Month: March 2013

1940’s Dress–Part 2 (the muslin)

Last night I finished my muslin, sort of.  It was after 10pm and I’d only set one sleeve, but I needed to snap pictures and go to bed.
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But I feel I got enough done to get a feel for the fit and construction.

I didn’t want to take pictures wearing the dress last night because this was post-workout and shower, and my hair was doing crazy things.  No time to blow-dry, I had sleeve(s) to set!  But here’s a photo from the night before, pre-sleeves.
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I feel pretty confident in the fit of the dress–I added 2″ to the waist and hips when tracing the pattern, based on the size chart measurements.  The bodice has tucks and gathers, so it’s slightly loose and billowy–but I think that’s the design, right?
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The sleeve went in quite poorly, despite gathering and basting first.
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So many little tucks!  I think I might try setting in the sleeve flat on my final garment.  It’s a tight space to work in with the sides sewn up.

The addition of the sleeve did seem to limit my arm movement to an extent.  I would like to improve on this, but I’m not totally sure how.  It fits at least as well as any RTW button up shirt I’ve worn, so dare I say this seems “normal” to me?!  From what little research I could do online, it seems I need to raise up the armscye for a closer fit, which enables better movement?  I think I’ll try tapering down on the seam allowance around the under arm of the sleeve to slightly bring it up.  I would love input from anyone who knows more about this though!!

The collar and vestee were a bit challenging–I didn’t find the directions to be very clear.  But now that I’ve done it once, I’m sure I can do it again.  I think the collar points and the vestee points look a little extreme and pointy, so I plan to make those a little smaller and softer around the edges.  Although the addition of a sleeve seemed to balance out the collar some, so maybe it’s not so bad?
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The muslin was a great opportunity to practice the construction of this dress, including my first hand picked zipper.
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There’s definitely room for improvement on the zipper application, but I did enjoy this method and will try it again.  (And Sallie, I totally used fabric glue to “baste” the zipper in place before stitching–worked like a charm!)

I didn’t have time for any saddle stitching, but I will probably practice some decorative stitches on the muslin before the final garment.  I don’t think I have time (or the desire) to do the saddle stitching by hand, so I’m hoping that top-stitching with a thick thread will do the trick instead.

I don’t find the pleated skirt to be especially flattering to my shape, but it really reads “1940’s” to me, so I’m gonna stick with it.  I hope with a shorter hem I’ll like it more.

I’m excited to get started on my final garment now!  This dress has way more details than anything I’ve done recently, so it is definitely challenging me and a lot more work.  But I think the time investment is totally worth it.

Talk soon,

Qui

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1940’s Dress – Part 1

I’m sewing for victory, and I finally made a start.  I’ve had my fabric and pattern picked out for months now, but this weekend I actually traced the pattern, and tonight I’m cutting out the muslin.  I’ve got one more weekend between me and victory (March 29th is the deadline), so it’s now or never.

I’m using Du Barry 5947 and some green fabric I got at Mood LA.
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The green fabric is a soft shirting fabric with a small pattern in the weave.  The color is hard to see in the photo, but it is a pale green.  I’m having some doubts about this fabric… I like it, but I fear it is such a plain pale color that it will make my dress look like a boring muslin.  The pattern suggests decorative saddle stitching around the seams, and I wonder if this could add enough interest?

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The first contrasting thread color to come to mind is red (my fave), but I think blue could work to.  Any suggestions??  I’m not very creative with color mixing…

I do, however, have a red buckle I could use for the belt.  I found myself at the Santa Cruz antique fair last month and came across a lady with a booth full of vintage buttons.  I’m sure I paid too much, but check out the pretty red buttons I got:
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Yep, I bought all red buttons.  What can I say?  When you know what you like, why fight it?

I was showing off my button purchase at lunch with friends, which led to my friend offering me some of her mother’s sewing supplies she had in storage.  I was given some great fabrics and A LOT of buttons, seam binding, threads, buckle and button kits, a Singer buttonholer and feet attachments, and TWO pairs of pinking shears.  That took my number of pinking shears from zero to two, just in time for the 40’s sew-a-long!
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I’ve never pinked seams before, so I’m excited to try this vintage finishing technique.

Well, I better get cutting.  Time’s a wastin’!

Leopard Leggings

I guess Jungle January really got to me, because, I purchased two more animal print fabrics in January.  I’ve sewn them both up now, so here is the first project: Leopard Leggings.
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This all started when I signed up for a 5k run.  My sister and a couple girls from my weight training class had signed up, and I didn’t want to be left out.  I’m really not a runner, but I figured this would be a good motivator to get more exercise.  And so far I’ve put in a few miles…

The race is called She Is Beautiful, The Pinkest 5k and 10k. And for whatever reason, I thought I could use some special pants to wear on race day (March 17th).  It helped that I ran into this lovely knit fabric at Harts, and it called out to me.  I couldn’t forget it, so I went back with a coupon and a plan: leggings for my run.

Leggings are truly a quick project–just sew the crotch seams, inseam, hem and encase the elastic waist band.  I made a pattern by cutting up an old pair of work out pants that couldn’t hold their shape.  They made for a good starting point.  This fabric is quite stretchy and a little thin–not exactly supportive workout material, but they survived their first run and will definitely be going out again.

We went for a practice run on West Cliff Dr, where the 5k will be held.
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This is me with my sister and fitness coach, Danielle.  She is a wonderful coach and an encouragement to me.  I can’t keep up with her, but I ran about half the course and walked the rest.  My mom was visiting and ran/walked with me too, so I had great company the whole time.  The race begins at the Lighthouse and follows the coastline, so it’s a beautiful view at any pace.
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I have just enough of this fabric left, so I’m hoping to make a swimsuit with it too.  Let the jungle escapades continue!

Anyone else take a jog lately?