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!

10 thoughts on “What to do on a snowy Saturday…

  1. your patterns are great….me being a very large woman drools at the patterns….i wish they were in my large size…

  2. Oh no, Baer’s closed!? I grew up 80 miles east of Louisville, and every so often my mom and I would go to Baer’s for fabric shopping. My favorite part was the wall of buttons. Too bad they are no longer there. 😦

  3. I have been enjoying reading your adventures in sewing! I can’t wait to see your dress when it’s finished.

  4. Loving the patterns, and that maxi dress! Your improvising astonishes me! Wow. It seems brave. I need to learn how to do these things. What books are you using?

  5. Hi and I have enjoyed your posts and getting caught up with you. It’s been a while since I’ve stopped by. Sort of gave up reading knitting blogs only to stop by and see you are now into sewing and making a fine entrance into this new world. You do lovely stitching. Your garments look great.
    Vintage~ ~I’ve got an inkling here too to make a few vintage dresses for this summer and get me out of pants! I work at home so I tend to not dress up and have found that I am getting a little ragged. 2010 resolution to put on make up every day weather I’m going out or not. That one vintage dress pattern is sweet with the scalloped neckline and the yellow rose fabric looks so like the fabric of my Mothers dresses in the 50’s. I love it! What are you going to do with it?
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

  6. Looking good! Can’t wait to see it finished, piping and all.

    Am I wrong in thinking that you learned to sew recently? At any rate, you’re well on your way to becoming an accomplished seamstress!

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