The Free Motion Quilting Project: Galadriel Costume Part 2

Monday, October 12, 2015

Galadriel Costume Part 2

Costume time has come! I've been working hard on my Galadriel costume all weekend and shot this quick casual cam to catch you up on the latest:

The dress is definitely fitting better and all that's left is finishing the sleeves, inserting the lining, and stitching the hem. This project has definitely become longer and more involved as I fell head first in love with couture sewing.

It all started innocently enough. I mean, I never PLANNED to have an affair with a new sewing style. It just happened!

It all started when I signed up for Alison Smith's Couture Finishing Techniques Craftsy class which is all about finishing your garment beautifully with invisible zippers, gorgeous hems, and perfect interior seams. I actually met Alison while filming my last Craftsy class and she is such a fun, spectacular teacher, and I love how clearly she explains every technique.

It was during this class that I realized I was finishing the seams to my Galadriel dress all wrong. Well, no, I could have left it as it was, but I suddenly felt compelled to rip the dress apart and start over from the beginning. Yep, it was a slippery slope from there.

Of course I then had to sign up for all of Alison's other classes, especially Couture Dressmaking Techniques where I leaned how to mount each piece of satin on an interlining which adds more body and strength to the fabric, plus lets you stitch down the seams by HAND. Oh, this is just so fun!

The fun revelation in learning these techniques is realizing that ready-to-wear isn't the construction style I should have been chasing after all these years. Since I was a little girl, I wanted to make garments that looked as professional as those I could buy at the store.

I bought a serger and began sewing professionally, but everything was speed sewn. I'd serge a seam, reinforce it a bit on the sewing machine, then flip the garment to do the same on the other side. Always rushing through every step so I could finish one shirt and move on to the next. Cranking out 50 garments a week required absolute focus on speed and efficiency.

This is what I love about couture sewing, at least by Alison Smith's definition - it's about taking more time and having a greater connection with the garment you are creating, and taking the extra steps to ensure that it lasts.

Wrong and right side of an invisible zipper
 This might seem horribly time consuming and complicated, but it's really not. I've really enjoyed having the hand work to relax with in the evening. Yes, it's definitely been more expensive with the cost of satin outer fabric, interlining, and cotton lining fabric tripling the amount of fabric going into the garment.

But it's so worth it! This dress feels amazing to wear and I can't wait to use these techniques on other garments as well. As for what's left for Galadriel - I need to get this dress done because I still have a hooded cape to sew as well! The fabric is on it's way so I'm hoping I'll have time to get everything done before Halloween.

The thing I take from this project is that it's okay to surrender, to take more time, relax and enjoy every step of the process. No, I won't be wearing this dress every day, but when I do, I know I'll feel like a million bucks because I took the extra steps to make it marvelous!

Let's go quilt (or sew!),

Leah Day


  1. Can't wait to see the finished project! It's going to be beautiful!

  2. Had so much fun watching this! Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to the next video.

  3. Being able to enjoy the process is a beautiful thing, not having to rush through it. It is the best.

  4. thank you for sharing all your beautiful projects I have enjoyed all of it. Looking forward for more, more, more.

  5. I do envy you in America i am not sure you appreciate how much cheaper fabric is over there than in the UK ! Happy sewing :)


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