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Tonight begins Yom Kippur, so I wanted to get this dress finished and photographed today. It would have been finished yesterday, except we had to take 2 dogs to the vet (Chloe has bronchitis and Riley has an ear infection. We couldn't take them together, because that would have been too easy. More like total chaos! :lol: Chloe's never met a person she didn't need to hug..and at 96.4 pounds, it gets....interesting. :lol:), then I had to rip out the "invisible" zipper - which wasn't - and on the 2nd attempt I managed to sew my left pointer finger to the zipper. :sigh: It's OK - just a bit sore, and very very bloody.

Anyway. I have some photos!

cherry diamonds front

I LOVE this dress. The fabrics work well together, it's cute, and it's totally, totally adorable. Very comfortable, too! I swapped the cuff pattern piece for the next size up, which makes the sleeve fit perfectly. I also managed to install the zipper correctly - it's invisible!

cherry diamonds right

I did the insets the same way I did the ones on dress #1 - it's messy on the inside, but works. This time I was even more careful - the points still aren't perfect, but they are more pointy. It needs washing in these photos - usually I toss it in the machine right after I finish, but I wanted to get these photos done. (I had a photo of the left side, but I was laughing at something Herself said, and it looked like I was trying to do a pin-up pose. :rofl:)

There WILL be a version 3.0 - I want to use the brown paisley fabric we got at the sale, but I'm not sure what color to use for the contrast. I'm thinking antique gold or a soft orange; Herself suggested Olive. I'm leaning towards the Olive.....but I need to find some fabric.

However, that's going to wait. Himself has requested a Jedi outfit....and since he NEVER asks me to make him things, that's up next. Then Herself wants a dress....and a couple of tops. And I need a top....and underthings. :sigh: It's never-ending, is it? :lol:

So. Tomorrow is Yom Kippur. The Day of Atonement. I highly recommend you at least stop for a minute or two and ask God for forgiveness....because we all need forgiveness!

See ya on the flip side!
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First up, H - Thank You! I LOVE that fabric......you'll be seeing it again. And again - I still have at least 6 yards. :lol:

Recap: Saturday we went to the local airport for an Airshow and History lesson - the British Flying Tigers Museum was hosting the airshow. It was fun, although we didn't see the promised WWII re-enactors. :sigh: I wanted to see what they did, to see if *we* wanted to get involved. Ah, well - we got to see WWII-era planes, a Cold War-era Hind helicopter, a MiG.....and we talked to the flight school there. Himself thinks he might want to try to get his pilot's license ($7K. :gulp!:), so he had a lot of questions (you need 40 hours of flight time, with 10 being solo). The pilot offered to take both kids up if I'd pay fuel...so they can see if they even LIKE flying. I...am going to take him up on it, when I can budget something for fuel.

Yesterday I cut another diamond dress out. In the cherry fabric. And started working on it. All it needs is the insets inserted, the sleeves attached, then the zip and facings attached. :gulp: It is SO CUTE!!!!! Pics will be forthcoming!

Gotta skitter - school time, then we wait for the refrigerator repairman. Again. This is #3. :sigh:
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:heh: before I got sick, anyway. I'll put the behind a cut, since I have *11* photos to share!

Click here for photo goodness! )
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Sorry about the radio silence - been sewing up a storm! Finished a dress on Friday, and wore it today. Here, have a few photos:

Dress - polka dots right

Dress - polka dots left

The kids are at Granny's, so SG was kind enough to snap a few photos. I gotta say, I LOVE this dress! So do others - we ran up to Wally World to grab some interfacing, and a customer walked by while I was waiting at the cutting counter. "OH! I LOVE that dress! It's SO CUTE!" she gushed as she walked by. :giddy: First time I've gotten a compliment on something I've made myself from a total stranger! :giggle:

Changes made: The pockets are circles, not diamonds. I grabbed a saucer to use as a template - it worked. :grin: I also added a button on the collar this time - I think it looks nice. The buttons are larger - they're black, which I'm not really happy with, but it's all I had in the size and number I needed. :shrug: They work, so I probably won't change them out. I think for the next version of this dress I'll change the neckline to a more sweetheart-ish one. And maybe leave the pockets off. We'll see.

Granny gave me her cutting table - it's NICE. I'm not leaning over while I cut or trace any more! I honestly do NOT have the room for it, but....we will make the room. SG is impressed - he wasn't happy with me as I loaded it up yesterday, but then we got it home and I set it up. Now, he's trying to figure out how to get me some more room.

I spent last night whipping up a muslin for a new shirt, and today I sewed 1 up. It's the leftovers from my Walk-Away dress, and it's CUTE. I have 2 more fabrics laid out, and will cut them soon - I need more sleeveless shirts. Ones that are more modest than the $1 WallyWorld tanks I have. :lol: The one I just finished has sleeves, but I don't have enough of the other fabric to do sleeves, so sleeveless it is. I think I have enough of the polka-dot fabric for a top...:grin: Now that I've figured out what I need to do to get the patterns to FIT me (well, mostly. :lol:), I am going gang-busters on new clothes.

