Thursday, January 7, 2010

Another Day, Another Gown

Today was a productive day.  Not only did I turn my daughter's room into a den for my sons (of which she is not pleased and they are) I also finished another gown that I forgot I had started.

How does that happen you ask?  If you had ever seen the very large pile of fabrics in my sewing room you'd understand.I came across it as I was digging under the pile for a piece of silk. There it was. A fully sewn bodice sans the skirt.  The fabric is red Chrysanthemums on a cream background. It is part of a collection of period correct prints put out by Colonial Williamsburg sometime earlier last year It's getting harder and harder to find and this particular one is very popular, at lesat the red and cream is.  I've got it in a purple and gold as well. 

So with the laundry done, the boys situated I pieced the skirts of the gown together. 

The skirts were pieced using a French seam.  For those of you who don't know what that is I thought I'd list the steps here.  Though it takes twice as long as just a simple straight seam it makes for a sturdy, well constructed garment.

All sewers know that you put the right sides of the fabric together and sew the seam to the inside of the garment. Not so with a French seam.  This time you place the wrong sides together sewing your fabric together so that seam line is to the outside, not the inside of the garment.  You can see that the rights sides of the fabric and the seam line are to the outside in this photo.

Next, turn the fabric to the wrong side.  Press along the stitching line so that both sides of the fabric are facing one another.  Check out the photo.

Now you are ready to sew. sewing.  This gown is a combination of hand and machine sewing.  Some of my garments are 100% hand draped, hand sewn, others are a combination of both.  My thoughts on that subject will be for another blog. But for now it's time to stitch.

Stitch alone the folded fabric about 1/2 inch all the way to the bottom.

Now comes the neat part.  Open the fabric and viola!  The selvage edges are caught inside that seam you just sewed, kind of like a casing.  When you open it to the outside all you have is a seam line.  And there is never the problem of raw edges with this type of seam.

Tomorrow I'll go over the technique I used for pleating the skirt and attatching it to the bodice.  Until then I'll just sit here and enjoy looking at another lovely gown.

Updated Photo of Draped Gown- She Needed A Petticoat