Monday, August 26, 2013

A Skirt and a UFO Blouse

Number Two (and a half? I never made any commitments to UFOs. Hmm, commitments to inanimate objects... or alien spaceships) of Six.

My wondrous friend, Grace, took all of these photos. She is about to leave to work abroad and we spent a lovely few hours together taking photos, exploring, talking, eating, being together. And just today I realized that I was a bit of a dunce and she might not see this post before she leaves! (Grace, if you're reading this, so sorry that I took so long!)

The construction for both garments is fairly negligible for talking about if you have some experience sewing. For those who want to analyze every detail (such as myself when I'm trying to figure out the mechanics of actually making the project) and those that want to hear less technically and want the basic story...

The blouse was started a year ago, from a length of ivory colored cotton eyelet with embroidery about the border and in/ on the actual fabric. I eyeballed the lengths of the bodice and sleeves by laying the fabric over my front, I eyeballed and gauged the length of elastic for the neck hole, and finished sewing everything save the sleeves when I decided that there was too much gathering about the neckline and the torso was puffier than I liked. Frustrated because I hand sew everything (one of these days I'll learn to use a machine) and there is a certain demoralization to have to unpick EVERY stitch, I hung up the then UFO (UnFinished Object) in the closet and largely ignored it. When the month's Stashbusting Challenge came I tried on the blouse, came up with the startlingly ingenious idea* to try a belt to cut down on the puffiness (success!), and decided to take some volume out of the sleeves.

* Just for clarification, I am being sarcastic 

The skirt is a length of rayon challis that I tapered from a tube, edged on both ends to prevent raveling (although trimmed and hemmed last), and one end sewn to a waist-length of 1.5" tall elastic.

So there is project Number Two finished. (Although chronologically it is Number Four, I have two Sorbettos that I must blog about).

Much thanks to dear Grace! Safe travels, my friend.

Happy sewing everyone! (Or happy plotting. But if you plot, do sew! Or knit, or whatever you do...)

Friday, August 9, 2013

A Jewel Toned Belladone

I was going to ask my dear lovely readers (all five of them, bless their souls) if the color of this dress would be considered jewel toned... except the photos do not represent the actual color of said dress.

So this here is one of my early forays into pattern usage where I actually finished the garment! The fabric is a Deep-Lake Wrinklease, from JoAnn. In real life it is greener than shown in these photos. I bought the two pieces (0.889 + 1.25 yards = 81 cm + 1.143 m) a while ago, one and a half years? Anyway, I definitely consider the making of the is dress to be stashbusting.  Generally after six months I'd consider fabric to be officially part of the stash (sitting there, possibly collecting dust... nooo! Become lovely garments, my pretties!), but for the Stashbusting Challenge I decided that any piece purchased during the year of 2013 would not be allowed to become part of the Stashbusting Challenge. Theoretically this allows me to still buy fabric, but discourages a lot of fabric buying. Not sure that it is working. Moving on...

As per the blog post title, this is Deer and Doe's Belladone pattern. I admit to not at first being taken by the dress. Then I saw an iteration in black... and another in lace... and I went happy and bought the lovely pattern. Kudos to Eleonore and her customer service! From the limited contact I've had with her I find her to be sweet and good-hearted.

Back to the dress... after all, that's what's important! The dress! This is a creativity blog! I'm getting distracted. Put up a pretty picture!

Or not.

Dancing or slinking aside, I went through my stash and found this fabric, which I was fond enough of to use as my Belladone wearable muslin. Construction was... interesting. I had stitched up two or three of the darts in the bodice when I saw that it was was not shaped well for my chest. So I played around with the paper pattern pieces (traced) and decided to remove the vertical darts.

Because didn't want the back pieces around the cut out flopping around during wearing, I stitched them together.

The next bit of drama was that as I reached the waistband, I realized I wanted back the vertical inch I'd decided to take out of the bodice. After some cheek gnawing and staring at my reflection while wearing the offending bodice, I decided to not heighten the waistband. I think it worked out okay; I can live with the silhouette that the dress makes.

The skirt was stitched and attached to the waistband, the zipper basted in, and when I tried it on I stared in dismay because my waist had disappeared. Then follows a saga in where I baste and re-baste that sucker in and continue going bonkers because my waist is gone. And gone. And gone. Finally I sewed the zipper in and took in the sides. It took many, many tries to get the sides even. For some reason the right side was always so much looser than the left. Finally I was satisfied.

And after finishing the majority of the seams in bias tape, I discovered that the cut out was sagging. But I'm going to leave it because the front is possibly tighter than it should be, so this sag should allow me to move my arms. Unfortunately the sag is enough to reveal undergarments at times. So I will not wear this dress without a shirt underneath or a jacket over the cut out.

Overall I am pleased that I finished this project. And I finally have something to add it to the link party for the Stashbusting Challenge!