Inside Job

1 the dress

Here’s the dress, inside out and almost finished.  It’s hanging for a day or so before getting hemmed.  One of the front seams is machine-basted to the mid-thigh as I wanted the option of having a split.  I asked my daughter if I should be daring and go for it, or keep it sewn up.  Somewhat to my surprise she said the former!

1 silk butterfliesBut the other option – to attach a cascade of six or seven silk origami butterflies from one side of the upper bust down to the split on the other side, I decided against.  I think the dress itself looks like a butterfly.

I didn’t know how to line it while maintaining the characteristics of the fabric.  A fully self-lined option would have been very expensive as I’d have needed about 10m of fabric.  Other options would have compromised the construction of the split – which will inevitably fall open when I sit and flap about in the breeze exposing seams and under or partial lining.  So I self-lined to just below the zip (which is on the side) and made 6 metres of bias binding – litres of water going into the steam-pressing during this production! – with which I bound the lower sections of the princess seams, ‘Hong Kong finish’ style.  1 bbThe lucky by-product of this is that all that fabric that went into making the binding has made the dress heavier and given it more of a drape: something I was genuinely relieved about as the fabric, while being a perfect choice of colour, didn’t have the gravitas of the thicker silk crepes.

1 hong kong seam finish

I’m tempting fate by leaving it to almost the last minute to finish it.  Maybe I need that slightly panicky rush of adrenaline I felt when I first cut into the fabric some 10 days ago.  But you, reader, are not to be so silly!  That important wedding you’re sewing for in August?  Don’t wait till the end of July.  Give any potential iron brandings time to heal, and those scratches down the arms from fitting the dress while it’s pinned! 🙂

Also the machine could stop working…   Or… or…  I could give the whole thing a final painstaking press then whip it off the ironing board in a celebratory manner only to discover I’d been standing on the end of it…  and it’s ripped. I’ve been sewing barefoot just to prevent this; I was surprised by how many times I’d sit down at the machine and find the ends of the dress under my feet or the chair wheels.

8 thoughts on “Inside Job

  1. It’s going to look fabulous – and so neat inside you could probably wear it inside out and still get compliments. I agree with all you say about not leaving things to the last minute – now if you could just have a word with some of my clients….

  2. So impressed! Looks elegant from the inside and with great finishing and a slit is a great idea. Well done!

    I have that chair wheels and underfoot tendency too and put my heel into the hem of my silk dress the first day I wore it (because when you get dressed you always put on your heels first, right?)

    Can’t wait to see the end result on you!

  3. Looking good Marijana. I love that blue, powder blue? petrol blue? Umm Windows default… Not sure but it will be very flattering on you I’m sure.

  4. Looking good.
    Went to Woolcrest today (my second time). Smiled to myself as I approached, remembering your last post.

  5. It must be the mark of a good seamstress/tailoress or whatever, that you are as concerned with the inside of a garment as with the outside and that you are confident enough to show the ‘workings’ with pride. I suppose we, your readers, are an appreciative audience for the technicalities whereas, on the day, people will just admire the finished dress and you will have to resist telling them about Hong Kong seams and bias binding.

  6. Hi Marijana, just discovered your terrific blog, got a quick favour to ask, where did you get the pattern for the origami butterfly bows?
    Your attention to detail and photos are inspiring me to push myself to try something different. Who knows I might even put a blog together on my mother of the groom outfit. Right now daughter no 2 has dropped in my lap could I make her a tartan dress for the wedding. No pressure………..

    • Daughters, eh?!
      I miss sewing for mine actually.
      Thanks for the lovely comment!

      The fabric butterfly idea came from my daughter who’s been making them with paper using this video It’s not so easy to get the nice rounded corners when you’re using fabric but using the iron to press instead of crease paper works really well. I might do a tutorial.

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