Saturday, July 5, 2014

Summer is for easy projects

At long last, my poppy-print version of Burda 4-2014-124 is done. Let me say right here that my next few projects are going to be purposely simple. Or at least not ridiculously complicated.

I do love this poppy fabric. You can read in this post how I fell hard for it . . . but, man, was it difficult to work with. Seam allowances that frayed almost to the seamline before I could get to them, little shredded areas that materialized if the fabric so much as hung over a corner of my cutting mat—this one had me gnashing my teeth. Well, not literally, but you know what I mean. Okay, enough with the qualifications.

I think I might be able to wear this dress in real life if I just sit quietly in a corner somewhere.

The pattern itself is a good one, though not a quick make. There is a complete underdress (same pattern pieces for the six-gore skirt, different pieces, including spaghetti straps, for the bodice) sewn inside the outer dress. With the French seams that I used throughout, this meant a lot of sewing and pressing. Looking at the photo above, seems I need to press that left front skirt seam a little better, ahem.

If you look closely at this next photo, you can see how the finest sewing-machine needle I have, which I changed out several times during this project by the way, still left little "bites" in the fabric.

I made a number of changes to the pattern. For one, I lengthened it by over two inches (but compare to the magazine photo; I'm sure that model is at least as tall as I am??). More important, I left off everything that I thought of as frippery. Frilly details just do not work well on me, so I substituted a simple edging for the piping, and omitted the lace on the underdress bodice, the topstitched batting under the neckband, and the shirring on the sleeves (in fact, I ended up leaving off the sleeves entirely and finishing the armholes with bias binding). I do feel that the part of the underdress bodice that peeks out looks a little plain, so maybe keeping the lace trim there would have been good.

Here's how the neckband looks up close with my changes:

Again because of the fragile nature of the fabric, I had a heck of a time figuring out a way to hem the skirt without it falling apart on me as I went. I ended up using my serger to make a rolled edge, and I'm happy enough with it.

Nature notes:

Photos are from last month, so not brand new, but I still want to give these turtle mamas a little appreciation. This sweet painted turtle was laying her eggs in our front yard one day in early June.

And she brought her sister along to lay her eggs!

The same day, as I walked down the driveway to get our mail, I came across this snapping turtle looking for a good egg-laying place. She is much bigger than the painted ones, like a large dinner plate, and can easily take off a finger if you're silly enough to present it to her.