Sunday, June 26, 2011

Wearing the finished product

I made this dress for a graduation party that I was not able to attend.  Life got in the way, but that's a good thing.  Instead, I wore it to dinner at my inlaws because it was a sundress and ponytail day.  What do you think?  Should I make it into a skirt?  I think it is a little full for my figure.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Great Finds!

What an awesome day!  It started out ordinary and just got better.  Look at my garage sale finds.  Three was my lucky number.
$3.00 Lead crystal bowl
$3.00 brand new rice cooker still in the package
$3.00 brand new "The Sak" purse
$1.00  I used to have one of these when I was in high school and think I still have the pattern for the cover.  I took the staples out of the lining and washed it.  Should I refinish the handles or paint them white for the summer?
I bought this to take to my mom's house on the lake.  I have been looking for one to use to teach my nieces how to sew.  This machine was a steal!  It was $18.00 and is made of all metal parts (a requirement for me.)

Friday, June 24, 2011

New Fabric!

I took a ten minute stroll through JoAnn's today and found a great print for a pattern I have been wanting to try out.  I know it isn't very colorful, but I love the shapes.  It will really cute with black capris.  The pattern is Simplicity 3786.  I am hoping to find some help on the web fitting the bust.  It is loose fitting, but I still have some trouble with the fit in that area because I have small shoulders compared to the rest of my body.
This project just has to look better than the last.  I don't think I can handle two failures in a row.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Reveal

It is still raining, so I will model at a later time.  What do you think.  I am not in love with it.  I don't like the way the bottom hangs and the tie does not flatter my figure.  I am thinking about wearing it like this:
After I finished it last night, I laid in bed thinking about it.  I thought about how much I like the top.  I could cut it off and put an elastic casing at the bottom to wear it as a blouse.  I could add a yoke to the left over skirt and wear them separately.

I would love a comment.  However, I think at this point, I am still blogging to myself.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

It is finished!

Unfortunately, I won't be posting a picture tonight.  When I finished the dress, I felt it was not hanging well because the fabric had not been washed and was still stiff from sizing.  I put it in the washing machine and will post a picture tomorrow.  The storm today would have made it difficult to get a picture outside.  I love the colors and want to show them in the sunlight.
Instead of the reveal I was planning, I would like to try my first tutorial.  I hope my tips on gathering will not be too elementary and will help some of you who hate gathers.

Gathering Tutorial

I want to begin by saying that I learned to gather at young age from my mother, pattern instructions, and sewing books.  They all suggested a scant 5/8 " line of long stitches followed by another 3/8" line of stitching.  I could never understand why I was stitching next to the seamline.  Then, it was always difficult to remove the gathering stitches that got caught in the seam. 

Instead of the method just described, I use a 1/2 " line of large stitches from the edge and another 1/4" inch in from the first line.  This way the seam stiched at 5/8" will be in between the two gathered lines of stiching.  For beginning readers, you leave a nice long end to the thread after each line of stitching. Then you pull the two ends to tighten the stitchese which gathers the fabric together. I like to pull from both ends until I get the intended length and arrange my gathers evenly in between.

When I am finished, I can easily remove the gathering thread.  In addition, I have been using this great tip.

It came from a tutorial I found on another blog.  I wish could remember which one, so I could give proper credit where it is due.  If I can find it, I will let you know.  By anchoring the thread on your pin, you can distribute the gathers evenly without losing any on the end. 

Finally, this pattern was wonderful in the fact that it was simple and had no zipper closing.  However, I did make a change to the way that I attached the casings for the tie closure at the top.  The pattern instructions suggested sewing the front to the gathers and spreading the seam to reveal the stitching,  then stitching over the seamline.  Next, you were to trim the excess edge close to the stitching.  I assumed this was similar to stitching in the ditch.  I understood that, but couldn't understand why I would trim close to the stitching and leave a raw edge.  Thus, I chose to fold the casing in half,  stitch it to the right side of the the gathers, and serge the edge.  This is how it looked.  I liked the way it laid, and it will not ravel.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Out of blue thread?

My plans came to a screeching halt when I realized that I had no blue thread.  I always have blue thread.  I once had so many spools that I used it for every basting project I could.  So, a trip to JoAnn's was needed before I could do anything. 
I had hoped to show a finished project tonight.  Instead, I am going to explain a little about the fabric:  The plaid had a 12 inch repetition.  It doesn't duplicate the same way across the width as the length.  Therefore, I had to settle for a little imperfection in the tie around the neck.  The two pieces that make up the tie will come together inside the casing at the top front of the dress.  However, the plaid does not match up.  I will probably be the only one to know, but it would be noticable in the belt.  The pattern uses the same piece for the belt as the tie.  Because I didn't have enough fabric, I chose to make the belt pieces symmetrical rather than the tie. 
After cutting the first piece, I used it rather than the pattern piece to cut the second piece.  It was easier to match and cut this way. 

I love this fabric and the colors in it.  The bottom piece will match the royal blue square, but I think a pair of red shoes will set it off. 
My only concern about this pattern is in the casings.  The instructions are not clear.  It sounds as if I am to cut the fabric close to the stitching and leaving it raw.  I can't imagine that that is what is intended.  I plan to fold it in half, stitch it to the gathered edge, and serge the seam.  I will let you know if it lays well.
I have thread and splurged for serger thread to match.  Look for a more finished garment tomorrow.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Using up my stash!

I am very excited to finally use a piece of fabric that I bought when I was working at "So-Fro Fabrics" in highschool.  I am making a sundress using Vogue 5177.  I first googled the pattern to find out what others had to say after making the same dress.  The reviews were mixed, and I know it is going to look a bit different in a size 12, but I am going ahead anyway.  I chose to make the longer version with the belt and band around the bottom.
For those of you who might be wondering, the fabric is 29 years old.  And, no, I don't think it will turn to dust while I am wearing it Patti!