Thursday, May 24, 2012

Down the Pipeline

Lots of corded piping!
I have been  making a lot of black piping.  Do you make your own piping?  If so, what do you use for the piping?  Do you use straight strips or bias strips.

I use string for my piping.  Ordinary cotton string.  It is less than $2 at the hardware store and I use it for gathering and piping.  I love this stuff and it is so cheap.  I also think it makes the perfect size piping.

This time I did both bias strips for curves and straight strips for the sleeves.  It should come as no surprise, I do hand baste in the piping. 

I love the finished look piping gives an outfit!

Monday, May 21, 2012


Crazy busy week.  Too much going on with work to sew.  This weekend did see some sewing time.

Shoulder detail
The bodice came together like a dream even with the top stitching on the shoulder detail.  I did make a slight FBA but felt with the gathers and because it is a bigger size than I normally, I would probably be alright.  Fingers crossed this holds true.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Polka Dots On Parade

The next dress is going to be out of this white with black polka dot fabric.  This fabric is notable in that it was one of the first pieces of fabric I bought when I started sewing.  It is a cotton poly blend and was one of my $1 a yard finds. 

The dress will be this pattern.

It has a distinctly very late 30’s early 40’s look to it and very reminiscent of this one.

Off to trace the pattern.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Water Circles


Its done, its done!!!  YAY!  My first dress using a modern pattern and modern fabrics.

Whew…it was challenging.  I know some of you out there can knock out a dress like this in a couple of hours but not me.  It took a while and I am not at all confident with these techniques.

Front - full length
What is that bump?
That being said, it is definitely wearable!  Which is really a plus since I do like the fabric.  I plan to give it a test drive at an art gallery thing tonight. 

What I did…in case anyone out there would like to know.  All hems are done on the serger as a rolled hem.  The front lap was pick stitched closed so there will be no wardrobe malfunctions but the back was left as is.  It is fully lined in a flesh colored tricot.  I gathered the midriff in various spots and then sewed down some of the gathers to insure this lightweight knit actually stayed gathered.  It seams to have worked.  Not sure what the bulge in the pictures is…probably just bad styling.
Back view......same as
the front

I think I need another 1940s dress to relax with as next up in the queue.  

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Evil Ease

The Water Circles dress is almost complete.   There is one major hold up….inserting the sleeves.  I just can not ease them in without lots of gathers showing.  Now, I don’t think these sleeves  are supposed to be gathered on the sleeve cap…I certainly would prefer that they were not.  However, after a couple of tries using different methods, I am about to give up. 

The irony is that I did take out some of the ease from the sleeve caps but obviously not nearly enough.  I cannot imagine what these ease monsters would have been like if I had left those extra 2 inches in.
Sleeve pinned in
From the back, a sleeve pinned in

Saturday, May 05, 2012

It Makes Me Smile

I had a vintage event last night after work which meant if I was going to dress up, I would have to wear something to work.

I chose this dress…..

partly because it makes me smile and partly because I rarely wear this dress.  I packed my petticoat and nice shoes in a bag and off to work I went. ( You can read about the construction of the dress, here, here, here and here).

Action shot
While wearing this dress yesterday, not including while at the vintage event, I received no less than 5 compliments on the dress.  I was surprised…nay almost shocked.  Yes, I like the dress but I have never worn anything that I made that received the sheer number of compliments I received yesterday from this dress.  The compliments crossed many lines, young and old; men and women.  Two women actually waved me down in a train station to tell me how much they loved my dress.

Wow…no wonder this dress makes me smile.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Serger Wars

Front.  I moved the overlap for
more coverage.
A little plunging
I have am losing the battle with the serger.  I think this dress will be about 1/2 serger and 1/2 sewing machine.  I guess you need to start somewhere.  One shoulder I was able to gather beautifully on serger, the other not so much.  For the necklines, I have to admit I gave up and used the sewing machine.  I really did not think it would work well.  I have a problem with seam allowances on the serger but then I am terrified of using the knife and almost always have it disabled.  Really, you could lose a finger with the knife.

On to the midriff pieces …….