Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Fortuny coat

While I wait for the top to finish drying, I have been working on the coat.

The fabric is a silk/rayon velvet from Mood fabrics - I was nervous about the hand since I only had the small swatch, but I'm very pleased with the combo of weight and flowy-ness.  It's a bit scratchy, so I'm glad that I have the silk to line it with.  I need to test that out actually, to make sure that the scratchiness doesn't make it through the thin layer of silk!

Pattern is New Look 6378 with 2 inches added to the sleeves, and cut off at the length I wanted (below my bum)..

I matched my two front sides and the sleeves and everything!  I messed up a little on the back by centering it between the two main motifs rather than having one line of motifs going straight up.  Ah well.

Close up - gold is the velvet, silver is some sort of paint.  That's the part that is a little scratchy.  The inside fabric is fine - I'm just worried about the seam allowances.

Somewhat true-to-color comparison of the dress with the coat.  Coat looks a little less yellow in person.

Was also realizing that it would be quite easy to add pockets to this.  I need to either do that or make a matching clutch.  I have enough left over to do either.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Top hemmed and pleating (drying)

The top is all sewn up, all buttonholes made, all hems and topstitching complete!  I wrapped it, squished it and soaked it last night, and it's now drying in the basement right behind the dehumidifier.

Some shots:

View of the neck opening, with one set of top buttonholes/eyelets.  On bottom of channel, there is a similar, machine-sewn buttonhole underneath each of them.  I have quite a few options for how to string the whole thing up!  But I still haven't found a good cord yet.

View of armhole.  Armhole seam allowances were just turned twice and topstitched before dealing with the shoulder, and you can see that the casings along the shoulder (on the right of the photo) are open so that the cord can come out and be tightened/tied/beaded/etc.

In this view (folded along center to fit on countertop), you can see the curved hem I cut.  I was really worried about hemming this, but a turn once/stitch, turn again/stitch, approach gave me a reasonably unpuckered hem that I'm pleased with.  Side seams are open about 3" from hem.

Cording and beads are giving me headaches.  1mm silk cord is pretty, but too thin for the top gathering job.  And the 1mm size is already too big for the beads I'm looking at!  The only beads that have bigger holes are pony-bead style stone and glass beads - they may work but I"m a little concerned they will look too much like cheap plastic pony beads.  They are definitely not cheap. 

Monday, November 5, 2018


For my own benefit (if I try to do this again) I sketched up a diagram of how I'm constructing the top.  Here I've tried to indicate where I've made openings (generally involves turning the seam allowance twice and topstitching) and channels for cording, with color-coded cords to indicate how they will go.  I have hand-worked eyelets on top and machine-sewn buttonholes on the inside of the garment, right below.  I expect I will want to draw the shoulders really tightly, so the cord for that will go up from the sleeve opening to the neckline, loop through the lower (inside) eyelets, and then come back out where they can be tied at the shoulder.  The neckline cord will come out at the upper eyelets and be tied there, probably dangling to the back.  If I don't like that, I can always thread on some beads and then send them back inside.

I want to cut the bottom edge to be curved, but am anxious about hemming that curve.  I have almost no spare material, either.  I guess that's a good thing?  Very ancient world of me.  I'll try to do it on one of my small scraps and then if I go for it, there will be some crossing of fingers.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Fortuny - oh my goodness, so worth it!

So - I just didn't know what this would look like once it was unfurled.  I waited until it felt dry on the plastic tube (left it over a heater vent) and then ran a hot iron over all the pleats a few times.  This morning, I undid the string and had a look.  First photo is still inside out - I'd figured that it was somehow better to "protect" the surface although I'm not 100% sure that mattered at all.

Here is the sleeve for the waistband elastic, now turned right side out.

It feels amazing when on.  I wish it was a teensy bit longer, but I definitely wasn't going for the original Fortuny style, which pooled on the ground.  I don't have a picture, since I don't have a shirt yet!  I did try on my top rectangle to at least see what the length was looking like, and I THINK I have plenty of link to make it dip upwards in the center front and back, like some of the originals did.  I'm going to just go for it.

One note - I made this from Mood fabrics "china silk" line, which is 100% silk, but significantly cheaper than most of their other silks.  I think the originals were made from silk charmeuse or something shinier.  I wasn't ready to commit to that price point for this (which is just kind of a crazy boondoggle), but I think that I might really just go for it on the next item.  I think there will be a next time! 

But first - I have to make a final decision on shoulder treatment.  I'm sewing the rectangles together for 1/3 on each end and am then turning the seam allowances twice and stitching so that I have channels for cording.  This will (as for the skirt) allow the whole thing to return to a basic, pleatable, rectangle in between washings/pleatings.  But - I still don't know if I want to have the shoulder and neckline cords be separate, and, if so, how to bring them from the channel out to the surface.  Some form of eyelet on the top side, or gap in the casing stitching on the bottom side.  I'm leaning towards a gap for the shoulder cord and hand-sewing eyelets for the neckline (i.e., 4 total) since I'm afraid that 8 eyelets, with 4 clustered closely together, will look weird.