Monday, January 12, 2015

Myrna Sized And Myrna Coloured

Sheri and I first started talking about this challenge project in October and set the end of December as a deadline which - thankfully - didn't work out for either of us. It wasn't just me not getting to done... and that's good... because these challenges are meant to be fun, not pressure filled. That said, I am glad to be done and there were some lessons learned.





Probably the most important two were not to sew in a colour I don't like and not to sew in a size I'm not. When I realized attempting to lose weight was one stress more than I needed right now, I also realized that I was never going to fit into this dress even if I managed to make brown doable. That definitely deflated my energy. I've resolved that the next challenge will be Myrna sized and Myrna coloured.





The tucks along the side were really fun to create and quite stretchy which distorted the seams joining the tucked sections to the back and front and to each other. Across the side, they are not as well matched as I would have liked. I'll use this technique again in a more solitary environment were it will have less negative impact. I talked about making these tucks in Part One Of The Challenge Project.





For the center back section, I used a piecing technique of layering scraps and sectioned and added more flare to the bottom of the skirt. I thought I'd blogged about this previously but can't find the posting or the pictures in my files. It was either a figment of my imagination or they've been lost... however... you can see the added flare. It's fun and flirty.





On Saturday, I realized that how to finish the front was holding me back. I had intended to use either an exposed zipper or buttons only done had become significantly more important than either of those so I opted for texture along center front by appliqueing 1 1/2" squares spaced 3/4" apart. The top square folds over center front to hide...





... the fact that I joined the seam after the neck band had been added the same as the underarm seam shown above. This method allows me to use the serger to stitch the band in place and provides a firm edge to turn the band over and stitch against. I like the way it finishes the edges.





Because there was already so much stitching visible on the dress and because I like the additional texture that thread adds, I used a zigzag stitch to hold the neck and arm bands in place and then trimmed away the excess fabric on the wrong side.





Typically when I make a mistake that is fixable, I fix it. With this garment, I opted to let it go because - as I said earlier - it was becoming far more important to finish than to do a "perfect" job. Above, I like the way the seam blends through and below...





... it's not so great. Those stretchy tucked sections created a lot of issues that I decided to simply overlook because I'm pretty sure this dress is going nowhere - definitely not on my body - especially as it's even too tight for Millicent.





I love the above image - the way the pieced sections all meld together and create flow through the back. It's one of my favourite parts. The pattern is...





... Lynn Mizono's Vogue 1408... and it's really short... more tunic with tights length. Not exactly what I'd call a dress. I'd like to sew it again. When I do, I'll significantly lengthen the sections but for now... I AM DONE ! ! !

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - done

It's all about the process. Make your faith journey about the hard work and the faith it takes just to try. Let your story be the journey no matter how it turns out. You giving your best will honor God. 
- Erwin Raphael McManus

27 comments:

  1. Myrna, Myrna, Myrna, what fantastic piecing and thread-work on this dress. Your attention to detail is so comprehensive that I have great pain that you are not going to wear this dress. At age 23 I made a dress, a fitted shirtwaist, out the most horrid fabric but it was all my Mother could afford at the time. I think it was curtain fabric. I worked so hard on that dress and I wore it. I never ever made another piece out of fabric I didn't like. Lesson one. Lesson two. In the eighties, after having my second child I was carrying weight I just could not shed. So I cut off all my hair, I had always had long hair and I made clothes in the size I wanted to be in between caring for two small children, a husband who deemed himself a country squire and working a full time job. All that stress and short hair did not help me lose the weight and the entire wardrobe was donated. Never again. When you mentioned this in a blog post I felt a stab of pain but felt you were a real trouper. We are sharing life lessons way across the miles and I feel for you. This dress would be stunning in a Winter White I think. I am in a Winter White mood I guess. Good day to you, how is the counter top coming along?

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    1. Thanks for sharing that lesson with me. I appreciate the support. I think the dress would be stunning in grey or purple. The counter-top is FABULOUS. We just need to do the caulking and I can get a picture.

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    2. I now remember why this dress was familiar. I was looking at some old photo's (and I mean old) and my wedding "going away dress" was much like this, in purple! It was a designer dress and way too expensive for a young nurse but I did look cute! The lines are the same, It didn't have the detail insert stitching on the sides but all else plus a little tie at the neck ... a trip down memory lane, thanks.

