Posted by admin | Filed under Christening Dress, Sewing Savvy | Jun 26, 2007 | Comments Off

I spent a nice hunt on Saturday in the sewing room (how did I ever collect this much stuff?) hoping my brain hadn’t gone on hiatus a few years ago deciding to toss the old Christening dress pattern sizing templates. I found them – including all the bodice and sleeve variations! You have no idea how relieved I was…

That meant Sunday was devoted to ‘tracking down fabric’. It took awhile, but I found some very nice ivory cotton batiste and voile. By the distance everyone was giving me, I have a feeling I was doing a lot of ‘talking’ while crawling around pulling bolts of fabric and comparing.

All the supplies to start on the Christening Dress.A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do!

I pulled out all the cotton laces – they’re white, and will be tea dyed – the silk ribbons, white also and on the same list for tea dyeing, silk thread, wash out marker, Fray Check®, both fabrics, silk pins, clear elastic and snaps, double pin tuck and wing machine needles, and generic Tylenol.

The big question now was: what do I want to do? I have absolutely no idea. Well let’s try a pleated bodice. We already know it’s a boy (at least the first one is), so I’m going to try to not drown everyone in ruffles, and pleats are a nice alternative.

Cotton batiste pleated in the pleater board.I cut a strip about 10″ wide and pulled out the pleater board. The only trouble I ever have with very thin fabric is keeping the pleated strip straight. After filling the board I steamed those pleats into place, used 3 pieces of clear tape to hold them together and gently rolled them out of the board. It looks good! On to the sewing machine to run a line of straight stitches down each side and removing the temporary tape.

I laid the pleated fabric down and lightly traced the bodice front on to the piece. 15 minutes later I was convinced that wasn’t the way to go. AARRRRGGGGHHHH.

Time for a different approach. How about…. hmmm okay, yeah I think I’ll try that instead. Simple slightly decorative stitching using silk thread – vertically – combined with lace and / or entredeaux.

Cotton batiste and Perfect SewTo do that though, I have to prepare the fabric. I take two layers about three inches bigger then I need, and place them on a sheet of wax paper. Then I grab one of the best sewing inventions in the world: Perfect Sewâ„¢ from Palmer/Pletsch. This is a slightly thick liquid that’s poured onto your fabric and allowed to dry completely.

After it’s dry, you can peel that piece of fabric off and use it like a Frisbee! You will experience absolutely no distortion when sewing on fine fabric. When I finish added any decorative stitching, I’m going to simply wash the stiffener away. I’ve been using Perfect Sew since it came out in the early 90’s. I love this stuff.

Now I wait!

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