Wow! I made so many plans and had so many things to do before I left for Croatia. Not too long ago it seemed like I had all the time in the world! But the minimum 16 hour days of the film industry killed those dreams, lol. I was going to learn to drive standard (I upgraded my car rental in Croatia once I realised that wasn't happening!), I wanted to make a jacket, a swimsuit, and a 40's dress, plan out my wardrobe, work a bit in the garden before I left....so many things, so little time
To be fair, I did finish that skirt, refilled my prescriptions, got new contacts and lenses for my glasses (it's been at least 5 years...possibly a lot longer....and for some reason I've had to go back twice and again next week...scratched corneas?? Yikes. It is more of a process than I anticipated. Glad I thought ahead!), I'm getting my car fixed (again), and sort of packing. I'm much more productive when I'm under pressure, apparently. Things actually get done in those few days off between jobs. I'm going to be SO glad when this vacation comes. I may just sleep the first few days away! My mind is already on mental vacation.
Anyway, lots of this obnoxious stuff called 'work' getting in the way of fun things, like sewing. I really shouldn't complain though! But probably nothing new (unless I magically get a bathing suit sewn up!) for a while, except travel pictures!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend everyone! We are shooting Play-doh on Monday. Joy.
My parents have both been sick, so it was only a matter of time before I caught the illness in this house turned petri dish. Luckily it hit the day after I finished working (I'm sure my stress and lack of sleep didn't help my immune system much), because that would have made the past week just 20 times more exhausting than it already was.
So, since I'm not really wanting to move much, I thought I would POST about sewing instead of actually doing it. And I spent the entire first half of the day looking for swimwear fabrics to buy online (I'm going to try and make the bottoms of the hugely popular Bombshell pattern for a start, to bring to Croatia, obviously!). Even when I'm not sewing, my day is filled with sewing.
But what perfect timing for this sew-along, I was just thinking that a 40's style dress would be perfect for some fabric I just bought! So I'm going to try and get this dress finished in between my illness, working, and packing. Shouldn't take me too long, I've already started!
I'm going to use the reissued Simplicity 40's pattern 1587
I'm going to be making it out of a chiffon fabric that I just got at Joann's (with a slip underneath, of course!). I don't know why, but I saw the fabric and instantly wanted to make a 40's dress out of it. It only took me a few minutes to remember why I hate working with chiffon so much. What a pain! And with a pattern on the fabric and keeping it straight while cutting? Took me ages to just cut the blasted thing out! Fraying edges, hand basting, stretching, fabric eating sewing machines, french seams. Ugh. Save me.
Remember that vintage pattern that I posted? I finished the skirt! I started playing with some different outfits. The pictures turned out kind of crappy, but I don't even care!
It doesn't look at all like Audrey's skirt in Roman holiday that I had in my mind's eye when brainstorming the skirt, but it turned out exactly how I had planned it! It's got the same feeling ;) I'm hoping to bring this to Croatia with me, but I guess we will see how packing goes! I'm going to look ridiculous with this outfit and a giant backpack on, but whatever.
I used the vintage pattern as a base, but ended up changing it quite a bit. I borrowed the pleat layout, but had to make the size smaller, chopped off quite a bit of length, added giant pockets in the side seams, put elastic in the back of the waistband (for wearing comfort!), added belt loops, hem tape on the inside belt seam, a hook and eye on the front to keep the button from pulling, and made the front button placket (and button holes, etc).
Oh, and hey! You get a double! I put on a top with it that I made way back last summer and never posted! I changed up a Vogue pattern (looks like it is out of print now-2958) to make it into a crop top instead of a dress. And added a full separating zipper in the back. I made it to go with a black jersey circle skirt that I practically lived in last summer, but I haven't gotten around to wearing this shirt yet!
Made it out of an amazing woven that I found ages ago at Joann's. Probably meant to be a South American pattern, but it reminded me of some minority's fabric designs in China, which is why I bought a bunch of it. Love it. Always thought I'd make a bag out of it or something... I'm still in love with the fabric!
I'm really having the worst time editing pictures! They look find on my computer, then I upload them and the quality is total rubbish and they come out darker and with less contrast. It is driving me MAD. Blah.
Not end of the wintery mix weather wise(still snowing!), but sewing wise! That's it, from here on out I'm only making sundresses! This is the last winter/long-sleeve dress you'll see from me this year! I'm so tired of winter and the cold, I don't think it is going to ever end! So...sundresses. I shall bring Spring about by the sheer force of my will. Vive le Printemps!
Tl;wr (like 'didn't read', but 'won't', so I can put it before everything. Grammar is important, people.)
Success! Made out of a medium-weight, soft, not too stretchy green jersey. Bodice is slightly too short, which I noted for next time I make the pattern. But, with some other modifications, a very comfortable dress! Main change is that I didn't line the top, which I thought was a weird way to construct the dress. Am I getting to the point of sewing when I become annoying about using patterns? I could do it so much better ;) But not too tight, not too loose, not too much gaping. Goldilocks of dresses. And in a cute 40's style with the side drape. Not a bad dress to END THE WINTER ON *hinthint, Weather, I'm talking to you!*
Except for a few problems, I like this dress! It is comfortable and I'm always obsessed with 40's style anything. I made view A with view B sleeves. Or view B with view A skirt ;) Whichever. I feel like the construction and possible modifications on this dress are very much dependent on the weight of the fabric you choose. But even with that, I think it would be a good pattern for beginners looking for something a bit more difficult. Gotta take the leap sometime!
