finished: two trial canvas dresses with continuous hem

handsewn canvas dress cabin pippi longstocking langkous pockets sewing

You remember I was pondering how to convert my dress shirt pattern pieces to a dress pattern that has one continuous hem so I could use fabric that has cars riding along the hem:
naailes experiment jurk uit 1 stuk canvas autojurk

I finished it at home.

I added a facing to the neckline and arm holes. Tape pattern pieces together (mind the SA), trace and cut:
canvas proefjurk beleg vierkante halscanvas proefjurk beleg vierkante hals

Square neckline: reduce stitch length in the corners and back stitch a bit:
afwerking vierkante hals beleg canvas jurk vooral persen

Cut to the corner. Press. Clip where necessary. Understitch.
afwerking vierkante hals beleg canvas jurk vooral persen
afwerking vierkante hals beleg canvas jurk vooral persen
Wonderful!

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:
handsewn dress sewing self drafted pattern bunka dressform continuous hem
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.
vlinderjurk handsewn dress fitted continuous hem selfdrafted pattern butterfly fabric

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.

The only seam in the hem:
vlinderjurk handsewn dress fitted continuous hem selfdrafted pattern butterfly fabricvlinderjurk handsewn dress fitted continuous hem selfdrafted pattern butterfly fabric

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
vlinderjurk handsewn dress fitted continuous hem selfdrafted pattern butterfly fabric

Luckily with darts extra width can easily be remedied: handsewn dress sewing self drafted pattern bunka dressform continuous hem
Such a away back…

I drafted the facing from the pattern pieces myself by tracing and taping the pattern pieces:
vlinderjurk handsewn dress fitted continuous hem selfdrafted pattern butterfly fabric
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:
vlinderjurk handsewn dress fitted continuous hem selfdrafted pattern butterfly fabric

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: vlinderjurk handsewn dress fitted continuous hem selfdrafted pattern butterfly fabric

Advertisements

The dark leaves dress, slightly stretchy woven cotton.

Finished a dress, in brushed cotton with a slight stretch widthwise. I can just about pull this dress over my head, no zipper needed. It has pockets:
dress dark flowers fabric sewing Ehvdress dark flowers fabric sewing Ehv

The two front panels with a pocket. The edge of the pocket is reinforced with a piece of non-stretch band.
dress dark flowers fabric sewing Ehv

First the long seam was sewn and finished. The the pocket was finished. This is the underside of the pocket, the part that will touch my body: dress dark flowers fabric sewing Ehv

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:
dress dark flowers fabric sewing Ehvdress dark flowers fabric sewing Ehv

It needs about this much taken out:
dress dark flowers fabric sewing Ehvdress dark flowers fabric sewing Ehv

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.

New side view:
dress dark flowers fabric sewing Ehv

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:

dress dark flowers fabric sewing Ehv

To prevent flipping up I have tacked down the facing in a couple of places, using dark thread and a dark spot in the fabric pattern:
dress dark flowers fabric sewing Ehv

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:

dress dark flowers fabric sewing Ehv

2 woven cotton summer shirts to refine the pattern: Pink Fern shirt and Ehv Kawaii

I sewed two Summer shirts from the fitted pattern. The Pink Fern was to refine the pattern more (neck line, collar, hem line at the back). The Ehv Kawaii shirt is because I liked the fabric and wanted a Summer shirt.  I tweaked the width of the button band and tried my hand at finishing a neck line with facings.

The Pink Fern came first:
pink fern fitted blouse shirt sewing woven cotton details collar stand fit petitepink fern fitted blouse shirt sewing woven cotton details collar stand fit petite
Again with 6 seams in the bodice, to fit my Petite Frame with Big Boobs and Sway Back. On the right is a view from the side to show how much space boobs need.

Fit of the shirt:
pink fern fitted blouse shirt sewing woven cotton details collar stand fit petitepink fern fitted blouse shirt sewing woven cotton details collar stand fit petite
Fits well. No restraints anywhere, lots of movement possible for the arm.

Not much room to be shaved off the pattern at the belly or the back: pink fern fitted blouse shirt sewing woven cotton details collar stand fit petitepink fern fitted blouse shirt sewing woven cotton details collar stand fit petite
Meaning this is my final bodice pattern for woven fabrics. I’ll have to accept that this is my shape and that my boobs suggest to most people that I am short and stocked:
apenbloessewing tricot top selfdrafted pattern aangeknipte mouwen. Past precies uit 1 m stof, dankzij de brede heupband die mijn sway back goed staat.

