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I am once again excited about this dress. I have to admit, last week I was ready to dump this project in the bin. But this week, good things happened and I am again convinced this dress will be awesome when (if) I get it finished.
I realized last week after doing all the facings that I forgot to put boning into the center back edges. Oops!! Fortunately, I had left the very top of the facings open when I stitched the neckline facing and then went down the center back without backing up to the very top. So I was able to slip in a bone to sit next to the fold of the center back edge. And also, as luck would have it, I had two 16 -1/2" bones on hand that are exactly the length I needed. (And only 2, when I have about $500 of boning in various sizes in my stash. Those were the longest I had.)
With the bones in place, it was time to set the grommets. I love my grommet machine! It is the best money I have ever spent and the best sewing tool I own. I was worried that I had used up all my white grommets for the last corset class I taught, but when I looked into the grommet box, there was full bag of white, sitting on top. Yay!!!
With the grommets in, I could now try my bodice on for the first time and see if it fits. And another huge Yay!!! It fits perfectly!! Not ony does is fit perfectly, it looks fabulous. I had lost about 15 lbs recently, and all of it off my waist, so my hour glass is back. Still big overall, but shapely! Sorry, I didn't take pics with it on. I will get some soon, though. The only issue was that the neckline is only 98% snug at the front. I could totally ignore it, and no one would even see a problem. But before I add the trim to the neckline, I am going to run a hand stitch inside the neckline at the center front, and snug it up about 1/8" on each side, or 1/4" total. That will make it 100% snug across the top of the bust. It should be an invisible correction, and then the trim will hold it all perfectly.
I had made up some under-sleeves in a white organza. The pattern check was great, but I don't think I like the look of the organza. I could see through to the seam at the bottom, where the gathers sews onto the fitted lining. So I will toss those and make new ones out of the white saxaphone. I hate to use such an inappropriate fabric, where it will be fully seen, but oh well. It's what I have and it will have to do. I am going to sew the under-sleeve on separate from the over-sleeve, so I can swap it out at a later date for something more authentic.
For the over sleeves, I had to embroider my edging on with a curve. I traced the line of the pattern onto the fabric and used that line to follow for the embroidery. It worked very well. However, my first pattern for the over-sleeves had some issues that needed to be tweaked. I spent 2 days flip-flopping on whether to embroider new over-sleeves, or re-cut and use the flawed existing ones. Laura voted for using the old, I voted for the new. In the end, I followed my rule of thumb, "if it bothers you enough that you have to ask if you should redo it, then you need to redo it." Because if you don't, that error will nag at you forever!! I have the new over-sleeves ready to set in. This weekend, I am going to make up the new under-sleeves and get it all set in. I should also get some pics of me wearing it.
Here are the sleeves with the embroidery finished.
And did I tell you this fabric is stiff!! And itchy at the seams. I may have to go back and cover the seams; at least the shoulder seams anyway. Very annoying. Look ma, it stands up by itself!! Next time, I'm using a nice soft fabric. Well, or a silk.