The Story of the Dress – Part IV

Before I start this part of the story … my website is currently under construction.  You may find my artwork website by pasting http://www.hanamele.com/old/ into the search line!  Sorry for the inconvenience, but when construction is done, you will have an  easier time staying up-to-date with my blog and artwork.  You’ll also be able to easily order my art through PayPal!

Last weekend we made it downstate with the bodice, the skirt and the invisible zipper.  The goal was to sew the bodice to the skirt and put in the invisible zipper.  Well, that was accomplished, at least the first time through …

On the 8-9 hour drive down, I realized I wanted to put tiny piping between the bodice and the skirt.  At that point, I also remembered I had wanted to put the same piping at the top edge of the bodice, prior to all the beading I recently finished.  “Ah well”, I thought.  “I’ll just hand sew the upper piping on after we’re home.”  We drove to the fabric store to pick up the piping and the special invisible zipper foot.    Shopping turned into a scavenger hunt!  Three stores, numerous packages of varying white seed beads, bronze beads (both of which I remembered on the drive), silk thread, piping, polyester thread, sewing machine needles, hand sewing needles, beading needles, an invisible zipper foot and 2 1/2 hours later, we headed back to the apartment.

Upon arriving at the apartment, we ate lunch and said “See you later” to our men.  Out came the sewing machine and before I knew it, the bottom tiny piping on the bodice was in place.  How beautiful and what an elegant touch it made!  Next, I aligned and pinned the skirt onto the bodice.  The sewing commenced and to my dismay, I found a pucker off-side in the front!  I felt like I was back to my old 4-H projects ripping out the sleeve to get rid of that pucker.  I re-sewed and another tiny pucker showed up!

“Grrr, but no problem. I can do this …”  soon turned to, “good enough for now, I can readjust it when I get home.  Joan, remember the goal is to get it to fit Catherine.”   She tried it on and we oooed and awed looking at the result on Catherine in the mirror!  With the pins marking placement of the zipper in back, I began sewing the zipper in place with the invisible zipper foot.  “We are making progress,” I thought.  As I adjusted and moved the heavy weight of the satin skirt, to my horror I discovered a small 1/4″ smear of sewing machine grease!

“The cleaners should be able to get that out,” I told Catherine.  “If not, we have lots of beads to cover it!”  Being done in by a spot of grease and a pucker was not on my agenda!

Now, there is nothing like the feeling of a smooth zipper sliding easily up and down after its sewn in place; unfortunately, that was nothing like the feeling I was having.  The zipper started gliding fine, until it hit the thick seam of the bodice/piping/skirt.  “Damn …”  I thought.  “I should have trimmed that seam before sewing it in!”  As I continued to force the zipper down, it began to split open.  “Arrghh!!!”

Working the zipper pull back and forth, we managed to get it on track.  Catherine tried the dress on again.  She looked beautiful!  Seeing her in the dress at this stage (tiny pucker, tiny grease smudge and partially split zipper) made it all worthwhile and I knew these minor aggravations were nothing in the big picture.  I now knew where the zipper belonged for a good fit.  Pleased with the results thus far, we packed it up to be worked on another day.

Yesterday was that day!  While working at Art Works, I took Catherine’s dress as one of my projects; I ripped out the zipper and ripped off the skirt, show and telling the dress to friends who stopped by.  My dear husband came and took the bodice to the cleaners so they could work their magic on the grease spot.  Good news!  I called today, the spot came out and it’s ready to be picked up!

Working on Catherine’s dress is just like life; you do what you can, when you can, ask for and take help where needed.  Simply, keep on tweaking until you have the result you want.   I’m off to the cleaners!

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