Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A busy weekend that did not involve sewing

We met with the caterer.

We got our marriage license.

I had a wedding shower in Baltimore.

(To see more shower pics click here.)

We went to a friend's wedding and I wore the shrug (and received compliments!)

And now A Voluminous Evening of Brevity is playing to sell out crowds! We were even offered an extension, which we unfortunately had to turn down due to actor availability and the importance of protecting the integrity of the show.

But after that closes tonight and I sleep for about 24 hours, I'm heading back to the sewing machine.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Shrug Done/Sewing Commences

Unfortunately gloomy weather yesterday & today means I've taken no photos as yet, but I can report that Sunday 3/21 saw the beginning of official sewing on THE DRESS as well as the completion of the wedding day shrug.

The shrug is quite lovely - a little tight, but I think it will relax with blocking. Grafting the two ends together was more complicated than I'd expected and took nearly two hours. Least said about that the best. I may wear it to a friend's wedding this weekend as I'd like to get more than 1 day's wear out of it and wearing it on our wedding day isn't even guaranteed.

By the way, I don't think it's too early to start praying for beautiful 75 degree, sunny weather on May 15th. Not too early at all.

Sewing commenced on Sunday morning. I had cut yet another bodice piece out of lining fabric and used this to figure out the issues with the bodice. I'd had some problems with the darts on this pattern - they just weren't laying properly. The ends were poking out in a way that looked dumb at best and kinda like Madonna in the early 90's at worst. Finally realized that the main problem was that, measurements given on the pattern envelope not withstanding, I really should have cut a smaller size for the bodice. Fortunately I was able to partially recut the pieces and adjust the side seams and got a nice smooth fit. Was able to translate those changes to the actual bodice pieces (bodice, underlining, lining, all cut from silk) and completed the bodice, along with sleeves. Also made some modifications to the skirt pieces, again starting with the skirt lining, to make the skirt completely A line as opposed to partial A line, partially gathered at the waist.

I'd love it if I could attach the skirt pieces to the bodice before we leave for Maryland this weekend (that would still leave the train, setting in the zipper and the hemming). But between performances of A Voluminous Evening of Brevity tonight and tomorrow and the bus at 9pm on Thursday, I think it's unlikely. Still - you never know!

PS I knitted one new sleeve on Oscar night. Somehow I never posted that. Am planning to knit the other on the bus on Thursday. This weekend told Justin the story of the sleeve that went down the drain. He was surprisingly calm about the whole thing, although the fact that it happened weeks ago and our drain has been fine since probably contributed to that calm. That and several Heinekens.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Fabric Shopping - Done!

Went out yesterday at lunch and GOT IT DONE. Phew! Major load off my mind.

Got a good deal with a smaller fabric store in the garment district - they knocked off a dollar a yard when I said I needed 5 yards and then threw in the half yard at the end of the bolt, presumably b/c I am so darn cute. It took a little while to find just what I wanted - I had a swatch from the store from last fall, but at first they were giving me a lighter, more yellow ivory fabric. Eventually, after drafting in one of his coworkers to assist, the fabric store employee and I were able to find something that was just right.

Laid it out and cut out everything but the train last night. Have about 2-2.5 yards leftover, which is what I was hoping for. Enough for the train and to recut some bodice pieces if need be. I went ahead and cut the skirt pieces off of the New Look pattern I used for the second trial dress - the skirt was still fuller at the waist than I wanted, but it's always easier to take something in rather than let it out.

Unfortunately I have no soundtrack for the cutting - if I did it would feature frequent scratchings and mewings by Nyssa. I finally had the brilliant idea to lay out the dress in the bedroom where I could shut the doors and keep out the cats, as opposed to in the living room, where it's a kitty free for all. Needless to say, Nyssa was not pleased to be excluded.

Friday, March 12, 2010


A stomach flu pretty much derailed me for this week, so no progress. Fabric shopping postponed til next week, but I need to GET THIS DONE.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Preliminary Fabric Shopping

Well the final test run of the dress didn't go so well - I didn't like how the pattern piece I'd drafted for the top turned out and I still find the skirt to be too full.

But Mom and I did do some fabric scouting at Mood Fabrics on Friday and I think I've settled on the right material at least! It's a lovely ivory silk, fairly lightweight with a nice sheen. We found it at Mood Fabrics and I also have a similar swatch from a smaller fabric store I visited last fall. So sometime this week I'll be purchasing that.

As for the still undetermined shape of the bodice, skirt and train, I'm just going to wing it. Generally I do best that way. Although looking at the list of dress parts which I'll need to wing it on, I realize that it's basically the whole dress.

Oh well - onwards and upwards!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The shawl

Has been taking up a lot of time. Here it is.

I still really need to make new sleeves to replace the one that went down the drain and the other one which was a victim of the dye.