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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Blue-Sky Sewing - Rose Embellished End of Summer Frock

Since I got my sloper done, I look at other woman's frocks with a new eye. I ran into Rebecca, on a toasty day while we were waiting for our devices to get fixed at the apple store, and she was kind enough to let me photo her in this great rose-embellished, gingham summer dress.

Looks like maybe six tiers in that nice big rose. It starts above the natural waistline, and extends below the full hip.

This great gingham cotton frock also has bust darts.

I would try to recreate something like this by simply eliminating the front torso fisheye darts in my sloper, and maybe also grading the pattern out from beneath the bust darts?

Saturday, September 19, 2015

More New York Garment District Trims - Embellishing my Newest Tapestry Cap

I posted previously about the denim cap that I took along on my trip to New York to both trim and finish with simple hand sewing.  I bought the beads and Swarovski crystals for this project in the New York garment district as well as the trims for the denim cap.
I'd also taken along the tapestry cap  I had made to replace the one I began embellishing on my trip to Vancouver last year - and then lost. I talked about that project in the Enchanted by Sewing Audio/Podcast Capping off Summer, that you can still listen to. I've already worn this cap (and it's matching mobile pocket bag) practically all summer.  They both came in pretty hand on our trip to England and Scotland, and have worn well. I carried the mobile pocket bag all over New York too - perfect for my MTA transit card, keys and small amounts of cash I carried with me.

Hand embellishment is the perfect sewing project for me to take along when traveling, and it's such a good excuse for some low-key and less expensive shopping! I used things I bought right away, and they didn't take much room in my bag. Also, I don't always take the time to do this kind of work when sewing at home - but I felt quite inspired to finish this embellishment, begun on the trip once I got home. Unlike the pearled-denim cap that I finished, and wore, on the trip. I still had some beading to do on this tapestry cap when I got home. But a few days after my return, it was done.

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Read more about my big city experiences in New York - http://simpleromantic.blogspot.com/2015/09/new-york-field-trip-casual-art-friendly.html

Lucy Locket's Mobile Pocket Bag Holds my iPod, iPhone, a little money, a few cards and whatever other bits and pieces I need for walks, bike trips and travel. http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2015/06/lucky-lockets-mobile-device-pocket-bag.html

This Enchanted by Sewing podcast episode is all about how I make my casual caps. I have another on (dressier) hat making.

Caps Show - http://enchantedbysewing.blogspot.com/2014/08/ench-by-sew-023-capping-off-summer.html

Hats Show- http://enchantedbysewing.blogspot.com/2015/03/ench-by-sew-030-hats-off-to-downtown.html

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Fitting Western Winds - Princess-Seamed Shirt M6076 (Journal/Sloper/Pattern Work)

Journaling - Learning to fit and work with my sloper.

M6076 - Three princess-seamed shirts
I'm also learning to question, my sloper.

I'm starting with a basic princess-seamed shirt pattern - McCalls 6076.

Initially I'm working with the princess-seam in shoulder seam option (view A). (others in line drawing below)

Noted so far
- Learning to compare front or back pattern pieces to my sloper, I have to learn where to place them. Do I line up the base of underarm seam/armscye? If I start comparing at shoulder seam I can get thrown off because I often need to alter this area - except on some commercial patterns, when it's fine!

First time through with a test-garment (that's the one I'll actually wear, one step beyond my muslin) I'm making a sleeveless version. I'm taking careful note of where I
-a- I alter  the underarm seam (armscye) to create a tighter fitting armhole
-b- Take  the top of the armhole back somewhat, for this no-sleeve version.

Later I'll test the muslin with a muslin sleeve, where I'll test the pattern without both of these (a and b) alterations.

Another benefit to a sleeveless test garment is,  I'm getting it out of a piece that is somewhat less than 2 yards. I will be piecing the under collar, and also the front facing. But I don't expect those piecing line to show.

Waistline and Princess Seam Alterations
Working on a very fitted look without overfitting
 Would be better to add an extra seam allowance - 1 inch instead of 5/8-  for all this playing around
Lots of trying on here! Did same front and back on all 4 princess seams

I made sure to safety pin the front closed matching up the button hole marks, so that I don't overfit. I want the shirt to button and need a certain amount of overlap for that.

