Sunday, June 27, 2010

New Look 6922 now in aqua blue!

Ok, so I'm thinking about taking a long weekend to go to the beach. What color says beach more than aqua blue?

New Look 6922 in aqua blue

This time it took me 2.5 hours. I cut the 10 this time at the shoulder seam to bring everything up a bit; I wound up sewing that in a 3/8 seam so I could have cut the 12. Along the sides it was 14 grading to 16. I futzed a bit with the armholes--that is what took so long. Next time I will leave the armholes as-is.

New Look 6922 in aqua blue

Here you can see some detail:
New Look 6922 in aqua blue

I wore two different ribbons in the photos--they were cut to almost 2 yards in length.
Otherwise it's the same little black dress I made on Thursday night! And this helped me get over yesterday's cowl neck struggles (I think it does look ok after all).

I have no idea where all my time went today. I spent a lot of time staring at my stash and some time cleaning up my sewing room. I cut out another dress to make tmw, but it's not this one. I want to make this one again in brown. :)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

New Look 6981 view A, funny face edition

Be prepared for some funny faces.

Let's just say I chose wisely when I decided to make the little black dress on Thursday night instead of the shirt from New Look 6981.

New Look 6981 view A done
What I look like when things are going wrong...

So unlike Thurs night, when I acknowledged that things might not go my way, my thought pattern on 6981 went something like this today:
Ok, I'll cut this out in half an hour and then sew it up in 45 min, maybe 60 min, and then go on to making NL 6922 again in brown.

I set my expectation really high. Implicit in the statement was that it would just magically fit properly. There's hardly anything to this shirt, really. IT MUST GO WELL.

It took me hours and hours.

It's done now and I think it's just ok.

I originally cut a 14 at the shoulder seam and front, 16 on the sides in case I needed it. I did a swayback adjustment, just for the heck of it, though it probably needs a center seam and some real shaping back there to do the job properly.
New Look 6981 view A in progress

It was really big on the sides, and too low in the front.
New Look 6981 view A in progress
Another funny face

So then I cut the 8 on the top at the shoulder and sort of an 8/10 combo for the armholes, and shaped the sides (it's more like a 14 now down the sides):
New Look 6981 view A in progress

So cutting the 8/10 armhole was a mistake, as the armhole seemed too wide.
New Look 6981 view A in progress
So I wound up taking in the sides even more at the top, to get less chest to show through the armhole, which I think lead in part to a problem discussed later...

And then I futzed with the armhole finishing for a good long while. In the end, I just folded the edge over and sewed it down from the front..after stitching, seam ripping, restitching, seam ripping, etc with the supplied binding.
New Look 6981 view A done

New Look 6981 view A done

I did a twin needle stitched hem, with a twin needle where the needles are fairly close together. The length was good, though I did a 5/8 hem. I could add an inch to do a nice deep hem.
New Look 6981 view A done

I don't know. I don't like the fabric pulling across the bust like that--maybe from too much tightening on the sides. Also I thought this fabric was brown but now I think it's maybe gray?? I bought it at PR Weekend Philly at Jomar's, $2 a yard. It's very soft and I was thinking of using it to make the NL 6922 dress again. But maybe it's too close to black in color? Hrm.

Anyway, I always love cowl necks and thought that it would be fun to try again. Instead, I think I need to make the square cowl neck from Vogue 2945 again. I wear that one a lot. Maybe I'll make it in white this time?
Vogue 2945
Hey, I just noticed, the fabric is slightly pulling across the bust in that one too. and I love that shirt.

Maybe I'll like NL6981 better in the morning?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Faked my way through New Look 6922 view C-ish

New Look 6922 view C-ish done

So I have this rule that I don't sew after work.
Tonight I got home at 5:05. I don't remember the last time I got home that early.
I was itching to sew.
I decided to vow to be like Mary Nanna, acknowledging it might not work out. I shouldn't get upset. I know what I'm getting myself into.

And then I tackled New Look 6922 view C.

3.5 hours later, I'm done and it looks pretty decent, but it had a bumpy start:
New Look 6922 view C-ish in its lumpy and bumpy stage

All sorts of bumpiness there. I had cut the 16 on the sides and armholes; 12 at the shoulder and 14 at the neckline, but sewed the 14 down the sides. It was pulling across my hips in front, with something weird going on in the back, even though I did a swayback adjustment:
New Look 6922 view C-ish swayback adjustment

Oh, and I cut it out with my rotary cutter, since I couldn't find my sewing scissors. So it was a bit of a hack job. I have not gotten the hang of using the rotary cutter.

