Organza is the devil’s cloth

The dress to wear to my friend’s wedding this weekend is finished. And it almost finished me. Silk organza is EVIL… it’s probably made from REAL ORGANS. What a monstertrucker it is to sew, what with the unravelling and the wiggling and the stretching.

It’s the 1963 pattern, McCall’s 7052, with modifications. I just used the double-cowl bodice and then frankensteined skirt pieces from TWO different patterns. That’s metafrankensteining. I wanted a straight skirt at the front and a full one at the back, which means I could be vaguely sleek but still engage in wild, abandoned, drunken dancing (I anticipate it will be that kind of wedding. I hope it will be.) So I have a mullet skirt. Excellent.

I bought the fabric ages ago from Rathdowne Remnants, and lined it in an avocado-green silk you can still pick up for a song at Clear It. (Or, if you run out, and you know Moggy, you can raid her stash on a Sunday night like I did. Thanks, Moggy!) I couldn’t resist the blue roses, which I’m always drawn to for their genetic impossiblity, even though I don’t actually like roses much.  Also, I like the 1960s Readers Digest illustrative style of their rendering. It was before I knew how diabolical organza is and I won’t hurry to sew with it again… it’s just not worth it.

But after all that, I’m quite pleased with the result. Bring on the festivities!

My lost foot

There has been little progress on the dress to wear to my friend’s wedding. I’m just too intimidated by the organza so I’m ditching that and hatching a plan B. Watch this space. I have 1.5 weeks to sort myself out. Eeeek!

Enthused by my delightful new Singer 201K, I came up with a wee proposal on Sew Retro that those of us with ancient sewing machines should sew a pattern from the same year as our machines. Great idea. Then I went and lost the standard sewing foot. Ooops. It’s somewhere in the cavern o’ couture, the junk-packed haven that is my sewing room. Unfortunately I was halfway through a frock when I lost it. Fortunately (?!) it’s a dud so I don’t need to finish it anyway. But, must find myself a new foot. Hello, eBay.

It’s a 4-H uniform… I was obsessed with the 4-H organisation for about three minutes a while back. They were like agricultural science scouts who sewed frocks! Those are all things I love! I was even planning to embroider the pocket patch but it never happened. Instead, I made it up with a remnant of stretch silk twill from Clear It (they have a truly rubbish online shop, if you care) which has lovely weedy gorse and rose blooms on it.

I don’t like it. It’s that old problem of pattern scale… it has to be very big or very small or it’s just a bit blah. I think it falls into blah, plus too busy. Dunno. I also made the bodice too long so the waist is 1″ too low. I think I’ll hack the skirt off and make it into something else.

In happier news, I won a cheongsam pattern from UglyCute Designs – a great blog to follow if you want to learn pattern-drafting and draping vicariously! Rebecca does some tricky stuff I’m not brave enough to attempt but it’s great to watch from the safety of the sidelines. I’m pleased to win it because one of the folks I’m teaching to sew is dying to make a cheongsam. Perfect match. Thank you Rebecca!