Saturday, July 16, 2011

One Panel At A Time

I had a block of time last night, so I decided to begin cutting the gray/white striped dress.  I've cut even and uneven plaids, even and uneven stripes before, but never a chevron effect.  I was a bit concerned.  One mistake could be disasterous.  Therefore, the decision to cut one panel at a time seemed like a good one.   Luckily, I have plenty of fabric, but I don't want to waste any of it. 

The first piece, CF panel, was easy.  I made sure the stripe went in the upward position.  I used the cut fabric as the pattern for the mirror image of the second side.  I managed to line up the stripes easy enough for perfection.  In preparing to sew CF, I carefully pinned each strip, so lots of pins were involved.  I attached my walking foot to my machine to avoid slipage.  Things went smoothly, and I was very pleased with the result.

My next challenge were the front two side panels.  Again, I cut one panel at a time.  A difference was making sure the stripe went in the downward position.  Again, one fabric side was used for the pattern of the other. 

Today I sewed the two side panels to the front.  Up to the bust line the stripes matched perfectly.  Impossible from then on.  I love top-stitching, but I changed my mind about adding it to this dress.  I don't want the stitching to distract from the bevels.  So far so good.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

No Muslin This Time Around

I feel I do pretty well in the sewing arena, but I struggle in the fitting department.  It takes me awhile to figure it out.  Therefore, I usually prepare a muslin of an item I am planning on sewing.  Because I like to think I am getting better at fitting, I decided to make the top, version C of Simplicity 2917 before I start the actual dress.  I found this lovely batik rayon in my stash. 
The colors are coral red, peach, yellow, lilac, and gradations of such.

My main adjustment is for sloping shoulders.  I took two inches out across the back at the arm opening.  A second adjustment was a smig out of the waist curve for sad middle-aged issues.  My final adjustment is raising the waist, because I am short waisted.  I got the side and front pieces all cut and basted together; tried it on, but found it too big in the circumfrence (a good thing) and too high at the bust (a bad thing).  Hence my comment about struggling with fit.  Guess I haven't really made any progress. 

Rarely, do I send things to the trash.  I was tempted.  Instead I recut the waist curves a bit smaller.  In re-evaluating the sloping shoulder issue, I thumped myself on the head.  When making adjustments, if you take away somewhere, you have to put back somewhere else.  I realized that I didn't add the two inches across the arm in the front that I took out of the back.  That's why the bust was too high.  I asked myself why did I do two inches when in a previous garment I did one inch?  I have no answer, but I am going back to one.  Since I can't recut to make the pieces longer, I had to add one inch of fabric at both shoulders and basted it back up.  I don't think it looks too bad thanks to the batik.

The top and dress are designed with princess seams.  A princess seam is used instead of darts.  The challenge is sewing the curves with no puckers.  I matched and pinned up the notches.  Is it possible to fit these pieces together?

You bet with pins and clipping, and it is not difficult to do.  Falls into place quite nicely.

Once I was happy with the fit, I serged all the seams.  In reality I sewed all the vertical seams three darn times.  At least I am getting a summer blouse out of the process instead of a muslin that I would never wear; and hopefully, a perfect fitting dress. 

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Gray & White Striped Dress

For the past couple of issues, Talbots has been showing this summer dress in their catalog, and it keeps catching my eye.  Their dress is navy blue and white with seam pockets and a back zipper.  I like the chevron play of the fabric and the navy contrast at the top and the arm.  Closer inspection reveals top stitching and at least a three inch top-stitched hem. 

I remembered I have lots of this gray and white fabric in my stash, so I am inspired.

I looked through my patterns, but couldn't find one that had a four panel front and back.  Lots of three panels though.  I searched pattern books and found this Simplicity pattern.  Version C appears to be a close match.  It doesn't have side pockets.  I could easily add them, but I'm not going to.  I don't like carrying "stuff" in my pockets.