I am thinking a different name may be more appropriate. "Billions of Bullions" or "Blouse of Many Bullions" or just "When will it be over?" At this point all embroidery is done. A few beads remain to be put on but that is it for all the handwork. So now we are on to the final leg of construction. The waistline insert has corded piping on the top and bottom edges. I also did a small insert on the collar that is piped on each side as well. Because these inserts are my own idea and not on the BWOF pattern that I am using I had to figure out how to draft the pattern to accomadate them. I decided there must be an easier way not involving math and rulers. Here is what I did. I will use the collar insert as my example.
I interfaced just the top collar at this point. My insert is an inch wide and has a 5/8 SA on each side of the piping. I decided my edge of the insert would be about an inch and half from the edge of my finished collar. I cut my top interfaced collar this amount plus 5/8 of an inch from the short edge. In other words, I cut the upper collar in two pieces, a short one whose edge is at CF and a large one that will have fabric cut off to fit the collar pattern. I folded under the small collar piece the 5/8 SA width and slip stitched it to the insert butting up to the piping. I then flipped it open flat, turning it over so the seamline of where the piping was sewn to the insert was visible. I then stitched directly on the line of stitching that was used to stitch on the piping. The SA was stitched again an eighth inch away and trimmed back to the second stitching line
Next I lay down the undercollar on the cutting board, being careful to position it exactly as the pattern. That sounds like a no brainer but collars are so much bias that you can't be too careful. So with the undercollar as my template I lay the little short piece on it and pinned it to fit the undercollar as you see in the photo above. I then took the large piece of the top collar and pinned it to fit the undercollar stopping about a couple of inches short of the insert.With everything pinned to the undercollar template I folded under the extra fabric, butting it up to the piping. It was then slipstitched to the insert. This slip stitching technique is similar tothe method used to match plaids. Once the slip stitching is done the upper collar is unpinned from the undercollar/template and the insert is sewn to the large upper collar piece the same way done for the short piece.
Now my upper collar was the exact shape needed and my tiny insert was installed right where it needed to go. Next came a proper press, interfacing the undercollar, and constructing the collar as needed for the pattern.
The waist inserts were handled in the same way. Smocking pleats and the necessary knots make for a messy inside. On most garments this is lined and not an issue. But this garment is delicate and floaty with no lining. I pulled out of my toolbox a technique I often use with my smocking, backing the smocked area with lace or netting. In this case I had some white dotted netting that was airy and light but totally camouflaged the knots and nastiness. After the inserts were installed in the blouse front I zigzagged the netting to the edge of the inserts and trimmed back to the stitching. This worked fine as you will see in all the pics when I am done. Why not just stitch it in along with the insert"? I started to do that but when I got finished basting the first insert I realized the netting covered the stitching line of the piping application. That is what I use to follow when I stitch the insert to the garment as it gives me the exact line of the piping seam. You can check out my piping tute for a little clearer explanation.
As of tonight, all handwork is done. The collar is done. The blouse fronts and back are complete. The CF band is complete. All that is left to do is install the sleeves, attach the collar band and collar and do the buttonholes. Yikes, those are scaring me! I also have to rip the buttons off of another blouse I have. I really can't find any better buttons than the ones I put on a blouse a few years ago. Nothing comes close. This will definitely be done before the week is out. Did I mention that I have UNEXPECTED company for the next entire week as well as week of full time work? Talk about timing. I really neede to get this done by next weekend.....Bunny