Monday, March 14, 2011

My Perfect Pencil Skirt Project

  I’ve been sewing for over 30 years, and in that time I have developed some really lazy habits.  Around the age of 16, sewing became a way for me to build a trendy wardrobe on a very small budget.   It was also the beginning of my worst habit.  I would start a blouse on a Friday night and work all weekend so I would have a new blouse to wear on Monday morning for school.  They were big, oversized, men’s wear  shirts, that were worn with a tank, unbuttoned, belted, with the sleeves rolled up.  Most of the time my cuffs were never finished, but who knew anyway right?  The sleeves were rolled up.  So you would think an unfinished garment, put together half assed, would be my worst habit, but it’s not, it did however contribute to it. 
Large oversized shirts didn’t need fitting.  So I never learned how to fit myself properly.  I slowed down my construction process and honed my construction skills.  I never took the time to make sure  the garment would fit right.  It was always a big surprise at the end. 
So this is my back to basics project.  To teach myself the skills I should have learned long ago.  Because if the project at the end doesn’t fit perfectly, then I’ve missed the entire point of sewing my own clothes.
I’m starting my perfect pencil skirt off with a muslin.  My entire knowledge of muslin making came from this Oct/Nov issue 151 article in Threads Magazine “Muslin Refined” .
This is the basic pieces traced and cut out on my muslin.  I has been many, many years since I used transfer paper and a tracing wheel.  Didn’t the paper used to be more waxy?  This stuff was chalky and the slightest touched transferred rub marks.  At least this is just the muslin.
Close up of the dart markings.  In the past I’ve just used tailors tacks.
This is after I thread traced all the seam lines.  I also discovered something about my machine.
My guide is about 1/16” – 1/8” off.  Which doesn’t sound like much, but could lead to the skirts entire finished measurements being off by 1/2” – 1”.
I got as far as inserting the zipper last night.  I took the time to practice inserting it properly.  Zippers have always been the bane of my existence.  But basting it into place with 2 separate top stitching lines instead of trying to do the whole thing in 1 made a HUGE difference.  I think zippers can now be my friend.
Side seams tonight.then….The Fitting.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Project Updates and A New One In the Works

It’s been a while since I’ve posted.  I have good intentions, but one thing leads to another, (like chasing after a 14 month old) and my good intentions go right out the window. 
So here are the final pictures and thoughts about the Angel Devil costume.  Since his father and I have decided we didn’t want to post our son’s pictures all over the internet,  I used one where you can’t really see his face  .
Picture 065
This was pretty simple to assemble.  It was also the first time I did 90% of the construction  on my 4 thread serger.
This is the front …I stitched the 2 front sections together, then the 2 heart sections, then appliqued the heart to the front.  This was really stretchy fabric and a little tricky to applique with and onto.  Stabilizing it with Stitch and Tear made it a lot easier.
My next projects were father son matching  bowling shirts with tattoo flash fabric from Fresh Cut Fabrics.  For the baby’s shirt I bought this pattern from The Scientific Seamstress.  I think the photo of the little blonde boy on the front is what sold me.  This pattern is very well put together and gives the sewer a lot of options.  The construction technique for the contrast panels on the front  is simple, yet brilliant.
You strip piece the sections together, then cut your fronts out separately, aligning vertical markers on the pattern pieces with the seam lines.  I liked this technique so much I used it to construct daddy’s. 
I couldn’t find buttons I liked that would compliment the tattoo flash.  So I made covered buttons using the star pattern from the fabric.
Unfortunately I do not have a picture of father and son wearing them.
The next two projects will be for me.  A pencil skirt using Simplicity 5259 and a Dress from a vintage  1950’s Sundress pattern from McCall's.


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