Well actually, I can’t. My flounce-ability is defunct. My poor treasured ruffler is, like Monty Python’s parrot, no more.
My much anticipated sewing marathon started yesterday morning, relatively bright and early. I’ve had plenty of time to prioritise and make lists, so job one was to be ruffling several yards of pre-hemmed trim, to make a flounced petticoat/skirt for an additional summery steampunk outfit. I planned to wear it on Saturday afternoon, at a local Victorian event. A trifle ambitious, but the skirt itself was already cut out and assembled, bar flounces and waistband, so not beyond me.
This is as much ruffling as I managed, which took several hours, three broken needles, much swearing, a conviction that I’d broken the Singer, and then a bratty bit of flouncy, teary, self-pitying drama.
Not very impressive. By the time I’d given up, I’d also copiously oiled the ruffler, re-attached it several times, checked that everything still sewed normally, and with other attachments in place, and thrown a few things.
Then I phoned the mighty guru of vintage machines, Helen Howes. She asked me the obvious things, had I attached the ruffler correctly etc, then gave a bit more advice on taking it partially apart, cleaning and tightening a few bits. She said to try all this, then ring back. I did, it still wouldn’t work, so I rang back. Helen, you are a shining example of how to make customers happy! She’s sending me a replacement, no fuss, no bother.
Joy! But I do have to wait until it goes in the post on Monday.
So I was partly happy, but still seething. And covered in oil. So I sulked some more, threw my teddy out of the pram and opted not to go a-steam-punking after all. Wifey came to the soothing rescue, and took me out for a wonderful late lunch and a couple of large glasses of medicine.
Home for a big fat nap, and my toddler tantrum was cured.
No sewing though, as we had to go to a family do in the evening.
So the big sew-athon actually started a day late, and is going slower than I wanted of course. I’d already started the Folkwear Armistice Blouse in ivory silk/cotton, with some rather gorgeous lace trim. I’d completed a lace insert in the sleeves, and made the pin tucked front panel, then pushed it all aside.
So far today, I have made tiny narrow sleeve plackets, french seams on the sleeves, assembled the collar and turnback cuffs, and attached deep lace to collar, cuffs, and the pintucked front insert.
I had read elsewhere that the pattern instructions for this are a little odd when it comes to the cuffs, but decided to go with it as it stands. The turn back part of the cuffs are assembled first, and lace inserted or applied as appropriate. You then sandwich this between the pieces of the main cuff, then attach the lot to the sleeve. Rather unusual, as a turn back is generally exactly that, but her it will turn back along a seam.
Here’s my turn back, ready to be sandwiched. Do you see the problem waiting to happen? I didn’t. Now I do.
So the lace is coming back off [hopefully without trashing it as there isn’t a huge amount left], then I’ll attach the cuffs and re-apply the lace. I will not be beaten!
The rest of the pattern is straightforward though, and the main bodice is all done, with sleeves and collar about to be attached. The back waist is slightly gathered, and waist ties attached, which keeps it all nicely tucked into a skirt, or neatly arranged under a wide belt.