So I’m working on the costumes again (seeing as the Ren Faire is next weekend).
Friday night’s main project was the sleeves on my dress. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I REALLY HATE SLEEVES. HATE. Easing them in is a royal pain, and in this case, there’s an under and over sleeve. Now the instructions told me to baste them together, then ease them into the bodice, but I hate unnecessary steps, so I just pinned the sleeve layers together, and then pinned them into the bodice. That went smoothly – surprisingly. No, what I failed to account for was the fact that I’m working on a table machine…a machine that does not have an arm that will allow the sleeve to roll around the stitching, making life much much easier.
Nope, I’ve got one of these:
when what you really want when working on a sleeve is one of these:
Machine that has a detachable arm for sewing curved pieces easily
So of course, I get one sleeve in with a minimum of agita (I had to run over one of the seam joints a few times because the allowance was off and was leaving a TEENSY hole in the underarm which would have driven me nuts) and move on to the next sleeve. I get it on the machine, and it jams about 1/2 inch in. I go to remove the fabric and have a minor attack bobbin situation (the one where you can pull the fabric away, but it looks like hell). So I sit back, rip it out, check the tension and the bobbin and prepare to start over. Thinking that it’s possibly because I was trying to start at the seam joint (so not just 3 layers of linen, but with the seams too) I move to a neutral point on the back of the shoulder seam. It jams again. This time in full blow attack bobbin form – took scissors to remove the fabric from the machine, then a good 5 minutes to clean out the screwed up thread from the seam. Okay, on to attempt number three – it jams immediately again. So I cut it loose and rip it out and pull the bobbin out. I stripped the bobbin (about half wound still) and rewind. Rewinding also being a pain because this is an old machine, so I wind my bobbins by hand. And yes I know they make bobbin winders, but why should I pay $30 dollars for something that takes me almost no time to do for free? Anyway, I reload, rethread and reset the machine – vowing to stop for the night if it jams again.
Thank God, I got the sleeve in. Now, in a panic, I decide to try it on so I can check that I actually managed to get the sleeves in correctly (mentally deciding that if they were wrong I was going to murder something or someone). I slip into it, and thankfully it was all good. Sleeves were in, they were even, and I have a feeling that the multi-layer is going to make me happy come the first weekend in October in Michigan.
After this lovely debacle, I decided to take a quick break before I rolled the collar and back seam where the grommets are going. Oh yes, that’s another thing. Burda, I love you and all, but why in all holy hells would I want to make BUTTON HOLES up and down the damned back and sleeves instead of using a grommeter and having a more secure tie??? I mean for real here. Button holes are WAY more time consuming and anger inducing, and I think grommets hold better. And frankly, I don’t give a rat’s ass if it’s not historically accurate – neither is my sewing machine (though there are days when it feels pretty close).
After the break, I took care of the collar and the back opening.
All I have left is the hem, grommets and then I’m done! And I guess I’ll trim Kris’ and give his hood its button…
Here’s where the dress is at as of Friday night:
All but the hem and grommets/cording are done!
You can see here where the back opening is for the grommets/cording.
I've lifted the oversleeve to show the lower. The grommets will be in the over, and then laced to close.
And of course I’ll post pictures of the final product, as well as Kris’ final product. Maybe even some pictures of us in them 😉