Friday, March 25, 2011

Diving In

This really says Fall rather than
Spring with all the brown leaves

Still dithering over the princess seam FBA.

I did a pin fitting…definitely one of the pluses of using the soil separator for patterns.  I sewed it up and tried it on.  It seemed to fit.  Seriously not too tight  at all.

So I think I need to take a deep breath and just go for it.  The fabric was not expensive so why not?

I am still afraid of the princess seams.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


So this is the pattern I would like to work on. 

Why am I afraid of this pattern?

Two things are stopping me: 1. bound buttonholes and 2. princess seam FBA.  These techniques scare me. 

I know I can skip the bound buttonholes and just make regular one.  But no matter how you slice it, I will need to make an FBA on the princess seams.  I spent yesterday dithering around looking in my sewing books and online for assistance making a FBA on the princess seams.  All this research and I found a variety of ways to make the FBA and am not utterly confused.  I have rather decided the FFRP method is not for me.  It would increase the rest of the dress unnecessarily.  The Reader’s Digest Sewing book just has you draw bigger curves in the bust area which is a better idea because it focuses on the problem area but the question is how much bigger?

I think I will be doing the Sandra Betzina method of increasing the bust area with princess seams.

Why is this so confusing?  Does anyone have a favorite way of doing an FBA on a princess seam dress??

Monday, March 21, 2011

What I Did Over the Weekend

 While the rain poured down and down and down, I was working on a little revamping of my black and white ball gown for a ball Saturday night.  Some was busy work like finishing the inside of the bodice.  I also added some additional trim and re-bustled the back.






I am not sure if I like the extra trim down the front to hide the quick draping.  I to think about it more.  When I did it, I like it….a lot.  But now it looks like a disconnect happening.  Maybe if I continued it around the bottom of the overskirt?  Not sure. 

I do think the back bustling looks better though. 

I ran out of time, so still no buttons!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Is It Spring Yet??

Tropical breezes, heat and a drink
with an umbrella are needed for this

That’s what went through my mind when I found this fabric in the remnant bin a few days ago.  

Actually what happened is that I squealed and the guy in the store told me I was a naughty girl out shopping for fabric when most people were in watching what was happening in Japan.  Great, nice guilt trip dude!

But seriously, I scored almost 4 yards of this polished cotton, Robert Kaufman fabric.  I love the combination of turquoise and brown – really one of my favorites. 

Now I need a special dress pattern for this.  I am thinking 50’s but may have to go a little smaller on the skirt since I do only have almost 4 yards.

I do love remnant bins.  They can be overwhelming but the treasures.  With this purchase, I also picked up a teeny bit more than a yard of purple velvet and about 4 yards of a lavender cotton that I need for a lining material.  All this for $6.  This place charges by the pound.  Yes, gotta love those remnant bins.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Perfect for a Chilly Day

After a bright and sunny week, it has turned positively chilly in these parts.  I need to turn the heat back on.  However, it is perfect for the completed Very Easy Vogue 9311.  It really is very easy and makes a really nice skirt.  Definitely an instant gratification skirt.  I really need to shorten the pattern though, it was still about 2 1/2 inches longer than I would have liked. 

You can see the little darts I put into the skirt to fix my stretching of the fabric.

The fabric is warm and goes nicely with my navy sweater which is definitely needed today.

I lined it….a quick look.

I ran into a problem hemming this skirt.  I hemmed it a couple of days ago but I didn’t think about how think the fabric is.  It was too thick for my basic turned over hem which is, of course, what I did.  After it was done, I took a look and UGH it was horrible.  So I ripped out the hem, applied hem lace to the bottom and did it all over again.  Success!!!!

Now onto bigger and better things and hopefully the return of warmer weather.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fabric Regrets?

Does anyone else have them?  I have to admit I don’t have a lot of them but the ones that exist are HUGE!!

Recently, I was going through the old bins o’fabric and found this:

It is really a richer darker olive green but scratchy!

I have had a lot of trouble photographing it.  It is a great olive green color and boy do I have tons of this fabric.  60 inches wide and 5 yards of it.  But what was I thinking?

It is a knit, a scratchy hard knit at that plus it has all those holes.  I don’t even sew with knits. What was I thinking????  How could I have thought I would be using this for anything?  Was I delusional that day?  Must have been because I can think of nothing…absolutely NOTHING…to do with this fabric!

Do you think washing it might soften it up?  Still, what to do with this?

Sunday, March 06, 2011

There is a Reason for Stay Stitching

I have always blindly followed the instructions for stay stitching and never really thought about why there is a need for stay stitching.  I don’t, usually, man-handle my fabric.  I tend to try not to pull it out of shape.

But you know….the one time I do not stay stitch…….it was the one time I needed to stay stitch.

So picture this:  A simple skirt, 3 pieces including the waistband.  At this point, is there any need to look at the pattern instructions?  Sew up the sides, install a zipper and put on a waistband.  If desired, also add in a lining. Easy peasy.  At least it should be.

But what did I do?  Or maybe the question is how exactly did I screw up this time.

See that excess fabric?
That is how much it stretched.
I cut out the 2 skirt pattern pieces for forgot to mark which was the front.  Usually I can tell. This time, the pieces are almost identical.  So there is that mystery.  Then I sew up the pieces (but did not stay stitch the waist) but did not leave a big enough opening, or so I found, to put the skirt on my teeny tiny dress forms.  I guess while trying to put the skirt on the dressform, I stretched the waist of what I believe to be the front of the skirt.  Really….did I even think about what I was doing?  Nope, nada, no way… or at least not until matching up the lining and it did not work.  Go back to the pattern pieces and yup…it is all stretched out.  Not a lot, but enough.

So what to do?  I am making some darts in the front of the skirt. They are little darts, just enough to take in the stretched out bit.

Lesson learned:  I need to think before acting.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Disappointing February

I usually do not do a month end wrap up; however, February deserves note.  Why?  Because this has been an utterly unproductive sewing month for no apparent reason.

Yes, the Civil War Dress (still unfinished) sucked the life out of me.  Too time consuming and when the event was cancelled, it was thrown aside so quickly it could have resulted in an injury.  When it was thrown aside, so was all of my desire to sew.  Seriously, I have sat and looked at my machines. I have looked at patterns and fabric.  I even choose a pattern.   Alas, I had no desire to move any farther than taking the fabric to the washing machine to prep it.

I am blaming the weather for the lack of sewing.  The rain gets to me and there was sufficient rain to play the blame game with.  Yes, this is me grasping at straws.

The positive is that it is now March and Vogue 9311 was cut out tonight. 
A little fuzzy but you get the idea

Here is the fabric.

It is hard to see but the colors are navy, khaki and white.  It is a super soft fabric and it seems like it will be nice and warm.  I have no idea what kind of fabric it is; one of the downsides of pulling it out of the clearance box of fabric. 

I did do a little fabric shopping last weekend.  I only bought some lining fabric and fabric to make muslins.  But I did fall in loved with a purple/grey silk taffeta which was also in a bargain barrel.  $8 a yard but you had to take all they had.  I did not buy it but I may go back on Saturday to see if it is still there.  If it is…..well then the universe MUST be telling me to buy it.