands on a contrast fabric in a daffodil yellow.
I love the contrast an the flash of sunny yellow, like you've got sunbeams in your pockets ;o) Ultimately the pockets can be left loose and baggy, or else the pattern also uses a pleat and a button as below. 

The other joy of this pattern has been my introduction to the French Seam - yep! Am loving the neat finishes that these give, with no raw edges on the inside, or indeed in the absence of an overlocker, any zig zag sewn edges to keep frays at bay! 
French seams can only be used if you are sewing in a straight line, but this has been the case for most of the dress so far, (apart from round the sleeves if course). It's a bit strange getting your head around sewing wrong instead of right sides together at first, but the result is a neatly finished seam that wouldn't embarrass if you happened to wear it inside out by mistake ;o) I am now a new advocate of the French seam and think I may be in to a new habit.

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