December 19, 2012

Vintage 1960s Simplicity Sewing Pattern 3662

Simplicity 3662 Early 1960’s (Mad Men style!) Navy Lace Cocktail party dress with flared skirt and lovely shaped neckline.

When I stumbled upon this pattern in my stash I could not choose which view to make. I ended up deciding that I really loved the bell shaped skirt view best; due to the tiny bows and unconventional silhouette. As you may have noticed I made the lace view. One may ask, how did this happen?

Well, like most of my complicated choices… I really could not decide between the options. As I dug through my fabric stash I stumbled upon fabrics for both views therefore both were cut (last March to be exact). These along with many other cut projects found their way into a box and moved 500 miles only to be neglected in a box as I continued to make project after project. And then somehow last week I had the urge to sew a fun vintage frock thus this raised to the surface of my UFOs (Un Finished Objects). I may also note that last week Gertie called out, “Anyone else with me in attacking some UFOs?” I guess we are on the same wavelength. Attacked this UFO… I did!

About this pattern –
Do you see on the pattern art where the lovely lady in the lace dress clearly has a strapless under bodice? Well pieces for this under bodice do not exist and they never did. So to make my dress match the lovely cover I had to draft the under bodice. No big deal, one issue down.

Next, how in the world would one go about sewing the lace side seams as well as the shoulder to wrist seams, making them not overly visible or unfinished or just gross? Also how will I maintain structure in the bodice coupled with the under bodice while working with flimsy lace and also am I planning for the back zip or another method of closure? These issues are bigger. I went back and forth prior to cutting in my plans. I wanted to take the time and match my lace along the seam lines but why? In this case I was not using fabrics of any value (cheap Joann sale purchase bought to experiment w/lace techniques) and also how do you match lace along a kimono underarm? Plus there are elbow darts. What do you do with those in lace?!?!?!! So I came to the conclusion that I would cut additional bias strips for the inside bodice seam binding. I was already cutting bias strips for the neckline as well as the cuffs and in the end I also added the bias strips to the waistline as well.

Seam techniques used in the bodice –
Shoulder seams have bias added flat fell seams
Under arm/bodice side seams have bias bound seams
So the question remains will I finish the other version? At this point the skirt is done so it is possible; maybe when I get the next urge to complete another UFO.

December 5, 2012

Little Gray Dress Modern Sewing Pattern McCall's 6463

Pattern - McCall's 6463 super cute neck and back straps.
Material - Marc Jacobs silk from Fabric Mart. I picked this up some time ago from a fab FM sale and was hoarding it in my stash. FM has become my new favorite digital fabric store the selection (as well as value) is divine.

The real question: Will I ever actually wear this dress?

October 31, 2012

Sewing a Halloween Costume the Ghost of Marie Antoinette

For my costume I used Butterick 4315(Out of Print)

I made a few changes:
added bows down the center front
added trim to the coat seaming
changed the shape of the lace sleeves
I also elected to omit the vampire collar

my pal Zombie Lincoln

August 27, 2012

Sewaholic Alma Blouse Variations

I tested the Alma Blouse pattern by Sewaholic!
Problem: I could not pick just one view. Each was just too cute.
Solution: Sew all 3 views.
View A: cap sleeves, notched collar and a tie belt. Fabric - Rayon/Poly Crushed Shimmer Satin. Addition: I added lining fabric as it was sheer.

View B: Peter Pan Collar and 3/4 sleeves
Fabric - Body: Rayon Challis; Contrast: Linen/Rayon Blend

I wore this to work yesterday and got 8 compliments; it may just be my favorite

View C: rounded neckline and long cuffed sleeves with tie belt. Fabric -Rayon shirting. Addition: Lining to the bodice, I was afraid you see undergarments due to the white fabric background

I added the cute flapper lady face buttons to the cuff.
This variation was my favorite to construct, I loved the cuffs.
Can you believe there are nine different blouses in this one pattern?
I can make six more variations, got to love that!
Which is your favorite?

