Monday, July 30, 2018

Dots and Stripes

You're welcome, but these should be on the outside of the envelope.

I think this is the first time in awhile I've opened a McVoguericity (the One Company to Rule Them All?) pattern and cut into it. I tend to read the directions and look at the layout and then fold them back up and make something else.

I cut the 16 because booooooty

Not suitable for plaids, stripes....WELL!

Challenge ACCEPTED.
(saving the plaid for later)

That neckline is way too wide

So I slashed and brought it in

Checked it against my recent successful neckline/shoulder seam

Drew a new neckline in green Mr Sketch (mmm minty!)

Cut it

Trued it up with the back bodice

And let's just say I messed around with the grain directions.

Except when I didn't

My working plan. Patterns are cheap - this didn't even get to the sketchbook level.

I used a yard and a half of each and goofed around a lot. This was an evening.
A fun evening. Really. Listened to "Science AF" with Jesse Klein and Dave Ciaccio. A science podcast by improv comedians who really like science.
Lots of f-bombs. Not for the kids.

Oooh. Tent stripe? Oh.

Not exactly the same turquoise bluish green. I didn't check this until I was taking photos.

Matching the pieces up precisely was not an option after my slapdash cutting job. I had about an inch of slop width, and I put that at the sides, choosing to line up the center line as straight as possible. The original pattern has a bend there, as mentioned.

Looks okay.
It should look eye-catching, not stomach turning.

Now, this is the trick I learned, pattern testing for Cake Patterns
when you want to get something exactly where you want it, and also want to sew it together on a seam edge.

I could pin it and top stitch the pieces together. 
But I don't want that flappy edge.

You line up the pieces, with the raw edges ironed over to their finished seam allowances.

Keeping them in proper relation to each other, you're going to iron them in place

I do love this stuff.
Wonder Tape is great, but it won't hold well enough on anything with a texture, 
and fusibles will fail well enough, you can pull them apart and re-iron them.

And then I open it up and stitch the seam line (the crease)

I pin them on the dress form to take a long look.

I will be honest: there are a lot of dresses that just stop here. The Infinity War novelty cotton dress dropped dead here recently. It's now a top, and you may see it eventually.
I am old enough to know when to say when.
But this isn't it.

I didn't like their pockets, so I drafted my own.
I could have made much cooler ones, but I was going to run out of fabric. 

Action shot

And then I decided I wanted facings for the rounded cuts by the hem.

Which required pinning the dress to the ironing board to work out.
(dress dangling upside down onto floor not shown)
I used the printed selvage down the back seam (another reason to straighten that out)

The floor shows it off well. I tried to alternate the dots and stripes from quadrant to quadrant. The hem facings  are not in the original pattern, and I like them better. 

I need to stress here: I did not follow proper bias/ongrain alternating. The dots are ongrain, the stripes are on bias. In a year or two, this is going to look like hell.
This is NOT heritage sewing.
And I will have worn it to bits by them.

And I wore it to work today.
It was a little heavy for 90F, but the skirt (which is a little long for me) swishes nicely. The hem side curve facings, plus a 1.5 " hem really gives it some body.
And for once, everyone in the family and at the job liked it.
So I guess this is the most sedate dress of the summer, even with Tent Stripes. And Pom Poms

I am entering it in the Pattern Review Stripes and Dots challenge, just in time.
If you like to vote, you can vote for me.
Or you can vote for someone else. Or not at all.
But remember, if you live in the USA, you had damn well better vote in November.
Not a link.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Going to call it what it is: the cutie

I don't know what else to call this dress.
sewn in 2002 or 2003. Not my first quilting cotton dress, but reaaaaaaaal close
It's cute.
I've made it over and over again. I've worn a couple of them to shreds.

I'm 5'2" (158cm) and cute was the default mode for many years. 
shakes head. I'm 59.5 in years, so that's less interesting to me than it used to be. 
I blew through making this one, so no photos. It's cute.

There's not much to say about this dress. It's drafted from my bodice block, and it has a front button cut-on facing, a 60-64" circumference tube skirt gathered at a slightly higher waist, no darts, short sleeves that have a pretty high armscye, and patch pockets.
For coffee 'go' mugs.

The pieces all run the same direction this way. Particularly if you turn this upside down. Or stand on your head.
The skirt needs to be about 60" plus wide, so it needs to be in two pieces. One seam is the center front, the other is sorta buried in the gathers. The whole dress only takes 1.75 yds of 40-44" quilting cotton. 

 I have been buying for this in 2 yard lengths to be able to match the fronts. This is needed more or less depending on the pattern repeat size. 

The Sewing Woes has a 23" inch repeat, which is a beast and eats up yardage. Luckily it's mostly on grain, so I'm not digging myself a deep hole for later. 
I cut one front, iron the facing over, and then match it up on the yardage.

 I use the front piece and match the center front line with the piece flipped, make sure it's got enough fabric for it's facing, and then cut that.
I clip a notch at where that front facing folds over on the top facing.

When in doubt, I leave as much space around pieces for wiggle room. I can always trim back the excess.
Directions: I sew the collar facings to stabilize that open collar curve ASAP.

Then it's endless fiddling with making the front opening match up properly.

Unfortunately, the printing is not consistant across the Woes yardage, so I had to choose what I needed to be perfect and what I could live with.

My acceptable error rate is ......uh, I'm no Peter Lappin.

 The rest just follows: shoulder seams, sleeves, side seams, attach skirt.
I add the pockets last.

I didn't try to match the bodice to the skirt. Too many gathers for that to make sense

i did get to use the nifty selvage on the facing on this one.

Sadly, the buttonholes have become the problem child of the sewing room.
This is the automatic buttonhole when I follow the directions.

Lots of picking and redoing. 
It took me many years to realized I would be much happier unpicking and redoing, rather than shrugging and moving forward with the errors. I do thank Peter Lappin's blog for that; it is worth the effort. Until it's not.

I did hit the button stash hard for these. 

These magenta kids don't all match each other. This is probably the only thing I will ever sew that they will go with, so I went with them. The yellow will audition again, I know.
I do love pawing through the buttons. 
I might have a lot of them. This is only one jar. (the 'cheezy plastic button' collection)

The Dickies is for scale, until I realize the square they are on is one inch, thus scaled. The three holes have been collecting in this one jar, from all the other bags and bags of buttons from every thrift store and estate sale I've ever been to. Okay, maybe I have too many buttons.
Maybe I have just enough.
Sewing Woes is done and ready for duty.