Wednesday, 28 September 2011

V8469, Faced with facing & inter-facing

Week 10.


Today I *realized* a few things... "CUT 2" or "CUT 4" (on the pattern) etc means... that you need to cut 2 or 4 of that piece. Duh. I thought it was a "style of cutting"... such a dork! But I will remember forever what it means!

I started cutting out my pattern today on my fabric. The hardest task has to be deciding which way is "up". It is very important to cut the pieces out the correct direction... you don't want to end up with upside down writing or flowers on the dress!!

Also important to write on the interface the pattern details in the correct direction so it is easier to figure out which way is 'up'.

Before cutting out he pattern, the fabric needs to be folded in half with the selvage ends meeting.

The bodice front, skirt front and front waist band need to be cut on the 'centre fold'.

1.4m x 2.3m of cotton sateen.
The 'selvage' is the white edge on the left.

Pieces with a "grainline" marking need to be cut accurately, measured from the selvage to the grainline precisely.

Measurement from the selvage to the grainline needs to be exact from top to bottom.

NOTCHES! Don't forget to cut out your notches! Very, very important!

After all the pieces were cut out, I had to make the 'facing'. I will be ironing the whisperweft on to the facing pieces, which will be sewn around the neck.

Facing for the inter-facing.

Next week there is no class, the term has finished so I will be back in October! I am re-enrolling next term and will probably continue this class forever ;)

What started out as an impulsive decision has quickly turned into a hobby that I really enjoy. I look forward to the 2 hours every week that I get to spend with the girls at dressmaking class. Every one is so creative and have such great appreciation for fashion, fabrics and design.

Dressmaking and sewing requires patience and attention to detail - I don't have much patience for people, but I have plenty patience for this. It is an outlet for my OCD :P

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Wednesday, 21 September 2011

V8469, Sewing Toile

Week 9.


In tonight's class I put together my toile. It should only take about 1 hour or less, but I had to get the tutor's help and had to wait for her to help other students.

Once I started constructing the toile, the instructions on the pattern made sense to me. 

Using a needle and thread, I marked the darts on the bodice back. I then join the two markings together, pin, then sew a straight line from bottom to top (must sew from bottom up otherwise the top will be pointy)

Marking the darts on bodice back using thread.

Create the dart and sew together.
REMEMBER: when sewing the dress together, darts towards the middle.

After the darts were stitched, I stitched the back and front bodice together at the shoulders. 
NOTE: Seam allowance 1.5cm.

The bodice front does not have darts, instead it is gathered. 

To create the gathering, I mark in the gather points using needle and thread, sew 2 lines of wide stitch from one point to the other (no back stitch and leave  excess thread on either end). 

Pin the bodice together with the waistband (be sure to make all the notches and gather the excess fabric by pulling on the loose threads. Secure the entire bodice and waistband with pins, stitch over the gathering to secure and to attach the waistband to the bodice.

Gathering of bodice front create by stitching on largest stitch with loose thread ends,
pulling threads to create  gathering.

Bodice front after gathering stitched in permanently.

That is the "hard" part over. Next was stitching the sides (under the arms) together, and that was it...! :)

I removed all the loose thread that was used to create the gathering and darts. Tidied the toile up.

Toile complete!
Close up front view of gathering under bust.

Calico toile fits perfect.

Tomorrow I will go shopping for a 22" invisible zipper and 30cm of whisperweft interface. The fabric I will be using is cotton sateen so I do not need lining.

Can't wait till next week when I cut out my dress on my beautiful fabric!!! Fabric needs to be washed in warm water first before cutting so it can shrink (if it needs to). Next week is my last class for the term and I have a one week break.

Till next week...

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Sunday, 18 September 2011

Finished Project & Pattern Review: New Look 6936.

It took about 8 weeks, but I have finished my first dress! This dress is very simple to make. On the envelope it indicates that it take only 2 hours to make. It took me about 15 hours (over 8 weeks) - this is my first dress so I'm happy I finished it at all - especially when the final step was hand stitching! But it is done! So proud :)

I made version 'B' of the dress.

I made this dress using polyester (2 meters), navy Gutermann polyester thread, Birch bias binding.
I was suppose to buy cotton to make this dress, but the fabric store I went to did not have cotton with the print that I liked, so I picked the fabric based on the design then found out later it was polyester. It wasn't too hard to work with. The fabric was more "slippery" than cotton, but not too difficult for a beginner. 

The only difficulty I found was sewing around the curves of the neck and sewing on the bias binding. I guess with time and experience I will get better at it. Other that that it was a simple dress to make. There was 4 pieces to trace and cut (bodice front, bodice back, skirt front, skirt back) and 5 pieces to sew together. 

The pattern size I used was size 8. The fit of this dress is very loose and shapeless, resembles a kaftan when it is hanging on a coat hanger. I didn't like this dress at first, I chose it from a list of "beginners" patterns given to me. Now that I have made it and tried it on, I would actually wear it out during summer. The polyester feels cool against my skin and the flowers look nice and summery.

New Look 6936.

Pattern Review: New Look 6936

Total cost of this dress: about $25 
  • 2 meters polyester: $4,
  • Birch bias binding: $3,
  • Guttermann thread: $5,
  • Easy trace interface: $3,
  • New Look 6936 pattern: $10.
Of course the bias binding and thread will be used again, so really this dress cost was $15!! Bargain!! 


