Wednesday, 27 March 2013

the Crepe Dress Muslin

this is the step that I was most afraid of: THE FITTING

muslin #1 - the front

according the the size chart my bust was a size 4 and my waist a size 6, so I cut a 4 on top and then graded it up to a size 6 after the bust darts. It actually fitted quite well once I took in the side seams under the bust dart (to a size 2 ?!?). I wasn't all that impressed with the neckline, so it is now v-shaped instead.

The back was very baggy and had lots of fabric folds everywhere. I was feeling quite defeated, because no matter how much I took out it didn't really work. Gridlock is a substantial fabric, add to that the lining, I almost gave up until I looked at the pattern pieces.

There is a lot ease in the shoulder section and I seem to have a small back (judging by previous dress and shirt endeavours), so I copied the arm/ shoulder section from the front to the back. Below is a picture of the modified back laid atop the original back.

muslin #2 - the back

It now has the modified side seams, the changed back and I took another 1/4 inch out of the shoulder seams. This picture still shows a fold in the front under the girls, but after trying it with a variety of bras, I decided to stop messing with it.

I added the waist tie to get a better idea of the fit. I think the back is much better.

I wore it around the house for a few hours to get an idea whether I cut out too much ease, but it seemed fine. Now that I cut out the bodice and the lining though, I wonder whether I left enough ease to compensate for the fact the the gridlock fabric and lining will be much thicker then the ex-table cloth that I used a s a muslin ... sigh, well, we'll see.

Friday, 22 March 2013

the hunt is over - the Crepe Dress

I fell in love with Colette's Crepe Dress last year, because it seemed so neat with it being wrapped in the back. I bought the pattern and was super excited - wanted to start then and there. I found Gertie's sewalong and thought it was just great, someone going through all the steps on how to sew it.

And then I read ahead ... and Gertie said that she was on muslin #3 before it finally fitted ... and I kinda deflated when I read this. The thought of not just 1 or 2 but THREE muslins, each made by someone who clearly knows what she is doing, in my mind it spelled disaster. Obviously the dress must be very hard to fit and maybe I should do it when I know more about fitting and so it went into the pile of someday maybes.

Except, now I think it might make a good winter dress with the Gridlock fabric. So I pulled it out and thought I'll just try and see how it goes, because really, what is the worst that can happen. There are a few issues however, so I am not sure whether it'll actually work:

a, I need to have it fully lined (the poly problem) and the pattern calls for facings instead. Gertie underlined it completely and used facings, but that would be way too much bulk. So lining ...
b, the fabric requirement on the back says 4 1/5 yrds, I have 3 meters. However I am short, it's a winter dress worn with tights, so it can be kinda short too ...
c, my sewing mojo tend to vary a little when I am working on something that is hard ... hopefully it'll be finished before winter finishes in September :-)

Saturday, 16 March 2013

I am surrounded by muslins or the journey to match fabric with pattern

After I had finished all the frantic birthday sewing I felt my sewing mojo ebbing away a little and I felt utterly utterly uninspired by my stash. Enter Tessuti and their gridlock fabric.

I thought it might be a nice break from the Stash only sewing that was slowly zapping all the fun out of my sewing adventure. I was truly excited when the package arrived not 2 days later and looksie how beautifully they wrapped it :-)

In the meantime the fabric has popped up on several blogs around the world. Karen from Did You Make That made a jacket out of it  and I think Sew Brunswick is making a dress. There is a competition attached to the fabric, but to be honest, my sewing skills are not up to this sort of playing, so I picked it mainly to check out Tessuti without paying 30 odd dollars per meter.

I want to make a dress out of it, but because it has quite a bit of polyester in it (at least I assume that poly is short for polyester, showing my general ignorance here), it needs to be fully lined. I made a bodice muslin for both New Look 6935 View A and Butterick B5181 View A.

I like the New Look one (pictured above), but as I was about to begin the second muslin I realised that the fabric is too heavy even without lining for those patterns. It's got to be a dress with short sleeves that I can wear in the Queensland winter with some tights and boots. The hunt through my pattern stash is on for a pattern that would be suitable for a winter dress ...

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Stashbusting so far

I intended to use at least 26 pieces from my stash this year and to not buy more fabric until September. Well, I already failed on the fabric buying bit, but I am attempting to use everything I buy when I buy it (like the mermaids for example). I arrived at the number 26 by assuming that I will be able to do something every 2 weeks if I try. By that measure, I am ahead of myself with 9.5 pieces from my stash used and 2 pieces I specifically bought.

So far I have made: 

daughter: 3 skirts, 3 dresses

son: 2 shorts, 1 pillow

myself: 1 skirt

husband: 2 boxer shorts

Not too bad, however most of these pieces were quite small, so it hasn't actually made much/any impact on the chaos that is my stash. I am slowly starting to face the reality of my stash. I have been sewing for less then a year, but I think I can sew comfortably for the next 2 years without running out of fabric. The question is though 'Do I really want that?'

Part of the joy of sewing is picking out a fabric that would go with a pattern and then making it. I am still new at this. I find new fabrics and patterns all the time. As I get better at sewing, I will want to try doing more complicated projects that require fabric I haven't got.

Actually, whilst I am feeling slightly depressed and cheering myself by surfing, I have calculated the amount of fabric used from my stash so far this year: 9.8 meters and only a few scraps left for pocket linings and such stuff. That doesn't actually sound too bad, go Giggles :-)