Friday, April 26, 2013

Once More, with Pink

My mind is wandering back to the 1940s. I still have fat quarters aplenty, and lots of white and striped scraps from a human sized project I'm working on. Recently I came across an ad in 1942 or 1943 Vogue for a shirtwaist dress that had pleated insets by the hips, reminiscent of the 1920s.

This also gives me a great excuse to use this lovely pink Asian inspired print. I'm a bit preoccupied with human sized things at the moment, so this will stay in the planning phase for now.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Blue and SIlver and Virgo All Over

For the Virgo swap I joined, my partner specified that she wanted a flowing silvery dress. I was at a loss for a design. My swap partner was kind enough to send me a photo of her girl, but it didn't provide me the spark of inspiration I was hoping for. After much poking around the internet, I found the picture of an empire style jumper with a big inverted pleat down the center front.

The other trouble was finding a proper fabric. I have two silvery materials, but one is an expensive satin and a length of lining fabric. I'm not yet brave enough to cut into the satin, and it's not the easiest thing to work with, being slippery and prone to revealing wrinkles. However, I have a lovely blue fabric that I was itching to use, so the logical compromise to me was to use the shiny blue, give the pleat an inset of the lining fabric, and decorate the rest of the skirt with embroidery.

Choosing the embroidery pattern and marking it out was time consuming, but not too bad. It really helped that I chose a simple design. The trouble came with how the marking pen I used showed up poorly against the blue, meaning I'd have to rely on soap slivers, which rub out quite fast. Silver embroidery floss, I soon found out, frays like no one's business. These two factors made the skirt a project I could not carry around as I pleased, and made progress slow considerably.

Due to time constraints, I went with a kimono sleeved bodice for the top. I cut it so that the sleeve hems went on the selvedge, and fronts were connected to backs to save me a few seams. I even bit the bullet and machine sewed seams that I normally do by hand as they're so short. The neckline is still hand stitched on account of the tricky neckline.

More photos below.