Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Butterick 5244 day 4: fitting the back or beating a dead horse

Thanks everyone for your comments on my muse dress!  Those pockets deserve a blog post of their own sometime, especially my practice pockets.  Now we're up to day 4 of the dress, tweaking the back fit.

This is what the side view looked like last night, pre-tweak:

Butterick 5244: pretty much done, tho the side is still shapeless

And this is what it looks like now:
Butterick 5244: day 4: tweaking the back fit

It's hard to tell, there are two darts, one on each side of the CB seam, and I also tweaked the CB seam and the side seams a little bit too.
Butterick 5244: day 4: tweaking the back fit

Here it is on Emma.  I didn't iron and you can see the threads from where I ripped out some basting stitches.
Butterick 5244: day 4: tweaking the back fit

So what do you think?  I don't like how the CB seam looks now, especially over my butt.  I suppose some things to keep in mind are that I haven't cut down the SA on the CB seam nor side seam; and I haven't ironed.

I'm kind of thinking of ripping out the darts and the CB seam and putting in double darts on each side of the CB seam for  a total of 4 darts.  Should I continue to beat this dead horse or not???

Here's the inside of the purchased knit dress that fits great; you can see the darts.  Also the width from the waist to CB seam is a lot less on this dress than on the muse dress but the width of the bottom of this dress is actually MORE than the muse dress.
a purchased knit dress with back darts!

And the muse dress is actually navy blue.  Some folks commented on the purple color, and I see what they mean, on some monitors it looks purple.  But it's really navy blue.

Meanwhile, what do you think my new PR name should be? The polldaddy poll totally didn't work so here are your choices; vote in the comments the old fashioned way:
  • Vacuuming the Lawn (blog name)
  • Lead Vacuum (derived from blog name)
  • BlossomKyle (my twitter name)
  • Magic Panties (derived from Mary Nanna's "Magic Pantries" post)
  • Juicy Details (from an airport smoothie stand Pete saw in the Netherlands)

Be well!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Butterick 5244: day 3: welt pocket vortex

Butterick 5244: broke after all this sewing
Broke after PR weekend Chicago...my pockets turned inside out..

Thanks everyone for your comments on my Cynthia Rowley dress, and the Muse dress in progress,  much appreciated!

I sewed almost all of today.  Took breaks for lunch, dinner, a phone call, and I went to my favorite gym class first thing this morning. But what was number 1 on my mind today were welt pockets.  Gwen your comment "where's the food" made me laugh--if I sew something else has to give, and I have a lot of food I made frozen now (in fact the minestrone seems to be multiplying in the freezer...) and didn't read much this weekend.

The Butterick 5244 is rated "easy".  According to the Singer Photo Guide to Sewing, "Making welt pockets is an expert tailoring technique that requires precise marking, cutting and stitching."   Hrm, contradiction.

I've never made welt pockets before, and in the spirit of elevating my sewing post-PR weekend, I learned about welts through the pattern instructions, Singer guide, and a few online tutorials.    Most online tutorials are for double welt pockets; the muse dress has single welts.   I made three practice pockets on "scraps" before cutting to the chase.  As I'm running out of steam tonight, maybe another time I will blog my three test cases.  But if you want to see them they are in my Sewing 2011 album.

I think the big tips I learned that weren't in the pattern instructions are: interface the garment in the area of the pocket; draw the stitching and cutting lines on the interfacing; stitch through the stitching lines you just drew on the interfacing so it's easy to see the pocket placement on the right side of the garment; clip the triangle all the way to the corner...but don't go beyond it (or you end up with pocket sample 1).

Here's what the inside prep looked like (I wound up peeling off the excess interfacing later)
interior of dress; prepping for a welt pocket!

Ok, so here are the finished pockets on the garments themselves.  It was a nerve wracking moment cutting the pocket open...others have written that before on their blogs but now I truly understand!!  "I'm cutting a big slash right in the front of my dress...." anxiety.

My right welt pocket:
Butterick 5244: my left welt pocket

My left welt pocket:
Butterick 5244: my right welt pocket

On Emma:
Butterick 5244 welt  pockets on emma
Pocket from the inside:
Butterick 5244 pocket inside

They have a few little flaws; Gorgeous Things warned of 'pinching' and Becky-home-ecky-ness and there's a little bit of pinching with my pockets, but not too bad. 

