Monday 27 December 2010

Basting, Cutting and half a Corset

I decided to go ahead with my Crepe muslin number 2 as my final one, as Gertie mentioned in flickr that it looks good. I still had some doubts but I think when you're in a frame of mind to find faults you'll find them everywhere. So I've been slowly cutting my underlining pieces and basting to main fabric. I haven't finished yet, it takes ages. I should be done by the time Gertie comes back from holidays and presents us the next stage.

I have also been cutting my muslin for the Trousers Sewalong in preparation for its start in January. A mix of excitement and anxiety felt as I'm still a bit traumatised by my previous trousers drama.

As Christmas is a 4 day break this year I found myself with plenty of time to sew and a bit annoyed that all I had to do was trace and cut and baste. So I decided to put together an underbust corset. Purchased as a kit by Sew Curvy Corsetry this is my second attempt at a corset and so far is going very well. As you see from the photo below, I even made a muslin to check fit.

It was going so well I really believed I would finish it quickly but time to insert the eyelets at the back came and all went downhill. I started by inserting the first eyelet the wrong way round but then corrected it. After I corrected it I had a moment of dumbness and was using the eyelet tool wrong. After my bf came to the rescue I continued seemingly victorious to figure out at the end that all the eyelets were, like the first one, the wrong way round. Not a sewing moment I am proud off. I had to put it away and I ran out of usable eyelets. Below is what I achieved so far. Doesn't look very flattering on my dummy but I'm hoping for at least a 2 inch reduction in my waist.

Sunday 19 December 2010

Vintage Patterns

So far I have steered away from vintage patterns not because I don't like them but because I'm a bit scared to attempt making them. I still feel I need to build my dressmaking and fitting skills before I tackle an original vintage. However I have taken the first step towards sewing a vintage pattern and that is buying some. These were all found in a recent rummage through local antique and charity shops.
Without further ado here they are:

I googled Weldons sewing patterns as I wanted to find out more about these but found nothing. Are you familiar with Weldons? It looks like a 40s pattern but I can't be sure.
Style Patterns was another that I googled and found nothing. This also looks like 40s to me.

Next a mix of Vogue, Butterick and McCall for women and children. No idea what year again. Any ideas?

I also bought some 70s patterns. I like the dress in the middle below and the following pattern came as a bonus.

Finally a Simplicity skirt pattern from 60s, 70s?

Let me know what you think of my purchases and if you know anything about these or know where I could find more information about them please let me know.

Saturday 18 December 2010

Crepe Sew Along - Second bodice muslin

I slowly worked my way through the fitting of the bodice this past week. And comparing to my first muslin this one if much improved. Although I'm not yet sure it's good enough. Opinions welcome!

  • I took in 3/4" at the side seams
  • I tucked and removed 1/2" across the front and back of bodice (just above darts)
  • I moved bust dart down (but stupidly did this before I took side seams and ended up with shorter dart)
  • I added width to the upper part of the waist dart to address the extra fabric just under the bust.
  • I took 3/8" from shoulder seams

There still seams to be a bit of extra fabric under the bust and at the side and depending on how my arms are positioned it crinkles up in that area. That might be resolved with adding length to bust dart. For muslin 3 should I also add a bit more width to upper part of waist dart?

I think the bagginess you see here is just because I didn't tuck the inner part well. (at least I hope so). As I took in side seams should I move darts in ? Might be a "duh" question but not sure.

If you have any idea or suggestions I am, as always, happy to hear it!

Wednesday 15 December 2010

Trousers Sewalong by The Cupcake Goddess

A few weeks ago I discovered the excellent blog by The Cupcake Goddess and also found out it she was hosting a trousers sew along. I initially hesitated, as I'm still a bit traumatised by my last experience but then changed my mind. Maybe this is what I need. A sew along full of tips and advice to help me conquer trousers. And dear friends, I do want to conquer trousers. In risk of repeating myself here but I am a trousers girl really. Love dresses but rarely use them.
I'm not overly keen on the Burda pattern they're using so have picked up one from my existing stash. The Vogue 8604. The illustration is gorgeous but like many illustrations often very different from end result. However on my research I found Miss Dandy sew them and they look gorgeous. I thought of using the Burda 8488 I used in my previous trouser attempt. I really like those sailor slacks and love the way they look on great fellow bloggers like Bea from Butterflies and Hurricanes and Zoe from "So, Zo...". But I'm still a bit weary of them so will leave it for another time. Decided to go with a soft corduroy fabric which I purchased from the awesome The Fabric Loft. 

