Monday, April 30, 2012

Breaking Needles

So, I had to get my serger out and ready to roll with this dress which will hereinafter be named the bubble dress cause the fabric looks like bubbles.  I inserted my stretch needles and started in on some scrap pieces of fabric.

Blammo…right needle breaks.  Ok, that is unusual.  My serger needles never break.  Re-thread, put in a new needle and away we go.  So far so good.

Change the stitch length to figure our how to gather using the serger….blammo…right needle breaks again.  No biggie….re-thread, put in a new needle and away we go.

Blammo…right needle breaks again.  Stop, do not re-tbread.  Do not insert new needle.  Stop now before injuries occur.

Any ideas what is going on with the serger?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sewing Outside of My Comfort Zone

I have a serger and I would like to make something using my serger.  A lot of the blogs I read have sewists who use their sergers to construct garments.  I only use it to finish seams.

Soooooo….for something completely different I am going to make a dress with t-shirt material (I have no idea what it is called….jersey? knit?) and I am going to try to use the serger to construct it.

Here is the fabric…..ooooohhh pretty.  My favorite colors, blue and brown.  It seems this is a remnant of a designer fabric.  Note the seam allowance notes.

You might ask what pattern?  Well I do not have patterns for knit materials so I am going to try and use Vogue 8182,, View B which I do have in a size which is too big for me.  When checking out pattern review for this pattern, a number of people made it in a knit and omitted the zipper.  So, I am going to try and do that!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Victorian or Art Deco

In making the 1930’s dress, I want to make a belt to go with… off to etsy I took myself to look for an appropriate looking belt buckle.

Imagine my surprise when I found this advertised as a Victorian belt buckle.

Ummm……really…what gave it away as a Victorian belt buckle….maybe the “made in” stamp on the back?  I knew when I looked at the picture it was not Victorian but would could be Art Deco…if not originally it certainly passes.  But Victorian?? Really?   I bought it because I liked the way the design echoed the dress fabric.

I tried to zoom in so you could see it.
Didnt work.
But it does say: "Made In" and a word
that looks like otto.  I cant figure out
where it was made.
Perhaps it is a tad na├»ve of me but I was simply shocked with the number of items clearly not Victorian advertised as Victorian.  I wonder how many people have been taken in by such false representations?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

All I Need is a Hat

The 1930’s dress is done.  YAY!! For a relatively painless make.  That hand basting saved a lot of trouble.  Though I do think the collar area might be reworked; I am not happy with how it lays.  I can say I am pleased with how it turned out!  It is exactly what I envisioned.

It looks ok on the dress form but it really looks better on.  I thought the skirt would not be nearly as full as it turned out to be because the skirt is quite full.

Some details.  The hem is hand rolled as are the sleeves.  The v neck collar thing was hard to put on.  It took me longer to get that thing (not sure what to call it) on the dress than it took to make up the dress.  I do like the button accents on the pintucks and the sleeves…ah the sleeves are perfect and much better than the cape sleeves. 
Check out the buttons!!
Love that detail
Back view

What would I do differently?  The v neck thing I think needs be sewn starting at the v each direction.  I may try that because the left side is rippling.  Otherwise, the only thing I can think of is making the FBA just a tad bigger.  The bodice fits but I like a little looser more modern fit.  Amazingly, that is it!

Now, I need to get some pictures of me in the dress.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Fluttering By

First take a look at the teeny tiny vintage buttons that I am going to use.  

Pretty and vintatge

I bought these years ago but had no idea they would be so very small.
Blurry but check out the button next
to a dime.  See ....super small!!!

 Because I am not doing the cape, the pintucks will be on display.  I am going to punctuate the pintucks by using these buttons.

Also because I am not using the cape sleeves, I need to draft new sleeves.  I want flutter sleeves which are still correct for this era.  How to draft the sleeve?  First, I grabbed a dress I own with those types of sleeves and traced it off.  It looked odd.  Next, I started going through the pattern collection looking for a pattern with that type of sleeve.  Luckily I was able to find one.  Traced it off and what do you know it looked odd.   
Weird sleeve pattern
But it also matched what I traced off my dress so I took a deep breath and went for it!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Taming Silk Chiffon

Last time I made a 1930s dress out of silk chiffon, I had a blog post entitled “Silk Chiffon is Evil.”  I know this because I tried to use the same title again simply because silk chiffon is evil.  It is slippery and difficult to both cut out and sew.

Look at those sweet pintucks!
This time, I was prepared.  I tackled that silk chiffon and beat it into submission.  Last time, my silk slipped all over the place when I cut out the pattern pieces.  This time, I took care.  There was no placing on a fold; there was no laying out all the pieces.  Each piece was cut out individually one at a time.  If a piece needed to be placed on a fold, I traced the piece off twice and taped it together.  A lot of work…yes indeedy but worth it.  Each pattern piece was correct and not morphed by the cutting process.

I hear you…big deal you are thinking so you managed to cut out the pieces.  What about the sewing???

The sewing was incredibly easy going this time.  No ripping out of seams.  No seriously no seam ripping happening on this dress for one simple reason: I hand basted everything tighter.  WHAT??  Hand basted every seam??  You heard me….hand basted.  Not as much work as you would think.  The hand basting was quick since there really is no need for precision…I am removing the basting.  However, the end result was perfection in sewing.  The basting stitches kept that silk from slipping around while sewing.
Front bodice with pintucks

I am a convert.  I raise my right hand and pledge to hand baste all seams in silk fabric from here on out.  It was worth it!!!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012


At least I hope all of my computer issues are finally resolved.  Ever since the power went out in a wind storm on December 1st, I have been having significant computer problems.  Basically, the computer has been not working more than it has been working.  That makes blogging tough since I cant download my photos onto my work computer.

A flippy little number made with
a modern pattern....ooohhhh bad
of me, I know
However, it now seems that the problem has been fixed ….something with the hard drive.  Let’s hope so.

Without further ado….yes I have been sewing.

I whipped up this skirt while manning a costume repair station at a local Doctor Who convention.

I also started this dress a typical 1930s cape sleeve dress.  But, I dont like the cape bit, I think it is too young looking for me.

Using this fabric:
Perfect for a 1930's dress

Silk chiffon, a favorite of mine but so hard to sew….

But more to come on this little dress.