I am the Tortoise … Koo Koo Ka-choo?

Apologies, the part of me that enjoys song-title-mangling for blog post headers has made it out of the basement.  I promise not to let her out again for at least five posts.

I sure hope that slow ad steady does win the race because I am just not moving quickly at all with Project Breyna, despite my excitement for it.  I had company in town last weekend – we ate ourselves silly and had a grand time, but alas the sewing project suffered being “put away” for a few days.  Hence the lack of a Monday post.

What have I done since then?

Well I had some trepidation after the last time I spent on this project, where I made mistake after mistake after mistake.  I left the front of the robe fairly complete on top.

Next I stitched on the rest of the bias tape to the front of the robe.

Then I pinned and stitched the limited amount of bias tape to the back of the robe.  I find myself wishing more and more that I had never attached the front and back of this robe together at the shoulder piece.  Why you say?  This.

It may be hard to tell from the picture on the right … but I managed to pin and attach the bias tape to the INSIDE of my robe.  Bugger.

Thankfully, I had left a lot of extra length on the robe, and I needed to adjust the shoulders anyway because the applique for the front of the robe didn’t quite line up with that seam.  I didn’t even call in Fred, I just clipped the shoulder seam, turned the back of the robe properly, and restitched.

Yay, the seam works now.  And the bias tape works too.

I was a little worried attaching the bias tape directly to the knit fabric, but because the bias tape is woven, the knit didn’t really have a lot of room to stretch, and it worked out well enough.  However, the next part was attaching some more decorative trim, this time only to the knit with no applique in between.

If I were a careful seamstress, I would have tried this a bit more thoroughly.  I did practice on a piece of scrap material to make sure my stitches were good and more bunching and waviness was not occurring, like the collar.  But I am guessing since I wasn’t practicing on a giant piece of knit fabric that was pulling, I could not predict what happened in Step 1 below – the fabric stretched a bit as a I sewed, leaving me with the slightly messy look you see.  Now the robe is very flow-y, and I am thinking with it being near my feet and all that no one will notice.  Then again I seem to be saying that a lot, so perhaps I will wear this costume and look like a giant walking sewing disaster.  Hard to say.

Regardless, I tried to correct the problem for the next bit of trim that I attached, by using some stay tape on the underside of the knit.  See Step 2.  I didn’t pin the trim down, though I did measure and mark turn spots for myself.  I focused solely on holding the stay tape and trim together firmly as the machine attached it.

And it paid off.  Notice how much flatter and nicer this side of the trim looks in Step 3.  For further comparison, consult Step 4, where the right side is clearly more wavy when the robe is laid flat.  The center design I did not use stay tape for.  It is less wavy than the bottom trim because it is very vertically focused, and this knit is not terribly stretchy in that direction.  In the horizontal direction, however, it is a stretching fiend.  Anyhoo, I was pleased with myself for my discovery and mostly happy with the robe front.  I am still missing some gems that may wind up hand sewn on at the end.

I used the same stay tape trick for continuing the design onto the back of the robe.  Random side note, I feel like a sewing dress form would have been useful here, since I had attached the shoulders already.  I could have much more easily told myself where I needed to put the trims to line them up at the side seams.  I did my best by putting the robe on myself, but time will only tell how close I really am.  Kind of dreading that revelation.

At this point, all I had to do was put some finishing bias tape around the collar front.  I did not put bias tape on the collar back for two reasons.  One, there is no zipper on the robe.  Since it has to go on over my head, I didn’t want to get rid of all the “give” in the collar by applying a woven bias tape.  Two, my hair and the head piece will probably hide this area from view.  This isn’t one where I care if people see it either.  I must just be a lazy seamstress.

If you look back at the screen shots of this Virtuous Armor, you’ll notice that I left off the very bottom trim on the robe.  It should be done with yellow bias tape.  I am going to wait until the robe is all together and ready for a hem before I attach that.

And finally, the most recent thing I have done is prepare the sleeves for their decorations and accouterments.  I have applied the heat and bond to the ivory fabric accents, and ironed these applique pieces to the yellow sleeves.  Next up, bias tape and trim.  I look forward to working with smaller pieces of fabric … The sleeves will have a bit of a bell to them; here are two opposing sleeve pieces.


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