Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pretty Skirt

I'm sick today and haven't been sewing this week.  But I did see a pretty skirt on the Talbots website that I might just wanna make for myself.  (I am unlikely to spend $199 on a skirt.) But when would I wear this?  Tea length might just make this more wearable for me.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mystery Box Challenge #2: The Plan

So, I've worn my Mystery Box Challenge color block dress a couple of times and I really love it, so I think I'm ready for challenge #2.  I'm gonna use the weird brocade fabric that I had no idea what to do with.

Here is the line drawing for Vogue 8755.

This pattern seemed like a good way to use both sides of the brocade.  Unfortunately, it did not suit me me at all.The neckline was unflattering, the bodice sits up too high for me, the darts are in the wrong place, and it was way too big under the bust (but fine at and above.)  I could totally spend a lot of time working to fit this too me, but I've decided to take my sloper, which fits me perfectly, and adjust it to pick up some of the details of this dress.  I don't have much need for a polyester brocade (I don't actually think it is brocade, but I don't know what to call it) dress, but I don't have any fun party dresses.  Maybe this can be that.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Drop Cloth Dress

Another new dress!  I needed something simple to make, and while drafting your own pattern might not seem that easy, it can be a lot easier than trying to fit a new commercial pattern.

I also needed something with very, very simple lines to suit this fabric.  This is a crazy print and no fine details were even remotely going to show up.  (The fabric is from Jay McCarroll's Habitat line.  Yes, it is a quilting fabric.  No, you are not supposed to use quilting fabrics for clothing.  Turns out many styles inspired by the 50s and 60s don't have a lot of drape, and these fabrics can work just fine.)

Since it is hard to see anything because of this print (and if you have been reading for awhile, you know I love a crazy print) I will describe it to you.

  • Boat neck, but not too wide, because I don't want my bra straps to show.
  • Basic dirndl skirt.  
  • Sleeveless.  (I was going for a 60s look so I did not bring in the shoulder points of the armscye like one might normally do when making a summer sleeveless dress.)
  • Invisible zipper.
  • Hemmed by hand.
  • French darts are not sewn all the way.

See where I've drawn that white line?  That's where I stopped sewing the bust dart.  Instead of having bust darts and waist darts, I moved the bust darts into the waist for 2 giant french darts.  (Just to see if I could.)  As a rule, the bigger the dart, the pointier it is, and let me tell you, this dart was insanely pointy.  Like a paring knife sticking out of my chest.  So, I stopped sewing the dart below my bosom area and pressed the dart legs towards the center.  This creates a little fold above where I stopped sewing that ends at my bust apex, creating a much smoother look.  ( I could not get a good photo.  If I use this bodice pattern again with a calmer fabric, I will try it again.  If you click on the photo, it should get bigger, and you might be able to see the fold.)
  • The arm and neck holes are finished with my combined facing technique.

I am very happy with this dress.  I wanted to see if I could work out a french dart that would flatter my hourglass figure instead of making it scary.  Also, the fabric is crazy and I deeply love it!  Throw a sweater on over this, and I am ready to go!  Also, look how nicely I matched up the back!  Can you tell I am excited! ! !

Monday, October 3, 2011

Simplicity 9825

This post might just as well be subtitled "another navy skirt."  but I needed this one!  My other denim skirt is very old and doesn't really look like denim anymore. This was a beautiful cotton/bamboo mix that I got at my neighborhood fabric store, Nancy's Sewing Basket.

I love this skirt pattern a lot. (I currently have three others in rotation.  It's just a very basic 4 gore skirt, but the shape works very well for me, and I wear all my skirts a lot.)  If I had a uniform, it would be a-line skirt, top, and cardigan.  Pretty standard stuff for me.

Here is a close up of the skirt where you can see the topstitching:

This was the only thing I did that wasn't regulation; I thought it gave it a more dressy vibe.  This is pretty much a straightforward skirt, so nothing much to tell on the construction side.  It doesn't fit quite as well as the other ones (just a little loose,)  but I made the others back in the days before I blogged and didn't take construction notes.  If I did something different, I don't remember what it was.  Grump.  I'm pretty happy with this though.  Time to make something more complicated.