Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Poetry Dress and other Holiday Dresses

I'm currently working on a variation of Simplicity 2444 for a holiday dress. Ideally, I'd like to put together four dresses for the holidays: one for the Annual Poetry Night we have at my house, which is the day before Thanksgiving, one for Thanksgiving, Christmas and the final for New Year's, even though I don't usually end up leaving the house.

I've put together an inspiration board for New Year's on Pinterest. I've got a few ideas about what I'm going for regarding the Thanksgiving or Christmas dresses, and the Poetry dress is already in the works.

The Poetry Dress plan is as follows: Sleeveless version of S2444, with contrasting bodice and skirt fabric. The zipper will only be installed on the skirt portion, with the bodice being an open slit with a button closure at back neck. The plan evolved organically when I was washing these fabrics and saw them together, and I really loved the color combo. My only concern was about zipper colors. Even with an invisible zipper, you can't put a colored zipper in white fabric, and I didn't want a white zipper popping through the rich jewel-toned teal, it would be an eyesore.

While I was mulling over this problem, I remembered that Mika over at Savory Stitches recently created this type of closure, and at that time I really fell in love with the look. It solved my zipper/color conundrum, so I ran with it.

I received both of the planned fabrics last spring/early summer for free as part of the "10 yard mystery bundle" when I ordered all of those other yardages from Fabric Mart. The top is a gauzy cotton in this gorgeous teal color, which I lined with a very lightweight light blue flannel. This adds both warmth and opaqueness. Win-win in my book. The skirt is to be made of an off-white (do they call that winter white?) heavier fabric that has slight nap.

I cheated and didn't make a muslin. I cut out the straight 4, and the fit is nearly perfect. I absolutely love the angled darts and am very excited about the pleats on the skirt, which I have yet to assemble. Or even cut, for that matter.

I am debating on lining the skirt. It doesn't really *need* to be lined, but I am thinking it would create a cleaner finish if the entire dress is lined. Does anyone have a clean finish tip or trick for joining an unlined skirt to a lined bodice? I feel like it's essential here since the back is exposed and you could potentially see the top of the skirt finish where it would be joined.

I know Neeno has been cranking out dresses for events, do any of you have holiday-inspired sewing plans?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Fitting Issues with the Peony

Fellow sewists, do you ever have such a frustrating time with pattern alterations that you just want to throw in the towel all together?
That is kind of where I'm at. The peony. Let's talk about it.

The bodice is super simple, with just four darts in front and four in back. The trouble with super simple, is that it is NEVER REALLY THAT SIMPLE. I knew going in that the darts were the only key to fit, so I actually cut a muslin for the bodice. I've done that....never. First time for everything, right?

Lots of pooling across the bust
Very bad back/neck gape

So much extra fabric...everywhere.

Please ignore the weird look on my face and my super awesome fluffy sheep pajama pants. No, wait. Don't ignore the fluffy sheep, because THEY'RE AWESOME.

Ahem, where were we? I have struggled with these darts to the point of frustration, so I am setting aside the Peony for the second time. I love Colette Patterns for their designs, but they aren't practical for me without a LOT of changes to the bust.

Don't get me wrong. I WILL make this pattern at some point because I truly love the simple lines of the dress, but I have a lot of work to do on the fitting side of things.

1. Eliminate pooling/excess fabric across bust
This can likely be fixed with an SBA and dart repositioning.

2. Fix gaping at neck back.
I don't know how to fix this. Rochelle noted that she had the same issue, and would fix one area, but it would create problems in another.

3.Shorten shoulder width and neck opening.
The outer shoulder seams sit beyond my shoulders because I'm petite. I will have to shorten the opening for the neck, pulling everything closer to center by a tiny amount. I don't know HOW to do this yet, but I believe that's what I need to do. I am wondering if that will alleviate some of the gaping?

In closing, this is a great silhouette and I wasn't surprised that I would have to make heavy alterations to make this fit, but I will need to put it on the back burner for just a little while longer.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Completed: GBD - Full Outfit! (finally)

Zombie Castro (he even had a cigar!) and Wednesday Addams

As I grow older, (wiser, some would say) I find it's okay to recognize what we are either good or bad at. As such, I'll take this time to inform you all that I'm terrible with making sure I've taken pictures of items I've sewn. If I do take photos, they're often times not very well lit, don't highlight the garment and/or "other".

All of this is to portray (hah, get it?!) two points: 1) I don't have very good full body shots of my costume. D'oh. and 2) I am going to work on taking better photographic evidence of my sewing and completed projects. Below is what you get. Enjoy!

Hangin' with Tycho Brahe
No Halloween is complete without a fancy skeleton.

The whole gang

Devon and I made the Ruff for our friend Tycho (that's the technical name for that collar)

The "butt" tree.

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