Monday, September 27, 2010

What I don't want to sew again any time soon ...

 In no particular order ....

fabrics that right and wrong sides are "almost" identical
prints that are difficult to see markings
wool (sewing-friendly fabric but it makes me itch)
drapery fabric

I know I will sew some of the above again, but not any time soon. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Deja vu? More of the same ...

... but, different, of course!

One last garment for the style show that will be worn by a dress form (but not the one in the picture).  It will be a dress form made to the same measurement chart used for the garment, so the next best thing to a human model.

 Now, the details --
  • Same -- fabric as two other garments
  • Same -- shoulder princess silhouette
  • Different -- blouse instead of a dress
  • Different -- closure ... button front instead of zippered back
  • Different -- collar ... this is a convertible
  • Different -- sleeve
  • Different -- addition of some pockets

This fabric was a perfect candidate for the tabbed sleeve because it can be rolled up or ruched  and the inside of the sleeve looks like the outside.  I did sew the sleeve with a French seam so that the seam would be clean and as unobtrusive as possible.

rolled sleeve
ruched sleeve
I think either will be nice when there is an arm coming through the sleeve.  For the dress form, however, I would choose the rolled version.

One thing I'm still on the fence about is adding pockets to the front.  I made a couple small ones that have a pleat and topstitching.  The topstitching echoes that on the sleeve tab and complements the contrasting buttons. 

Sorry for the color -- the pic was dark and when I lightened it to show the detail, the color went funky.

This is a pocket with a pleat where I topstiched the edges of the pleat and put on a top band that used the crossgrain wrinkle of the fabric.

I kept the pockets small since they are more for accent than function, although big enough for a hankie (boy, that word dates me!) or some pocket change.

I don't want them up at the bustline but had thought maybe at the hemline, aligning the pleat detailing with the underlying princess seamline of the blouse.

with pockets pinned on         

    I'll think more about the pockets and then can always be sewn on later.  I just would not want to have to frogstitch them off.

    Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    Scarlett, eat your heart out!

    Scarlett O'Hara may have had green velvet ... but did she have bead trim?

    This is my last (hopefully) garment for the style show; there is possibility of one more but I am hoping that that one is canceled.

    The particulars -- a TCC sheath dress with an envelope collar and a loose sleeve shortened to just above the elbow.

    Some techniques I learned with this dress --

    • how to cut continuous bias strips
    • how to make piping
    • how to sew on beaded trim

    Some other things I learned with this dress --

    • It probably is NOT a good idea to use home dec fabric (ie drapery fabric) for a garment -- no matter how it turned out for Scarlett.  I used a whole bottle of Fray Check around the cut edges before I even started to work with the fabric.  I was afraid that even the serger couldn't tame runaway ravels.
    • It probably is NOT a good idea to cut drapery fabric on the crossgrain just to get the slubs to run vertically in the garment.  Also, NOT a wise idea to cut the collar on the the straight of grain just to get the slubs to run horizontally.  It just seems right to have the the lines moving those directions -- but I fear for the drape (no pun intended) of the garment.  
    • A hem that has been cut on the crossgrain is going to need to be sewn by hand.  Trying to use the machine makes for ripples and ridges that should only be in potato chips.
    The best thing I learned is either that I can tackle and conquer some ambitious tasks ... or .... how good it feels to be finished.

    Right now, I have to say it feels GREAT to be finished.  When I rest up a bit I will put on my own garments so I can post those pics.

    Saturday, September 11, 2010

    The same ..yet different

    Today's title reminds me of when as a little girl I'd try to tell my dad that things were "exactly the same ... but different" .... amusing to him yet it made perfect sense to me!

    These two dresses for the TCC style show at Novi are both in a crinkle woven that actually sewed like a dream.  Same.   The pattern for each is the shoulder princess dress.  Same.   The collar and neckline on Dress 1 is a lowered jewel with a turtleneck on steroids; Dress 2 has a v-neck with a convertible collar.  Different.  The sleeve on Dress 1 is a shirt sleeve that has been widened and lengthened at the wrist to add fullness that is contained with a cuff; the sleeve on Dress 2 is a skirted tiered sleeve with some "princess" seaming.  Different.  The dresses are made from two distinct measurement charts.  Different.

    Dress 1


    Dress 2
    The skirted tiered sleeve is one of my favorites.  Once this sleeve was chosen, the sleeve tool allowed me to shorten the overall length and make other preference changes.  Then I had a dilemma -- did I want to cut all the sleeve pieces on grain or did I want to do some on the cross grain?  I tried both ways and still had a dilemma -- I liked them both and each had pros and cons.

    Sleeve A:  The one where all the pieces were on grain.  Pros were that it sewed together a little easier (because of the crinkles) and hangs ever so gracefully. Cons are that you can't really see the panels since the seamlines hide in the crinkles.

    Sleeve B:  The one with every-other piece on straight or cross grain.  Pros were that you can see the panels and it still hangs beautifully.  The only con I could think of is that some may think I made a mistake (gasp!) when laying out and cutting the pieces.

    A: On-grain pieces

    So while I am a stickler for accurate details, I am not afraid to 'fess up when I've goofed.  In this case, it was intentional and not a goof.

    B: Some cross-grain pieces


    And the winner is --

    So, see?  The same ... yet different.

    Wednesday, September 8, 2010

    Under the Tuscan Sun

    Been sewing like mad and have a few more garments finished .. just need to take some pictures and get them posted.  Here's a quick project that I finished this afternoon --

    I wanted a new pair of pjs that I could take to Novi that didn't look like they had come out of the rag bag.  So  Saturday I looked at t-shirts at WalMart and found one in a pale orange on the clearance rack.. 

    I have lots of flannel in my stash with cute prints but thought maybe a nice cotton would be better for this time of year, especially since I wanted a pair that would hit mid-calf.  At JoAnn's Labor Day sale I checked the clearance tables and found a cute Debbie Mumm print with a Tuscany theme in just the right colors and then found some cute ribbon also on clearance.  (Do you get the idea I that I love a bargain?)

    The shirt was $3 and the pants cost $5.79 if you don't count elastic or thread from my stash (and who counts the stash anyway????)   

    So this is my "fun" sewing ... still have 2 style show garments and 4.5 booth garments (what I will wear) to finish and am watching the calendar days fly by -- 9 sewing days left --  at least I'm not counting the hours just yet. I've completed 20.5 items  counting the pjs so am still breathing and not hyperventilating just yet.  I'll be posting some new pictures soon.

    Publish Post

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010

    All buttoned up

    Here she is ... ready for her appearance at Novi ....  pretty good fit for a gal with only half a torso and no arms!

    It was a little tricky taking her measurements but the pattern was not altered and as you can see, no pins, clamps, or clips in the back of the blouse.

    I did built a little ease into the blouse as if she were a real person, just so it wouldn't be too difficult to button the buttons.  Plus, showing a skin-tight fit wasn't exactly my objective.