Friday, February 6, 2015

Mitering And The New Millicent

My grandson phoned last night to "talk" to me and say goodnight. Lately, he picks up the phone and wants to talk to Grandma which - of course - makes my heart melt. He needs help with interpretation... which is just fine with me. I'm happy to help especially as he has this amazing ability to say exactly what I want to hear like Grandma I love you SOOOOO much. You're the BEST Grandma in the whole world. I wish you were here. I wish I was there. SAVE ME from my parents - LOL. It's one of those little joys that makes a long, tough week just a little bit better.





Yesterday, I spent quite a bit of time working with the sweater knit. Because it's prone to raveling,, I needed to finish the seam allowances and after sampling a few possibilities, the nicest method was to serge finish the edges, stitch the seam, and press the seam allowances open.





I chose Vogue 8691 as the body to go with my sleeves. This is an all time favourite that I've sewn more times than I can count. The original has what I call a ruffle and what Katherine Tilton - the designer - refers to as a peplum. No matter what it's called, these hips do not need more attention so I've left it off. I've tried all sorts of different ways to hem the bottom. This time, I mitered the seams starting with stitching the seams to the hem fold line.





The critical element with mitering is to sew across the hem allowance at a mirror angle to the seam line. The hem is 1". In the image above, the 1" line of the ruler is laying on the pressed hem fold. I moved the ruler along the fold until it touched the stitching line 1" above the fold and the serged edge 1" below the fold. I then marked the position on the serged edge, drew a diagonal line from the end of the seam to the mark, and stitched the angle.





Then I trimmed the seam allowance as shown. This takes out the unnecessary bulk that will be folded into the hemline.





The seam allowance was pressed open as was the trimmed seam across the hemline. Using a point press allowed me to press right into the fold of the hem for a nice clean finish.





When the hem is refolded into position, the mitered corner lays flat and evenly against the inside of the garment. It will be stitched in place with two rows of stitching using a double needle. Today, I'll finish the sleeve and underarm seam, finish the neckband, and stitch the hems and then the top is done. Right now, it's looking less like a sweater and more like a sweatshirt. Very interesting. I think it's partly that greyed pink color. It's soft and pretty and even so I look much better in the darker color of the back which is - thankfully - the colour I plan to knit a coordinating scarf in.





After a lot of debate, I ordered a new Millicent so she could put on the same weight I'd put on. It was getting too depressing when my clothes looked better on the smaller dress form than they did on me plus the constant reminder of our differences had long since stopped being fun in any way. The other dress form couldn't be dialed up to the measurements I needed.With this one, I adjusted the form for my front and back measurements without concern and the full bust is correct without padding and the bust point is where it needs to be. It's a win-win made somewhat easier by buying wholesale through my supplier.





A larger dress form felt a bit like caving however, in my current reality, weight loss is nowhere near the top of the things I can cope with right now list and it will be far better for me to sew with a more realistic form. I wanted the form for sewing the cruise collection and for at the Design Outside The Lines retreat in June since Sandra Ericson - the guest instructor - will be demonstrating draping skills. Before I bought my first dress form, I had no idea how valuable it was and now I couldn't sew without one.

Talk soon - Myrna
Grateful - a supplier who sells dress forms

Yes I have a sewing machine and like to sew, and no I don 't want to hem, mend or fix your clothes or curtains for 1/3 of the price of a tailor. Do it yourself if you think it only takes a minute. 
- unknown

10 comments:

  1. Changing to a new dress form is not caving. It is simply a better fit for your body. So many of those style gurus say Dress for the body you have, right now, not a body you aspire to. They are right. Wish your cruise came through Paris!

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    1. Thanks. This morning when I went to put the top I'm sewing on her, I realized that it was giving me a much better perspective on how I look. I'm bigger than I was but I'm not BIG. Paris would have been fun. Right now it seems like a total unreality but you never know. Maybe some day.

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  2. I hadn't thought of it, but that is something I should contemplate. I don't think mine is big enough anymore either. I don't use it much because nothing looks right. Hmmmm.

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    1. Having a form is so valuable and it felt a lot more confident this morning when I was dressing the right size. Instead of constantly thinking yeah but she's smaller, I was thinking yes yes - things look pretty good.

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  3. Awwww! So fun re: your grandson!

    I love that sweater knit. It's beautiful!

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    1. My grandson is adorable. I am totally biased. The sweater knit is very soft. I bought it at Fabric Depot in Portland last June and couldn't leave it behind once I felt how gorgeous it was.

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  4. I've been debating for a long time, the merits of getting a dress form. Perhaps it's just time to bite the bullet and get one...perhaps I'd actually do some sewing!

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    1. A dress form is definitely up there on my have to have list now which is quite funny since at one time I wouldn't have bothered. It's not a duplicate of me but it's close enough to really help with sewing and I vote for anything that will get you back sewing. A form. A digital camera. Ten minutes a day. Whatever it takes. So important.

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  5. I can't sew properly without a dress form either. Mine was made (with moistened paper tape) directly on me so it *really* shows my shape, all the idiosyncrasies including my lower right shoulder! I'd better not outgrow her though because I am never doing that again. Torturous!

    Love your perfect mitred hems!

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    1. I've looked at those duct tape versions and I was pretty sure I couldn't stand through that and not sure I actually wanted that much realistic information. Too funny. If you do change size, a standard form is valuable too. LOL - I love my mitered hem too. I think it looks great. Years ago, that would have been stressful. It's so good to learn new tricks. They open up our creativity.

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