Well. Well well well.
Sometimes, when you're in the middle of something, you feel like it's never going to end. It's impossible to see the finish line from the centre of things. All you can see is horizon. And you can't imagine having everything done.
Last week was a bit like that. We thought we had come so far, and only had a tiny bit of work to do. Then.... as seems to have happened at most junctures... then, on the Saturday, we pressed all the edges of the lovely bodice we made the week before. And everything got a little bent out of shape.
The thing about delicate fabrics like dupion is that, put the steam droplets from an iron into them and they will fu-reeeeek out. Rather than the tough, shaped, paper-like consistency they previously displayed, they'll go all charmingly soft. Which is cool, unless you, like us, need a structure to keep your design in place. SIIIIIIGH.
So last Saturday, there may have been a small amount of tantrum. Even a few tears. And certainly a feeling of "let's just pack it in".
But no! We shall not fall at the last hurdle, we decided. What do you do when your top won't cooperate? You whack an inch off it at the neckline. So we did. And, thank the lord, it worked a bloomin' treat. And in fact, dare we say it, looked better.
Disaster averted, we pressed on (without actually pressing on the dress, to avoid similar results). An lo. She took form and was completed(eth).
Zip in, on it went and finally, there was the dress which had been shying away from us all along.
All that remained was the hem.
Don't mind the monkey, he's just helping me out a little. As an aside - a few years ago I got my first fancy hat (as possibly mentioned before, I have quite the thing for hats and fascinators).
However, being that it was from H&M said hat had been crushed in a pile of other hats in one of those big box things they're so fond of in H&M. So the veil was waaaayyyy out of whack. I solved this sartorial dilemma by pinning the veil down across Monkey's face so that it sorted itself into a more face-like shape. Voila!
My own dear sparkly heart had a similar problem - the lovely veil was flying up up and away and not draping dramatically as it should. So here it is being pulled out courtesy of helpful Monkey. Cheers mate.
Anyway, let us stop digressing and go back to the task at hand. With mum taking a well-deserved break in Spain, I had 10m of hem to tackle this weekend, between the lining and the skirt itself.
So it began with pinning. More pinning. And just a little bit more pinning.
The skirt had to come up by an inch all the way round, so the plan was to overlock it to just below where the inch was and turn it up from that.
In this instance, the overlocker (NEHHHHRRRRRRRRR THUDTHUDTHUD NHREEEERRRRRRRR) has been quite the saviour. Trying to cut with a steady hand round ten metres is no mean feat - no matter how many pins you use. With the overlocker, it just gets whacked off as you go which saved a tremendous amount of time.
So round and round I went. I took the lining as a practice run. Slowly round it went, chopping off the excess and coming out all neat and pretty.
Happy that I had given myself quite enough training, I moved on to the skirt itself.
I thought I'd be quite terrified, so I put a bit of Sex and the City on in the background to keep my ears entertained. It was the first season where it's a bit rough and they still continually break the fourth wall.
But then, finally, it was done. And just in the nick of time - as you can see from this pic << the second 'looper' thread was mere seconds away from running out. That is NOT what you want to happen, trust me.
So now that it's all overlocked I guess you think I could relax. No. Because it's then back to pinning, pinning, pinning - all round the 10m again.
I managed to remember that my mum had told me to pin the lining the opposite way from the fabric. I managed to get it in a relatively straight line. I managed to even put the pins in the right direction (if you don't sew, you won't get that - but trust me, it makes a huuuuuge difference). And of course I had Carrie and Co to keep me going through all the pinning.
It was time to run it through the machine and hope for the best. Luckily, I managed not to randomly stick up the skirt, or sew and extra bits together, or catch the hem so that it was "all bumfly" in Mum terminology.
Thus - tada! tralala! Hemageddon had passed (we've been using -ageddon a lot as a suffix of late. Love it).
Actually, this pic is a cheat. It's the dress before hemming. But I only took pics of myself wearing it and - just in case, just in case of the slightest, most unlikely chance of C coming across this, I don't want to risk it.
So there we have it. Full Circle (it actually is, I laid it out on the bed like a big circle and it looked really funny).
I have to say, putting it on, that I'm so glad we did it.
For all the extra stress, and the effort, and the worry, it is worth it to have *exactly* the dress you want. One no-one else can have. And one which means something. At this stage, I couldn't care less if everyone else hates it. I'm just glad to have it.
The only thing left, you may notice, is the belt. Having had yet more thoughts on this subject, we've decided to do a wee beady thing. That's all to come. But it's done. It's done!!