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Simplicity 3823

I have been out of action (sewing-wise) for more than 3 weeks and I have to say it has made me so sad.
I thought my leg was better (but it got bad again when I started to sew) leading me to believe it may be sewing related.

I am off on a massive trip (over 8 weeks) around Europe and beyond but when I get back I fully intend to sew and post on a weekly basis again.
I will be blogging pictures from my trip here (http://benandkathstravels.tumblr.com/).

It’s sad that I didn’t finish the dress for the Mad Men challenge but considering the circumstances I’m glad I gave the old leg some healing time.

I was pretty happy with where I was going with it after all the fussing with the fit. Notice the photos are better? I got a proper camera from my lovely boyfriend for my birthday and I am so happy for it! I have been busy playing around with it and trying to learn about photography.

I gotta say I LOVE what I have seen of  the costumes from season 5 of Mad Men.

(warning: spoilers)

The late 60s is the best! I adore all the playful prints and bright colours. I am ALL about those two things for myself as well! Bold colour and pattern is 100% my style.

I look forward to sew again when I come back! Hopefully I will encounter some fabric shops on my travels ūüėČ

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Now we’re getting somewhere…..I do have a soft spot of the crowded house song for the same name haha. Wow I just discovered that was released a year after I was born hehe… yey 80s!

ANYWAY…Check out my 4th Muslin or Toile for ¬†Simplicity 3823 (Its just the bodice/top part the skirt i’m wearing is just to stop you getting and eyeful/seeing my belly)

LOL I do kind of love my goofy expression!

I almost gave up on this dress but now I figured out the obvious fitting issue that would make the top of the bodice sit better (I am still working on the back and the band).

It was so obvious but for some silly reason I originally resisted my urge to lower the streamline connecting the gathered front halter piece to the midsection/band. It was not sitting under my bust, resulting in a bad fit.

If I just asked myself “How do I differ from a size 10 fitting model?” I would have made the right adjustment a long time ago.

So how do I differ? I am not a small bra cup/size and I am not ahem as erm….lets just say my breasts don’t naturally sit high up near my armpits and I am NOT a teenager.

Moral of the story is WHERE things are sitting can be just as important as HOW things are sitting.

As for the midriff band I made so many dodgey winging-it alterations on things I can sort of see why it would be pulling. But I am addressing that next!

Rather than following the dreaded suggestion from the pattern of putting boning in the back I am planning on just adding shirring to the back . I know Betty drapers dress would be a lot more dressy but this is my spin on the dress so I decided its still accepatable.

I have never worked with shirring/shirring elastic before but I found a good tutorial here.

Gertie also has one called “Making a Shirred-Back Dress”. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

That would solve the fitting issues in the back and ensure it stays up rather than the dreaded suggestion from the pattern of putting boning in the back.

Rule of thumb: The uglier the pattern pieces become-the better the fit. Haha Amateur pattern adjustments TO THE MAX.

I SHALL FINISH THIS DRESS.

I am going on a big trip to Europe soon so I better keep working on it.

Hmmm  Perhaps I should name every post after songs I like. Would that be wrong?

So far, so….um…. this is the best I can do at the moment!

I have wasted what feels like the whole day on trying to fit this dress.

I  had better remind myself that the things that are the most frustrating are often what you learn the most from.

I don’t even think I should wear/suit a halter neck style dress for reasons I’m not sure I should share (lets just say it is to do with my bust and leave it there).

After my third muslin I decided that I am just going to sew up/in lots of/most of/hopefully all of my corrections  directly onto muslin version 3. I changed the thread I used for different corrections.

I am semi worried about how I am going to transfer all these alterations at least semi-accuratley to my pattern, because I usually do some small corrections then new muslin, small corrections then new muslin etc. But this has a ton of alterations and it is very confusing. Use Muslin as pattern?

Other concerns:

The back is wack as you can see! According to the Colette Patterns Sewing Handbook ¬†“Tight diagonal wrinkles mean that there is not enough fabric to go round the curve. you will need to add fullness to the curve making the area both longer and wider”. Apparently where the wrinkles are pointing too indicates where you need more fullness.¬†Shorten back bodice increase mid to lower waist? or perhaps decrease volume where back goes in and add fabric to side seam. God only knows!

After reading more of the Colette Handbook I realize I need to be using techniques such as spreading or and pivoting to alter my patterns and stop doing things the dodgy way.

Also after all these dodgy changes I made the side seams are not where they are supposed to be.

Another thing to consider: I am not putting boning in so perhaps I should have a elastic in casing on the back. Or I could kill this whole back problem by shirring (which I have never tried before)

Also must add:

Gape darts. Doesn’t look gapey but what about when the lining is added and the excess SA is folded in…

Must make underarm bigger and ensure it covers my bra. Have to wear a one strap bra with this style when you are busty.

Phew I am sure I am missing some more issues but trying to get the fit right on this dress has totally exhausted me.

Simplicity 3823 just may haunt my dreams and continue to trouble me in ways never imagined possible.

I have decided I am going to participate in Julia Bobbin’s Man Men Dress Challenge.

She is an amazing blogger who’s creations are always super cute/inspiring! I just love her Peggy Olsen Gingham Dress!

The deadline for creating a Mad Men-inspired dress is Friday, March 30.

I have never participated in a challenge so whether or not I get it done by then is anyones guess.

The above dress is what I am planning on making… (To read more about this dress visit this site)

Last night I went trawling through Mad Men images. I remember after I watched the first season of Mad Men I took a bunch of screen caps. It is just filled with inspiring looks, but you dont need me to tell you that… Janie Bryant does such an amazing job.

Ah the 60s has always been my favorite era in fashion as I love the femininity and glamour.

I found so many dresses I wanted to try and make. I think Joan is the most stylish and her looks always compliment her gorgeous curves so well (eg the tailored sheath dresses and pencils skirts)!

Unfortunately I don’t have any fabric in any of the colours that she wears :(.

I got a little sad and disheartened because I thought I had lots of fabric… but I have NO FABRIC that resembles any of the looks that I love on the show! I have a lot of bright colours and bold patterns in my stash!

I went fabric shopping today and I found a cotton in a hot pink that is sort of similar in colour to the dress worn by Betty Draper (or whatever her new last name is now) in the above photo.

My fabric is a lightweight cotton with a very narrow pinstripe, while the dress Betty is wearing is a Silk Taffeta.

I know Taffeta behaves very differently to a cotton but thats OK. I am more of a casual girl (I never have occasion to wear taffeta gowns!).

Below is my fabric and possible pattern choices

Simplicity 3823 most resembles the bodice of Bettys dress (there is a seam under the gathered bust) but I want to add some kind of wrap-over detail and the waist like butterick 4919.

So I just may be making a Betty-inspired dress which she chose because she was inspired by Marylin Monroe.