Monday, October 27, 2014

New Look 6071, Part 2: the modesty panel and the rest of the dress

So yes, I made two turquoise dresses in a row!

First was NL 6071, which I never finished blogging about.  I wrote part 1 here about the back of the dress here.  Then I made that S1314 quilted dressed which I blogged about in a few posts, the last of which is here.

So today I'd like to finish blogging about NL 6071.  I made it all in a 14.  Next time I will go back to making the back in a 14 and the front in a 12.  It is just a little big in the front, methinks.

I made a detachable modesty panel for it.  Two, in fact.  The first one felt a tad too low when I sit down at work.  So I made this one recently and sewed the snaps on it last night.  I am loving the idea of the modesty panel instead of a half-cami.  Less bulk....and bulk is definitely noticeable with light colors like turquoise.

These super-small, super-adorable square snaps are from Daytona Trimming in NYC.  They're right next to the register and they don't seem to have them in any other size except super-small.  I first saw them during PR weekend 2012 and they have been lingering in the back of my brain ever since, but part of me was like, when am I ever going to use snaps that tiny?

I bought them during MPB Day with Tomasa this past August and she succumbed to their charms and bought a pack too.  (Have you seen her nascent blog btw?  She has taken classes at FIT and is sharing oodles of construction info--check out her awesome black and white gingham shirt too!)

Still I was thinking, when am I ever going to use snaps that small?

For a detachable modesty panel, of course.
Tiny square snaps

New Look 6071
Here's what the inside looked like with the first modesty panel snaps sewn in.
Perfect with one of my favorite necklaces, a turquoise & silver turtle.
My coworker and I tried for fall color, but this was the best tree we could find.

Of note, the turquoise ponte knits were not the same ponte knits.  Both were from my November 2013 trip to San Diego and LA.   The quilted dress ponte was from Michael Levine Loft, and was actually on a roll where I cut off a length of it myself.  The ponte knit for the crossover dress was from the San Diego Swap Meet, where the fabric is in heaps on the ground, and you pick out the piece that you want for $2 a yard.  This was the sticker on the piece I chose
New Look 6071
Also you can see my new system for labeling fabrics--a post it that I then pin on to the fabric, with fabric source, if I've washed and dried it, and the 4" sample square I washed and dried for shrinkage.    I wash my pontes in the washer but I only dry them in the dryer once--as a shrinkage test when it's just fabric and also just in case the final garment ever accidentally gets thrown in the dryer. Then I air dry the final garment with each washing...unless it accidentally hits the dryer.
New Look 6071
The bindings inside
New Look 6071
The twin needle stitching on the hem.
New Look 6071
Serged inside with my old serger
New Look 6071
On my dressform
New Look 6071
The tag inside, handstitched by me.
New Look 6071
With a cardi
New Look 6071
New Look 6071
New Look 6071
Front, with the lower modesty panel.  Those last few pix were taken over a month ago, in mid-Sept.
My flower farmer said last Thursday that it would be his last week at the PFM for this year.  I snagged these dahlias.  So pretty and delicate!  I know I slacked on taking flower pix this summer.  I endeavor to do better next summer!

Be well!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Simplicity 1314: done!

The fall colors at Princeton

Soooo....thank you for all of your comments regarding the post in which I asked "am I done or not done with S1314?"  You all agreed, call it a dress.  And so I did.    I have worn it to work twice now.  The first time was with dark brown stockings and brown Mary Janes but my coworker felt the brown was too dark for the dress and was pulling the eye downward too much--but I didn't take a picture.

Yesterday I wore it with medium-gray stockings and black Mary Janes, and a long light gray cardi.
Here's a closer shot.
without the cardi

And here's the back.  I'm letting my quest for back perfection go with this one.  :)

sewing the princess seam of S1314
And this is a "note to self" in case I make this dress again--Deborah from Simplicity showed me how to sew this seam in her booth at the ASE as I was totally clueless with what to do with the seam allowance here.    As for the points in the front of the dress, she offered some tips that will be in her CreativeBug class on how to sew this dress.  Honestly I struggled with the points as I wound up with a 4 seam juncture because of the way I cut the waist seam completely all the way across.  I think I will buy the class when it becomes available (she estimated November) because I'm interested in seeing how to sew those points perfectly!

