The idea was to have this dress around Christmas, but that just didn't happen. After the work on the movie was over, I got sick and was basically not in a sewing mood for almost 2 weeks. I spent my time knitting instead. But then I started work on this. I have such a severe love-hate relationship with plaids. They are such a pain to make things out of, but I just love plaid so much. My love of plaid really knows no bounds.
I saw Colette's Dahlia pattern and thought it would be perfect for this fabric, so I ordered it. This is only my second indie pattern and my first Colette. I was SO excited when it came in the mail, the packaging and instruction booklet and everything was just SO stupid cute!!! Awesome job with that. I was thoroughly impressed. I only wish they didn't have that ugly grey version of the dress on the front. What's up with that? I didn't really use the instructions, but they looked really good.
Then I started reading all the reviews. Not terribly positive. The neckline is apparently a disaster and never lays flat. I began to wonder how anybody managed to make the thing work at all! I mean, raglan sleeves in a non-stretchy material....the physics of that just don't work right...Reviews can be a scary thing.
I tweaked and cut and taped the pattern apart beyond all recognition, but it probably ended up almost exactly the same as it started anyway. So it goes. And lining up plaids. Don't even get me started. I don't want to talk about it. It is like sewing the dress 4 times, if it is off a single woven thread, it looks terrible to me. Rip out and redo! You probably can't tell in the pictures, but my plaids line up perfectly ;)
The neckline isn't perfect. It still doesn't lay totally flat, but I used a facing instead of bias tape and I think the thickness of the seam and fabric have something to do with that. I'm still fascinated by how all the pictures for the pattern have flat necklines, but basically not a single project I've seen does! Then again, mine might have been flat too. I never tried the pattern before making changes on it.
I'm not totally thrilled with it, I have to say. I don't really know why. Which is annoying because I spent so much time on it. The neckline doesn't bother me too much, and it is easily changed (without taking apart the entire dress) if I feel the need to. I don't know, maybe the waist is too high up? I don't have any pictures of it, but when I raise my arms just a little, the entire dress comes up with them. It makes for an odd silhouette or something. Maybe the smaller skirt would have been better? Maybe I'm making it all up. Maybe it is fine :P
It is pretty comfortable after all. I think I'm getting better at fitting things. Isn't that nice? I just need to find a reason to wear it now, it's toasty warm and perfect for winter-as long as it doesn't go back down to -20F
I was going to take pictures of more projects today, but I realised my hair looks terrible. I may not be posting things, but I've been sewing and have a massive backlog of projects to put up-- I just don't feel like taking pictures. Winter makes me so lazy!
Wow. Waking up this morning and not having to go to work was so bizarre. The movie is over! This is the first time in weeks that I've actually been on my laptop. I haven't talked about the job much (too busy ...plus I didn't actually read my contract so I don't know what I'm allowed to talk about, lol), but it was my first movie experience --I usually work on commercials, for those that don't know. A long and exhausting 6 weeks of filming Bleed for This in Providence working as Miles Teller's assistant. Such a cool experience! He was a great guy and I'm excited to see where his career goes (and I can say, hey! I know him!). He is so dedicated to his craft and, espeically coming from commercials, it was great to actually see some acting. And being a cast assistant (lead actor, no less!) was really amazing, I was right in the middle of everything; I could go anywhere on set, see the filming and process up close, was able to meet and talk to basically everyone, was able to be much more independent in my job, and got the best parking spaces, ha!
It was a small film, but had some amazing actors: Miles, Aaron Eckhart, Ciaran Hinds (!!!), and Katey Segal. In case any of you care, Ciaran is basically the nicest, lovliest person I have ever met and is consequently now my favourite actor. I shall start rewatching Rome right now.
Anyway. When it comes out I'll let you know :) Longest 6 weeks of my life, lol. I think some good things will definitely come from it though! If not in my career, then in the fantastic people that I met while on it!
AND most importantly, I can sew again!!! And check out what I got for Christmas!
THAT'S RIGHT. COLLAPSIBLE SHOULDERS. I can't tell you how excited I am to use her! Eeee!!