Stretchy fabrics accentuate my sway back and make me look more elegant. Also: FODMAP diet reduces the air in my stomach and makes it flat. Ah, there’s always a bit of tweaking possible here and there. But for now: this pattern for woven fabrics is now a good compromis between wearing comfort and slender silhouette. It is definitive. SA 1 cm. Which means that all 6 bodice pieces can fit next to each other on a piece of fabric from 1.40 m wide. Excellent.

Not so excellent: the collar and collar stand.
pink fern fitted blouse shirt sewing woven cotton details collar stand fit petite
The collar is sitting crooked in this picture, it is equal in reality. It sits too far apart in the middle though. Also the neckline is not high enough, it does not fit my neck well enough.

The collar stand is uneven. It is not of equal height. It is also not sewn very neatly to the button bands.
pink fern fitted blouse shirt sewing woven cotton details collar stand fit petite

Besides drafting a good collar and collar stand I was also fiddling with the sequence of sewing them together. Mr. Page Coffin suggests attaching the stand to the shirt and then the collar to the stand. The few shirt I’ve sewn I followed his guidance.

But my sewing teacher is used to first finishing the collar and stand together and then attaching it to the shirt. I tried her method as she is here in real life to guide me and I am still very much a student.

I did not succeed in attaching the collar stand neatly to the shirt, it was quite fiddly and many things were going on simultaneously. Not being skilled enough to envelop a raw edge with two pieces of fabric of which one folds in and then you sew it down from the other side led to a kind of ridge on the inside of the neck:
pink fern fitted blouse shirt sewing woven cotton details collar stand fit petite
When I wear this shirt this piece of sewing irritates the back of my neck. It is not smooth.

I do like how I attached the buttons though. It fits the plant motif of my pink fabric 🙂 The inspiration came from Pinterest:
 sewing art by Bettina Reisinger

This is how I finished the sleeves (which shape came from my now standard, self drafted sleeve, just cut short). Fold under and stitch, it’s a whimsical Summer shirt after all: pink fern fitted blouse shirt sewing woven cotton details collar stand fit petite

The armhole has an issue though. The second princess seam comes in at a right angle towards the arm hole. This complicates sewing and puts strain on the fabric. The arm hole does not wear entirely comfortable:

princes seam to armhole Bunka style self drafted. The pink comes at an angle and does not wear (or sew) pleasant. The white kawaii is more vertical and is an excellent arm hole.

The second shirt, Ehv Kawaii, shows how I fixed that. The seam now smooths into the vertical part of the arm hole:
princes seam to armhole Bunka style self drafted. The pink comes at an angle and does not wear (or sew) pleasant. The white kawaii is more vertical and is an excellent arm hole.

This is the whole shirt:
kawaii fabric summer shirt facing sewing woven cottonkawaii fabric summer shirt facing sewing woven cotton

I liked the fabric very much and just wanted a shirt, fast. That’s why I skipped the collar and collar stand, I had another try-out shirt on the way to fix that fit.

I took away the “flap” at the hem at the back that the Pink Fern shirt has. It is meant for shirts that tuck into trousers or skirts. But this shirt pattern is long enough to do that anyway.

And I failed at sewing the hem neatly, with a small folded under hem, if the hem had those steep bends in it. I sewed with the foot attachement.

I scooped out the neckline and added facings.
beleg Ehv kawaii bloesje//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
Finished with a double row of top stitching (no understitching). Press press press before you stitch stitch stitch.
ehv kawaii shirt detail neckline sewing

The raw edge of the facings were finished with a simple zig zag stitch:
ehv kawaii shirt detail neckline sewing
I did not use interfacing. This is a light weight fabric and a light shirt. It only needs to have a nice finish, not a firm shape.

Attaching facings is doable but how to treat the edge of the button band? I winged it:
kawaii fabric summer shirt facing sewing woven cotton kawaii fabric summer shirt facing sewing woven cottonkawaii fabric summer shirt facing sewing woven cotton
Not bad. It will work. This little flap will be tacked down by the button hole/button.

I thought better of it and folded it back a bit at the side of the button holes:
kawaii fabric summer shirt facing sewing woven cotton
So here I am now. I’ve got a self drafted pattern that is finished for all the bodice parts, wearing ease, arm hole, sleeve. The things that remain are a good collar and collar stand, on a well fitting neck line. And learning to sew the collar and collar stand neatly together and to the shirt.

