Saturday, April 30, 2011

White Out! (The beginning of my Ribbon Frock for the 2011 Gatsby Summer Afternoon)

I am in the throes of my next technical challenge=creating fabric by applying ribbon. I have been thinking about this project for years and while I am happy to be upon it just now, I must vent (a little).

A company from whom I have been ordering cuts for YEARS has done it to me again. They have discontinued a fabric critical to my purpose! Long ago, I planned this project for silk net I can no longer source. So, I have settled for silk net organza, which is a much more dense weave than I prefer, but it will have to do.

I pre-washed and dyed it using Jacquard Lumiere in Super Sparkle to get it as white as possible.

Below, you see my basting line to guide stitching Judith M's 7/8" petersham (in white) onto the silk. I will space each ribbon across the fabric 1/4" apart.

With this process, I am re-creating an effect I enjoyed in an original 1930's net evening gown per my Sept. 2010 post, which you can see Here . I will do so by cutting a similar gown on the bias of my ribbon fabric for the chevron effect-so essential in the 1930's streamline dynamic!

Here is the original 1939 inspiration:

Here is the pattern I am modifying for a sleeveless version of the ribbon frock:

5.9.11 Update

I have completed the ribbon on one yard of the organza cut:

It has a wonderful transparent quality!

6.14.11 Update

First (bodice back) is cut and darts are stitched. This is just the beginning of the labor-intensive stitching process!

6.21.11 Update

Photo shows the process of cutting the bodice front. The pattern calls for self-facing with a fold at center front, but I am cutting along that fold line with a 1/4" seam allowance so I can stitch a strip of ribbon with a like seam allowance of organza so the transparency between the strips of ribbon is not compromised:

Using bodice right front to cut the left front for perfect symmetry!>

Shows the ribbon facing stitched in place before turning:

Ribbon facing un-folded:

Shows the alignment of ribbons at the shoulder seam and 'band' effect of center front ribbon forming the collar in one with the bodice front.
I have yet to determine how to press these seams to maximize transparency.

The armseye bias will be white silk organza to maintain transparency.

Bodice front (before gathering). I stitched the ribbon onto the organza with white silk thread for a nicer finish on the bodice pieces as they are more readily viewed up close:


Heide at ApronHistory said...

Beautiful!Looks like a fun project. I love the affect of the ribbon on the bias. Stunning!

EvaDress said...

Thank you for commenting and the compliment, Heide.
The challenge in putting it all together is getting those ribbons to align just so on the bias skirt : )

M said...

That is truly amazing! Can't wait to see the finished result!

Relishedartistry said...

You. Are. Brave. I can't even imagine what it's like to try to do what you're doing--you must be a precision sewer!! I'm in awe! I can't wait to see how it all turns out!

Does the stiffness of the organza help you sew the ribbons on straighter, or would the silk net have been easier?

And I love that Jacquard dye. Did it dye evenly for you? How did you thin it out the dye? Isn't it thick?

Congrats again!!! Impressive!!!

barbe said...

that is SOOO amazing!! can't wait to see the finished dress!

EvaDress said...

Relished Artistry,

Thank you for your comments and questions.

First, I pre-washed the organza which meant all sizing was eradicated, so the stability is not there to help the ribbon go on straighter-I just have to really careful!

I preferred the silk net for how much more open (and therefore more similar to a bobbinet) than the organza is. The silk net would have been just as challenging as this washed/dyed organza!

I thinned the Jaquard super sparkle paint with water enough to immerse the total length of the organza cut. There is no stiffness from having used the paint this way as a dye when against so much water.

I have used Jaquard paint to dye before and there was more stiffness given the water ration I used in the project.

Gail said...

Just stumbled upon your blog - I love what you are doing here!

Radka said...

Oh my, that´s amazing, looking forward to see the completed dress. I admire your patience and preciseness!