Monday, 6 March 2017

Skin back in the game

**Project from October 2016...returning to sewing after a 3-month hiatus**

What better way to get back in the game than with a pile of silk georgette, a Japanese pattern book and a deadline?

Given the hard time I gave Drape Drape and the cardinal sins I committed while making this dress, I don't deserve a beautiful dress or a successful project. I did make a muslin though!

Ways in which I've been tempting fate with this project:
  • Not checking the grainline in favour of some basic pattern placement
  • Cutting one piece on the cross grain and its mate on the straight (which oddly had an noticeable effect when sewing the lining hem)
  • Assume you know better than the pattern when it comes to knowing where the CF (centre front line) should be
  • Arbitrarily cut new pieces to fit what you think they should look like
  • Opt not to test the pattern adjustments (which again I just jumped into) before cutting in to the real deal
  • Hang it for the bias to drop from the wrong body parts on the mannequin
BUT! For once I had enough fabric to make the project with the pattern placement I wanted!

This is Dress #11 from Drape Drape by Hisako Sato. The outer fabric is from Emma One Sock (probably long gone from their stock) and the lining is from my recent Japan trip. I think it's a habotai.

I wasn't expecting to wear a bra with this so I put in a couple of layers of jersey as some sort of bra panel/modesty panel. Hopefully it'll be enough.

Halter neck chiffon dress
Waiting for some finishing
The I ripped out my first attempt at hemming the long floaty panel, as it was a bit of a mess - I initially tried sewing around a basting line, but that stopped the hem rolling over into a neat/natural position. It looked pretty rubbish. In the end a press and a bit of hand rolling was the best option.

Originally I was expecting this to sit higher on my back shoulder blades but I think the design is actually supposed to be a lot lower and will hang naturally below the bottom of my shoulder blades. It's hard to tell on the photo of the model but it looks correct.

Halter neck dress with floating panel on one side

Back of halter neck dress, with elastic
My main worry with this project is that there is a lot of weight hanging off a single layer of georgette and from a very small point. I also think that seam is under a lot of stress, because it is being pulled to one side (which you can see in the photo above). Maybe stitching some twill tape into that edge would have been a good idea. I wasn't keen to do it while working on the dress because it just seemed overwhelmingly complicated.

Anyway, here's to my first drape drape project. Here's to getting back into the game.

K x

P.S. This dress is going immediately in the remaking pile. I loved the idea of it, but I don't love the finished product. Am I the wrong size/shape? Is it impractical in Britain's climate? How can I hide the dodgy neckline finishing. It needs to change. If you thought it was sitting strangely on the mannequin, have a look at how it fits me...

I think I need a dress with shoulders. Any refashion suggestions greatly appreciated!

P.P.S. As another reminder that no idea is ever original, I was wandering around the Tate Modern recently and came across this work by Lygia Pape (Weaving 1957). It prompted the same curiosity in me as the fabric above when I first saw it. It's one of those ones you could stare at for hours learning the intricacies of the pattern.

A pattern of intricate woodcut prints