I don't want to jinx things, but, gals &guys, it's going to happen. I'm going to have this dress finished in time for Sunday'a premiere of season 5!!! I got my straps attached, my skirt securely in place, and my facing and lining stitched down, which leaves my zipper and hemming.... the hemming...hmmm. There is a lot of skirt there. So much skirt, I feared I would run out of fabric while I was cutting. I had to sacrifice pattern matching to make it work.
When you take into consideration this skirt has four 34inch gores (x2 when you count the lining basted to it), I'm pretty sure there's over a quarter yard of skirt fabric per inch of bodice. It felt like more. I cursed and got supremely frustrated while I worked on this portion of my project.
Still, it could have been worse. I used to have a TERRIBLE time evenly distributing my gathers. I would spend painful hours with the seam ripper trying to get things right, but never felt truly satisfied with the results.
When I run into these types of obstacles, I like to chat-up my grandma. She's got more than a few tricks up her sleeve. You could have pushed me over with a feather when she tipped me off to the way she does her gathered skirts (she also uses this trick when she's setting in a sleeve).
In the off-chance there are others out there running into the same wall, I'll share it with you.
Grandma Charlotte's Secret to Gorgeous Gathers and Stunning Sleeves: PIN FIRST, THEN PULL!
I'm primarily self taught and rely heavily on pattern instructions during the construction process. Patterns will tell you to create your rows of stitching, pull your bobbin thread, and then ease the skirt to the pattern, matching your notches as you go.
Grandma says, create 2-3 rows of long stitching along the gather line (have a back-up to your back-up in case your bobbin thread(s) goes bust), match-up and pin the notches and seams of the skirt and bodice (or sleeve and bodice), THEN PULL THE BOBBIN THREAD.
Because the skirt and bodice are already lined up and pinned where they ought to be, you just need to gather until the fabric fits between the fastened areas.
Here's a shot of the interior. It's almost as pretty inside out as it is with the right side showing!
The progress on my sweater isn't as awesome and definitely not worth sharing. I may have contributed the entire 33% of sock time to sewing instead of dividing it. I also might have cast-on a miniature cardigan... it can't be helped. More of my friends are pregnant than not, and I don't want any of those babies feeling neglected!