Monday, January 17, 2011

Communion Dress Muslin

When I'm sewing for myself or my daughter, I really prefer to do "wearable" muslins, so I dug in the stash, and found the perfect fabric for this trial run.  It's the oldest fabric in my stash, a blue cotton from the early 90s. I bought it to make myself a dress, and never got around to it.  It's got a pretty tonal intermitten stitched design, and is a great weight for spring.  (Easter in Michigan can be snowy, you never know...)
I cut the size 7, which fits her perfectly in the waist.  My fitting concerns are:
1.  The length is about 5" more than where I'd like it to be.  No big surprise, she's petite.  Always has been, always will be.  This fitting issue is easily remedied, so no worries on this one.
2.  The waist is perfect.  Not too tight, not too roomy.  This falls in the "plus/bonus/celebrate" column.
3.  The chest is a tad bit roomy. When I pin out about 1/4", it's perfect.
4.  Will she grow in the next 3 months?
5.  If this is going to be a "family heirloom", should I do a perfect fit, or leave room for the future generation?

Unpinned bodice: Too roomy? I think so.
Pinned bodice.  Will it still fit in April?
Unpinned, Side View
With 5" pinned up to the desired length.  Ignore the socks.
I spread out the train on the worktable and placed the pattern pieces on it, with the 5" removal line marked.  There is plenty of space, so I'm not too worried about having enough fabric.  But, I am having some issues thinking through the details of the lace appliques and trim.  The front of the train has plenty of space for me to cut the front and side front pieces.
Thank God I covered the pool table!
Front pieces, lots of space, no problem!
I'm really attached to the idea of placing the large center back applique on the center back of her dress, keeping the seam intact, and moving her zipper to the side (under the arm).  Pattern placement says this is do-able, but introduced a new concern.  Will there be enough room beneath it for the beaded hem lace applique?  Will it be too much?  Should I eliminate one of the trims (big center back motif or hem lace)?  Another option would be to cut everything out of solid satin, then recreate the motif at center back using a couple of the smaller lace motifs combined. 
Back pieces, large CB motif featured below right.
My last issue (complaint) is the removal of the lace trim from the hem of the train.  I'm thinking that the right way to do it is to carefully remove the stitches and pull it away from the satin.  I'm very tempted to cut the trim off the satin, very close to the edge of the motif, and save myself some sanity.  But of course, there is the quick way... and then the right way!
Wrong side of hem with stitching of trim.  Yikes!
I will continue to think on this for a few days, and start removing the trim along the hem in the mean time.

In other news... yesterday I ran into Joann's for what may be the last time ever for fabric.  I just needed 2 linings, but also ended up grabbing some ribbon and flannel (kids need pj's, what can I say?).  The cutting line was a mile long, but we waited it out.  Then headed over to the register line... and that was 2 miles long.  I spent twice as much time in there just waiting, not shopping.  It's been that way for the last few months, and I'm pretty much fed up.  There are enough decent priced, quality fabric resources online, I'd rather spend the hour in my sewing room than in the stupid line waiting! Here's the 4 pairs of finished pj pants.  I'm getting pretty darn quick with these!
Parting Shot:  Little Man had to get into the picture action, too... so, he jumped up on the hemming block and posed with his new "warrior toys".  Such a tough guy...


Barbara said...

I hear you about the long lines at Joann's. Try taking your fashion fabric over to the home dec cutting tables. It's worked for me before as a way to circumvent the long wait. Can't help you with the wait at the registers though!

Gail said...

Family heirloom or not your daughter has to wear and feel great in it. Make it to fit her and you'll teach her well enough to alter it for her daughter or grand-daughter.
PS. I'm still weepy at the thought of cutting the train - but I understand your reasons and the sentiments behind it.

Eilane Vida Costura said...

Mal posso esperar para ver o vestido, acredito que ficará lindíssimo.


Eilane - Brasil

Julia said...

This dress is going to be a treasure to keep forever! Beautiful!

Sew Wilde said...

Hope you had a happy birthday! Mine is the 27th.


Bunny said...

I would cut the dress out of the satin and figure out the lace after. JMHO. Whatever you decided it will be beautiful!

I am blessed with a great Joanns' This past weekend while I was down in Mass. I went to the big JAs in Middleton. Nothing appealed to me. Our little Joanns up here has some fabrics, RPLs, buffalo plaids in clearance, etc. that I am going in to town tomorrow to buy. We have wonderful service, always seem to have enough employees, and they are all as helpful as can be. I know must are not like this but I am blessed with this small store. They are getting my money, not the big store in Massachusetts.

amber said...

I think Gail is right with regards to the fit. Make sure she looks amazing and the rest can be dealt with at a later date. I'm so excited to see this dress all finished - it's going to be lovely. :)

Big in Japan said...

ROBOT FLANNEL PAJAMAS??!!! I need some of those!

Cheryl Designs said...

The Zanesville,OH, Jo Anns' is GREAT :) Of course, I am a seamstress making a living..or trying to ;) I see them ALOT :) They get busy during the first day of the BIG sales but usually it's not bad at all as far as waiting in line. There is a HUGE Jo Ann Etc store about an hour from me. I love to go there. I ADMIT I rarely purchase fabric though...the cutting lines are tooooo LONG :( The check-out lines are LONG..... Just BREATHE and give the employees a BREAK please :) Most stores are under-staffed at their BUSIEST times. There should be a LAW....the 'pencil-pushers' should WORK in the STORES :) They would understand the realities of RETAIL :)