Time for a very late lunch, then it's back to the cutting table. I'll try to do a photo-shoot when I finish...but I may not model them all. We'll see - my current photographer is busy doing landscaping. :rofl:
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Um....I hate photos of myself, because I feel like I look silly. Please ignore my face - I was facing the sun, and had left my sunglasses in the house. Herself took the photo...she's OK, but not the best photographer. Ah, well - you're here for the dress, right?

geometric dress worn

I like it! I'm debating whether I need to tighten the waist any - I can easily pinch an inch on each side - but it's comfy as is. It's neat.....but I wonder if it's a bit frumpy. :shrug: As I said, I LIKE it.

Changes made: Not that many, actually. I cut a 40 out. When sewing it up, I went from 5/8" seam allowances to 1/4" seams at the bottom of the waist, to give me a little more "swish" at the hips. I added fusible interfering to the 2 fronts. I used actual buttons WITH buttonholes on the front, instead of the decorative snaps the pattern called for. I used a contrast fabric on the neckband, and added contrast fabric to the pockets (the pattern called for rick-rack only). I'm not totally happy with the green, but it was all I had in the stash that even came close to working. I also added snaps to the top of the pocket - it seems to be a common problem to have the top flop outward and look goofy.

Things learned: Buttonholes! I have a buttonhole attachment (the Singer "Professional" buttonholer) for my machine; it took a bit of playing around to get it working correctly. It did 8 perfect buttonholes, then quit.....I have 11 buttons. 9 and 10 are....um......interesting; 11 is perfect. I think I need to oil it.

I also hand sewed the hem....honestly? It wasn't that much of a chore. Normally, I'd have slapped that sucker on the machine, but I had already put so much into it I decided to do it right. I'm glad I did.

I'll be sewing more of this pattern - it went together relatively quickly, and was mostly easy. The neckband was the trickiest part - and it wasn't THAT tricky, just a bit fiddly in the corners. The sleeves were also a bit tricky, but that's because my machine is cabinet-mounted; no free arm here! I've learned how to sew them, though, thanks to the bags I've made. :lol:

Next up, however, is a dress for Herself. :sigh: She chose a PROM dress pattern (a Simplicity vintage re-issue), for taffeta and net fabrics :ugh:, with a poofy skirt :Ugh!:.....but she wants it in COTTON. :bangs head: It's disgusting - she's a perfect pattern size 12. :rofl: I have the bodice cut and sewn, but. The pattern wanted 60" fabric; we bought 40". So....I scrapped the skirt and am doing a 3-panel dirndl. I have the panels gathered, sewn and serged, I just need to attach them to the bodice, insert an invisible zipper :gulp!: and add the trim. And hem it. Not difficult...but......:ugh: I want to finish it tonight/tomorrow so I can move on to something else. Like more dresses or tops for me - I NEED decent clothes.
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The dress is almost done. It needs hemming, and buttons and buttonholes. I am.....about to attempt buttonholes. Practice ones first....:gulp: :lol:

Herself's dragon is finished - photos later. When I can pry it away from her. :lol: She did a good job on it - her first "real" sewing project, first time to use a sewing pattern, first 3-d sewing project. I'm proud of her!

Not much else to report......I'm ignoring the buttons right now....:lol:

Shabbat Shalom -have a great one!
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First up, this isn't a Sewing blog - I AM sewing right now, and I want to share what I am learning, and track WHY I make the decisions I do when I am trying to fit a pattern. *I* like knowing WHY someone decided to do what they did, instead of just reading "and then I added 6" to the front and it fits perfectly!" - I need to know WHY so I can figure out what to do for me. I also decided to show my fails, as well - because, again, I need to see WHY something failed so I can understand the whys of the fixing of it. (Make sense?) So, for the next little while, I will be posting a lot on my sewing - because I want to help other newbies, and I want to track what *I* did, so I can do it again later on. I'll share finished projects, of course - but I am not planning on doing a diary on every single item I make (especially since I am planning on doing multiples of patterns that work well with my figure. Why mess with something that works, right?)

:deep breath:


So. Here we go again. This time, I am sewing the 1944 House Dress from Decades of Style - this one:

housedress pattern front

It has a lovely shape, doesn't it? So flattering to just about every body. A really GOOD thing about this pattern, though, is on the back of the envelope:

housedress pattern back

See the chart? It gives you not only YOUR measurements, so you can choose the right size to cut, but also the *finished* measurements of the dress. This is good - I can see that this dress is supposed to have 4" difference between my measurements and the dress; that's plenty of room to move around in. (More than *I* want, actually, but we'll worry about that later.)

Anyway. According to the chart, a 38 will fit me like a glove. :lol: So, that's what I cut out, knowing I'd need to do a bit of fitting - because my full bust is 42.5", and my waist is 35-ish. (Depends on the time of month, the weather, what time I got up, etc. :lol:) After a bit of thought, I decided to cut the pattern out as written, and sew it up as if it would fit perfectly.

