Monday, June 23, 2008

?Es Possible?

I picked this up at a thrift store over the weekend.



Is it NOT gorgeous?

It was only 69 cents and all the pieces are there but... the instructions are missing. GAH!

I wonder if I'll be able to figure it out? I've never made anything with an empire waist before and the drape kind of worries me as well. I think if I go slow and actually THINK while I make this one up, it might work.

I'm wondering about what kind of fabric would be best. The back of the pattern gives a zillion options. Wouldn't the drape come out best in something kinda slinky? Not that I am capable of sewing with slinky stuff. I'm just wondering.

My fantasy would be the long version of this dress in heavy white satin. I'd need the white gloves too, and a very, very long cigarette holder. Of course I don't smoke but that's beside the point. This dress demands that sort of accessory.

If I actually make it up, though, my first attempt will be a wearable muslin of the short version in plain ol' black cotton. If that works, I may kick it up a notch and try that white satin...or maybe shantung. Oh the possibilities!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Leopard Jumper. Not. (Part 2)

Remember how I tried to make a leopard print jumper out of this fabric...



and this pattern? (View 1)



Remember how I thought that I looked like a cartoon cavewoman in the result and decided to re-purpose the parts? I made a stand-alone skirt out of the bottom.

This post is about what happened to the bodice. First a bit about the bodice construction...

I was totally baffled by the instructions for the center slice in the bodice neckline. I used some scraps to make a test section so that I didn’t ruin my blouse. I traced the deep V directly onto the wrong side of the fabric, stitched around it and turned it right side out. It worked just fine in the test and in the final. I felt like a real seamstress for a change. I actually made a test instead of just blindly forging ahead!

I used this pattern (View 2) to make the skirt.



I really wanted to make it in a stiff brown satin or taffeta, but the fabric store didn't have the right weight or shade. They only had the flimsy satiny stuff that is made for linings and only in black. I decided to use broadcloth instead and I'm glad I did. I think that a satin skirt would have put this dress in the "fancy" category and I'd probably wear it less often.

I’m glad I brought a bit of the leopard print with me to the fabric store. I hadn’t expected there to be so many different shades of brown broadcloth. Most of them weren't quite right with the leopard but I’m very happy with the one I chose. It’s a much darker shade than any of the browns in the leopard but it balances the busy pattern nicely.

The assembly went surprisingly well. The last time I made this skirt I found that it came out way too large. This time, I stitched in the side and center seams with one inch allowances. It fit the first time and I didn’t have to make any adjustments when I attached the skirt to the bodice. The side and center seams lined up perfectly. Hooray!

The zipper went in okay. The stitching looks a fright, as always, but I’m hoping that since it’s under my arm no one will notice. I have recently learned that I have NO idea how to properly install an invisible zipper! Apparently, they are called "invisible" because, if sewn in properly, you can't see the stitching! I thought they were called "invisible" because they don't show as much as a standard zipper. Ha ha. Oh well. Live and learn. I'll continue to attach them in the half-ass way I do, for now. I'll keep my eye out for an invisible zipper foot for the Viking, but there's no guarantee I'll ever learn to use it. I am a lazy, lazy sewist.

I will use this bodice pattern again and again, I think. I absolutely love the way it looks and fits.