Saturday, February 13, 2010

Laurel Dress sash and Cording tutorial Part 1.

Today I've got my head down to get started on the laurel dress embellishments, since The Dreamstress has been a-visiting with black velvet for the sash. Two things I know about velvet - 1. It don't like irons and 2. It don't like sewing machines much either. Because of this I've decided to make the motifs and hand sew them on afterwards.
This is how I have done it:
I sketched a pattern for the two sash ends, which are different sizes. Today I've worked on the smaller one.
I traced the leaf motif onto the paper side of the visoflex in a row - saves materials that way. Then I cut the centre out of each one, and pressed it onto the net, which you can just about see in the photo. After that, I cut out each leaf and peeled off the paper.
You can see the shine of the glue around the edge of the cut out leaf. It's not much but it keeps those babies in place!
I'm using a gold organza as a base fabric for the sash motifs as they are the only ones on the dress that are going onto opaque black, and it will help them to show up better. So, pattern at the bottom, then organza, then I arranged the leaves, and made a light pencil marking to show where the stems were to go.
Using silicon baking paper to protect the fabrics and my iron, I pressed and pressed and pressed. I found out that I'd put a couple of leaves up the wrong way, so I peeled them off and tried again. We got there eventually. Iron was set to Wool.
Using my No. 6 Bernina cording foot, I threaded the embroidery thread through the hole, set the machine to a long, narrow zigzag in a matching thread, and started. The idea is to go around the edge of each shape and to the next one, then back down again to give the stem some width.
I tried taking progress shots but they came out too blurry so here it is at half way.
Here it is with both sides done. The original was more symmetrical but I prefer one side to come up a bit more, it's more "art nouveauish"
Sightly blurry pic of me trimming the excess fabric away carefully, leaving a mm or so for strength.
And here it is so far, on its destination velvet. I'll be hand sewing it on and possibly adding some beads, not sure but if I do I promise to share!
PS Now the discerning among you are probably wondering why I didn't just cord the pattern onto two layers instead of all that fiddling about cutting leaves. It would have been much quicker. But I did it this way because I wanted to see how the visoflex around the edge thing would work out when it comes to doing the skirt overlay. :)

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