Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Puppy from heDoubleL*

*Or: why this is a photoless blog.

About 6 months ago we adopted an adorable puppy. Since then, she has destroyed thousands of dollars in ipod, phone, and computer cables, not to mention clothes, shoes, fabric, woodburners, furniture and just about anything else she can get her grubby little paws on. The cable connecting my printer and my computer was one of the more recent casualties, rendering my photo memory card temporarily useless.

And if you only knew what goodies are locked on that photo card!!

After the Christmas rush, when the kiddies were tucked away nicely at school again, I kinda taught myself to drape (!). Yup, I just threw some muslin on the form and pinched away. (Imagine photos here). It started with a great article in Threads (photo) that illustrated a pretty straightforward way to pinch out a top. I'm still tweaking the bodice, which has been revised about 5 times. I decided to drape the skirt directly in my fabric. Ooops I lied, I have a stored photo of the fabric here:

Some things I've discovered in this process.

1- It's really hard to drape on a duct tape dressform (if you're like me and left your duct tape form unpadded and uncovered). You can't pin to the form itself, and the fabric is slippery against the surface of the tape and shifts crazily. I had a real problem keeping fabric edges parallel to the floor, and I'd finish pinching out darts and seams on the back just to turn it around and realize the center front line had been drinking heavily.

2- The thing I had most trouble with was the armhole, mostly because it's not clearly defined on my form. I winged it with my french curve a few times before I stopped being lazy and looked up some sleeve fitting techniques. I'm hoping this is my last revision.

3- It's a good thing sharpies come in so many colors. (photo). I used sharpies to mark my seam lines and could keep track of which line was current because I used a different color sharpie for each revised fitting.

4- At regular intervals throughout the process I really had to resist throwing in the towel (and still do). This is tedious stuff. And let's face it folks, we all know that no matter what kind of look we want, we can find a pattern to fit it- or at least come close enough that we can work with it. Why was I going through all this trouble to drape a sleeveless, ballet neckline, princess seamed bodice when I knew for a fact I could just dig into my pattern stash and find exactly what I wanted? I don't know. But now that I've invested all this time and effort and about 20 yards of muslin I'm hooked.

So hopefully my completion of this gown will coincide with a trip to Best Buy, and I'll be able to share my first draped project with you! Don't hold your breath though, because I've been in bed for three days with the flu. I'm thinking end of month, so I can get busy on something scandalous for valentine's day ;)

1 comment:

The Slapdash Sewist said...

How cool! I have considered draping on idle occasions, but concluded (as you mention) that I can almost always find a pattern for what I want and that spending hours and hours draping something that I could have cut from a pattern in a short time would probably frustrate me. Can't wait to see how it came out!