November 22, 2013

Slow and steady...

… wins the race. Or so they say…
Progress on the green crepe dress has been slow and steady. It seems like I have to agonize over every detail with this one. 

By now, the outside of the dress is fully assembled. Cutting the cowl/center from bodice from a different fabric allowed me to cut the dress from the green crepe I had without compromising skirt flare or sleeve length. It also allowed me to make a very full cowl shape with pleats and to cut a full lining for the front bodice on it. Which is practical because you very easily get to see the inside of a cowl. I had my doubts about using satin (even though this is a silk one) on account of its thin-ness and shine, but I'm glad I did. I could only do the lining-thing because it's so thin and the shine, confined as it is to just a small part of the dress, is actually fairly chic.
The green wool crepe is joy to work with. Soft and drapey and easy to mold into shape but not so much so that pieces lose their shape the moment they are cut. I love it.
Someone warned me in the comments to an earlier post about wool crepe being scratchy but her experience must have been with a different variety. This stuff pillow-y and soft with just a hint of that distinctive wool prickle.

Right now, I'm still not done obsessing over lining. Earlier in construction, I had already decided the fabric didn't feel scratchy to me and lining would make those long slim sleeves uncomfortably bulky and rigid. So, the sleeves and back bodice are unlined. I already explained the treatment of the front bodice. Now, I just have the skirt to worry about. I think I should line it because this fabric will cling to any tights or stockings worn under it if I don't. I thought I had enough of satin left over for a skirt lining (which will be a plain and straighter version of the skirt. just side seams, no insert) but the piece was just too short in one place. That's what you get for cutting anything, let alone a rather large double front piece, on the bias. 
I should dig through my stash. I'm pretty sure I've got some nice quality lining in the same colour as well. But the whole issue took the wind out of my sails again and now I'll be too busy with work until (at least) this Sunday…

Oh, and I thought about how this lining issue was dealt with in the past. You know, in the eras from which I take inspiration for a dress like this. My 1930's magazines only ever mention linings for coats or for visible details like draped necklines or scarves. In the 1950's lining the bodice wasn't unusual, lining the skirt was. Of course, all of this has to do with the changes in underwear. Ladies back then would have worn their dresses over a bra, girdle and full slip. With big fully petticoats thrown in for full skirted 50's dresses. 

I hope I'll finish my dress next week. Even if I can work on it a lot on Sunday, I'll probably leave it to hang for a few days before I hem it. Flared panels, wool crepe, bias hang...


  1. beautiful progress! This will be stunning! (already is) -Kimbersew

  2. So beautiful! Maybe forgo the skirt lining, and sew up a little vintage slip instead?

  3. Lovely fabric combination! I am very curious the final result!
    I know this lining issues.... always the same.