crafts · Sewing

What to do on a snowy Saturday…


and sew

and make a garment that is totally inappropriate for the weather!

Actually, it’s made of wool, so I say it counts as a winter garment.  Yes, after 3 muslins I’ve finally got my fit issues worked out on the Rooibos dress, and I’ve cut into my wool crepe.  I preshrank this crepe in the dryer with wet towels, a method that I’m pretty sure I don’t recommend.  It came out with dark splotches, so I washed the whole piece in the sink with eucalen, and they went away.  I think this color was just going to change a bit on getting wet, so the whole thing needed to get soaked.

I made 2 alterations to the pattern.  First I did a small bust alteration on the front, which removed the excess fabric and made the front (in the size 2) look great!  The back was still being weird though – the back neckline was gaping.  I read and reread the books on fit, trying to figure out my problem (I often have this issue in ready to wear also.)  I don’t have a swayback, so I knew it wasn’t that exactly, and the excess fabric was too high for that anyway.  I finally determined that my issue was called “erect posture” in the books.  I would not think that standing up straight requires an alteration, but there you go.  I have very straight posture, as a result of years of music, dance, and stage training and work.  I did the alteration for erect posture, and it was fixed!  I’d imagine this is an alteration I will be doing often.

The actual color of the crepe is closer to the top photo, though it is richer than that.  My camera hates greens – and it is green, not teal.  I have changed the neckline.  The original design has a tiny little collar formed from the facing, but I was not a fan of it.  I’m going to use some decorative buttons there instead.  I’m making a 2 for the bodice, but a size 0 for the midriff and skirt – the 2 had a lot of extra fabric, which is again strange because my measurements led me to the opposite conclusion – that I should make a smaller top and larger skirt!  The crepe is far more stretchy than my muslin fabric, so I knew that I didn’t want it to be too big.

The design calls for piping around the neckline, sleeves, and pockets, and I was anxious to try out my new piping foot (foot 38, for Bernina owners.)  I also bought an invisible zipper foot, because I am all about buying the specialty feet rather than making it harder on myself by improvising.  I am not good at zippers, though I am improving.  My old machine had an awful zipper foot, that tried to do both types of zippers.  Not so much.  I had to go on an epic search for packaged piping, not being in the mood to make it myself.  Joannes was totally out of black, so I had to go to Hancocks again (let me reiterate how sad I am that our big downtown sewing store, Baer’s, closed last year… it was 5 minutes from my house, and actually had things in stock, not to mention all the fabrics… sniff.)  I, of course, got sucked into the pattern sales.  Here is what I found:

Vogue 1132, I bought this for the skirt pattern, probably to use the plaid from my last post, though I have a red/black plaid that might be more suited.  I must confess that I love that jacket too, and I would love to make the complete suit someday.  It’s got a bit of that 70s vibe again, and I think I like it.

Vintage Vogue 1136.  Dress and jacket combo.  They had this made up in the magazine earlier this year, and it is cute, though I confess I would shorten the dress (I don’t do tea length.)  I’m mostly attracted to the jacket, which has some unusual detailing.

Vogue 8640.  High waist skirt and jacket.  Very Mad Men.  I love the retro vibe – this would make a great spring suit!

Mccalls 5843.  Again I am searching for a maxi dress I will wear.  This one isn’t super low cut, which I prefer.   I like the ruffle, and I could also see it a bit shorter (with the ruffle.)  I can imagine wearing this out to the coffee shop in the summer.

Back to the sewing – I’m trying to decide how to finish the seams, and once I get that worked out I’ll continue on the dress!