Sunday, March 30, 2014 in crafty things

Adventures in dressmaking

I’ve been on a dress kick lately – not that I’ve been wearing any recently (too cold) but I have been thinking about it since last summer.

I bought the Oolong dress pattern from Colette – they are not wrong, their patterns are indeed beautifully printed. I found the shipping to be steep but only ordered one pattern. It pretty much double the price, so I wonder if 2 or 3 or even 4 patterns could have been shipped at that rate.

That being said, totally worth it, gorgeous patterns, well made, beautifully instructed. I really admired the total package.

Of course, I couldn’t just do it as written, I had to make adjustments.  I don’t necessarily mean fitting adjustments either. This pattern was for woven fabrics cut on the bias. I used a slink knit cut on the cross grain. In cases like this, that’s actually a similar substitution. The fabric was a cut length of 3 or 4 yards I picked up at Value Village (thrift store like Goodwill) for a whopping $3.99.

I do have a serger but it is over 20 years old and probably on its last legs. It has a really hard time handling slinky knits like this. I did one seam and felt like tossing it out the window. The rest of the seam I did on a regular sewing machine with a slight zig zag stitch, nothing fancy. On some seams I made sure to stretch the fabric a bit so the threads wouldn’t break when the fabric itself was stretched.

I cut a 14 because that is my size and the size according to the measurements. I generally make up a pattern without much fitting to give myself a standard to go buy because often it should mostly fit with little issue. I traced off the size I needed onto tissue paper, which was a fair amount of work. The size lines are actually quite close together on the pieces, so my usual method of “fold back and hope for the best” was to difficult in many places.

I did make a dress form last year, but I think the form is actually larger than I am by enough of a difference to matter. The last two things I’ve made are snug on the form and loose on me.

Same with this dress.

If I made it again in a knit, and if you are considering the same in a knit, go a size smaller if you like a snug fit.  This dress should be slightly fitted and in a knit it winds up a teensy bit loose. I would also eliminate the darts when using a knit, the fabric should compensate. The gathers at the bust and using a knit means you don’t have to do a FBA (full bust adjustment). At least I didn’t.

 

The other changes I made were sewing the front skirt to the bodice. I just did a straight seam and not topstitched as directed. I have a similar dress with a pint in the front and it is constructed the same way. It was easier to do it this way with the knit.

I also did not line the bodice, but went with a facing. I did stitch the seams to the facing but this was still not enough to keep the neckline facings in place. So I stitched around the neck about 3/4″ in. It looks nice and keeps the facing in place. I will probably trim off the excess. I’d like to see how the neckline would work when using fold over elastic (FOE) instead.

As for the length – I cut it as long as the pattern and I knew I’d have to lop off quite a bit. Dresses on me need to hit just below the knee to look right so this means cutting off a good 6″ even before hemming.

That;s the only step left to do, and I hope to get it done before we go to Denver in May. Yes, it might take me that long. I’m also considering making a lime green drapey knit cardigan to go with it.

I will probably make this dress again (considering how much the pattern costs, yeesh) and try a woven fabric next time, and make adjustments to the pattern  itself before cutting out. It’s a similar style to the dress I’m making in this post, just a different pattern and something that looks reasonably decent on me.

Friday, March 28, 2014 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

This is where my title goes if I had one

It’s Friday afternoon and I’m on my half day. I’m too tired to do much though. Sitting in bed with Netflix on my big 42″ tv sounds like a great plan right about now.

I’ve been taking a screenprinting class, which is great but it;s like 2.5 hours of setup and prep work for maybe 3 minutes of actual printing. The good part is we are getting to the industrial type of screenprinting with photo emulsion. I like that a lot better.

I’d show you what I did but it’s for a top secret project I don’t want leaked yet, sorry.

There were so many storms that this week and next week we’re doing two classes a week to finish in the time allotted. It makes for busy weeks.

As fro my hair – I did get it cut since I last posted. It was driving me nuts. Now I have brown roots. I overdyed it in VooDoo Blue which looks pretty cool. That blue bleeds quite a bit more than other blues even within the same brand. Right now my hair is faded all out again (partly  on purpose) and getting shaggy again.

I’ve been looking at super short cuts on Pinterest and thinking about my next hair adventure. We’re going to Denver in May so I want a great cut with a super color dye job.

I had been planning on rainbow next, but I keep thinking about blonde with gradient bangs again.

Not much sewing is going on here and barely any quilting at all.

Thursday, March 20, 2014 in crafty things

Sew for victory!

In an effort to jump start my blog a little, I decided to post my progress in Lucky Lucille’s Sew for Victory sew along.

Basically, I had a pattern already picked out from the 40’s and had the fabric on hand. I’ve been meaning to sew up this dress for a while now, and this was the perfect excuse!

The pattern is Simplicity … , which I bought at a yard sale a very long time ago. It was in a paper bag with maybe 6 other patterns. For a DOLLAR. I have made this pattern before, back in the late nineties. Then, I used a black knit with tiny white polka dots, picked the long sleeved version, and skipped the zipper insertion. It was a warm and comfortable presentable dress that was great for church and I got a lot of use out of it. It even held up to me teaching the nursery school kids there.

This time around, I had two fabric to choose from, both picked up at Value Village for $3.99 each piece. They are both either rayon/poly or poly/nylon.

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Definitely man made, and super slinky wovens with a nice drape. Polka dots again. It’s like I really love them or something and they look good on me. Go figure!

So I picked the 1930’s green – it’s perfect and cute! I am also doing the short sleeved option, not shown on the envelope.

You’ll note that since this is a vintage pattern, none of the pieces are printed. They are pre-cut for you, however. I do appreciate that. A quick press and I was pinning and cutting away.

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Now I have a nice stack of cut pieces waiting for me. Probably might not get to starting it till Sunday though.