Friday, March 15, 2013

Costuming Three

Lots and lots of gathering

 This is likely the densest piece of gathering I’ve ever undertaken. Sixty inches of fabric condensed to a 30” waist.  Using a heavy fabric.  The gathering alone took almost two hours.  My hands and fingers ached by the time I was finished.  I cannot imagine how seamstresses managed all of those flouncy gathers before sewing machines were invented and became accessible to the average sewer.

Sitting there patiently gathering this waistband reminded me of my Mom.  When I was in grade school, living in the little four-bedroom house in (what was then) Sunnymead, California, my parents and two other couples – friends from the neighborhood – took up square dancing.  The ladies, of course, had to wear those ultra-poofy skirts that you see ladies wearing while square dancing, and my mom and her friends made their own poofy skirts.  This required an insane amount of gathering, and I remember these long, long lengths of fabric stretched across the living room (it wasn’t that large of a room) while the ladies gathered, and gathered, and gathered, until they were able to sew the poofieness to a waist.

And, in the middle of my remembrances, I snapped my gathering threads.  This is my biggest fear in gathering, snapping my gathering threads.  Because, once that happens, you kind of have to start again.  I didn’t cry, but I did let out a “Son-of-a-bitch” loudly enough that Thomas heard it upstairs and came down to see if I was injured or under attack.  I was still sitting there, stock still, staring at the rupture in my universe when he came down.  “Are you all right?”.  “I just snapped my gathering thread.”  “Oh.  That sounds bad.”  Bless him.

As it turns out, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.  I already had one half of the skirt gathered and pinned in place, so I basted it onto the bodice to avoid losing it.  As I prepared to rip the whimpy threads from the other half, I realized they had snapped pretty close to the end of the line, so I was able fasten the broken pieces in place, and continue gathering up to that point, which turned out to be about 2/3rds of that side of the waist.  Gather, baste, secure.  So, just about 1/3 of the remaining side needed to be re-basted, gathered and secured.

The treasonous bit of skirt

I did manage to get it fixed and all basted together in time for Joycelin to come by in the evening for a fitting.  Thankfully, it fit nicely, and no major nipping or tucking was required.

No, this is not Joycelin

No comments:

Post a Comment