Here's how it fits:

housedress front first

The front is a bit snug across the bust, and the waist is too large - just like I thought. The hips are a bit snug, too. So much for the 4" of ease, right? :lol:

housedress back first

The back looks OK, except for the hips. I *did* try it on me, just to verify - yeah, the bust is too tight, yadda yadda yadda. Cat is a pretty good match for me, shape- and size-wise.

I sat and had a good, long think. See, there are many ways you can adjust the bust on patterns. One of the easiest on princess-seamed items (which this is - see the seams down the front? It's what gives it that lovely shape.) is to simply drag the pattern pieces apart the distance you need to add (in my case, that's 2" or so) - wait, let me show you the calculations:

housedress calculations

You can see that I need 5" more in the bust area. Because there are 2 sides (and 2 seams), you divide that by 2; I decided that 2.5" was a bit more than I probably needed, so I decided to add 2" to the side front. (It was just a feeling I had - I don't want a tent, here, just something comfortable and Non-trashy looking. Plus, it's easier to add a flat 2" - for ME - than it is to futz with that .5". Lazy? You betcha! :lol:)

Anyway - I gave it some thought, and simply sliding the side piece - while being easy, and it WOULD work, would also add a bit more fabric to the waist.....which would mean I'd have to do MORE tinkering (which, honestly, I WILL have to do, but.....if I'm honest, I didn't want "easy". I wanted something more......"professional". Yeah, I'm weird. I also want to learn.). So I decided to do a "real" FBA, involving cutting the pattern and adding paper. :cue freakout:

So, I pulled out the side front of my pattern (because I had checked with google.....on princess-seamed garments it seems to be the proper piece to mess with. *I* don't know, but that was the overwhelming consensus.), and started marking it up. I checked a LOT of websites on this technique - and I will be honest. These pictures? Are from the 2nd attempt. The 1st attempt involved slashing the pattern at the waist, doing the FBA, then attempting to tape it back together....and...um...I didn't take photos because it FAILED, miserably.

I re-traced the pattern piece, then started marking it up:

housedress FBA

I marked the apex of the bust (the "fullest part" - I measured me, then transferred that to the pattern), then drew a line up from the hem to it, then from it to a spy about 1/3 of the way around the armhole. (Because that's what everybody said to do. Not sure WHERE the 1/3 came from.) I was supposed to then drew a line from the bottom of the dart, thru the apex, and thru the side of the pattern - but I moved that line down a bit. The dart, as written, points ABOVE my apex, and it's supposed to point AT it. I traced the dart onto a piece of scrap paper and taped it on in what I thought was the "correct" place before cutting the fabric. I just guessed at the position of the 3rd line. I think you can see them on the photo - I tried to make them as dark as possible, without tearing the paper.

Then I picked up my scissors....and CUT the pattern:

housedress FBA cut

I taped the front seam down, then spread the pattern the 2" I needed, and taped the other side down. Interestingly, doing so CLOSED the gap caused by the cut thru the dart (which I had forgotten to cut in this picture - oops!)- it was supposed to open up the dart a LOT, so that I'd have to close it later. :scratches head: I taped everything down, added the extra length to ALL the pieces, re-cut them (in muslin-muslin, this time - I wanted a change from white. :lol:), and basted them together.

housedress modified front

The new front - the bust is much better, now, but the waist! AHHHHHHHH! :sigh: Looks like I have enough fullness in the hips, now, but it's all concentrated in the front. Not sure about that....

housedress modified back

The back is the same, except a titch longer. Somehow it ended up a wee bit shorter than the front...but this is pretty much a wash, anyway, so I'm not worried about it. Did I mention this attempt was really a learning experience for me? :lol:

housedress modified arm

The arm was a surprise to me - it's MUCH too loose, now. It makes sense - sort of. I did manipulate it a bit in the FBA, but I didn't think it was by THAT much.

I think I'm going to do a bunch of grading. I THINK, if I do a 38 for the shoulder/neck, go to a 40 for the bust, then back down to a 38 - or maybe a 36 - for the waist, then up to a 42 for the hips, I should be good. It's a LOT of blending, though.....but if I mark the areas I start the blending from (with sticky arrows), it should be relatively painless....right? :sigh: (I'm also not sure if I need to do anything to the back - guess I'll try this and see if I need to do anything else to it.) I'm kinda thinking it might be a wee bit...big, though, because of the ease. :scratches head. We'll see - I'll double-check my measurements before I start tracing off the pattern again to be sure I don't go TOO big, especially in the hip area. I like swishy skirts, but too much fabric is a problem. (I have plenty - the largest dress takes 3 1/3 yards. I bought 4+ yards of everything I wanted to use on this. So.....it's all good.)

