Let me start off this post by wishing everyone a happy New Year...here's to hoping all of your dreams come true! This last year was a bit rough for us, but we made it through together and still appreciate all of the difficulties we have endured...as now we appreciate the better times more. It's easy to get bogged down with negative feelings or concerns about seemingly frivolous details...which makes rising above them that much more rewarding (and important). I have a naturally pessimistic viewpoint in almost all cases (opposite of my husband, who is always positive about everything), but one of my goals this year is to overcome that and focus instead on accomplishments (however minor they may be) I make.
On a smaller scale, this is somewhat analogous to my New Year's dress actually...which started out as a bit of a nightmare. Charmeuse is a fabric I have put off working with for some time. It is thin, delicate, and very slippery. Though there is some stretch (2-way), working in seams can be very frustrating. Naturally, instead of working up a muslin before jumping into my first pattern involving shirring...I...jumped in with the charmeuse.
Many foul words were uttered during the construction of this project. I ended up taking the first round of shirrings out and redoing them, as the bodice looked a bit awkward. The neckline I am also not too happy with, as the bottom of the v-neck slid about while I was attaching the facing. I redid that twice, before the integrity of the fabric began to give way and left it as is the third time. It's actually something only I can pick out...but, since it's my own doing...that's the first place I look when I put on the dress. I also added a sash for the waist instead of a bow, and some tiny buttons on the sleeves.
I am still very happy with it, don't get me wrong. Considering this is my first project with such frustrating fabric (and pattern!), I think I fared well. I received lots of compliments on the dress and felt very fancy in it. I plan on using the pattern again with a teal jersey knit fabric I have, I'll have to post about that too.
The third picture down shows how shirring is created. Rows of stitching are made, using a loose gathering stitch. Then, each end is pulled up in a series of gathers, followed by top-stitching onto a shirring guide (usually interfacing). It's a bit tricky on my machine, as the presser foot is kind of heavy and likes to crush fabrics in one direction. I kept having to stop and lift the presser foot as I went, which took care of the problem.
Now, the finished product!
I learned a lot from working with this project. I've been a bit bored with my other patterns and have been looking for something more complex. This pretty much fits the bill and I look forward to expanding my skill set! For my next project, I am working on a 1940's coat, fully lined. I'm excited to share it with you, as I predict it will present quite a challenge. I also have a side-project planned, which is the completion of a nightgown (I must be crazy...I am using the same charmeuse fabric, but in lilac).
Happy New Year everyone!