24 July 2011

More sewing stuff: picking a pattern for class

Regarding my fitting woes, I'm excited to be taking a pattern fitting class in a couple of weeks.  I'm getting tired of fiddling with everything I make; even being aware of some of my quirks and trying to adjust for them beforehand doesn't always work.  I'm constantly making things, but they usually get pushed aside towards the end because some little thing is off--the shoulders are too wide, the neckline is too big, the bust isn't big enough, the back is too long or too broad, the waist is too low, you name it. By then I'm ready for the next project, so whatever isn't working gets hidden in the closet.  The class is only one afternoon, though, and I can only bring one pattern.  I'm trying to decide which pattern to bring.

I really want help fitting this dress:

which I am dying to make for the fall (I even have a fab wine-red stretch sateen for it!) but I think will be a BEAR to fit correctly.  It's supposed to be pretty easy to sew, but it has to be roomy in the right places and tailored in others and it's hard to figure it all out from the photos. 

There's also this:

the Colette Macaron, which is all over the internets and every aspiring young seamstress has done, but I think with the full bust adjustment series and other fitting notes on Lazy Stitching, I can probably figure it out ok myself.

Other frontrunners include a couple of 1940s dresses that I think will be great for (what's left of) the summer and take me into fall--first, this Vintage Vogue:

I've got some cream-colored stretch crepe especially for this....

And this Retro Butterick, which I want some printed poplin or sateen for:

But the class list says bring a "basic pattern".  So I think I will probably arrive with this vintage pattern:

which I guess is pretty basic, and I could use help fitting a sheath dress and a jacket.  I've got pink linen for the dress and white linen for the jacket, just like the picture. No gloves, though, alas.  I don't think I could quite get away with those. 

I'm also really considering driving the hour+  for a "Vintage Pattern of the Month" class in September.  They are making this flutter-sleeved confection:

I feel like I'm at a point where I could use actual instruction/tutoring and it is really hard to find sewing classes that go beyond absolute basics.  Or that sew things I would want to wear!  I think the September dress is totally wearable vintage.  Doesn't it look perfect for going out for drinks on some roofdeck or patio somewhere in September?

You saw it here first!

Hello tiny readership!

I promised a while back that I'd post pictures of stuff I'd been sewing.  Predictably, I didn't do much on any of the projects I listed for accountability;  however, I have sewn up a bunch of other things, and actually FINISHED them, and some might even see the light of day!  I figured I'd post them here first because 1) y'all asked me to and 2) I don't necessarily want my co-workers to know something is my handiwork BEFORE I take it for a workday test drive.  Sometimes you can't tell how a garment will go wrong till you wear it out.

I made this one night early this week.  It's from this tutorial: http://sewmamasew.com/blog2/2010/06/jennifers-fabric-focus-free-summer-top-pattern/. I had this fun cotton lawn lying around and I wanted to do something with it where the print wouldn't get lost in a lot of fussy cutting and fitting, but I didn't have enough to make a dress and it was too thin for a skirt.  Enter the Undaunted top.  It also gave me a chance to finally try smocking, which is totally easy and totally fun.  (You can't see it here, but the bottom hem is smocked about 2 inches.)  I had to fiddle with the shoulders a bit so the neckline wasn't stiff and high, and next time I think I'd only sew them in about an inch, so the neckline might drape.  I wore it to work last week, and no one went "um, did you make that?"  so I guess it's ok.

Heartened by the success of the Undaunted top, this I did the next night this week when particularly bored.  It's just a smocked tube top, went together in a couple of hours.  I almost never wear straight up tube tops.  I am thinking of possibly sewing in some buttons and making straps to attach to it?  I think the back is too long, too;  I'm getting a lot of fabric pooling at my lower back. 

I cut this out last night and finished it up today.  It looks better on, I think.  I was irritated to discover after cutting it out that the grain is somehow off, resulting in dots that don't quite match up on one side.  Still I might try to wear it out and see if anyone notices.  Maybe on a day when I know I'll be sitting at my desk all day.  A belt might be a good idea, too. 


I've been so frustrated with my inability to fit things perfectly that I've mostly been making unstructured tops this week and leaving my five zillion dress patterns for later.  However, I did finish this little number in something called "Prada Twill" that I had lying about.  This is a dress I never would have bothered with based on the envelope, but after seeing Lazy Stitching's renditions I knew I had to have it.  (Sometimes I really wonder what the envelope designers are thinking.  You are supposed to both make me want the pattern AND let me see the details, please!)  I originally went to my usual apparel fabric source, a Sew and Vac down the street from my apartment which has lots of remnants for $2.49 a yard, and picked out a stretchy coral poplin with a leaf print.  I wasn't sure about it;  it wasn't really my style, but the owner of the store was convinced it'd be great.  I went home and after dinner made the bodice.  Tried it on--she was right, the fabric was fabulous on me!  I forged ahead with the skirt.

Now I have only been sewing for about a year, but I quickly learned two things:  1) be sober when you sew, and 2) stop BEFORE you are tired.  Long story short, I cut the panels for the skirt backwards, ruining the tiny bit of irreplaceable fabric I had, and had to trash the coral leaf print.  Dug through my stash and found this, which I bought to make my sister a dress but discovered it wasn't stretchy enough.  It's ok, I guess. 

This fits fine, except as usual the neckline is a hair big and the waist is a hair low.  A camisole under the dress will have to do to help the neck and I think a belt will help the waist issue. 

So that's it!  More to come...

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