Why all the work? Because why settle for OK when I can - with a bit of effort on my part - get FANTASTIC? And, this only needs to be done once for this pattern - then I can just cut my fabric from the Frankenpattern for each successive dress (until I loose enough weight that I have to do it again. :wink:) And, knowledge is NEVER wasted - what I'm learning with this can - and will! - be applied to other patterns down the road. AND - it's good sewing practice.
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Hearthie poked me, so here are a few photos of the finished dress. I don't have any "action" shots yet - I am planning on wearing it out and about tomorrow - so you're stuck with closeups on Cat. :lol:

I...need to work on my finishing skills. The bias tape worked out OK (I need to work on THAT, as well, but this was made basically freehand. I found :oops: a bias tape maker stashed deep in the drawers last night....:sigh: I'll use it NEXT time.), but the sewing on of it...well, it needs work.

Herself suggested I mix the bias tape - use green on the print, and print on the green. I did...but I wasn't as accurate as I'd like on the transitions:

walkaway shoulder

walkaway other shoulder

Not horribly bad for a first attempt....but I want to do better! The neck looks OK, but there's a bit of a bobble...not sure what's going on there. Again, it looks OK.....I just need more practice.

walkaway neck

And the buttons on the waist:

walkaway buttons

I'm not sure I'm happy with them - they are OK, they were in the stash, but....I kinda wanted blue domes. I'll keep looking - but these work.

Tuesday saw the dress finished, and some tops for Herself begun. I traced the pattern and cut it out of some UGLY poly knit that a friend of Mom's gave her...it's...um. This fabric will still be here after Armageddon - it's pretty much obviously synthetic. :lol: It was an ugly brown, and felt like old support hose. :ick: Still, it worked to fit the tanks, which is what matters, right?

sewing tank tops

sewing tank on C

She hasn't taken the boho one off since I finished it. (!!) (She was in the middle of a game with Himself, and Not Happy that I wanted a photo. :lol:) *I* need to do some reading and some practice - the boho and flame fabrics rolled like a hippy at Woodstock, and the necklines and armholes look...well.....Not Good. I have enough of both fabrics left for at least 1 more tank, so I'll do some reading and playing with the ugly stuff before trying again. SHE likes them, which is really what counts, but *I* am not happy with them.

Next up: The 1944 House Dress from Decades of Style. I traced the pattern last night, and will start the muslin later today. I *need* a few things that FIT, so that's why I seem to be fixated on sewing right now. I plan on tweaking my weekly routine - Right now I work/school in the AM, 12 - 3 is hobby time (knitting/sewing/reading), 3-ish - 5 is dinner prep/house tidy, and after dinner is family/hobby (depending on what the family wants to do. Lately the kids and SG have been gaming together (TF2), so *I* get to play with fabric.) I want to designate a specific day for each thing - I just need to figure out what days work best for what hobby.

Need to go hang the laundry out before it gets any hotter!
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That actually LOOKS like a dress, and appears to maybe, possibly FIT!!!!!!

I was gonna do a twitter-type thing, spot blogging as I went, but......didn't want to keep stopping to post photos. I took 1 of me actually CUTTING the fabric:

WalkAway fabric cut

Then I got to sewing. I started the cutting at a little after Noon; it's now 2:30 and the dress is DONE and on Cat to hang for the night:

Front:

WalkAway Dress Front

Back:

WalkAway Dress Back

What you don't see is that the cherry fabric is split in the front, showing off a faux pencil skirt of the green. You also don't see that there's really only 1 layer of fabric in the back - the front piece just wraps around and snaps/hooks and eyes at the waist. It's all open back there.....so I have to be careful I don't do too many twirls. :O_o: :lol:

It still needs bias tape, but I need to MAKE some, first. Herself suggested that I use the cherry fabric to bind the green parts, and the green to bind the cherry parts - and I like that idea. I'm just not sure if I should bind the hem in the green, or if I should just do a quick rolled hem (on the machine - I'm not a sadist! :lol:) I'm also not sure if I want Real Buttons (with buttonholes!) on the overlap, or if I want to do snaps with "show" buttons sewn on top. Decisions, decisions......

I do promise to actually MODEL the dress for you when it's done - but that might not be until later in the week. I need to make Herself some tanks first....the pattern came in today and she's agitating for them. My House Dress pattern ALSO came in.....that's on the schedule for either Wednesday or Thursday. I need to gird my loins to start the muslin process again......hopefully I can nail it in under 5 muslins......:lol: (Glad the outlet has MORE of this fabric, because I seem to be running thru it. Ah, well - I only need to nail the pattern once, then it's good to go for however many I want to make of it. The house dress? Will have at least 3 makes, maybe more if it looks as good as I think it will.)

Got some clean up to do!
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I took a bunch of photos of the bodice front and diamond inset. Let's start with the original pattern:

diamond pattern inset original

I include it, so you can compare it with my tracing:

diamond pattern inset alone

And the tracing of the front bodice piece (I cut the skirt part off, since it's not necessary for this):

diamond pattern bodice

I was VERY careful in tracing off the pieces - the medical paper is thin enough that you can see the lines very clearly. I carefully followed ONLY my size lines (it helped that my size was a solid line - the rest are dotted/slashed/dashed).

