I went to see Sharon yesterday, and was delighted to find that the fit is nearly perfect! Sharon suggested a few adjustments (mostly around the neckline), but other than that it’s looking good. So it seems likely that muslin #11 will be the last (or nearly last) one. Which is good, since Sharon and I again have conflicting schedules, and won’t be able to get together until Jan 7 – uncomfortably close to the Feb 15 entry deadline for the Convergence Fashion Show.
Sharon also advised me to make the facings of the same fabric as the garment (I had hoped to make the facings from the lining fabric). I’m not happy about this, since the panels are time-consuming to make and time is getting tight. But she is right; it will make for a better garment, so I’m going to weave extra panels for the facings.
I’m also going to weave two extra panels as insurance. I hadn’t planned to, but I won’t have time to redo a panel in case of a mis-cut. With the days so short, and my dye studio outside, I can only dye on weekends, and each panel requires two separate dyebaths to complete. So I can only complete a panel over the course of two weekends. On the other hand, once I’m set up to dye a single panel, I can dye multiple panels very easily, so there isn’t much overhead in adding another one.
This, of course, adds a great deal of work (~12 hours/panel x four panels = 48 hours of work), plus dyeing the fabric for and sewing up muslin #11. So I made myself a mini-schedule for the month of December:
- Week of Dec 12-16: knit three more panels, weave one light panel. Revise muslin and sloper pattern.
- Weekend Dec 17-18: dye panels for muslin #11. Dye weft for light and dark panels.
- Week of Dec 19-23: sew 11th muslin. Unravel blanks.
- Weekend Dec 24-25: Weave panels
- Week of Dec 26-30: weave panels.
- Dec 30-Jan 4: on vacation
- Jan 7: see Sharon again. Start sewing!!
This strikes me as a realistic and achievable schedule, with a little wiggle room for the unexpected. Unfortunately it does make it clear that I won’t have time for the side project I was hoping to squeeze in – weaving some fabric for a recipient who would thoroughly enjoy it – but there will be other opportunities, and this schedule sets me up nicely for sewing Autumn Splendor in January.
The other good news is that, without the collar, the garment should be relatively quick to sew. A couture collar involves a lot of complicated hand stitching; without a collar, it should be much simpler to make. Still a lot of hand sewing (couture is couture, after all), but not nearly as much as before the redesign.
Finally, I’m thinking of retitling Autumn Splendor to “Leaves Falling at Sunset”, which I think is a more descriptive name. The purple in the dark panel is too blue for autumn leaves, but perfect for an autumn sunset. And the curves in the design are meant to represent the drift of a falling leaf.
I’ll mull the name change over for another two months, though, and I’m going to leave it with its “working name” for now.
Off to work on the book!
Since the dyeing seems to be the bottleneck, consider dyeing yarn for the extra panels, but not weaving them unless you actually need them.