17 February 2013

Simplicity 2648 (UFO): Complete

I do not know what took me so long to finish this dress.  I started it back in 20...um...11?  The most tedious parts of the construction (sewing 16 darts, stabilizing the v-neck, and inserting the lining) was completed back then.  All it needed was a zipper - an invisible zipper that was pressed and pinned to the seam allowance.  Oy vey.  Anyway, it's done and I'm pleased with the results...almost.

Fabric & Notions (if I can remember...):
  • 2 yards of grey 100% wool suiting
  • 2 yards of black Bemberg lining
  • fusible interfacing (to support the neckline, armholes, and zipper)
  • 18" invisible zipper
  • muslin selvage (to form v-neck)
Alterations & Fitting:

The fit for this dress was already worked out when I first made this pattern for PR Weekend Montreal in May of 2010. Though I never blogged about it, I did write a lengthy review which can be found here.  Here are the Cliff Notes:
  • cut size 16 in neckline, armhole, shoulders, and skirt; cut size 18 with D-cup in bodice
  • originally started with round neck; switched to v-neck for fit and flattery
  • pinched out a dart of 5/8" along the neckline to prevent gaping
  • used my draped back sloper instead of the pattern's back piece for a better fit
Since making this dress almost two years ago, my weight has changed significantly.  I dropped 15 pounds, gained almost all of it back, and now am losing it again.  This means that the dress is roomy in areas where it fit nicely before.  Yea...weight loss!  Booooo...side boob.  If I wear this dress, I'll have to wear a black bra or cardigan.  Sure, I could take it apart and sew the seams deeper.  Knowing me, that's not going to happen any time soon - if ever.  My sewing queue is already long enough with garments that I really want to wear now. 


First I fused interfacing to the neckline and armholes for stability.  Then I used the "burrito method" for inserting the lining.   

1.  Attach the shell and lining at the neckline front and back.  Turn right right side out, understitch and press. 

2.  The goal is to match the shell's armhole to that of the lining, as shown in these photos.

While the dress is still right side out, roll one side toward the side you want to sew.

3.  Reaching under the roll, grab the armhole edge and wrap it around the rolled-up fabric.  In my photos, the lining is underneath the shell, so I would be pulling the lining around to the top.  It looks like a hot mess, but it works. 

At this point, the right sides of the lining and shell are facing at the front and back armhole.  Stitch, grade the seam allowance, clip curves, and press.  Pull the dress through the shoulder seam.  It seems as if it won't work, but it will.  Repeat the whole process for the other side.

I sewed all of the seams for the shell and lining on my machine and serged the edges together.  I used a blind hem for the shell and just serged the hem on the lining. 


Elastic Belt
I made an elastic belt to accompany the dress.  I like the look of gray and cheetah prints and didn't own a belt that looked like this.  I bought the elastic in 2011 from Pacific Trimmings in NYC.  In fact, I bought a bunch of elastic and buckles with the intention of making belts.  I'm still working on that...

Making the belt was super simple.  I cut the elastic to the length of a currently-owned belt.  To that, I attached a 1.5" by 3" piece of brown vinyl and stitched in place.  It was a little tricky working around the buckle, but I managed by sewing very slowly.

This must be the year of wrinkles.  I fused interfacing and pressed with a lot of steam.  I can't seem to get rid of the puckers/wrinkles.  Maybe it won't look so bad when worn.  Right now, I am not a fan.

Back vent
Do you see that?!  I have no idea what's going on here.  I've sewn a back vent before and never had this happen.  I'll unpick the diagonal stitches and see if that helps.  Otherwise, I am stumped.

I don't have any photos of me wearing this version of the dress.  I might wear it to work tomorrow if I can figure out what's going on with the back vent.  Instead, here's a picture of the first version.  Both Mary and I are wearing this pattern.  

PR Weekend Montreal, June 2010

One UFO down, six more to go!

1.   Beignet
2.  Simplicity 2648
3.  Simplicity 1945
4.  Jalie 2559
5.  Vogue 8426
6.  Simplicity 2804
7.  BWOF 9-2009-134

Until next time, be well!


08 February 2013

Take Me to Your Leader

The closet in my basement, appropriately named Area 51, is overflowing with UFOs and is long overdue for intervention.  A few weeks ago, Audrey at Sew ReInvented Audrey! posted updates on several newly completed unfinished objects.  Was I inspired?  Yes.  Did I act on said inspiration?  Not so much.  

I cannot cut out another project until I have completed the SEVEN projects that are already in motion.  SMH

In no particular order, here is the list of current aliens and what they need to be sent home:

Colette Patterns Beignet (wool skirt)  
I had the pieces to this skirt cut out for TWO years and am just now getting back to it.  To finish, I need to fuse interfacing to facings, insert the lining, mark and make 12 buttonholes, and hand sew 12 buttons.  It's the buttonholes/buttons that dragging this one on.  I know it.

Simplicity 2648 (wool dress) 
I started this dress at least as long ago as the Beignet skirt.  The only thing I need to do is insert the zipper that's PINNED to the dress.  So sad. 

Simplicity 1945 (rayon cowl neck top)
I made a quick muslin to see if I liked the fit of this top weeks ago.  Later, I cut out the actual garment but stopped (for some unknown reason) before I cut out the cowl. 

Jalie 2559 (RPL stretch woven jacket)
I'm blaming this alien on the lining.  Stretch polyester charmeuse is the devil's spawn.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it. 
Vogue 8426 (denim skirt)
I was going to cut out another pair of jeans but since my fabric wasn't wide enough to accommodate all of the pieces, I cut out this skirt instead.   

Simplicity 2804 (ITY knit top)
Cut.  Marked.  Just waiting to be serged.

BWOF 9-2009-134
Cut.  Marked.  Just waiting to be sewn and serged.  

There are definitely other UFOs hiding out in Area 51.  But this is all I can handle right now.  



06 February 2013

Pinterest Challenge on PR

Thanks to everyone who took the time to comment on Pinterest.  It looks like the general consensus is that Pinterest is a major time suck - something I definitely don't need right now.  I am so behind on sewing, I can't afford to procrastinate any more!   I think following someone else might be a good thing.  =)

That said, I saw on PR that there's a new 2-week sewing challenge that involves Pinterest.  The challenge is to sew a home-dec item inspired by something you pinned.  Click here for more information.


03 February 2013

Pinterest: Friend or Foe?

I've had a Pinterest account for about a year.  I've logged on twice, once when I opened the account and today.  =)  I find the whole thing a bit daunting and, for this reason, have not made much use of site.  There are SO many pictures and boards - I feel overwhelmed.  After first pinning a couple of pictures, I got an alert saying someone that I don't know "liked" my pin.  Huh?  I can't make this thing private?

Cenetta of The Mahogany Stylist recently posted a link to her "My Style" board on Pinterest.  Her board has many fabulous photos of garments, outfits, looks, etc.

Here are my questions:
  1. How do you find pictures like that?
  2. Do I have to sit and go through pages of photos?
  3. How do you use Pinterest?
  4. Is it a friend or foe?



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