Monday, 28 October 2013

WIP: Bust Padding, Butted Seams and Boning the Bodice, McCall's 6349.

My last post on this WIP was very short. I had no words to describe what was happening, I was literally lost for words. 

I chose View C of the M6349  because I like the heart shaped neckline but the gathering down the centre seam did not make sense. 

I thought that the gathering would create the 'cups' on the bodice therefore only on the top half of the bodice, but the instructions said otherwise. According to the instructions, the gathering is all the way down the bodice, which didn't look great on me. There was no body, no volume, the bodice looked flat.  

I almost gave up on the pattern but then I realised that I could use the 'underlining'/'lining' pieces for shell as well! The underlining/lining is princess seamed. 

From what I could tell while pinching the back seams together with my fingers, it fits. Need more boobs to fill it out so I've added bust padding. I googled "what to use for bust padding" and came across Tasia's tutorial and that's where I learned about butted seams! 

"Butted Seam - Abutted Seam. A flat seam joining two plies, edge-to-edge, without overlay or seam allowance" - Google

Following Tasia's tuturial, I went shopping in the quilting section for cotton batting, cut out the batting with no SA, and started butting seams.

I found it easier to feed the two pieces of cotton batting into the machine first (without the cotton tape) then once the pieces are joined, do another stitch with the cotton tape.

Also had a go at making my own bra cups. Fun, fun.

The layers of cotton batting remind me of potato chips. Mmm.
TOP: Cutting out bodice pieces with NO SA - Butted Seam - Bra Cup
BOTTOM: Bra Cup attached to Bust Padding

Over the weekend, I cut out my fabric - floral print cotton, interfaced the bodice pieces with whisperweft, and got sewing. I attached the padding to the shell and boned the lining (bodice is self-lined).

TOP: Butted Seam - Whisperweft interfacing
BOTTOM: Padding attached to shell - Boning on lining
Sewing a strapless bodice is so much quicker because there are no armscyes. Understitching is easy - just one stitch across with neckline. 

The bodice is beautiful, so soft and plushy, just wanna bury my face in it! 

Tonight I'm working on the skirt, it's floor length and gathered. Can't wait to finish this dress!!

Watch this space.

Have to say a big thank you to Tasia for these awesome tutorials, and for building such a great website that is easily found when Googling! You are amazing. 

Sewaholic Tutorials! 

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Tuesday, 22 October 2013

WIP: McCall's 6349.

I'm working on View C of the M6349. I decided to make a muslin. 
Best decision ever because I have NFI what's going on with the bodice! 

To be continued...
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Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Finished Project & Pattern Review: Outside Darts, McCall's 5845.

    So pleased with where the flowers ended up on the bodice.

Um, so I did not know that I have this awesome blank wall in my sewing room! 
So great for photographing my dresses. 

The sewing room has been great to work in, flooded with natural sunlight during the afternoon and warm enough for me to walk around with half my clothes off when I'm stabbing my body with pins at fitting stage. It is fricken hard when you live alone. 

Any tips for a sewist with no house mates? How do you guys get pinned up?
I gotta look at training the boyfriend up on seam allowances and pinning.

As you know, I had some time off work last week so I had plenty of time and no excuse not to sew something. My deadline was Friday 11th as I needed something to wear to my friends' wedding the next afternoon. 

I wanted to challenge myself so I moved away from my usual full skirts and so the measuring of butts began!

Scribbled my body measurements on the back of a takeaway pizza receipt.

I believe what I've written on the above paper are my body measurements in cm and inches, the sizes I chose and the finished measurements on the pattern piece for the size.

The pattern is my favorite pattern of all time - the McCall's 5845. I've made this dress heaps of times, mostly with full skirts, always with back modifications, but NEVER with the darts on the outside as per pattern instructions!

When you search '5845' in the results page is flooded with reviews from me and Cindy of Cation Designs. We both love this pattern to bits and have modified the heck out of it. Pattern hacking, yay.

Main reason I was never a fan of darts-on-the-outside was because my stitching is sometimes wonky, and my backstitching looks horrible (I blame my machine). 

Well, here are my darts-on-the-outside, what do you think?

Outside darts ftw!

No bad huh?? I love the look of them, they give the dress texture and enough character that a belt is not needed. 

The modification that I always do to the M5845 is the front and back neck. I lower the front neck line about 5cms, and the back neck I usually raise a few inches - just enough so my bra strap is not exposed. 

This time I left the back low and made it into a scoop instead. Bra, schma!

The only modification I made to the pattern - scooped back.

I cut a size 4 bodice, graded it to a 10 waist.

I usually cut an 8 waist, which just "fits" but occassionally rides up, which probably means it's not a great fit! 