Nice to be back in the world again. I think my body realised the film was finally over and just shut down on me. That usually happens with big projects though. I'll recover in a few days. I have the Dahlia pattern from Colette, some fantastic plaid, and a new dressform to use. It's all good.
Well, looks like I was right in thinking that everything was going to be put on hiatus while working on this movie! Thanksgiving was the first time since it started that I had more than one day off. Mingling with movie stars is interseting and all, but this movie business is exhausting! Only 3 more weeks, filming is half over! It has been an amazing experience though, much more interesting than commercials! But I'm missing the larger paychecks that came from commercials, lol. We all have our reasons.
Just saying I'm alive and I hope everyone had a lovely thanksgiving! I haven't had any time to sew, but I just traced out the new Colette pattern I ordered and maybe I'll be able to work on that piece by piece. I hate not having time to sew! I'm super impressed by their pattern packaging, I must say :) Super cute.
Well, I might be working on a movie in November and December, so I'm trying to get all the posts up and pictures taken that I can. For some reason, I see the starting of the film to be the cut off date for doing absolutely anything. Which will probably be the case. We will see! Finished this dress over a month ago. Probably getting too cold to wear it now. I'm still having difficultly transferring to winter sewing!
Welcome to my thought process! I saw this fabric in the store and contrary to my mother's opinion (who thought it was the ugliest fabric ever) I needed to have it. It just screamed 40's dress to me and it was so soft and flowy. I waded through my boxes of patterns to be inspired and eventually pulled out a vintage 30's pattern. I don't know why, because I ended up changing it beyond recognition. I liked it, but I wanted to make it a shirt-dress. And I didn't want the waist that high. And I didn't want those sleeves. And the pattern is about 6 sizes too big for me. And I was missing all of the skirt pieces. I should have just drafted a pattern myself! The only thing that really stayed with the collar (which I actually ended up changing as well) and the pleats on the shoulders. Then I saw this dress and decided I wanted that dress. So I took this vintage pattern, traced the pieces for the top, did a slash and lap method of making it a few sizes smaller, elongated the front waist seam, and made the waist bigger so that it would fit some pleats. Then I found a pattern with a 6 piece skirt, which I thought was the most appropriate vintage style and adjusted it to be a button up, which it wasn't. Then I drafted some sleeves, twice, because the ones in the pattern were too 30's for my 40's style dress. And then again because I couldn't move my arms enough.
And I absolutely LOVED the dress when it was finish. Still do, no past-tense about it, it is crazy comfortable. I wish I had one more button on the front, but I sifted through my pounds of buttons and couldn't find another one. Whatever, I have a slip to wear under it, so I'm not going to end up flashing anyone. And I don't care if the colour washes me out, I love it! 40's shirt-dress mission accomplished!
So, I won't even tell you how PISSED I was when I discovered this pattern from Butterick a couple weeks later, and though you might not be able to tell from the truly horrendous fabric they used, but it is basically the exact same dress. Damn. Great minds? Luckily, drafting up this pattern didn't really take me too long, and I want to think that I like it more because I did it on my own ;)
Anywho, pleats are topstitched, all the inside seams are finished, and I had just gotten back from wearing it out so I didn't press it or do my hair, lol. Sorry. You can tell my shame from my total lack of a picture with me looking at the camera.
I won't let such a beautiful vintage pattern go to waste though, someday I will make a proper recreation of it!
\\While writing about my thought process on this dress I remembered once in university when I was writing a paper about The Odyssey, and I came up with a vague outline for it. I started in on a 20 page paper and part way through my line of thinking evolved, just built on idea after idea, until the end paper didn't resemble anything like what I had originally planned, rewritten about 4 times as I had epiphany after epiphany. The concept for the end paper wasn't even in my remote conciousness, and I didn't really notice until the end. Some things about us never really change, do they? Just sit back and let it evolve.[\]
Cross posted from my photo/travel blog Into the Woods!
