atrasado. behind schedule.

In my last post, inching forward, I spoke about being brave. That was a month ago. Unexpectedly, I was interrupted for an entire week after one of the kitties at the animal shelter where I volunteer bit me. For all concerned, it was an unhappy situation. My friend reminds me that thank goodness the cat didn’t bite a child. My prayer, to be guided and protected, was answered. I have recovered and am back to work. But I am behind schedule.

photo of bodice on model

The bodice, with new sleeves that I must admit I LOVE, finally has the shape I want. People close to this project know how long success with this eluded me. The embroidery to come will alter it a bit. However, the embroidery enhances the bodice, it does not make the bodice.

Now my focus turns to the overskirt. Aye, there’s the rub! Picture this: I have a pattern for the underskirt (done in turquoise goods) and I must cut it apart to only put it back together in an entirely NEW shape.

photo of skirt progress on modelBut it is a beginning. And beginnings are good.

I make a start. My pace slows when my mind struggles with the undoing and the redoing. I tell myself, Keep going. Take breaks. Love the process. And notice, once in a while, from whence you’ve come. Progress!

xo, Nancy

inching forward.

photo of bodice on model 1The bodice, basted and taped (yes, taped with Scotch tape to hold the pleats), with sleeves….

On Friday, I stitched it together and then ran away. Literally! I couldn’t look. I set the little bunch of fabric that was now a bodice with sleeves on the ironing board, turned off the light, and left the studio.

Would it fit? Or would I have to start over? 

All over. Again.

 

close-up photo of bodice on model

Today I am feeling brave. I adjust the layers and try the bodice on my model.

Yes, there are problems. I have to undo the basting for the sleeves and reset the yoke. I should adjust the fit along the right side. But I can take each step as it comes. That is not as overwhelming as starting over.

So, I am inching forward. Bit by bit. Pleat by pleat. Stitch by stitch.

xo, Nancy

life. in pleats.

photo of pattern drafting with pencil and rulerOn to the bodice. I need to find the best way to re-create the pleats in this gown, first in the bodice, and, later, in the skirt. I have traveled this path before. And I gave up. I want to give up again because I keep trying and the solution is just not coming. Draft. Fit. Redraw. Fit. Take a break. Rework. Consider. Think.

Instead of sewing in little spaces of time that present themselves, I turn my attention to finding a pet sitter for Chloë and rearranging all the files in my office. I watch hair styling tutorials on YouTube.

Now it has been several days since I had the fabric in my hands. Resistance is strong, trying to win.

So, before I start work today I do two things. I procrastinate. And then I call a couple of friends who understand. I announce to them that Resistance will not win. Not today.

I set aside drafting and move on to draping the bodice fabric. If I could cross my fingers, I would. But that makes it really hard to sew.

Finally, progress!

And a text from a friend: “Sloth doesn’t sound as elegant as procrastination. Just saying…”

O, dear. So true! I just want everything to fall into place. Pleats as a metaphor for life! Things don’t just fall into place, not without action. I’m grateful I fought resistance and sloth last week and made a phone call. I love our new pet sitter! The files are another story. But my husband says my hair looks great and I actually made some progress today with my sewing project. Without action, there could be no progress, however slight. Just saying…

xo, Nancy

photo of under bodice

photo of fabric draped on model

 

another photo of draping fabric on model

photo of draped and basted bodice

 

photo of front and back bodice pieces ready to sew

one little petticoat

photo of tulle layers basted together

It has been a month since I last spoke about the woes of tulle.

To add to my woes, lurking self-doubt and a wicked sore throat slowed my pace.

photo of doll-size petticoat on work surface

Now I’m happy to say that the plan to baste the layers of tulle together worked! Even with that preparation, the tulle still shifted. Next time, I might cut the pieces of tulle larger to account for the shifting during the process of basting and the required trimming afterward.

With the help of some of my favorite tools ~ in this case the rotary cutter aligned with a T-square ~ I trimmed the tulle. With a nice, even edge, I was able to stitch the tulle to the organdy yoke.

photo of doll-size petticoat

The result pleases me. I’m still reflecting on the delays that hold me back from moving forward with creative projects. Most of all, it is Resistance. I know about it, what brings it up.

I found two books on the subject that are really good. One is Creative Thursday; the other The War of Art. I wish my courage to work through Resistance wouldn’t take quite so long.

Maybe next time.

photo of doll-size petticoat on doll

 

 

 

tulle. and patience.

Alas! the tulle petticoat is still a dream.

DSCN2411

After I had successfully cut the eight layers of tulle to the measurements, I reacquainted myself with the unique properties of this fabric. Exactly what I said last time we visited.

Lighter than air and hard to pin down.

Slippery, with a will of its own.

photo of my hands working with the fabricNearly invisible.

I set about adjusting the layers and pinning them together so that they would lie one on top of the next, like a stack of paper.

Paper would have behaved! This is like stacking spider webs.

I basted the layers together, along one long and one short side by hand. Hmmm! Imagine my excitement! I felt on top of the world! Things were going swimmingly.

(Dost thou sense it? To what dark place is the seamstress headed?)

photo of my hands pulling the gathering threads

I used the longest stitch on my machine and sewed two rows of gathering stitches.

So far, so good. The next step was to pull the threads and reduce the length of one long side to mere inches.

photo of gathered tulle

Almost there. Wait for it!

Ahhhh! The gathering held! Ready to pin and baste the skirt to the yoke (that bit of curved fabric to the right of the skirt).

Nope. With the end in sight, I discovered that success was but a dream.

One of the layers of tulle had evaded the basting thread back in step 1. There was nothing to do but take out the gathering stitches and begin again.

This time I have a new plan for the basting. It will take longer. But that is the way with tulle.

DSCN2421

 

 

‘Life is all about how you handle Plan B.’ (Author Unknown)

xo, Nancy

 

 

 

eight layers of tulle

Tulle. Defined on dictionary.com as thin, fine net made of nylon, rayon, acetate, or silk.

Not included in most definitions is that it feels like whipped egg whites. I find it prone to static electricity, hard to cut straight, turns on itself, sticks to me, sticks to itself (along the cut edge), and needs protection from my iron with a press cloth.

clip art photo of bride

For those of you who recognize the term tulle, you know this frothy fabric from evening dresses, wedding veils, and fancy hats.

Not to be confused with netting. Netting has a coarser weave and stiffer hand.

photo of blue and turquoise ball gownMy commission, to create a replica of a ball gown worn by my client (the ivory and turquoise gown in the photo on the left) for a doll that is one-quarter her size,  requires an eight-layer petticoat to hold its shape. The original had eight layers of netting.

For any replica I’ve made, an important rule stands. As the size of the garment shrinks so must the scale of the fabric used. The scale for this project is 1:4, so netting is not right.

This brings me to my Sunday project, sewing eight layers of tulle to create a replica petticoat to be worn underneath the replica of the lovely, beaded ivory and turquoise gown.

Frothy, mind-of-its-own, white tulle.

My ALL DAY Sunday project!

xo, Nancy