Monday, November 29, 2010

Desperation = Invention

Here are additional pictures of my quick and desperate attempt to save the dress.  You can see more of the skirt which has been covered.

Interestingly, depending on the light, the contrasting whites do not look so bad together.  There is a place in my house where they absolutely work and places they clash.


I can see that I tied the ties too tight.  The bottom ties should be loser.  An easy fix at least.

She Shall Go To The Ball

Over Thanksgiving weekend I put in over 36 hours of sewing creating a ball gown.  What a mess.  Who knew that buying white fabric could be so difficult!  The white silk I bought for the skirt in no way matched the white for the rest of the dress.  The skirt white was blinding!  The whitest white I ever came across.  It didnt look that way in the store.

You might ask what do you do?  Well I thought about a tea bath much to late to try that.  I may still do that.

So what do you do when you realize on Friday night this isnt going to work at all??  Well, you take whatever remaining fabric you have and do not cut it but drape some overskirt.  Yah...that's the ticket and hope no one notices what in the world is going on.  Finish this up 25 minutes before the ball starts so forget about any further planned embelishment.

This is what you end up with............  you breathe a sigh of relief and go dance.  What else can a girl possible do.  The only other option is to stay home which is not an option.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Happy thanksgiving to everyone regardless of whether you are celebrating Thanksgiving.

I have so much to be thankful for and I truly am.

Enjoy the day and just a peek at what I am working on this weekend.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Christmas Shopping

Soooo, no sewing because I have been finishing up my Christmas shopping and food shopping for Thanksgiving.  I used to always have my Christmas shopping done by Thanksgiving.  But, the last few years, I end up finishing the shopping a few days prior to Christmas.  Bugger that I told myself this year.  I am finishing the dreaded Christmas shopping as soon as possible.  I used the gift card "bonus" I got from work last year and headed out this week.

It really pays to hide those things you like at TJMaxx.  I did this with one item in particular.  I relied on the basic laziness of all people; I figured most people would look at the size and just put it back on the rack.  I just changed it from a Medium hanger to a Large hanger in the correct section.  2 weeks later I made it back and I was sure that the item would be gone.  However....lo and behold....there it was still in the wrong section waiting for me!!  Yes, it is a good idea to rely on the basic laziness of people.

I have also finished shopping for food for Thanksgiving.  Wow, I spent too much on food.  But it will be a nice meal and no turkey.  I really cannot abide the stuff.  Besides, having off the boat parents, we never had a traditional American Thanksgiving, it was really what a traditional British meal....think Christmas dinner with some Greek dishes thrown in for the other side of the family.  Certainly no sweet potatoes with marshmallows ever touched our table. 

But you are really here for the sewing.  Vogue 6329 is done and dusted.  However, the photographs are just not turning out well.  I am not sure why.  Live shots are just not attractive...I blame the photographer.  The shots on the dress form show many small wrinkles which are not present except in the photograph.  Thus steam pressing needs to ensue so I can present the finished skirt.  Gah..... frustrated.

In other news, I am way behind on my ball gown.  I may have to wear something old.......

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Interesting Construction

The instructions for the waistband provided with this Vogue pattern were odd to say the least.  I did contemplate not following them but decided to give it a go.

After cutting your waistband, the instructions had you fold the waistband in half.  Then after folded in half, fold up the seam allowance.  After folding up the seam allowance, the waistband was placed on the skirt.

How odd!!  Then you just sew the waistband on.  It turned out fine, but it still seems a round about way of doing this.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sewing in the Center

Zipper is in.  Not my usual invisible zip.  Instead, I challenged myself and tried a regular zipper.  To make it easy on my self (ha!) I decided to do a centered zipper.

I read and watched a variety of tutorials, all helpful, some very different.  I enjoyed hearing that you can glue stick the zipper to the fabric instead of basting or pinning by decided to leave that method by the way side because with my luck, the glue would stain the fabric.

Anywho…..I put in my first centered zipper.  Aint bad for a first try if I do say so myself.

It hangs better when it isnt flat.  It really looks better than this photo seems to show. 

But I digress.  I wanted to put this zipper in by machine, you know to challenge myself.  But that did not work out at all.  I just cannot seem to get a handle on machine sewing zippers.  It bubbled, the seam was wonky so out it came.  I decided to give an hand picked zipper a go.

Much better.  First try was not rip worthy.  It shall stay put.  I feel confident that this process will become even easier.  Besides, what better place to practice but on a side seam zipper on a skirt.  This puppy is one small zipper, all 25 cents of it!  If any one is close enough to comment on the zipper they need to back the hell up. 

Also, Rosy thanks for the help on the lined skirt!! It is much appreciated!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Looking Down on a Mountain of Fabric

Work has been too consuming this week.  I have not been getting out in time to sew.  So, all I have is a zipper 1/2 basted into the skirt.

