Last Monday I did indeed attach the lining of my Armada gown to the bodice, and was able to get rid of about half my basting stitches in the process. I did them in turquoise to make them obvious, and they increasingly annoy me as the dress begins to take shape.
I spent the latter part of the day cutting out the final few pieces of the gown. The skirt is predictably very large, so it took four widths of material to make. Two of the panels are shaped to make it fall open nicely at the front, revealing the magnificence of the forepart. The cat was out and the kitchen floor was available and surprisingly clean so I spent time happily measuring and cutting whilst listening to Counterpoint on Radio Four (and only getting the musical theatre questions right- but that's another story).
It all appeared to be going swimmingly- I remembered, for once, to adjust the tension on the sewing machine. I had previously forgotten to do this, resulting in such puckering frustration (!) that I pushed the poor little machine over in temper. But this time, tension levels of both machine and operator being correct, the sewing was beautiful. Lovely straight seams and even joins, and not too much gouging of my fingers by stubborn pins.
Feeling jolly smug, I held my handiwork up to the light to survey it and saw to my horror that one of the front panels was UPSIDE DOWN. Well, not even upside down, because then I could have un picked it and turned it around. No, this was a special kind of upside down that only velvet can deliver. I had drawn out the shaping on the wrong end of the fabric, so the shape was right but the pile was laying the wrong way up. This meant that the light fell differently on to each side, like the stripes in grass. My black skirt had a panel with a very grey look. This is clearly not acceptable to Queenie. So there's nothing for it- I have to unpick the panel and cut out another. Ghastly prospect- I can't even think of a better joke about piles.
But hurrah hurrah, I have a confirmed booking for Strangers' Hall in Norwich for 23rd July. Queenie will be getting attired at 2pm in this lovely Medieval hall, hopefully before an assembled crowd. If a miracle occurs and the Armada costume is finished by then, I will bring it along!