Here's the back...as far as I got tonight. I am a little worried that it is too small even after 2 muslins...I might baste it together tmw night sans lining, install a quick and dirty invisible zip, and see what's what.
I sewed much of it during the PR commercials tonight.
My tailor's ham and clapper are making a big difference. Hurrah for that!!
Thanks for your comments on my rolled hem post. Give it a whirl and don't expect to get it right the first time--give yourself 60 or 90 minutes to play. I bought my foot off ebay last summer as part of a variety pack of feet.
I finalized the fit of my muslins from last week. I made two muslins, size 12 and size 14, and have settled on a hybrid of the two, more like a "13" in the bodice grading to 14 at the hip. In the 12 I was getting a "ducktail" look in the side view derriere, and this was because I needed more room at the hip. Grading out to 14 there was the resolution. Easier fix than I anticipated.
I cut out the exterior of the dress. It has a lot of pieces and I was somehow overwhelmed working in my fashion fabric, which is from Haberman Fabrics in Royal Oak, Michigan, purchased on the way from the airport to the American Sewing Expo last September.
Then I needed to switch my serger threads from brown to black to do some pre-serging of raw edges, especially for the underside of the ruffles.. I always get a little sweaty palmed at the idea of cutting my serger threads and threading from scratch, but I did it!
I had read (somewhere, sorry I don't remember, it might have been from the serger class on PR) that the loopers use more thread than the needles in the serger--here I can see that is true! So when you rethread your machine, put the cones with less thread on the needles and put the cones with more thread on the loopers to "even out" the thread usage a bit.
I rethreaded and yay, it ran a great stitch the FIRST time!! Confidence boosted!
Then it was back to my old machine to do a narrow hem on the ruffles:
Here's the underside:
Tension 6, stitch width a little over 2, stitch length 1.5 (on my old machine)
And from the front:
You can see the underside of the fabric on the ruffle, so be aware of that if you choose to sew this pattern:
So I've switched up my routine a bit. I've been working on a few home projects in addition to my sewing on the weekends. So the past few weeks I have cooked early in the week instead of on the weekend. Here's what I made last Monday night (Gwen, it's vegetarian!)
The mishaps I had while cooking this dish (fettucine alfredo with asparagus from "Now Eat This Italian") are blog post worthy, maybe I'll write about it sometime. It still turned out tasty anyhow.
Sewaholic Renfrew top (Started muslin #2, will soon start muslin #3. Thanks for all your suggestions regarding armhole wrinkles, Jennifer Stern is helping me fit this via the PR class Fitting The Tee to a T, check out this photo to see part of the solution!)
I saw the McCall's dress last summer. I needed to learn how to use the narrow (or rolled) hem foot on a curved edge to finish the ruffles. I learned last summer how to use the narrow hem foot on a straight edge for this dress.
short stitch length (1.5 on my old Baby Lock--my new machine doesn't have this foot)
stitch width of around 2
tension of 2
use the narrowest foot (the 1/8", not the larger one I have--going around a curve with that foot resulted in a mess)
go slow! it's not a race.
and follow Brian's directions. Basically, your fabric entering the slot must not be wider or smaller than the slot, otherwise, trouble!
So here's how the ruffle began:
And here's how it looked as I was sewing it with the rolled hem foot. You can see how the foot rolls the fabric under to be stitched down. Sweet!
The front side:
Here's what it looks like straight from the machine (and unironed):
Here's the underside:
Here's an underside where the fabric width exceeded the slot length. Those little bits can be cut off with double bent embroidery scissors.
SO, here's the three tiered ruffle before ironing:
and after ironing:
And then on the dress:
And close up:
As it turns out, I think the 12 is fine on top but too small on the bottom (I'm not showing you what the back of this dress looks like--it's very goofy--not enough ease for sure in the hip/derriere area). Since I already started the 14 bodice, I will put the 14 skirt on the 14 bodice and see if the back looks any better. If so, I will make a 12 grading to 14 in the hip in the real deal.
Anyway, the rolled hem (or narrow hem) foot is a pretty sweet foot.