Why oh why does work get in the way of the things I want to do?  Oh yeah, that’s just life.

In other news, some pictures of  only some of the fabric I purchased.  I had a lot of trouble with picture taking, especially with blues and greens.  I am leaving out the blues because not one picture showed the correct color.  I had a furry over-seer of all the fabric

The velvet is a stretch and a green and way nicer than this picture looks.  I think I ended up with 6 yards of this.  Though I will not be using it until probably next June.  I have a plan.

These plaids will make nice skirts.  I love the blue and yellow stripe in the one.

This is black and gold and shimmery but it looks like yick in this photo.  It really is much nicer.

Monday, November 15, 2010

It Seems to be Working

I sewed up the lining and while I like the fabric for actual lining it was horrific to cut out and sew.  Even with a lot of pins, there was slipping and sliding galore!

Here is the lining:

Boring but I wanted proof that I went forward with the lining.  This fabric is heavier than the cotton I am using and I like the combination when the fabrics are put together.

Here is the skirt with the lining attached.

Some white peeping out.

Now, a zipper.  The instructions next tell you to do a placket.  I will give it a try tomorrow.  If I have any problems, the placket is bye-bye because the lining does give the skirt a nice finished edge.  Maybe the placket should just be tossed……hmmmm something to think about.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Update on the Lining

First off, thank you all for commenting and providing guidance.  I sometimes get caught up in trying to do everything just right which causes me to spin my wheels endlessly.  The lining was one such issue.

I have cut out 1/2 of the lining and sewn it using essentially the same seam allowances because the fashion fabric is a nice crisp cotton and I really just want the skirt to hang properly.  If I do not like how it is hanging, well there is this wonderful tool called a seam ripper and I shall make adjustments.

In other news, I went fabric shopping on Saturday and boy did I buy fabric.  Lots and lots and lots of fabric.   I must have come home with over 30 yards.  I know 2 purchases were 8 yards each.  I had to go back to my car 3 times to dump off bags of fabric.  I even had one store put some fabric aside so I could come back later because I just could  not carry any more.

I was disappointed in one of my favorite stores for silk.  The have almost doubled the price for silk dupioni.  Yikes, I almost croaked when I was told the price.  Then they gave a song and dance how price of dupioni has increased in all the stores because the cost to make it has increased.

Well, the next store I went to and asked about the same color dupioni gave me the expected price!  So, count me disappointed.

Tomorrow, photos of fabric will be forthcoming.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lining - - -SOS

I decided that this skirt needs a lining.  The fabric is a little crispy and wrinkled just trying it on this evening.  I have a stash of lining material so why not?

EXCEPT – I have a question that my books do not answer for me.  It may be obvious to everyone else….so if anyone knows:

When making the lining for a skirt where there is a 5/8th seam allowance, is the seam allowance on the lining 5/8ths as well? Or is it smaller or even bigger??

If anyone can help, I would greatly appreciate it!!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Something Like Instant Gratification

Wow, why have I never made just a simple skirt before?  This is coming together so quickly I am downright amazed.

Once the pattern was traced, I zipped through cutting out the fabric due to my rotary cutter.  Then, zip zip zip and the seams are sewn.

This is almost done but not yet pressed so ignore the wrinkles for the moment:

Now, I need to figure out the placket thing.  Also, I do not have a zipper in this color, so I fear not a lot will be done until the weekend. 

I did shorten the pattern by 2 inches.  I think it needs a little more.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Just a Taste

Here is the fabric for the skirt:

Actually, this picture does not do it justice but camera problems forced me to go with this one!

Also, here is another fabric that I am going to start cutting into this week.  It will be for the bodice of a gown for one of the upcoming balls.  It is an embroidered white silk dupioni.

This time of the year is known as ball season so a girl needs some options.  Unfortunately, this was just a remnant of maybe 3 yards.  I purchased this a long time ago for a ridiculously low price.  Now I need to get some plain white silk dupioni this weekend for the skirt.

If only work did not get in the way of sewing.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Up Next

Recently, I went on a spat of skirt pattern buying so I knew the next project would be a skirt.  I also knew I would want to line the skirt even though I had never done that before.

However, since the last project, which I do love, took a really long time to complete, I think I am going to forgo the lining at the moment.  I may change my mind; it is a woman’s prerogative to do so. 

I also knew what fabric….a green, somewhat a cross between lime and khaki green.  No photo since I just popped the fabric into the washing machine.

I then dithered around trying to decide on which skirt pattern to use.  After a lot of dithering, I decided to go with this one:

Vogue 6329 from 1952; it is perfect for work.  Imagine my surprise when I decided to look this pattern up on the vintage pattern wiki to find that the actual pattern sitting on my desk is the same pattern on the wiki.  How do I know?  Easy….it has the exact same writing about Carolyn’s dark green “coudroy’ [sic} on it.