For this I will follow mr. Page Coffin’s book.

As a matter of fact, I’ve got the next shirt nearly finished, in the green fabric with the machinery:
stoffen-woven
and it has French cuffs and a collar and collar stand that are sewn together neatly. All that remains is to add the buttons and to draft a better fitting neck line. And then… then!… then I will have a good pattern that I can use over and over again and I can cut up my quality fabrics and just sew the shirt together.

Finished: gray white colour block dress

A self drafted pattern, based on the bodice toile I made using Lynda Maynard’s craftsy course Sew the Perfect Fit and my wearable practise dress Hoezee dress. Princess seams, side seam zipper and a pocket.

Selfdrafted dress with princess seams

(I cut the white part a bit too short so added a grey strip at the hem.)

Because my back is short and curved inwards I tried a back piece in two parts, attached to each other in an angle. This is based on my experience with the Hoezee dress, that needed a horizontal dart at the lower back.
Still seems to have too much length though, it now bulges above my waist:

Selfdrafted dress with princess seams

My focus was more on getting the front fit really well. Big bust, small rib cage, no real waist and a bit of a tummy:

Selfdrafted dress with princess seams

It’s alright, although I’m not really good with sewing extreme curves yet.

Here’s the process for this dress in steps:

  1. Started with a vent in the back of the skirt, per this tutorial: http://www.afashionablestitch.com/2010/sewalongs/pencil-skirt-lesson-2-back-vent-tutorial/
  2. Then I put in darts in the bodice back peace
  3. then sewed back skirt to back bodice
  4. studied princess seams, using this or this tutorial: https://allspiceabounds.wordpress.com/2013/07/08/sewing-princess-seams-with-semi-finished-edges/ and http://www.blogforbettersewing.com/2010/09/sewing-princess-seams.html
  5. stay stitch front pieces
  6. make little cuts in the seam allowance
  7. pin princess seam together, starting with apex to apex. Pin at an angle.
  8. make cuts again
  9. sew in small stitches and slow speed
  10. sew side seam
  11. put in zip, using this tutorial: http://www.makeit-loveit.com/2011/10/sewing-tips-installing-a-basic-zipper.html
  12. tried on for fit:

Selfdrafted dress with princess seams

13. made some alterations. Especially at the underbust, it had to curve much more inwards.

14. redid the zipper, using this tutorial: http://www.makeit-loveit.com/2011/10/sewing-tips-installing-a-basic-zipper.html

15. sewed bodice

16. tried the lining but the fit was terrible, after all the alterations I did to the bodice.

I tried to finish the edges with biasband but it looked terrible, next to the slick colour blocks. And I couldn’t get it to lie flat. Took it out.

I drew a new all-in-one facing, based on the finished shell of the bodice.
I took apart the shoulder seams and marked the sewing lines with staystitching. Handy!
I used this tutorial to attach the lining to the shell, even though my dress has a sideseam zipper: http://www.crafterhoursblog.com/2011/02/all-in-one-facings-tutorial.html
(Between step 5 and 6 I pressed and did understitching and pressed again.)

After the last fit I added some extra bustdarts to make the sides lie flat to the sides of my body.
It’s a bit weird, adding bust darts to a dress with princess seams, but they work. Luckily they are a bit inconspicious in the grey fabric, next to the white colour block.

Selfdrafted dress with princess seams

I then spend a lot of time handsewing the shoulder seams because there was little fabric and it all wanted to fray. But I did it.
Overall I’m happy with this dress. It’s canvas and that wears well. I like practical clothes.

The front fits well, flattering my body shape without restricting kovement or breathing. It has a pocket. The lining is made from a snotty dress shirt that I never liked and that always was too tight to wear anyway. But too expensive to throw away, you know how it is. It now has a second life and much more purpose.

There’s still an issue at the back though. I had already put in darts that cross from the bodice to the skirt but more fabric can be taken out. I’ll need to amend the original bodice toile and restudy how to attach a skirt to it.
Selfdrafted dress with princess seams

Dress = a tube + shirring + shoulderstraps

I’m sewing a simple dress to wear under this knitted “overgooier”, pinafore:

This knitted tunic is quite heavy, even though it’s spun in the airiest of spinning techniques: Long Draw. It’s also warm.
It’s fitting in the back, follwoing that lower back curve I like to show off. So it needs a dress under it that is fitted there too.

