4.18.2006

Cheongsam Update

So...i managed to finish a good part of the cheongsam today - which surprised me, actually.

All i have left is 1) the hem - which I can't do because I ran out of the red binding tape that will be used to trim the hem, and 2) press studs that need to be handsewn at the neck opening. Anything that needs handsewing is always put off!

The sewing near killed me, mainly because of the bias trimming. Bias trim requires a slightly different seam allowance - I tried to take that into account somewhat in my drafting process...but I must have screwed up somewhere because I had a terrible time with the sewing. The satin was incredibly slippery and refused to cooperate at the most critical moments. My overlock machine also gave me problems - the stitches jumped and wouldn't form correctly. I wasted a lot of time in the afternoon checking the threading. Thankfully, everything turned out OK in the end - I had to use some really unorthodox workarounds and rip out quite a few seams. Several times I thought I would have to abandon ship because the repeated ripping was causing the fabric to shred!

Given the horrible time I had while sewing - I was so ready to give up! - I'm quite happy with the results and surprised that I finished almost everything today. I'll post pictures tomorrow because it's too dark now to get a decent shot.

Some things I learned:

  1. Chartreuse does go with red
  2. Stick to making muslins - leave the sewing to the professionals. If ever I make another garment - only use cotton fabric.
  3. Fabric matters. This one turned out quite nicely, but it would have been much more striking had it been a good print.
  4. NEVER attempt bias trimming again.
  5. Cheongsams need side zips. I managed to squeeze into this one, but would be so much better with a side opening.
  6. If the overlock gives problems, bite the bullet and rethread the whole thing from scratch. I refused to (just rechecked the threading hoping it would take less time) and ended up spending more time on it because the problem just would NOT go away....

1 comment:

Alicia said...

So exciting, can't wait to see photos!!!