Monday, March 4, 2013

How I spent a good chunk of my weekend ...

... although I have to laugh at myself.
Channeling the Dowager from Downton Abbey:
"What is a weekend?"

When one works for oneself, either every day is a weekend
or you never get a weekend.
Pick one.
The new "optimist" test.

Anyhow, first the picture:

That is 2 yards of some really exquisite silk chiffon
and beaded trim.

It's a simple cape I made for my daughter to wear
to a formal event we were attending as a family Saturday night.

Lelia hasn't had any need for formal wear,
with the exception of her gown worn when she was
the maid of honor at her BFF's wedding.
She did not want to wear that dress,
which is actually in one of the other bridemaid's closet at the moment.
They accidentally switched gowns when heading home
after the after party, for which they changed into something
much more casual and comfortable.

So at the last moment ... story of my life - procrastination,
which my daughter apparently inherited from me; one of our
lesser qualities which I certainly did NOT inherit from my parents ...
we went gown shopping.
Three hours later, we found a lovely, simple gown
that was a sample at a bridal shop on the "buy now" rack.

The dress was a beautiful golden color with a satin teal waist sash - 
and detachable spaghetti straps.
My daughter is a modest young lady so she was 
wanting something to put on top
but the bridal shop had nothing.

It was late, stores were closing, and we had no more time to shop
before the event.

So I did the next best thing ... I volunteered to make something.

I had to fabric shop while she was at school (she's a HS senior)
so I had to try to remember what it was like to be 18
when I went on the hunt for the right ingredients
to make a cover up that would give a bit of a boost
to the simple gown.

I found this lovely silk chiffon at Fabrique Fabrics which is
a local high-end fabric store in Plano, TX.
It was the perfect teal and it has a golden cast
on the surface ... I wonder how they do that!
I need to do some research.
Anyhow, the fabric was easy enough to find,
but the trim was another story.

A lot of beaded trim is heavy.
I was surprised at how heavy it is!
Those poor celebrities who wear those gowns
that are all sparkly with sequins and crystals.
Some of those dresses must weigh a ton!

Because chiffon is very light, and I wanted chiffon for its drape,
I had to be careful in the selection of trim.
So I pondered for probably close to 1/2 an hour
over all the options.
Fortunately, the store was not crowded so I had
two clerks at my disposal, one of them a gal
much closer to Lelia's age and not my own.
Much of the suitable trim would look great on a mature woman,
but I was outfitting an 18-year old.

The trim you see in the photo was one that was package 
in a plastic bag like a remanent.

It got a thumbs up from the young clerk
and Lelia liked it when she saw it.

So most of Friday evening and a good chunk of Saturday 
was spent hand sewing the trim to the bottom
of a very simple wrap.
I simply kept the fabric at its half-fold,
and because it was of excellent quality, it was on grain without fuss.
Two french seams at the sides and the bottom
was the selvages which I sewed with
Razzle Dazzle metallic thread (had to use the thread in the bobbin)
and using the blanket stitch on my sewing machine.
Because of the flimsiness of the silk chiffon,
the edges rolled so it gave the appearance
of a rolled hem.
Wasn't what I was aiming for, 
but it turned out OK so I left it alone.

I sewed in a simple hook and eye to close the cape
just above the natural bustline.

Lelia looked lovely.
And no, I did not get any pictures.
My eyes were so weary after all that hand-sewing
and I still had to get myself all dolled up to attend the event.
I was a bit zombified most of the night!

But working with the trim started a cascade of ideas
that are now running around my brain.

Shall I say: "Squirrel!" ???


Peggy said...

Please link up to my party here :)

Meg Hodson said...

Visiting from the GFC blog hop. Now following via GFC and Twitter. Thanks so much!

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