Bee boo bee boo boo bee boo bee bee boo … boop.
Today in God, we discuss why Trystan should not be allowed to sew after 9pm on a weeknight. And then we praise Allah. Ehem. I’m no Stephen Colbert nor a weak Rob Corddry, so let’s not even pretend.
Point is, I’m fucking up Cosi Fan Tutte. It may be salvagable, but, dammit, why is it whenever I say “oh this one I’ll take special care with, I’ll do everything right & make it look really nice,” something goes arwy?
I am so very not a fine craftsperson. I’m a visionary, I’m a director, an artiste, but my visions fail to get thru to my hands. I’m a hack, and I’ve always known it. I can slap shit together, I can fake my way thru, but don’t nobody look too closely at my seams, fer chrissake. My hands are not finely tuned precision instruments. My hands are hammers and the world is my nail. (That sounds kinda sexy, when I think about it.) Fabric hates me. Thread laughs at me. Scissors snicker at me. Patterns taunt and tease me. Put ’em all together, and you get a laugh riot not in my favour.
So what actually happened? First, the music-note fabric is like a warped stripe. Impossible to match straight across. Partly, I think it’s from the pre-washing. Maybe if I ironed it five more times and tried to twist the grain back into shape. Hah, here I am talking about “grain” — I really don’t know what that is. I think it’s the direction the pattern goes in, or the threads, or something.
You’d think I was taught to sew by left-handed monkeys. Mom and Grandmom knew what they were doing, though, in retrospect, they never really “taught” me. I just watched them sew and tried to emulate it. I never learned the proper words for anything, I never learned to hand-sew, and I certainly didn’t learn any advanced techniques. Nothing about fabric manipulation or pattern drafting/modifications or troubleshooting. I never saw Mom or Grandmom make a muslin either (of course, they were making much more simply fitting, practical garments by the time I saw them sew). I’ve tried to teach myself stuff, and certainly the two decades of practice have helped. But every time I think “aw yeah, I’m da bomb, I can make anything I set my mind to,” my bubble is swiftly burst.
Anyway, last night. Trying to match the fabric was a royal pain, and it never did fully match. In fact, I realized by the end of the night that I’d sewn the two front skirt panels in upside down! No, not sewn them upside down — that I could fix — but I cut them upside down! Motherfucker. I didn’t check yet, but I suspect I don’t have enough fabric left to re-cut them both. Of course, the only way you can tell is if you look very closely at the pattern and see that the tiny treble clefs are upside down. Not very obvious, which is why I didn’t see it until I inspected the final sewn-together panels.
This is all for the overskirt of the dress. It’ll be poufed and polonaised, so really, that tiny little part of the pattern (the treble clefs are maybe half an inch in size) won’t be too noticeable. Still, just another one of my fuckups.
Then there’s the stomacher gaps. I just can’t see any other way to have attached it than with hooks and eyes, which, when it’s on, pull apart a bit and the bodice edges pop up. Flat skirt hooks maybe? But then I’d have to have made the stomacher bigger — there’s only about a half-inch overlap right now. And flat skirt hooks could still have gaps. Straight pins are really the best way to go. That’s what they did in the period, and I’m seeing why. You get a nice, smooth look. But you also need robings to hide the pins behind. There’s that one image of a gown (4th dress down) with a flat back and a stomacher and a polonaised skirt — but it probably still has robings too. Hard to tell since the picture is small. At the very least, there’s trim covering the stomacher-bodice join.
Trim, trim, trim! My old solution to everything!
Oh I should have tried a zone bodice — that would have given me a simple center-front closure, but I still could have created contrast by making the bottom zone part in white music-note print and the upper part in solid black. The rest could be the same contrasts I’ve already planned. Hmm… too late now? Timing-wise, it’s highly unlikely. But I wouldn’t need much extra fabric to re-do the bodice. Might be able to salvage the sleeves, although I’ve already clipped the seams. UGH. Don’t even think about this! Stop it, you nutjob.
Keep repeating to yourself: It will look pretty. It will be silly and not historically accurate, but it will look pretty. That’s all that matters. Pretty pretty pretty. Later, rinse, repeat.