....My only qualm is that the waist is too high! My mother said it wasn't noticable, and I'd probably wear a belt, but I can FEEL it. The bodice is too short! I've never had that problem with a pattern before. There is a tube for the elastic in the seam allowance at the waist, so I might end up taking it out to give a teeny bit of extra length to the bodice and sewing the elastic just directly onto the seam. Might help? I thought about doing that anyway while I was making it, it seemed strange that they used the enclosed elastic method. It isn't a major problem, but enough to bug me!
My only real alteration was that I didn't line the bodice. I felt like they should have made this an option dependent on the weight of your fabric. Anything other than super-thin jerseys really have no need for this extra layer. The jersey that I used it quite thick and having a double layer wrap-bodice with double layer pleated drape at the skirt would have ended up with nearly 10 layers of thick fabric at the waist seam. Crazy! Glad I read some reviews of the pattern before attempting it or I would have been in for a surprise. So I made some quick facings for the neckline instead of fully lining it, easy stuff. If you are using a thin jersey, you might want to keep that extra layer to help keep shape, hold up the skirt (though the elastic is for that), added thickness, and the facings might show through on thinner materials.
I'm putting up a quick tutorial on making facings just after this post! Highly recommend using them if your fabric allows it. Helps immensly with neck gape as opposed to just turning the hem. Best part about this alteration is that I didn't actually have enough fabric for the double layer anyway. Saved!
I kept the back of the bodice a double layer. I've done this before with something I made for my mom and liked the idea. It just smooths out the back, no straps or anything showing, just smooth and less clingy (and warmer). And I sewed it on to enclose the shoulder and side seams on the inside. I like it neat :)
Almost forgot that the pattern had a double layer for the drape too! Also ridiculous. Also left out. My jersey is the same on both sides so I just turned the edge under (as neat as possible) and left it at that. I would NOT recommend doing double layer on the drape unless your fabric is completely different on the other side. Even a single layer was heavy and the pleats at the top would be SO bulky.
Oh, and I left out the shoulder pads. As much as I love 40's fashion, I sincerely hope shoulder pads don't make a real comeback O_o
Just as a companion post to my last McCall 6713 dress. I've seen that many people who start sewing this dress are beginners, so I thought I would make this post for people who want to modify the pattern to eliminate the lined bodice. I decided on a facing instead of just turning it under because 1) I didn't want the seam, this creates a neater edge, 2) a facing helps prevent the neckline from stretching!. Gaping is always annoying.
A few notes: I feel like construction of this dress is very dependent on the fabric you choose. Thinner knits may need the double layer for shape, support, and because facings might show through on clingier material. Go with what your fabric tells you! If you are using a heavier knit, you don't really need all those layers.
Second thing? Making a facing is super easy
Making a facing:
Grab a piece of paper and set the pattern piece down that you want to make the facing for (in this case, each side of the bodice and the back neckline if you choose to). Trace along the outer edge of the neckline and a few inches along the shoulder and side seam connecting to it. For the back neckline, trace along a few inches on the shoulder seams
Take away the pattern piece and measure in about 2 inches from that outer-edge line you just drew. This is your facing pattern piece. Cut it out of the paper and cut out one of each in your fabric.
You could also make a copy of your pattern piece and cut out two inches from the edge.
Decide if you want to finish the edge with a serger or a small hem (Depends on the weight of your fabric, you don't want a hem to show through!). Knits don't always require finishing though.
Sew the bodice front and back together at the shoulder seams. Sew the facings together at the shoulder seams as well. Place the bodice and facing right sides together along the neckline -line up at the shoulder seams- and sew along the neck edge. Trim the seam, clip the curves, press seam towards the facing, and understitch, you don't want the pesky lining coming around to the front!
Flip it around to the inside, and baste the raw edges of the facing and bodice together. Tack it down at the should seams. Done :)
Quick understitch for beginners: Press all the seams towards the facing. Open up the bodice and the facing to keep the bodice completely free for this step. With the right side up, stitch just inside the seam line on the facing through the layers of the seam allowance, keeping the bodice free. Et voila!
Hope that was helpful! Let me know if anything needs clarifying!
Noticed that the majority of the sugar-candy syndrom threads were actually Singer Fusion threads. A quick search on google came up with a bunch of other people having the same problem. At least I know my house isn't toxic, though I don't know if that musty smell is going to go away any time soon. Seems to have permeated the entire room.
LESSON LEARNED : Don't buy Singer thread!!
