Monday, November 14, 2011

Moving steadily forward...

Have I mentioned lately that I hate hand-sewing? Because I do. And yet, I somehow always find myself in the middle of a project, hand-sewing things!
So, I've been working on Esther ever since my last post. I managed to put another 42 yards of trim down on the skirt before running out again, so I went on to the bodice.  What I thought would be something to be made quick work of turned out to be a week long hand-sewing project, with lots of beads and blisters, and worn out fingers.
I had originally bought a trim at Michael's that I intended to use on the front of the bodice. The only problem was that it was white, and not metallic gold. "No problem!" I thought, "I'll just spray paint it."  Nope! The trim had other ideas. It soaked up the paint like a sponge, turned a dull brown, and became completely stiff and horrible.
So, I went to Joann's thinking I'd find something suitable, but for some reason they decided to stock up on the tacky stuff before I got there, so I didn't find anything that would work. On a whim, I browsed through the newly arrived Christmas ribbons, and there it was! A lovely metallic gold filigree trim. It was wired, but so what? It's shiny! I bought it, and some plain gold lame ribbon to put behind it since the filigree trim was very open.
I had to do a bit of surgery on the trim before I could use it. I used it as-is down the centre front of the bodice, but on the narrower lines I had to cut off about half of it to make it look right. No big deal, I could still use the bits I cut off for other parts of the gown!
Since I didn't want my machine to eat up the trim or destroy the filigree, I decided that hand-sewing was the way to go. I also added the beading down the centre of each line of trim, in 3mm acrylic gold beads. The hand-sewing was worth it in the end, but boy was it time consuming!

The trim about half tacked down and beaded. You can see the trim in its original state down the centre front, the rest of it has all been altered.

A closeup of the trim and beading! You can really see the filigree pattern of the Christmas trim nicely here, it's a shame it doesn't show up better in the other pictures. (Of course, I probably should use something better than my camera phone to snap pics, but it's just so darned convenient!) 

 Here's the bodice assembled at the sides, and you can see what what back pieces look like. The trim on the back panels is the same trim that's on the skirt.

And the finished bodice! The bodice is boned with 1/2" wide cable ties (hooray for hardware stores!) and fully lined in black.  I bound the waistline and neckline edges with black bias tape and then attached the trim over it.  You can't really see it on the bottom edge, but there is some filigree trim over that gold ribbon.

Next step, the sleeves. There are going to be a lot of gold beads in my future...

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