Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Life's Ups and Downs

Life sure has its ups and downs. The Independence Day holiday was spent at a fun family picnic where the featured food was crabs (it was in Maryland), steaks, and in season fruits and vegetables.
Got Crabs!

Crab pickin' sure is messy!
 There was a badminton tournament, water gun battles, fish and turtle catching in the pond, and a finale of fireworks. “Now kids, don’t play with the fireworks, leave that to the adults." (who have been drinking all day!) We left the picnic, drove 4 hour home to pick up a change of clothing and drove another 7 hours  to attend the graveside service for my husband’s recently deceased uncle the next day.

For the memorial service, I wore a dress made from Burda Style magazine March 2013.

  This dress is fitted, with a scoop neck, short sleeves and an A line skirt. The angled darts, waistline, sleeve and neckline edges are highlighted with applied trim. Here are other garments with similar trim applications.

Trim accented seams and darts
 The fabric was a unique light weight, double layered, quilted, textured silk/rayon fabric from online fabric retailer Sew Much Fabric. The  print was in sober grays with faint splashes of white and greenish yellow. I chose a trim in the same greenish yellow to add some interest to what otherwise would have been a basic style, dull colored, dress.
Fabric front and back

The dress is called the Ribbon Dress on the BurdaStyle website. For the trim, the magazine instructions recommend petersham, which is very different than ribbon. Petersham is woven ribbon, but has some unique characteristics that are important for this design. It is almost always made of rayon, cotton or a mix of the two natural fibers, and with a weave that allows it to be shaped around curves. Most ribbons, and petersham’s look alike cousin - grosgrain ribbon, are made of poly and cannot be shaped around a curve without gathering. Petersham is not available at my local fabric stores. If I had had more time, I would have purchased some from where there is a large variety of colors and widths. Instead I had to look for alternate trims that had a flexible weave. Bias strips to the rescue. A package of Wrights 1 inch double fold quilt binding,  cut in half and the cut edge folded in, it created a 5/8” flexible trim.  

 My handy, dandy edge stitch foot (also called joining or stitch in a ditch), with the needle position set to 1/8” from the  flange that rides along the edge of the trim, made sewing the trim to the dress a breeze.
sewing trim with edge stitch foot
 Rather than deal with facings on the neck opening,  I lined the entire dress.  It took lot of tweaking to get the close fit I wanted in the bodice to prevent the wide neckline from falling off my shoulders. When I make garments that require lots of fitting, I usually end up sewing in my underwear. I try on the dress, mark the alterations, take off the dress, sit down still wearing underwear to sew the changes, try on dress again, etc. Does that happen to anyone else?