Monday, June 25, 2012

The Tale of Rose Red, Part 3

The Music Man is over! It was a good time overall, but I'm glad the demanding rehearsal and performance schedules are through and I can return my energies to fannish pursuits. At least until the end of August when auditions for Little Women are coming up!

In the past three days I have made splendid progress on Red Riding Hood, particularly finishing off my trial and error with the sleeves and getting them all ready to go for the final product.

When we last left off, the test sleeve looked nice, but wasn't quite close enough to the source costume for my liking. The lace sections were too low on the sleeve compared to Red's.

I cut everything out again, this time moving all the dividers up four inches. After patiently joining and inserting into the test blouse, I was pleased to find the lace fell more or less in the right places this time around. It was still too long and too poofy, though, so I made a few more adjustments to my pattern based on that. (Didn't bother cutting out and testing a third time, though)

The final custom pattern. The darker stripe in the middle is from where I narrowed the sleeve by 2 1/2 inches. I also cut the same amount from the length of the sleeve, taking it from the top half of the fifth section of the pattern. Once nice thing about narrowing the sleeve is that the original sleeve pattern was too big to fold my pattern material and cut 2 simultaneously. Now I was able to do just that (yay, convenience!!)

The next step was to cut out the layers in both my "base" fabric and the lace I bought to go in between. Since neither of these fabrics has an easily discernible "wrong"side, I wrote out a label for all ten pieces as shown above to make sure I didn't get the pieces for the two sleeves mixed up until they were assembled.

Then, I used the serger to finish the edges of each strip with a narrow rolled hem. This took almost a full day of reading, experimenting, and one case of getting up and walking away in order to cool down before beginning again. It's the first time I've used Sergio's narrow rolled hem application, and for the most part I did a good job of allowing myself to learn as well as to apply. As usual, I made it extra hard on myself by choosing two tricky fabrics to work with. As you can see above, the base fabric is very stretchy, and the lace comes with its own set of problems. But Sergio and I worked together and eventually got it sorted.

One interesting side effect of serging the stretchy fabric was that the fabric, well, stretched. That is, it stretched out to where the pieces ended up being longer than their originating fabrics, as shown above. Still, far better than if the serger had somehow shrunk them I suppose.

I joined the pieces together as shown above, always with the lace on top for pinning purposes, and then used two rows of top stitching on the machine to complete the process. I got better and better at this as I went along, so my second sleeve is predictably better than the first, but they're both god enough for me to proceed.

I haven't ironed them yet, but there they are! All assembled and deceptively simple-looking, given how many hours have been devoted to getting them right. But as usual, I've learned loads, in this case about working with new fabrics and five or seven new things about Sergio. Every minute worth it.

Next up-- assembling the blouse! The biggest challenge will be constructing a casing for the drawstring, but compared to these sleeves, I'm optimistic.


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