Friday, 27 June 2014

Wedding-guest dress - not a success

After muslining this dress for some time, I finally took the courage to cut it in the fashion fabric. I had bought dark-blue silk crepe (or crepe de Chine) which has a great drape, is not too slippery and, above all, is not too shiny. Even like that, the pattern copying and cutting was not the easiest task I have done so far. I had to draw everything on the fabric immediately and ended up having the chalk everywhere. The cat was not allowed to assist as she fell in love with the fabric and I was too afraid she would damage it, not talking about creasing. I used a 1.5m coupon which was just right, for the first time I do not have too much rests (which I would not mind for the silk :o)
Here is me cutting the fabric, as I do not have a proper sewing space, I am just working on the floor in the living room.
 Originally, I bought a dark blue silk-cotton voile for the lining, but after having tried it on another dress I was worried it would add the weight to this one. So on the last minute, I have chosen the Bemberg lining from my stash. I used French seams on the fabric and normal overlocked seams on the lining.

The invisible zipper was surprisingly easy to sew in, or I might be getting used to it. The difficulty was the décolleté: once I have sewn together the fabric (including the rest of the organza strip) and the lining, it was almost impossible to iron it flat. The fine fabrics were just resisting the stiff organza. I had cut another organza strip and sewn in between both of them which helped a little bit. Strangely I did not have this problem with the dress on, but seeing it in the hanger was enough to get crazy about it.
I did all the finishes in hand:
Sleeve hem
Small attachments between the fabric and the lining (on each armpit, as well as on the waist and the hem)
Bottom hem where I attached the fabric to the lining directly
Protection of the zipper end
Attachments for the bra straps 

 I admit that it was the first time working with silk and I did the big mistake of choosing a pattern far away from my size. Even the adjusting was rather tricky.

All in all, I ended up not liking the dress, for the following reasons:
-       It seems to be still little large on the cleavage
-       The organza strips are not even, not the same length and not matching on the back (I cheated and adjusted them little bit, but still…)

-       The ending of the V is puckering out

-       The lining is not attached properly, which is causing further problems

That is where I realized I would not be wearing this dress for the marriage and decided to sew another blue-guest-dress.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Blue Guest Dress II.

I did not have much time ahead and most of all wanted to avoid another flop. So let’s go with the known.
I bought 3m of dark blue silk muslin which was slightly transparent, so it was pretty clear a double layer would be necessary and decided to re-use the Butterick 6016. I have successfully tested it and thought that with the appropriate accessories, this would work.
Since I would need little bit of fabric for a purse, I cut out the skirt in double, the bodice lining is in black cotton-silk sateen. It also helps to maintain the form more than the muslin itself.
 The sewing went quite smoothly, I did not use any interfacing fearing it would be visible on the inside. I only used organza strips to maintain the fabric around the zip and a bias strip to maintain the waist.
The skirt is baby-hemmed… 
actually no, the baby hemming is not completed: when testing it I realized it made the hem rather stiff, so I only folded the fabric once. Fortunately, the muslin almost does not fray, so this should work without problems. 
The dress will be accessorized with a red bow belt (and red shoes).
Et voilà, my first silk dress completed.

And in action! Unfortunately, it was quite cold that day, so I was wearing a black jacket over it.

Inspiration: matching my new hat
Pattern: Butterick 6016
Pattern changes: the same as on the wearable muslin
Fabric: dark blue silk muslin
Notions: probably none :o)
Time to Complete: 1 week
Total Cost: 49 EUR
First Worn: my cousin's marriage

Friday, 6 June 2014

Brown Flower Dress – Wearable Muslin

I bought this fabric during my first fabric shopping spree. I found a coupon just calling my name – it has all I love: brown, red, green, small flowers and the viscose is just sooo soft and fine. When cutting the fabric I started to think it is probably too fine for a summer dress, and would be more suitable for a top but I had 3 meters of it (115cm width) so the top is still realizable. 
For the first time, I endeavored to buy a pattern different from Burda. I took advantage of a sales period at Butterick and ordered three patterns (by mail… am I getting old?), two of them from the retro collection.
I consider this dress a wearable muslin for another fancy dress to come in the next month. Since I have totally no experience with Butterick, I made a quick bodice muslin for my wearable muslin… can you say that? The sizes also got me puzzled. For the first time I do not cut the smallest one. According to the body measurements I would be a 10-12 on the breasts, 12 in the waist and 8 on the hips, so I cut out the 10 to see. Strangely, even the 10 was somehow large on the bodice. I took in 2cm on the front, 1cm on the back and shortened the shoulder area (as always). 
All in all I was rather surprised how well it fitted, so for the moment: worth the price.