This sew along is due to start in January so it will overlap slightly with the Crepe one. And talking about it, I better get offline and work on my bodice alterations.

Sunday 12 December 2010

Baby Coat

Quick post today to show you the little coat I've put together yesterday for a soon to be here little baby! My work colleague is going on maternity leave tomorrow and quite happy I finished this in time to give her. It was a struggle to find suitable fabric for babies. I'm sure there's many places that cater for it out there but as I never had to look for it I found it really hard. I settled with a nice 100% cotton poplin for main fabric and batiste for lining. I love the print as well. We don't know if it'll be a boy or a girl but I think this little number fits both.

This week I also finished a tote shopping bag taken out of Sew Retro book. I really like it as it has a outside pocket for your wallet and keys. Gorgeous red fabric from Patchfabrics.

I also did some cushion covers this weekend in a black fabric with brocade contrasting panel, with some great guidance form The Thrifty Stitcher. The photos didn't came up nice though but the covers are gorgeous. Will try to take some quality photos another time.

I will now immerse myself in fitting my Crepe Dress bodice properly. Much happier sewing for clothes than home and decoration I have to confess.

Saturday 11 December 2010

Crepe Sew Along - First bodice muslin

Very excited to have started my Crepe Wrap Dress. I was unsure of what size to cut but after some valuable advice I decided by a US size 0. This is one of the parts of the sew along I'm most looking forward to as I have never learned how to fit a bodice properly. The dresses I've done so far are all wearable but they also are a bit spacious in the bust area. Especially vintage inspired patterns tend to to be drafted to those with generous busts. Mine is a long way from generous, it's simply small!
So am I happy with a straight from pattern fit? I'm not sure.

A view from front. With my arm open the fit seems fine.

However with my arms relaxed there seems to be surplus fabric in bust area and shoulders.

A side close up vie show the darts and the shoulder better. The bust dart ends a bit above my bust point (do they call it apex or am I making it up?). It also shows a bit of extra space leading from waist dart. Maybe it's the style but at this point I'm not sure.

A back view show on shoulder a bit sloppy but maybe it's because it's not tied around the waist the way the finished dress will. Again not sure.

My own conclusions are that the bodice is a bit spacious in bust and could be adjusted and the shoulders could use with a few adjustments as well. But I just don't know. I've never gave fitting much of a thought so find it difficult to know what's right and what's wrong (some things are obvious, I know).
I'm going to be uploading these images to the Crepe Sew Along Flickr Pool and hope someone can help me with fitting. I think Gertie will shows us her muslin this weekend so hopefully there's something there as well to help me. And your comments are more than welcome as well!

Talking about fitting made me look around for a good book and Fit For Real People has very good reviews. Any of you familiar with this book?

Saturday 4 December 2010

Corduroy Winter Dress finished

"The hills are alive with the sound of music..."

That's what I thought when I finished this dress and saw myself in the mirror. Actually it was more like "Hello Julie Andrews!" I was also called Dorothy at work! What can I say, I wore it with a blue turtleneck and some cute wedges and a ponytail so the entire outfit was a bit more The Sound of Music.

I do love this dress though and see myself wearing it quite a lot through winter. Being able to wear chunky knitwear underneath definitely helps. If it wasn't for that I doubt I would use it much in cold weather.

And that's exactly the reason I decided to do a sleeveless version. The pattern was taken out of Sew magazine issue 17.
I enjoyed working with corduroy and think I will very soon be adding another corduroy project to my immense To Sew list.
My only issue was lining the armholes. I ended up just pressing and sewing. Not gorgeous inside but it doesn't look bad either.In terms of fitting the only issue is the fact the bodice is a bit to loose, as you can notice on the photo on the right. I usually have that problem with bodices. Definitely need to learn how to fit a bodice but hey, that's one of the reasons I decided to join Gertie's Crepe sewalong!

Photos were done by my gorgeous bf who also did my hair! Am I not a lucky girl ;)


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