Saturday, January 29, 2011

I'm still here, poking along on the sewing front

Starting over  ...

It looks like I will finish sewing one and only one garment for the month of January!   It merely awaits its hem.   Part of what took so long, is that in addition to my general slowness in sewing, I decided to completely re-do the bodice after I realized the set-in belt was too small.  I could have just picked off the belt, and cut another, but as you may recall from my last (but not particularly recent) post, I had made quite a few mistakes on the bodice already.  I was thinking of christening the poor thing the "Bonehead Dress".   But I love the fabric I'm using, and it deserved better.  And I had *just* enough to cut a new bodice.   Things came together more smoothly on the second go-round, though there are still a few things I would do differently if I make the pattern again.  

But that first attempt ... shall we count the mistakes?

1.  I lined my version, which means I cut all the relevant pattern pieces in both the main and lining fabric.  Well, I failed to notice that the sleeve piece included a fold-under facing, so I ended up with sleeves of an awkward length.  Duh.  Tried rolling that up into a cuff, but it looked stoopid.  Bah.

2. There are some challenging curves to sew in the pattern, and I clipped the wrong side when trying to put in the first sleeve, which definitely impacted how nice it installed.  The thing of it was, attaching the collar/front piece to the back was a not dissimilar sort of exercise, and I had already done that right!

3.  I decided that I'd like some top-stitching around the edge of the collar, and on the sleeve edges, and where the sleeve joined the bodice.   I didn't do a *terrible* job, but it was definitely looking a little too home-made.  Plus it didn't have the impact I was looking for anyhow -- probably would need to use heavier thread if I try this again.   For my re-done bodice, I skipped the this and am much happier.

4.  When doing the above top-stitching, I just sewed the lining and main fabric together ... and did it at a point which made it hard to join the side seams.  Had to unpick far enough to make it possible.  Uh, duh.  Since I line almost everything, I really should have been able to think that one through!

5.  I added some length to the bodice (because I wanted to be able to raise my arms while wearing the dress) but added a little too much to the back.  When removing it, I just cut straight across, instead of following the curve of the original edge, which is exactly what provides that arm raise-ability that I desired.

None of those were fatal mistakes, but they all left a noticeable mark (both on the dress and my psyche) so I'm happy that I can now trash 'em and forget 'em.  And hopefully not repeat them.   As for the set-in belt piece being too small ... I had just assumed it would fit because my waist measurement matched the stated measurement for the pattern.   Maybe that measurement was B. S. (Before Shapewear.)   Or maybe it was the other kind of BS.  But anyhow, it would have been easy enough to measure before I cut.  

In other sewing news, the same neighbors who gave me the patterns last year uncovered some sewing literature, which they also passed along to me.  Sorry, no giveaways this time!  Here's the pile:

There's a number of booklets providing mini-lessons, plus a fabric guide and a pattern drafting and grading book.   It's all stuff I can put to good use, and I'm especially excited about the pattern drafting book, as I would love to learn that stuff.   Maybe if I do, I can go back to my Pauline Trigere pattern and have better luck with it.   Those Cloth World booklets make me nostalgic too, since that's where we went for fabric when I was a kid.

In parting, here are some crappy, early-morning iPhone shots of some random pages from the pattern drafting book.  It dates from 1965 -- I love the line drawings!


  1. That first one is very interesting: The neckline is very 1930's-retro for 1965.

  2. What treasures. I remember Cloth World as a child, too!