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Just Shoot Me Now

Hoooray for a day off!

Of course, I spent most of my day editing and updating my webpage.

No, the updates have not been uploaded to the Web yet, but I have hopes that they will be soon. The major update is the new section regarding coifs. And of course, drafting documentation for a competition is completely different than the format you want for an online article; not to mention that I have a lot more pictures to add, and that takes time.

But I am making progress and that's what counts.

On the other hand, I have been making a valiant effort to finish those projects that I had started and that I had never finished. One of those is the French burgundy monstrosity that has been lurking in my sewing room for the past 2.5 years, mainly because:

a) I needed to finish the farthingale;
b) Working on the farthingale is a pain in the ass;
c) After making Wilhelmina's farthingale, I wish I had used satin instead of silk broadcloth for the aforementioned farthingale;
d) I foolishly picked velvet to make the channels (did I mention I hate working with velvet?); and
e) I was avoiding the question of "Did I make said channels wide enough?"

And that's only the farthingale. In regards to the actual gown:

a) The doublet fits me beautifully. I just wish I had not used silk charmeuse. I had to line this sucker like crazy, which brings us to . . .
b) The skirt of course is of the same silk charmeuse. Charmeuse is slinky. I have to line it like crazy to stiffen it and that in itself is a pain in the ass;
c) I am terrified that once I finish the skirt, I will put the velvet guard and it will look weird, what with velvet being incredibly heavier than the silly charmeuse; and
d) What if after all this work, my skirt looks like crap because I used the lighter type of silk, no matter how much I line it?


At any rate, I did finish the farthingale, and it fits me beautifully. Yes, finishing it was a pain in the ass but it is finally done. And no, I have no plans for making another one. This will be the farthingale and no messing.

Those are the good news.

Now, I am faced with the prospect of making the skirt, and pray to the patron saint of seamstresses that the lining works; that it doesn't get funky on me; and that it looks good after I apply the guards.

Otherwise, I will a) scrap the project altogether; b) salvage the silk and make myself a kickass 21st Century cute slinky dress; d) purchase the appropriate material and start another one all over; and d) save the doublet as a reminder of not trying to use the wrong material for a project.

And if anyone asks me why I didn't use satin, the answer is: Real silk satin is much pricier than silk charmeuse. However, to be honest, at this point a good quality bridal (gasp!) poly satin would have done a much better job than the silk charmeuse which needs to be treated to death in order to make it behave properly. Or a dupioni. Not the ideal material, but anything is better than silk charmeuse.

(Good gravy! I think I'm going to get my Pearl license suspended!)

Oh well, live and learn.

In the meantime, I shall make a valiant effort to finish this sucker. If I don't like it, I will dissasemble the skirt and it will be goodbye 16th Century gown, welcome Va-Va-Voom! 21st Century dress.

Sometimes, you just have to cut your losses.

Belfebe out.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 19th, 2008 06:34 pm (UTC)
Were you planning to interline the skirt in addtion to or in lieu or lining it? That way the velvet guards will pull on the silk and the interlining fabric (more sturdy) rather than just the silk. Another option is to make the guards from something lighter than the velvet.
Feb. 19th, 2008 07:22 pm (UTC)
Well, I was planning on lining it or interlining it with muslin, linen being too heavy for so much fabric at this point (although I may yet add that). My problem is that the silk is very slinky, and if the interlining is sewn into the silk, it may deform it too, pulling and twisting. It will never be the exact shape as the silk piece because the silk "moves." When hanging, it may not hang along with the silk and it may get baggy.

As for guards, the velvet is the exact color of the silk and it is gorgeous. I am really torn about not using it. My other option would be another firm but lighter fabric, but I am afraid that it will still pull, and it is still too light and unstructured.

I am really, ready to scrape the whole thing off. *Sniff*

Edited at 2008-02-19 07:23 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 19th, 2008 07:25 pm (UTC)
Yes, and if the boned Italian doublet had not fit so beautifully, I would have not been so heartbroken. Sigh. :-(
Feb. 19th, 2008 07:42 pm (UTC)

Spray starch?

actually you *could* starch the silk with rice flour & water to help control the slink factor. (fill tub with hot water, add 1-2 boxes of fice flour, soak, remove from bath, *don't* rinse, dry & iron) Becareful how you iron - always with the grain, never on an angle. You are trying to make it as square as possible.

Flat lining is a REALLY GOOD IDEA. Best thing to use would be silk organza (Dharma is good priced- be sure to get the same width or wider than your charmuse.) - just get white or black, whichever is closer to your color. You have to hand stitch it together on a VERY FLAT SURFACE to make it work right, but it does work. Did it all the time in Theatre. The organza takes the weight of the garment. it also allows you something to stitch the hem to so it doesn't show on the front.

**you MUST use silk organza. Poly Organza just makes it worse.

Call me later if you need a verbal.
Feb. 19th, 2008 07:55 pm (UTC)
I like the flatlining with organza. I just ordered it. Very good price from Dharma.

I wanted this sucker for KASF, but I don't think that is going to happen. However, if this works, it will be worth the trouble.

Thanks a million!
Feb. 19th, 2008 07:57 pm (UTC)
I am in the middle of my own farthingale project and I remembered when you showed me yours...mine is linen, with self-casings, as I clearly remember the horror you described. :) This will be my third farthingale. Can somebody tell me why, when I only wear one every other year or so?

(Rhetorical question, of course I know why! You need the big one, and then you need the smaller one, and then you need the fancy one, and then you.... ack! make it stop!)

Not to mention the fact that I am a champion at accessorizing first and making the outfit later.
Feb. 19th, 2008 08:02 pm (UTC)
Ahhhh, but accesorizing is not optional. And the right farthingale makes the outfit, so you are in the right track.

Of course, I say that I won't make another one, but then I know myself. Before I know it, I'll be looking at that elusive satin one, and the smaller one, and the one with . . . Gah!
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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