At least, never again unless I have a refrigerator full of beer to drink afterwards.
Working with extra firm interfacing is the poop.
That being said, I have now completed the shoulder piece and nearly completed the head piece for Project Breyna.
Last time, I had completed to the two pieces of the shoulders, but had not connected them together. Stitching two very thick pieces of fabric together sucks big time. I decided to leave an opening at the u-shape in the neck of the piece so that I could turn the thing right side out. Oh, and I did decide to attach the danglies prior to putting the shoulder pieces together. The danglies are responsible for much of the poofiness you see in the picture below, as I had to maneuver the machine around them to stitch here.
Next, time to turn the darn thing right side out. It wasn’t too bad, but the extra firm interfacing of has a mind of its own. Resistance is futile, though – I may have gotten quite the workout turning the fabric, but I succeeded.
If I had wanted a nice pretty seam for the u-shape, I would have tried to slip stitch through that may layers of fabric. HAHA!! Did not happen. The piece actually requires white trim around the edges. And so my plan was to just stitch the thing closed, and then cover the ugliness with the bias tape.
I realized some of the folly in this when I went to Elizabeth’s on Friday night to sew with her. I brought one of the dogs, Talon, to play with her Hamlet. Here he is hanging out on a blanket next to me.
Right, back to my “clever plan”. It turns out that even the 1″ wide bias tape was not quite wide enough to properly cover the really thick seam of the shoulders. There was no way I could pin the tape down, though I tried to attach it somewhat. I just decided to fold the tape over the edge and wing it. Ugh.
I am sad to say that this bias tape attachment took me at least 2 hours. It was agonizing. Also, this happened in the middle of the process.
@#!)$*. Yeah, and when the break occurred, the piece of the needle that broke fell down inside my machine. So I had to take a hiatus to take apart my machine, fish all the pieces of metal out of the inside, and put it back together. Unscrewing the screws on the metal plates of this machine (and probably other machines) is possibly the most awkward thing ever. The screw driver is a little too tall to stand straight up and so I spent like 5 minutes trying to angle it and unscrew each screw.
The best part is that when I was done attaching the bias tape, I was not terribly pleased with the result. Why? Well I couldn’t see what was happening on the underside of the shoulder piece. And I missed the bias tape frequently. Like along the top edge below.
I decided to use fabric glue to fix these little pieces that I missed with my machine. No one should really see the underside of this piece anyway, right? So they won’t nitpick over all the little places for which I want to kick myself. Here is a shot of what the underside looks like. Along that tail piece at the top, you’ll notice a pocket that is going to be used to help me attach the head piece someday.
I don’t think I need to be too concerned about the shoulder shape, I feel like when I attach the velcro to this piece and the robe, I should be able to form the shoulders a nice curve.
On to the head piece. After the fiasco with the bias tape edging on the shoulder piece, I needed a different plan for the head. I did not want to have to sew through that many layers, etc. I formulated a plan to use two pieces of bias tape and to sandwich them in between the head pieces when I stitched them together. Then theoretically I could pull each piece down and stitch once the garment was right side out. Then I decided that plan was shit, and I did this instead.
In retrospect, I think I should have tried my original plan. The way I wound up doing it may have worked out okay if I had left the bottom of the head piece open for turning. However, I wound up leaving the top open because I was afraid the extra firm interfacing wouldn’t play nice trying to pull so much of it through a smaller opening. Leaving the top open meant that I would have to figure out a way to cover the gross ugly seam after I closed the opening. Again.
The turning process for this piece was worse than the shoulders. I was sweating by the time I had turned half of it. And the little arm pieces? Yeah. Those didn’t want to turn at all. Below you can see the beginning of an arm nub.
My husband had to come help me get the arms turned out. By the way, I did not trim each side of the head piece individually, like I did with the shoulders. That was a mistake. It was significantly harder to trim 8 layers of fabric. I am fairly certain I cut some threads I shouldn’t have in the process.
Before I closed off the head piece, I tried holding it upright from the bottom. It was still flimsy, even after all that stinking extra firm interfacing. Le sigh. So I grabbed a piece of cardboard, and cut it to fit in the cavity of the head piece. I stitched the opening shut with the cardboard inside. Hopefully that will be good enough.
Now I have to put more bias tape over the opening so that no one can see the ugly seam I sewed. No matter what, it’s probably going to be a bit messy 🙁 I have decided to go the fabric glue route. Here is the head piece, after I have glued down one end of bias tape. Once that is dry, I will glue down the rest of it. The glued end is currently under the pin box, being held down a bit.
I think the worst is definitely over now. I still have the following to do:
1) Finish gluing down bias tape for ugly head piece seam.
2) Attempt to wear the entire thing and figure out the best places for velcro.
3) Hem the bottom of the robe with yellow bias tape.
4) Make a pair of fingerless gloves.
5) Make a weapon to carry around with me at the con.
That list doesn’t include the things I have to do for finishing touches on my Steampunk costume. We’ll get to that later.