I put some thread on my machine, started sewing, and then noticed as the spool ends just crumbled away! I have thread that is 80 years old that doesn't have this problem and this stuff can't be more than 6 or so at the most. What gives? I picked up another spool of thread out of the spool holder and it just crumbled in my hand! Upon closer examination, I noticed that I had a number of these spools that were doing this! The thread isn't affected at all, just the plastic spools. They seem to be all Gutermann Singer with the metal ends on them and they were all in the same little plastic spool holder (though, non-Gutermann Singer threads in the same holder were not affected). Some are crumbling in the holder without me even touching them! And they are also giving off a musty smell (that I had noticed before but assumed it was some old thread I'd bought at some time). Is there a bacteria that eats plastic?? What is causing this? Will my other threads catch the disease? Should I just throw everything out?! Should I vacate the room and soak my hands in sanitizer???! AHHH!!! I'm under attack!
It feels like the spools are made out of sugar and just crumbling apart. Any thoughts on what caused this? Has this happened to any of you?
Nothing major, but a slip! My first foray into the world of making lingerie. I hate to say.....I'm hooked. There are so many more things I want to make now! I was sewing this and I loved it, then I finished and immediately thought, 'I want to do something harder and more complicated'. Never satisfied ;) I wasn't originally going to put these pictures up, but there aren't a huge number of reviews for this pattern (I'll add my 'I love it!' to them!) and the fabric didn't turn out too sheer in the pictures, so I thought it wasn't too inappropriate, lol.
All the seams are french seamed, except at the top bodice where I used a serger because I didn't want the seam in between the lining and lace to be bulky (I didn't have a wide-lace edging that the pattern called for, so I enclosed the top and side seams, not a hard change). And I used some of that lingerie elastic for the back instead of enclosing elastic along the top, I thought it would be more comfortable. When I finished it and hung it up and didn't like the wider hem I had made-the fabric really calls for a handkerchief hem. So I figured that if I was going to take it out, I might as well fix the twisting side seams, which can happen with cutting on the bias (HERE is a great post on fixing this!).
So then I took it out (french seams=annoying!). Then I figured....if I was taking out the seams, I'd take the back in a bit (I apparently have a freakishly small back. Thanks for giving me a complex, sewing). Then I figured, I might as well take the whole back apart so that it doesn't look patched together at the top elastic. Talk about backwards progress!! But it all came together in the end! Taking in the back got rid of so much excess fabric, so the whole fit is much more flattering. And fixing the side seams was totally necessary, they really curved terribly (in my eyes. I tried to do a sway back adjustment, I think that may have contributed to my problems there). All these little things that will NEVER be seen because it is a SLIP. It goes UNDER clothes ;) All the same, I like the pretties! But I barely like this slip anymore, just because I super want to do something MORE. But it turned out, it is useful, and I really, I love it!
I've never really worked with any lace, or much with bias-cut garments either, so I learned a few things. Twisting seams, fraying lace, and I did some sway-back fixing research...Definitely makes me want to make more! And this slip went together really quickly. I'm itching to do some more complicated lace work and buying some more expensive, pretty laces and silks. Tap shorts next, maybe? We will see. How many slips can a girl have? Unlimited, I think ;) Great pattern, a few fitting issues that I'll make a note of for the next time I use it, but great pattern!
The lace was some stretch lace, nothing too fancy, probably from a Joann's, and the lining was Ambience by Logantex, really nice and lightweight, but I feel like it might wrinkle very easily. We shall see!
Got a new layout! How does it look? Not custom, which I would love to do but don't want to pay for (blasted typepad), but I got to play with my new chalk pens for the banner picture! I'm so in love with these chalk pens I bought at Hobby Lobby, I want them in every colour and every width! I could have a new sign every week...you know, if it didn't take me so long to draw it out! I'm a perfectionist. Anyway, I'll make a professional banner someday. Doesn't matter much, I was just tired of the other layout. Unfortunately, the sidebar width changed and has messed up all my old post! I'll just have to work on that in the future!
Sewing masterlist and craft masterlist are now linked up at the top of the page!
Wanted to do a quick plug for a new blog that is out there in the blogosphere! Paris Portraits! It is a wonderfully designed blog and features some great stories and photos of just about every aspect of Paris. It was created by a friend who lives in Paris who is a brilliant photographer (and tour guide...and photography tour guide!). I think it is going to be a big hit and she has so many plans to expand the idea. She has some fantastic experiences and always manages finds some great things to explore! Well worth a browse :) Check it out!
-----> Also on Facebook
I've had this package of corkboard tiles around for ages, knowing I was going to do something with them, but not knowing what. Well, I was hit with inspiration the other day. Maybe it just happened, maybe it was the 100 Happy Days project that got me thinking about happy things, but it hit me!
There are two street artists in Paris that never fail to put a smile on my face. I used to go on 'hunting' trips to find new (new to me) work by them. They are just so happy and carefree. Mesnager has always been my favourite, with his free-spirited, dancing figures, but I already put his artwork on a bag which is in my sewing room. Next favourite? Nemo! He does silhouettes of a man in a suit just...relaxing, having fun, stopping to appreciate life! I have a signature Nemo red umbrella on my Mesnager bag, but Nemo deserves his own project. I needed to brighten up my sewing closet a bit and he always puts a smile on my face. So I found a picture on my computer of some of his work and started painting!
Did some random designs on the other corkboards, just for fun, and I wanted him to stand out :)