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Monthly Archives: January 2012

Yesterday I finished this dress. I decided to combine the Burda 7494 skirt with my trusty self-drafted bodice to see how they would look together. Yey for Frankensteing patterns together. Its so easy!

I promise this is the last time I use this print. I have previously made dresses in the same fabric but in blue and yellow.

What can I say? they were $3 per meter quilting fabrics and they had been sitting there unused for about 2 years.  So I am glad I finally did something with them.

It also gives me an idea of which of the 3 colors suit me best. I think the blue suits me best. Blue used to be my least favorite color but it works best on me. I am glad I am liking it a lot more these days (Perhaps it was Zooey Deschanel’s wardrobe in 500 days of summer). The pale pink suits me the least as it has a bit of that wash out effect when next to skin of my colour (God it looks practically the same colour as my skin in the photos!).

I decided to time myself when making this garment. It turns out it takes me about 5 hrs 20 mins to make a dress like this (including cutting out). But that also includes trying to decide on things and messing about with strap length etc (HATE adjusting straps).

I did an invisible hem with my  invisible hemming foot and the special stitch on the machine. I LOVE IT (totally geeked out over it)! So easy and it kicks ass over hand sewing!

The invisible side zip hits me at a weird point due to the more fitted skirt.

The bodice is fully lined with white cotton voile for a nice clean finish but the skirt is not. I REALLY wish I underlined the skirt with a thicker fabric for stability since the cotton is fairly thin (it also creases like mad as you would suspect).

Anyway here is what I would do differently if I made this style again:

  •  Shorten shirt waistband at the sides (5-5mm on each side) so the bodice fits the tulip skirt more precisely
  •  Underline the fitted skirt portion if i make it in a similar lightweight cotton (I planned on doing this but I was too lazy)
  • Convert bodice to have back zip rather than side zip. The dress will sit better on the body
  • Back of skirt is too big. Take in darts slightly? and tapper and remove some fabric from the top of the center back seam of the skirt.
  • Reinforce the start of the back slit with some fabric and stitching (in a triangle?)

I wore the dress into the city last night. I don’t know how much wear this dress will get because the fitted skirt is less comfortable to wear than the gathered version. I have to wear fitted shorts underneath the skirt to preserve my modesty that is pretty annoying.

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This is how I felt

(imge credit http://www.cowboylands.net)

Getting this pattern to fit has proved to be a good learning experience but a tedious one all the same. I have made 7 muslin/toiles.

Because I don’t understand fitting and pattern making that well I am not at the stage where I have standard adjustments that I make to new patterns to suit my body.

But I often notice the same problems. Such as…

Gaping/excess fabric above the bust. (Theory 1: My back is a little hunched or my front is shorter. Theory 2: Because I am a bigger cup/lower or bust size Theory 3: Hollow Chest)

Gaping at my back near the neck  (Theory: Slightly Curved back)

Who knows?

Anyway this is how it fits now  (I win Burda 7494 I win!)

The sewing is not fantastic but it is a trial run so I was messy.

Heres a little break down of what I have been through:

– In early versions I got rid of fabric from the side front bodice only (none on the center front) hoping it would get rid of excess fabric above the bust. This helped only a little little

– I then made a gape dart on the centre front pattern piece and pivoted the excess into the dart. Below is a picture showing how I did it.

Yey no more droopy fabric and the front but THEN I had these darts and the pannel lines that looked like pointy nipples. Not pretty! The darts were WAY too high on the dress.

Another problem was the neckline way WAY too high which is unflattering and uncomfortable.

– I lowered the neckline so I had to re-drafted the collar. I got a similar shape of collar by looking at the finished shape (without seam allowance) sewn up (muslin version 1) tracing that onto my new center front piece and lengthening it slightly. Had to factor in seam allowance to work out where the front of the collar would meet.

OK now to get rid of the darts the picture below shows how bad they looked.

– So to remove the bust darts I had to put the dart excess in my side front piece. It kind of defies explanation so here is an image so I can remember what I did.

– I originally added 2cms to the waistline but that was to much.

So I decided to make the waistline more curved. You can actually see it in the above image how the waistline kind of tapers upwards but is longer on the sides and back.

I shorted the skirt and added a slit but I have yet to figure out how to correctly sew a slit…

– I cut a big chunk out of the back neckline and that got rid of most of the gaping there.

-In my latest version (version 7) I took a little out of the waist. Hopefully with will work out because I am cutting it in my fashion fabric soon.

– I re-drafted facings for the new neckline and then drafted lining pieces to go with the facings.

Phew Perhaps I should sew with another pattern before I sew the Burda 7494 in my fashion fabric. Even writing the pattern number is tiring now.

