Tuesday, October 17, 2017

A drafting experiment

The dress I made was cut on the bias and as a result I had a bit of fabric left. It inspired me to sew this top as experiment for rotating darts out to the neckline and create tucks. It’s a style I don’t use as in commercial patterns there is usually so much ease around the bust added that I I feel it makes me look huge. Still I wanted to try this. The result is better than I hoped because no extra ease is added at bust height. Not the very best style on me but wearable.

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I made the shoulder seam with the instructions from Sara Alm’s Craftsy class Facings and linings. Very neat method. Definitely a good alternative to the way I used before.

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For those interested the pattern drafting phases. The shoulder, armhole and bust dart are rotated out, creating space at the new tuck lines.

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In the end I did not sew the waist dart.

To conclude a first picture of my next project. Pattern pieces cut and block-fused. It’s a souvenir fabric I bought a few years ago in New York. At the time I thought I would make a Chanel-style jacket of it, but I’m not really wanting one any more. It will be a short coat. More on that later.

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Saturday, October 7, 2017

A self-drafted dress

This week I started and finished the dress I drafted. I made a few changes to the pattern, based on the muslin and comments and am quite happy with the result.

Let’s start with some pictures of the dress as is and some of how I’ll wear this.

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My intention from the start was to wear it with a belt.

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A combination for the coming season. The weather here is not for sleeveless dresses.

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And finally some pictures from the inside. I used a lining fabric with some stretch. It’s basically my sloper pattern with a straigh skirt. The facing for the back is a separate layer over the lining fabric, a method I use often.

The construction of the dress is the same as I showed last year for a sleeveless top. In this dress I added a zipper in the left side seam, to make it easier to get it over my head.

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Monday, October 2, 2017

Rotating darts out, creating a smooth curve

For the skirt of my dress I wanted an A-line. This means that the dart is rotated so that  the side seam will be wider. The picture below shows the bottom part of my sloper. When the dart is cut and the dotted line below you can fold the dart lines together, creating the A-line shape.

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There is one disadvantage though when you have a large difference in your hip/waist measurements. The dart on the sloper is wide, which makes for a rather steep angle when you fold the dart out. Making it to a nice curve will shorten the waistline quite a bit.


The solution is using two darts. On top is the original sloper as above, below the same part of the sloper, but the darts are changed in two smaller darts.

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After the darts are rotated out, the curve of the one with two darts is much smoother. Below I’ve added a red line indicating the one-dart version.

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Removing or adding darts is always a design decision and (for me at least) there’s no right or wrong. There will be other ways to do it but this is how I do it.

The dress is coming along nicely. hope to show results soon.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Dress muslin

The muslin of the upper part of the dress was easily made. I only cut seam allowances to the shoulder, side and center back seam. Then I marked with carbon tracing paper and stitched it together.
The result was definitely in the right direction, but a few changes were necessary.
I cut this on the bias, as I intend to do on with the fashion fabric too.

The back: I did not sew  the back darts and therefor took some extra space from center back and removed a bit of the side seam. It’s too wide and the back armhole is gaping a bit.
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The back with a bit more taken from the side seam and just a little bit taken from the armhole, tapering to nothing in the back neck.
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The front doesn’t look bad, no gaping at the armhole, cowl depth is fine. It could be a little less wide at the side seams too.
I haven’t made a dress from this sloper with a waist seam. Seeing these pictures and the line marking the waist, I think my waistline is too low. I’d like to hear your opion on that.
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This is the front after the side seams are taken in a bit. Could be a bit less?
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Before and after of the armhole. The armhole on the sloper is fine for a garment with sleeves. You need a bit more room for movement of your arms. On a sleeveless dress this is not an issue and I took out about 1 cm.

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Any thoughts on improving the fit are welcome and appreciated.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

I’m in dress mode

When I bought the navy/black fabric I made the Burda dress from, I bought some other fabric too. This is a woven and a bit more expensive. I was not sure about what style I wanted to make with it. It’s just enough for a sleeveless dress that I can wear as it is or with a cardigan or jacket.

I contemplated making a simple dress with a cowl neck and draped the fabric on my dressform and yes, that’s what I want to make. I drafted a cowl neck top from my sloper some time ago and the result was a rather deep cowl neck. This time I wanted it higher. As I don’t have any fabric to play with, I decided on making a muslin first to prevent disappointment.

