Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Easter Dress is Done!

There is a peculiar amnesia/madness that sets in with me when I contemplate sewing projects: Somehow, I know that no matter how many nutty decisions I make, no matter how many shortcuts I take, that the project will go quickly and smoothly. This is rarely true. There are reasons for the rules, and it is a foolish person who ignores them lightly.

Okay, so I didn't have the perfect fabric in my stash. Did I go and purchase four yards of something suitable? No. I decided to take off my shelf some almost-okay fabric that was a little too thin and had fraying issues. I figured if I doubled it, it would solve the thinness issue (and obviate the need for a slip as well). The result is that the dress is very heavy. This may become a problem this coming weekend. Also, the raw edges have a lot of fraying. After this weekend, I'll probably go in to the interior of the dress and do some folding under and slip stitching. Of course, I just now thought that since I had used two layers throughout, I could have pressed the edges between the layers. Did this occur to me while I was frantically trying to meet the deadline? Noooooo.

The next fudge was that I didn't have a perfect pattern in my possession. I decided to mash together the bodice from a dress and a blouse. Note to self: next time, redraw the collar area (easy) and not the shoulder seam. A good five hours this past weekend was consumed with basting in a sleeve, trying on the dress, saying, "uggh!!", ripping out the basting stitches, carefully measuring and trimming away more sleeve cap (and then repeating this sequence - at least four times). In the end, I got a sleeve cap that worked with very little fudging. Every time I trimmed the cap, I laid that trimmed piece over the other sleeve cap and trimmed that one back. Every other try, I put both sleeves on to make sure that the bodice still worked.

Another issue was the dropped waist. We all remember the late 1990s / early 2000s: Dropped waists were everywhere. I shortened the bodice and redrew the side seams inward to make the dress a little more form fitting.

A final issue was that I didn't have quite enough fabric to make the skirt as long as I would have liked it. So my solution was to add an extra three inches and cover the seam on the outside with some of the lace trim leftover from trimming the vest. In the end, it's not a great dress, but it's perfectly serviceable.

We are Catholics, and my husband is the co-ordinator of the liturgy co-ordinators in our parish. He's also an autodidact (who also has a BA in theology) well versed in theology and liturgy, which means that he is the de facto liturgist in the parish. For us, Easter starts in January when he confers with the pastor and the parish staff. He has co-ordinators in place for Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Vigil (I'm one of his Vigil co-ordinators), but he's going to be stressing about the details until it's all over. We'll be up on Saturday night into the wee hours of Sunday. We'll get home long enough to get three hours of sleep and then head back in for the 8:30 a.m. Mass, where I have communion preparation duty. It's a long weekend, and this dress will get a real workout.

I hope that whatever celebration/commemoration you observe this week, that you have many blessings flow from it. I probably won't check back in here until next week.

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