|The Bishop Method of Clothing Construction, by Edna Bryte Bishop|
While I was at the fantastic Value Village in Seattle, I came across this vintage sewing book from 1966. At the fabulous low price of $2, I of course snatched it up, along with the Singer Sewing Book. Both are chock full of useful sewing tips and techniques, as well as more advanced topics such as tailoring suits and reupholstering sofas. As I was reading through the Bishop book earlier this week (yes, I have now switched over to reading sewing texts instead of SF/F), I came across this interesting section, entitled "Fabrics suggest their own techniques."
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Gosh, I wish I had seen this before I started my Promaballoona dress! Perhaps then my fabric would have suggested that I not sew it into a formal dress. Hah! As if I would have listened to it. But just for kicks, I thought I would go through the little list of questions and see what my fabric would have said.
|You can see how ripply and sheer the curtain panel was. |
And is that just a huge, exceedingly plush, discolored starburst, or is it Walnut??
- I think a glass of wine might have been the special help I needed for cutting that cursed fabric. As it was, Walnut helped out as a pattern weight.
- I didn't mark the sheer piece at all, which might have explained why my pieces didn't match up. I used my washable marker for the lining, which seems like a bad idea in retrospect, seeing as how I don't know how to even wash this dress. Also, it was marked (temporarily) by Gummy's drool.
- The underlining was definitely necessary, so at least in that respect I let the fabric speak and I listened. I'm actually really pleased with how the lime green lining adds a certain depth and brilliance to the otherwise dull green net.
- My mom's machine actually had a very difficult time sewing through the plush sections of the curtain. I have a sneaking suspicion that the presser foot presses a lot more than my machine at home, as my fabric gets more bunchy and it seems to get stuck when the layers of fabric are thick. If I had had a walking foot or some way to adjust the pressure, I think it might have done better with the plush.
- At least I figured out that fewer pieces, and therefore seams, was the best idea for this combination of fabrics. Just two bodice pieces and three skirt pieces, but even then if I hadn't been so dead-set on pockets, I think a giant one-piece skirt would have worked better.
- THE SEAM FINISH WAS NEEDED. BOY WAS IT NEEDED. And ignored, on that center back seam. Sigh, I suppose I should finish it before I move back to LA, since the green thread belongs to my mom. Not that that really matters, though, considering that my seam bindings are every color but green. Yikes, I can feel my blood pressure rising just thinking about the insides of that dress.
- The darts weren't exactly bulky, just bubbly. So I was actually right in lowering the back neckline so as to avoid the back neck darts! Hmmm, maybe the fabric was talking to me, I just didn't realize it!
- The nice thing about underlining is that I didn't have to worry so much about my catch-stitching being uneven/not quite invisible. Unfortunately, the net is sheer, so it's still somewhat visible, if you look closely at it. But really, who's going to be looking at my hem, right? Please tell me that no one will look at the hem! *pleading look*
- I shudder to think of making buttonholes on this fabric combination. Thank goodness I
didn't decidethe fabric told me not to put buttons anywhere.
- The lining fabric was so slippery and fraytastic that I decided not to use it for facings. Instead, I used a sturdy cotton (Pochacco) bedsheet. Excellent choice. *pats self on back* Oh, oops, I meant *pats fabric for speaking truth to me*
Do you usually let the fabric tell you what to do? Do you listen to what it says, or do you just charge ahead with your own ideas, only to regret it later, like I did?