Sunday, January 1, 2012

Weekend Projects: Yikes!

Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.
~ Oprah Winfrey

Happy New Year!  Have you been enjoying the holidays?  I took last week off - we visited family in Ohio for Christmas, and since then I've been so busy at home that I need to go back to work to get some rest! ;)

First, I started working on the casserole totes for my friends at work.  I'm doing them assembly-line style and the first step was to cut all the pieces of fabric.  Actually, all of the pieces are rectangular, so I was able to snip the edges at the correct measurements and then just rip the pieces.  That was much faster and more accurate than having to cut all those straight edges.  

I had to put this on hold, so that I could make my New Year's Eve dancing dress.  The silk material was a bit expensive, so I actually made a muslin first.  Ana helped me fit it, by pinning it where it needed to be taken in.  

Basically, I'm thick in the mid-section - I picked the size that fits my middle and we took it in around bust and shoulders...

Here you can see the muslin in-between the pattern piece and where/how I graded the pattern: 

Truthfully, I was disappointed with the color of the fabric - it was called "coral" and on my computer screen it appeared to lean towards a salmon-pinkish coral.  But, in person, it was more of a burnt orange coral.  

As I worked on the dress, each step was a little bit more of a nuisance than it should have been - and I had to re-do many of the seams - but there were no major screw-ups... UNTIL I had the "bright idea" of finishing the neckline with bias tape instead of a facing.  

Here is the point at which I was ready to call of the New Year's Eve dance and spend the evening in bed:  

Yup, the neckline stretched out horribly when I added the bias binding.  I was so upset!  (This was late afternoon on Saturday - maybe 4 hours before the dance...)  I was ready to throw in the towel, but Ana was determined that it could be fixed and so she and I tried a bunch of alternatives - pulling up the shoulder seams, adding "decorative" darts / tucks along the neckline, etc.

In the end, I came up with this idea:  

It wasn't perfect, but it helped a lot and I actually thought it was a nice feature on the dress.

Ana took pictures of us before we headed off to our dance:  

The seated pose was her idea - it came out nicer than I expected.  :)

So, the dress was not a smashing success, but I guess it wasn't a total failure.  And the dance turned out to be pretty fun...  :)

In between all that sewing, I also squeezed in a couple of afternoons of working on my business.  Ana and some of her friends came over and we had a "card set assembly" and pizza party.  

Altogether I think we got over 500 sets of cards put together.  :)

We tried to protect the boxes of cards from the cats by covering them with fabric when we took a break for pizza.  Unfortunately, Oliver's little stuffed mouse INSISTED on hiding in the folds of the fabric, so, of course, Oliver HAD to rummage around in the fabric looking for it!  ;)

Speaking of the "How Much Fabric?" reference cards, we've got one last holiday give-away going on, over at Claire's blog.  She's giving away 2 bundles - each includes a BuraStyle pattern magazine and 2 meters of pattern drafting paper!  It's her one year blog-i-versary, so, if you've got a minute, stop by and congratulate her.  :)

I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year's Eve and is excited about 2012!  :)

Now, it's back to the casserole totes for me!  ;)


gwensews said...

How did you like the cold in a more northern clime? Hummm? I imagine that now you realize that stabilizing that neckline would have eliminated your gaping problem. But, you did a nice job of making it work with your bows, and they actually add a really nice detail to your dress.

Anonymous said...

I think the dress came out beautifully anyway, but I am partial to orange.

Very nice save and it looks like it was meant to be that way.

Anonymous said...

Good job saving the dress and the party! Silk is a bit fussy but usually worth the effort. My take is, the less construction you do to silk the better.

Happy New Year!

Christine said...

It's gorgeous Gwen! You did a beautiful job, and really I don't even know that I would have noticed the neckline if you hadn't pointed it out, but then again I'm not an expert.

Your "fix" was perfect though! The little bows are SO cute, and so you!