Monday, March 12, 2012

bands of velvet & turning the corner

The Flying Wrap is going well. For a pretty simple garment it's been a time-eater though. Of course I'm not sure why it is that when I pick the most difficult fabrics known to the sewing world to work with I expect to breeze through a project! Silly Jenny!

Putting on the velvet bands was simple but meticulous work. All the bias strips had to be pieced together then seams pressed open (using a needle-board so as not to crush the velvet). For the sleeves I had to sew the strip into a circle to go around the sleeve edge - you can bet I triple and quadrupled my measurements on that one! Then the band had to be pinned onto the edge – so time consuming! Luckily this velvet wasn’t too finicky and I didn't have to hand-baste it as well. I then sewed the band on as well as sewed a basting stitch along the other edge.

The bands were then carefully pressed, first on the underside (to create a sharp edge at the stitching line) then on the "right" side (creating the finished edge.)

I then carefully smoothed out the taffeta and using the basting stich on the raw edge turned the remaining raw edge under to create the hem. That was pinned and later stitched down by hand.

The skirt band was slightly more challenging as I decided to do an interlining of cotton twill to weigh-down the garment. I took the further precaution of stay-stitching the hem edge and used the basting stitch on the opposite side of the band to slightly gather the top to adjust for the curve of the hem. Finicky but so worth the effort!

The twill interlining did the trick, adding just enough weight to help the wrap turn the corner and look lovely and elegant. No more Stay Puft woman!

I've also worked a little on the embellishment. I stitched a mixture of bugle and seed beads to the edge of the sleeve to add some sparkle and weight there. I’ve also been making beaded tassels - but that is the subject of another post...

I still have the neckline/front and belt to finish/hem/attach and the rest of the beaded tassels to make. So it's all hand work at this stage, which is the perfect sort of work for headache and travel days. So while the wrap isn't quite done I'm moving on to other things.

Oh and I'm so excited I don't have to make anything to go under the wrap because I realized last week that I already have the perfect Edwardian nightgown - my 18th century chemise gown! It looks perfect under the wrap and is of course really comfortable. Yay!


  1. Sooo beautiful! I'M looking forward to see finished gown!

  2. Hurrah! Perseverance Pays Off! Lovely, lovely wrap, Jenny. Love the little beads on the sleeve-edges (what a nice, easy way to add some elegance to a frock) and the beaded tassels are drool-worthy. And of course Mr. Butterfly is jaw-dropping gorgeous. ;-)

    Keep up the good work!
    God bless,
    ~"Wild Rose"~

    1. Thanks so much! I can't wait to see it all come together...

  3. Fantastic sewing. Such detail. I admire your skill.