Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Day To Do, A Day To Not

I listened to the clues today.  You know what I mean.  Those days that life is sending you clues that you shouldn't leave the house, that something isn't right and that you'd best keep to your house and away from moving or sharp objects.  That was my day today.  Forgot my wallet, walked down the driveway to bring in the garbage can and then forgot it, drove the car down the driveway only to have to walk back to shut the garage door and so on.. Once I understood that things weren't going to go my way today I gave up with the idea of going anywhere till I had to go to work (yes, I do have a 'real' job).  By listening to the clues I saved myself any additonal grief of having 'one of those days'.  Days like this are NOT days to pick up the sewing and it made me doubly happy that I finished up yesterday.

Back to the gown.  To attatch  the skirts to the bodice you first have to pleat them down to a size that will actually fit into the opening on the bodice bottom.  I usually do this by putting the bodice on the dress dummy, sitting down in front of it and then simply start pleating.  I've got an almost uncanny ability to pleat exactly the size I need with very little re-do.  Must be a gift.

There are several ways to pleat a skirt onto a bodice including cartridge pleats.  I find those work best for super full skirts and someday, when I do another gown with them, I'll talk about that. But for this one I simply pleated from the front skirts to the back center with the pleats heading towards the back.  That means if you were looking at the front of the skirts the right side pleats are heading towards the left, and the left to the right.

Each individual pleat needs to have its own pin.  Once they are all pinned, and you check that they fit perfectly into the opening, it can be pinned to the lining fabric only.  I usually press up the edge of the bodice along the stitching line.  It makes an easy guide for sewing and a nice clean seam.  Sew the bodice onto the skirts by using a back stitch, about 10 inches to the inch IF you are hand sewing.  I machine sewed this into place.

Sew the skirts onto the bodice lining.  Once that is done you need to hand stitch the bodice onto the skirts.  This can only be done, IMO, while the gown is on the dress dummy.  The point of the back of the bodice needs to be sewn down ontop the skirts several inches.  If you do this with the gown laying down it will not lay flat.  Pin along the bodice edge and sew onto the skirts using a running stitch.  Remember not to sew through the lining. 
The skirts are now attatched to the bodice.   To finish up the gown hand sew the side seams and the hem. 


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