Don’t you just love it when there are notations on the pattern?  I do.  I know some of you are collectors and want a pristine envelope and pattern.  Not me, I don’t mind a torn envelope; it just shows that the pattern has had some use.  Not a bad thing in my opinion, but I am not collecting.

In this case, the pattern looks pristine so I have to wonder if it was ever used.  It is not a printed pattern so it is going to be a little harder to trace…argh.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Ready for the Luau

So it is done, over, completed!  And I love it.  Cannot wait to wear it.  I had hoped to wear it this weekend since during the week it was in the 90s.  But of course, the weekend hit and it was cold and cloudy.  Oh well….

I did make some additional changes.  I had to take in the side seam from the waist up about 2 1/2 inches to have any sort of definition. I could probably take it in a little bit more.  So, I really don’t think the FBA was needed with this pattern.  When I make this again, I will not do the FBA and may think about a dart.

I also added the upper bar at the neckline.  

The neck is too big.  This added strip of bias binding keeps the shoulders from slipping off.  Besides, I rather like the effect.  I will need to think about making the neckline smaller.  Not quite sure how to do that!

Some additional pictures

Friday, November 05, 2010

Fabric Alert

Amazing!  Did hell freeze over?  Were pigs flying?

Why?  Because for the month of October I purchased no fabric.  Nada, nope, nothing.  No money was spent buying fabric.  Just a few dollars on necessities such as thread or .75 on a zipper.

Seriously, miracles of miracles!  No money spent on fabric.  Not that it's bad thing; quite the contrary, it is fabulous since I saved money...kaaaaching!  Really, I have bins and bins of fabric because I have no self control when I go fabric shopping.  Even if I tried, I will never be able to use it all.  Perhaps it is time to try and sell some of it.

Besides, I know November will not be as kind.  I have white silk dupioni on the horizon and that will cost a pretty penny.

What about that Hawaii dress you ask.  Well, there is a bit of fine tuning going on adjusting side seams.  I am also adding another strip of bias binding.  This is what I love about sewing, making the adjustments that make it oh so special.  Now, I can wear the dress as is; but putting it on tonight, I just wanted to make a few oh so minute changes.  This means that I need another pair of buttons, but that’s okay and they can be added later.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Band-y-ing About

I made a milliner’s band to attach across the front.

What is a milliner’s band I can hear you ask.  Well, until a few months ago I had no clue.  All it is is bias binding folded and then slipstitched together closed.  I thought it would be perfect for the band across the bodice.
Here is the underside, not as pretty as I would like. 

The top just looks like any bias binding you would buy in a store.  I like to make my own bias binding because I know how.  For a long time, I found bias binding frustrating and overwhelming…that is until a good friend taught me how to do it.  Now, I like to make my own.  If you are interested in a tutorial on bias binding, check out the Dreamstress’s site.
Here is the button I have picked out with a little help from a JoAnn’s 50% off coupon.

This is for you Monique:  the pattern I am using is Polynesian Pattern 203 from what looks like the late 60’s early 70’s.  Check it out here

I loved it when I saw it and had to have it!  Though I had a tough time with the pattern and do not know if I can recommend it in any way but it is fabulous!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Rolling Along

Gah, my battery is not working so pictures took longer to take than finishing up binding the sleeves. 

There is a lot of bias binding on this dress which for me means a lot of hand sewing.  Finally, the end is in sight for this dress.  Tomorrow the band across the chest goes in and the buttons.  Depending on how long that takes, hemming will need to begin.  However, the hard stuff is now done!

I like how this looks.  The binding does rather disappear into the dress.

Here is an up close view of the bias binding on a sleeve

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Zipping Along

The zipper is in!  Yay…progress is being made albeit slow.

I had some difficulty lining up the 2 bias binding bands.  But that is where my hand sewn method of inserting the zipper pays off.  First, I hand baste in the zipper.  When everything lines up, I move forward with some serious hand sewing.  I then use a backstitch to firmly get that zipper in place.  Once I am done, that zipper is in and not moving. 

I do admit this takes some time.  But, I have found that for me, there are less errors and less ripping out stitches if I do it by hand.  So, totally worth it!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Happy Halloween....Whoops....Happy November 1st

So Halloween has come and gone.  The candy is eaten and the sugar high is wearing off.

I can only leave you with pictures of my Halloween costume, the same as last year; I fear I was a tad lazy this year.  Perhaps this outfit is one reason why there is no black thread in the house?  Could be.

Sadly, there is no picture of me in this outfit but then on Halloween pictures of me just dont appear...muwahhhahahaha.