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V8469, Toile

toile is a version of a garment made by a fashion designer or dressmaker to test a pattern. They are usually made in cheap material, as multiple toiles may be made in the process of perfecting a design. 

Cutting on the "centre fold".

Calico cut outs.
(L-R) Sleeve, Back Bodice x 2,  Sleeve.
Front Bodice.
Here are the pieces of my toile which I have made using calico ($9 per meter).

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Wednesday, 14 September 2011

V8469, Tracing & Cutting

Week 8.

Today was such a productive class! In 2 hours I managed to do so much! I guess I am super excited about finishing my New Look 6936 and moving on to the V8469. Adrenaline!!!

First up, I got shown how to hand stitch the hem. Blind stitch I think it's called. It was different to any hand stitching I had ever done because it was using single thread (instead of double).

Blind stitching by hand. Hello to my new friend the magnetic pin holder :)

I did a few stitches and left it to be completed at home in front of the TV. It's quite easy. I think the only time I attempted to blind stitch was when mum refused to shorten my summer school uniform dress, so I did it myself... it was a very messy job.

I went over my measurements for my pattern. Luckily I measured myself a month ago because I haven't been to gym in over 3 weeks and I think I may be a couple centimeters bigger at the moment :( 

It's a little depressing when referring to the sizing on the patterns and see that I'm an 8-12-10... all over the place! No vanity sizing here. So my bust is size 8, my waist is a *gasp* 12! My hips are size 10. As this skirt is an a-line, it won't matter too much, but I am horrified at my waist being a 12.

Tracing the pattern on to interface.

TIP: Placing a white sheet of paper under the pattern will make it easier to see!

So as mentioned, I am a mix between 3 sizes, so to make the dress fit my unique shape, it needs to be tweaked a little. My skirt will be a size 12 (the top of the skirt will need to accommodate my waist), bodice will be an 8, but the bottom of the bodice where the waist is will be a 12. To do this, I trace the top of the bodice as an 8 then diagonally connect it to the 12 at the waist. Confused? Hard to explain, easier to show.

Size 8/12 Bodice.

Front Bondice, Back Bondice, Sleeve, Elastic Guide,  Waist Band x 2, Tie.

It took me about 1.5 hours to trace and cut out 7 pieces of the pattern. All that is left for "home work" is to trace and cut the 2 pieces for the skirt, that will be easy-peasy.

So that's it for this week! By next Wednesday my New Look 6936 will be complete and I will upload a photo :)

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Monday, 12 September 2011

You are a Fabriholic if...

·         You buy fabric just because ‘it feels good’
·         You buy fabric without having any idea what it might be used for
·         You buy fabric without caring what it might be used for
·         You buy fabric and hope you never find a use for it
·         You like to ‘pet’ your fabric
·         You go to the supermarket for bread and milk but somehow end up at the fabric shop instead
·         You hide fabric under the groceries to smuggle into the house
·         You store fabric between the mattress and the box spring so certain people won’t ask awkward questions
·         You ask your relatives to leave you their stash in their will
·         You follow strangers in the street to get a closer look when you see something made in a particularly great fabric
·         You will not sell, donate or otherwise diminish your stash, no matter how much people nag you

I saw this at The Fabric Store yesterday afternoon when I was shopping for patterns.
I have to say that I am starting to show some of these signs...
  • I touch clothes and check the care label of everything
  • I ask everyone what fabric their new clothes are made of
  • I asked my dad to buy me few meters of fabric from overseas

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Wednesday, 7 September 2011

New Look 6936, Hand Stitching Hem

Week 7.

Hello! I'm back after 2 weeks of no class! Tutor was injured so one class was cancelled, and last week I was sick as a dog so I couldn't go to class.

Today I put elastic under the bust to gather in the dress. 
I measured under my bust (74cm) and cut 3cm less (71cm) of elastic.

Threaded elastic through using a safety pin.


 Now on to shortening the skirt! I decided to keep the skirt a little longer than what I originally wanted. The skirt now sits a few centimeters above the knee.

Measuring around the skirt to ensure accurate hemming. 

 I had to cut 15cms of excess fabric off. This process was pretty time consuming, I had to measure all the way around the entire skirt to make sure that I was cutting exactly 15cms off evenly. I had to measure, then place pins around the whole skirt where the hem should finish.

Pinning around the entire skirt to indicate were the hem should finish.

 Then I had to allow 3cms seam allowance (I think that's what it's called?)

Cutting 3cms below the hem.

Snip snip!

 I then had to fold up the hem, pin it, then fold 5mm under and pin. Next week I will be hand stitching the hem. That's right, hand stitching. Using my own hands. I thought the tutor was kidding when she told me that.

Now to hand stitch! 

Tutor says that hand stitching will give the hem a nicer hem, "This is not a crappy dress from Target" - quote tutor.

Next week tutor will show me how to hand stitch, which I will do myself at home to finish this dress.

This Sunday I will be going to The Fabric Store to browse through Vogue patterns (on sale for $12!!) and to choose fabric for my Vogue dress.

I really love this fabric from Lincraft, so it will be my back up if I don't see anything I like at The Fabric Store.

Fantasy Floral, Cotton Sateen. $18/m

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