I pulled it out when I was inspired by this Jason Wu dress last fall:
So here's some details:
I steamed the heck out of the wool to pretreat it.
Yes, I ironed the pattern pieces - *LOL*
You would think that careful placement of the lace appliques would be a priority when laying out the pattern pieces. However, after examining the fabric I realized that except for not getting some right over my backside (which I managed to do anyway!) the randomness of the appliques meant that I had to have a "go with the flow" attitude about the applique placement.
This was also one of the most ravelly fabrics that I've worked with in some time! It shed whenever it moved until I serged all of the edges and even then I had to constantly clean my serger blade and stitch area because the fabric made alot of fuzz!
Also because the fabric was so soft I had some challenges with the neckline stretching out during the serging process. I thought I would be okay, but as I worked with the dress, the neckline became even more distorted. I really should have dealt with this issue at the beginning of the construction process. However, I did manage to bring the neckline back under control.
*First I measured the wayward dress front against the front of my TNT dress pattern piece:
*Then I measured a piece of stay tape against the front of the pattern piece. *After cutting it exactly (which is important!) I pinned it to three crucial points on the dress' neckline.
*At each corner of the shoulder and in the center point of the dress, the stay tape was pinned down.
*Then using a larger stitch (stitch width 4) I slowly stitched the stay tape down, easing the excess fabric in.
*Finally, I pressed the stay tape flat.
As you can see, this tamed the wayward neckline. I then added stay tape to the back neckline and when I sewed the shoulder seams together it was sewn into those seams also. I treated the fabric like a knit since it liked to grow at certain stress points. And yes, I know I sewed the stay tape to the front of the garment instead of the back, but since I will be adding a lining to the garment, I don't think it makes much of a difference...unless of course I broke one of the major sewing rules! *wicked grin*
The center back seam was fused with a 1" strip of the baby interfacing from Farmhouse Fabrics, to stabilize it for the invisible zipper insertion. This is a really old tip but just in case someone isn't aware of it ~ I cut about a quarter of a yard of fusible interfacing into one inch strips and save them in a ziplock bag for times like these. That way I always have some on hand.
Finally a shot of the dress on the hanger sleeveless...
Front with the pockets
back view with those
appliques near my backside!
The dress will have short sleeves and I will add a lining. I'm trying to decide if I will add some black rayon bias binding to the neckline and sleeve hems...ah decisions, decisions!
...as always, more later!