Monday, January 28, 2013

My inner Grandma.

This dress is definitely part of my inner Grandma-style. I have had this dress in my head for a while - at least kind of this because like I have said before, designs change for me during the process. I wanted to make a loose jersey dress with some kind of gathered waist, snaps all the way down, a shoulder yoke and a ribbon neck. The color block only came in the process. I have actually drafted the pattern with snaps all the way down but right before cutting I got nervous that the elastic shirring would pull the front opening from each other and decided to cut the front waist and skirt piece to fold. I have already cut another one (with one of the fabrics I bought from and this time I am putting snaps in top AND skirt piece....I think that will look cool too(?)

This dress is made on the most magical day. Remember in my last post where I was complaining about not having the time and energy to draft new more complicated patterns from scratch at the moment?? Well, I guess it helped to give me the needed push because I started the following friday evening (yes, ME the most sleepy evening bear worked in the evening) and after getting up saturday morning I went straight to the sewing room and worked almost non stop on it. Finishing the first draft, cutting and sewing a muslin, having the fitting on Wilma, making the changes on the pattern after fitting, finishing the final pattern, cut the dress and then FINALLY sewing 10 pm it only needed snaps and hemming.
I have not since I had Wilma 5 years ago sewed that much in a day. Where was the kids you might wonder? Well, they were around and that was what I meant about the most magical day. They suddenly played really well together for more than 15 minutes at a time or happily by themselves. Don't worry they did get fed and attention when they needed it.    

I love how the color from the yoke continues out on the top of the sleeve. I originally drafted the sleeve to be loose and then gathered with a wrist ribbon cuff and that is why fittings are so smart (ahem). Because the dress is so loose a more narrow sleeve looked better to me.

Wilma loves this dress and even though it is a bit hard to see on these photos the colors scream dress-for-a-redhead. She is beautiful in it and even though I am definitely not going to look like Wilma in it I still want one myself. Let's cross fingers for another magical day soon!

I tried my new twin needle for the first time and as you can see on the hemming it made it a bit bulky between the two stitches. I could not seem to solve the problem not even with ironing. I wonder if anyone have any advice? My own would have been to loosen the tension for the bobbin thread....normally there would be a little screw to do that....but my JUKI domestic machine does not have that (I think???). Anyone??

Stay tuned for another version of the dress in THIS fabric....paired with two other colors. Do you want to take a guess at those two other colors?? Sorry there is no prize but lots of RESPECT if you can read my mind.....and a little bit spookiness I guess. Oh, and maybe your own TV show...who knows these days, right!?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

From pants to skirt.

Yes, I am alive - and to add a little drama: barely. My husband and I have 'planned' our children so well that not only does their birthdays fall in January, right after Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas madness, they are also only two days apart. They turned 3 and 5 years old and this year we held separate birthday parties for the first time. Wilma the 5 year old wanted a non-sleepover (okay I decided the non-sleepover part) slumber party with glitter tattoos and freeze dance and there was just no way that would mix well with Evelyn's young friends so two parties it was. Phewwwww, I need a vacation now AND to sew again. But as they say you don't get everything you want here in life so here is the skirt I sewed.
Do you remember THESE pants that I made for Wilma heavily inspired (okay, kind of directly copied) from a pair of Celine pants? Since I made them I bought this great organic cotton twill and wanted to make her another pair.....and suddenly it hit me that the model could very easily be made into a skirt....for me, horray!

It has side pockets (you can see the burgundy peek out) but is otherwise made just of retangles. I love sewing clothes like that. The drafting of the pattern is easy, there is no need for making a muslin and there is barely any fitting involved during the sewing process. I guess in that way you can call me lacy. It's funny but the better you become at sewing and drafting the longer everything take. You know you can get a perfect result inside and out but you also know that requires not skipping any steps, taking your time both getting the fitting and the actual sewing right and redo when things does not look up to standard. And this is where I come with the usual excuses about how I rarely have more than 1-2 hours continued sewing time and mostly just 10 min here and there during afternoons with the kids so working on a project that will take weeks is just not for me at the moment blah blah blah. But I am really trying to be better because I really want to go back to making other things to adults than skirts with an elastic waist....even though my next project is already in the making and yes, it is another skirt, ha......I said trying!

Sorry for the ugly plastic hanger. Husband is working and my kids, though a year older, not old enough to handle the camera...or model the skirt. I just really wanted the latest post on my blog to be from the year we are actually in, okay! Oh and that big purple polka dot on both skirts photos....I have no idea what happened. Reflection from the sun maybe?

A skirt with a lower band like this calls for a nice hemming, right! Sewed from the outside of the skirt. The seam allowance on the inside is folded 8-9 mm instead of 10 mm which in theory gives the result on the inside as you see above - it might take a little practice though (it certainly did for me!).