January 2011 Archives

Waiting for godet(s)


One of the great things about my recent re-commitment to artistic freedom is that it gives me the leeway to spend more time sewing, even though I don't make any money from my sewing projects. And that, my friends, is a stroke of fortune, because let me tell you, I have hit a patch of extreme ennui vis-à-vis my current wardrobe. Since I buy almost nothing I wear, and wear my clothes until they fall apart—which sometimes takes decades, if the garment was well-made in the first place—I tend to acquire things very slowly and wear the same things month after month, year after year. This is generally fine given that I'm not a novelty hound, have a small closet in a small condo, and wholeheartedly love most of the pieces of clothing I own. However. There does occasionally come a time when I get up in the morning, open my closet, and can hardly bear to think of putting on the same thing this Tuesday as I wore last Tuesday, and the Tuesday before that, and the Tuesday before that. And that time, as it so often does in January, has come.


This mood almost always hits in winter, and I almost always deal with it by making a light-weight spring or summer dress, even though I know that some time may go by before I'll be able to wear it. Theoretically, this should mean the dress wouldn't be an immediate cure for my cold-weather wardrobe blues. Except that it kind of is, because it lets me dream of a warmer, sunnier time, when the days will be long, the breezes balmy, and I will be in France with a beautiful wardrobe of new dresses which will magically eradicate my American accent as I converse with Parisian booksellers. So basically, I choose to live in Fantasy Land, and I'm sure plenty of you sharing the winter doldrums with me can relate.

I've had this gorgeous silk georgette for AGES, so it's about time I got around to working it up; I splurged on it three or four years ago on a trip to San Francisco's Britex Fabrics. I even knew, way back then, which pattern it was destined to become: Vogue 2784, whose pattern model, as you can see, I loved so much as to copy it shamelessly. Except no, my fabric choice is much more interesting! It has black and white polka dots, yes, but also pink flowers! And clumps of red cherries! Completely, utterly distinct.


The sewing process on this has been totally enjoyable, accompanied by Wilkie Collins's The Moonstone on audiobook and the occasional glass of wine. I'm a slow seamstress, and taking into account all the French and double-stitched seams involved, progress is not quick, but that's okay. Who wants to hurry along a project whose point is to transport one to Fantasy Land? The only tedious part thus far, beyond the attempts to cut out full-body pattern pieces on the bias on a surface not truly big enough, is that there are eight godets (triangular inserts) in the skirt, each of which require careful placement and two double-stitched seams, and sewing in one after the other gets a little old. I'm skipping around a bit, therefore—I work a godet, then sew a sleeve; work a godet, then cut out some bias binding; work a godet, then stitch together the waist ties. The result is that I have both sleeves and the charmeuse slip (almost) done, and still have one godet left.

The most rewarding part? Two different kinds of bias-cut 100% silk mean I can hardly resist trying this on at every opportunity. Delicious and flattering. Can't wait to show you.