Thursday, June 30, 2011

You Wouldn’t Know It!!

I have been sewing up a storm and have nothing to show for it!  Basically, I have been making muslins trying to get a pattern for a fantasy type outfit.  It has been slow going and really nothing picture worthy. 

What am I trying to make?

This is a sketch of the basic idea.  It is for a costumed event.  I thought putting this rather simple outfit would be easier than it is.  The sleeves have been a nightmare.  Gee even finding fabric was a process.  I did decide on fabric last week and it was not cheap….at least for me!

Why? Why? Why?

Is it everytime I try to post to blogger I cannot.  Nor can I save the post so I can post it remotely.  Also, sometimes, I cannot upload pictures.  This is driving me crazy!  Maybe it is time to more over to something else??

Now, when I checked again, it is working but I do not have the post or pictures handy.

Guess, I will see if this works later. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


DuBarry 5551 skirt completed.

The front and back pieces are the same.  Less than a yard of fabric was used.  It no complicated techniques required.

But never has such a simple pattern caused as much angst.  I think I spent as long sewing it as I did on the steampunk skirt with the flat felled seams.  Seriously, this should have been a breeze.

It wasn’t.

It was my fault that these problems occurred!

Let this be a lesson to all those out there reading this.  Make sure you have your most correct and up to date measurements before beginning any project.  Then make sure you review the pattern measurements before making changes to the pattern.  One should also review the pattern instructions to see what is necessary to put the pattern together before making adjustments to the pattern.  Also think seriously if the fabric you are chooising is, in fact, the best fabric for the pattern again before cutting into the fabric. Then, finally, if you make a mess of things feel free to throw the offending fabric across the room in anger… wait….make that put it to one side and  return to it when you have a clearer head.
Check out the grey patent leather shoes!
Ignore the bad hair....again.

 All in all, I now like the skirt.  It is still a skosh big but definitely wearable.  I love the cadet blue twill fabric.  I actually think that now this is complete, it might get a lot of wear.  So to paraphrase the Bard….alls well that ends well as long as you don’t end up with a bubble – butted skirt.

I wanted to try the top that goes with the skirt but I think I will wait a while before tackling that.

Friday, June 17, 2011

DuBarry Revisited

Remember this skirt? 

I tossed it aside sometime in April.  Well….I didn’t actually toss it aside.  What I did was pin it to one of my dressforms in the hope that if I had to look at it every day, I would be forced to deal with it.  As opposed, it putting it into a bag and forgetting about it.

Well, today was the day I tackled it!  I tried it on and thought….you know it doesn’t look that bad.  Why not finish it and say to heck with it?  So after some fiddling around with the gathers, I determined it was just too big.  I did increase the skirt to fit my hip which, at the time, were bigger than the skirt.  Not so now.  I ended up taking 3 inches off the width of the skirt, 1 1/2 inch each side!  It started to look a little better, so I cut out a waistband; a waistband 4 inches bigger than my waist.  I thought it would be sufficient.

While trying to attach the waistband I discovered yet another problem with the skirt….it was still too big.  The waistband was 2 inches too small for the waist of the skirt.  No wonder it looked odd on.  Recall, I already took out 3 inches and now another 2 need to go.

Next step was taking out the gathers.  I am re-doing the gathers so that more area is taken up.  I hope that this solves the problem and I am on my way to a new skirt!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Another 1940’s Dress Finished

Gah, that hair is
out of control!

And about time, I might add!  The June gloom lifted a little so I thought it was time to take pictures and document this dress as done.  So I threw it on and found a belt went to take pictures.  The belt chosen does not work…at all.  Need to piece a self belt and find a buckle….but I really did not want the belt to be a stopping point on this dress.  It can be worn without a belt and I may have to do that.

With the neckline they way it is supposed to be according to Simplicity 3162.

Annoying neckline as patterned

Some thoughts:
  • No FBA needed.
  • The bodice was too long.  Note to self, check this before cutting out the next pattern regardless of whether an FBA is needed.
  • I found the neckline silly and annoying so I modified it.
  • Still am loving the sleeves
  • Need to figure out a belt.
  • Perfect summer dress if only the weather was summer like for more than an hour a day.

Nice static shot.
Love the buttons.
No belt.
Buttons on the dress:

So, there I was outside snapping these photos with all the people in the park across the street watching me set the timer on the camera and run.  I look up and what do I see?  My nosey cat trying to get in on the photo shoot action from inside the house!

If you let me out, I could help!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Have I Angered the Sewing Gods?

These buttons went
missing because I
put them in a safe place
 Things have been going swimmingly.  My last dress together simply and with no problems.  This dress was going down the same road.  I was a happy camper just naively enjoying the creative process we call sewing.

It was too good to last.  The past few days have been rife with small sewing annoyances.  Pattern pieces going missing when you just laid them down.  The buttons which cost more than the fabric, missing as well.  Every time I try to put in a buttonhole, the thread breaks.  Seriously, am I going to have to make my buttonholes by hand?  Say it isn’t so!!  I measured the hook and eye tape, pin in the eye tape and the hook tape goes missing.  I spent hours looking for the measured hook tape with no success.

I know I have been enjoying my sewing too much lately.  The sewing gods had to keep me in line.  I must appease them before the really wreak havoc on a sewing project.

Where I am now.

Skirt and bodice joined.  All bias binding finishing is completed.  Side closing is finished.  The buttonholes, finally, are done.  I have to sew on the buttons and hem the skirt.  This is taking much tooo long! 

