Saturday, 21 July 2012

Slow sewing, High Stakes sewing

Thank you for your kind comments about scrappy sewing. I have moved on to high consumption, low progress sewing instead. I have agreed to make my daughter a formal dress for her year 12 graduation dinner-dance. Actually, she just assumed that I would make it, which was a pretty fair assumption.
I have a sketch.(by my daughter)
SDC10109
I have fabric, selected by my daughter.
SAM_1098
(The green silk duchess satin)
I have instructions - it must include lattice smocking at the bodice, have a full skirt, be fitted at the waist, and include no horizontal seam at the waist.
I need to franken a pattern.
I have, my daughter tells me tonight, 75 days left to finish this dress, and I started 2 weeks ago. So far there are 15 hours of work in this project, most of it in the smocking, and there is very little visual progress (thanks Andrea of Fabric Epiphanies, for this useful term).
These are the patterns we have chosen for frankening purposes.
SAM_1530
I made a toile of the Belville Sasson pattern- without the train ;)
SAM_1527
The gown has a built in foundation corselet, which is what we really wanted from the pattern, and have done considerable fitting work on this corselet, which will sit under the lattice smocked upper bodice.
SAM_1538
I have not tried it with the boning yet, which on further reading may be a major fitting error requiring starting from scratch, but I am optomistic at this point. I have some stiff silk, maybe Matka?or a thick Duponi? with only a few small slubs, originally bought by my grandmother for silk painting, which I think will be the right texture and hand for this type of under structure. This corselet section is project part A. The rest of the outer dress toile is Project part C, currently on hold.

Project part B is the outer upper bodice. I have done some lattice smocking on Irish linen, which has a similar bulk and drape to the silk satin. I have tried some experimental edge finishing - machine rolled hem alone vs rolled hem with raw edged bias organza trim,  and a half lattice smocked edge vs smocking finishing one inch from the hem to allow a more flowing  ruffle edge.
SAM_1516
SAM_1515
My plan is to use this smocking for a sundress, similar the Vintage reproduction Vogue pattern,
SAM_1522to trial draping the upper bodice and attaching the smocked fabric to the unsmocked fabric  before  I ruin  I use my limited silk satin.
This will be slow, but I am enjoying the process - so far.

Making someone else's dream dress is a project with some intrinsic difficulties

27 comments:

J said...

With all your pre-planning for this formal dress it is going to be absolutely stunning on the night! Your daughter is one very lucky girl...

Marie said...

The smocking is going to look stunning on the real dress if that is the sample.

shams said...

Omigosh, this is going to be stunnng!!! You are a braver mom than I, Gungha Din!

liza jane said...

Oh, I can't wait. I have no doubt that it will be absolutely beautiful. What a project!

katherine h said...

There is so much emotion tied up in these sorts of dresses, that they do make for intimidating projects. Best of luck!!!

That Vintage Vogue dress was brought to my attention on somebody elses blog recently, and I really like the design of it. I don't normally glance at vintage patterns but I do like the back on this one.

The smocking will be gorgeous.

Carol said...

This will be lovely. I admire your skills and persistence! I know the end result will be spectacular and both mother and daughter will be very happy.

Mary Nanna said...

wow - what a project - what vision! it's going to be fantastic and so unique and personal.

Bernice said...

What a fabulous project. Your lattice smocking looks incredible. All the best. Looking forward to reading about your journey.

janessewandtell said...

Wow! What a lot of hard work but it will all be worth it!

Ruth said...

I impressed so far! This dress will be beautiful.

Mary said...

yummy dress so far...I can visualize what it will look like. You are a wonderful mom for doing this and making memories with your daughter.

Clio said...

Holy cow! Even the trial smocking is gorgeous!

Tee said...

What Cilo said, LOL

pdiddly said...

sounds like you have your work cut out for you, but knowing your other projects, I bet it will be beautiful

Carolyn said...

I'm sure it is going to be absolutely stunning, and you are going to love the experience of working on your daughter's vision. I made my daughter's yr 12 ball gown and I still consider it the highlight of my sewing career. The whole exercise was such a lovely bonding time between the two of us; shopping for fabric, planning and fitting the dress; and we were both thrilled at how it turned out. I made it pre my blog, but I did do a post on it once. The pictures in my post were taken off the cuff and are not good, but you can see it here (if you like :) )
http://handmadebycarolyn.blogspot.com.au/2009/12/ball-dress-my-greatest-pride.html

a little sewing said...

oh Wow, I do love what I am seeing so far! This is going to be a very special dress.

velosewer said...

The dress is already looking wonderful. The smocking you've chosen is an excellent choice.

fabric epiphanies said...

Wow! I would be terrified Fankenpatterning to this extent especially when you need the end product to be nothing short of perfect. That is pressure and I can fully understand the lack of visual progress. Looking forward to seeing the results in 75 days.

Sigrid said...

It's a lot of work, it will be stunning. It will be worth the time you take for it. Great project and love to see your progress on this.

prttynpnk said...

Wow- that is an heirloom in progress- beautiful detail.

Paola said...

This post made me smile. I too produced sketches for my mother for my Year 12 formal dress and later for my wedding dress, blithely expecting that she'd come through with the goods. And she did, of course, very much so.I'm sure you will too. Now I sew I realise I set her two Mount Everests of sewing - tasks she accepted without flinching. What a woman!

Janine said...

can hardly wait to see this one. good luck.

Janine said...

I can hardly wait to see this = sounds amazing and will be utterly unique. Good luck.

Joy said...

Franken is a verb! I love it.
The visual progress so far indicates it will be beautiful. Is this practice sewing for the wedding dress? (:

Gail said...

Enjoy the ride. Making my daughter's year 12 formal dress was such a joy for me. I've got another year for the next one.

The Slapdash Sewist said...

This is going to be a stunner!

SewRuthie said...

Fantastic. I am enjoying watching the process very much.