Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Post in Which I'm Grateful for Specialized Feet

Oh Specialized Presser Feet, how I love you. How you make my sewing life easier. Oh how much money I'm willing to spend on you to make my life easier. Oh how I need another rack for my accessory case to contain you all!

Today's post is brought to you by my Rolled Hem Foot, my new Gathering foot, my 1/4 inch guide foot, and soon, hopefully, my bias binding foot!

Being sick has had some advantages and some disadvantages. It set me back a week weight loss wise (but I'm happy to say the pounds were gone as of this morning). But the prednisone made me hyper which means my house is now good and clean with all the dishes washed. And then I felt the need to make something!

I've told you of my geekier hobbies (sort of) but I came across this character design and set off to make the dress. I have no real feelings for the character, I just like ruffles! Oh, one on the right, in case you were wondering.

Here's where I ended on Friday. Since every layer was done the same, I figured going through the process of one layer was good enough. At this point, minus a ribbon in the middle, it looks suspiciously like one of my Anthropologie shirts. 

So, I measured myself in 4 different places (bust, hips, and the like) to see what circumference to make the dress. The plan being to essentially make a tube dress one layer at a time. So I did some math and cut about 7 inch wide 3 yard long strips of the chiffon and 8 inch wide strips the length of the circumference measurement of satin. I could have made the satin about 7 inches though BECAUSE...

after I attached each chiffon strip to the satin, I then needed to attach them to the previous piece underneath the organza on the satin. 

And I discovered that in order to get the ruffles to layer correctly, this meant sewing about 2 inches from the bottom of the satin layer. Kind of a fabric waste, but it works. 

Each layer of chiffon was first finished with the rolled hem foot. Then I used the gathering foot (which so far I like less than the ruffler) to attach it to the piece of satin, then, as pictured above, I pinned it to the bottom of the previous layer and sewed a 1/4 inch seam. 

But on the last layer (which was added because it was previously too short), I cut a 5 inch wide strip of the satin. Then I rolled that hem (I love that foot) and attached and gathered the chiffon. In case you haven't started to wonder: yes, that's one operation. It gathers one layer as it attaches to another. WOO. 

And this is what it looks like all done but still not quite a dress. 

And this is after I sewed up the side but not put in the zipper at the top yet. It also needs straps and a casing at the top.  But I'm very nearly done and it's only taken about 4 hours grand total. WOO. But without that rolled hem foot, can you imagine how long this would have taken? It's 5 layers that are 3 yards long each plus the about 40 inch long piece of satin at the bottom. I don't want to attempt to hem 16 yards of anything by hand. 

When it's all done and we take pictures, I'll show them off. And hopefully I will be 5 pounds lighter by then!

Oh and being able to cut across that big long table is just amazing. It's probably increased my productivity significantly because I didn't have to worry about getting up and down and could spread out. 

Off to dinner! Leave me a comment if I left out a step or you want a how to on any of the feet. 

EDITS: My mother felt the need to email me (at 8:30 on a MONDAY morning) that I had misspelled 'grateful'. She didn't give me any context though, so I politely corrected HER grammar. For the record, I'm an engineer, not an English teacher, so *sticks out tounge*. I'm also amused that she didn't catch the capitalization of "for" in the title, which would also be incorrect. Moral of the story: if you correct my grammar at 8:30 on Monday morning, I'm going to pick on you!

Also, it took reading another blog to go *d'oh* CHIFFON, not ORGANZA. Fail at me not remembering the right word. Organza probably didn't make a lot of sense. And if I recall correctly, it's silk chiffon from Denver Fabrics. So that's fixed as well now.

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