Friday, September 22, 2017

The Wedding

Alex and Patrick MacMartin

Alex and Patrick were  married on August 27.  

I did not take any photos at the wedding and I forgot to take a photo or two of the bride before we left the house.  I have a few photos from guests and that's what I am sharing with you. It will be several weeks until they get the professional photos.

Burda called for the lining to be used as an underlining in the bodice plus a lining, but called for only two layers in the skirt. In the magazine photo, you could see the model's legs, not something that  Alex wanted so I added another layer of the georgette for the skirt.   We had a bright, sunny day and no show through. 

The dress is from Burda Style 3/17 #105
I bought 15 yards of silk double georgette I had about a yard left, purchased from Banksville Designer Fabrics.
4 yards of silk charmeuse lining also from Banksville. The bodice and the zipper area were interfaced with silk organza from my stash. Narrow strips of organza were used to stay the back neckline.
I used Mettler cotton embroidery thread.  I mention the thread because it was fabulous to work with especially since I hand basted all of the georgette layers by hand and not once did I have knotted thread.  
I had trouble sewing the long skirt seams and didn't think to use my walking foot which probably would have helped.  But I don't love using the walking foot and never thought of it until afterwards. 

The instructions were not very good, even for Burda.  They actually think that you can turn the dress through the shoulder straps.  No, not possible.  Even with only two layers I don't think it's possible.  I should have known better, but the last time I made a lined, sleeveless dress with narrow shoulder straps was when Alex was about 11, or 20 years ago.  I really should have looked at better instructions before, but I didn't. I ended up cutting strips of bias lining and making a doubled bias facing.  After sewing it to to the dress I pressed it to the inside and hand stitched it to the underlining. It worked.  I made a baby hem on the outer layer and ended up just serging the inner layers. It wasn't what I intended to do, but as  I had issues with the length due to an error I made early on and   I was running out of time and no one would see them.  I do not recommend not having any fittings in the real fabric, but that's what we had.  She lost a little weight but it fit reasonably well.  She loved it, which is really all that mattered!

Enough said.  Alex is planning on having the dress cut off above the knee and dyeing it red.  I gave her extra thread for hemming since polyester doesn't dye well.  She and Patrick are going on their honeymoon in December (between semesters) and she's going to wear it then.  
They are lucky that that they planned a later honemoon because Patrick's National Guard unit got called up to go Houston Sunday night after the wedding. He went with the second convoy that drove down from Austin. and ended up in Port Arthur at a Sears that had been set up as a medical unit.  He's a medic and he did lots of intake and gave tetanus shots.

Alex was the most laid back brides imaginable and everything worked out perfectly.  Alex and Patrick were happy with everything and
a lovely time was had by all.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Things I've Learned

What kind of ponte is the best seems to be a common topic on the boards.  Marcy Tilton says that rayon nylon lycra is the best recipe for high quality ponte.  It's more money, but is it ever worth it.  The problem and the allure is that interesting textures and prints in ponte are almost never this lovely mix.  I bought a rayon nylon polyester lycra ponte from emmaonesock.   It looked lovely, I made a pair of pants and wore them frequently because they held their shape.  But the more I wore them the more they pilled. All over, not just at the usual wear points like the inseam.  I had made a pair of ponte pants a few months before these with the magic mix.  They still look better than the newer poly blend. The poly is only 30% of the mix; not like its only poly and lycra.  It wasn't cheap either.  It's a damn shame since this blend doesn't bag out at the ass or the knee, but it's just not wearable anymore.  I've tried de pilling and it's useless at least with the tool I have. It's all over the place. They are not wearable except maybe to clean in.  What a shame.

Moving on:  I've made a bunch of things, I just haven't photographed them on me. Maybe I'll do a photo shoot on my dress form? We'll see how time goes this weekend.

The Dress:  Anyone who follows Burda on Pattern Review knows that the Russians post the newest issue well before it's out on their website and lo and behold March is wedding dress month and there is a dress similar to the Burda we picked for Alex but with a much better skirt. I am going to use the top of the pattern we have I think, and this new pattern for the skirt.
It has strange 'wings' on the back. There is no back view, but from the front they don't appeal at all. You can get a better view of the dress on the model I think but it's hard to see how the bodice is shaped.  The first pattern has a princess seamed bodice with a bias, shirred overlay.  I may make both up to see which we prefer. However, it does look like the waist is raised slightly, as the first pattern is. Alex has a tiny waist and we lowered the waist to reflect that. I am going to trace and make up a muslin as soon as the issue comes. I am unfortunately in a time crunch. While she will be here about 10 days, I will be on a Grand Jury starting February 27th.  In case you are not familiar, that's a 4-6 week commitment. It's not like regular jury duty where you call in every day to see if they need you.  I already used up my one postponement and when I picked the time I could show up   I picked February thinking that it would start at the beginning of the month!  At least I only have to go to Riverhead (30 minute drive).  Years ago a friend was assigned to Federal Grand Jury in Brooklyn.  Ah, well, such is life.

This is the original dress

The skirt is prettier, don't you think?  Very much in keeping with what I've seen in RTW bridal wear.