Monday, December 23, 2013

FO: On the Job Dress

"On The Job" Dress

Just the Facts:
Fabric:  about 2.5 yards each of quilting cotton and poly/cotton broadcloth from JoAnn's  $11.75
Notions:  Thread from stash, zipper
Pattern:  Simplicity 3673, View C 
Year:  1950s reprint
Time to Complete:  I stopped keeping track
First Worn:  December 9, 2013
Wear Again:  yes again and again and again
Total Cost:  $15.00 including the pattern 

This dress has actually been finished for a couple weeks.  I made two attempts at taking FO photos and I'm not really thrilled with either effort.  I am, however, totally in love with this dress.  I spent so much time making it exactly right.  I wanted pockets.  I added pockets.  I wanted a collar.  I made a collar.  I wanted sleeves.  Yup.  Got some sleeves.  I think with a couple-few more tweaks, this will be a great contender for a TNT dress pattern.

The fabric is navy with green geometric patterning.  It's circles and diamonds.  I thought the fabric was quite light and possibly sheer and wanted to underline it.  This created a fabric that I think is the perfect weight.  I wanted to line the fashion fabric with batiste, but couldn't find one in navy blue.  I went with the poly/cotton blend because I actually liked the hand for underlining.  

The skirt isn't twirlable as much as I try.  It's only a four gore skirt.  The waist shaping is achieved by sewing 6 darts per front and back.

I got one hand in my pocket and the other hand's in the other pocket.  Alanis would not be pleased with my rendition of her song.

I did move the bust gathers in a half inch and they ended up in the proper location on the boob line.  That is always a plus.  :) The pockets I put on this dress are my favorite so far.  They are completely invisible.  I used the pocket piece from Simplicity 2444 and pinned the pocket to the skirt front when I was holding the pattern pieces against myself.  Totally unscientific, but it worked.

This dress certainly gives the illusion I have actual curves.  I tend to think I'm quite celery-shaped.

I think this photo is accurate of the fabric color.  From a distance, the colors blend so nicely that it creates a lovely shade of teal.  

This is part of photo session take 2.  You have no idea how cold I was.  The frost had just melted off the ground.

See?  Cold.  I am showing off my fancy new gold shoes!  Off topic:  I bought a pair of black satin pumps from Dilliards years ago.  I love those shoes so much.  I went looking for another pair of shoes from the same company, but I wanted a nice neutral gold tone.  These are the perfect new shoes to go with my (almost) perfect new dress.

I used the cap sleeve from Simplicity 2444 as well.  Heavily modified, of course.  That's my style lately--modifying the crap out of things.  Let me explain how I modified the sleeves to fit my arms.

First I got a new piece of freezer paper.  I drew a slash line at the half way point.  Keep in mind that the back of the sleeve is longer.  That's why the line looks "off."

You can see here that I made myself some notes on the pattern piece.  I previously adjusted the armscye and the sleeve had to be adjusted by that much as well.  Actually, if you are mixing pattern pieces over different companies, it's a good idea to measure your armscye and sleeve cap to make sure they "match" before sewing them together.  Just like it sounds, I take a flexible tape measure and measure each pattern piece.  It is normal for the sleeve cap to be slightly larger (1/2" or so) because you ease the cap to the shoulder.

Anyway, back to the point.  I adjusted my armscye by 3/4", so I needed to add that much to my sleeve cap.  I put little marks on each side to reflect that adjustment.  Then I carefully spread my cut point until it matched the finished measurement I needed.  I ended up with a sleeve measuring 15.25" including the seam allowance.  I taped the slash down so it wouldn't move while I traced my old sleeve onto the clean sheet of paper.  I had to true up the bottom of the sleeve and mark the new grainlines and that's it.  Easy peasy.
Here's my new sleeve, nice and pretty.

Notes are good.  I will be making this S2444 eventually and I want to make sure I don't make more work for myself down the line.

My pretty pocket.  I cut both both pocket pieces out of the navy broadcloth.

I serged all my edges.  Don't they look lovely?

The dress zips up the back with a lapped zipper.  The way one sews in a lapped zipper requires one to baste the zipper opening closed first.  As I stitched further down the 22" zipper, the fabric biased more and more as I fed it through my machine.  I don't know how to keep that from happening again.  You can tell the lap is obviously biased, but I can't see back there, so whatevs.

I understitched my collar to keep the seam allowance down and to keep that nice collar stand.

As far as how it looks compared to the look I was going for?  I give myself an A-.  I missed some of the design details with this attempt, but the dress is a definite win overall.  What do you think?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Fashion Plate: Seaside Sketching Dress

Fashion Plate: Seaside Sketching Dress

Today's inspiration comes from ModCloth's Seaside Sketching dress.  I saw this New Look pattern, 9724, and I had to buy it.  I had no plans for it at all, but I loved the bodice variations and the twirly skirt.  It just needs pockets to be perfect.  That gives me an idea for my next project actually.  Yay!  I am in a creative slump at the moment.  I'm not sure what is causing it.  It needs to go away!  Back on topic:  I couldn't find a fabric I really loved to match the ModCloth dress, so I went with a similar color scheme in the fabulous rayon challis.  That's all I have time for today.
Happy creating!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Pinteresting: with Giftmas Craps...errr...Crafts.

