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!
But 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. The 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.
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.