S1314 inside out
And here's the inside of the can see on the lower right side of the photo, how there's a bit of the cream flannel middle layer peeking out.  This is because I'm not a quilter and couldn't keep the three layers from shifting somewhat while quilting it.   Somehow I find that to be a fun secret on the inside of my dress and not an "I don't know what I'm doing" annoyance.

I'm just realizing I never sewed a tag for this dress--hmmmmm...

Be well!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Binder Clip Method of Fitting

Thank you for all your comments on my last post.  I think I'm actually going to wear the dress tmw and see what happens!!!  Also there are a lot of new-to-me people commenting on my blog--welcome!  I need to go check out your blogs!

So, this post is for you Summer Flies!

I wrote "The Binder Clip Method of Fitting" in the title like it's an actual method of fitting, but I've only seen one other person use binder clips before, on a blog several years ago (unfortunately I don't remember which blog).  I thought it was a great idea to use the clips instead of pins and generally have been doing so ever since.  I have generally been making muslins but I have some difficulty translating sway back alterations to the flat pattern.  Or sometimes I ignore things in the muslin that magically don't work themselves out in the real deal.  So I make the muslin for basic sizing and then fit the back in the real deal, generally, using my binder clip system.

Why binder clips and not pins?
  • Pins are, as my acupuncturist would say, "ouchy".
  • Pins also have a tendency to fall out.
  • Binder clips are relatively strong and stay in place when I take the garment off and on.
  • Binder clips come in many sizes so you can change your seam allowances as you go (if you'd like), or use the same size clips but don't clip them in as far to create less seam allowance.
So here's how I clipped out the front wrinkles on S1314.  I have not seen these wrinkles on the other versions of S1314 that I've seen but there they were on my body so here you go....

I have been using flickr for editing but it cuts off the words on the edge when it saves it...hence "vrinkles" instead of "wrinkles".

Anyway, it was kind of like those wrinkles wanted to make their own "pocket".  :)

I got out my clips and start clipping.  Look at that, the wrinkles went away!  So the length there in that area is too long for me. Another guess as suggested by ASE friends could be the weight of that front panel, since it is quilted...but those wrinkles were in my non-quilted muslin and I thought they were because I didn't know how to sew the point.

This pattern only had a waist seam across that middle panel front and back, so to "fix" this I created a waist seam on the side front and side back panels, via the binder clips.

From this point on it's basically like fitting with pins....I turn it inside out with the binder clips still on the outside.    I use tailor's wax to mark where the binder clips are.  I prefer wax for interior marking because it doesn't brush off like chalk.

Then I remove the clips. This looked pretty wonky so I straightened/evened it out a bit (no picture of that)...but you can see I needed more taken out from the front panel than the back panel, so when I straightened/evened it out, I graded it down in the back.

I then basted it together and tried it on, did some more tweaking....and realized I had not serged the side seams/princess seams.
So I opened that horizontal seam just enough to serge the side and princess seams, then sewed the horizontal seam.

Simplicity 1314
So look at that!  No wrinkles in that area!

But maybe you're wondering how I clip to my back....that's where the bathroom mirror comes in handy.
Jalie 2921 in progress: dinosaur!
The dinosaur!

This one is Jalie 2921 that I sewed in 2010.  I used the binder clips to create a CB seam for swayback.  The problem was it went through their very clever collar!  but I did it anyway to get a better fit.

I just reach around to the back and start clipping, then straighten it out when I take it off, then put it back on again.

The next time I fit for swayback on a dress by creating a horizontal waist seam I'll take more detailed photos but basically I clip two clips, one on each side of my lower back, with the approx location of the seam I want to create.  I take it off and then binder clip out to almost nothing at the side seam.   I try it back on with all those clips and look in the mirror.  I then adjust as needed, mark it with wax on the inside, baste and try on again.
clipped V8571
I have also used big binder clips for decreasing bodice length, like the Vogue dress above.  In my muslin I had used the 14 with a 12 at the shoulder and it was too big all over, but especially too long in the bodice for me--without those clips the underbust seam was way too low.  When I recut the bodice I used a size 8 in the shoulder which brought the whole top part up (I now know how to fix that officially after taking Joi's Fast Track Fitting class at the ASE).