Now, here we go trying to fit the inset into the bodice. I folded the bodice darts down, to make sure they weren't causing any problems:

diamond pattern 6

diamond pattern 4

diamond pattern 3

diamond pattern 2

Diamond Pattern 1

The dashed line is the grain line; you can see that I tried to keep both oriented the same way. (Also, I traced the pieces using a dotted line, because it's easier on me.

You can see that it wants to fit....but just doesn't quite. I couldn't get the lines or the dots to line up, no matter what I did (the 2 marks on the one side of the inset are for the pocket; the inset is actually only sewed to the dress along the top, the bottom is sewn to the pocket back. The pocket back is sewn to the pocket facings, which are sewn to the bottom of the cut-out bit on the bodice. the facings? Match the bottom of the cut-out almost exactly, which doesn't help with the darn diamonds.)

The curvy bit on the inset is part of the side seam. You are supposed to have 5/8" seam allowances.....:sigh:

Anyway, I give up. For now. I think I want to find a dress with a similar shape.....and I'll add diamonds to the sides of IT. No, it won't be THIS dress, but it'll be close. And much easier to sew.

I am going to cut into my for reals fabric for the Walk Away dress any minute now. Really! :snicker: I want to sew it up today, so I can do the binding and hemming tomorrow......wish me luck!
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I have photos for you, but I won't post them until tomorrow. Long story short - the Diamond Dress is a DUD. I have thrown in the towel, because the pattern pieces do NOT fit into each other - and I have photos to prove it. :sigh:

So. I started on the Walk-Away dress. Hearthie kindly sent me the pattern (THANKS again!); she had done some fiddling with it and left the adjustments on the pieces. I gave it a good thought, and decided to keep the adjustments in the bodice (because I know I need to do a FBA, which she had already done); I would cut MY pattern to my size, adding in her adjustments, and see how it went.

Um. 5 muslins later.....it seems that, for whatever reason, this dress fits me almost perfectly right out of the box. :scratches head: I know everyone says the bodice is loos and baggy....not on me. In fact, I had to re-do the armhole; in doing so I got rid of the weird dart that was right there (darts are supposed to point to the apex of your bust - the nipple. This one? Pointed 1" ABOVE my bust. :weird:) The french dart things end right AT the apex, so I'm keeping them there. On this version, anyway. :lol:

I cut a 16 of the front and back, and a 22 of the circle skirt. My collar bone matches the size 16 bust size, my waist matches the size 18....but my butt is a wee bit larger than the 22 hip. :sigh: It means I'll need to either gather or pleat the skirt into the waistband (in other words, ease it in. :lol:), but that's not too hard. (For the muslin, I took 2 pleats, one on either side of the mid-back seam.) I think I'll still have to do a couple of small tucks in the neckline - on the muslin, it gapes a bit. Not much, but enough that I don't like it.

Other than that, the fit is GOOD. Not perfect, but a) it's my first dress, and I want to WEAR it NOW and b) I'm pretties sure I'll figure out ways to fix it as I get more experience. The muslin is wearable (or....it was before I re-did the front. Only, I only cut it a little past my waist, because I was testing the re-drawing of the armholes. SO.....I have a mini-skirt in front. :lol:) (Well, and if you ignore the fact that the muslin is see-thru. :shock:)

So, my "real" fabrics are washed and ironed.....why am I here posting instead of cutting? Because I am SCARED to cut the actual fabric. :sigh: It's only $3/yard fabric; the dress will only cost me $15 if it bombs. Which it shouldn't, since the muslin fit.

Oh, my new shears? ROCK. I LOVE them - best $10 I've spent in a long time! :lol: I'm honestly considering picking up another pair next time I'm out that way - they are great!
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to show you the fabric haul from today! Herself and I headed out at 10 and hit 6 fabric outlet stores in Dallas (Perth Street, for those familiar with the area.) We ended up spending $136.....but look at the haul:

fabric haul

ALL of that, from 2 stores (the others had stuff, but the prices weren't as good. Good? Yes...but the largest haul came from a place that was mostly $3/yard cottons. And $3/yard stretch knits.

