working in batches works efficient.
working in batches works efficient.
I am halfway a fancy gillette (vest in English, I guess) for a court case at the end of February.
But I just couldn’t find the motivation. So I stoppen it and started some friendly shirts instead. My self drafted pattern for a fitted dress shirt with French cuffs can be sewn without fitting now. So cut and sew! 👍
And then I found a sale of Amy Butler design. So more shirts to come!
with French cuffs. I now have a good basic pattern and can just cut and sew this from a woven without the need to fit.
I finished it at home.
Somehow the pocket ended up too wide compared to the sideseam pattern pieces. We fixed it by making a design feature out of it. I love these pockets! The fold adds shape to the skirt.
My teacher took care to let all the vertical sewing lines end at the same place but I was not so careful with sewing so they are a bit off here and there.
She taught me how to put in a hand picked zipper. The SA at CB is 1,5 cm. Place zipper at 3 mm from the edge (because a zipper is 1,2 cm wide).
The hem was done with the hem stitch, on the machine.
I finished it and wore it again and again and forgot to take a picture. But here’s a picture of its sibling that I sewed the following week a.k.a. last Thursday:
This is my Butterfly Dress. It’s the same fabric as the car fabric: a canvas with a design called “Admiral” in colourway “Spring” by Prestigious Textiles Designs from the UK. It’s a 100% cotton, 214 g/m², and it’s advertised for cushions and curtains and bed coverings. This is ideal “Pippi Longstocking fabric”: add some pockets and you’ve got a dress you can USE. Wash a fleece. Chase a pet. Ride a horse. The dress won’t tear and if it gets dirty you just wash it and it’s ready for fun again.
For the Butterfly Dress we remade the pattern. Because after I finished the taupe coloured canvas dress I had pulled apart all the different pattern pieces we so meticulously had taped together. Don’t ask me why. I sometimes do weird things. I thought I needed the pattern pieces for another dress. Or that the tape would damage the paper. Or something.
So the next lesson, last Wednesday, we spend two hours putting the pieces back together again but this time we put them on a new piece of pattern paper and drafted a whole new pattern. This pattern I took home and the next day I sewed the Butterfly Dress from it, in one day, and I wore it to my party on Saturday. With facing and handpicked zipper. and reinforced pocket entries. Only the hem, I didn’t have time to hem the dress. It’s just a zigzag.
There was a slight hickup on Thursday as I forgot that the darts were based on the pattern pieces and thusly had their SA = 1 cm still incorporated. With original 10 pattern pieces that’s a wearing ease of 20 cm
I drafted the facing from the pattern pieces myself by tracing and taping the pattern pieces:
It did not fit neatly on the fabric. Who knows what I’d done to it. Maybe I stabilized the neck line too late and had ruined it when fitting the dress?
I did stabilize it, with non bias tape:
Not sure if that’s the correct way. Here’s how the pattern fitted on the fabric. It will be a puzzle for the car fabric because you want the cars to be continuous and there’s one pattern piece that’s apart from the others. We’ll see:
I wanted to sew this dress shirt like this:
but then the sleeve seam needs to be right at the side seam. Mine is rotated, because it’s a Bunka sleeve and Bunka arm hole. Pity, now I cannot finish the shoulderseam the way I wanted to.
Too much fabric on one side, not enough on the other:
A separate problem: I didn’t walk the pattern… The front panels are less wide than the back panels. The princess seams should meet each other precisely so that’s where I match them —> I should scoop out the back neck a bit and make it meet the front panel:
The collar has the upper side reinforces (Vlieseline G700, meaning woven and more firm than 701) and the under collar a bit stretched, just like mr. Page Coffin suggests. Only 4 mm does the trick. Also done on the short sides.
The part that doesn’t touch the wrists has interfacing on it. Vlieseline G700 which is a woven multi-purpose interfacing for ironing on. It’s more sturdy than what’s normally used for light cotton garments.
I paid attention to the direction of the trees, when the cuffs are folded and worn.
I attached on the WS of the sleeve, then flipped them over and pressed the SA firmly and neatly on the RS. Its edge just covered the sewing line.
Then I tacked it down temporarily by a line of the broadest stitches my machine can do:
Now it will stay put while I topstitch neatly around the cuff:
I hope the holes will disappear when the garment is washed for the first time. Inside: the topstitched line is just above the construction line. This is always a problem for me, I feel there is something to achieved here but I cannot wrap my head around it.
Figuring out the right size this one is about 6 cm too long. The shape of the ends is also very different from the usual shape. My tiny neck gets a fitted collar stand and a collar that starts right at CF. No round shape needed. I wonder how it will look once finished. How it will wear.
It fits very close at my bust and collar bones and shoulder seam. I cannot see if this is from the raised front neck line or perhaps the way I cut and sew this particular shirt. Will have to sew another one.
Will walk the pattern before I do so.