I had breakfast for dinner. I even had orange juice--that's another unusual thing for me. I made the lasagna again by the way last week--it is THAT good.
I started a muslin of Sewaholic Renfrew Top, view C, size 8, today. I was striving for "wearable muslin"...mission accomplished!
When I first basted it together, it looked like this, lots of armpit wrinkles, it was riding up and it felt too tight to wear, defeating the purpose of the wearable muslin:
I then undid the side seam and sleeve basting and ripped out the most beautiful sleevecaps I had ever sewn. I then resewed the armhole seam almost a full half inch over, while retaining the original seam allowance of the sleeve. I also sewed the side seams as 3/8 instead of 5/8 SA, and voila, there were less wrinkles:
But how do I get rid of the wrinkles? KID MD suggested on twitter that I lower the armhole then cut another sleeve wider to fit. That means cutting another muslin. So I did the things as I wrote above, as I not only wanted a wearable muslin, I wanted a finished wearable muslin today.
Here it is, done. (hands on hips is another way to get rid of armpit wrinkles)
I love the sleeve bands when I didn't think I would. I'm not sure about the band on the bottom. I might take that off and use a stretch twin needle for a regular hem.
There's a touch of swayback pooling that I think I can reduce on my next muslin:
Yeah, not sure about that bottom band. But hey, I'm wearing the brown J Stern Designs corduroy jeans I made, yay!
This was also my first time using my seam roll and stand from Stitch Nerd. Honestly, where have you been all my life?
I used the seam roll for pressing seams, including pressing open the sleeve bands.
Here,the sleeve band is on the roll, waiting to be pressed
I then pressed it with a pressing cloth and iron:
and then used the Angela Wolf clapper to set the press:
Look at that, gorgeously pressed open seam:
I folded the band in half and then used the seam roll for pressing a crease horizontally so as to not create a crease vertically.
Pretty sweet! It was also my first time using gigantic sheets of wax tracing paper, another concept that has changed my life, but I'll save that for another time.
Sorry, some of these are cell phone pix. My group moved to a new building, so I have a new office.
I still need to get a plant stand and bring my orchids back to the office.
I bought a boatload of Martha Stewart Home Office products (all the aqua colored stuff on my desk) and some new notebooks, squee!
And I'm back into the "flowers at work" thing:
I love it even more than my old office. And the location is much better. SO MANY POSITIVE THINGS.
I went a little overboard with baskets, but have settled on this combination: brown, aqua and pink. If only Martha had big boxes or baskets to match the stuff on the desk, I would have gone Martha all the way. But her boxes were 3" tall. That's not enough for my stuff.
I love how the glass in the door frames the coat--I can imagine hanging dresses here for photos like museum pieces, ha ha:
I have some large blank spaces on the walls. I'm looking for sewing-related wall hanging suggestions. Like, the cover of a sewing book, blown way up, was the first thing that came to mind. But it's not like I want Pants for Real People watching over me.
Vogue's Book For Better Sewing? Suggestions??
Here's another blank wall:
Please let me know your ideas!!
I took a 2 week break from sewing, but started back up with my Sewaholic Thurlow trouser muslin yesterday. From the front and side, they look pretty good. The back needs some more work, still.
In other news, I had a cute shirt refashion in mind today. Here's how it wound up:
I had the cutest post I was going to write about my cute shirt refashion. The shirt was too big, now it's too small and my attempts to make it just right are a big FAIL.
I'm thinking next weekend I will try sewing the Sewaholic Renfrew shirt. Any tips about the sizing???
Tonight I cooked Rocco DiSpirito's Baked Ziti from "Now Eat This Italian"
I made it after dinner so it will be for lunch tmw. I tweeted it and Rocco retweeted it and he is now following me, yay! He has retweeted other pix of food I have made of his before. Twitter is fun and I wish I could get my latest tweets working in the side bar of my blog again.
Here are the flowers I bought this week at Whole Foods. These are green dianthus. They are a delight to look at and to touch!
It just so happens that I have a green vase from my mom that matches them:
For some reason, it makes me think of the Lorax.
Good night and be well!