Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Trim Dilemma -- HELP!

I've nearly completed the bodice on my sheer dress. It's turning out really pretty. This is probably the first project I've entirely draped, instead of drafted. I love drafting... draping is quite a change of pace. I haven't decided yet if I like it... it kind of makes me nervous to throw a piece of fabric up on my dress form, add a couple pins, and start cutting away. It's been working alright so far -- I brought the back up a little too far, but it'll be easily fixable with a waist band.
Now, my dilemma... I am scared to death of trim. If you haven't noticed, all of my gowns are fairly simple. No lace... maybe a pintuck here or there... no ruffles. I'm frightened of trimming things wrong, so I just never trim at all. That leaves a very unfinished sort of look -- especially on this glamourous sheer gown! SO! I need your opinion!
This is the original:

I think I've already decided the elbow flounces are too much for me. Too out of my comfort zone. But I definately want to do that band around the yoke -- there's a matching one at about mid-calf on the skirt, too, which I'd love to include. Here's where I need your opinion. Lace trim? Or self-fabric flounces?

The trim has the benefit of being finished and just needing stitched on -- a valid concernt 2 days before the event. And the blue ribbon running through it matches PERFECTLY. However, it's polyester, and more attention getting. A self-fabric flounce matches with the original better... and requires much more work. I couldn't find a tiny edging lace like the original uses when I was at the store yesterday, so I'd have to hem. But it may be worth it... I'm at a total loss and am going to put the bodice aside until I get some feedback! The agony of wanting to be right!

So, PLEASE! Which do you prefer? Fabric, or lace?!


Sarah Jane said...

*GASP* that sheer is looking beautiful!

My gut reaction is that the white lace trim is too heavy for this kind of dress. I have no idea what the weight of it but it is visually heavy. :P It is hard to tell without seeing it in person but the lace gives it a sort of "costumey" look. Personal opinion though. The lace itself is lovely.

I really like the self fabric ruffle a lot better. It suits the fabric a lot better, I think, and contributes to the ethereal, floaty appearance desirable in a sheer.

You can press up a tiny hem on each side of the ruffle strip and sew it down by machine using a small stitch. The ruffle does not have to be very full, usually 1.25 - 1.50 x the amount of whatever it is trimming is sufficient for 1860's stuff. You can hem and gather the strip by machine if you need to, it may not lay as lightly as hand stitching but will be sufficient and still very pretty. You could run the gathering line down the center or slightly down from the top of the ruffle and cover the gathering stitches with the blue ribbon you mentioned, lightly tacked on by hand. Lots of options!

You could also cut bias strips and not have to hem them at all. They may fray out a little but not much, and a soft barely frayed edging is a very period thing to have. I did this with my silk dress since I didn't want to have to hem the ruching on it. :P

It's looking gorgeous. I can't wait to see it in person! I plan on bringing my sheer to wear for the dance on Saturday night and for most of Sunday.

Mrs. G said...

The self fabric ruffle, absolutely! I know it's more work but it looks so much more "real". There are a gazillion considerations with using lace, even beyond fabric content and besides self fabric trim is way more P.E.C. Everything looks fabulous, you're quite the talented seamstress. :-)
Mrs. G

Jenny P. said...

Thank you both for the input; I went with unfinished bias strips, 2.5 inches wide. It's looking really pretty. I'll post pictures soon.

Mrs. G, I'm not talented -- I'm obsessed! The results are similar but the process of getting there is completely different :) I very much appreciate your encouragement!

Amy said...

Looks lovely! I would definitely do a self-fabric ruffle on a sheer. Somehow it works better with a sheer dress. It's gorgeous fabric, too. Can't wait to see it on you! :)

Gillian said...

I really love the self-fabric ruffle. I know I'm probably too late to have any weight in the decision-making, but I thought I would say so anyway! The gown is looking beautiful, Jenny; I can't wait to see it finished!