Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Red linen dress and jacket

Into the home stretch! I have to wear it in two days, so I'd better be getting finished. On the Friday, some of us going to the charity event went to choose jewelry for our outfits. A jewelry designer (Karen McClintock) is showcasing her work at the charity event and some of us at BCA get to wear pieces as models. Our Executive Director found the perfect piece of clear gold Swarovski crystals necklace with matching earrings and bracelet for my outfit. I can wear the bracelet to good effect because the sleeves on the jacket are three-quarter length. I'll try to get photos on Thursday, of the whole ensemble.
Here's the dress, with the lining and the facing, ready to sew together. I wanted the lining to end up with the wrong side of it touching the wrong side of the dress and the black facings on the inside of the dress where they belong. I was successful!
Here, I've sewn them all together and I'm reaching under the facing to pull the individual dress back pieces out through the facings. Looks like a weird glove, but it's not. Also, I didn't realize how hairy my arms are! I should take a loofa to them.
Once I had turned the dress right-side-out, I put it on the dummy to ascertain how I should fasten the side seams together. It all worked out as I had imagined.
I pinned the dress (linen) side seams together and continued pinning down the sides of the lining, catching the black facings in with the lining. Then I sewed all down the sides of the dress and the lining in one go.
Rather than top stitching around the facings, I under-stitched them so they would lie flat and not creep out from under the dress. There's more under-stitching in a minute.
Once I got all the pieces of the dress sorted out, I put the zipper down the back, leaving the facings and lining free. Once the zipper was in, I sewed the bottom of the back centre seam on the lining and hand sewed the edges of the lining to the zipper tape, enclosing the raw inside of the dress in the lining. I've also hand sewed the hem but still have to tack the lining to the dress at the one side seam split I left for freer walking.
I decided I would go ahead and make unlined pockets for the jacket. I had a couple of small pieces left over - scraps really - and just enough for pockets.
Ironing those rounded corners can get very tricky without burning your fingers so I hold down the fabric with pins, do an initial press and then take the pins out and press the pockets and pound them with a clapper.
After the pockets were sewn onto the jacket, I sewed on the black facings. The jacket is considered to be unlined, but it does have a little bit of lining at the front and a bit around the back of the neck.
Here, I am under-stitching the jacket facing. I am using black thread top and bottom so it doesn't show any red on the black linen facing. I switched to red thread for the part around the back of the neck. The spot shown here is where those seams meet at the shoulder.
Now, I have basted the lining and facing bits to the jacket at the armholes, in preparation for inserting the sleeves. I have also flat felled all the seams that will show on the inside of the jacket, including the sleeves, even though I wouldn't roll the sleeves up or anything. I just like to know that when I take off the jacket, if someone sees the inside, it will be as nicely finished as the outside. The hard part left is finishing the armscye seams with the flat fell. I've done it before - that's why I know it's difficult.


Sarah j said...

Thanks Julia for sharing all these steps, very helpful for us home sewers trying to visualise pattern instructions.
I hope you get your outfit finished on time...would love to see you in the finished ensemble.

Terri said...

It's looking good! I can't wait to see the whole outfit with the jewelry and everything.

Anna said...

I've never heard of understitching before. It looks great!

JuliaR said...

Thanks Sarah J and Terri. I just have to remember to take a camera with me!

Anna, if you do a search of my blog for "understitching", you should get a few hits like this one:
and there are more photos to follow there. It's a great tool if you don't want to topstitch.

Sew Passionista said...

Julia,I'm so looking forward to seeing the outfit finished. It looks beautiful so far. I love the colour and the print!

RaincoatGirl said...

Hi Julia,
This is really good work, how you have explained every step...though I would have loved to see the final output.Linen by itself has high natural luster and it must have looked great in red!