June 3, 2014

Sewing Status Update, Life Throws a Curve and How I Failed at MMM

Do you remember that custom dress I started at the beginning of May? I finished it, May 15th as promised for the event, just as my own life took a turn... and that state of influx I had mentioned came to fruition: I found out that I would be moving to Anchorage, Alaska within 30 days! 
Needless to say my MMM documenting fell off the radar. Mind you I did keep up with my commitment and am happy to report that I was able to wear me-made garments at least 4 times a week but my photo evidence does not exist as I was spending my free time packing and purging every item I owned. 
The weekend of May 16 I took an impromptu journey to my hometown in Michigan to say goodbye in anticipation of leaving the Continental U.S. Even with horrid weather I managed a me-made scarf and tee for travel gear. Bonus: during my car travel I was able to finish my UFO pile as per my MMM extra commitment. 
Obligatory sad face pic of  me and the BFF; the only MMM pic for the last half of May! 
I finished and wore the black knit dress (McCall's 6834 - that I was damned and determined to not have become a UFO!) to an amazing party with my Michigan friends. I also had a chance to wear my Burda Jacket as Michigan was still cold. But I didn't manage to capture one good full length pic of the gee golly dress or the jacket. 

When I returned "home" I had to pack the majority of my sewing space along with all that other unimportant household junk, find my future employment, suitable housing, and negotiate the logistics of this crazy impending move. Because I am restless, I purposefully left my sewing machines and iron unpacked and during my extra time I stitched up another custom dress to surprise my client/friend. 
We had ordered two different print fabrics to be on the safe side for her event dress. As it turned out both fabrics were fabulous and I knew the second print would be smashing on her. I had her figure adjustments down after the first dress; I did not even have to fit her once for the second dress. It was meant to be! 
The pattern is Simplicity 1803
The fabric is a very light weight cotton voile and is fully lined.  
 Pattern adjustments: Petite torso and skirt length. Broad back adjustment. Full Bust Adjustment.
I stitched up to the last minute! On Saturday, May 31, I finished the hem of the dress at 11 p.m. I then immediately packed my machine and placed the box on the moving truck Sunday morning. 
It was worth it to see my friends face when I presented the dress to her! 

Currently I am going stir crazy without the ability to sew however, within 48 hours I will be in route to residing in the great state of Alaska and I can't wait to get back into the swing of sewing! 

May 14, 2014

Frock in Floral

The Fabric is a floral and lace printed chiffon perfect for Project Sewn's Floral Frenzy challenge. 
As part of my MMM goals I was intent on finishing a few UFOs. This chiffon frock from a out of print pattern Simplicity 2965 was part of my quest. I finished the dress and decided it was the perfect print to  wear for Mother's Day.
I was obliged to work so my celebration did not include anything special. I did however receive the sweetest card from my love. 

I flat lined the chiffon to a buff colored satin to opaque the fabric and add structure. The internal seams were overlocked to finish. For the gathered lower skirt the lining was free hanging. 
Inner garment views front and back:

Neckline is finished with a facing 

May 7, 2014

Week 1 MMM'14

Thursday, May 1, 2014  - Me-Made Blouse
Pattern: Butterick 5817 (OOP)
Constructed: December 2013 never made it to the blog.
Fabric: black solid stretch satin and leopard print charmeuse
Friday, May 2, 2014 - Me-Made Dress
Pattern: Butterick 5385 (OOP)
Constructed: January 2014 never made it to the blog.
Fabric: snake print crepe de chine with black silk waistband.
When I made it I had intentions of putting it on the blog but the never ending winter weather sent the dress to my closet to reside for awhile. 
The pattern has some fantastic pleating details in both the front and the back. 

Inner garment front 
Inner garment back
I did not wear any makes Saturday or Sunday but I did start to knock a few tasks off my UFO list! I was able to hand stitch in the car. Yes, I know it is crazy but I like to sew in the car.

I loathe the boredom of car travel yet when I throw some Thread Heaven, thread, scissors and a needle in the door handle of the passengers side, I can zone out and accomplish hand stitching tasks I regularly put off. 

Monday, May 5, 2014 - 
I wore my Green Chiffon Dress worn to work 
2nd look of the day Me-Made Jacket
Pattern: 1986 vintage Ozbek for Style
Constructed: 2013 never made it to the blog. 
Fabric: black satin twill. 

I turned back the front overlap and adjusted the buttons to maintain the new look of the front. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - Me Made Butterick 5677 knit dress for The Monthly Stitch May Sew Stretchy Challenge read all about it here.

