Tuesday, June 9, 2009

so close

Okay, so I've had this pattern for a little over 2 years and I've had this fabric since we lived in Hawaii..ahem, 8 years ago. On one of our trips to Maui from Moloka'i I managed to get myself into a huge fabric store and I just couldn't live without the Asian inspired fabric. If you're wondering...I have no idea what the writing says. If anyone can tell me I'd really appreciate it. With my luck it'll say something like -this fabric makes you look as wide as a barn- or -you're ugly and so is your dress- Sheesh, I'm really hoping that it says something nice. I digress...I've used little bits of this fabric that I love on some small projects over the years but my original intent was to make a dress for myself. So two years ago, when I purchased the pattern I cut out the pattern pieces and pinned it to my fabric. And there it sat...for a long, long time. Then, last summer I cut out the fabric and started working on the bodice. Lining, interfacing, curves, sleeves....all very intimidating. So once again, there it sat for a long, long time. Well, over the past year I have sewn a lot more and gained more and more confidence with each successful project. Oh sure, I have a closer relationship with my seam ripper now, but the relationship with my trusty pink Singer is rock solid. She has her days just like everyone else, but if I use good thread and keep her oiled and clean she hums along very happily. Anyhoo, after making my shirt back in April...and loving it...I've been wanting to finish my dress. So here it is. It's not quite finished though, but so close.

What's the hold up? Well, uh, the zipper. Zippers are scary, man! I'm using a dark blue thread because I like the little contrasting details. However, when I tried to put in the zipper it was all pucker-y and ugly. Enter-seam ripper. I tried a couple of times but it just wasn't working. I did try on the dress with the ugly zipper stitching and it fits perfectly! Seriously...I love it! I can hardly wait to wear it. Oh, you want to see it on me? I'd like to wait until it's done before I show it to you. Do you mind? Can you wait? I promise I'll try to finish it really soon...all I have left is the zipper and the hem. For the sole purpose of remaining sane, I hand stitched the zipper in place with the hope that it will look absolutely perfect when I machine-sew it in. But it's a 22" zipper and it's putting up a fight. So I have an idea....and your opinions and sewing knowledge would be greatly appreciated. I have seen a Japanese embroidery style called Sashiko...ever heard of it? Well, anyway, it's pretty much a running stitch that was used to reinforce clothing, but now it's used for quilting and for decorative details on clothing. So my idea is to use the sashiko style running stitch around the hem, around the sleeve edging, and around the zipper, neckline, and v-neck front and maybe, even possibly around the empire waist. Remember, I'd be using embroidery floss unless I'm lucky enough to find sashiko thread which is just a little thicker. The running stitch would be small so it wouldn't be really obnoxious or anything. I'm feeling like it would help with my zipper insecurities and add to the oriental-ness of the fabric. So? What do you think? Should I try it? If you want to see a few sashiko projects to get a better sense of what I'm aiming for you can go here and take a look. You can also click over to The Purl Bee for a wonderful explanation of the tools and techniques used to get the desired effect, as well as a fabulous tutorial.
And because I can't have a post without a picture of the girls...here they are on our Saturday outing to the local urban farming co-op checking out the wonderfully vocal hens and the very stylish rooster. I love me some chickens! I love me some sweet little girls, too!
Happy Tuesday! I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the dress. xo-ANG


Anonymous said...

Nice! I think I know someone who has the matching purse.... Okay-suggestions...is your needle fresh-sharp, large enough? It sounds like maybe it isn't feeding evenly under the foot. I don't think I have ever had one, but there is a zipper foot for some machines.
You are welcome to borrow my machine if you like or think it would help--also I would happy to take you to the quilt shop and ask one of the ladies who I know can sew anything to give you some suggestions. They may also have the thread or know where to find it.
It looks great so far!!


Rebekah said...

I will never use a regular zipper unless I absolutely have to. Instead, I always use invisible zippers!! They "look" scary because they're installed totally differently BUT they come with directions that, when followed carefully, will result in a beautiful and easy (once you get the hang of it) result.

You would have to take out the back seam to use an invisible zipper, because they are installed first before the seam. I know that might be a pain at this point. But at least consider trying it out sometime on another project - you'll never go back to regular zippers, I'm tellin' ya!

Kim Yeatts said...

I don't know anything about zippers, but I know you will look fantastic in that dress. Make sure you post a photo with it on you!
Saw Tim today on his way back to work from lunch. Sam and I were on our way back from a lunch date at subway. We shared a 5 dollar foot long. It was yum.

Anonymous said...

Sorry I can't help you with the translation or the zipper...I know what you mean about scary and zippers, though. Also can relate about the length of time to get something done. Hope you conquer the zipper and we see you in your new frock.