Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I Won, I Won!!!!!!.....Downton Abbey, Here I Come!

I've always felt like a fish out of water, someone with eclectic tastes and unusual interests cultivated in a midwestern childhood and an adolescence basted in California liberalism.  It makes for strange bedfellows and friends, and leaves me alone a lot of the time.  As I get older, it doesn't bother me half as much as it used to.  I do a lot of reading, sewing and solitary television watching.  Most of the shows I watch are not of interest to a majority of those I encounter IRL (in real life) (lol).  Since I've begun blogging and become involved in the internet, my world has expanded to introduce me to more people like me.  Sites like Pinterest and Facebook help begin conversations with interesting people and connects me with organizations and groups who are no longer satisfied to sit alone at home and bay at the moon.  

I remain a lifelong supporter of the Public Broadcasting System, and for the past three years have become an avid fan of their Masterpiece Theatre show: Downton Abbey.  Are you?   Oh, I hope someone (maybe a few of you) out there is/are as fascinated by the clothes, decorum and storyline of this captivating saga as I am! I digress....

This January, the fourth season of this show begins, and all Downton fans are holding their breath and waiting to see what happens following the sudden death of one of the main characters at the end of last season.  I follow the show for 'behind the scenes' articles on the PBS website, and they recently sent me an email asking if I were interested in attending the local premiere preview of the first episode of the upcoming season.  This will occur just a few weeks ahead of the show's national premiere date!  Of course, I said I would LOVE to!   I quickly submitted my name as one of the group of thousands who must have responded, and lo and behold....about a week later I received an email advising me that I had been selected!  I think it was because I was a party of one....having no clue as to who I would ask to go with me, I submitted only myself as an interested party.

So off I'll go....alone into the Washington night.....wending my way through the dark streets of DC in early evening....carrying a shower gift for Lady Mary's baby (which will be donated to the National Center for Children and HOPE in Northern Virginia, Inc. on behalf of WETA-TV supporters).  Oh my!....What shall I take (or make) for the baby???....homemade or storebought????  OMG!!!! So second issue is...what should I wear!!??....what would you wear!!!!????  I've been sewing like mad, so I do have choices....just which one?  

I've decided it will be what I made from this Suzi Chin Butterick Pattern 4978.. The Washington Metro area is COLD right now....so I am delighted to own an appropriate heavy wool winter coat and have decided to walk from the self-park garage nearby to the hotel event ($34 valet parking they warned!) in a pair of black booties I ordered from Sole Society.   I will wear black hosiery and my earring choice remains open.  I'll toss my black Pashmina over my shoulders and carry my black kidskin gloves.  

I know....I wish I could wear anything Lady Sybill wore (before her untimely death), but this ensemble will have to do.
Full Length Dress
(Tea Length)
Dress Inside Lining

Dress Front with Bow at Waist

Dress Back at Zipper

Just to add....making the dress was not difficult, and was made with $2 per yard fabric from (FabricMart, I think).  LOTS of handwork and basting on the chiffon, but handwork is something I have never minded doing.  I was more delighted to find the lining in the perfect brown at my local JoAnn's.  That brown lining in straight grain and stretch is soooo hard to find!  It is my goal to gather my coins and purchase a bolt of each as soon as I can.  I was also proud of my regular zipper.  Zipper insertion is so important to a new sewist, when I began to sew I practiced and practiced until I could insert them perfectly (lapped, centered and hand-picked).  Now, this was waaay before invisible zippers were even invented, and I still strive to master invisible zipper insertion today.

The only real question I encountered on this dress was figuring out which way the finished side of the lining should face.....which way would you have done it?  Choice one is to have the finished side of the lining facing your body.....choice two is to have the finished side of the lining facing the underside of the chiffon.  Is there a rational choice?  Chime in.....which way would you have completed the garment?  After the event, I'll tell you which way I finished mine and tell you what I chose to take as a shower gift for Lady Mary's baby boy.  Will I meet any blogger friends or sewists there?  Let me know if you will be there, too!  I'm so excited!

'Til next time....
Keep sewing....one stitch at a time!...