Sunday, July 31, 2011

Learning Experiences, Part II


Remember my post back during the A-Z challenge about Learning Experiences and how I go through many drafts and trials and errors before my final projects are ready to go?

Add one to the list.

Yes, I had hoped that the steps I took last Friday were the first steps to the final product, but that, alas, is not going to be the case.  Since that time I have been pinning, cutting, snipping, stitching, trimming, and sneezing (satin sheds little dusty fibers like nobody's business) my head off with not-satisfactory-enough results, alas.

Now this is what the first layer of the garment looked like when I'd finished putting together all the pieces.  It was to be the inner layer, but it looked so nice on the dress form that of course I took a picture in my inspiration.

This is what it looked like after I repeated the same process for the outer part of the garment and my third muslin lining, and put them altogether, necessary trim included.  Notice the difference?

Problem #1: Do you see how the bottom part of the edge is sloping severely outward from the waist to the hip?  That is not a trick of the camera angle, my friends.  That's pretty much how it actually turned out.

Somehow, one of the two lavender linings ended up being extremely shorter from edge to edge than the other two.  I'm still not exactly certain how because it felt like I repeated the same process (and, more importantly, in-seams) exactly the same way all three times.  As a result, I did my best to try and line everything up with reference to the smallest layer, but that just made everything terrible and out of line.

(One thing I did wrong was not to cut out the very back of the shirt on the seam, which meant I had to sew two pieces together that otherwise would've been a single piece and that was one more seam to throw off the consistency of the three layers in the final lie).

The error in size is the biggest reason that my first attempt did not work out, but there are others:

Problem #2: I didn't really understand the best way to make the trim turn a corner, and not only ended up with those unsightly gaps you see there but the bias tape I was using for this bit had the raw edge up on the horizontal section.  

(I have since figured out a very good way to turn the corner.  It involves seam-clipping, of a sort, a trick of physics and geometry that I am coming to respect more and more with each passing day).

Problem #3: (More of a nitpick, really, but a strong one).  The combination of pink + lace actually ended up working really well, as you can see on the neck lining above, but the lace I chose is really a bit too narrow and you can't see it well.  I have a slightly wider lace on hand that I was planning on using for the petticoat, but I could always go and buy more.  I think it will look nicer with the other choice.  Plus, on this particular seam I had to pick it apart and put it back together twice: Once because I got the pink and lace in the wrong order and the second time because I didn't pick up the inner liner.

Problem #4: The idea to put in an inner lining of muslin was one I thought to be inspired, but I've decided to drop the ambition.  I don't really think it's any better a lie than my last test bustier which just had the inner and outer lining of purple, plus it (1) makes everything more clumsy and (2) it makes the seams themselves unnecessarily bulky.  I will make a small, more conventional lining for the curve of the sweetheart neckline, but that's all.

So, in conclusion, I am going to try one more time, and improve in the following areas:

(1) Forget about the middle lining.
(2) Don't cut two pieces when I only need one.
(3) Be triple-quadruple careful cutting out my pieces and matching my inseams and making the two layers match properly in size.
(4) Use a better lace choice.
(5) Turn proper corners with my trim.

There are a few things that did work out in an encouraging way, though.  I think I'm getting fairly good at making darts that don't "bubble" or "pucker" on the bust.  The overall look of the bustier is inspiring, despite all the weaknesses, and check this out:

The lace on the hem looks amazing!!!!

(Hey, small victories, right?)

And so, we begin again.  I'm handling it better than I might have in the past.  That is to say, not crying.  I wish I could take a day or two or even a week off, but alas, I think I'm going to start pinning and cutting all over again as soon as I get home from work tomorrow.  I have exactly one month to finish this thing, and quite frankly, I'm starting to feel a wee bit panicked.

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