Monday, February 9, 2015

ArtChain Day Three

For the third day of my #artchain challenge, I'm posting pictures of a dress that I designed and made in December. As with most dresses, it looks better on me than on the hanger, but I just haven't had the energy for a proper photo shoot recently, so it's this or a really dark really grainy selfie taken the day of the wedding.

I know it's hard to tell in the photo, but the dress is made up of 23 panels. It's all french seams, so it's fully finished. The neck and armholes are finished with bias tape. I hemmed it by hand using a catch stitch. The fabric is an absolutly glorious silk/cotton blend, and it's just a bit more teal and less blue in real life than it is in these pictures.. It's got a light hand, and it's a satin weave. Even though it was a blend it behaved like silk as I was working with it.

Ever heard the phrase that cutting silk is like cutting water? Well, it totally is. I spent ages making sure that my pattern pieces were laid out on grain, but it still ended up off a bit, and even if you are only off by a tiny bit, when you have 23 panels the error compounds. I got really lucky and my dress ended up with about a 90-degree twist that I actually like the look of. It's very obvious when I wear it, and not so clear in pictures. I know this photo is a little silly looking, but I taped the dress to the wall so you could see the way it twisted more clearly. 

Silk also starts to unravel the moment that you cut it. I cut each panel as I needed it while sewing the dress so that it had less time to fray. That also meant that I put the whole thing together in about two days because my sewing room is the living room and the fabric took up the whole floor when it was laid out for cutting. I didn't want to just leave it there, but I also couldn't pick it up because of the aforementioned grain issue. 

Really the most time-consuming part of this dress was doing the math to draft it. Math in schools seems so boring because you are given really silly problems like measuring the height of a flagpole from its shadow, but I love geometry when applied to real life, like figuring out what size to make each piece for this dress. 

All in all it was a great project, and I'm pretty darn proud of how it turned out. One of these days, I'll take proper pictures of it, but in the meantime, here is the dark, grainy, selfie so you can at least kind of see what it looked like on me. 

You get bonus points if you recognized the shawl that I'm wearing as the shawl from yesterday's artchain post. 

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