Let me know if you're going to try this method the next time you sew, or if you have any questions.

Be well!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Simplicity 1314: done or not done?

Simplicity 1314
Does this view make my dressform look tall?
Simplicity 1314
I spent pretty much all day working on Simplicity 1314 and I had to take some quick pix to show you where it's at.

Simplicity 1314

Simplicity 1314
Well, they were quick pix.  This is the only one  I took from the side.
Simplicity 1314
I'm pretty ok with the front now, and the front points.
Seriously, it's not going to get any better than that.
Simplicity 1314
It's the back that I'm concerned about and I'm not sure I can just binder clip a solution.  Should I attempt to fix it next weekend?
Simplicity 1314
Or should I use this kludgey, duct taped solution and call it a dress?
Simplicity 1314
Or should I focus on the good parts instead?
Simplicity 1314
The quilting is pretty awesome for the first time I've ever quilted.  More about that process here.
Simplicity 1314
I bound the neckline instead of using facings
Simplicity 1314
I twin needle stitched the hem
Simplicity 1314
I serged most of the inside with my new serger, the BabyLock Enlighten
Simplicity 1314
...except for that horizontal line in the front panel--that was with my old serger
Simplicity 1314
Soooo..the new serger is pretty awesome.  When I serged the CB seam, it glided over a very thick fabric intersection that would have made my old serger go clunk-clunk-clunk and then a thread would have broken....or it would have started wrapping the fabric over instead of cutting it off, etc etc etc.  The Enlighten serged right over it no problem!  (I cannot wait to serge embroidered fabric with it--my old serger *hated* embroidered fabric!!!  Clunk clunk clunk snap)

I do have to play with the DF on the Enlighten a bit to get non-wavy results.  No matter the setting I had my DF on, it always made slightly wavy seams that the Elna Press did not eliminate.

I intend to show you next post how I binder clipped out the wrinkles on the side front panel--it will answer your question, Summer Flies!  (Spoiler alert--yes, I clip it out myself and I will describe how)
PFM flowers (lisianthus) from 10/9/14.  They have a Victorian, rosey feel but they're not roses.

Ok, what do you think I should do with the back?
a) leave it as is--don't cover it up--it's beautiful
b) try to fix/improve it
c) wear it with a cardi
d) other

Be well!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

It's here! My new Baby Lock Enlighten

Me and My BabyLock Enlighten
Thanks for all your comments on sergers--new, used, Baby Lock, Juki, industrial--all good points!

It happened today darlings!!!

Dad and I went to American Sew and Vac in Princeton, NJ, very conveniently located, to buy his birthday/Christmas combo present to me:  A Baby Lock Enlighten serger.  Thank you Dad!!!

Dad carrying my Enlighten
Dad carrying my new serger into my sewing room

Opening it up!
Me opening the box
running the white thread out
Running out the white thread it was threaded with
unwrapping the maxilock thread
Unwrapping the "vibrant turquoise" MaxiLock thread
what do I do?
reading the manual on how to thread it
Hey!  The first stitches I've made!
My first run of the serger!
Me and My BabyLock Enlighten
Such a good serger!
My sewing machine collection

Mark, the guy who sold us the machine, asked what sewing machine I have, and I said I have 3 of them, to which he replied, "You really sew!"


My collection of machines, left to right:

  • Baby Lock Enlighten serger
  • Mom's Singer from 1964 --one of her wedding presents--the machine I learned to sew on til I was 18
  • My Baby Lock sewing machine from 1994 --my high school graduation present--sewed on it half my life until...
  • My Brother Project Runway machine from 2012 -- Christmas gift from my parents--my only computerized machine
  • My White Speedylock (estimated to be from 1994) --freebie from a former coworker circa 2009-ish?

first Englighen shoulder seam
Above is my first Enlighten serged garment seam: Simplicity 1314 (the quilted dress)
And I made some progress on fitting S1314.
By having a waist seam all the way across, it means no more drag lines ! !!!
But, that "point" is a bit wonky....need to work some magic on each "point" tmw.  I'm limiting myself  tmw to 30 min per point or 2 hours....whatever it looks like after 2 hours is how it will be, then I move on to finishing the dress.

Thanks again Dad!!!

Be well!