Friday, July 31, 2009

Phew - finished!

The dress is finished - with time to spare! L collected her dress tonight, unfortunately things have been happening to work against her and she can't go after all! She is not happy about it but I have quite enjoyed making her dress and hopefully she will be able to wear it on another occasion.As with most things, it looks much better on but I was unable to get a photo of her wearing it. I will post one if I get the chance but flat hanging shots will have to suffice for now.

Tomorrow I will start work on Simplicity 2603 that I have cut out. I think I will leave the edges unhemmed, as it is a knit it won't ravel and I think it may hang better without stitching - we shall see.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Work on the dress - at work!

One of the pro's of being my own boss is that I got to spend some of yesterday sewing 'L's ball dress while I should have been working! (one of the con's is that no one else will pick up the slack! It was all waiting for me this morning Lol) It also helps that the friend I am making the dress for is my business partners daughter!

I made good progress on the dress; I had already interlined the bodice pieces with a lining fabric, I made my own fusible bias tape and fused it to the interlining (silly me didn't think to measure though and when I stitched my 5/8" seam I missed the fusible altogether!).

I stitched the bodice and lining pieces together, understitched the neckline and armhole edges as far as I could reach, made the piping for the empire seam and made the drape.

The drape turned out to be much easier than I expected, I folded the fabric in half along the bias to make a triangle and then stitched both sides, leaving a small opening at the tip of the triangles - the drape will be stitched in to the shoulders about 11" down from each point so I knowI will be cutting some off.I have fitted the skirt and today (another work day!!) will overlock the edges - we are not lining the skirt as the fabric is so heavy - and stitch the skirt to the bodice. Tonights job will be to insert the invisible zip (oh what fun, with a piped seam to have to match it might take me all night!) L will come for a fitting later on this evening and we will sort out the hem length with her shoes and also make a final decision on how long she wants the drape. With luck all I will have left to do on Friday is stitch the drape in at the shoulders (which I have left open) and hem it. I am going to do a rolled hem on the overlocker because I don't want to machine it and hand stitches will show - plus I don't have a lot of time!

I will post photos once it is finished!

Eta; I didn't get anything done at work as I had forgotten my tool for taking the 2nd needle out of my overlocker and it just didn't stitch well with two needles but only one threaded! I could have used 4 threads to neaten but didn't think about that til later - duh!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Back to the drawing board!

But not for long as I only have this week (minus two evenings and every day except Friday which is my day off ) to get the dress finished! It turns out that what L wanted was really a drape that looked like a hood, which is apparently what is on a graduation gown.

Fzxdoc on stitchers guild posted this picture for me and when L saw it she said that it was exactly what she wanted!! While she liked the dress we (I) muslined, she really wanted something very simple, singlet/tank style top with empire line and the drape starting at the shoulders. I can get the drape effect she wants if I fold the square of fabric in half on the bias and hang the points from her shoulders - it was that simple!

So, todays job is to trace another pattern (I could go to Spotlight, but by the time I do I could probably have traced the bodice - we are using the original skirt pattern) and then compare it to the bodice I already made a muslin of - which fits. It is possible I may need more of the brown fabric and I have to get some piping cord - so a trip to Spotlight might be on the cards anyway. She doesn't want a lot of the brown elsewhere on the dress, but we thought maybe some piping round the empire line would break it up and relate to the drape.

Watch this space.............!

Friday, July 24, 2009

New patterns & WIAW fabric.

This is my fabric for two or possibly three components of my August WIAW. They are both knit fabrics and go together really well. The plain knit will become Simplicity 2603 from my previous post, along with a plain top, possibly the tank that goes with said pattern. The patterned knit will be another top, yet to be decided. I am not sure yet what I will make as item 4, it will obviously be a bottom half garment of some kind - what kind, I dont yet know.

I took advantage of a recent offer on when they had Simplicity patterns at only US$1.99. I bought 7 new patterns, amazingly 3 of them were dress patterns! I am determined to make myself some dresses this summer and would particularly like a maxi dress. I also plan to use some of my fabric 'collection' because I have decided that I won't save fabric anymore - if I like it I will use it, as long as it is suitable for the pattern that is!