The idea was to take a tube of 100cm in circumference, seeing as my hips and my bust both like this measurement in a dress, it’s me + some wearing ease.
Add shaping by way of shirring which is sewing elastic thread onto the fabric. A kind of mock smocking. This bypasses the need for a zipper which is good because the fabric is very light: cotton batiste. Light fabric = French seams and a fine rolled hem.
Cut holes for head and arms and treat them well. Voilá!

Dress from a tube shaped with shirring
(arm holes still need to be treated)

Sewing with elastic thread is easy! Just wind it onto the bobbin and loosen the tension a bit.
I used this tutorial amongst others:
http://www.makeit-loveit.com/2011/11/sewing-tip-shirringsmocking-with-elastic-thread.html

Beautiful fine hem (that’s the tip of my embroidery scissors, for measurement) and French Seam:
Dress from a tube shaped with shirring

I bound the neck hole with satin biais band, which follows curves and is soft enough for next to skin wear (opposite to cotton biais band):
Dress from a tube shaped with shirring

But I’m having a little trouble: the neckline stands up. Somehow the biais band has not enough width on the outer curve to lay flat. And the fabric is too light to stretch it.
It’s a common problem.

BIAS BAND? BIAIS BAND? OR BAIS BAND?
Certainly not “bais band” because that would be a group of musicians from one of the four cities in the word called Bais or a troupe singing in Bai, the Tibeto-Burman language spoken in the Dali region of Yunnan.

Still, “bais band” is a common spelling mistake over here. It’s comes from the same faulty logic that makes people call their son Brian but make them write their name as “brain”…

“Bias band” and “Biais band” mean the same thing: something going diagonally across the grain of fabric. Bias band is English, Biais band is French.
Since in my country we have the French pronounciation for the stuff, “Bee-yay”, I’m going with writing “biais band”.
Actually, I don’t know how English folk pronounce their band, do you say “bias”= “Bye-ess” or “Bee-yay”? I shall have a listen on the next round of the British Sewing Bee.

Back to my dress. I used the biais band as a facing, following these tutorials:
http://sewoverit.co.uk/ultimate-shift-dress-binding-armholes-with-bias-binding/
http://grainlinestudio.com/2012/02/15/sewing-tutorial-getting-flat-bias-necklines/
http://whoeverhasthemostfabric.blogspot.nl/2012/06/how-to-use-bias-binding-to-face-armhole.html

conclusions:
– biais band is excellent for sheer fabrics
– a neckline needs stabilizing and hem treatment, biais band is good for both.
– it automatically involves staystitching which is a good thing
– some advice to clip the band before you turn it under.

Why my band stands up I have not figured out yet. It may be too wide for that curve.
Cutting it into half would solve that problem. For now I just clipped it in a bit at the worst places and will just wear this dress and avoid any Sewing Police that comes in sight 😉

I made a study dress first, btw, and it did not have its bands turn hooray. Well, not much now that I look at it closely:
Dress from a tube shaped with shirring
(the neck line still needs finishing)

It’s really nice to be able to take a piece of cloth, sew it into a tube and make a dress from it!
It feels like sewing is not a big thing and is very logical. I like that.
A next dress I’ll use facings again, I like those too. I found some excellent video tutorials how to attach facings to the top halves, with square necklines: FashionSewingBlogTV.

This cloth is batik and had a nice looking edge. I chose to wear it at the front. (yay for french seams!)
Dress from a tube shaped with shirring

in progress: Green skirt with pocket

When I bought this cabin it came with all the stuff that was already in it. Furnishings, old calendars, gnomes. And lots of ’70s bedlinen.
I’ve treasured my favourite for years now and today I’m making one of its pillow cases into a skirt. With a pocket.

For this I used video’s from Corinne Leigh of Craftovision to draw up a simple pattern and to understand the sequence of steps. I threw in some haute couture sewing techniques and some things I learned from the previous skirts.

Corinne Leigh explained measurements and I drew them on my folded pillow cover and just cut two panels out in one go. Afterwards I amended the topline of just the front panel.
Untitled

This really is a pillow case! Look at the backside of the left over after cutting:

I hope to use this left over fabric for a pocket. The left over on the long side (on the left here) will hopefully give a waist band.