I decided to self-line the dress bodice and contrary to the instructions, put in a vliseline on the shoulder-arm area. The sewing was a real pleasure and went on very quickly. I admit doing some of the adjustments on the half finished dress (not the best idea, I know). The invisible zip is on the side, and got in without any problems. Moreover, the fabric was very easy to iron and did not puff anywhere. 

The pattern asks for back pleats on the whole length of the skirt but it was pretty much clear this would not work on my fabric. I pleated the skirt on the top and that is it.
I already wore it on the first beautifully sunny day this year - here is the result of an hour lunch outside.
The skirt is almost semi-circle, so baby hemming was the only option.
There is also a small bow above the pleats…
 In the end, I was really excited how quick this project was, it was ready in a week-end, during which I have done so many other things. I am giving many positive points to Butterick for the fit (saved a lot of time) and for the simple, though little retro cut, a few negative on the included seam allowance and the super-fine silk paper on which the pattern is drawn. I was very afraid I would damage the pattern just by extending it on the floor. I closed the cat in the kitchen and hurried to copy it to my usual silk pattern paper which is much more cat-resistant.

Inspiration: loving the fabric
Pattern: Butterick 6016
Pattern changes: 2cm on the front bodice, 1cm on the back bodice, 1.5cm on the shoulders, the length of the skirt, no seams on the back bodice (a mistake, but why not)
Fabric: brown flower print viscose
Notions: probably none :o)
Time to Complete: 2 days
Total Cost: 25 EUR
First Worn: first really hot day in June 2014

Faux Me-Made-May 2014

I did not pledge directly to participate in MMM 2014, mostly because I do not have enough me-made clothes yet. As of beginning of May, I have only completed 8 projects, one of them unwearable (from my point of view, but more details on that later).
My aim was only to wear and document at least each of my new clothes once during the month of May. I am saying immediately that I did not manage it with all of them, partially because of the weather and my unusual program during May (too many vacation days, not enough work days), excuses, excuses…


Some observations though:
I sew mainly dresses and skirts. Which is OK for the moment, I almost never wear pants and I tend to wear dresses rather than skirt/top combination. Somehow, I found them more comfortable and easier to match with a jacket (or nothing). It is also incredibly difficult to find nice dresses in my size and to my taste.

I have not made any top yet. I do not have any nice pattern and am quite intimidated by shirts. I should also try a simple jacket as it is a part of my everyday work outfit for the majority of the year. Both are on my agenda already.
I find it quite difficult to find the right pattern because I do not like wearing large/balloon blouses. I do not have a pronounced waist, so adding bulk in this area is never a good idea – it is like directly shouting “I am an apple!”.

I desperately need a spring/summer black skirt, as I own several colored tops (and the tops on my agenda are colored as well), and do not have any unicolor skirt to wear with. I have a few winter RTW skirts which go well with the sweaters, but it is not the case for summer. Even though I like my black skirt with crosses (and I wear it), it is not universal enough. I have just bought the right black fabric, so the skirt is on my to-do list and coming very soon.

I have sewn a pair of shorts during May which I am really happy about, I will be making another one certainly before the big vacation.

I still have one summer dress to do (the fabric is calling me since a few weeks) and then should concentrate to the tops/jackets category.

I need to consume my fabric stock. I am quite limited in space and have done a few purchases with direct projects in my head, I just need to sew them now.

A nice-to-haves would also include:
Funny: dresses...

All in all, I am looking forward to a lot of work to do for the next year and will be happy to present my new wardrobe next May.