Like last year I’ll write a few posts about the process, not exactly knowing where it will end (do I have enough fabric for example?)

This is my starting point, my sloper for front and back.

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For the muslin I used only the top part. Unlike last time I did this, I did not rotate the waist dart out to make sure my cowl is not too deep. I took 1/4 inch from the shoulder seam at the side of the arm and drafted a 3 inch wide shoulder from which point a line is drafted for the cowl in a 90 degree angle to the center front. This results in a 21 cm line for the cowl (I know I’m completely mixing inches and centimeters, depending on the ruler I’m using, doesn’t bother me).

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The length of this line is important, as it defines the depth of the cowl. This is not something what is mentioned in the drafting class from Suzy Furrer (from which I used the technique). As I’m full busted and have wide darts, this means a long line/deep cowl when all darts are rotated out. This won’t be so much of a problem for someone with a small cup size.

I measured on myself, but for the idea this is what I checked.

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The back has the same changes in the shoulder area. I ignored the shoulder dart (hence crossed) and did the same with the waist dart.

I’ve already sewn the muslin. A matter of half an hour or so. Too dark to take photos now so will do that tomorrow.

Comments on my blog - I can reply

Not a sewing post. This post is about a more or less trivial thing on my blog. For a long time I saw the "Reply" option to comments only on my phone and not at my computer.
Which meant that I seldom replied to comments directly under the comment any more, as I can touch type at my computer and it takes me too much time on my phone (on which I'm typing with 1 finger).
This morning I thought it was time to dive into the matter again and I finally found the solution. It meant editing a line in the html code, but that's familiar territory for me.

For my readers/commenters it means that if you have a question on something it's easier to answer for me at the spot where the question is asked and of course just react to comments in general.

I might be doing some more housekeeping on my blog in the next few days, it might be time for a new look and checking on the sidebar options. Haven't done anything about it for a very long time.


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Another Burda pattern–dress from the January 2017 issue

Most of you who have been reading my blog for a long time know that sometimes I get so enthousiastic about a pattern that I want to sew it immediately and often do that as well. This dress was in the enthousiastic category, but was not made immediately.

The main attraction for me was in the upper part of the dress. What a lovely neckline and raglan sleeves are something different too. As stated earlier, when I showed the first in progress photos, pleats on the hips and a point emphasizing that part on the back are not for me.

These are pictures from the BurdaStyle website.

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I made my version in a fabric with a stretch very similar to a ponte knit. I bought it at the Utrecht fabric market. Two friends bought exactly the same fabric, I’m looking forward to see their versions. Very difficult to make good pictures, the colours are black and very dark navy. The sun made these photos brighter.

The fit is not too bad, as always the wrinkles are showing more when you’re standing still and in real life it doesn’t look that bad. I lengthened the body a bit too much this time, the waistline could be slightly higher and the back a bit narrower. Note to self: next time draft it from my sloper. Sometimes it’s just easy to trace a pattern ;).

I want to wear it with a small belt, but have none in my possession that suited this dress.

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In the back I opted for a zipper that doesn’t go to the neckline completely. Not necessary to get my head into it and at the same time making the step of sewing it accurately so that there’s no unevenness at the end of the zipper unneccessary. I need the zipper for the waist.

I changed the pattern and construction of the neckline facing. For those interested, these are my changes.

I made a neckline facing for the back and sleeve togehter. There’s a little extra fabric as the sleeve parts do not exactly match, but I considered it not enough to add a dart.

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For the front I made a separate facing too. Sewed the facing to the front first and then sewn both the sleeve and the back facing in one pass. I hope you can see it in the next photo, it’s very hard to explain and photograph. The bottom layer is the back with the sleeve attached, then you see the front (with facing side up) and on top is the back neck facing. After you turn this it has a nice and crisp corner. No fiddling with points to clip in.

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To conclude the skirt part. For this I used my skirt block, but any pencil skirt pattern that fits would do. Usually you will have one dart in the front and in the back pattern (I use two but that’s not too important here). I moved the darts so that they started at the same point from center front and back as the top of the dress. Then I just cut down to make a seam in the same line as the princess seam from the top and made sure the waistlines matched. I could have sewn the dart only, that’s just a design option/choice.

Describing all this makes it seem like a lot of work, but it’s not that complicated. It’s a dress I will wear a lot this winter.