A small break in the regularly scheduled, way-behind Croatia posts for a short picture post from the U. S. of A. Headed up to Maine last week to shoot a commercial in Acadia. I can certainly think of worse places to work in! Beautiful weather, autumn crispness in the air, and a hint of fall colours slowly popping out on the trees. Long hours, of course, I didn't get to explore Bar Harbor like I wanted to (I've been there before, but never for a good amount of time), but the shoot day consisted of waking up before dawn, catching the sunrise over Long Pond, and watching the sun set from the top of Cadillac Mountain. A bit of work scattered in there as well. Pas mal!
So green and mossy! Magical forest!
The Maine coastline is pretty amazing. It rained while we were scouting locations. Not bad though, I could always hide in the car for that ;)
Morning sun drying up the last of the fog
We had some duck friends for the shoot! And I liked the reflection of the sun lighting up the mountain
Sun is up between the hills. Loved this picture!
Cadillac Mountain golden hour
We were standing around and I thought 'I didn't come all the way up here to miss the sunset!' So I ran off to find a good view. I'm obviously a hard worker.
I need to work on my composite pictures. The foreground wasn't that bright until I uploaded it!
Beautiful end to a long day!
When people ask me what I do and I struggle to try and explain the bizarre nature of production work. There are some days when my work consists of battling Boston traffic while running absurd, nonsensical errands and circling the block for 30 minutes looking for parking. Some days it is 17 hours in a studio without seeing the outside. Some days it is 15 hours of me trying not to bang my head against the wall repeatedly (usually during the 4th coffee run). Some days I just stand around musing on what a bizarre job I have. Some days I wake up when it is still dark and get to see this....
...and end the day with this....
Courtesy of Acadia National Park and the BMW commercial I was shooting. I took entirely too many pictures, I'll be putting them in another post. Just thought I would share since my sewing machine stopped working and therefore my productivity for today plummeted.
My alternate titles for this post were '50's dress and ignore the mostly dead rhodendron' and 'Stripes! Pay no attention to the weeds in the pathway'
I was spontaneously decided on spending the afternoon taking pictures of some of the things I've made this summer (I've had this week off from work! Yay!)....then my battery ran out after about 10 pictures. And my other battery was already totally dead. I obviously didn't plan it out enough. I got a couple picture of one dress though! Probably best that my camera died because the pictures were turning out awful, lol. But alas, I rarely take pictures now that I won't even assume I'll get back to taking more of this dress. I have others to get to! Anyway. Here we are :)
I love this dress! The fabric is ultra thin and soft, I'm not even sure what it is, it seems like cotton but I don't know if they make cotton that thin and airy. Anyway, it was bought ages ago on fabric.com and I always knew I would make this dress out of it, I just never got around to it. My main delay was because when I ordered the fabric it had gotten wet in shipment and the colour ran like crazy and stained the white areas pretty badly. I threw a handful of those colour-trapper sheets in the wash and crossed my fingers, just so I wouldn't have to worry about it bleeding if I got caught in the rain or something. Mostly a success! Mostly because I tried a bleach pen on some of the darker stains and that was what actually messed up pieces of the fabric in the wash. Whatever, I got over it, it isn't horribly noticeable. But lesson learned, don't use bleach pens on stripes!
It's actually been a while since I made this dress that I don't really remember many specifics about making the pattern. Most of my difficulties came from deciding how to lay out the stripes and which buttons to use. The only pattern change I made was leaving off the pockets, even though I love them. The stripes just made it too busy. I have them cut out though, so if I ever change my mind, I can just sew them on. I don't think it would work well with such flimsy fabric though. I'm really glad that the collar worked, I was a little worried about that too. This fabric is really thin (have I mentioned that already?). I made it a few inches shorter too, just to make it a bit more wearable and modern.
Check out the stripe match on the bottom button placket! Woohoo!
But the pattern was great, no problems at all! I added some elastic to the waist because it stretched out a bit while I was sewing and the fabric was too thin to support a waist stay. Very comfortable now though! And I have a couple of slips to wear underneath it too! I made Gertie's slip pattern from Butterick to go underneath. I'll do another post about that later. Pictures will be on my dressform as the fabric I used is basically see-through...
