Monday, May 30, 2011

Disasters, Large and Small

It's been nothing but disasters in the sewing room lately.  Not all of them my fault.  Got all my silk organza  jacket underlining cut out and marked and went to lay it out on my fabric.  I started out with 1/2 yard extra and ended up with not enough fabric.  How you ask?  Fabric irregularities.  I had never opened up the whole piece as I was planning on dry cleaning it.  When I pressed it I noticed that parts of it looked somewhat irregular.  There were 2 bands of wider, rippled fabric and a 2" band of darker fabric, not in the aforementioned rippled areas.  When I laid all the pattern pieces out to avoid the defects there just wasn't enough fabric.  Now I had to find another piece of fabric that matched the other two fabrics, so basically I had to find another piece in the silver family.  I went to my trusty computer and Emmaonesock to the rescue.  I bought this washed silver lame, which by a stroke of luck I even had a sample in the house.  Good thing I'm such a lousy housekeeper that I hadn't thrown it out yet. 
The second disaster was the pattern for my top.  Did not work for me. Fortunately I wasn't sure about it so I cut a muslin in a knit that had about the same stretch as my silk jersey.  This is a plus size pattern that Burda showed skin tight on their so called plus size model.   I am not happy with tops being tight in the middle showing off my flabby middle. If I wanted to wear spanx in the summer sure I could wear it but I'm not that crazy, or maybe I don't like feeling like a sausage. I had added to the middle before I cut it and I cut wide sas.  While that fixed the sausage aspect the ruching droops if it's not tight.  So no good.  It was this Burda top, 139 6/10.  
It obviously needs to be tight to keep the gathering from drooping.  Ah well.  At this late date I needed something that I knew would fit.  I took my newest knit top and made it into a tank top. I lowered the neckline a bit and made some other adjustments.  Now to cut it out.
I did make progress on the pants, thank goodness.  But, before I cut them out I wanted to check out the alteration I made to fix the diagonal drag line.  I pinned out a dart in the inseam of my gray pants until they hung properly, transferred it to my pattern,  and guess what? It worked!  I cut out a pair of drapey rayon pants in the wide width I'd chosen for the pants and sewed up just enough to see if it worked.  They hang perfectly.  I will finish them after I finish my wedding finery.  I cut and marked my pants this afternoon.  Since the silver lame won't get here until Thursday, I should be able to finish at least the pants by then.  I feel a lot better.  Wish me luck on the jacket.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

New Dress? Not Happening

My drafting skills are just not that good and while, not a wadder, it's taking up  entirely too much of my limited  time considering the amount of time I have left to make the main event, the three pieces for the wedding itself.  I have other things I can wear after all.  I'll play with it when we come back.  In the meantime, in case I didn't mention it, the Vogue jacket is out and this Burda jacket 113 from 6/10 is in.  I am making the length of 114 and collarless. I also either will make the cuffs a little deeper.  I did have a picture  the short sleeve photo and a technical drawing.But Blogger. kept removing what I added or move it around beyond my control.  I added it removed. I gave up.  You'll notice I can't get this to print all the way across either.  I just gave up.


You can see from the muslin that the front is drooping. I managed to fix this by taking in the front princess seam and by pulling the lapel up, it is sewn into the shoulder seam. I also realized that the right shoulder pad was too deep.  I always add to the right shoulder but this was a bit too much.  The back needs to have a  sloping shoulder adjustment.  In a raglan sleeve you take out from the back and front piece where at the shoulder line.  I took out some inches from the front and added some to the back princess seam to go over my full high hip.  It  doesn't show so much in this picture, but Seth took a cellphone pic that really  shows it.  I added some extra and I can always take it in if I don't need it.  I am going to use covered buttons, probably the reverse side of my fabric.  It's been very hard to make up my mind which side I'll be using but the more metallic side is actually more subtle. (That's the one on the left) The side with the metallic ovals is really more obvious.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

New Dress

Waiting to be sewn are a muslin of the  jacket for my niece's wedding(haven't even cut this out), a wearable muslin to test the alteration I made to the pants and a hopefully wearable muslin of the top.  Am I sewing any of that?  No.  I am making a knockoff of this Giambattista Valli dress.  I cut the picture  out of the NY Times last fall when they were covering the spring 2011 shows.  Not only has the clipping been residing on my idea board, I bought the fabrics for it as well.  In the newspaper clipping the top of the dress looks red. I bought red, which is fine, but in looking for a picture to post here of the dress I went to and it is really a bright orange.  Well it's my interpretation anyway.  I am well past the age where I would wear a skirt that short, so right there it's different.   I lengthened the center section which you may well recognize because it's the same cotton knit animal print I used last summer to make that Tom and Linda Platt dress which you can see over on the left.  The pattern is Marcy Tiltons V8497 which I used to make a black and white color blocked t when I was knocking off a Celine top.  I've never actually made the top the way she designed it but I bought it for the neckline in C which I used for a t shirt and for the kimono sleeve.