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

More Patterns

The other $1 patterns I picked up over the weekend. 

Anne Adams 2664
Anne Adams

Simplicity 2728.  I think this dress is so cute and my friend with whom I was shopping just turned up her nose at this one.  I do not get that!

Simplicity 2728

This is Simplicity 1184.  There is no envelope for this one.  My friend also did not like this pattern but I think it has a lot of potential.  Of course, the line drawing tends not to be as inspirational as the envelope art.
Simplicity 1184

You might also wonder what the heck is going on with Simplicity 3162.  I have been plugging away on this dress but only a few minutes at a time.  Seriously it has been, 5 minutes here and maybe 10 minutes there with the resulting very slow progress but constantly moving forward.  I have put in the plackets and am sewing in the hooks and eyes.  I am cheating again and using the hook and eye tape.  It really is so much simpler with the hook and eye tape.  Once the hooks and eyes are in, I only have the hem and buttons to finish up.  I am hoping that I will have the dress done tomorrow night……maybe.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Pattern Buying Moratorium Lifted

I have been so very good.  Incredibly good for me!  I have not bought a new pattern since January!  This is me!  No pattern….since the first week of January.

Well, I lost the plot over the weekend and bought a few patterns.  I was forced to go to a costumer’s yard sale.  Yes, forced to go….that is my story and I am sticking with it!  One of the sellers had bins of patterns.  One bin in particular had 30’s and 40’s patterns!  Upon asking how much for a pattern, I learned they were all 1$.  WHAT!!!  So I scrambled and picked up a few.  I only had $5 on me…..I really went without the intent to buy or I would have had more $$ on me.  So, I bought 5 patterns at $1 each.

The envelopes of the patterns are in shreds or, in one case, missing completely.  Didn’t care, for a $1 I was willing to give them a shot!

One of the patterns is Simplicity 4662.  Note, this picture is from the Vintage Pattern Wikia because the envelope is in such bad condition.
I love the coat.  I must give this coat a try!

Also, Hollywood Patterns 739.

This envelope is in the
best condition
Another 1940s dress but isn’t lovely???

But then my camera battery crapped out.  Will post the others tomorrow.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

The Narrow Hem

How do you make a narrow hem?

When needing a narrow hem in the past, I would merely pull out my rolled hem foot and use that to make a narrow hem. (This is not a rolled hem using a serger but what my sewing machine company calls a rolled hem foot.)  The rolled hem foot worked; however, my results varied…sometimes it would turn out quite nice and other times, it turned out quite wonky.   So, why not try something different?

I have read about a different technique and when my facing called for a narrow hem, I thought why not.  

I straight stitched quite close to the edge of the fabric.  Then, the fabric was turned twice and stitched again. 

I am quite happy with the results and may need to retire my rolled hem foot.  I cannot say that this technique is faster.  Quite the contrary, it really is slower.  What it is, is more precise resulting in a finish that does not have problems.  

Friday, June 03, 2011

Final Thoughts on Simplicity 3835

The pattern.  Those bows
are killers!  Stay away.

I thought I would share some pictures of the final dress.

No killer bows,
just buttons
You can see, I changed it up from the pattern envelope.  That bow looked silly and was strangling me.  No way I was keeping that.  I had already added the buttons to the dress because it was just toooooo white.  Yes, I know I made a white dress and how did I think it would look except white?  Well, I was still a little overwhelmed by the white so I added the buttons first on the bodice.  When the bow started strangling me, I added the buttons to the neckline to change up the look.

The side closing was a bit of a cheat.  I used hook and eye tape!  What a time saver rather than dealing with individual hooks, eyes and snaps as the pattern recommended.  I am all about cutting some corners.
Wow a smile.

1940s style shoes....yum
These pictures were not taken on the day of the event.  Oh no, I forgot to do it that day.  My hair looked great for the event, here ….not so much.  I didn’t feel like investing hours on hair and make-up for this impromptu photo shoot.  But check out the shoes I wore with the dress.  Tres chic?  No??  Love these shoes! And perfect for 1940s wear.

I am totally making this dress again.  I have a navy voile that screams for this dress!  Plus, it was such a fun and comfortable dress to wear I need one in a more practical color!!!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Who Doesn't Enjoy Quick Sewing?

Another 1940's dress that is coming together quickly......such a pleasure.

Construction notes:

  • Did not do an FBA since it is a 34 inch bust.
  • There are pleats in the bodice and darts in the shoulder.
  • I did not like the pleats in the bodice and turned them into darts.
  • I made a huge cutting error on the skirt.  One piece is not wide enough through the hips.  It is my fault; I did not make sure the fabric was even before I started cutting.
  • I cut the sleeves on the bias.  Not sure why; the pattern is too subtle to really show up with a bias cut.
  • I love love love the pleats on the sleeves. So simple but pretty.
  • I had to stare at the instructions for a long time to figure out how the pleats in the front bodice worked and then after figuring them out I turned them into darts.  Blech.

Where I am:

Not sure I like those lapels

Pieces are sewn together…..kinda…

Bias cut sleeve with pretty pleats!

Yup, there is the back.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Another 1940s Dress

Whew…that was one busy Memorial Day Weekend.   Not a lot of resting going on here.

But I did decide on my next project….another 1940s dress, this one a shirtwaist style dress.

This pattern looks easy.

This is the summery fabric I plan to use.

I rather love this fabric.  So light and airy.  The dots look like poppy seeds, not a true black but a grey/black.