I've got both hands in my pockets; dress is knee length now!
Butterick 5244: pretty much done

Side view is still shapeless; one idea is to add some elastic to tighten it up and put a tab with more of those anchor buttons on top of it; another is to add darts! (I have a knit dress I bought 5 years ago. The print isn't "me" but the fit is fab. I just looked at it now to see why it fits so well --it has back darts! in a knit dress! I never would have thought of that).
Butterick 5244: pretty much done, tho the side is still shapeless

Back view:
Butterick 5244: pretty much done

On Emma:
Butterick 5244 on emma, pretty much done

And of course I twin needle stitched the sleeve and dress hems:
Butterick 5244 twin needle stitched hem

If you want to see closeups of the collar, please view my muse day 2 post.

(I have read the word "pocket" so many times, it has lost meaning. Pocket pocket pocket pocket pocket.)

Tmw we get to leave work at 2pm so I'm thinking of going to Joann's for the $3.99 Vogue pattern sale, and buying some denim (I have an urge to make a denim skirt?) then coming home and sewing in darts in the back of the dress.  Or maybe I should come straight home and do everything I neglected to do this weekend that does not involve sewing.

Be well!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Butterick 5244 day 2, still in progress

Butterick 5244 is coming along....(I first posted about it yesterday).  Today I spent several hours working on the collar, tabs, yoke facing, and hand sewing the yoke facing to the yoke, and of course sewing those adorable buttons on too!

I think my big tip is to sew the collar onto the dress starting in the middle and working to one end, then start in the middle again and sew to the other end. This way the collar is (mostly) centered properly.  (Tip courtesy of Mary Nanna).  While the collar took a long time, I think it was worth it!  I had been concerned about my machine handling up to 6 layers of fabric (yoke, collar (which is two layers), yoke facing, tab which is two layers)  plus three layers of interfacing (yoke, collar, tab).  If I had used the ponte roma double knit, it might have been more difficult...but this is a medium weight knit and it handled it fine.

I used a stiff tailor weight interfacing on the yoke and a softer knit interfacing on the tab and collar.

Here you can see some of my fabric stash has escaped from the fabric closet (really, there's no room for it in the fabric closet):
Butterick 5244 day 2, still in progress

Butterick 5244 day 2, still in progress

I'm definitely going to shorten the dress...I had added a inch or so on because I thought it was going to be too short.  I also need to address the CB seam since it's just too tent-like back there, and, oh yeah, that little detail of adding  the  functional welt pockets.  Which I've never done before--don't worry I'm going to practice first.
Butterick 5244 day 2, still in progress

In other news, I can't get the poll to appear embedded in this post the way I want it to, but if you'd like to vote for my new PR name, click on this (note I am not holding myself to the poll results):
Poll: What should my new Pattern Review name be?

Good night and be well!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Simplicity 2406 done? and Butterick 5244 in progress

A post in two parts. Mostly.

Part 1: Simplicity 2406 Cynthia Rowley view C dress done? 
Ok, this is the most up-to-the-minute photo of the Cynthia Rowley dress.  I wore it to work on Thursday but felt the neckline was still too wide and I was still worried about bra straps showing.  I took it in some more today; I think probably it was 1.5 inches SA sewn on the CB seam at the neckline, for a 3 inch reduction total.

I also played with the sleeve  and put some 1/4 inch elastic in.  I sewed it in directly, no casing as per the directions, which also want one to use pretty wide elastic.  I'm not totally sold on the sleeves at this point.  I might rip out the elastic and just let it be.

And yes, it has two pockets!  I persevered with them, and it's great to have pockets in a dress, such a rarity!
Simplicity 2406 Cynthia Rowley done?

The rest of these CR pix are from Thursday morning before work so the neckline is wider, and apparently I took all these pix with my sleeves rolled up though I wore it with the sleeves down at work!  Here is detail of the sash; it wraps twice around the waist to look  obi-esque:
Simplicity 2406 Cynthia Rowley rolled sleeves

Side view:
Simplicity 2406 Cynthia Rowley rolled sleeves

Back view:
Simplicity 2406 Cynthia Rowley rolled sleeves

It wears very nicely and I got tons of compliments on it at work.  I will write a pattern review before the long weekend is out.

The big thing about PR weekend is that it made me want to sew again, and to elevate my sewing to look more professional and less home sewn.  Jacqui had mentioned ironing every seam while sewing, a point I remember Gorgeous Things making in a blog post last year.  I have never ironed every seam during the sewing process, usually just hems!  I ironed every seam with this dress (as best I could since I don't have a ham) and indeed it made a world of difference!  

