Thursday, July 25, 2013

Dress Details

Even though I had two long appointments yesterday, it still feels like I spent the entire day tracing and altering tissue paper. And it's done. Because I refused to go to bed until it WAS done. I wanted to wake up this morning to cutting out fabric and sewing and NOT to tissue paper. Of course...

... it didn't help that part way through I changed my mind. LOL - how surprising. At first, I was tracing the same armhole intending to use the same sleeve until the thought occurred that I didn't know if that sleeve fit any better than any other one and that the odds of the sleeve that came with each pattern fitting the best would be higher so why not test a variety of sleeves? So I went back and corrected that. And it's good. And it's done. Lead on fabric.

It's also no surprise that I don't have a lot of knit prints. I think they'd be the better choice for hiding issues in any pattern I'm perfecting. For now, I've chosen these four fabrics but I may pop over to Fabricland and see what else they have on that 70% off table that might work. I'm sticking with polyester spandex prints because my daughter lives in an apartment with shared laundry facilities and the less fussy the better.

The shape above is the mid bodice piece of Vogue 8817. It took me four tries to get the full bust adjustment done in a way that added both length and width without altering the length of the top and side seams or stretching out the bottom one more than the required 3". Eventually...

... I drew a line across from center front to the bust point, over but not through the armhole seam, and down but not through the bottom seam. Then I spread the hinged sections until there was an additional 3" along the bottom seam between the previous edge and center front.

This determined the distance of the horizontal spacing. It may need fine tuning but at least the right lines were adjusted by the right amount. There's hope.

WARNING - Thought I better add this note. 4:06 pm - just finished sewing the bodice together and - duh - why didn't I realize it would end up with the bust point over at the underarm. I'm redrafting it so that the curve begins below the bust point. Sigh... another try... we'll see.

Speaking of which... Jessica sent me this picture yesterday with a note saying this is the dress that she liked the top of and could I do something like this. Well... yes... and eventually so can she... right after I finish teaching her to fish... but... Hmm... she's hoping... which is good... only I really don't want to dash her hopes with ill fitting garments. They have to be good. Better than ready to wear. If you could cross all body parts and send up a few prayers, it'd be greatly appreciated.

Next, I'm going to read blogs, and get dressed, and do my study, and eat breakfast, and then I'm going to sew all day...VBG... well... with maybe a Fabricland visit thrown in there. I'm starting with Vogue 8691 in the black print, no ruffle.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - I'm no longer drowning in tissue, progress is being made, and I'm still having fun.


  1. Body parts crossed for you, Myrna! I wish I could help - my background from my university days is pattern drafting...I guess I'll just send good "vibes" your way.
    The "pick up" for the bridesmaid project is today at 10am. All my "have to" sewing is done and I've two knit tops to finish off for my Mom while she is still here to try on things for me (handy that you and your daughter are close in size). Then.....(drumroll please) I'm cutting and sewing something for me. I think I"ll try that woven T again in one of the sheer(er) white print fabrics I bought in Calgary. Far more drapey and will suit better. Then a mixed print short sleeve black/grey T (I think) to "dip" my toe in.
    Enjoy your day in the studio!

    1. Jessica and I have the same body shape and basic alterations and after that, we're definitely two different people. There's never been a time when we would have worn each other's clothes.... and... IMHO that's good.

      Good luck with your T. How lovely to be done the bridesmaid project. Enjoy the me time.

  2. Sewing for daughters is tricky! It's a fine line between encouraging and "I-don't-know-if-that's-going-to-work". I always have to make sure my daughter is taking the lead (i.e. it's something SHE wants to wear, not something I think will look good:). You are doing a great job, and teaching your daughter to fish will be so worth it.

    1. Exactly. I'm letting her make as many decisions as possible.

  3. Myrna,
    How long did it take you to bring your daughter back to a sewing machine?
    My daughter is 42 and hasn't sewn anything since high school. What was the bait that you dangled in front of your daughter?
    I guess I will have to dangle the bait in front of my grandson. He turned 12 in March and I will be working on it.
    I enjoy reading your blog daily and hope that what you have done with correcting published patterns to a better fit will aid me during my first work at altering a pattern for me.
    Have a great day.
    Karen W. in S.W. Ohio

    1. I wouldn't say she's back to sewing. She's considering it on a more serious level. We'll see what actually happens. No bait. She has the tools and the time right now and it's something to challenge her brain while on maternity leave.

      Glad my work correcting patterns is helping you. I'm thrilled that after that 3 1/2 year circuitous journey, I've reached a point of real understanding. This is good. It seems I can focus more on creativity now. I hope.

  4. The dress she emailed you made me immediately think of Simplicity 1882--a great pattern, with cup-sized bodice pieces. Check it out!

  5. Hilarious! People who don't sew often or at all have the most bizarre idea about what's doable in a reasonable fashion. Somehow, drafting a wiggle dress seems low on the priority list of new-mom garments :-)

    1. LOL - not the dress, just the details of the piping under the bodice.


Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.