Friday, June 29, 2012

Fabric Frustrations

 Remember the fabric that feels like corn husks? Not only does it seem like it would be very uncomfortable to wear, but it is terrible to sew with. I'm to this point in sewing the dress for Leslie:
  Because of the fabric, however, it has taken me much longer to get there than it normally would. This fabric is not washable, which makes it hard to transfer markings, is not pin-able, as the pins leave holes, and can only be ironed on very low heat, which makes smooth seams next to impossible. It was incredibly difficult to cut as well, since it is so slippery. Any kind of tape or glue leaves marks as well, so sewing is less than fun. I really should have charged more! =)
  I had to do the front bodice twice, as the first time Leslie tried it on it was quite a bit too tight. Luckily, she is not tall and there was enough fabric to cut out a second front bodice. I left the back as-is, because I'm fairly certain it will fit properly once there is enough room in the front. It's funny though, I added an extra 4 inches to the front and it doesn't look much different than the first front bodice I used. I have the sleeves sewn up and need to attach them to the dress.... the pattern suggests basting the armhole layers together and sewing the sleeve to both at once, but I am going to sew the sleeves only to the outer layer and slip-stitch the lining down to completely cover the seams.
  So what is left besides sleeves? I need to hem the lining and main fabrics, add buttonholes and buttons, sew up the sash, and slip-stitch the bodice lining down. I dread the buttonholes - my machine thinks buttonhole time is fabric-eating time. I may try tissue paper to help stabilize the fabric, I'm at least going to make several practice buttonholes first. The hand-sewing, oddly enough, is not making me nervous at all. I hand-sewed part of the sleeve bindings and I'm really pleased with the way it turned out.
  This pattern doesn't fit well in the larger sizes, as it fails to take into account that larger women are usually larger chested, and there simply isn't enough room in the pattern as a result. I don't know how the smaller sizes are, but I'm assuming they are closer to the proper proportions. If I were beginning this dress again, I would also do the skirt placket differently to avoid the large gap in the back below the buttons.
  And now you know why there isn't much to read on this blog right now... fabric frustrations.
Thanks for stopping by and listening to my woes!


  1. I think it is looking very pretty. You are doing a great job! Have you tried putting a med-to-heavy weight interfacing behind the buttonhole while sewing? It could add some needed strength to it and the extra could easily be cut away.
    ♥ Marninah

    1. That is a good idea, I should have bought some non-fusible stuff when I was at the craft store, I will next time I go. I did get the buttonholes done though! I'm so glad to have them finished. =)