Part 2: Butterick 5244 Muse Dress
So PR member "Kathy in NM" wore this dress to the pizza party on Saturday night during PR weekend Chicago.  I wish I took a picture of her wearing it but I didn't.  Here's the pattern envelope and line drawings:

Butterick 5244

So here it is, in progress.  I'm saving the welt pockets for very last (the side seams are just basted so I can rip them out, put in the welt pockets in the front without worrying about the back getting in the way, and sew the side seams properly).  It also needs a collar that will be over the yoke, and a collar facing, and hems.  The fabric is from Jomar in Philly, purchased when Antoinette visited last Sept.
Butterick 5244 muse dress in progress

I cut a straight 14.  The front view is pretty good, has a nice shape.

The side view is a bit shapeless hospital gown?   Since it has a CB seam I'm going to attempt to shape it.
Butterick 5244 muse dress in progress

But the best part are the tabs and buttons!  The tabs will go on the collar.  I made a rough cut of a tab here to give you an idea of what it will look like (I will do better with centering the midline when I cut the tabs for real).  I just LOVE those buttons.  I am a sucker for nautical themed clothing.
this will be a tab on B5244

A collar and facing will cover the yoke;
Butterick 5244 muse dress in progress

Here's a mockup of what the tab detail will look like:
a mockup of the tab for B5244 in progress

Again, I *love* those buttons!  I got them at Joann's on Friday afternoon.  We were allowed to go home at 3pm for the long weekend, awesome.

Here are Farmer's Market flowers for this week; sweet william and a peony.  The peony was starting to wilt on Friday evening so I cut its stem and ran the bloom under water to hydrate it; it perked up nicely as seen today.  It smells *wonderful*!
peony and sweet william from Princeton Farmer's Market

A favorite coworker of mine left this week; he brought in fruit tart too but I was more interested in the chocolate cake:
Joe's goodbye chocolate cake

Be well and good night!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Simplicity 2406 in progress: don't give me the cold shoulder

Here's the dress I've been working on.  I still have to hem it, deal with the sleeve length, figure out what to do with the sash, and sew the right pocket.  (yes, that is a binder clip on my right hip, holding that pocket area together).
Simplicity 2406 Cynthia Rowley in progress

When I went to the American Sewing Expo in Novi, MI last September, reps from Simplicity were there  and one of them was wearing the Cynthia Rowley 2406 dress.    It looked really amazing on the rep and thus it went onto the list of patterns I must make.

The rep made view B, in the same navy blue as the picture on the  pattern envelope.  That's when I learned that a dress with these sleeves with the peak-a-boo shoulders is known as a "cold shoulder dress".  It also has a dramatic open back. 

Simplicity 2406 Cynthia Rowley

Since I want to wear the dress to work, I cut out view C, which has raglan sleeves.  I sewed the dress straight up the back.  No zipper needed.

In the first picture above, I just tied the sash.  In this picture below, I tied the sash but then pulled up on the fabric above the sash so it's more like the pattern photo.  It creates a slightly different effect.

Simplicity 2406 Cynthia Rowley in progress

Here's a side view.
DSC06542Simplicity 2406 Cynthia Rowley in progress

At PR weekend Chicago, Cennetta told me she appreciates reviews that talk about problems with fit, like mine.  I haven't made any fitted garments since last year so it was a good reminder that yes, I talk about fit!

I cut this in a straight 12.  The fabric is navy blue linen-look fabric from Hancock Fabrics.
  • First, the neckline is too wide and I hate worrying about bra straps showing.  So I took a one inch wedge out of the center back, reducing the neckline by 2 inches.  You can see below the neckline is smaller.  I hadn't sewn the wedge yet in the pic, but it is sewn now.

Simplicity 2406 Cynthia Rowley in progress

Here's when it's just clipped.  You know I love binder clips for fitting issues!
Simplicity 2406 Cynthia Rowley in progress

The directions for the pockets are the worst directions I ever read but I "trusted" them and forged ahead, ugh.  I got the left pocket sewn (and you can see my left hand in my pocket in some of the pix) but I'm still playing with the right pocket.   I honestly thought  I took a picture of what the pockets looked like after I followed the directions, but I did not.  They were hysterical.  I then got out my Singer Photo Guide to Sewing and followed those directions instead.  Still I am having issues with the pockets.  The left one is ok and will stay.  The right one is in danger of being axed.

The sash is another issue.  It's supposed to go around the waist twice (oh in the pix above, it is still inside out).  It barely makes it around my waist twice.  I really like the effect of the sash going around twice, because it kind of makes it look like an obi or that there is a waistband.  So I could add a 5 inch chunk or so in the middle of the sash to make the sash longer.    Or I could just let it go as-is.

Also I am playing with sleeve length.   The original sleeve length is in the first few pix; the last few have the sleeves rolled up.  I think I might actually like the look of rolled up sleeves!  The pattern wants you to elasticize the sleeve bands with fat elastic but I don't like that look--too much like sweats. 

