Sunday, 10 April 2011

1852-6 Toile Final Evaluation

I was very pleased with the silhouette and half wished I had the time to create it as a full toile.

I am glad I chose to make the sleeve out of muslin in the end as I think light cotton would have looked too strong against the rest of the muslin. I think the bell sleeve compliments the wideness of the skirt well and helps to balance it.

Initially I was worried about the muslin flounces lining up but in the end they looked good and straight.
The production of this toile I found enjoyable but still challenging. Working with muslin was a new process for me as it is a delicate fabric which is something I have not worked with on a large scale before. I learnt a lot about its qualities of manipulation and its difficulties, in terms of fraying and loose weave. I had troubles with hemming/finishing, the toile being finished to a relatively neat standard but not completed as it would for a final piece, as the muslin moved and stretched a lot under the sewing machine. I over came thing by being careful and taking my time when sewing, pinning and holding the fabric in place with extra care.

The end shape of the toile I was quite pleased with and think it is a good representation of the design given with the pattern. As the fabric was of a light nature I spent extra time creating the right undergarment shape, and although this set me back more time than I had planned I think it benefited then end result. Creating the lining of the bodice I found easier this week, as I am now getting a feel for creating the right shapes as defined by the pattern and keeping the fabric smooth, and it did not take me too long to complete. The skirt however was more challenging, purely because of its sheer length and the amount of fabric required for creating the cartridge pleats the whole way round.

Due to the few set backs I had in the week with this toile, mainly the finishing off of the previous toile from the week before, I had a bit of a struggle with keeping up to date on my proposed time frame. This was much aided by taking the mannequin home with me enabling me to finish over Easter and have a fresh start for the summer term. I also strove to get as much work done as possible in the studio and I feel my late nights there paid off. As I was struggling with time I decided to leave out the few small decoration elements of the piping around the neckline, armhole and waist, which I was disappointed with but could not fit it purely for a presentation factor.

 If I had a chance to produce the piece again I would have liked to spend more time on being more accurate with the flounces on the skirt. I had trouble with the bottom length and it ended up being slightly uneven on its attaching seam. I was not happy with this but due to the time frame had to leave it. If I had more time I would have produced a new layer for the flounce, as I think the strip I was using had become slightly stretched so was not even. Overall I was very pleased with this toile, I feel I've learnt a lot about working with an alternative weight of fabric and also my capability of picking up my speed when in a working environment.  

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