I wound up sewing a 14 in the chest grading out to 16 at the waist, and reducing the center back seam to 3/8 starting at the waist down. That seemed to take care of a lot of the pulling.

I decided to go sleeveless and just folded the armholes over and stitched them down.
For the neckline, it is gathered in the front as per the instructions, but I applied the band by folding the neckband in half, stitching to the front, then topstitching it down (except for the part where it's gathered).

I then used a ribbon that came with a store bought shirt as a belt, and pulled the fabric up over the belt slightly, kind of like my SATC2 dress.

I twin needle stitched the hem.
New Look 6922 view C-ish done

New Look 6922 view C-ish done

New Look 6922 view C-ish done

So the neckline is a little wonky, but is anyone besides a sewist going to notice?
New Look 6922 view C-ish done

It's done! Oh, and I finally turned my air conditioning on in my house for the first time this year. That's the longest I've waited to turn it on. About half way through this dress, I cracked!

There is talk of SPR weekend being in Chicago next year. I totally vote for that!

Good night!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

New Look 6748 view D with a dash of 6936 and 6803

New Look 6748 on top with NL 6936 bottom, and NL6803 belt

So, continuing on with my "dress a weekend", here is New Look 6748 (bodice), with New Look 6936 (bottom) and New Look 6803 (belt).

What, this color combo looks familiar, you say? It's not to be confused with this dress from a few weeks back:
McCall's 5752

First I tackled the bodice. This pattern was really calling out to use a contrast yoke, don't you think? I held up the yoke to my body and modified the V to not be so deep:
New Look 6748 yoke modified

I also cut the yoke on the center fold, so I folded the pattern over by its seam allowance on the CF. I understitched the yoke lining to give it a nice "roll".

New Look 6748 bodice under construction

It didn't seem quite symmetrical when I sewed the bodice sides on (as below), so I restitched this
New Look 6748 bodice under construction

I don't think it's any more symmetrical now. However, the good news is I didn't need to do an SBA! Woo!

The back has a yoke too that is supposed to be topstitched as well as the front yoke. I topstitched the back yoke but hated it and ripped that out. Also, somehow my back yoke didn't match with my back bodice:
New Look 6748 bodice under construction
I just trimmed that extra bit off.

I hated the binding treatment for the armholes--as it stands, one of them has the binding treatment and the other is just folded over and stitched down. It'll be our secret, ok?

Then it came time to attach the skirt of the dress. The directions are to cut out a casing strip of fabric and sew that to the bottom of the bodice, and then sew the skirt to the casing. That seemed like a lot of work and bulk to they wanted me to cut a HUGE casing and a HUGE skirt and then gather the edges so that it would become some giant big pouffy gathered skirt. That wasn't what I had in mind.

So I got out the dress pattern from New Look 6936 (last weekend's bright green dress) and cut the fabric to match the bottom width of the bodice--I mean, the skirt is a few inches wider than 6936 but no where near as full as the 6748 dress pattern called for.

a merger of New Look 6748 and NL 6936

I did a sway back adjustment on the skirt piece though it could have used even more of a sway back adjustment when it was all said and done.
a merger of New Look 6748 and NL 6936

a merger of New Look 6748 and NL 6936

Then I treated it like 6936--sewed the skirt to the bodice, trimmed the seam allowance on the skirt, sewed the bodice seam allowance down to the skirt, thus creating the casing for the elastic (I did not use the elastic/drawstring/buttonhole combo of 6748):
a merger of New Look 6748 and NL 6936

I thought it looked kind of baggy when it was done:
New Look 6748 on top with NL 6936 bottom, without NL6803 belt

And then I remembered the obi-ish belt of New Look 6803. So I made that--it was a real cobbled effort using scraps of turquoise double knit--in fact, two different pieces of turquoise double knit!

