Yes, the dress was finished on time . . .
so that Granddaughter #2 could wear it on her very special day.
Here's a close up of the bodice:
(I had hoped that you'd be able to click on the photo to see the lace between the two groups of tucks, but Blogger doesn't want to co-operate.)
My favorite part of her outfit was the veil, something for which I can claim no credit whatsoever. It was made by a family friend for Granddaughter #1 who wore it the year before. Isn't that fabric gorgeous? My daughter-in-law says that her friend, who also makes vestments, mail ordered it. How I'd love to see the catalog!
And now it's time to confess. This is not the dress as I originally envisioned it. After buying 5 yards of white silk dupioni, after discovering new techniques for sewing with it, after learning how to alter the pattern for a custom fit, and especially after struggling with the washing and ironing issues, it became apparent that the learning curve was too steep for the time allotted. And this was one project that had to be finished on time.
So I ditched the silk and bought polyester satin at (blush!) JoAnn's.
Then the dress went together fairly quickly. I simplified the sleeve cuffs but otherwise left the pattern the way I'd planned. I wish, however, that I had made one other change. When I'd been planning to use the silk, I changed the skirt from a slightly gathered four-gore skirt with a curved hem to a dirndl with a deep, straight hem. I now think that the original A-line skirt would have been better suited to the fabric because the polyester satin was a bit too "springy" to be so tightly gathered.
The satin had its own problems, of course. For one thing, it had a tendency to fray even more than the silk. I used a serger to finish most of the seams and a product called Seams Great to finish the armhole. So everything was nice and clean inside.
My first invisible zipper went in without a hitch, thanks to Bernina's #35 foot. I think I'll use them more frequently from now on. They really are easier than regular zippers. No top stitching!
The dress had only two really visible problems. For some reason the sash kept riding up above the waistline despite the thread loops. The instructions said to place one end of the loops at the waist seam and the other 1 1/2" above it. Perhaps the one end of the loop should have been above the waist seam and the other below it. And, possibly due to the springiness of the fabric, the collar had a tendency to flip up a bit.
But my granddaughter seemed to like it which, as I reminded myself, is what was really important.
Making this dress has taught me a lot -- and not just about sewing. I realize now why having to switch my plans from stunning, heirloom frock to ordinary, nice dress upset me so much.
Although I do take a lot of pleasure in sewing for its own sake, I fear I'm also motivated by the show-off factor. The need to astonish others with my expertise and to inspire their admiration had begun to outweigh my original desire to please my granddaughter and to praise God with the work of my hands. Next time, I will aim for little less pride and a little more humility.