I swallowed my pride and cut a 10 on this version to make room for the champagne and wedding cake.

The skirt piece started as a 10 at the waist, graded to an 8 around the butt. 

I ended up taking the side seams of the skirt in around the hips, so I probably could have graded to 8 at the hips. I don't know. I'm still new to this wiggle skirt business. 

I winged most of the adjustments to the skirt. I did something which I think was a 2cm sway back adjustment, you can probably see the stitching in the photo below. Dunno if it was the right adjustment to make, but it certainly took away some bagginess around my lower back. 

My swayback faux-justment messed up my skirts back centre seam. Things went slightly off-grain when I inserted the zip. This resulted with a slight crinkle at the back of the skirt. It pissed me off at first but then it started to look like "butt-gathering" and didn't look too bad so I got over it.

I will never enjoy working with sunsilky, that shit frays like cray but once it's on the dress everything is beautiful again. I love fully lined dresses!

I hate looking at the inside fraying edges and stitching everywhere!
Thank goodness for lining.
I love the floral print so much!
Invisible zipper.
Machine-finished-zipper-sandwiched-between-shell-and-lining (tutorial here).
Fully lined with black sunsilky lining.
Hand stitched the hem (4cm hem) and machine stitched the hem on the lining.

Hand stitched hem looks way better than the disastrous machine hem on my Butterick 6582.
I turned the hem up 4cm on the shell and 8cm on the lining (4cm then up 4cm again to seal in the fraying edges).
Very proud of my straight machine stitching :)
Look at the lining!

Pattern Review: McCalls 5845 (view B, no belt), outside darts.

Size: 4 bust, 10 waist, 8 butt 
Fabric1.5m cotton sateen (Darn Cheap), 0.7m sunsilky lining (Spotlight). I had purchased 1.5m of fabric however the wiggle skirt does not need much fabric. I reckon I only used about 1m of fabric. Plenty leftover for a self-fabric belt!
Notions: Gutermann thread (000), Invisible zipper 10" (black) - I should have used a longer zipper but I had this in my stash.
Time: 3-4 hrs each day, over 5 days
Cost: Fabric $20, Lining from stash (but generally it's $10/m), Zipper from stash
Pattern Modification/Adjustments:
  • Scooped back
  • Lowered front neckline by 5cm
  • Sway back adjustment
  • Size 4 bust graded to 10 waist graded 10 hips, graded to 8 at the butt however ended up taking in the skirt at the hips anyway, so probably could have gotten away with 8 at the hips too, despite my hip measurements being for a 10. Massive sigh.
Techniques Used:
  • Darts (on the outside this time as per pattern)
  • Machine-finished-zipper-sandwiched-between-shell-and-lining. No idea what the technique is called (clearly) but my attempt at tutorial here.
The skirt fits like a dream!!
These was a little wrinkle but I know it's cos I rushed the zip and it's a little off grain.
The scooped back and shoulders fit well, no gaping, yay!
It took me 4 attempts to get the zipper in straight and with waist seam matching perfectly.

What I like about the pattern is how simple it is to prep and sew. An experienced sewist could easily finish this in a day. 
There's 4 pieces to cut out - front bodice, back bodice, front skirt, back skirt. 
There's a total of 8 darts on the bodice and 6 on the skirt. Of course if you fully line the dress, it's x's 2 all the above.

The only difficulty I experienced while making this dress (apart from fitting) was the zipper. 
Oh my god, I almost threw in the towel. The whole zipper session I kept hearing this lyric in my head, not sure from which song, "hoping for the best, but expecting the worst" cos every time I finished sewing down the zipper, I'd zip it up hoping all is good.. and then the fkn seams wouldn't match. 
Finally after 4 attempts, everything matched up, no teeth were ruined (zipper teeth) and the dress fit. 

Saturday, wedding day! It was a gorgeous day, a little windy but super sunny. 
I woke up early to get my hair done. Got home, ate lunch, put on some Arbonne taffeta blush, dress on, quick pics for the blog then headed out to the beachy suburb of Brighton for the ceremony. 

The ceremony was lovely. The reception was even lovelier! It was at a restaurant over looking the bay. There was even a sunken submarine! Bride and groom had wedding pics on the jetty while the guests got into the champagne.

Food was yum! Ate the thickest rib eye ever!! 
Speeches from the Dads, Best Man, MoH, Groom - hilarious!! I was crying from laughter!

I only took a few pics as my iPhone would not do the bride and groom justice... I love the photo I got of the couple cutting the cake, look at how happy the groom is while looking at his wife! Adorable!! 

I'm so glad the bride encouraged me to make a dress to wear to her wedding, cos now that I've seen how great this dress turned out, I can't wait to make more. I hope you guys liked my outside darts and wiggle skirt as much as I did.