So then it became this:
New Look 6748 on top with NL 6936 bottom, and NL6803 belt

Though it does look a little apron-stringy in the back
New Look 6748 on top with NL 6936 bottom, and NL6803 belt

but if I tie the ties in the front (like I'm supposed to) I don't like how it looks:
New Look 6748 on top with NL 6936 bottom, and NL6803 belt

So, tied in the back it is. I might cut the ties to make them shorter. Also, the yoke is interfaced with bi-stretch interfacing for knits; but I don't think it needed it? Also in these pix the yoke is showing the puckering of the gathering but in real life I don't think the gathering on the turquoise is all that noticeable.
New Look 6748 on top with NL 6936 bottom, and NL6803 belt

And here's the side view:
New Look 6748 on top with NL 6936 bottom, and NL6803 belt

Wow, that took a long time to make. Almost as long as the red wrap dress, which I think was more complicated than this dress.

Next weekend I want to make the very simple dress from New Look 6922 and the very simple shirt from 6981.

Good night!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

More random stuff

Pink roses
Roses I bought for myself
  • Who am I kidding? My green dress needs a swayback adjustment.
  • Look at this new blog I found; she made my green dress in purple and she lives in HAWAII!!!!
  • Have you seen this blog?
  • Tonight I wrote SPRs for the last three dresses I made recently. I'm all caught up on my SPRs.
  • My lumbar back pain is now intermittent instead of constant! My knee pain is now occasional instead of intermittent. I love these downgrades!
  • I now have rib pain though? Maybe I'll see Len for that.
  • I went 4 weeks without seeing Len. It felt like a triumph. Len said "is this your graduation day?" I'm trying for 6 weeks without seeing him, but I might need him to work on the rib.
  • I went to the eye dr and a little kid threw up in the waiting room. The eye doc said "Oh no, I gave him too many snacks"
  • I went to the dentist and I have no cavities. See you in 6 months. YES!
  • I have acupuncture tmw night. And then I'm seeing the Heidi Chronicles with a coworker. It's going to be a big night.
  • Tmw is my last full day in my office. Sob. Then I'm in a cube for 6 weeks, then I share an office with someone else. My personal office, I will miss thee!
  • I started listening to a meditation CD and it felt like I was having acupuncture. Wild, right?
  • I started reading Why People Don't Heal and How They Can by Caroline Myss. Quite a revelation there.
  • I finished Eat, Pray, Love. I'm ready for the movie.
  • I'm thinking of making Simplicity 3742 this weekend.
Good night!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

New Look 6936 view B: Only 1 hour longer than claimed

So today I tackled New Look 6936, view B.
New Look 6936 View B
Hey, my dress matches my blog!

It's an "easy 2 hour (sewing time only)" "just 4 knits" pattern. This one clocked in for me at around 3 hours (sewing time with some clothes folding in the middle).

First, it looks like they were fast with creating the pattern envelope--the caption about the "sewing time only per item" is partially chopped off, and the model's elbow is touching the line drawing for view C.

New Look 6936 View B
Click on the photo to see my notes.

And on this pattern piece, it refers to 6, 10, 12, but it should be 8, 10, 12:
6, 10, 12?  Hrm.  Really it's 8, 10, 12

I liked the rouching of view B on the shoulders, but didn't want the ribbon so I used elastic instead. I did not attach a bow to the front of the dress.

I did a little SBA as per Trena but I could have done a LOT more...I was too timid for my first SBA.
New Look 6936 View B

I did not do a sway back adjustment. Something about this style (like with McCall's 6069) does not require me to do a swayback adjustment. I think it's the way the fabric drapes back there.

New Look 6936 View B

New Look 6936 View B

This dress photographs horribly and those were the best shots I could get.

I think there's too much chest showing for this to be a work dress, plus this fabric, even though it's a knit, is showing every wrinkle...I think it might be a weekend kind of dress.

I'm going to make view A next in red cherry print on black knit background as a nightgown. I bet I can get it sewn in 2 hours. Not that this is a race or something.

Oh, and as for Vogue 8379, I did a fake SBA by pulling the bodice down 3/4 of an inch more and then sewing it up.

Vogue 8379 fake SBA

I also fixed the ties so they are the same length-ish:
Vogue 8379 fixed
So that dress is a wrap!
Good night!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

random stuff

Vogue front skirt pattern piece
Guess what did that to my Vogue 8379 front skirt pattern piece! (Not an animal, not a person...) Answer at bottom of post!

So tonight I went to a lecture about foot and ankle problems. I learned that there is so much that can go wrong with feet and ankles. Holy cow.

Here are some roses from my "garden"


Dresses I want to make:
dresses I want to make next
(From left to right, I want to make view B and view D).