Anyway, I'm happy with it! I'm definitely holding onto the pattern to use again as well, not a lot of fitting issues with this one! And a great 50's style dress without having to use 5 yards of fabric in a skirt.
Woohoo! Another dress post done! I just finished a dress today and I'm so in love with it, I can't even explain! 30's style shirt-dress. So in love. Makes me wish I had made a better pattern for it because I want more of them! Maybe a future project :) It did remind me how much of a pain making things without bought patterns is though! Can't wait to share!
Wow, you guys, it has been over a month since my last post! I have plenty of things that I could take pictures of, but I haven't yet :/ I've been completely swamped with work lately and it doesn't seem to be letting up. So many of my summer sewing plans haven't gotten done! Such is life. Here is one I finished over a month ago. I was waiting to be able to go outside to take some better pictures (bloody hell, the lighting in that room is awful!), but hey....doesn't look like that is getting done! Besides, I have others that need posting. Ain't nobody got time for that!
This fabric has been in my stash for years. I always planned on making a peasant style dress out of it, but then I just thought that this would be so much better. And nice and light and cotton and perfect for summer! No fitting issues, not too tight, not gaping, no heavy lining. Just easy :) And pockets! Love pockets! I've worn it a bunch of times so far this summer. Well, if I cut out the days I was working and used the ones that were left as a time frame, then I've worn it pretty often. Work really gets in the way of my fashion!
Easy pattern, didn't really have any issues. A great lesson learned from this pattern was putting a pocket in the side seam when there is a zipper there. I don't think I've done that before. Always learning!
I obviously made this when I had more time than I do now because all the seams are finished and enclosed in various ways. And the dress doesn't have any sort of lining. Quite neat inside, if I say so myself. I basically just went through one of my couture sewing books and did a different finish for each seam! One I really liked was pressing the seam in one direction, cutting the under seam allowance shorter, folding the outer one over it, and sewing it down (just to the seam allowance, sort of a flat felled seam, but not stitched through the fabric). I used that on the back yoke. ANYWAY. Boring. Pretty basic but very wearable!
And one of the best things ever? I didn't have to hem the fabric! Woohoo!
Damn, I need to get started on winter clothes now don't I?? It feels like fall here already!
Small bust adjustments (SBA) in sewing seems to be not as used as full bust adjustments (judging by the amount of tutorials out there), but I found a few links that I would share! I very rarely do more than grade between a smaller and larger size for the major pattern companies, but when I decided to sew up Collete's Sorbetto top, drafted for a C cup, I thought it would be a good time to look into it. I didn't end up using any of the tutorials because I just decided to leave out the dart and wanted a flowy, unfitted shirt, but these would be useful for other patterns! Ideally, figured out on a muslin of your bodice.....if I ever did a muslin. Which I don't. I just can't bring myself to 1)use that much fabric, and 2) sew something twice. My loss, no doubt!
Moonbeam has a great tutorial for the slash and pivot method for patterns with waist and bust darts --->here
And she also has a great tutorial on slash and pivot for a pattern that doesn't have any darts --->here
Hungry Zombie Couture has a nice tutorial on the same method, if you like to look at various ones -->here
Here is another slash and pivot method over at Paunnet for a deer and doe pattern. This one has a slash going up to the shoulder seam and one to the front. I don't know what the difference is though? Maybe because it is a split front? Also good to note that the deer and doe pattern is also drafted for C cup --->here
Over at the Slapdash Sewist, she had an old post on various methods of SBA on just about every pattern bodice type! Especially useful for wrap dresses, which aren't really covered on other pages. Tutorial isn't as comprehensive, but it gives you a basic idea for the different bodice types, very useful! --->here
Hope these are useful to someone! The shirt I made today is super cute, went together really quickly, and was just the easy project I wanted :) I'll take pictures of it (and all my other projects) this week! I have another away job in upstate New York starting next week!