August 27, 2014

Confetti Flounced Frock Simplicity 1877 View A

Even though I have not decided if I am going to recreate the dress pattern from the last post, I did manage to utilize my findings from that pattern test run. Simplicity 1877 has similar sleeve, v-neck and back neckline features as the Vogue pattern from the prior frock. 

The first modification I made to the pattern was to slightly raise the back neckline to ensure that my bra would not be exposed. Next I drafted on 3/4 length raglan sleeves to the bodice front and back pattern pieces. 
The pattern modifications did not end there, in addition to my standard broad back, short torso, swayback, and square shoulder adjustments, I also added length to the hem line (3") which additionally led me to lengthen the skirt flounce pieces. That means I modified all 9 pieces of the dress and still in retrospect I would have liked to raise the front neckline for a touch more modesty. 
Construction changes: I omitted the interfacing in the flounces, I felt that the flounce demanded a loose drape and personally I do not feel that I need to add stiff flounce volume below my waistline.  

Much like the last project my choice of a busy print distracts from the design lines of the dress. It is what it is, I like loud prints. 
Fabric: Confetti stripe printed crepe de chine acquired from Fabric Mart ages ago. 
The crepe de chine was fairly light weight, I knew the skirt seams would not support the flounces even after omitting the interfacing therefor lining the dress was mandatory. Each skirt piece was flat lined to support the flounces housed within the seam allowance. The bodice of dress was fully lined which also allowed me to omit the self fabric neck binding. 

Inner garment view front and back: 
To keep the v neck line from slipping on my shoulders I added bra snap carriers to the lining at the neckline where the shoulder seam begins. 

August 25, 2014

A Semi Wearable Muslin in Navy Floral Vogue 1209

I fell for the line drawing of Vogue 1209 but was apprehensive about the fit on my body. My main concern was shortening the bodice with all those gathers on the front and back bodice.
My intent for this dress was not more than a muslin however I was having a navy moment and wore the dress covered with a cardigan. From the moment I remove the cardi the dress takes a downward turn. I hate the sleeves or lack there of. I would have liked to draft a longer sleeve on the dress. 
If I were to make the dress again I would use a solid fabric the print is distracting from the great garment lines. I did find that I was able to shorten the torso somewhat successfully. I also added length to the skirt it was too short for my preference.
Fabrics: Crepe de chine and lining
Then we get to the issue with the back. Just another pattern that you can't wear a bra with. Well...that's NOT going to work. The back needs to be raised by 4" -5" at least. Why did I not have the forethought to fix this issue? I am going to blame it on Project Runway brain lapse. You know where judge Nina yells at the poor designers during critique for thinking that real women could wear the crazy cut out garments! Well, I just did it to myself?! 
The little back peplum is super cute (if you can see beyond the exposed bra). I would like to add additional length to the peplum and a touch more flare to the drape. 
 To finish the hems on the skirt and peplum I used my rolled hem feature on my serger. 

Bra-embarrassed. I stick with the cardigan cover up. I have yet to decide if I want to attempt this pattern again, time will tell.