May 5, 2014

Disco Chic Nod to an American Hustle Leading Lady

It should come as no surprise that I am constantly influenced by vintage fashion. additional fact, I am also a film fanatic. Plain and simple I love fashion on film so when Project Sewn announced the Leading Lady theme I was overtaken by myriad ideas. 

I set out on a mission to pay tribute to a retro iconic leading lady. Plot twist: after finally getting around to viewing American Hustle it was decided that I should attempt disco chic for the challenge. The 1970s are not an era I commonly gravitate towards but will devour any period film. 

McCall's 6790 was the pattern I chose to adapt for my look and had intended to shorten the skirt hem and fabric block the dress to create a close replica of the film dress. Yet while hunting my fabric stash I decided that making the dress in the pattern silhouette and in a vivid Melody loved printed chiffon fabric I would allow the look to speak more to my personality and still translate to the challenge. Additionally I wanted to justify my urge to create a maxi dress. 
I am now an official participant in the maxi dress trend as this is the second I have stitched. Previously I was adamant that I would not get on this band wagon I was stubbornly sure that I could NOT pull off the long skirt. I'll have you know I really enjoy wearing them regardless of whether or not my short self can pull them off. 
Pattern modifications: Broad and square shoulder adjustment, shorten torso.  On the slip I lengthened the hem by 2 inches and it was still too short for my liking.
I did not have to shorten the hem it has a mock wrap front that is asymmetrical so no tripping as I walk and the back gets swept up in the breeze.

If I were to make the pattern again I would remove some ease in the  bodice it was designed for the chiffon to be pleated and bag out but I would prefer a sleeker fit on my truncated torso.

The vents on the sleeve pattern are oblong shaped, this was a fun detail and unlike any other I had previously constructed.
The pattern did not call for interfacing on the vent facing but adding it made my chiffon sable and easier to construct the faced vents. 

I serged the raw edges of my facing which allowed me to easily and cleanly turn under my facing on the sleeve inside thus achieving a clean finish for the vents.

May 4, 2014

Planning and Patterning a Custom Dress

I just cut the fabric for the custom dress I am working on. Do you or have you sewn custom garments for profit? 
Recently I have limited the amount of sewing I do for others. Due to the fact that retail and mass production has skewed the conceptualized worth of sewn goods by the general public (READ: non sewists). Turns out a custom dress does NOT cost $20 and my services are NOT free, most proposed sewing projects do not move past that point based solely on my rates. Unfortunately I had to learn the hard way that money for my labor hours has to be agreed upon first and this typically detours all non serious clients. There are times when I accept an invitation to sew for someone other than myself and at a reduced rate, this is such an occasion. A friend was in need of a special occasion dress and I was delighted to take on the challenge, first because I knew how important the dress was to to her and secondly because I really wanted to alter and fit a garment to her proportions... she is petite, full busted with broad shoulders and back. These are the main reasons that make me really enjoy sewing for others. Their appreciation of my handiwork lends to a dress they will love fondly for years to come and a sewing challenge for myself keeps me dedicated to the project while allowing me to expand my knowledge. 
The concept for this garment was proposed as a dress with sleeves, summer weight. No purple. Everything else was up to me which really did not help with the design direction. Amazingly while walking the mall we spotted a dress in a store window with cutout details that jumped out at both of us at the same time. Like this cotton blend dress but in a print fabric: 
It was decided that I would create a similar dress with a fit and flare silhouette and cut out details in the front and back, added sleeves in a print fabric with out a purple hue. I tracked down a pattern that had the basic design lines I wanted for the dress body and that could easily be adapted to the design in mind; Simplicity 1418 and the sleeves from Simplicity 1803. Here is a quick drawing of the envisioned dress: 
I was on the hunt for fabric. The best thing about sewing for a friend as a client you can really narrow down your fabric options based on your insights of the person therefor you are not blindly fabric hunting. Swiftly I picked three fabrics and emailed the links, they were all perfect picks. In the end this fun kaleidoscope floral cotton sateen panel print from Michael Levine won out: 
It was time to adapt the pattern. My though process was that I could adjust for the FBA (tutorial in route) then divide the yoke for the diagonal cut outs. Perfect in theory...
I traced my pattern and attempted to draw my cutouts at so many angles (all the colored markers). I was on the verge of giving up when I was struck with a novel idea. If I were to create a template of the diagonals that could pivot I could adjust the fringe (diagonals) to adapt to the neckline of the garment. 

After making a muslin I decided to adjust the fringe depth. I also changed the direction of the fringe across the yoke so it would correspond to the fringe in the back.

My template worked like magic and I was able to plot the yoke fringe on the center front panel then trace each section and add seam allowance to create my patterns. 
Taking on this project I was bound to learn something new, I just thought it would be in the fitting stage! 
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