Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Short coat–Lekala 4625 back

It took me some time to find a pattern I wanted and could sew with the fabric I had. As this fabric was bought with the intention of sewing a Chanel style jacket I had only about two meters of fabric. Think it was a remnant piece as there were strange cut offs on both sides, probably for samples.
Having two meters to sew a coat is not much, to say the least. My choice of patterns was very limited and I settled for this Lekala pattern.
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I will try to find an accent fabric for the belt/closing and if I can’t find it, I might skip that detail and sew buttonholes. I’m also thinking of adding pockets. A coat without pockets isn’t very good, don’t you think?
After roughly cutting the fabric pieces I block-fused them with a thin fusible interfacing. This I bought at the English couture company in the UK. (I used to buy most of my interfacing at Fashion Sewing supply from Pam Erny, but as they don’t ship internationally anymore I had to find another resource and this is certainly a good one. Great quality too).
The interfacing gives more stability to the fabric and keeps it from ravelling.
From that point I treat the fabric as the base fabric, meaning that I still added interfacing as I would for any jacket or coat that I did not block fuse with thin interfacing first.
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A back stay is added. The darts are pressed in the opposite direction from the darts of the main fabric. It could be better to stitch the seams with a catch stitch to keep them down. Something for another evening.
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A walking foot is almost a must to keep the lines matching.
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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.