Monday, June 21, 2010

Dress #2, but not Plan B

I've been hard at work over the weekend on my second dress muslin.  It struck my eye as soon as I saw other bloggers making it up.  It was a little bit different because of the neck ruffle and I loved the fabric that everyone used--silk dupionni!  I don't really know why I love the stuff, but I do.  It can be aggravating to work on because it ravels like crazy, but I love the crispness, the slubs and the colors!  The first time I used it was a long time ago to make ds's christening gown.  How many opportunities do you get to really dress up a son?  That was my only one so he got a really long silk dupioni gown with quite a bit of hand embroidery using silk floss which was wonderful, too! 

But, I digress.  It will be no surprise that I'm using the Simplicity 2497 Cynthia Rowley pattern for my second dress.  The fabric for it hasn't been ordered yet.  After my last pattern flop, I wanted to make sure I liked this pattern!

I really wanted to make 2 dressy dresses for the occasional special occasion so I'm relieved at least one of my choices worked.  Finding a replacement for Vogue 7642 (out of print) has proved challenging though.  There were a few other Vogue patterns that I liked, but probably not enough to rush out and buy them and make them up.  Besides, most of them seem to have millions of pattern pieces and I just don't feel like fiddling with that many pieces!  Some of the Marfy patterns look interesting, but they are expensive!  It's hard to justify that much money for something I'll make only once.  Here are a couple of the Vogue patterns I like, but since they have lots of pieces I'll pass on them.

Vogue 1152 and Vogue 1157

Besides, I think those are for the younger set!  Another eye-catching option was this one:

Vogue 1162

The neckline and shoulders really make this dress, don't you think?  But while I could find the dress fabric, finding a matching fabric for the contrast flower thingys would be tough. 

Not nearly as eye catching, but very pretty, were these two:

Vogue 1182

Vogue 1108

Patterns from the other major pattern companies didn't strike my eye either.  The small independent pattern companies seem to do mostly casual wear, which makes sense.  And, so far, my new Burda Style magazine has left me unimpressed and uninspired.  I've only gotten one issue so far, so maybe there's still hope.  In the meantime, I'm still looking for Plan B so I can use all that wonderful silk crepe I bought!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

"Make Your Own Dress Patterns"

Fascinating book.  It's by Adele P. Margolis.  I'm not entirely sure why I bought it--I think I read about it somewhere (a blog?  It must've been) and thought I'd give it a try.  It has lots of detailed sketches and tons of inspiration.  Even though it was published in the mid 1980's, you can really see lots of current trends in the book.  Nothing new was not old first?  Looking through it fits (haha) into my thoughts of working on a sloper bodice for myself.  That won't happen any time soon given the queue of projects waiting to be worked on.  Still working on my muslin for my current project, but it's fun to have mini-breaks and read a little in a sewing book.

Let' see if I can find a picture of the book cover:

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Vogue 7642 muslin

Ick. The muslin is done, tried on and photographed. And it's icky. Don't you like my highly technical term? Here it is:

Maybe it's just me, but it's hard to get pictures where I want them in blogger.  Anyway, ignoring the really ugly fabric combo and the fit issues, it looks like I have a padded upper torso in the front.  Not flattering at all.  And my fashion fabric is thicker than my muslin which is only going to exacerbate the look.  The fit issues I think I could handle.  First, there's a big flappy gap of fabric around the armhole which can best be seen in the back view.  It also looks like a bit of a swayback adjustment is needed.  The whole thing looks like it needs to be hiked up a couple of inches which is most noticeable around the waist.  The side view is the most flattering and that isn't saying a whole lot.  sigh.

During construction, I like to read through or skim directions and follow (or not).  I had to actually read these carefully to figure out construction on the whole front.  It did come together just fine, but I think the directions omitted some things like snipping to dots in order to do corners and some other finagling they had you do with attaching the lining. 

I guess I should've known as I sewed along that the front was going to be bulky even if I used some lighter weight fabric as contrast it's still 4 layers...  And then it just looks awful on me.  A good thing for muslins, right?  Now for Plan B.  If only I had one...

I'll have to pull a Winnie the Pooh and put on my thinking cap on a Plan B using my nice silk crepe.  In the meantime, I have a second dress I'd already planned to make.  It's gotten great reviews about its ease of construction and flattering fit.  More on that later.

Edited to add:  Even dh said very carefully, "It makes you look...broad." 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Vogue 7642

Here's the next project!  A muslin is in the works...I just hope it does work!  Adjustments will be pretty difficult given the pattern pieces, so we'll see how many changes need to be made.  The front collars (not the one around the back of the neck) is all one piece with the front which makes for a very odd looking pattern piece.  Vogue 7642 is an out of print pattern, so I wasn't able to look at other people's experiences with it. 

I'm in love with the fabric I bought for it, too.  I bought some luscious silk crepe from NY Fashion Center Fabrics.  Expensive?  Yes.  Worth it?  Yes.  Where else can you find such a nice silk, plus coordinating lining?  I'll confess as I've moved my thinking to sewing for myself (or oldest dd), I want to be able to have access to not just nice fabrics, but also coordinated linings, buttons, zippers, etc.  Being able to see and touch what I buy is important but impossible given our location--ah, the envy for those who live in fabric shopping havens!

As a side note, I am delighted to be able to use up some very old stash for the muslin--a challis of unknown content from Piece Goods!  That's old!  Remember those fabric stores?!

And, if this test muslin doesn't work, there's always Plan B!  (Whatever that is....let's hope it doesn't come to that!)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Vintage Sewing Feet

Who hasn't been delving in closets and drawers to see what vintage sewing machine feet they have after Threads magazine's latest issue #149?  That article on vintage feet is great!  I have an old Singer sewing machine that was my grandmother's.  These are the feet that she had.  It seems like I have the edge stitcher and the adjustable hemmer.  The big foot in the middle back looks a lot like my ruffler for my Bernina, but definitely isn't a tucker--what a shame!  The foot on the right is for attaching bias trim.  In the very back, I think I stuck a zipper foot. 

Perhaps some day, I'll get out that ol' Singer (which I had cleaned awhile back!) and give 'em a try!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

What's Up

Despite the lack of sewing blogging, I have been doing some sewing! I made the new Irby pattern by Sara Norris:

I know it's too big, but I like to aim for the future just in case time runs out and I don't finish in time for the current season.  You can find the pattern here:  Sara Norris Ltd.

I also made a big effort to clean up the ol' sewing room.  It still needs more, but more projects call!  Plus I added this new little addition:

Okay, it's really a shared machine for youngest dd and dh...and myself so I can tote something lighter to the occasional class.  Can you believe dh can sew?  It's been awhile for him, but the cord and accelerator (I know it isn't called that, but who doesn't think of it that way?) needed a bag so he whipped this up today:

Isn't it cute?  Polar fleece on sale at Joann's, just bought today! 

And, finally, the Leaning Tower:

I'm in charge of a charitable sewing project for our local chapter of ASG.  We're going to make baby/children blankets for patients at the hospital.  This is just some of the fabric we've had donated.  Our goal is 500 blankets!  Can we do it?  Yes, we can!  We've already had 35 completed blankets donated.  The project runs through the end of the year.  I think we've got a good shot at meeting (or exceeding!) the goal.  People are very generous--and it's amazing what you can do with small pieces of flannel or fleece.