Thursday, December 23, 2010
According to Karl Largerfeld (as quoted in October BurdaStyle which has ONLY JUST arrived here), you are either born with style or you are not. I can almost imagine him sighing whistfully as he added, "it's unfair."
I think style is on a cline. Some people have oodles of it and are way down one end, some have next to none and are down the other. All the rest (of which I include myself) are somewhere in the middle - good days, bad days, successes and failures some great looks, some not so great.
Although I admire stylish people tremendously I do not feel great envy that I am not in their camp. I am much more interested in following ideas though, and as I have said before, I have a soft spot for ugliness and frumpiness that will never see me looking sharp and chic. That's the way I like it. I would never in a million years pay a consultant to tell me how to dress.
All of this is a long winded way of saying that I was drawn to this fabric, a silk crepe, because of its ugliness. The colours I knew would suit me, but this fabric had an unpleasant nannerish quality that repelled a lot of people (hence on the sale rack) but suckered me in.
While I was flicking through some summer back issues of Burda I kept coming back to this dress, although I had a lot of doubts about the pattern, my instinct was to give it a shot.
Because silk crepe is very slippery I had to take a lot of care on what would otherwise be a very straightforward pattern. I stabilised the neckline with bias strips of interfacing cut from the pattern measurements to hold the neckline and stop any gaping, and I interfaced where the zipper was going in to firm it up. I also did some hand basting, which is the most effective way I know to tame slithery fabric. I didn't even toy with the idea of french seams, because I didn't make a muslin and so wanted to be able to alter the seams quickly and easily.....there, I've relieved you of the torture of impeccable finish but an overlocker (serger) is plenty good enough for me.
The one regret I have is that I didn't hand baste the sleeves. Because they were set in the round I was lulled into a false sense of security that there was not too much easing required but they are not sitting flat which means there was far more curve in them than I thought. Never mind - who's looking at my shoulders with a neckline that low?
This pattern was designed to be an apres beach cover up and its relaxed style meant I felt no guilt at all at using a rolled hem finish on the sleeves and hem. (rolled hem: right needle 4, top looper 4, bottom looper 6.75, width medium, rolled hem setting length 1.25) Yes very low end ready to wear but once I'd decided to neaten the edges on the overlocker I was well on the way of that slippery slope called nice'n'easy construction.
So that's my very last sewing achievement for this year. I am off to Nelson for Christmas to bully my sister into letting me help her sew a dress. She wants to sew it herself blog friends, and she doesn't want to do a FBA but insists on making everything 2 sizes too big instead. I cannot allow that to happen, especially if beautiful fabric is going to be harmed in its making.