Saturday, October 08, 2011

Cutting out B5100

I got the dress cut out from B5100. As I was studying the envelope and cutting out the c shaped back neck facing I thought, 'wait a minute'. In one of the photos the V is on the front and the other photo shows the V neck on the back.  So the only way to do that is to wear the dress backwards.  I don't mind doing that, but shouldn't they have noted it somewhere in the description?  Or if they did I can't find it.

The pattern does mention you can use a purchased belt or a self fabric belt. Since I had to add width to the side seams I also made sure to make the belt longer.  The reason I went ahead and cut out the belt is it will come in handy in tying all the colors together in my 3 color wardrobe system.  It can also be worn in my hair as a headscarf.

My boyfriend took the table I have been cutting out patterns on with him to the SCA event.  So I used a lower table and my back and shoulders and neck are killing me now.  To add the cherry on top, my cat tried to jet out the door as I was cleaning up and I lunged for him and now I have a cramp in my right shoulder.  Gads.  I don't remember sewing being this painful when I was younger.

My neighbor came over to see what I was making.  I said, "Oh I'm sewing a dress."  She shook her head and said, "I tried that once.  It didn't turn out well.  Good luck." Haha. I guess I'm just too stubborn to give up.  I was going to sew today too, but it took forever to do all the alterations and I'm too stiff and sore to sit at the sewing machine. Tomorrow is another day.  I did want to finish before my boyfriend gets hom on Monday though.

Sewing a Dress Today

This morning I'm ready to work on Butterick B5100, view C.  I have a feeling I'm going to have to make it a little bigger or maybe a lot bigger. It's a sheath dress and I don't want it to be too tight. And I need to layer things over and under it. Remember, more than likely you cannot sew any pattern straight out of the envelope and have it fit you.  You will always need to make some changes in arm length or where the darts point or how short the waist is or something.  I read in an alterations book only 6% of women can fit into a pattern made straight out of the envelope. So take the extra time to measure yourself and compare it to the pattern specs.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

First Outfit From Things I Already Own

I gathered some of the pink, red and gray items I already own and came up with this outfit.  The only down side is though this skirt is new, it's too tight for me to wear for long, the belt is two belts hooked together and I need to find a better way to do that and I'm not a big fan of bandanas on my neck.  It looks fine but I feel like I'm being choked after a while.

And without a bra it's a bit too revealing.  With a bra I feel suffocated. Dilemmas. But at least I got off of top dead center. I may let the skirt out.  The long sleeved t-shirt has a Halloween design on the front, so I either have to keep covering it up, or just wear it in October. But it's progress. The longest I could wear this outfit is 2 hours tops.

Fabric Decisions

I'm plugging away at the wardrobe project. I got my four new fabrics into the washer to pre-wash them. Three of them can go in the dryer but I don't want to risk drying the organza.  I'll have to hang it. I wanted to make a frou-frou shrug like I saw at the Pasadena Bead Show once. Just in case I ever do get invited to an opera or a ballet. A girl can dream you know.

If I don't run out of energy I hope to get a dress cut out today as soon as the fabric is dry.  But after doing laundry all day I'm kinda pooped. If you want to read up on how the wardrobe project is going click on the link, scroll down, and look for 'shopping your own closets' in the subtitle.

Red Organza with Gold Embroidery

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Dyeing the Shirts

You know that quiet little voice in your head that says 'uhoh' and then you rationalize it and ignore it?
When I ran out of fabric, my boyfriend went out and got another 2 yards.  I just had the yokes to cut out.  As I was cutting them I thought, "This fabric sure seems smoother." It was the same color (natural) but just felt a bit different. I chalked it up to not being pre-shrunk, and maybe a bit of sizing in there. So I cut it out and carried on. But he had grabbed the wrong bolt of fabric.  I recall they had about 5 off-white linens, and I guess they were not all the same.

When my boyfriend dyed it red, the smoother fabric took the dye differently. The yoke is definitely lighter that the rest.  But we lucked out. It looks like a more complicated two-toned shirt.  It wouldn't have looked so good if the back yoke was the old fabric and the front yoke was the new fabric. Now it looks like I meant to do that.

