19 September 2014

Sleeveless dress with piping

McCalls 6739 (View B)
See the self-made black piping which has been applied to the pockets and will be applied to the vertical seam lines of this sleeveless dress?  There's a big Fall sale going on during September at www.Craftsy.com, and I recently purchased a Decorative Seams class, taught by Katrina Walker.  Here's my effort so far.

16 September 2014

Dress Muslin...it fits!

Kwik Sew 3521
Whipped up my muslin in a Size M, and with minimal tweaks, it's a fit.  I can imagine the dress in my fashion fabric of choice, with a nice belt to accent the waist.  BUT! now that I've tried it on, I'm thinking this may be too youthful a style for an aging granny (me).  I don't have daughters, wish I did.   This dress should be worn short, sassy and sweet.  I'll have to give it some though before moving forward.  Hmmm...what to do, what to do! 
Mid-September and still sewing sleeveless.  I'm thinking this cotton print fabric will go well with this Kwik Sew dress pattern.  I've not been one to make muslins, but a sleek fit on this bodice would be nice, and so I'm working out any fitting issues in advance.

Either I am shrinking or I have finally learned about choosing the correct pattern size to best match my measurements.  In fact, I've gone down one whole pattern size and, so far, have had good results.  It's true; most patterns require some tweaking to get a good fit for the best results.  Plus, I have learned the difference of high bust vs. full bust measurements, and how to use all the information that's printed on the pattern and pattern envelope.  Who knew I was one whole size off track?

For all the fuss put into making a garment, it is most encouraging when the darned thing fits, after all is said and done.  Putting in this attention to fitting detail has made all the difference.  Since this epiphany of mine, relating to pattern fitting, I have wanted to sew more and more (and more). 

13 September 2014

China Blouse detail...coming along!

My blouse is coming along.  Satin binding has been applied to collar edges, and frog closures are looking good placement-wise.  Still lots of critical work to do, i.e., attach collar and collar facings, get those sleeves in place.  One step at a time and this one may end up a keeper.

12 September 2014

Mandarin Collar; satin trim detail

Applying a satin trim binding around the edge of the collar on my China Blouse proved to be a challenge at first try.  After applying the satin binding, the collar would not lay flat around the curved edge, but instead formed a cup that would not be tamed.  I did clip the seam and I tried to press the collar into submission.  Over-handling made for a disastrous mess.  I was discouraged but not stumped.  Toss it out and start again says me; lucky I had plenty of extra fabric.  Second time around, I used a 1/2" seam to apply the binding to the collar which I then trimmed down to 3/8", same as before.  On my first try, I thought that the bias cut of the binding would be enough to bend and curve around the edges without having to clip the binding itself (wrong!).  This time, before sewing it onto the collar, I clipped the edges of the binding, spacing my clips about every 1/2".  This provided the flexibility needed for that binding to lay flat as it was sewn on.  Finally, I clipped around the curved edges of the collar, clipping ever so carefully so as not to cut into the stitching.   Now the binding folds over the collar edge and will press out nicely.  Remind myself to press gingerly!  I think I'll be able to finish this collar without further headache.

11 September 2014

My China Blouse...that's what I call it

Here's a top I've been wanting to make forever.  This is the first time I have tried a Neue Mode pattern.  Because of the uncertainty of Neue Mode's pattern sizing and because these kinds of tops need to fit like a dream, I decided to make a muslin first.  Good thing; there were adjusments that needed to be made, i.e., raise the bust point by 3/4", adjust the shoulder seams to reduce gapping at the armhole, let out the back darts by about 1/4" and slightly tuck the back, horizontally at the center waistline for a smoother fit.  A very good fit after alterations were applied to the pattern; I am now a firm believer in making a muslin first!  At last, I am ready to tackle the make-or-break details, the Mandarin collar and the sleeve, both will have applied satin bias trim.  Fabric: Berry Pink Satin Print Jacquard (70% rayon, 30% polyester) from www.fashionfabricsclub.com.  I also applied a 9" invisible zipper at the back neck; the three frog closures were purchased and are for embellishment only.

Shawl Collar Jacket; Loes Hinse Design No. 5112

Loes Hinse Jacket Pattern No. 5112
I have had this partially finished jacket in the closet for a number of years to date.  The jacket fabric is a shimmery, crushed polyester taffeta, with embroidery detail.  I underlined the jacket with silk organza to provide body to the garment.  I also used silk organza for the shawl collar.  This jacket has a boxy cut and fits very well...so plain and simple.  The collar pleats at the nape of the neck to create that slightly draped effect.  There are four things I need to do:  1) Create a lining for the jacket; Bemberg lining currently on order from Fabric.com.  2) Shoulder pads; the pattern provides a pattern piece for that, and these sleeves could use a boost.  3) Apply tiny iridescent rhinestones onto the dragonflies in appropriate places.  4) Embellish the collar.  Embellish, you say?  The white silk organza is too plain and needs some kind of wow factor, not to mention a bit more body.  I've been stuck because I'm wondering exactly how to go about this.  Rhinestones?  Sequins?  Sequins and rhinestones?  Lace trim (shown in photo)?  That's where I'm at with this one.