Wednesday, April 10, 2013

B4343 Progress: A Fine Mess

The B4343 fitting is complete -- in addition to the FBA and swayback adjustment, it needed an additional FIVE INCHES in length.  I normally add about 2.  Glad I did a muslin first.  Wish I had given the same attention to detail to a few other items:

Lesson 1: Thoroughly dissolve the dye powder in water before adding the fabric.  Yes, it's a classic rookie mistake, and I don't know what I was thinking.  It's even stated clearly in the dye directions.

After waiting more than a week after the silk arrived to finally dye it, carefully calculating and re-calculating how much dye to use for the initial batch (don't want it to be too dark), I poured the powder directly into the pot of water on the stove and stirred it up really well.  Or so I thought.  It was a black pot, and apparently I couldn't see the dozens of little red pieces that didn't dissolve before I put the fabric in the pot.  

Lucky for me, I started with the lining fabric. Once the underlining is over it, the itsy bitsy red dots speckled across the entire piece of cloth are not visible from the outside.  More good news: the base color is spot on (no pun intended) -- it's the perfect shade of "nude." At least my calculations were good.
Out, damned spot!

With two layers and the lace, I don't see anything...but I know it's there.

Lesson 2:  Make sure you buy enough fabric.  Duh!  Who wouldn't buy enough fabric?  I can't remember a case when the fabric requirements listed on the pattern envelope have not been overly generous, which explains my piles of left-over fabric ranging from a few inches to a full yard.  There have been several times when I've squeezed out a jacket from 2 yards when the pattern called for 3!

So I ordered exactly three yards of silk habotai lining and three yards of silk crepe de chine underlining, just as suggested.  Of course, that was before the final muslin where I added five inches to the length. 

With two weeks to go before Prom, and the muslin fitting complete, I felt like I was way ahead of the game.  On Saturday, I calmly started to cut the lining fabric, planning one final "muslin" out of lining before cutting the lace and underlining.  Oops.  I'm about a foot short of silk habotai.  WHAT?  It's not like I can just run down to the corner and buy more!  I have to order it, wait for the shipment to arrive, wash it, dye it, wash it again and press it before I even start cutting and sewing...AAAAGHGHGH!

I tried several different layouts -- surely there's one configuration that will work?! I even sketched it out on paper, refusing to believe I couldn't solve the problem with more calculations.  After a few frustrating hours, I gave up and ordered more silk.  Of course I had to over-order, since the pattern pieces are full length bodice-to-hem pieces.  Thankfully, I ordered enough lace the first time (it's sheer luck).

Lesson 3: When in doubt, upgrade to 2-day shipping.  Now I'm worried it may not arrive in time for me to finish it over the weekend.  I really only have Saturday and Sunday to sew, because my work and kid schedule is just way too busy during the week.  Why didn't I pay the extra $7?  Isn't it worth the peace-of-mind?   

So, I've gone from a peaceful, easy feeling of having plenty of time to finish, to a state of panic over losing an entire weekend.  "What will I do if it doesn't come before the weekend?" I asked my husband.  "She can wear an old dress" he answered.  With a completely straight face -- I think he was serious! Hilarious. At least I got a good laugh from that!

1 comment:

  1. Ah, we all make those mistakes. Everything will work out beautifully, I'm sure.


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