August 24, 2014

Social Dressing Butterick 5853

Typically my social calendar is less than booked yet, every once and a blue moon an opportunity arrives that allows me to stitch up a special occasion dress. The event was a wedding in early August and I knew in advance (even with all the moving hustle and bustle) that my July sewing would be dedicated to fancy fabrications.
At first I struggled to choose a dress silhouette for the event. In the end I narrowed my choices down to two patterns with the silhouettes: classic cocktail or retro inspired flare. Then to only make the choice harder on myself I found fabrics in my stash that would work for each pattern. So… logically I decided to construct both dresses and wear which ever end result I liked better to the event and the other dress would be my Monthly Stitch party dress.
I flew the 4000 miles to Baltimore to attend the wedding with my camera in tow in order to photograph the end result with myself all gussied up. Then the bad luck struck… I stood in the muggy heat with my makeup dripping taking photos only to realize after a few to many poses I had forgotten the memory card in my camera. Yep… that happened; I felt like a rube. 
So here we are weeks later when I finally got the gumption to swallow my pride and put my cocktail dress back on to show you.
Pattern: Butterick 5853
Fabrics: The body is a black satin twill that is lined with gold viscose lining, the lace contrast is a netted lace with gold a embroidered floral pattern (remnants from the scrap bin) which is lined with a tulle netting for structure and stability in lieu of the facings that the pattern directed. 
Due to the translucence of the lace/net combo the seam allowances would show on the upper bodice. I elected to finish all of the upper bodice seams with black seam binding for a clean look. 
 Additionally I enclosed the seam allowances within the sleeves between the lace and net lining.  
To construct the sleeves: I first stitched the sleeve hems of the lining and lace together. 
 Then constructed the under arm seam (RST).
Lastly I flipped the right sides out to enclose the seam allowances between the two plys and create a smooth inner sleeve. 
Satin twill is a hearty fabric which is great for this garment as it traveled well. However the bulk caused me some distress during the construction process. The pattern calls for interfacing on the bodice fashion fabric pieces because the bodice is boned, I only interfaced the contoured center front piece of my bodice. Also there are pleated bows jetting out from the bust piecing. According to the pattern you are to stack the bows on top of one another and stitch the bodice front seams encasing the bows. Well...that would be 10 layers of fabric where the pleats fall on the bows in my thick fabric stitching that bulk was never going to happen. To combat this issue I off set the my bows and found I like the look better, I also tacked the bow ends to the bust line so they did not flop around. 
Pattern Modifications: My standard broad back and square shoulder adjustment. Raised hipline on skirt.
The pattern intends the zipper to extend up the center back to the neckline. I started my zipper at the body of the dress leaving the lace upper bodice CB open with a button and loop neckline closure 

July 29, 2014

Former UFO: Grey Floral Simplicity 1882

For the record, I am not willing to share with you how long this dress has resided in my sewing room as an unfinished project. But lets just state that the pattern Simplicity 1882 was released a few years ago. 
Sew Melodic in the wilderness
Alaskan Side Note: Last week a moose was in this spot in my front yard, I figure if the spot is good enough for me to photo the moose in, its the perfect spot for blog photos. 
The moose in my front yard
Fabric: Grey floral print is a linen (poly) blend from the stash, which was at one point purchased at JoAnn. Black contrast (collar and pocket flaps) is a cotton broadcloth. I flatlined all the pieces of the dress in a grey lining fabric. The lining was a great addition, it subsided the wrinkles in the linen fashion fabric and added structure and stability to the dress. Inner garment view:
Pattern Alterations: Square shoulder adjustment, shorten torso length and reduce skirt length by 5 inches. I used the Amazing Fit Curvy pattern pieces for the skirt. 
When I cut my pattern I forgot to add my broad back adjustment. The fit would have been better had I not suffered from brain loss, the dress is functional but I do get drag lines under the arms and at the back. 
I elected to edit the collar construction: The pattern intends you to construct the collar so it is free hanging of the center back zip. I constructed  my collar to meet the center back seam and then applied the center back zip to enclose with the collar at the center back neckline. In turn this affected the stand and roll of the collar, my collar now dimples at the shoulder line. In a perfect would I would planned for this as I prefer the center back neckline with my construction method but now that collar dimple is yelling at me that it needs a redraft with a slight wedge of roll room... Next time.

The curved piping waistline is what drew me to this pattern in the first place. For my dress I used a black satin piping remnants from the stash. I worried that the satin and matte of the contrast would not work together but in the end I found that they blended fairly well. 
Simplicity 1882 pockets detailed:
The pocket pieces are a much different shape from standard pockets. After the contrast is attached to the skirt front the pockets are attached. 
 They get flipped and pressed to the wrong side.
 And then folded to create the pocket bags!
 The top of the pocket bag is enclosed in the waistline seam and the pocket side is enclosed in the skirt side seam. There is no shifting of the hanging pocket bags.

I must be looking for more moose in this picture. 
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