P.S. I am getting seriously frustrated with putting photos where I want them in my posts! Any advice anyone??

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I've been and gone and done it!

Joined the August Wardrobe In A Week (WIAW) contest over at Stitchers Guild, that is! After failing miserably to complete last years June Capsule Contest and this years SWAP, I think this is slightly more achievable. We get a week to prepare during which time we can cut out, fuse interfacing, mark darts etc - anything that isn't actual 'fabric piercing sewing'. Then we get a week to put the garments together - sounds like plenty of time..........right?

I would normally never attempt to use a new pattern for pressure sewing - but I have just received this pattern, Simplicity 2603 which I have been waiting impatiently for. It looks fairly simple, no real fitting involved and I have the perfect teal drapey knit for it. I will do a t-shirt or tank in the same fabric and I have a lovely print knit that matches really well, that may become another top to go underneath or I may decide to do two bottom pieces. At this stage they would be a skirt and a pair of pants, both in charcoal which is going to be my new neutral.

I will post a photo of the fabrics tomorrow - after I have finished the muslin for 'L's dress as she is coming for her first fitting tomorrow after work! Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Do you 'Stash' or 'Collect'?

Carolyn at 'diary of a sewing fanatic' has posted about her fabric 'collection'. Her post but a BIG smile on my face :-) I love how she is so proud of her cupboard (and more!) full of fabric. Fabric she has collected over the years, that gives her so much pleasure even while she isn't sewing with it. Her post really struck a chord with me. I love to stroke, fold, unfold, put together mini wardorbes with, match patterns to then change my mind about - my fabric! I even lie in bed at night when drifting off to sleep and plan what I will make with a certain piece! I never know when inspiration might strike - I have been known to stand behind the counter of my shop and 'sketch' a customers garment while they browse!!
While my 'stash/collection' isn't anywhere near as substantial as Carolyn's, her post made me realise that my fabric gives me great pleasure also - even if I am not sewing with it! And I am going to enjoy it on a regular basis. If, at some stage, I manage to make some of it into a real garment - even better. The only thing I haven't decided is...wether to call mine a 'stash' or a 'collection'!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

I have started... on the school ball dress for my friend. In the photo you can see the lovely fabric she has chosen, oyster coloured heavy satin with a lovely chocolate brown as the hood lining and the band under the bust. The pattern - BWOF 12/08 #109 - has a shawl collar and is empire line - I am hoping I can extend the collar to make it into a hood, she said she wants it to look like the kind of hood there is on a graduation gown, I think they are pointed? Will have to research that a bit - never having graduated!

I have almost finished tracing the pattern, we are using the skirt style from BWOF 12/08 #104 and shortening it to knee length. My first job will be to make a muslin - of course :-) 'L' has slim hips but is generous in the bust area and I will probably need to alter for that - I hope the style doesn't cause problems with being too revealing, time will tell - and I don't have much of that! As this is a quick job and the satin is so heavy, we have decided not to line the skirt part of the dress, just the bodice.

Tomorrow I will have a play with some muslin and see if I can come up with an extension of the collar to make the hood, I don't think she wants to wear it, just have it as a feature - but I had better check that first!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

To List or not to List

That is the question. I am deliberating over whether or not to list my current projects in progress. One of the reasons for starting a blog - although far from being the main reason - is to encourage/help/shame me into finishing some (or maybe all?) of my many projects. Will having them listed on here help me? Or will it work to my disadvantage? I will ponder a while longer on that one.
Meanwhile, I have agreed (in a mad moment) to make a ball dress for a young friend - by 1st August! She wants a fairly simple style but wants me to add a hood - a hood on a ball dress? Original I suppose! We have bought the fabric and I have a pattern in a BWOF that I can use for the main part of the dress - now I just have to make/start it!!

Watch this space.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I have finally taken the plunge and set up my own blog! I hope that it might encourage me to finish some (or all) of the many projects I start. I am very good at starting a new project, be it knitting, quilting, jewellry making, beading, stamping, cross stitch and garment sewing - I am not quite so good at finishing them!! Perhaps having my projects listed here for me and all to see will encourage/shame me into getting them out of the UFO pile :-) Thanks for stopping by and I hope you will join me on my journey through my creations.