Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Couching. Beading. Sore Fingers!

 <--- It takes SERIOUS patience to lace yourself into a back lacing gown like this, just saying.

Okay, so this post is for a work in progress, which has been a work in progress for a LONG time. My first dress was a green and brown venetian, with big pretty open sleeves. Well, I spent a long time swearing that I liked my dresses plain and I didn't want anything too ornate or ridiculously over decorated. So I left it plain for a long time and it was worn once and then tossed in a tub of garb and forgotten.

But! I found the dress and decided that, somehow, I was going to decorate it. So I started googling my little heart out and I stumbled across an article about Couching.

Couching is a technique where you take some kind of cord, or even thick thread, and you sew it down with embroidery floss in whatever design you like. Well, I didn't find any photos of this technique for garb but I did find some really neat examples;

So, armed with these images, I set to work trying to come up with a way to decorate this horrifically large dress...

First was the task of getting supplies together...

I didn't know that walmart sold embroidery floss before this project, by the way. I was very pleased. I also am convinced I beat walmart with this trip, my total purchase cost was less than the number of items I bought!

I figured that I would do the basic trimming of the bodice...

I couched the trimming onto the bodice then took an assortment of sead beads and sewed it down over the trim. It turned out very pretty but took far more time than I expected. The trimming alone on this part took me two nights of work and movies to get done.

After that, I realized that to make this dress proper, I needed to close the sleeves. So, I had to run back to walmart and get the little things I needed for that task... Which turned out beautifully!

I also might have sewn through my finger in the process of that. But, well worth the effort.

Then, at a loss for how else to decorate, I decided to couch the sleeves just as I had done to the trim. This step has never been completed, the dress is sitting in my project crate...

That is one sleeve done, the other is half done and that will be a complete dress for me...I just don't want to spend the last six hours it will take the finish the darned sleeve!


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