These are the measurements I used and I did them all in inches, just because Corinne did so too and my measuring tape has both centimeters and inches:

  • a quart waist = 8 5/8″ (this includes 1/2″ ease and 1/2″ dart)
  • a quart hip = 9 7/8″ (this includes 1/2″ ease)
  • length between hip and waist = 6″
  • the CF dips 1/2″ under the original horizontal line. CB should be raised half an inch but I didn’t want to waste the fabric.
  • total skirtlength 22″ (if you run straight down from the hips you’ll need a split or a vent. Or flare out a bit)
  • I know from previous skirts my front darts need to be no longer than 5 cm/ 2″
  • the back darts can be 10 to 12 cm (4 to 5 “)
  • I cut everything with 1/2″ seam allowance

In Dutch and centimeters:

  • kwart middellijn = 22 cm breed (met 1,25 cm dart en 1,25 cm ease)
  • kwart heupbreedte = 25 cm
  • hoogte tussen taille en heup = 15,25 cm
  • CF ligt 1,25 cm lager dan @sideseam voor voorpand. CB juist 1,25 cm hoger
  • voordart niet langer dan 5 cm, achterdart kan wel 10 cm lang
  • bij dit patroon zit nog geen naadtoeslag/seam allowance

I took the front panel and cut it again in pongé (habutai) silk as a lining/facing. Pillow cases from the ’70s tend to be see through…
Untitled
I did the same for the back panel.

This time around I’m a good little sewer: I’m pressing! I bought a small, light weight iron (HEMA, 10 euro). Still got no iron board here but some old sheets on this Ingo table from IKEA will do. Ingo withstands the heat well.
Only thing is: he’s a bit low. Ingo makes for back pain when pressing. Here one panel is still not pressed:
Either way: nice materials to work with. Pressing does make for nicer sewing.

Next, I sewed the silk to their respective panel. Using an extra sharp silk needle (microtex, a thoughtful gift from my friend Marianne) and a very small sewing allowance, just 1/8th of an inch or even less.
I pressed the seams but didn’t fold the cotton, only the silk.

This is a prelimenary step and now I will treat the double-fabric-panels as if they’re made of one fabric. This is all a trick to have a nice seam finish on the inside later on. That’s a good thing when you’re working with silk.
Here are the two panels. Still separate. One is turned right side out, the other one still wrong side out so you can see how small the seam allowance is I used.
Untitled

Isn’t this fabric GREAT?

Before I go further I need to refer back to the video because Corinne put in a stay seam at the top (clever couture technique!) but I don’t remember in which phase she did this.

Next steps:

  1. put zipper in sideseam. The teeth of the zipper will protrude above my panel top because there will be a waist band added which will match the zipper in height. Have to decide about height of waist band before determining where the zipper will end in the side seam.
  2. sew the two panels together at the sideseams, leaving a split at the hem for movement and on one seam a split of the zipper at the top.
  3. fit. If fit then estimate wether darts will be correct both in width and length. Press side seams open.
  4. sew and press darts.
  5. waistband: cut it, press it, sew it.
  6. fit. Estimate hem length. Mark it. Think about where the pocket will be and if reinforcement is needed. Attach this now if it’s needed. Soon the interior will not be accessible anymore.
  7. fold, press and sew hem.
  8. make pocket and attach it

I have my eye on a fun little pocket! With a knotted entry.

Sewing on a button

Marked the place with a yellow pin. Put a match there to get some distance so the elastic thread has a place to lock.
On the back there’s another button so there’s a bit of counter surface.
The silk is pongé, a silk that doesn’t like to be sewn or pulled at. I tried to reinforce the whole waste band with a bias band.
Let’s hope this works.

The ultimate trick is to repeat this process one more time. I’m using double thread, I’ll now cut and knot and sew in threads. Then I’ll repeat the whole process, with another piece of double thread.
I learned this from Crazy Aunt Purl.

The fabric is handdyed pongé or pongee (for people who cannot find the ´). I believe it’s also called Habotai. a base layer for a skirt that’s match and mix. It has this silk layer and various other layers. Handdyed chiffon; felted wool on chiffon and stretchy mesh. It’s for a Spring Fairy combination.
Quite sewn by the seat of my pants.
I’ll show more soon. (and have hopes to finish the catch stitching on the Jacquard dress! Boy, did I learn my lesson there.)