Another issue is I had problems with the facings matching the neckline of the dress, so I had to let the facings out, but that may have been an error with me cutting since no one else on PR mentioned this (unlike the pockets, which were mentioned a lot).  Then the back of the dress is supposed to have gathers at the neckline.  No one else commented on this either, but there wasn't very much room for gathers, they came out really weak looking, so I eliminated them entirely and just took it out of the CB seam (and they would have had to go anyway after I took out the wedge from the neckline).

I had to play with the front gathers to get them to where I like them to be.  Finally they look fine.

So I had been really struggling with the dress, and without the sash it looks like a shapeless choir gown, so at one point I thought about abandoning it, but I read the reviews on PR again and it gave me the courage to continue on!  I hope to finish this dress next weekend.

Friday night friends came over.  I cooked minestrone and they brought cake from LaBon, yum!
oh yes La Bonbonniere cake

And Jasmine gave me flowers from her garden. I love them, bugs and all!
flowers from Jasmine's garden

My mom gave me these very cool looking green carnations on Thursday. I like them with my red couch and white chair and pillow.
green carnations from my mom
Here are my library books.  I read almost all of "Click:  The Magic of Instant Connections" on the plane to and from Chicago.  I'll read "The Myth of Stress;  Where Stress Really Comes From and How to Live a Healthier and Happier Life" next.  I'm guessing it's going to say that it's our reaction to events that creates stress, not necessarily the events themselves...
books as of 5/22/11

Good night and be well!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I'm bananas for this underwear!

In case you missed it, my PR Weekend Chicago retrospective is here.   A big thank you to those who commented on it!  It was really a blast.

Oh yes Andrea, I have made the banana appliqued underwear!  and 3 more pairs today.    And I now have a flickr set devoted to the undies I've made.

Here is the May 17, 2011 collection:
The Tuesday May 17 collection

Let's see those appliques close up, shall we?  All appliques were purchased at Vogue Fabrics, Evanston, IL, at Sewing Pattern Review Weekend Chicago.  All elastic is from sewsassy.com.  This picture depicts the colors the best:
applique extravaganza

First up, boy shorts with banana applique.  Fabric is from Jomar from PR weekend Philly 2010.  Yellow elastic.  LOL that you can see the tailor's chalk "F" to the left of the bananas.  Yes, those bananas are sequined!
I'm bananas for this underwear!

The remaining three pairs are bikini style underwear.  Let's pretend these are jersey tomatoes, ok?  Fabric from Joann's.  Red elastic.
Let's pretend these are Jersey tomatoes

This pair of underwear is not a lemon!  Same brown fabric from Jomar, PR weekend Philly 2010.  Yellow elastic.
This pair's not a lemon!

Dog bone applique.  100% organic cotton t-shirt from the Princeton Environmental Film Festival 2009.  I previously made the front of the shirt into panties; this is the back of the shirt.  Brown elastic.  In this pic the fabric looks pinky; it's beige.
dog bone applique, sew sassy elastic, 100% cotton t-shirt

So even though I wrote a summary of PR weekend yesterday it didn't have any pix of what I bought.  Here are the 7 fabrics I bought:
my fabric purchases at PR Weekend Chicago

This luscious wine colored border stretch cotton print is from Vogue.  It's the only piece I haven't washed yet.  They had a piece of this fabric draped on the wall to look like a cowl neck dress with the red border as a sash/belt.  Gorgeous.  Several of us including Jacqui bought it!  It was in two colorways:  wine and navy.
rose border print from Vogue Fabrics, Evanston

Here are the other fabrics I bought at various other stores.  The only knit is the yellow stripe.  I washed and dried it twice and it's already starting to pill. Well, for $2.69 a yard, I should have known.  I might still make a pair of underwear with it with the full understanding that they are not going to last long. I should make myself sign an agreement to not get upset when the fabric starts heavily pilling.
my fabric purchases at PR Weekend Chicago

Appliques from Vogue; ribbons and pink & white piping from Soutache;  black & white piping, and elastic from New Rainbow; pearl trim from Chicago Fabric, Button and Yarn Co.
stuff I bought at PR weekend, etc etc etc

And the freebies!  LOVE the design on the PR bag.  Plus it made it easy to carry around purchases during shopping day.
PR weekend freebies

And the other swag:
more PR weekend freebies
Very nicely done, vendors!!  You've outdone yourselves this year.

I want to sew some clothing soon...I'm thinking it might be an easy skirt to get me back into the land of exterior garment sewing...I have a list of clothing to make based on what people were wearing at the weekend but I don't have most of the patterns yet!

Be well!