Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. Eleanor Roosevelt

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Yesterday I bounced off the ceiling with joy! 
You all know about this dress and some history. I know some of you are enjoying it as much as I am and I know some of you are as annoyed with the dress as I am. But I haven't let on my fears about the dress. 
I had one fear and that was about the front of the dress, in my opinion, the most important part. Well I finally faced my fear and ... it all worked out fabulously!
This weekend I spent hours finishing up that piping. 
I then decided to approach the undersleeves. What are undersleeves? Well they are the same as under garments and treated as such. 
Under garments were easier to wash than these big dresses. 

I rolled up my sleeves and I sat down at my sewing machine and I attacked a piece of linen till it looked just like the picture in my head. (I had just woke up from a power nap after dreaming of how the sleeves should look.) Needless to say, I was pretty proud of how they turned out. 
Remember the dress last week (just ignore my creative mess around the dress).
Now that I had tackled the sleeves, I HAD to do the front of the dress, darn!
There wasn't anything else to do to avoid it. 
You see, my Gold Nugget girl wanted a fancy lace up front. Her idea came from a blurry picture and I'd been trying to figure out how it worked since we started. I kept hoping she would change her mind. 
Besides the look she wanted, I had to figure out how it closed up the bodice.

It wasn't until we had a guest speaker at our guild last week who was a garment marker, (sorry I can't remember her name) that Pieces started to fall in place. It was then that I had a light bulb moment when the speaker said that it was better for garments with loop closures to loop together in opposite directions instead of all on one side. This would keep your garment from hanging lopsided. 
That light bulb popped! I now knew how the picture dress worked and how I was going to make my dress work. 

But I still was fearful. I was afraid of my loops looking unprofessional. And well, I'm not a professional. I just sew because I like it. But sometimes I just make up rules and pull ideas from a hat (I'm trying to use ladylike phrases here but that's not what I really said). 
I remembered that I had this funny tool from my Grandmother. 
I read the instructions several times before attempting to do those loops. In fact the house needed cleaning instead of making loops. 
Then after vacuuming, dusting, moping and lighting every smelly candle in the house ( I had to get rid of the boiled cabbage smell!) I sat back down and just did it.  
I made an empty sleeve from my piping strips. Easy so far. 
Then that tool said to tie it off, blah blah, then roll the tube over the end. Ok...
Not too bad. Every now and then I get hung up but it's working. 
I finally rolled the entire tube off the tool and gave it a bit of ironing. Ok, everything was still good.  
Then I made a piece of fabric for the front to cover that modern zipper! But I want that zipper to stay because it works so much better than the hooks and eyes. It just needs to be covered. This was going to be a faux loop closure. 
I cut my loop fabric into string bean lengths. They looked good enough to eat! 
I attached them. Everything is still going good. 
Added piping up both sides. Still good. 
Then I lined it up on the bodice front, very carefully!
Then I add some buttons and started to buzzing with happiness!
It worked! It really worked! 
All that fear, all the delay, all for not! (Or is it naught?)
Ignore the right side, it's not pinned straight but I was super excited and I had to take some pictures! And keep ignoring the background. 

So there it is, my Sergeant Pepper/Civil War dress. 
I faced my fears and my heart is still beating and I'm high on happiness. I'm pretty pleased with how it came out. No that doesn't mean the dress is done. I still have buttons and hooks and eyes to add, oh plus the lining. I don't not want to see or have anyone else to see my loose threads or seams. 
Ok I think I'm done ranting. Aren't you glad it's a happy rant inside of a grumpy rant?

Take care!


paulette said...

Absolutely incredible!!!!!!

Library Gal Quilts said...

Brandie it is so beautiful! Really super exciting to see your hard work. Congrats!!

Lindi S said...

YOWZZA!! Just wonderful! I guess it's a good thing we live in today, not yesteryear. Could you imagine sewing these kind of dresses full time????

LynCC said...

WOWW!!!!! That front closure sure turned out wonderful - it's perfect! Man, it really, REALLY makes the dress pop. :D

Createology said...

I am speechless at how amazing this period dress is coming along. Your attention to each and every detail is truly a labor of love. Brilliant treatment for the front zipper closing. I am reviewing your last several posts because I have been remiss. Love your hexie punches. How you stretched 8 yards of fabric is pure magic. You should be very proud of what you have accomplished dear.

sunny said...

I am in awe of anyone who can sew something so beautiful! I'm doing well to sew a few straight lines.

Lori said...

Wow! That is beautiful and what a creative way to keep the zipper, but hide it. You are a genius Brandie! And super duper talented! You should be working for Hollywood!

Esther said...

Wow, so very beautiful. I am in awe

jirons42 said...

The dress is beautiful and I hope you get paid a zillion dollars for all your hard work and creativity.

Heather said...

Oh, I am so excited for you. The dress looks fabulous and what a clever solution.

Barb said...

amazing! what a challenge and what great workmanship!

Prairie Patch Quilts said...

A beautiful dress. Amazing work.

Donna T said...

What a beautiful dress? Do you have any formal training in dressmaking? My mother went to a designer school in Tokyo and was an amazing seamstress. She made lots of our clothes and prom dresses. She made my sister and my wedding dresses which was in the '80's lots of pearls, lace, etc. She made a muslin version first for fitting after she combined two patterns to get exactly what I wanted! I have so enjoyed watching your progress and thinking of my mom while you made it! She would have enjoyed seeing your progress too! I hope your girl wins!!! You are an amazing seamstress!!!!

Carla said...

Well how fabulous is that! You can now add THAT to your resume : )

Teri said...

Wow....that is a beautiful's been fun to watch it go together.....

Jean(ie) said...

You nailed it woman! Wow. It looks awesome! yay for you! I love those lightbulb moments.

Anonymous said...

I am in awe! What a huge amount of talent, patience and creativity you have. A very inspiring post!!

Chocolate Cat said...

Glad it is a happy rant. This dress is amazing, you are so clever.