Let's take a closer look, shall we? First up, dress fabric for me:

fabric dresses 2


fabric dresses

The white is a linen/rayon blend ($3/yard!!!!), and will be the Decades of Style 1944 Housedress, as will the purple-y polka-dot and the screamingly bright geometric print. The cherries and green fabrics will become a Walk-away dress. Everything except the white is cotton...the cherries and the green are Moda (yeah, quilting cotton. I'm not looking for every day wear here, although they WILL be worn. And - $3/yard!!!! :lol: I got 4 yards of everything except the cherries - that's 5 yards. I wasn't sure if I wanted to do a 2-color walk-away, or 1....so I got enough to do either one. :lol:

I'll be honest - the geometric print is a bit...loud, but fun. Trimmed in green it should work for me....besides, everyone needs a fun dress, right? :nods: The linen/rayon is a bit...pastel, but I LOVE the hand of it, and the print is nice and feminine without being overly floral. The polka-dot and cherries are just fun. :lol:

We got Herself some fabric, too:

fabric C

The "tin type" print will be a dress - probably the 1944 housedress, but we're still discussing that (it's 4 yards, so more than enough for a dress for her. The Housedress only needs 3.25 yards for the largest size...I prefer to have extra fabric for "just in case"). The print is a knit, and will become a tank - there's enough there for 2, maybe 3 tank tops (which means I might end up with one, too. :lol:)

fabric C knits

More knits - the flame will be tanks, the blue will be - eventually! - a 1950's draped top (from Mrs. Depew on etsy). It's a draft-to-your-measurements pattern, so it'll be a while. Still - $3.50/yard, in a color she went gaga over.

fabric - muslin bolt

Here's a bolt of muslin-esque fabric. Feels like either polished cotton or a cotton/poly blend....the entire bolt was $25. $1/yard. It's a wee bit lighter weight than the dress fabrics, but it was this or paying $6.50/yard for a heavier-weight true muslin. I opted to do this - it feels like a nice, well-worn sheet.

And, a last-minute impulse purchase - a pair of tailor's shears:

fabric - shears

One of the stores uses these to do all their cutting, and it was only $10. I figured, why not? :lol:

So, that was today's haul. I am set for a while on fabric...I just need to get the blasted diamond dress fitted, then I can start sewing for *real*. The housedress and walk-away dress should be a walk in the park after this......:rofl: I need to read up on altering patterns with princess seams (the housedress), but it doesn't look hard - and Pattern Review says it's an easy pattern.

My leg is stiff, but not as sore. I've been hitting it with Arnica, and the swelling is down - but it is turning all sorts of colors.

I'm pleased with today's field trip. Tomorrow I'll retrace the pattern - Again - and cut the muslin. I am not planning on sewing it until Sunday....let it think about what it's put me thru. :snicker:
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This dress is in time-out for now. I reinserted the new diamond - one side with pocket, 1 side without. The without side I did "correctly" - I ripped all the seams, tried to sew in the insert (more on THAT in a moment), then re-sewed the seams, running the side seam in 1 go. :sigh: Here, have some pictures:

This is the side done the way the pattern tells you to do it:


dress take 2 side pocket other hole


See that hole? Yeah....

dress take 2 side pocket hole

Here's the whole pocket:

dress take 2 side full pocket

There are gaps on either side....

Here's the side with the pocket removed:

dress take 2 side pocket

And IT has a hole, too!

dress take 2 side no pocket

Yes, the penguins are upside down. I'm not sure WHY, but that's the way it wanted to fit (but...if I attached the pocket to it, they were right-side up? I dunno WHAT'S going on here....

Here's the front, without the zip. There's a good 1" overlap, it looks like:

dress take 2 front

And the back:

dress take 2 back

Part of the problem that I am having is the shape of the inserts. They sew in as diamonds. The pattern drawing has diamonds. The photo of the 1 dress on the website shows diamonds. The insets? Are NOT diamonds - they have cut-out bits in the side corners. I kinda see what they are trying to get you to do - the pocket goes to the bottom corner, leaving a "bite" out (sort of "L" shaped) - with me so far? When you sew the inset in, you only sew in the top - the bottom is free, because you attach the pocket (which is sewn onto the bottom of the inset) to the pocket facing (which is already sewn to the bottom inset opening on the dress).

Problem (MY problem anyway): the bottom fits just fine. The top, though - it doesn't make it to the top corner. If I MAKE it fit (which I have done, by easing it in - which the pattern does NOT mention!), you still have that "L"- and it will NOT match up. I've tried matching up the bottom (which is already sewn to the facing, remember) - and it just WILL. NOT. FIT. :bangs head: No matter how I sew it in, no matter how I pin it, I still end up with a bit of the "L" that isn't attached to *anything*. The drawings in the pattern do NOT help - they don't show this part, they only show what it looks like after everything is sewn in - and *I* don't see any stitch lines on the "L". :sigh:

So. I am going back to the drawing board. I am going to re-trace the dress front and back as designed. THEN, before I cut it out (because I have 2 complete sets already cut out), I am going to lay it over the inserts, and trace the side curves (because this dress IS NOT straight-sided, oh no. It's slightly curved. Of COURSE it is.). I will then cut out the new dress pieces. (And don't forget I have had to Frankenstein this dress anyway, thanks to my big hips. I am going from a 38 (which, by the way, is NOT my bust size - it's my *over* bust size, so I still get to do some tinkering *there*. Fun stuff!) to a 46 (which....I am not sure is going to fit correctly *anyway* - the muslin looks awfully tight in the hip area.)