I'm going to try to fix my Vogue 8379 red dress for both a fake SBA and the length of one of the ties. I should have used Trena's very awesome SBA adjustment (there's the link again for those who didn't get it a few days ago when I first posted her tutorial--thank you Trena for writing it up) but standing in the muslin it seemed just fine, as well as leaning forward. It's the sitting that's the problem.

And here is your answer, it's Hal, my Roomba, who found the pattern piece for me:

Oh Hal
Good night!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Wrap it up: Vogue 8379 Detail

Thanks everyone for your super nice comments on my red wrap dress that I briefly posted yesterday! Here are some details.

Vogue 8379 twin needle stitching
Twin needle stitching, I love thee...

I've been wanting to make this dress for a while, since it's an SPR pattern of the year and now "hall of fame" pattern. I bought it last year, and then I saw the Selfish Seamstress's version of it a few months ago and was like, I have to make it! I wanted to make it pretty much like hers, black knit with the collar and sleeves (albeit, short sleeves).

I started out making a muslin of the bodice using some ugly gray stash fabric, because I was pretty sure I'd have to do a SBA, but then the muslin seemed totally fine so I didn't do the SBA.

Vogue 8379
Really crummy picture of the muslin--I could have draped it nicer on the table, huh? The pleats look better in real life. And I didn't have enough to do the front skirt so I just did the back skirt for testing the swayback adjustment...

So lately I've been doing this thing of cutting out a few pieces at a time and then sewing them up, then cutting out some more, sewing them up, etc, instead of cutting them all out at once--but I had been laying all pieces out. So this time I didn't do that with the real fabric. I cut and sewed the pleats on the bodice but when it was time to cut out the ties, er, I realized I didn't have enough fabric for the skirt (though now that I know I cut off several inches from the skirt, I might have enough...)

So I had lunch and regrouped and decided to find some stash fabric that was enough. That's how it became red. and then I decided I didn't want sleeves after all, and if it doesn't have sleeves, I thought it shouldn't have a collar either, because I generally don't like wearing sleeveless shirts with collars. And many SPR reviewers said they didn't like the facings, so I skipped those and just folded the fabric over instead of doing any proper binding treatment.

And I didn't like how full the skirt was, so I narrowed it down a bit. I did the swayback adjustment too. If I had known that all I had to do was fold the tissue paper a bit I would have done it years ago (I thought it was going to be really complicated?) I used the midriff piece from McCall's 5752 that I made last weekend as a guide, since it had the swayback adjustment printed on it.

Vogue 8379
What I chopped off down the side; you can sort of see the swayback adjustment (click on photo to see my Flickr notes)

Vogue 8379
Look! No horizontal lines on the skirt!!
I cut the back on the fold of the fabric, accounting for the seam allowance. It didn't make sense to me to have a seam going up the back of the skirt.

Then it just seemed too long so I chopped some inches off the bottom and hemmed.
Vogue 8379

So it looks good standing up, but when I sit down there is some gaposis going on. So I might do a snap at the cross to keep things in place. It would have benefited from an SBA after all, so I learned a valuable lesson--it's good to sit with my muslin on (I had only stood in it and leaned forward in it). Also, the weight of the skirt is pretty heavy, as this is a substantial double knit. So I think that hanging it in my closet will just stretch out the bodice, making the gaposis worse. So this will be shoved, I mean folded, in a drawer. (I *need* to clean my closet and dresser out soon!)

Vogue 8379

I'm also really not sure what to do with the pleats. They are basted down which means I should remove the basting but I'm a little afraid to do so.

I wrapped the ties around my body, so one of them winds up being shorter than the other. I might fix that.
Vogue 8379
armpit shot...

As for the black knit bodice that's "in progress", I'm thinking of "frankenpatterning" (Trena's term--love it!) it with the midriff and skirt from McCall's 5752. I think it will work. and then I will have three unique dresses: McCall's 5752, Vogue 8379, and their chimeric lovechild.

I finished Pain Free for Life by Scott Brady today. I highly recommend, as this goes beyond John Sarno's Mind Over Back Pain book because it has a strategy and 6 week plan, and also talks about how to talk to your back (which is really your subconscious). Plus Pain Free for Life covers any chronic condition, not just back pain!! So if you suffer from IBS, fibromyalgia, neck pain, migraines, psoriasis, or any other chronic condition for which docs just can't seem to help you with, get yourself to the library and read it now! I liked it so much, I'm going to buy it!

Good night!