Monday, December 8, 2014

Part One Of The Challenge Project

When Sheri suggested working on a challenge project together, I immediately jumped on the idea. I like the way challenges can teach you to think outside the box and move in new directions. I'd just bought a lot - ten meters - of a nice quality knit in flat brown. It seemed the perfect fabric for concentrating on structure, line, and texture by using one fabric in one color.

I want the piece to grow organically, step-by-step so I am only making one decision at a time. The first was to stitch a section of tucks that would radiate out from the side seam in both the back and the front of...

... the dress. I'm using Vogue 1408 as the base. The curved lines are feminine and  flattering and the multiple pieces provide plenty of play room. You can just make out in the picture above a brownish section that curves out from the underarm and around to the hip. If you click through to the Vogue website, the technical drawing will provide a better picture. It's the piece with the 2 on it.

I started by cutting a piece of fabric longer and wider than the pattern piece keeping in mind that the tucks would not only shrink the vertical length of the fabric BUT... because I wanted them to radiate... they would create a curve fabric meaning I'd need a bigger piece than I thought to cut out the piece. I started with a horizontal line and then drew lines on either side that angled from 1" apart at the inside to 3/4" apart at the waist side. This was so subtle as to...

... invisible in the resulting piece. Next time, I'd make the variance a LOT more and possible even free form the tucks. I created four triangular sections like the one above - two for the front and two for the back.

When I was sampling how to stitch the tucked piece to the one next to it, I briefly sampled serging over the seams instead of the zigzag stitching I'd used. It may have worked back when I'd initially stitched the tucks, especially if I trimmed fabric while stitching but after the fact, the strip wouldn't travel cleanly through the serger and created bulky looking edges.

When I stitched the tucks, I folded on the chalk line and zigzagged over the fold. The needle skipped in numerous places. I tried a variety of ways to prevent that and none worked and so - oh well - intentional skips. Someone is bound to ask me how I did that - LOL

Sewing the tucked section cleanly to section next to it, required stretching the tucks out which distorted the edge considerably. It's NOT A PROBLEM. I put that in capitals because at one time I would have stressed out over this thinking I'd made a terrible mistake and how would I fix that when it doesn't need to be fixed. It's a factor of this type of tuck and simply needs to be...

... trued back into the seam curve. When I think of how many projects I threw out in frustration because they were less than perfect or not perfect-able, it could make me cry if I didn't realize that it was all part of the process. There are fatal mistakes but not too many any more. I've learned that there's a way to fix "it" - whatever it may be - if you're willing to think it through.

It took Thursday and Friday last week to stitch the tucks and put together the right and left front and right and left back sections - part one of the challenge project. On Saturday, I spent the entire day piecing center back. More on that later.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - embracing imperfection

Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.
- Marilyn Monroe


  1. Myrna that piece is looking good. What an excellent challenge you and Sheri cooked up! Looking forward to seeing more intentional steps!!!

    1. Thanks. I'm heading home in the morning and will probably spend the night somewhere and head over the mountains in the morning. Apparently it's been melting and is icy so I think that's the best choice. I'll have more pictures to post once I get there. The center back is FABULOUS.

  2. Wow - this is looking fabulous. Can't wait to see it finished.

    1. Thank you. I've got a solid beginning and I think it's going to come together well. VERY exciting.


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