I don't think I've seen a version of this pattern with outside darts on the internet yet. If you have, please link me to it in the comments below! 

I have a work function this Friday but I don't have time to make anything. Sadface. 
See the dresses I made for last year's awards nights here and here.

I still have plenty of occasions this year to sew for: Halloween,, another work awards night, work Xmas party... so help me out with ideas guys! 

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Monday, 14 October 2013

Away from Sewing: 4 days in paradise, Surfers Paradise.

Back to Melbourne, back to work, back to reality!
My first day back in the office today and it sucks!! 

I had 8 days off work. Went to Surfers Paradise for a family trip with my younger sister Judy, two baby cousins (4 and 1yo) and their parents. It was a short but very memorable trip. It's good to spend time with family. I have not spent 4 whole days with my sister since I moved out of home! Our first trip away together as adults. All we did on the trip was wake up at 6am to go gym, lay by the pool tanning, and eat, eat, eat!

We didn't bother with bar crawls (lets face it, Melbourne has the best bars!) or theme parks (travelling with a pram is not fun) but I was more than happy to stay at the apartment... the pool was amazing. As long as I have wifi and sun, I'm a happy girl! We stayed at Sea Temple, it was beautiful. Great views and was walking distance to everything. The only thing I disliked was the shadow the building casted over it's own pool in the afternoon (fwp).

Photo creds to my sister!

I got back to Melbourne last Sunday and it was pretty depressing coming home to rainy weather and a quiet house. Was so used to waking up to my sleepy sister and cute cousins giggles.

I eased myself back into Melbourne life by brunching and gymming and sewing all last week. 

I started and finished my floral M5845 for my friends wedding. I'll be blogging a pattern review later on in the week, but here's a couple of pics from the wedding. Till next time!

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Thursday, 10 October 2013

Throwback Thursday: My sewing in 2002!

 Did a big spring clean of my wardrobe and look what I found! 

I made these boxer shorts in Year 9 Textiles class in highschool (2002).
I used to make clothes for my dolls using mumma's industrial sewing machine and sometimes with a needle and thread, however this is the first piece of clothing I made for myself using a pattern.

The fabric is  polyester... kinda floral too!
Check out that elastic waistband case!
LOL at my zig zag stitching!
These have been through the wash hundreds of times and still no fraying!
Quality handstitching??
Almost perfect hemming.

I reckon everyone in my family has had a go at wearing these shorts, even dad! 
My little sister was wearing these for years and they must have ended up at my place after a sleepover or something. They still fit me and are very cosy to wear. Still can't get over how sturdy the stitching is. It's 11 years old!!
Just thought I'd quickly share with you my first handmade piece of clothing, now it's back to the sewing room! 

Here's a pic of me in 2002!

Running amok at Year 9 camp rocking cow print PJs.


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Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Embracing my size 10 butt.

So I finally have a project in mind, some gorgeous fabric and several occasions to sew for.

I'll take it one dress at a time.

First up is a wedding on Saturday 12th October. 

This is the wedding of my two close friends at work. They met at work and love blossomed.
Six years later they are getting married. Yay. I'm super excited cos I was there from the beginning.

The bride-to-be suggested I should make something to wear to her wedding. Okay, okay I will :)

I have an obsession with floral so it's no surprise I bought good ol' floral cotton sateen over the weekend from Darn Cheap in Heidelberg. 

Since my two friends are taking the plunge and getting married, I'll take the plunge and make a dress with a slim/fitted skirt this time! I usually take the easy way out and make full skirts to avoid the nightmare fitting issues I always have with my bottom half.

I am finally accepting that I have a size ten butt. 

Not 6, not 8, but 10. 

I like big butts (and I cannot lie, #shesquatsbro anyone?) so I don't even know why this even frightened me. 
Maybe it frightened me cos I had this idea that my hips *should be* the same size as my bust? 
It's not that I have a big butt, it's just not *flat* I guess. Idk.. 

If you have read my blog for a while, you would know that I get hideous drag lines on my fitted skirts. I think it must be because the skirts are too small for my size 10 ass. The size 6/8 skirts I was cutting were too small for my 87cm/34" hips. I will now cut the right size!! 

Oh cool, my hip measurement is my year of birth, easy to remember!

The Simplicity 3222 vintage pattern which was a 12 - 34" hips fit great on my butt so I will be using that skirt pattern and playing some mix-and-match. If I had more time, I would make muslins for size 10 skirts in other patterns, but I don't have enough time.

I haven't decided what the bodice will be yet. 

I'm off to sunny Queensland for the next few days and have the whole week off work next week so watch this space for a finished project :)

Keep in touch!!
Twitter - @iisneeno | @sewmelove
IG - @iisneeno

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