, with the first delivered late last week, but all but one has gotten to the point where the patternwork is pretty much done, the materials have all arrived, and the serious sewing is underway.
It always takes far longer to get to that point in a client's project than I expect - or estimate - it will. The process is usually complicated along the way by design changes that are requested during the initial fittings, or by construction 'puzzles' and their solutions that come up as the garment takes shape. As much as I love to sew, issues and problems like these frustrate me, sometimes almost unbearably:
- one client asked if we could change the front bodice of her dress to a cowl neck, influenced by what I was wearing that day as much as how her fabric behaved, as I draped the cloth over the lining during her muslin fitting
- a wide, soft belt was added to design of a dress, to cinch the fullness and make the shape more pleasing
- the dress I was about to begin patternwork for may need to become full-length rather just below the knee, once the MOG consults with the MOB who's changed her mind about what SHE's wearing to the wedding - and the fabric has already been purchased
After two or three exhausting days where it felt like I was putting out fires or rushing to get something done just in time for a fitting, I walked into the studio the other day with a plan. Feeling the pressure of deadlines, I listed the work I needed to get done and prioritized it, including a category of "non-client" or personal sewing projects. Two of those got a level 2 priority - higher than several items that are client work - because
|I love the way the floral is broken up by the multiple seams in this design.|
She'd shopped online for the fabric for this and another summer dress, when I offered to make them. (Okay, I admit I steered her to the right website.) The fabric is from Sawyer Brook, called Tanice (I think there's still a bit available). It's a cotton satin stretch, and such a pleasure to work with! I used McCall's 6027 which I used before to create the red wedding dress. To my great surprise I was able to use the same size for Erin's dress, simply undoing the folds I put in to "petite" the pattern for my client.
Construction of the dress is pretty straightforward, I barely used the directions. Because the lower part of the armhole isn't contained in a sleeve seam, how to finish that edge might have been a problem - the dress is unlined. I had created a one-piece facing for the neck and armseyes, so the facing on the shoulder strap covers the seam attaching the cap sleeves.
|The front facing|
|Back facing and the cap sleeve. I haven't done the understitching along the lower armhole, allowing for any fit adjustment that might be needed.|
I used a narrow hem, pressing up the 5/8" to start and folding the edge under as I stitched. I didn't try my narrow hem foot, as it makes a pretty tiny fold - it seemed to me the stretch in the fabric would cause problems feeding through. I could feel the fabric bounce as I stitched the hem, and it was a bit stretched and rippled when done, but pressing took care of that.
Just another hour or so over the weekend and the dress was ready for a fit check - and just in time, too! With her husband out of town this week, the doctor called to ask her dad to come for a mid-day visit with his grand-dog - so I sent the dress along with him. Haven't heard yet how she likes it, so I'll post a photo when I see her wearing it.