I bought a darling panel of fabric with Advent blocks from illustrator Flora Wyacott at the quilting store in Den Bosch, Bossche Quilts & Meer. Sorry for the wrinkly fabric, I had taken it out of the protection and admired it a lot before I took these pictures:
My idea is to make each square into a pocket. That will be 24 lined and interfaced patch pockets that are then sewn onto a back ground fabric, in a not quite precise composition. Then add batting and backing to that and quilt it together by hand with thick thread for visible handstitching. Add straps to hang it. Give it a nice border.
Today I washed and pressed the fabric and made a try-out of my idea with some quilting fabric I had and some other fabric. I hope to take it to the shop soon for feed back.
Start by interfacing the pocket, I used Vlieseline G700, the woven multi-purpose interfacing. Sew RS together with a piece of lining, I used some shirt cotton I had left of my monkey dress shirt. Trim:
Turn, press and topstitch the top which will be the opening of the pocket:
I have many questions and I hope to visit the quilt store this week. It’s a lovely store and they host quilting bees.
Some of my questions are:
Will sock yarn be good enough for quilting? It’s a bit elastic. Will it keep the quilt together when it’s hanging on the wall, filled with presents?
Also: is there too much contrast between the interfaced pocket and the hand stitching? I like the look of the handstitching. But the interfacing will help and keep the picture of each panel nice and crisp.
Perhaps I should give each panel a bit of backing instead of interfacing? Perhaps quilt them a bit too, by hand? (I think I quite like to handstitch, it is a lovely and serene activity.)
I look forward to the opinion of the lovely lady who runs the shop. And ofcourse I need background fabric. I’m thinking silver and light blue. And I need to be educated about batting.
This is what gives me great pleasure in sewing and wearing tailored ladies’ dress shirts. French cuffs, fun fabric, good fit, good arm movement.
Most cufflinks are hand made and bought on Etsy. The wooden ones -both the square ones and the ebony with silver- are from Ukrainian artist Lexwoody on Etsy
The silver ones -hare, deer, flower- are handcast high quality pewter by master artisan William Sturt from High Country Pewter.
The porcelain ones with the rose are vintage. They were from my mother or even my grandmother. These are the cuffs that started this whole love affair, back in the ’80s, when I found a white blouse in the shops that had French cuffs.
And then I bought some more cufflinks, in China:
Say you have a fabric with a continuous line of cars. And you have a dress pattern with multiple panels but because you lack hips or a butt all seams are pretty much straight down from the hip line.
Could you line up the panels and cut the dress in one continuous pattern?
I asked my sewing teacher and she laughed out loud and then she looked at me strange and then she went to make us a cup of tea and when she came back she had a plan and we had fun pouring over a piece of trial canvas that I brought. End result first:
You can’t just lay down the pieces next to each other, that would add all the seam allowance (SA) to the circumference of the dress. So you’ve gotta be smart.
You also have to think about how you would treat where the fabric transitions from one piece to two pieces seamed together.
Thirdly my teacher came up with the idea of connecting the panels at the top, where you would otherwise sew them together, and treat the seam between them as a dart.
Copying the darts onto the fabric and also to the other side. Mark with pins and draw on the other side. Work one dart at the time so you won’t confuse yourself with pins on the under side:
Working with this chalk makes broader lines than I like, because I pay attention to every millimeter. I should ease up, this fabric is on the sturdy side, it needs some millimeters for turn of cloth and the like.
From top to bottom: frontpanel on the fold, side panels but only the parts with the pocket, to the left of them the upper side of these panels (they will connect in the pocket), side back panels, back panels which will have a zipper.
Next: reinforce neck line so it won’t stretch during handling. Sew in darts. Attach loose panels onto pocket parts. Add facing in neckline and arm holes.
Continuing next Wednesday.
The other long seams were not finished straight away. First I tried on the dress for fit. I had to find out how the wearing ease was. It’s the same pattern as for my woven cotton dress shirts.
It is too wide:
Me and my sewing instructor pinned the seams where needed and I sewed the new lines, amended again where necessary. When finished and content I added the changes to the paper pattern pieces. I now have a go to pattern for slightly stretchy woven fabrics.
If I add a Centre Back to the pattern pieces and some seam allowance I can add a zipper. I wonder if I can then sew this pattern in a non-stretchy woven. Or whether I need more wearing ease for wearing and not for just getting in the dress.
Neckline facing: underlined with vlieseline (a quality version my sewing instructor gave me, not the cheap stuff you can buy at any fabric store). Edges clipped before pressing and topstitching:
I’ve now learned to treat a square neckline with a facing. It’s not briljant yet. But I do love the look of a square neckline. Looking forward to utilize it on the many sturdy and beautiful canvas fabrics I’ve encountered. Such as print “Admiral” from PT Design in the UK and their print On the Road:
Very happy with my new dress: