Join me in my adventures as I write romance novels and sew vintage and contemporary fashion.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

30’s Dress ~ Chapter Four

The Sewing

The dress is progressing nicely, which makes me think that some disaster lurks on the horizon…but I’ll take smooth sewing for now.

According to the pattern primer, I’m supposed to make a narrow hem along the edges of the sleeves and the ties. My fabric is printed, so the back is much lighter than the front and since I happen to be the world’s worst bow-tier, I’m pretty certain a lot of rolled hem and lighter fabric is going to show. Therefore I decided to line the yoke using light weight black fabric. This gives the tie and the sleeves a more finished look when the underside flashes into view.

The plus side of this construction method is that it gives more structure to the yoke, and the backs of the ties look classier. The down side is that the sleeves also have more body, so they don’t exactly droop over the shoulders, but instead jut out at a perky angle. I've never been one for fussy sleeves, which made dressing during the 80s a challenge, but I think the trade off is worth it.

The bottom of the sleeve opening is finished with bias tape cut from the fashion fabric. (Obviously this photo was taken before I attached the sleeve-yoke-tie piece to the bodice.)

The pattern didn't offer the option of inserting a slide fastener (zipper) into the side opening. Instead bias tape is used to make an inner placket and then snaps and hooks are used as the closure. 

The only problem here is that I have a snap block. It’s similar to writer’s block. When I have to sew on a snap, I put it off, hoping someone else in the house will have mercy on me and sew it on for me. I don’t know why, but I believe it has something to do with vague memories—probably repressed—of me sewing on snaps with wads of thread when I was nine or ten. I believe I used so much thread that the snaps wouldn't close properly and I found this quite frustrating. I also tend to shoot snaps across the room when I’m trying to place them on the fabric. All in all, I'm not good with snaps, however...

I persevered and managed to sew snaps onto the placket. I put a hook at the waist and made my own thread catch, which I prefer to the metal loops.

As soon as the dress is hemmed, I’m done and it’s on to the 1940's suit. My fabric is supposed to be here next Tuesday—I gave in and ordered some linen rayon blend and I’m going to color block!

The Writing

After dealing with snaps, it's a pleasure to write, even if I've written everything that I know is going to happen and I'm still about 40,000 words short. Now I have two choices: 1) go back now and add all the stuff I've figured out, or 2) write brief scenes that will occur between where I am and the end of the book. I think I’m going with choice 2. Last time I did this, I ended up with a book that was so long that I had to cut 5,000 words during revisions. But I need to get this plot nailed down before going back and tweaking, or I’m not going to make deadline.  Deadlines move like speeding locomotives sometimes.

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