12 August, 2011

All in the sleeves.

For a beginner, setting sleeves into the armscye of a gown is tricky business. Or, so I've been told, as the gown I'm currently working on has no sleeves attached. This is due to my lack of confidence as a new sewer, the fact that I have to have every stitch perfectly in its place (hi, I'm a neurotic perfectionist, nice to meet you), I'm more of a tortoise than a hare in my work, and that I panicked--a lot--over the course of a weekend gown workshop. Had I not sat up until 12:30/1 am, frantically texting friends that had a clue about what I was doing and searching the internet for help, and instead just sewed, well, my gown would have been a heckuva lot closer to complete than it is now. Coupling that with the fact that I was going on vacation a few days after the workshop and probably wouldn't touch the gown until after I got back, not much has been done to it. But this is good news, because now I can document the steps completed and those that are forthcoming, both in the name of research and so that in the future, I will know what the heck I'm doing.

The first good chunk of the workshop was spent talking about sleeves. Sleeves, in their construction, can be a bit difficult. I can completely vouch for that, as when doing my workshop homework I completely forgot how to put together my sleeves (I nearly took apart the practice sleeve just to see, but thankfully as I handled it, what I did earlier in the day came back to me). Just the shape of it is ridiculous, honestly, and it can be easy to mistake top from bottom, and left from right. I know, I know, you're thinking, "But the top of the sleeve is so much bigger than the bottom!" Well, when you've never handled pattern pieces before, it all kinda blends together. Ever watch a clip on a nature show of an antelope or gazelle being chased by a lioness or a cheetah? See the panicked look in their eyes? That was me. So, when you're clearheaded and thinking properly, you can distinguish top from bottom. Panicked and stressed? Not so much.

Thankfully, I figured it all out. I have two completed sleeves, a left and a right, waiting to be fit onto the gown. However, I'm not happy with them. Here's a look at the sleeves in their current states:

The sleeves. Left sleeve is beneath the right sleeve.
Just the left sleeve. Note the lining
peeking out of the bottom.
All well and good, right? Well, not quite to my liking. I plan on redoing the sleeves for a few different reasons.
  1. I'd like the lining to be even with the edges of the fashion fabric. While it would be okay for the lining to be sticking out a bit at the bottom, since it would get hemmed, attaching it to the gown with no lining could spell a disaster.
  2. After doing some research, I found out that patterned gowns had the pattern going around the arm, like you do with stripes, instead of running up the arm like I have it here. I am all for historical accuracy and authenticity, and have 11 yards of this fabric, so I'm okay with redoing them.
 Next steps are to rip out the threads, re-cut the fashion fabric, and put them back together, this time pinning the lining so its even while I sew. And of course, documenting it.

These photographs are mine. Please do not take them or use them without permission. Interested in my fabric (an Indian block printed cotton)? Head on over to Time Travel Textiles and talk to Lauren! She'll take care of you, and you can be assured in her textiles authenticity.

No comments:

Post a Comment