- First I basted a 1/4 inch seam along the princess stitching line
- Then increased (still with a basting stitch) the princess line seam allowance to 7/8"
- Then I unabasted the second line of basting below the bust and graded back to the 7/8"

- Finally I took in/graded the waist with a kind of elongated half oval, about 3 and 1/2 inch above and below the waist. Challenging figuring out when to alter waist and when to alter princess seams - lots of safety pin basting helped with that

Altering Armscye/Armhole for Sleeveless Version

 I took the shoulder seam back towards the neck for an improved sleeveless style

* Compared to my sloper, and graded in 1/2 inch at bottom of armhole/armscye on side seam for sleeveless. Then I graded back out  to original side seam after, hummm.... about one to two inches? A french curve is handy for doing that. I admit, I eyeballed it. I kept the original full seam on the pattern, because I'll probably want it for the sleeved version. I also kept it on the muslin  so I can reuse the muslin when testing a sleeved version.

* I also tested  raising the side seam up for the sleeveless version (based on what I learned in French Pattern Drafting class going from moulage to sloper) , but it was too tight.

* For sleeveless, I'm  raising outside shoulder (taking it back towards the neck line) for sleeveless style - 1 3/8" (11/8") without S.A. - so probably either 9/8 (1 and18) or 6/8 (3/4) " cut back/off - the first for 1/4" and second 5/8" S.A. I'll mark on the pattern what works for sleeveless - but keep the full original armscye on pattern for sleeved version test.

In addition to desirability of a sleeveless shirt for our late-running summer-in-fall weather, this helps me to focus on fitting aspects of the torso. The sleeve adds in a whole 'nother fit challenge, even though it means I have to make alterations when I go between sleeveless and sleeved. A good reason to journal!

M6076 - Test Garment Fit In Progress

Shoulder Seams
 * I ended up adding 1/2" (better would have been more - because I only took a 1/4 "seam allowance (S.A.)  - so next time add in 7/8") to the back
* I therefore took back 1/2" from the front  because of alteration to back. Again because I only sewed the 1/4" S.A., next time through I will add back another 3/8 inch and sew  a full 5/8" S.A.

* I've made this shoulder line adjustment many times, the reason I didn't catch it when comping my Master Pattern Trace (M.P.T.) to the sloper? For the back - I forgot that the S.A. is not included in the sloper pattern, as it is in the commercial pattern. (Often forget this). For the front, I don't know. The front of my sloper just looks too high. The No S.A. sloper comes out at the same time as the M.P.T.. So it seems like maybe I should make a tentative adjustment to my sloper front - dropping it by perhaps.... 3/8 or 1/2 inch. It's challenging thinking between with and without S.A. But this is something to think about math 'wise as I continue to work comparing my sloper to patterns I trace.

- I pin basted the muslin to make sure I had a basic fit, but I really didn't see the shoulder issues until I cut out and stitch -basted the test garment. In the future, maybe encourage myself to stitch-baste that muslin. I have a way of not seeing the pattern as real until I move past the muslin. It seems good enough, and I really want to see it as an actual garment. And with the pins in, I'm always in a hurry to get out of it!

I basted with a stitch  length of 6 and starting out with 1/4" seams. Then I keep trying it on and increasing the S.A. up to 5/8" . Alternatively, I could have added a full 1" S. A. on the first pass,  but I figured since the muslin was OK, I didn't need to.

Right now I'm happy with accurately placed shoulder seams - which gives a shirt a custom fitted look. I took in the 2 side seams more, but they are still a little loose. However, I haven't yet basted a deeper princess seam (4 actual seams). Once I check those, I'll know if I want to grade in - all or some of - the side seams to increase the fitted look.

~ ~ ~ Web Resources ~~~
An interesting related fitting post, that journals some of the challenges of fitting a basic princess-seamed pattern http://artisanssquare.com/sg/index.php?topic=16322.0

Saturday, September 12, 2015

New York Garment District Trims- Pearled Denim Cap

I was in New York for three weeks helping my daughter find, move and settle into her new apartment. The Upper East Side of Manhattan, where Rosalinda will be living while going to graduate school, is well situated for forays to the NYC garment district. You can bet I'll be looking for excuses to visit!

I focused mostly on visiting trim shops in this famed area. Trims are small and light to carry back. They're also something I could make use of while traveling. This pearled denim* cap - I bought the pearly beads and lace trim in the garment district- is one of two cap projects I purchased trims for in the garment district, and worked on during my trip. I was able to quickly cut it out and do some fast machine stitching before I left town, then did the embellishment and a little hand sewing to finish it off while I was there. I completed it early on, so I was able to make good use of it's sun protecting character during my visit to the Big Apple.

