Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Trim Decisions! Argh!

I tend to suffer from choice overload when it comes to design decisions.  As outlined in my previous post, I have been debating between two options for the front horizontal trim on my Spencer.  I have a very limited amount of soutache braid to work with, so my options boil down to these two:

Same-width rows

Tapered-width rows
(The decorative frog loops will be made with my thinner braid.)  I think I like the tapered look better.  Brian the Engineer says it's more flattering, and I agree.

So, that's settled!  Next decision.

Side back seams only

Side back and shoulder seams

Side seams with frogging
I know for sure I want to trim the side back seams, and I do not have enough to also trim the shoulder seams AND add the decorative frogging at the tops.  I have to choose one.  In fact, if I do either of those I will also not have enough left over to do the decorative frogging on the front horizontal rows.  I only have a yard and a half, and to make a decent-sized frog I need at least six inches.  I'll have to sacrifice something.  Still considering options.

Another decision I'm wrestling with is how to add a closure to the center front.  Do I use decorative buttons?  Or hidden hooks and eyes?  The buttons idea brings up a whole new series of possibilities.

Sample decorative button.  I made it from a scrap of dusty blue wool and some embroidery floss that are both close-ish to the color of the braid.  I have the materials to make several more of these, and I could use them as functioning buttons at the center front. 

However, this creates a problem with the soutache braid interfering with the buttonhole.  So perhaps instead I simply make light blue buttons from the leftover wool of the Spencer itself, and use them in between the rows of trim.  This will probably keep the jacket closed better, as I could use more than just three buttons.  Then I could use the decorative ones for this:  

Three options exist here.  Button alone, frogging alone, or button with frogging:

If I do lots of frogging on the front, I lose the option of doing any in the back.  And I also really like this idea: 

See why I'm struggling?  I have a really hard time committing to a choice when it eliminates the possibilities of other choices.  I had no trouble deciding to trim the collar and peplum edges with velvet ribbon, because I still had enough ribbon left over to do more things with it in the future, if I so chose.  Speaking of which...

Final decision!  (It is to be hoped.)

This one is a simple "yes" or "no" decision.  I have enough of the velvet ribbon left to trim the edges of the waistband, which I really like.  However, if I do that I will have only about 8" or so of the ribbon left, and I was hoping to keep some to trim a possible future matching bonnet.  But since I have no immediate plans to make said bonnet, just a vague someday-feeling, is that a good enough reason to not use it here?

On the other hand, am I getting dangerously close to over-trimming this thing?  Is that even possible? 



  1. Use up the velvet ribbon on the jacket; don't worry about saving some for the hat. In the day, the hat would have been made by someone else, who would have had different materials. It should coordinate with the dress/spencer, but using the exact same trim/fabric is a mistake I've made and seen others make; it is a modern, recreationist choice, not what they would have done then. At least, IMHO.

    1. That is an excellent point, and something I would never have thought of! Thank you. That makes me feel better. :)

  2. Oh, and The Engineer is right about the trim on the front. ('Course, as an engineer myself, I *would* say that...)