Except for the bottom band, it's all cut out and ready to sew.  I doubt that this is in a knit which is what I am using,  but I could be wrong.  I've deepened the neckline because I feel like I'm choking just looking at her. I don't think that I'll cut a facing for the neckline, even though it would look more like this.  I think that I'll just use my new favorite technique and bind the neckline.  The top and bottom sections are in a ponte knit and all of the fabrics are from Mood.  I even ordered this on line.  I figure I owe them a bone after I trashed their website.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Another New Top

Burda 115 8/10 may very well be my new tnt knit top.  This is the same pattern as the white top, but a single layer with the lower of the two necklines.  Even though summer is approaching, I made another long sleeved top.  It's still chilly here, especially at night and I don't have many long sleeve tops in my wardrobe.  This was a roll end  rayon knit from Emmaonesock. ( It pays to watch her roll end section as I've found some great bargains there). It doesn't have a lot of stretch  so it probably doesn't have much, if any  lycra in it,  I didn't have enough fabric for the neckband and this ivory rayon lycra leftover is perfect for a neckband.  It's also from EOS, one of her stock 11 oz knits and it doesn't roll at the edges the way a lot of single knits do,making it easier to work with.

I used the same neckband technique from Lynda Maynard that I used in the white top.  You can see how nice and flat it is and interfacing the neckline really stabilizes it and makes it easy to stay stitch and to stitch  in the ditch when you are applying the band.  It's a 3/8" finished width and while she suggests cutting 1 3/8" strips, I added an 1/8" to give me something to cut off when I serged it. You don't really need to serge the knit edge of course, but it looks more professional if you do.  If you are having issues sewing nice neckbands on knit tops, this is the method to use. 
The interfacing I used for the neckline is tricot from Fashion Sewing  Supply.  It's by far the best  fusible tricot  I've used.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Rookie Mistakes


Nothing but sewing disasters here.  I can't believe what rookie mistakes I've made.  I am sewing a sweater knit top with little stretch and I made it too tight.  So , I figured I'll add black rayon knit bands down the sides.  Perfect.  I went to pick up the sleeves to sew and I had actually cut a piece out of one of them. I wanted a sample for my board.  There are plenty of scraps, and I cut it out of the sleeve.   Can you believe it?  What a disaster.  Of course I don't have enough extra to cut another sleeve.  Marcy Tilton still had the fabric the last time I looked but I am not sure I even want to order another yard to fix this.  My ufo double top was great, shown above Burda 112 8/10 until I went to hem it. The outer fabric is hard to sew and hem so I figured I'd just leave it unfinished. It's semi sheer.  I  cut too much off and it's ok, but the bottom rolls up unevenly and looking in the photos it looks  like it is uneven. I swear it isn't.   My tnt pants developed a drape at the bottom of the leg after I split it down the middle to make it larger. You can see it in the picture as well.   I re balanced the leg after I did this but why it is in the later pair of pants and not the earlier before I made them bigger I can't figure out.  I did play around with how they hang on my body and they the inseam appears to be too long.  When I pinned it in horizontal dart that drag line disappeared.   Grr.  I need to get my sewing back to even good here before I tackle my wedding finery.  I think that II am just going to let the knit top go.  I don't love it enough to buy another yard of fabric to fix it. 

I do like the fit on the Burda double top so I am going to make another top, but a single layer.  Simple two sleeves and a nice neckline using the new technique I learned in
Lynda Maynard's The Dressmaker's Handbook of Couture Sewing Techniques  I found a copy  in the new book section at the  library.  I  used her single fold binding on knit fabrics for the tops.  It's a really great technique.  Easy to do and it looks very professional.  It's far easier than the methods where you quarter a circle and apply the binding as a circle. and it lays flat and close to the body and even on hard to sew fabric like the textured layer on  my double top.  I was not stupid enough to try and use it with a strip of self fabric, but delved into the scrap bin and used a nice white rayon and lycra knit instead.  A note on fit here.  There are no darts on this top, but my DD cup bust needs darts no matter what I am making.  I added short darts in the front armholes to take up the folds there when I was tissue fitting the top.  Somewhere on the internet, I think it's under David Paige Coffins You Tube videos, there is a video of Marcy Tilton fitting a knit top.  She tissue fits them and she shows how to add these darts.  They have to be small and short and they work.  The only thing I am going to change on  this top is to widen the shoulders a little.  I have very narrow shoulders and the  seams are just past my shoulder bones.  I think that a little more width might be flattering.  I can always cut it off if I don't like it.
The book itself is a strange amalgam of techniques and imop poorly organized.  Sigrid used the pocket staying technique which worked  beautifully as well.  Kenneth King has a similar technique on the Threads website.  Is it worth buying the book?  I don't know but Amazon has it for a good price, well below list.