Friday, July 5, 2013

Classic Plaid

Classic Plaid

I love, love, love this fabric.  It took a long time for me to cut it because I enjoyed dreaming about the possibilities.  The fabric is grey with light grey, black, and lavender plaid.  I chose a vintage vogue pattern.  I loved the v-neck and slight v in the back as well.

Matching the plaids was simple as the repeat was symmetrical and regular.  I simply made sure the notches were placed at corresponding part of the repeat.  This is made easier when the hem and waistline are placed on exactly the same lines for all of the pieces.  I also made sure that the center fronts and center backs of both the bodice and skirt were aligned with the enter of the plaid design.  

I made a belt as well.  I bought a buckle and some mesh belting material.  I melted the end of the material before covering it.  I made one hole with an awl and stitched it with embroidery thread according to the pattern instructions.

I did need to add loops to hold straps in place.  I never like to fuss with the straps of undergarments when I am in front of a classroom of students.  It is not unusual for me to sew these straps in my sleeveless dresses.

  As you can see, the bodice is lined in a beautiful piece of lavender charmeuse.  I had just enough of this scrap to use for this project.  I am very happy about the lining.

The kindest thing that I can do for myself when I sew a garment, is to finish the inside beautifully, with lovely linings and fine finishes.  Only I see these, so they are my way of saying to myself,
"You are special and you deserve this."  It is good to be good to ourselves.  :-)

Next project.....more plaid......

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Feelin' Groovy

Feelin' Groovy

A fun little corduroy mod dress. 

The first challenge was in matching the pattern across the back seam.  This was not simple since the chevron design is not symmetrical.  So I cut out one side of the back and laid it on the fabric in a place where it matched perfectly.

 I ran a chalk line down the seam allowance of the piece that I had cut.  Then I chalked the edge of that piece.  I knew that my new seam line would have to be 5/8' from that line and it was underneath the seam allowance of the piece on top.  Sounds complicated, but then I marked the seam allowance on the uncut fabric.  I could place the pattern itself on the fabric with the seam allowance matched up.  This insured that it was in proper placement.  

I also pinned it together before sewing and folded it back to check the pieces.  I adjusted them and pressed a crease at the place where I would stitch.    

It is a tedious process for one seam, but the finished garment is so much better.  I use this technique when making Hawaiian shirts with large print designs.  

 It was quick to make but I wasn't quite ready for how loose it was.  It looked a little like a sack.  So I reshaped the back and I love it.  

To reshape the back, I put on the dress and pinned it with two darts at the waist...not an easy task on myself.  I then placed it on the ironing board to measure and mark the darts with chalk, making them symmetrical.  At first I just stitched the pinched out pieces, about 1 1/2 inches long,  and sewed a little band across, leaving the top and bottom of the tuck to fold loosely. 

It looked terrible.  

So I layed it back down and shaped the darts, then pressed them in place.  I top stitched them after pinning.  It gave the dress an interesting back and a nice shape.  

I hemmed it with a contrasting fabric because I barely had enough of the corduroy to make the dress.  I didn't want the dress to be any shorter.  The band gave the dress a tad more length and a nice sharp edge.

The final touch was the pocket with the big buttons.  The buttons don't actually match, they were the same size though.  

In the end, I am very happy with the dress.  I will wear it with black leggings and boots or flats.  In the winter, I can wear a long sleeve shirt underneath.