Jacquard Dress: pressing seams

The long seams I basted I have now sewn. Before focussing on details such as fitting at the top, shoulders, sleeves (?) and hem I will finish the seams. Because it builds confidence and gives a sense of getting things done.

The seams are quite rough. With big irregular allowances and fraying at the edges. Susan Khaljé knows just what to do: sandwich pressing, pressing, trimming and overcasting. This is Lesson 9 of The Couture Dress on Craftsy.

Untitled

Because I’m in the city which has an ironing board but no iron I decided to buy a second iron. Not a heavy duty things like the Official Ironing Iron I have (at the cabin, without a board) but a small, handy thingy. Just prefect for seams, not so handy for big sheets of fabric.

Untitled

It’s a 10 euro steam iron from the HEMA. It fits very well in my hand. I like it. It only has 1200 Watt and I kept an eye open to see if this would give enough heat. It does.

Untitled

So I pressed my seams. First sandwich: press the seams without opening them. From both sides. Then open and press it open. All the while using a bit of steam. Pressing is always with steam.

I used a rolled up towel to press the curves.

Then I trimmed the seam allowances. I plan to catch stitch the edges later on, attaching them to the lining.

Because I had to switch around the pattern pieces there is one place where the seam is dangerously close to the edge of the lining. I have marked it with a ‘red cross of pins’ so I can give it some extra TLC before finishing the seam.
Untitled

Couture Dress: thank Bob for wide seam allowances

Having slept a night on the problem of cutting the wrong side of the fabric and spending hours basting it to the lining I thought I might try something before ripping out the basting, sewing the dress wrong side out or just chucking everything in the dust bin.

Unpin the muslin pieces and reposition them the right way, see if there is enough seam allowance to harbour the pieces the right way down. Switch side pieces left and right with one another if necessary.

Untitled

There is. Now I’m not paying attention to the carefully placed basting lines. I will have to sew the pieces together using the muslin edges and lines as guidelines. I am going to pin it crazy and then use a different coloured thread and carefully baste it by hand. After fitting I’ll sew it for real with the machine. Then remove all bastings.

At least I might be able to use this fabric. Sometimes it comes close though. The muslin is folded ON the seam line so that small piece of lining right there at the apex of the bust is all the seam allowance this piece is getting. Better stitch it sturdy.

Untitled

Couture Dress: cutting the fabric and basting the lining onto it

My lining is some sort of flanel, the marks don’t show up very well.
Never mind, I’ve thought of a solution. I’m using the toile/muslin as pattern pieces. I used them to cut the fabric and now I’m basting the lining onto the fashion fabric using the seam lines on the muslin.

Untitled
Untitled
Untitled

I can easily fold the pattern pieces on their seams, I haven’t ironed them. Because most seams are marked by (black) stitching I can fold under or over, it’s very easily visible. Do pin securely though.
I just trace it with the needle. Easy peasy.
It took my full allotment of energy both yesterday and today, a total of four hours, to baste the 7 pieces of this sheath dress.

The lining and the fabric now form a new fabric. Warm. Good for a winter dress. Now to baste these pieces together, following the precise lines the lining basting provides. And then the fitting of the dress. Final stage!

But….. just as I had pretreated every pieces and was pinning together the very first two pieces … I realized I’ve made a colossal error…

I used the muslin pieces as pattern pieces with the right side up… on the side of the lining that will be the inside of the dress…

I have made the mirror of the pieces I need! And as all pieces are tailored to my not symmetrical body I now have … not a dress.

I’m having a lie down now. It was time for it anyway, my afternoon hour was up. But I feel rotten!

Even if I can use the fabric pieces (it is jacquard fabric, I might get away with using the wrong side on the outside) I have to undo all the basting. And redo it if I want to have a lining.
The redoing will take another four hours. Another two days of full energy allotment. I had plans for the next two days. Plans like taking a shower and cooking a hot meal. I’m not very willing to post phone those for another two days.

Yeah, I’ll be lying here, trying to wrap my head around this one.

“I don’t want to talk about it!

Other solutions are to just take out the lining and make the dress -wrong fabric side out- without lining. I might do that… at the least it will tell me if this muslin works in real fabric. Will have to trace all the seam lines onto the fabric though… there’s another two hours work.

I also heard a rumour that they sell dresses in things called “shops”…

credit: puffer fish photo by Judy Roberson