My fabric addiction is reaching new heights. I am still drunk with the thrill of getting such a bargain.

Rationality and common sense disappears when I see fabrics at good prices not that I had a lot of it to begin with.

My mum and I both had the day off so we went into the city to go to the remnant warehouse.

They had a buy one roll get one free (these remnant rolls usually have about 3 meters on them)

All up I got 17 meters of fabric and I spent $42. When I added it together and took into account the free fabric the cost of the fabric averaged out to costing around $2.50 per meter.

Last night I made a quick tote bag (above) It has lovely vintage pattern ladies on it (I used an iron-on tshirt transfer) I know its nothing special but small things make me happy.

So I have a lifetimes worth of fabric. I mostly buy cottons and poly/cotton blends. I was going to branch out and buy some knit fabric but I am scared of sewing with it. Must overcome this now that I have my own overlocker.

I made this detachable felt collar thing today. It requires no sewing (only a little hand sewing). I am pretty happy with the result. I used the DIY peter pan collar from honestlywtf.

This felt is a touch itchy to wear. Next time I may invest in some wool felt. I used nasty acrylic stuff.

Not a lot of sewing has gone on recently. I also promised to update this blog at least once a week. but I have had serious back pain/problems so I have in bed a lot of the time.

Also the Burda 7494 fitting saga is enough to make me bored by sewing. It’s such delayed gratification when you want the fit of a garment to be right, but I have complained enough about that on this blog.

Actually I have done a little sewing…I taught my niece to make a gathered skirt with an elasticized waist. Was sooo fun to teach a young one some sewing!

I have been acquiring a lot of fabric lately. The beauty of working in a fabric shop is you always know when the good bargains are around!

Making this dress fit well has proved to be a major undertaking. It’s enough to make me take out the well-fitting sun dress pattern I have used 20+ times and make something just so I can sew a quicker project.

But I am learning…I think.

I can definitely see an improvement and after 4 muslins I have gotten rid of all the droopy excess fabric from above the bust/near the neckline.

Btw those are badly sewn darts on the left.

I am not even going to worry about the position of the darts…thats for another life when I am perfect.

What else needs to be done on this **^&#$^ thing?

  • The neckline needs to be lowered. Will be more flattering and I will be able to breath properly.
  • I need to re-draft a collar for the lowered neckline. I have already done this once, when I removed  the excess fabric. See how different the collars on the left and right pictures look? I like the original collar (left picture) better so I want the shape to be more like that.
  • Lengthen the around the armhole. The shape of pattern has changed due to removing excess fabric bellow neckline like the original arm-holey length better (there is no sleeve so I don’t know what to say in order to describe the area).
  • Shorten skirt to desired length. I probably wont bother with a pleat. hmmm more decisions.
  • There is excess near the waist…perhaps that is not a bad thing. Anyone who has eaten a big meal in a fitted dress knows what I am talking about! Plus if I take out some ease in the waist I will have the fun task of altering the entire skirt portion of the dress oh so slightly. ummm.. NO. that wont happen! So I will take in a slither just under the lower bust.
  • Even after altering the back I have a LOT of excess fabric near the back neckline. How to fix? Still unsure.

Oh god this is pretty frikken tedious! I think I am going to go do something non-sewing related like vacuum, dust or cleaning the house. Yes that actually sounds like more fun.

No seriously. I am learning. I do like learning about these things but the process is soooo slow! Either I have a messed up body or Burda patterns are not as well-fitting patterns as I thought. It’s probably a bit of both.

I have not done a lot of sewing recently but I did make a necklace or two.

So quick and simple to make!

Whilst browsing pintrest  I can across this tutorial  by the dainty squid and I feel in love with it.

Heres my version

Yikes I need to cut my fringe badly. I do not suit a long fringe!

I used leather for my version because we have a whole bag of leather scraps.

Also the leather hole punch I had made holes that were FAR to big so I just used a thick needle to poke holes through the leather to attach the jump rings through.

Heres another necklace I made the supplies I used to make it.

I don’t know why I never considered using leather or vinyl for jewelery before as it’s awesome!

I recently sorted out my sewing notions along with my jewelery making supplies. I often buy chain from fabric stores or if I have a necklace or (a part of a necklace) I no longer like I take the chain off to use on another d.i.y.

LOOK at the organized nature of my supplies below (this is unlike me so I am proud!)

I discovered that little plastic pill storage is a great way to store the fasteners and jump rings. They are super small and you can open one at a time. I dont know if that makes any sense. I tried to take a better picture off them but failed.

I am totally going to finish Burda 7594 soon. But yeah like I said have to get the fit right which is annoying.