Sewing blouse Birds in Shoes: cutting the fabric

I lay down the paper pattern with weights (my rulers). I pay attention to grain and I make sure no circles or flowers or dots or round bird faces are at the place where my nipples are.
Untitled
The zipper is there to give me some idea how it will be.
CF is not a straight line, it moves back a bit at the top. On my body is is a straight line though. I’m a bit nervous how this will look in patterned fabric. This is an experiment.

I add a 2 cm allowance all around and mark it. With ball point. Ball point doesn’t wash out but it’s on the raw edge.
I cut very precisely and when sewing I use an old fashions distant-keeper, at 2 cm precisely. That way I always sew right at the seam line.
Untitled

The bust dart I mark in the seam allowance and then I take not of how far from the cutting edge the legs should extend:
Untitled

The shoulder cap is too difficult to find the seam line by only using the cut line as a guide. I mark the sewing line itself. In pencil, on the WS of the fabric. 14,5 cm from the cut edge:
>Untitled

Little tailor tacks to indicate where the vertical darts end and have their widest point:
Untitled

“Sorry. You’re done cutting. Actually, not sorry at all.”

Untitled

Advertisements

Self drafted sleeveless Summer Dress

A simple Summer Dress based on the one in the previous post: a shift dress with some shaping in both the side seams and the back. Pockets. And I did a new thing to add some shaping in the front: I gathered under the breasts with some elastic and two buttons to keep it in place.
Untitled

two long darts in the back, they’re more like princess lines. (one still wonky on this picture, I unpicked it and redid it)

To add some shaping to the front, to prevent “tent like appearance” I gathered some of the fabric right under each breast.
There’s a horizontal dart running across the front panel, it angles upwards near the sides (but not on the first picture, this sat awful on my body, I remedied it after the picture).
I threaded a double thread of thin elastic through the outer most 20 centimeters of this dart.
I gathered the elastic and secured it with a button on each side. So 4 buttons for the whole dress.
Zomerjurk met zakken en soort van empire waist line

Zomerjurk met zakken en soort van empire waist line

The buttons where first put in to anchor the elastic while I could still adjust it. Then I thought: why not keep the buttons?

It follows my own body shape: fairly straight outlines but quite curvy when seen from the sides.

(the folds in the lower part of the side seam are caused by the pocket)

Edges are bound of with a biais band that I found that matches the fabric very nicely:
Untitled

Here’s the solution I tried for biais band and getting it to sit right and being able to give it nice top stitching while securing the back at the same time.
Start from the wrong side. DON’T SEW ON THE FOLDED LINE.
Instead sew somewhere in the middle of the piece between the fold and the edge of the binding band:
Zomerjurk met zakken en soort van empire waist line
This step is meant to secure the band to the fabric.
Next you fold the biais band like it’s supposed to and you stitch very close to the edge, from the right side. If the band is folded properly it will catch the back side close at the edge too. The back side will not slip because it’s already secured in place.

For the hem I used my antique tool to keep the same distance all around. Fold under and fold under again. The second time I used matching coloured thread. I’ve folded the fabric so you can see the end result.
Untitled

I like neat topstitching so much, I tried it on the bust dart. I put on the dress and determined where and how it should be. Then I just pinned it down and stitched very careful.
Zomerjurk met zakken en soort van empire waist line
A top stitched bust dart.
It was prompted because I tried on the dress, determined where the dart ought to be and then had difficulty transferring that information to the inside of the dress and stitch it there.

An alternative is probably to put on the dress inside out and determine where the dart should be.

French seams. Including the pockets.
Zomerjurk met zakken en soort van empire waist line

And to end with the beginning: this is how I cut the fabric. I used the green dress as a template. Added a generous seam allowance along the sides for French seams. Added no seam allowance along the arm holes because I knew I was going to bind them in biais band.
Again with a brushy reminder to cut pockets.
Zomerjurk met zakken en soort van empire waist line
When I sewed the side seams and tried it on for fit I had to take out nearly all the curvyness: at the bust and at the hem. I had weird “bingo wings” flapping at the side seams there.

“no scissors for you!”

I’d really like a chatelaine.
So I bought this keyring:

Nice start!

only…. these are no real scissors.
They are a solid cast.

There’s another keychain with exactly the same scissors. Which are scissors.

But I liked the keychain on mine better so that’s what I ordered.

I should have known, it says so right there in the title: “Scissor Design Double Ring Keychain”

Who would need a keychain in the shape of scissors without actual scissors??
Ironic sewists? Knitters with sharp teeth? Anyone with a lasercutter on their other keychain?

Well, should you want a scissorless keychain, get yours here

Here’s who’d like this keychain:

Wriggle Dress: lining it

For the lining I have a thrifted cotton shirt. Very long and very soft:
Untitled
It fits the dress
Untitled

after pressing the shirt and the now unbasted dress this is how my ‘template’ for the front looks:
Untitled
Start cutting. Remember to put the right sides to the right side.

(yes, you eagle eyed sewers, I didn’t unpick the bust darts in the dress in this picture! I thought I could get away with it. Not away from you but from sewing. They were in the perfect spot you see, following good lines. And I was afraid I would wither from too much work. So I cut the lining while the darts were still in the dress. This will distort the side seam of the lining. I will be sorry. I convinced myself that the soft cotton will forgive. It probably won’t.
This is why I wrote down the tip to myself to use a screamingly different colour thread for basting next time. So I won’t be tempted again to leave darts in if I am going to use a piece as a template.

After this picture I took out the darts because I had to resew them at a better stitch width anyway. It took al of 7 minutes to rip out 4 long darts… 7 minutes I can afford and could have spend easily before cutting the lining.

