Here is the summing up of the whole Blue Faced Leicester Dress process.
I began spinning this yarn in January of 2016. The intention was another skirt with 2 ply warp and weft but things changed and morphed over the whole time. Mostly because there is a lot of time to think while you spin. Also because some new questions pop up. And also because of laziness which led to the decision to weave with singles which I don’t regret at all.
2 Ply Warp yardage spun – 9188 yards
2 Ply warp grist – 3077 yards per pound
Singles Weft spun – 5000 yards
2 Ply warp was about 20 wpi and sett at 24 epi on the loom.
There were an average of 15 picks per inch
Yardage off the loom – 12.5 yards
Percent shrinkage in length – 3.35%
Total Project time including sewing – 18 months (although there were some weeks in there where the project just sat while I prepared for teaching or writing happened.
I had my mom do the making of the dress because I am terrible at fitting myself. That’s a class I want to take and I am hunting for a good one.
I wasn’t afraid of the cutting and neither was she. I’ve been watching her sew for other people professionally for years so I knew my fabric was in good hands. We used a Vogue pattern 8997. The sleeve options weren’t my favorite so we took sleeves from another pattern and made them work. The first time wasn’t right so mom just chopped off part of the sleeve cap and all was well.
It took her a total of 12 hours from the time she made the first cut into the bodice muslin until the hemming was done. It was a lot of work but worth it.
And pink hem tape. It’s those little hidden details that make a custom dress worth while I think.
So the dress is done. And it’s lovely. It has a fantastic drape. The skirt is swingy. The only regret is that I didn’t have silk to line it with and we didn’t have time to make a trip to Philadelphia to get the good fabric so a super slinky, slippery polyester is the lining which makes it a little warmer than I’d like. The next one will have silk lining.
So, what’s next? Targhee for now. Singles. Experiments with different amounts of twist. Experiments with sizing. The fleece is already scoured. Woolen first but I’ll probably want to compare worsted spun Targhee singles.
I’ll try to post more but if I don’t you can get little snippets by following me on Facebook at my professional page – Beth Smith, my personal page – Beth Shearer Smith, or on Instagram where I’m Threesheeps