Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Finished! McCalls 5791

As promised, here are some more pictures of the kiddos in their new duds. You'll have to forgive the so-so photos, they were taken with my point & shoot and despite them all being taken within an hour of each other, they were an odd combination of over & underexposed. Sigh

The dress & tie turned out beautifully, if I may say so myself. The pattern itself was quite straightforward. Which provided me opportunity to use a more challenging fabric. And challenging it was. I didn't have too much trouble with slippage (the glitter took care of that) but it frayed like crazy. I have to say, this dress was made possible by Fray Check. Thanks Dritz!!

I used this dress as an opportunity to try a couple new (to me) techniques.  I think children's clothes are a good time to practice for a couple reasons. 1) Children will likely outgrow the clothes before they fall apart. 2) The cuteness factor. Cute kids & babies make up for any shortcomings the garments may have 3) Kids are always on the move. No time to closely examine things like zippers & hems.

That being said, I inserted my very first invisible zipper on this dress and I must say, I think I prefer these over lapped & centered applications.  I can foresee, however, having troubles with bubbling at the bottom of the zipper in the future. We'll cross that bridge when we get there.

Also, french seams! The dress is fully lined, with the skirt lining being free-hanging. I love the results of the french seams & I only had to rip one out after sewing it on the right side. D'oh!

I also slip stitched the bodice lining to the zipper & skirt. And I'm pleased with how it turned out. I had enough confidence that I skipped the transparent thread. My consistency has improved dramatically. You can tell when looking at it when I took a break from sewing & came back to it, but all in all, it looks quite nice. My mom even told me so. 

As for the hem, I did a lot of looking at blind hemming techniques & even practiced on a few scraps of fashion fabric, but int he end I decided that it requires too much pressing and I feared scorching the dress on the very last step. On the other hand, I did not want to do the typical double turned hem. The "sportswear" finish would just not do for this little dress.

I remembered from the serger class I took last month that a delicate finish can be obtained by using a 3 thread stitch. So that's what I did. :) And I really like the results.

You can see pictures of the dress & tie unadorned (without the models) here.

So, that's done with. 'What's next on my "To Sew" list?', you ask. Well, I'm currently working on my pencil skirt muslin for the Fun with Fitting-Skirts class over at Pattern Review. I also have another version of Simplicity 2199 cut out that needs to be sewn. And, is it terrible to admit that I've been doing some thinking about sewing for this Fall??

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sneak Peak

Ok. The dress & tie are both offically finished. I thought I'd post a sneak peak since I've been so scarce lately. :)

We're leaving for the convention tomorrow morning & the kids will be wearing their new outfits on Sunday, so I should have some modeled pictures next week.

Here's the front of the dress. I debated whether to leave the tulle stick out or lop it off & decided that I like having it peek out a bit. Though it does look lopsided in these pictures.

 And here's the back (see the invisible zipper? No? Awesome!)

Here's the label I designed for this dress. I think I enjoy designing the labels just as much as sewing the clothes. :)  
And of course, a matching tie for the big brother :) With coordinating label, I must add.

So there you have it. A quick look at what has had me chained to the sewing machine this last week.  I'll post all the nitty gritty details next week.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Lots of progress but nothing to share....yet.

I feel like I haven't blogged in forever. It's not for a lack of things to say, that's for sure. It's just that every time I sat down to blog last week, I though "I should be sewing, not blogging about sewing." So, that's what I did.

And my little doll's dress is almost done (with my very first invisible zipper). All that needs to be done is hemming. And I think I'm going to try using a blind hem. That will make for lots of firsts on this little dress. My first invisible zipper, first use of french seams. First time using tulle. More on all that later, though. 

Shawn's matching tie is finished, done in less than an afternoon. I swear, you spend more time turning & pressing than actually sewing when it comes to ties. It was a nice change of pace.

So, lots of unveiling to come. But for now...back to the sewing machine.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Simplicity 2599: FAIL.

I got it in my head that I needed to try sewing a woven top.  I'm almost 100% comfortable sewing knits, but fitted wovens are starting to freak me out a bit. The culprit: The Crepe. For anyone who wasn't a reader (and blissfully missed my awful muslin pictures), the Colette Crepe dress was the dress that just wasn't meant to be. Despite the fact that I sewed up no less than 4 bodice muslins, tried using 2 different fashion fabrics (FOUR YARDS EACH), this stupid dress just wouldn't let me win.  My beautiful fashion fabric is all cut up, staring at me from a ziplock bag. Taunting me.

Anyway. Simplicity 2599 was an obvious choice for 2 reasons: It was a "Best of 2010" pattern, it was pretty cute, and it wasn't super fitted, making fitting easy....or so I thought. 

I started with muslining a size 8 & it was huge. Way huge. So, I basted the shoulder & side seams in about an inch & that was much better. I must have gone wrong somewhere when transferring the changes to my pattern, though, because it ended up teeny tiny. Sigh.  Starting all over, I traced & sewed a size 6. Too big. Better, but too big. On to a size 4--the smallest size on the pattern. Again. Too big. I might have been able to live with the front if I used the elastic on view F (which was my plan anyway) but the back, oh my. The bag was just huge. I could pinch out a good 2 inches.

And that's when I gave up.  I'm tempted to try the Sencha--but honestly. I don't think the high necking & the cut-on cap sleeves would be flattering on me. For now, I'm sticking to knits. But I am perusing Ottobre as my next option.  Rumor has it that they are much more realistic in their fitting.

I'm not sure this could be officially considered a wadder, as it didn't even make it past the muslin stage, but it sure was a hit to my ego at first.  Then I realized, in this particular scenario, there really wasn't anything I did wrong. I really could have made it work. But I made a choice.  There were other things I would rather sew; things that in reality, have a more secure spot in my wardrobe.

Speaking of my wardrobe, I've realized that 99% of my tops are knits. I own 1...maybe 2 white button down shirts. That I've never worn.  And have no plans to.

So, why the big push for a woven top? I just don't know. I do have a woven dress that I hope to muslin shortly, though.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Sewing for Children Contest: Entered!

Despite the fact that July is a busy month for us & despite the fact that I've enrolled in another class at PR (Fun with Fitting Skirts), I've decided also, to enter the Sewing for Children contest. In fact, I just officially entered.

I already had some clothes for the kiddos at the top of my to sew list, so I just held off to start until the 1st so I could be eligible for the contest. It runs until August 31st, but my own deadline is July 15, which is when the kids will (hopefully) be wearing their new clothes.  That gives me just under 2 weeks. Which should be plenty of time. We shall see. My already cut out maxi dress may have to wait, though.

I've menioned before, that we have an annual 3 day conveniton that we attend in the summer. Last year, I made the kids coordinating outfits. A sweet little pillowcase dress for Laila & a matching tie for Shawn. This year, I'm stepping it up a bit. :)

I'll be using McCalls 5791 for Laila's dress & diaper cover in a blue glitter polyester special occasion fabric.  Shawn's tie will be the same shade of blue, minus the glitter. 

I also bought 2 zippers for the dress-one invisible & one conventional. Ideally I'll get to use the invisible zipper, but just in case that proves to be too stressful, I can hand-pick the conventional zipper and still get a nice finish. I'm also toying with making matching shoes for Laila...but that just might be overkill. :) Then again, what better time to go overboard, right?
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