What convinced me to take them out was that the 2mm stitch width of the basting was tearing at the linen, which is a fairly loosen weave. It was the wrong width for the fabric.
But by then the lining was already cut. And I am already sorry.)

By the way, the reason that I am lining this dress, even though the pattern says not to, is because of this book:

Linen and Cotton by Susan Khalje

and because of this project:

May Challenge Panel Dress by Marina von Koenig on which Khalje advised.
I cannot stop mentioning these two, sorry.

I learned very much from what Marina is showing us about this dress and it really prompted me to use linen and dabble in couture techniques. I hope to repeat this experience, in different designs, as her project and her approach is very inspiring!

The lining makes the white linen I’m using less see-through; it will reduce wrinkling and enhance wearing comfortability. But putting in a lining in this dress which has interfacing and facing is a bit of a puzzle: which layer goes where?

At least I did know about grading the seams where the interfacing/interlining is concerned:
Untitled

For attaching the rest of the lining I basically use the instructions for the facings.

I’m doing the back now. I’ll need to attach the lining to the zipper-part. This seemed a logical solution: two openings on layers that go together.

Untitled
Logic, yes?

It would work better if the opening of the lining was as long as the zipper is…
Untitled
It needs to open all the way to where the pins are. Besides: it has buttons.

Untitled
There we go. Now I have a piece of fabric instead of the front of an old shirt.

 

 

 

 

Wriggle Dress: fitting one, two, three

I basted the side seams together on the biggest stitch my machine can do and tried it on.
Untitled
UntitledUntitled

The fitting taught me much:

– should try this is size 12 all around, no extra fabric needed at the bust. Even go to 10. Hips at size 8.

– the darts in the back need to be lots more tight, there’s way too much room there.

– the shoulder straps in the back need to be shortened. (They weren’t sewn yet. I attached one to the right front part with a pin. The other had no partner so I pinned it to my bra strap. Very elegant.)

– hand stitched pleats for the right front will look good.

– this is a linnen dress for Summer so a bit of wearing ease will heighten the wearablity

So I did that. Basted it together again and tried it on for the second time. This time I also added the left shoulder part. The sizing was fine now so I focussed on the shoulder part.

Untitled

It’s too wide. Even when the armhole will take away some more of the fabric in its seam.

but it looks good with the facing underneath it. Crisp and white.

I folded it in a bit, just to see how it would look off centre. I liked what I saw, it sets off the right shoulder part nicely. It does no longer compete with it.
Untitled
seam ripper, yum!

I pinned the shoulders better. I was surprised to see how ‘crooked’ it had to be to be straight on me. Here you see the back part on the right and the front part on the left. The front part already has the facing attached, the back part has it lying under it as I had to make the dart in the back go all the way up to the shoulder seam. Because I have a hunchback. Or perhaps something called ‘a sway back’?
Untitled
Anyway, to avoid a big gaping hole between the top of the zipper and my neck I had to fold the backparts outwards. Into a dart. This makes the shoulder seam more narrow which is fine because I wanted to make the left front part more narrow too. I narrowed the left front piece, making sure it attached to the armhole line of size 12 of the pattern.
Untitled
See how much I had to alter the angle of the shoulder seam to have it sit straight on me! Hmm. Am I slouching on these pictures??

Anyway: on to fitting nr. 3:
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled

looks alright! (the noticeable bias on the front view is an optical illusion, I have my hips slainted and my right knee forward, pulling the fabric forward)
The back is better now, not so roomy. Still a bit though…
The back view seems to suggest I carry one shoulder higher than the other. This might well be the case or again, I’m not standing straight up. Will try and notice in the future.

It sits very comfortably. Of which the crinkles are evidence since I wore the dress as is for a bit.
Now I’m ready to take apart this dress one last time. Press it. Use the parts to alter the paper pattern. Use the parts to cut a lining. Then the final sewing will begin. With lots of pressing along the way.

Wriggle Dress: cutting the fabric

I spend a day thinking about Butterick 6582. The various aspects, how to approach it, what to solve. I researched the internet, laid out the tissue paper and studied the instructions. At the end of the day I traced a slightly personalized version of it and cut the fabric and the facings. Linen and brand new cotton sheet.

After the sizing fiasco of the Summer Dress (B5603 which advised me to cut a 16 which then was 4″ too wide) I decided to cut a size 12. This approximates the measurements I take from the now fitting Summer Dress. (pictures pending)

Yes, I cut a size 12 but with wider seam allowance at the top of the body. Because of the folded fabric in the upper part of this dress this pattern does not allow for a FBA (Full Bust Adjustment), the fabric has to be already there.

Here’s how my first pattern outcut differs from the oficial Butterick 6582:
Untitled

As size 12 should cover a size of about 97cm I think I’m good but you never know. I’ll also trim down to the hips a bit.

As per this review I expect to have to raise the hem, the waist and the arm holes. I too am 5′ 4″ (1.61m)
At this stage I already raise the hem but have not decided on the final length yet:
Untitled

The smaller shoulder part, the left side, I’m going to make without gathering or pleats. Lots of people have complained online that the pattern ends up very high on the front and that it is difficult to make the two sides sit nice or even centered.
So I’ll make one side sit nice: the right one with the folds. The left part will be honest in its difference: flat and off centre.

For this I used the left front facing as a template for the left front fashion fabric.
Here’s the now cut out left front piece atop the original pattern:
Untitled
No room for pleats or folds.

For cutting the back pieces I folded the fabric double and pinned it. Pins away form the cutting line. I laid my personalized paper pattern (PPP) on top and traced it with a byro or stylo. Yes, a simple pen. The one used for shopping lists. As I don’t want pen residu on my fabric this will remind me to “cut away the line”. The importance of that I learned here from Kathleen Fasanella, the Fashion Incubator.
Untitled