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  2. This looks like a wonderful sewing challenge: so many interesting parts and seams and possible ways of adapting the 'layout' if I can call it that. Shame it's not your colour nor size, but it does serve as a toile (is it called a muslin in the US, or vice versa?).
    I would love to see this made up again in your colour, in a longer length and with whatever adaptations and own design elements you come up with - I find your sewing projects so inspiring!
    Thank you very much for posting all these wonderful photos - they make me more intent on putting in the hard work to turn my own ideas into real toiles that I can then work with (fingers crossed anyway).
    Thank you.

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    1. Muslin is the word I'd use. I agree. It was a wonderful experiment and there are definitely parts of it I want to take forward... in my colour... and my size. I'm so glad you're inspired by my work. I definitely want to share and encourage. Experimenting like this makes it easier to put the work into a "real" piece. Have fun.

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  3. I love all the different textures you achieved in this dress. To me it looks like a great big sampler for things you might try in the next piece. I'd love to see some of these textures in an asymmetrical garment. EVen though the color isn't right for you I think doing many textures in a single color is an idea worth pursuing, something that adds a lot of detail and interest without being too much to wear. Bravo for pushing yourself on this one!

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    1. They may show up in an asymmetrical garment since that's what I'm doing next. Plain compared to texture is a wonderful contrast. Tone on tone does make you work at the garment in a different way. It's an informal balance format that takes a bit more effort and can be quite rewarding.

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  4. wow! that is gorgeous...! do you sell the works of art that you make, but don't wear? you have an Etsy shop, or something?

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    1. I haven't so far - mainly because I haven't found people willing to pay the price. I don't create to sell but I'm willing to sell what I create if that makes sense.

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  5. I love this result, Myrna! And the process, and this final post. So interesting.
    I'm really working on my seam joining right now so it's very relevant. I'm now spending a lot more time basting than ever before and it's paying off. I know I could learn a lot from you with all of your experience.

    Thank you for a great post!

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    1. We can learn a lot from each other. That's the fabulous benefit of the Internet. I think the whole slowing down - slow sewing - pinning, basting, re-doing what you can - can really pay off in upping the quality and enjoyment of our work and the finished product. Normally, I'd have redone those seams. On the next piece, I'll get back to that because I want to know that I did my best. In this case, best equaled finishing.

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  6. Hi Myrna - that dress is a very Myrna-looking dress, except for the color and the size! I think the next one is going to look great on you, esp when you can select a color that you know you like. I am totally inspired by the lines you stitched into it, though. Very inspiring!

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    1. Isn't the stitching fun. I really had a great time playing with the textures. YES... I definitely want to make this in a Myrna colour.

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  7. Ooh, I love it! It's my colour too. Sadly it wouldn't fit me any better than you, Myrna. Hopefully all those lessons and experiments can be happily applied to something that works much better for you. And I also hope you can find a happy home for this one! I'd hate to think of it becoming another wadder.

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    1. I'm not sure I could give it away without fixing the seams. I'll let it simmer for awhile. It would fit Sheri and it's in her colouring so she may get it along with a spool of thread.

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  8. Myrna: That's a great looking dress!

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  9. Ugg, my comment just got wiped out... I think I said:
    I see your brown tunic becoming a lovely modern vest that you wear over your fav black top and pants. Create the vest by cutting down the front and edging it. You can make the opening symmetrical or asymmetrical. Have fun with it!
    So glad you are learning and sharing your journey!
    Carrie

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    1. LOL - that would be possible but it's never going to happen. This one and I are done now. I hope I'm always learning and sharing. I think it's an essential part of who I am.

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  10. I love the stitching, and its so well done. When I do a lot of stitching like that it never lays as flat as I would like. Great job!

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    1. Thank you. A hammer and a steam iron are two of my BSFF (best sewing friends forever).

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  11. I love the detailing you've added to this pattern, Myrna!

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    1. I liked this pattern the minute I saw it. I'm not sure if I'll do as much work - or perhaps different work - when I make it again. I still dream of exposed seams and that didn't work out this time with the samples.

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  12. I love this dress, Myrna. Too bad it's not Myrna colored. It is definitely Dawn colored. :) I think the only thing I might have changed about it is to try and make that tucked side panel one piece instead of two. It would require a bit of thinking, but i think doable. I really like it with the black of your dress form. I could see it layered over a longer skirt or leggings. Thank you for the eye candy.

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    1. Thanks and you're welcome. I agree about the side panel. I looked at that too. One of the factors is that the side seam is curved to give more shape to the dress. That would have to be worked into the tucks some how.

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