Sunday, June 26, 2016

Summer's Hot, but Cotton Sateen is not

It is steamy hot in South Texas.  My hair dropped its curl within feet of the back door.  My son snapped a few photos and said they had better work because it is TOO hot out.  Glad they almost turned out perfect.

Simplicity 2248
This pattern, fabric, and piping was becoming a shelf staple in my sewing room.  I can't tell you how many summers I have just moved it and made something else.  I am SOOOO glad I didn't give up and I am SOOOO much better at fitting these days.

Cotton Sateen from Oliver+S sold years ago at Joann's.
Royal blue Bemberg lining
White petite piping

Construction and Fitting:

Sewist beware!  I started reading the pattern and immediately knew their directions would not work.  They wanted piping added and then pieces sewed together.  I know that "just doesn't work."  So, I rearranged the order of construction to allow sections to be sewn together and then the piping added. 

It is totally lined the dress.  Even part of the sash is lined with Bemberg because this dress is a fabric hog.  I had less than a fat quarter left of fabric.  I'm glad the sashes criss-cross because they hide the mismatches of fabric.

I was drawn to this pattern the year it came out and was featured on the front of the Simplicity pattern book.  I love piping and fell in love with the details.  When I looked on Pattern Review, the sashes looked skimpy.  I had already cut mine out and it made me worried about covering the bust area completely.  I used 1/4" seams on the sash to give me all the fabric I could get.  I am pleased with the result.

Pattern changes for fitting:
1.  Shoulder slope correction
2.  Swayback adjustment
3.  FBA to the princess line
4.  Added fabric to the underarm seam (AND I AM SO GLAD I DID!)
5.  Raised the front neckline

Sunday, June 19, 2016

I'm Back and Ready to Share B6164

I didn't mean to take a month off from my blog, but graduating a high school senior and all the festivities involved with it took over my life.  

I am happy to say that our house has returned to its normal busy state.

Even though I made this dress in April, I didn't get around to sharing it.  It was a special dress made to wear for graduation.  My son's graduation gown was royal blue.  I didn't want to compete with it, but to compliment it for great pictures.  

B6164 Fabric from Fashion Fabrics

Butterick B6164, View A

Rayon Challis from Fashion Fabrics

Pattern Adjustments:

I first added 1/2" to raise the armhole.  I also took out a bunch from the shoulder.  After sewing it up partially and then trying it on, I could see my whole bra strap under my arm.  I took another bunch off the top of the shoulder and was happy with the results.  See my pictures below.

I did take a small swayback adjustment as I was sewing the dress together.  This left the hemline with a big wave in it.  My dear husband sat on the floor and pinned and repinned the hem for me.  I think it was his first and last hem pinning session.  

I decided to line the dress with a rayon lining all the way to the hem.  The pattern directions line only the bodice.  I made up my own construction order and used what I call the "Children's Corner Louise" method of adding the lining to the open armhole. Many cool techniques for my clothing I learned by sewing my daughter's dresses.  The techniques in Children's Corner patterns are very valuable to all sewing.  

I am extremely happy with the way this dress looks and fits.  It looks wonderful and I hope it shows through in the pictures.  For those of you who want to make one, please watch the armhole length.  

Friday, April 22, 2016

Girl Charlee Knit Love

Simplicity 8052 with Henna print by Girl Charlee
The side benefit from teaching teens to sew, is ordering "in style" fabrics.  My teens go crazy over just about anything I order from Girl Charlee.  So when this henna print came in for a project, I just had to use a little.  It is so soft and feels like a great pair of PJ's.  

Simplicity 8052, view D 
Since this is a pattern made for wovens, I went down a size and used a size small.  
I did alter for my shoulder slope.

Henna print from Girl Charlee

Construction Notes:
Since I used a knit, I went down a size and also added clear elastic to the shoulder seam and high waist seam.  The elastic helps the knit keep its shape during the day.  I did my normal "wonky" shoulder slope adjustment and I am delighted with my comfy tunic top.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Easy to Sew, Easy to Fit, Simplicity 1622

 The statement, "Easy to Sew, Easy to Fit," should not be said in the same sentence.  When a pattern has three pieces to it that happen to be almost square boxes, I have BIG doubts on the fit.  But I had this cute rayon fabric and trim that didn't need to get cut up into small pieces, so I chose to "fit" the square boxes.  
Simplicity 1622

Simplicity 1622, View D

Black and white rayon crepe from Helen Enox in Oklahoma City (very see through)
Black fringe trim from Helen Enox.

I usually cut a 14 and do a FBA.  Being lazy, I cut a 16 to allow for the full bust.  I wish I had stuck with my normal size.  This was just a little too big.  You can see right through the top, so it doesn't give that "big" look overall (except in the pictures).

My big problem with square box pattern pieces is that I have sloping shoulders and don't resemble a box at all.  So, I adjusted the shoulder slope.  DRASTICALLY changed the shoulder slope.  See my last picture and you will be amazed.  

I left the sleeves as they came and only altered the shoulder slope.  The fringe was added to the bottom of the shirt.

This is the first square box pattern that fits.  Shoulder slope is the answer for me.

A little too big.
Back view on a windy day.

Yes, I cut an almost 3" wedge out of the back right shoulder, 1" off the left back shoulder, and a little chunk off the front.