Monday, September 15, 2008

...and more leopard...

I had some brown broadcloth leftover from the skirt I made for this dress. And whaddaya know? I still have more leopard print.


I decided to make this dress (View 3). I used the leftover broadcloth for the bodice and the leftover leopard is the skirt.

Cutting was easier than I thought it would be. I had exactly enough brown for the top with no leftovers except for a few small scraps. I love that. Using up all my fabric is a goal. Having little quarter yard chunks lying around drives me crazy. It’s too much fabric to just throw out, but there’s no point in keeping it either unless I start making quilts. I’m a lot less interested in quilts than I am in clothes.

I tried to cut the skirt out of the leopard in such a way that I’d have a large continuous piece of fabric left. I wanted to be able to have enough left over that I could make something out of it. Maybe a pair of (tiny) hot shorts or a small purse? I did pretty well and had a relatively big chunk left over.

The problem is – I very stupidly cut the skirt out against the nap. UGH. So dumb. But I decided to use it anyway. If I spend that much time cutting it out, I’m using it. Gods of “correct” sewing be damned. The up-side is, the fabric doesn’t seem to relax and stretch out as much when cut this way so maybe everything will be all right. Maybe it will wear funny, but I hope not.

The Husqvarna gave me all kinds of problems during skirt construction, but I’m sure it was all my fault. I confused the stitch length knob with the tension knob. Even though I realized what I’d done, after I corrected the knobs I still had major problems. I kept getting big loopy stitches on the back side of the fabric. Maybe the problem was that it was eight million degrees in the sewing room? Now that the weather has returned to normal (cold, foggy) the sewing machine is behaving again. Strange.

All in all, this project wasn’t too hard. I only had to sew everything together ONE TIME! Wooo! The skirt is fine despite the nap running in the wrong direction and for once I was able to convince a kick pleat to behave. Usually, I give up and stitch the pleat closed but shockingly, it worked this time!

The bodice didn’t fight me too much. I neglected to cut out the fusible web for the neck facings. This ended up making the process take a little longer since I started piecing it together before I realized the fused interfacing was missing.

As usual, the zipper was a total nightmare. I don’t yet have a zipper foot for the Viking (it’s on my list!) and for some reason the Singer decided to completely rebel. It kept jamming up and creating big balls of string on the back side of the stitches. I know I’m doing something wrong, but I have no idea what.

I went back to the Viking and put the zipper in using the regular foot. It mostly worked, but the stitching is VERY wavy and I ended up sewing through the zipper in a few places, AGAIN!

I got the zipper in, but it was a wreck. Not only had I sewn through the zipper in several places, but I’d managed to sew the skirt fabric over the zipper preventing it from moving at all. NOW I had to rip it out and start over. I was SO upset and angry. You’d think I’d learn, but I get so impatient that I just plunge ahead instead of thinking things through.

Instead of throwing the whole thing out the window, I took a break. When I’d calmed down, I came back and ripped out the bad stitches and re-did them. It still looks kind of awful. I can’t see how bad it looks, because it’s on my back so I’m pretending there’s nothing wrong with it. It zips now, and that’s good enough, but it sure is ugly.

The dress is cute, though. I don’t even mind the puffy gathers at the hips.