Sunday, 30 August 2015

Sewing in lace part two - threads, silk and more to decide

I guess this week's work with my dark blue lace pencil skirt can be described as one step forward and two steps back. On the forward part - I've decided, bought and had delivered the silk from Borovick! The colour is prefect, and will be just as beautiful on its own as a blouse.
Dark blue lace pencil skirt crêpe satin | www.stinap.com
I've also thread traced all the seam lines on both the organza and the lace.
Dark blue lace pencil skirt thread tracing silk organza | www.stinap.com
(Yes, I re-traced the lower dart.) Why all this thread tracing? Don't I have anything better to do?

Well, apparently not. I would say there are two reasons for this. One is definitely re-discovering Marina at Frabjous Couture and becoming equally green with envy of her couture sewing and equally hugely inspired to incorporate more couture techniques to my own makings.

The other is I have no idea what I'm doing with this skirt. I can't cut these fabrics with ordinary 1,5 cm seam allowance and think everything would be ok. Crêpe satin is a pain in the ass to work with, the lace is so heavy and every seam will be on show if I don't do something special. Thread tracing at least gives me the knowledge of where the seam lines are - or should be - , from both sides. Marking with tracing paper on lace is impossible, almost impossible on organza and I wouldn't want to risk the crêpe satin (and I would only have the markings on one side anyway).

And you should know by know that I like to sew by hand. So all seams and darts are traced with silk thread from my lovely sewing table.
Dark blue lace pencil skirt three layers | www.stinap.com
I do love both the hand and the colour of the final combination - the lace at the top, the inky blue-grey crêpe satin in the middle and the black silk organza at the bottom.

And the going back? Well, as I said, soutache lace is heavy. Will it start to sag and loose its shape? Should I (hand)sew it to the silk fabrics and treat all three as one layer? Another thing speaking in that direction is the insightful comment from Mary of Cloning Couture - won't the soutache fray? Mm, it might. It would help if I could burn all the ends, but the netting is in the way and melts faster than the soutache. So perhaps I have to give up the idea of overlapping... And that leaves me with rather bulky seams, and a bit too many darts...
Dark blue lace pencil skirt seam | www.stinap.com
And the lace isn't easy to press. Agony.

I had planned to do nothing but sew today, but it didn't turn out that way. Both because I was so tempted setting up my new laptop, but also because the sewing spirit's been lacking (I guess because I'm rather frightened of that soutache). Hopefully, I have renewed spirits on Wednesday. Tonight, I'll treat myself with Signé Chanel that I finally bought on DVD.
Signé Chanel DVD | www.stinap.com
I saw the first episode with some coffee this afternoon, and I've forgotten how good it is. You are actually there, in their ateliers! I saw it years ago when you still could see a high resolution version on YouTube, (due to copyright it was of course removed). Since then I've wanted the DVD but thought it was too expensive. And it still is, but it's not getting cheaper so... I also found a new - old - book on couture sewing - Sew the French Way.
Sew the french way by Line Jaque | www.stinap.com
I've always found it rather strange that most sources on couture sewing are from USA when in fact it origins from Paris. Vintage Couture Tailoring is the only European example I know of. Sew the French Way by Line Jaque is from 1961 but first published in French in 1956 as Le Savoir-Coudre de Femmes d'Aujourd'hui and will accompany me tomorrow on a night away with work (if I'm not too occupied at the spa facilities...)

I hope I wake up on Wednesday morning with a clear plan for the soutache. Now, chocolate and Chanel!

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