14 December 2015

What's Purple and Pink and Yellow All Over?

A friend asked me if I'd make her a Landsknecht dress.  She sent me pictures she'd seen online, and, because I'm a crazy person, I thought it looked like SO MUCH FUN.

This was hard. And I'm never doing it again - but it WAS SO MUCH FUN.  And my friend loved it, so, yay!  :)

It's all linen (from fabric-store.com), and all machine-sewn, except for the stripes on the bodice, which were appliqué'd onto the bodice by hand.  The bodice and sleeves* are fully lined; the skirt is not. 

* I forgot to get a pic of the sleeves before I delivered the dress.  They're made to be detachable, and lace on at the shoulders of the dress.  They're also made in two parts, an upper and lower sleeve that lace together, so that the dress may be worn sleeveless, or with long or short sleeves. They're purple, with pink and yellow bands; no checks. 

My original thought process was this:
1. Man, this looks like quilting. I hate quilting!
2. Oh, but wait! Somebody once told me a trick for doing checks the easy way! This'll be great!

And then I realized that "the easy way" involved only two colors, and that my first-ever checkered panel did, in fact, have to be done The Hard Way:


It was, in fact, far easier than I'd thought it would be, and I'm really happy with the way it came out.  I made the skirt in four sections: the checkered panel, the striped panel above it, the striped panel below it, and the top panel which is solid purple.  Once the checkered panel and both striped panels were made and combined, the bottom half of the skirt looked like this:

Altogether, this is about eleven hours' work.

All the purple strips in this section are 2" wide, as finished (all pieces were cut with a 1/2" seam allowance - I wanted a lot of woodge room, just in case), except for the very bottom, which is 3" with a folded 2" blind hem. Both yellow stripes, and the two pink stripes that border the checkered panel, are 1" wide as finished. The top pink stripe is 3" finished.

All of the checks are 2" as finished, and also cut with a 1/2" seam allowance (cut as 3" squares).  I could not have done this dress at all without my trust cutting mat and rotary cutters, or I would have gone completely banana-balls and rampaged naked through the town.

I very nearly went banana-balls and rampaged naked through
the town just sewing them together, fyi. 
The construction on this was painstaking, tedious, eye-numbing, repetitive, time consuming, and exhausting; but at every step of the way I kept stopping to look at it and going, "Wow. I did that! I can't believe I did that [and didn't screw it up!] I've never done this before, this is great!"  and that is my very favorite thing about sewing.  I LOVE learning to do new things. I love doing things I've never done.

As always, Rory helped.

P.S. - this was my very last commission.  I know I've said that before, but this really is the last one.  I'm freeeeeee...or I was, for a minute.  Until I found out a dear friend will be elevated soon!!!  SQUEEE!!!