Who's done with the Giftmas shopping?  she asks sheepishly...

Yeah.  Not me.  Not even close.  Not even a little bit.  Last year, I mostly skipped Christmas.  I watched fireworks from the rooftop terrace of a hostel in Guatemala.  I rang in the new year in Granada.  I basically loved every minute of it.  I didn't stress about holiday cooking or presents or anything.  I don't know why I'm stressing about it this year.  Perhaps financial constraints among the family?  Perhaps time constraints?  I dunno. 

So if you are into some last minute giftmas crafting, I culled through my personal crafty Pinterest board and selected a few things I think would be awesome gifts for the people in your life that would appreciate them.

This adorable apron would be great for that hostess with the mostess in your life.

And who couldn't use another reusable shopping bag?  Especially one that folds up and can easily be stored away.  (As an aside, I hate having piles of those shopping bags all over my house.  They don't fold neatly and the stitching sucks.)
I adore fabric covered notebooks.  It's a great way to use up some of those scraps you have laying around and you have a place to keep all your crafty notes in.  :)  Or give away.  I have to stop thinking about what I like and think about other people.  Good gravy batman.  This is why I suck at Giftmas.
Know someone in the arctic expecting a wee one this winter?  This is a perfectly simple baby bundler.
This heart pouch is perfect for earbuds or keeping loose change.  That little princess in your life would love one of these (I think).
And if none of the above work for you, here's a pin for 39 handmade gifts you would actually love to receive.

Are you crafting anything for your loved ones this year?  I'd love to hear about it!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

WIP: On the Job (still)

 How about a photodump?  I made lots of small adjustments to the OTJ dress.  Let's see:

I had to make 2 darts on the back neckline.  I pulled an inch out on each side, tapering down over about two inches in length.  I learned while working on my Laurel top that neckline darts are supposed to point towards the armpit area.  I think I accomplished that.


Inside view of the neckline dart.  I would have preferred to take the fabric out of the pattern itself, but I just wasn't seeing a way to make that happen because I didn't have anywhere to add length on the side of the pattern.  The bodice cuts off right under the bust and I didn't want to play with the fit of that in order to pull the neckline fabric out.   You may also be able to see that my shoulder seam looks funny?  I pinned about 1/2" in on the seam specifically for collar drafting purposes.  In order to get the collar to have a little "stand" to it, you need to overlap the shoulder seams by about 1/2" on the armpit side.  It works, I promise!

Sorry for the blur.  Drafting a collar was easier than I thought it would be.  I put a tiny nip in the seam allowance at the center front to tell me where to stop tracing my outline.  After that, I simply traced the top line of the garment, noting where the center and shoulder seam was.

Here's what the line looks like.  It looks rough, but your pattern doesn't have to look fancy.  It just has to work.

My next step was deciding how wide I wanted the collar.  I settled on 1.5" and used an adjustable seam gauge/ruler thingy to make those markings.  I put a dash about every inch or so along the pattern and trued it up as I went.  See that wonky curve?  I didn't like the first line and I redrew it.  Legit.  The last thing to do before cutting the fabric is to add a seam allowance.  I used a 5/8" seam allowance for the rest of the garment and that is what is built in to the neckline pattern (it was supposed to have a lined bodice), so that's what I added to my collar piece.

Once I had the pattern all cut out, I realized I wanted the back of the collar to sort of notch out at the bottom.  A quick measurement and marking and that's done too!

OHAI fancy tiny collar!   

Here's the back of the collar and that notch that I wanted.  The pattern called for a lapped zipper and I could only find a black zipper long enough for this dress!  Shame!

This looks like a finished dress and it kind of is, but the sleeves are way too freaking tight.  My dress is all done except not really wearable at all because it makes me have the Frankenstein's monster look.  

I only look happy because of the smile detector.  Trust me, I am pissed that I haven't learned my own arm size yet.  I made the sleeves extra big.  Still not big enough.  Grrr.

One last parting sort of finished object picture. I love the dress.  I think it's fabulous.  Gotta fix those sleeves though.  I'll post my sleeve adjustments in my FO post, which will hopefully happen next week.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Fashion Plate: Louche Garden Home Tour Dress

Fashion Plate: Louche Garden Home Tour Dress

It's so hard to get into winter when it's 75ยบ outside!  I found this amazing cotton sateen on and I had to find a pattern to pair it with.  I chose the Louche Garden Home Tour dress from ModCloth, though the fabric would look just as nice as a shirtwaist dress like the Paint a Picturesque dress.  I'm using McCall's 6350 as the base pattern again.  (It's still widely available!  Just check Hancock Fabrics or JoAnn's.)  The ModCloth dress is a racerback with straps that cross in the back.  That is a very easy adjustment to make.  Check out my Fruit Cart Fashion Plate for some other information regarding the shirring on the sides.
I finally finished my On the Job dress!  I hope to have a post up about that soon.  I have to take some photos.  I hate that I'm not as productive as I was earlier in the year.  I'm not sewing as fast as I'm bringing new stuff home.
Happy Tuesday!