Warning- long post…and 5th of 5
Between fittings: oh boy, so much hand sewing!
I adjusted the pattern again, and cut out the gorgeous, but very slippery charmeuse lining. Because the lame was a bit scratchy against the skin, I didn’t want any facings on the inside, but applied the lining by hand using the method shown in the ‘Couture Dress’ course I bought from Craftsy when I was making my daughter’s wedding dress. I learned so much from it, especially the importance of hand finishing for special items. The control you get over tricky fabric is just better, no need for gelatine, starch or a walking foot, just a little patience, waxed thread, and good quality sewing needles.
It is not a very big or complicated garment, but it took quite a while! The zip is also hand sewn. I thought it might need a hook and eye at the hemline, to stop the zip opening at unwanted moments, but it stood up to sitting, if you get what I mean, so I didn’t bother. I added little ribbon loops for bra straps too.
I also applied the petersham waist facing by hand, after pressing it to a nice curve.
It fastens with a flat hook and bar for a smooth finish. I then did a teeny tiny hand rolled hem…miles of it! I am very grateful for my audiobooks, I listen to so much while I do hand sewing. The finish was great…but at the final fitting, it had to be partially removed, as Jackie had lost a few more inches. Disgraceful! It didn’t take long to put right though. I also added hanging loops, and did a hand sewn hem.
After looking hard at the draping I’d done in the last fitting, I went back to my pattern drawer, and came up with this beauty. Butterick 5785. I made this up for myself a while back, and it just didn’t work for me- the sash is not my friend, I must remember this.
Anyway, the neckline mirrored the way the fabric I’d draped had looked, and I think it’s really flattering. I didn’t want princess seams though, so I pinned the pattern pieces together, and when I laid it onto the toile pieces I’d made in the last session, I was amazed to find how close it came!
I wanted the jacket to bring all the fabrics together, to ensure that the finished outfit looked like one garment, not three. To do this, I cut lots of piping and binding. Lots. I was very pleased to be able to leave very little waste on this whole outfit, very near zero waste in fact, which fits well with Jackie’s green aesthetic.
I cut the bodice pieces in the violet charmeuse, made lining and piping from the sari, and used the fragments of the blue/purple skirt fabric for more piping. I didn’t use the lame because, well, itchy and fraying! The waistband was in the sari fabric too.
And I sewed. And sewed. Basting, machine sewing, hand finishing. Lots of work, but it was so PRETTY I really enjoyed the whole thing. I found some domed buttons in stash, and covered them with the sari fabric, and made little rouleau loops.
I’ve actually forgotten how I clean finished the insides- I think everything was bound with bias strips, except the armholes, where I used the overlocker. I really can’t recall though. Terrible!
The jacket skirt and sleeve flounces are in the crystal organza, the only bit of the coat that isn’t silk. IT WAS EVIL! My iron hated it, and ate several sections, despite pressing cloth and temperature adjustment. EVIL. It got to the point where I had NO MORE, no time to go buy more, and Jackie coming to collect the next day. Aargh!
It frayed, melted, twisted, fought me every step of the way. To torture myself, I did TINY French seams, and another rolled hem. Eventually I tamed the bloody stuff, and got it onto the hanger, cursing horribly.
So I also made a little bag [from the Folkwear cocoon coat pattern, the one I used for the bags we carried at OUR wedding] using scraps of the skirt and sari fabrics, plus the eBay cord and some stash beads for the tassel.
And then I made a ring cushion, because I’ve always made one to go with every wedding dress I’ve ever made. It’s irrelevant to me if the cushion actually gets used, I just like to do it!
And a shawl, to use up the sari. More tiny rolled hemming…Oh boy, so much sewing.
On to the final fitting, at collection.
I’ve already commented on the tweak to the skirt, the top was bang on, so I was very pleased. The jacket however came up HUGE on the waistband, despite the fact that I’d cut it directly from the toile pieces that had been snugly pinned at the last session. It had to be reduced by way more than the skirt waist adjustment, no idea why. I had to work that one out on the fly, I can tell you, and the perfection of the piping trims was slightly spoiled, but hey-ho, the way it goes! There had been no time to make an interim fitting, I’d had to go for it.
Jackie sat and listened to the birds in the garden, while I went back to the sewing room. It didn’t actually take all that long, we even had time to stop for home made pakoras for lunch. When I domestic goddess, I really go for it!
And it was done.
Jackie happily patted at her hips [the way we all do in something that looks great] and twirled in front of the mirror.
I took some snaps, then took her out into the sunshine, where she LIT UP. These fabrics love sunlight! I loved the fact she’s managed to snag two pairs of sparkly shoes that matched her outfit perfectly. So pretty. It’s got that hippy, medieval, Disney, ethnic vibe pretty well don’t you think?
I have absolutely no photos from the wedding day yet, we missed the daytime events due to D’s upset tum, and by the evening, Jackie was too busy on the dancefloor to get any decent shots of her in all her glory. I do have this one though!