The guts and glory of Matchy Matchy will come next week. I promise.
Before I show you the insides and outsides of her (Matchy Matchy), I wanted to give you some tips I learned when I spontaneously decided to bead the god damn thing (sorry god – please forgive my language).
Matchy Matchy began a week after I debuted my me-made dress at my friend’s wedding in April. The project was intended to be simple project but turned out to be anything but. I chose a simple silhouette so that I could make a statement with the fabric.
The fabric I had in mind from the beginning was tweed. A loose woven, tweed not only has a tactile quality that is perfect for fall, winter, spring, or summer but it has a history rooted in one of my favorite time periods – the 1950s. Even though the patterns the threads create are intricate, the fabric is associated with a simple time in American life. So when I spotted vintage, yellow, tweed fabric with lurex threads on Etsy one night, I caved instantly and purchased four yards. It wasn’t a bad purchase in the sense that I spent too much money but it was a bad purchase in the sense that I did not research the fabric beforehand. When that portion of the project came around, the research portion, I quickly learned I’d be in for it. Turns out tweed needs lots and lots of TLC and unfortunately T-Boz, Left Eye and Chili couldn’t wiggle me out of the hole I dug for myself.
I continued on and did it all! I interfaced, quilted, hand basted, etc. When the project was coming to its final stages, I was digging the way everything was turning out that I decided to bead the front neck. Yeh, that’s right, bead. Had I ever beaded before? Nope. Was I going to learn real fast. Yes. So I roamed the library of a local that has a fashion design program (I snuck in) for textbooks that had tips on beading. I found lots of them but below are the ones that I used or thought were noteworthy. The best tips were… the act of beading shrinks fabric and beading should start from the center and move outward. The first tip – the act of beading shrinks fabric – was especially important the neck width on Matchy Match was already small and even though she had a slit opening at center back, I would want the neck width to get any smaller. The second tip – beading should start from the center and move outwards – was also just as important because, well, I never would have thought about it. I always work from right to left or left to right, never from center outwards. This tip is also especially important because I could use this elsewhere. Many times, I have trouble sewing something straight, and example being a trim on an edge. Instead of applying the trim from one end to the other, I could apply it from the center outwards. It would take more steps but in the end, I would save time from having to unstitch and restitch the trim in order to apply it straight.