May 28, 2012

True Blue Simplicity Project Runway Sewing Pattern 1881

Simplicity Project Runway 1881 date: 2011
Misses' knit dress in  short (knee) length with View B Bodice variation; neckline curved banding.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
I am highly impressed with the outcome. The style lines are just as anticipated. I really enjoy the curved midriff.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
I tend not to follow instructions. And in this case I should have. I wanted to make the version with the flutter sleeves but as I was sewing I forgot. Note to self: Read the instructions. That being said I love this variation, I can add a cover up cardigan or jacket for cool night wear. If it had the sleeves I would not have been able to layer.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

As I was sewing found that the pattern notches were NOT lining up. This was also shifting were the seams were meeting adjoining pieces. You can see my construction woes.
Fabric Used:
Printed blue stretch Polyester/Lycra Knit via Fabric Mart
Additional Materials:
2 buttons 
14” Navy Conventional Zip
Interfacing – Knit for midriff and neck band as well as non woven 2” wide for hem stability
Heat fusible webbing

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
To yield a nice shapely hem, I serged interfacing to the hem allowance cut edge then I pressed the hem up and used web fusing to secure the fabric while stitching the hem. Poly knit tends to pucker under the presser foot this hem process prevented the puckering while adding shape to the hemline.

I also added interfacing strips to seam allowance where the zip was to be inserted. As well as hand basted my zipper to ensure that the knit fabric did not pucker along my machine stitching lines

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I highly recommend the pattern, like all Project Runway patterns it has many possible options in one envelope. More than likely I will not make it again as I personally tend not to wear halter necks.

Perfect summer weather frock!

Inside waistband

Inside neck facing

Inside Zipper

Inside Garment View

May 22, 2012

Sewing Winter Coats in 80 Degree Weather

Simplicity Project Runway 2311 date: 2010. View B: Short Coat with double breast
Materials: 3 ½ yards leopard print faux fur, 2 ½ Yards lime green polished cotton, 5 vintage buttons

Confession: As a sewing junky I tend to keep a full box of pre cut projects. Some days I really want to cut fabric so I just cut and stash in the box. I also have other days when I just want to sew and hate the idea of having to cut first. Therefore my system works wonderfully.
This is one of those moments. Due to the move I have been unable to sew and I was dying for a moment and space to whip up a great project. So the moment I had my sewing space in functioning order, I reached for the box at the top were the myriad pieces of this jacket. And the next thing I knew I had constructed a great fall/winter weather coat in 80 degree weather! Here in the bread basket of America summer is in full bloom so needless to say I will not be wearing this soon.

Back Tab Alteration
Button Challenges: I only had 5 of the same vintage button; I needed 6. I had to find a way to make the style work. Solution, alter the back belt construction so it looks like the missing button was intentional.

Front Buttons
Also I had an issue with the thickness (due to the pile and interfacing) where the button holes were intended to be. Solution, I elected to have a functioning snap closure with the buttons placed on the outside for visual appeal.

Big and Bold Front Collar

Cute Back
Extra Bits: I found great vintage coat hanging chains at a yard sale, I added the gold one to the inside neck.

Vintage Notions Coat Hanging Chain

Inside Garment View
Now I am just waiting for a cool day to pull her out and rock this town.

May 3, 2012

Remade David's Bridal Jacket Custom Sewing

My last project in the mitten was a jacket recreation.

The David's Bridal Jacket to be remade
The jacket was requested in a color way it is not produced in, pink. 

Melody Sews Remake
Obstacles: I am in the process of moving and have limited sewing room tools. I realized too late that I packed my pressing ham, Ooops. Solution, make do without.
My ironing board had already boarded a truck for the 500 mile trip. Solution, barrow one.
Materials: The fabric was ordered in yards yet, the lining was not. I had to use a discarded dress for the lining. Thus I had to work around seams and curves in the dress lining to piece together enough “fabric yardage” to line the jacket. Solution, make it work.

Materials: 2 yards of fabric and a slashed dress for lining

Front neck

Back neck
Outcome: all in all, not too shabby. If I had more time and also invested more effort into the project, I would have finessed the sleeve pattern. I was able to copy the lining onto a pattern. But then when I drafted the outer sleeve I did not bother to remove the ease thus too much ease in the sleeve. I was happy with the collar and the facing and the lining was ok.

Inside View

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