Tomorrow we are going to the outlet store. My budget is suddenly smaller (because I screwed up and put off applying for Herself's disability - MY fault. I didn't want to admit that she IS disabled, so I ignored it. Now, I am paying for it with less money each month. :sigh: SS takes FOREVER to decide disability cases, and they usually DENY it the first 2 or 3 times. :big sigh: MY fault...but after paying bills, I have $0.39 for groceries. Don't panic - SG's aunt will give me some money for her expenses (it goes to SG's account and pays her bills), and SG said I can have some of it, so groceries ARE covered, just not now. :shrug: It's not like I don't have a full pantry and freezer - it just means I need to use some of my fabric money for necessities today. But not all of it - darn it, some of that money is a payment on my sock machine, and THAT I am keeping for fabric.)

Anyway. Tomorrow I plan on getting as much muslin as I can (along with enough fabric for a couple more dresses) - then I will attempt muslin #3. It should go MUCH easier, since it's just a plain dress. I will fit THAT, make the changes to the modified pattern, THEN I will draw the diamond insets on the "finished" pattern, cut them out, add the 5/8" seam allowance to *them* (since it's already in the dress itself), and make muslin #4 (hopefully out of "real" fabric - but not my cherries! :lol:)...which should, if I've thought of everything, be a wearable dress. Finally. I'm thinking of doing muslin #5 (again in real, but not cherry fabric) WITH the pockets, using MY pattern pieces. We'll see.

So - that's where the dress stands at the moment. I did say I love a challenge, right? Because this? Is a challenge. Oh, and Hearth - thanks for finally pushing me to actually JOIN the pattern review site. I hadn't done so, because I have too many memberships and didn't want to add another time-sink. However...the 1 person who has attempted this dress had the same type of problems I am having with the diamonds. I honest think there's something screwy about the shape, but.....:shrug: I am not an expert or a pattern designer, and I'm sure there's some reason for the "L" cut-outs. *I* just can't SEE them.

OH, and to top everything else off...this AM Tigger and Chloe got into it AGAIN. I have no idea what sparked it - I was at the bar putting on my fitbit when it went from everything's-coming-up-roses to I-hate-you-and-want-to-EAT-you. SG came out and grabbed Chloe (she got him with 1 tooth on his finger, but immediately let go); I grabbed Tigger, who Chomped down on my leg. I kicked her (sorry, but that HURT), and she let go and lunged for Chloe AGAIN. :sigh: She's banished to the bedroom, Chloe is sort of repentant, and I have 5 tooth-marks on my leg. I've been bleeding since 5:00......yes, I hit it with peroxide (I am allergic, but what do you do?) AND tea-tree oil, and it's bled enough that any icky stuff that was in there is gone now, but...:sigh: It's slowed to a trickle now, but....I have a lovely bruise (I bruise at the drop of a hat, so that's nothing new) and a lovely set of teeth marks. The detectives can use it to positively ID the culprit, I guess....:lol: and :owowowowowowowow:

I am going to go knit for a few minutes. That's something I can do successfully. :lol:
fiberaddict: (Default)
:sigh: I was hoping to have a finished muslin to show you.....but no. The Lord knocked me a bit yesterday, telling me to only sew up *1* insert and, well, inset it instead of barreling on ahead. I'm glad - because somehow I managed to sew the insets together incorrectly. (It looks like I sewed the 2 fronts together, and the 2 backs. :sigh:) I managed to get the blasted thing in the space...and the dress was instantly TOO SMALL and there were ugly wrinkles all over the place.

So. I put it into time out while I had a good think about things. After dinner, I cut another set of insets out - this time I did 1 back and 1 front and pinned them together IMMEDIATELY, then did the other set (and promptly cut the front wrong-side up, because I am just that dingy. :big sigh:) Into time-out it went again. (I am honestly thinking about just trashing the pockets; sew the insets into the sides after I sew in the darts, and just run the side seam right down the center. I'm trying to do this *right*, though...but the thought has occurred to me that Hey! I don't need no stinking pockets in a dress! :lol: I will persevere, though - have I mentioned I am stubborn? Fabric will NOT get the better of me! Besides, I like my seam ripper, and I'm using a basting stitch which makes ripping FUN. :evil laugh:)

I wish someone had done a sew-along on this dress - but I can't find anything (it's Decades of Style #5002, if you're interested. Go ahead and look - maybe your Google-fu is better than mine.) The way they want you to do the diamonds...you sew the sides of the dress up, leaving the large holes. Then you sew the bottom pocket facing to the bottom of the diamond-ish shape (um. I need to work on that, I think - it looks OK, but not great.) Then you sew the front and back insets together, the front and back pockets together (both of the contrast fabric), sew the diamonds to the pockets, THEN you somehow wrangle the over-sized geometric Thing into the hole. And sew it - with the whole dress hanging off of your sewing machine table, pulling on the fabric. :bangs head: (Let's not discuss the "right-sides together, sew from marker to marker" bit, OK? Because at this point, the marks are gone/hidden by other stitching, and it's difficult to get the blasted things pinned together. I'm using Cat to hold the dress while I pin each side of the diamond, sew it, then go back and pin the OTHER side, because otherwise I get ugly wrinkles. Did I mention I love my seam ripper?)