I'm considering adding another line or two of pearls....

~ ~ ~
Read more about my big city experiences in New York - http://simpleromantic.blogspot.com/2015/09/new-york-field-trip-casual-art-friendly.html

This Enchanted by Sewing podcast episode is all about how I make my casual caps. I have another on (dressier) hat making.

Caps Show - http://enchantedbysewing.blogspot.com/2014/08/ench-by-sew-023-capping-off-summer.html

Hats Show- http://enchantedbysewing.blogspot.com/2015/03/ench-by-sew-030-hats-off-to-downtown.html

* The denim was a remnant from the Summer Essentials shorts I blogged about last month

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Ench By Sew-36: Fiona, the Irish Laurel Dress

Dress creation brings out the romantic in me. When I looked ahead to my summer sewing, I thought if I could sew only one garment for the season, it would be a dress. Fiona, the Irish Laurel dress, satisfied my yearning to design and sew the perfect summer frock.

Hey let’s listen to the show! To do that you can either download the ‘cast from iTunes - Click on this link to iTunes  , 
*OR* listen directly on the web, by clicking on this link
* * *

This dress was a very satisfying project for my arty romantic style

In between sewing summer essentials - shorts and tees - I worked off and on to determine what design lines spoke to me about summer, mock up a miniature sloper pattern to test my ideas, draft a pattern from my sloper, and then finally to sew up Fiona, while summer was still on!

* Pensamientos Primeros - Thinking through my idea for this summer dress
     - Part 1 - Planning Fiona
        - Part 2 - Farewell to Summer Romancing Fiona, the Irish Laurel Dress  
*Technicos - Pattern Drafting and Kissing Zipper using a Prick Stitch

*Pensamientos Finales - Fiona's Design Lines have roots in my own history

Finians Rainbow was a modern American fairy tale. It expressed late 1960's dreams for racial harmony and folks coming together. Fred Astaire (Finian McLonigan) and Petula Clark(his daughter Sharon) added in the romance of America seen, and idealized, fresh from Irish eyes. The story of Finian's determination to plant himself a crop of Irish gold, intertwined with romance of countryside and a new happpily-ever-after love for Sharon draws me in as well today as it did when I was a kid who'd only recently arrived in a new place myself. Any wonder that the movie's costumes inspire my pattern work and sewing today?

Visit Me Encanta Coster/Enchanted by Sewing - my regular sewing blog for other summer sewing I enjoyed along the way... in between time spent bringing Fiona to life

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Farewell to Summer - Romancing Fiona, the Irish Laurel Dress (Part 2/2 -Termindado!)

Fiona, the Irish Laurel Dress
Fiona is made from a yellow green Linen-Rayon blend, lined with Bemberg rayon.
This dress has a one piece front and one piece back.
It includes front bust darts, back shoulder darts and partial darts that open like tucks in the torso front and back. The bodice above the dart/tucks is quite fitted.
The kissing zipper is prick-stitched.

I started day dreaming about creating Fiona at the beginning of summer. Then  in Fiona, my Summery Irish Laurel Dress,
I got more serious about my romance with this dress. I began playing around with a small pattern replica, imagining how I might manipulate my sloper*.

Since then, my summer frock dreams came true. I drafted a pattern for my Irish Laurel Dress, and sewed her up too. I've worn this perfect summer frock several times and really enjoyed the feel and flow of the garment. I'm already looking forward to using and altering this pattern again.

I talk about creating Fiona in my September Enchanted by Sewing Audio Podcast** - Remember you can either download Enchanted by Sewing audio shows from iTunes OR you can just listen right on the web (while sewing perhaps?). Links for both will be in the show notes, as they always are.

(Listen to the Fiona Show right on the web by clicking on this link)

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* Initial Blue Sky Plans for Fiona - http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2015/08/romancing-my-summery-irish-laurel-dress.html Playing with a small version of a sloper pattern was a great way to envision the actual pattern work.

** Stop by the shownotes for the Enchanted by Sewing Podcast and sign up to get an email abouut new monthly audio shows. Or subscribe in iTunes.  http://www.enchantedbysewing.blogspot.com/