Sunday, February 17, 2013

Fearless February - Red Dress





This is the pile of fabric at the start my challenge. One of my long-term goals has been to draft a sheath dress in PMB. When Victoria started this sewalong, it inspired me to do the work and to draft this pattern. In addition to drafting the pattern, I decided that I would underline the dress using silk organza and line the dress with Ambiance. I lucked up because I had everything that I needed in the stash. Sometime last year, I bought a bunch of organza in different colors on sale. I can't remember who the vendor was. The red Ambiance came from a Joann's sale. I bought the rest of the bolt and ended up with 17 yds. The fashion fabric is a boucle that has been in the stash for a bunch of years. I think that I bought it from Fabric.com in the early years.

I sandwiched the paper pattern between two layers of soil separator paper and traced the pattern. I cut out everything in layers. The soil separator paper clings to fabric so I placed in on the table first. Next went the fashion fabric and then the silk organza. The soil separator pattern was the top layer.  This worked somewhat. Next time, I will press the organza so it lays better.

I hand basted the underlining to the fashion fabric. I thought that I would hate it but it didn't take as long as I thought that it would. I interfaced the neck and armscye openings. Once I started working with the dress, I realized that this fabric was probably not a good choice for this pattern. The fabric is so soft and when you press it it flattens the boucle. My invisible zipper went in without any problems.

Now, it is time for a WTH minute. Everything was going well until I noticed that I had too much fabric in the chest area. I realized that I made a mistake when I traced the front pattern piece. I had a little excess on the paper pattern fold line and I should have trimmed it off. I pleated out the excess fabric and went to bed last night. This morning the plan is to stitch the pleat in place. I'll add some seed beads down the front and around the neckline dress up the front. this will make me feel better. Note to self - retrace the front pattern piece.

I want some mindless sewing today so I cut out Lekala 4119 .
It is a cowl neck pattern with a band at the hem. I'm using a red ITY knit from Fabric Mart . I bought 6 yds so I plan to make a few tops to add some color to the wardrobe.

Friday, February 1, 2013

2013 Top of the Month - January

Over the last few years, I have purged the closet multiple times and very few pieces have survived the process. One of my favorite tops started to disintegrate when the lycra started to give way. It hurt my heart to throw the top away. I loved it and wore it at least a couple of times a month except in the hottest days of the summer. Purging the closet has been a learning experience. I discovered that I will make a skirt before I make any other garment. Next on my list is easy knit tops. Then come dresses. Pants come further down the line. I wear more cardigan than jackets. I really need to develop a set of TNT patterns.

I like pretty clothes but if I'm realistic I spend most of my time in knit tops and jeans. I didn't think that I had goals for this year  but I think they have been lingering in the subconcious part of my mind. I plan to continue to rebuild my wardrobe which includes making more tops. If I join the 2013 Top of the Month group at Stitcher's Guild then I will have some encouragement to make at least one top a month.

 I made two tops in January plus the top for my swap. The tops are the final pieces of my winter 6PAC. I used Hot Patterns 3 Grace cowl neck pattern for the first top. This pattern has 3 different versions but I tossed the other 2 tops because I don't need that much fabric around these girls. The pattern was really easy to put together after I watched Trudy's video.

I used the sleeve pattern and added sleeves to the top which I narrowed just a little too much. The only issue that I found was the sleeve were too long. I cut about 4 inches from the finished sleeves. I wanted the top to be longer so I added 2.5 inches which I divided into 2 pieces.

The fabric was one of those "what was I thinking" purchases. I bought it from Michael's a couple of years ago. Every once in a while I'd pull it out and then put it back because I just didn't think that it was me. The colors are brighter in real life. I like how the pattern turn off and plan to make it several times. The only change that I made for the next version is to shave the back neck area so it will fit close to my neck.


Part of stash busting is to avoid returning any fabric to the stash so I made a second top. This top was made using a pattern that I drafted from PMKnits. The only issue is that the neckline is too low so I tacked it together to avoid flashing people. The next time that I use this pattern I will raise the neckline and cut the under layer so it ends just below the bust. I added ruching on one side of the center section. I want to make this top into a LBD ruching both sides and adding flare to the skirt hems.