And after all this, I still have to figure out how to FIT the thing to ME. I think the back problem will require a tuck, somewhere around the points of the diamonds...but we'll see. I'm not there yet. I'm also pretty sure I'll need to do a FBA - but maybe not. Right now, the bodice looks OK to my eyes....but that might be wishful thinking.

I will say that once this dress is fitted correctly, the other dress from Decades of Style that I want (the 1940's House Dress) will be a SNAP. No insets, so I should be able to trace the pattern, grading the hips like I did here, then make whatever changes I am doing now...and then slap together a muslin (I have learned my lesson with this dress - always do a muslin for a new pattern!), then slap together the dress. THIS dress should only take a couple of hours to assemble, once we (yes, WE - this is a cooperative effort here, guys! :lol:) get it to fit right - the actual sewing - except for the aforementioned insets - is pretty straight-forward and easy. (Don't mention hemming. Let me live in my bubble, OK? Besides, I just ordered a blind-hemming foot which should make this easy. Also don't mention the invisible zipper. I also ordered an invisible zipper foot....we won't discuss my issues with zippers right now. I found some online tutorials that made it look easy - which is why I ordered the foot. I have a regular zipper foot, but think I'll go with the recommended one. It's only money, right? And feet are cheaper than new machines...right? Right.)

Anyway.....that's where things are right now. I spent some time yesterday (during "time-out") inventorying the feet that came with the Rocketeer, and the feet that I already had (which won't fit, because they are short-shank feet, not slant-shank feet. :big sigh: - I have a TON of short-shank feet. H, are you interested? I can set you up with all sorts of cool feet......) and then I hit eBay (it's off-limits for now. I....well, I only ordered 3 feet. Plus the monogrammer the other day, and the buttonholer (oh, I also have a Singer short-shank buttonholer up for grabs, if anyone's interested. Perfect buttonholes, every time!). I think I'm good on feet and accessories for now. :lol: Once the dust settles, I'll start looking at Bernina feet for Herself's machine....THOSE are pricey! I probably won't trick hers out like I'm doing for the Rocketeer - but she does need some feet (I'm not sure what she has...guess I should check that out first, huh?)

Off to tackle the insets - wish me luck!
fiberaddict: (Default)
First off, Thank You for your comments! Ali, don't be jelly - I don't have mad skills. Honest! I can sew a relatively straight seam, and I can cut sort of straight. If YOU can do these 2 things - and read and follow directions (I am working on the following part. I think I know a "better" way, and that's when I get into trouble.) - then YOU can sew clothing. Just be prepared to fail spectacularly every now and then! :lol:

H, you're probably correct in the changes I need to make to the back, but......I am not going to do anything until I get muslin #2 done. With a better choice of fabric. AND - I am actually going to do what 1 of my books TOLD me to do, but I ignored: I am going to sew the entire thing - pockets, facings, EVERYTHING - before I try it on Cat or me. I was trying to save time....but I think I need to pretend this is for reals, and THEN start making changes. (I do have what the books so kindly call a sway-back. Let's say it like it is: I have a big butt. :snicker: As well as a full bust - one book calls my shape "Matronly". Um.....OK. It is what it is. I prefer curvy. :lol:)

I'll be begging for help when the time comes to fit - I understand the process to fix a sway back....but this dress, with the diamonds (which are hiding pockets; yet another reason muslin #1 sucked. I didn't DO the pockets. :sigh:) is going to be a bit more problematical than a normal, easy dress. Apparently I need more of a challenge than most people do.....

So. Here's a shot of fabric choices #2:

dress take 2

You guys have NO idea how hard it is for me to cut the main dress out of the white and use the penguins for the contrast - the idea of a penguin dress is just turning my crank so hard it's not funny. I have to keep reminding myself this is a FITTING attempt, not a Wearing attempt - and I only have so much of the penguins. I think I need to pick up a few more yards of it, and some solid blue or black for the contrasts - because I think it'd be cute and fun. (Why yes, I DO have a warped sense of humor, why do you ask? :lol:)(And yes, I WOULD wear it - outside the house, even. :lol:)

The actual dress - once I GET to that point - will be black and white polka-dot with cherries for the main dress, and a mid-tone green as the contrasts. The fabric is totally cute - I had intended it for the Walk-away dress, but Herself is convinced it'll look better in this one. The Walk-away would have been easier....but hey! I actually *do* like the diamond dress better, so there ya go. (The diamond dress is a reproduction of an actual 1950's housedress. I was skeptical, until Saturday. I had a friend and her mom over, and I showed them the pattern. It seems that they have one of Grandma's vintage dresses that IS this exact pattern! I am awed.....and more determined to sew one up for me to wear.)

Gotta go iron, then do school. Today's project is to sew up this dress completely......wish me luck!

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