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

Saturday, February 23, 2013

30’s Dress ~ Chapter Three

The Writing
I just received the cover of my June book, a cowboy romance set in Montana. It's the first of three connected books about a roping family in the Dillon/Butte area. The guy on this cover is the half brother of the guy I'm writing about now.

Getting a cover is one of the big thrills after turning in a book and having all the edits approved. My books are generally released 6-7 months after I finish the last official proofreading and during those months there are two things to look forward to: the cover reveal and the RT Book Review review. So here's the cover reveal:

The Sewing

I chose a black and white rayon challis for this project because I thought it looked appropriate to the period. I can see someone with marcel waves in her hair wearing it. That someone will not be me, because I once marceled my hair during high school, and it's a bit more work than I want to take on. I'm really bad with the curling iron. 

I knew I’d be matching patterns when I chose the fabric, but I hadn't expected it to be such a challenge. You see, rayon challis tends to do what it wants when it wants, shifting willy-nilly whenever  it gets the chance.  I love to wear challis, kind of hate working with it. You can imagine how much I like really slippery fabrics.

I trued up the fabric and cut my first bodice front (first, mind you—good thing I bought too much fabric) on the fold as I always do, but when I unfolded the piece I found that the while the vertical lines were true, the horizontal lines angled badly in a southerly direction.  

My solution was to do what my mom had taught me years ago (a procedure I thought a complete waste of time during my teen years) and cut out half of the bodice, keeping the center line directly on the center of the diamonds, and then carefully folding the cut piece over and matching it to the print on the other side. 

I also did this for the yoke and skirt pieces.  It took longer to cut out that garment than it did to iron and trace the pattern, but the lines are straight—nothing drifting south across the front of my bodice or skirt. Thanks, Mom.

To match the pattern of the yoke to the bodice, I folded and pinned down the seam allowance on the bodice and then matched it to the pattern on the fabric and placed pins to mark the location. 

Then I placed yoke pattern on the fabric, placing the bottom seam line along the pins. 
The scissors are pointing to the line of pins under the pattern tissue. 

The skirt inserts couldn't be matched to the skirt front because they hang on the bias, so I made the center seam true and let nature take its course. I hope it's a good course.

And that is my adventure in cutting. On to construction.

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