The other frustrating thing was I used white thread for both, but one spool must have been cotton and the other polyester, because the threads on the red shirt resisted the dye and stayed white. My boyfriend said it didn't matter to him.  The inner seamstress in me is crying though. You can't really tell in this photo though because of the shadows.  But he's already left to the event so I can't take another photo.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Dyeing the Shirt

The shirts are being dyed right now. Thankfully that wasn't my job. This is the burgundy one.  I haven't seen the other one yet and it's out in the dryer. He said it's moss green.

Fixing a Buttonhole That Is On the Wrong Side.

It's official. I'm done with both shirts. But after my last blog post I didn't go to bed. I sewed for another hour or more. Then I ended up staying up until 4 AM catching up on all the things I didn't get to  do because the sewing took so many more hours than planned.

On the second shirt I ever so carefully measured which side to put the buttonholes on and which side to put the buttons on.  Then I made the buttonholes. My boyfriend tries it on and comments on how perfect I got the buttonholes.  Then he said they were on the wrong side. *@&%

To do a fix on them, I used a wide zig-zag and closed up each button hole.  Then I cut off the buttons and sewed them over the sealed holes.  Then I sewed new buttonholes on the other end of the cuff.  I wouldn't have done that if the item was being sold to someone, but it's for my boyfriend and he has to dye it today and wear it tomorrow, so he's not picky.  He's thrilled to have them at all. Once the buttons are through the buttonholes, you can't see the old buttonholes at all,  As my calligraphy teacher says, "If it looks good from 10 feet away on a galloping horse, it's good enough."

Of course I could have ripped off both cuffs and replaced them and made fresh buttonholes, but at this point I just needed to be done.

I also shortened the sleeve on the first shirt so both sleeves are the same length now.  I had to cut off the old cuff and make a new one.

So out of 2 shirts, I ended up making 5 cuffs, and 7 buttonholes. I told my boyfriend I put in enough hours to have made 3 shirts, and he said probably four.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Sewing the Second Shirt.

As I said yesterday, I marked the pattern pieces on the back of each one so I wouldn't have any mix ups.  I was 90% done with the second shirt. All I had left was the underarm seams and the cuffs.   I went to sew the underarms together, and once again the fabric didn't measure up to the same length. Oh no, not again.  So I went under a bright light, and read the name on each piece.  I managed to have the sleeve where the back of the shirt should be, and the back of the shirt where the left sleeve should be.
An hour later I had the 2 pieces removed from the shirt so I could swap them. As I sat there thinking, I realized that the same thing must have happened to the first shirt. I must have the sleeve in the wrong spot, and if so the two sleeves wouldn't be the same length.  I took a tape measure and one sleeve measured 22" and the other 27". After sewing all day that is not news I needed.  But I think it would be quicker just to cut the extra length off, make a brand new cuff and sew it on.  That way I won't have the tedium of ripping out that first cuff. My boyfriend said not to worry about it, he'd wear it as it was.  But I feel funny about that. If I have time to fix it tomorrow I will.
I really didn't want to go to bed tonight without this 2nd shirt finished.  Now I feel like neither shirt is finished and I'm about ready for the funny farm. But I'm afraid to sew any more tonight. It's already 11:30 PM, and except for dinner, I've been sewing since 6:30 PM.

Dress in Burgundy Knit

As soon as I get done sewing these two shirts for my partner, I'm going to sew the first piece in my fall wardrobe. It's a jumper style dress and I got the fabric for it a few days ago. I liked the gray but it was just too thin for the pattern. So I went with the deep maroon or burgundy with a little more weight to it.  I also saw two more fabrics there I want. One is a t-shirt weight gray with black stars and the other is some dark pink corduroy.  But I'm short on cash thanks to my business license being due Oct. 10. That one sure snuck up on me. So unless I sell something on Etsy or book a reading or something, purchasing more fabric will have to wait. If I can make the dress in the 7 days that my boyfriend is at Great Western War I'll feel pretty darn excited.  The pattern says its a 'one hour' pattern.  That must be sewing time.  Cutting out the shirt took me an hour, so the dress is going to take at least 30 minutes just to cut it all out.

I purposely picked a pattern that was plain so I can wear many accessories with it.