Thursday, 29 October 2015

Dragon dress: Sewing

We had nine days to make the dress and the boards for the presentation. Nine days isn't a lot of time when you know every seam will be inspected and scrutinized - and it's not only sewing, things need to be ironed, cut, marked, overlocked and pressed, you have to sew zippers, hems, lining and handsew details, not to mention all the decoration this dress design called for.

During the last two weeks before finalization I always worked with this project. I made dragonscale smocking on the tube to and from school. When the school closed at nine in the evening, I sat at home and handstitched pearls a few hours before bed. Even when I slept, I dreamed about the dress.

I started handstitching pearls and pretties onto organza. By doing this, I don't have to wait with the embellishment until the dress is finished, and I can do a couple hours work each day. 

Dupion mounted on organza.

It was actually the first time I sewed anything in silk. (I thought the Victorian gown from last year was silk, but turns out it wasn't.) Silk dupion is a dream to work with, it presses so easily, but since I laid my pattern pieces so that the weft is diagonal, it frays like crazy. In addition I have to be super careful when I sew, otherwise the organza moves. I have taken up so many seams, and it irks me that I don't have time to hand baste everything together.

This was what it looked like after one day's work. There's a hidden zipper in the back, and the hip pieces are only pinned onto the doll. The colours proved to be hard to photograph, so please trust me, it looks okay.

Oh yes, low quality phone pics, but you can see what the dress looks like after I got the organza parts sewn onto it. On the bottom part of the prganza I have used a clear nail polish to seal it, and brushed on a gold metallic acrylic over. The colour of the organza and the dupion underneath, shifts wonderfully when walking in it.

Started sewing the embellishment on.

So. Much. Embellishment.
This is only the first layer of embellishment. The ultimate goal is to work it into the fabric, embroider around and make it look organic, like it's all one fabric.

And this is how far I got in nine days. There's still a lot left to do until it looks like I want it to, but for the moment it's presentable. 

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