Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Lady in Red

Yes I know, it's been almost a month. Since my last post I turned in my last paper and wrote my last final exam for my degree, I had to prep my wardrobe for a vacation to Cuba, and I had Steve's German Shepherd "Thor" move back in with me. All on top of working full-time six and seven days a week. Life has been hectic to say the least!

dress after alterations
I was shopping at Costco last month with my lovely daughter when I ran across this beautiful red sheath dress. It is beautifully made (in Italy as opposed to a third world country) with proper facings and serged seam edges. At $20, how could I go wrong? I "ummmed" and "awwwed" over whether to get the medium or the large. Since my usual adjustment is to add an inch to the length at the waist, I decided to play it safe and go for the large, with the theory that I could always take it in if needed. Turns out I swam in it! I was going to exchange it for the medium but the bust darts fell exactly where I wanted and that could change if I go to a smaller size. Also the length was perfect. I decided to keep it and take it in.

The fabric is 97% poly-3% spandex, a little slippery and unravels like crazy when cut. After basting for fit my serger wanted nothing to do with it. There was a gap between the edge of the fabric and the end of the serged stitches, and in some places the stitches ran right off the fabric. I tried adjusting the stitch width but it was no better. Then disaster struck.

Pfaff Ambition overlock stitch
Somehow, even though I was trying to be so careful, I managed to get the fabric caught in the knives. My now-beautifully fitting dress has a gash in it! I was horrified! Of course I was in a rush because of all the craziness going on at the time (see above), and this almost brought me to tears. I should have taken pics at this point (of the dress, not my expression) but didn't think of it. I decided to continue on anyway, because if nothing else it would be a good learning experience. I decided to try out the overlock stitch on the Pfaff. I am so pleased with how this finished off the seams! So now I had a beautifully fitting dress with beautifully finished seams with a big gash in it.

self-fabric patch fused in place
So what to try next? I tried patching it from the back with a piece of fusible interfacing. This looked awful because you could see the white interfacing showing through around the cut. After pulling that out I remembered that I had just bought some two-sided fusing for hems. Hmmmm... I took a scrap piece of fabric cut from the side seams and made a small patch, and then fused it to the dress with the hemming fusing. This way anything that shows through will be the same fabric.

after patching - much less obvious in real life
TA-DAAA!!! Yes, you can see it because I am pointing it out and showing you a close-up. But when I am wearing the dress? You can't tell at all. It is right at the waistline by the side seam and therefore not in an obvious spot. I wore the dress in Cuba and it looked great. Whew!

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