Friday, February 27, 2009

Apple Green Jumpsuit

So, yeah, remember how I’m in love with jumpsuits?

I made one out of apple-green polyester knit using this pattern.

I figured that I would have some fit issues. The pattern’s hip measurement is a little narrower than my hips. To adjust for that, I made the outer seam allowances a little narrower in the hip area.

My waist isn’t that small but it is pretty high and I have a rather long torso. I decided not to do a high-waist adjustment because I thought that the torso would end up too short. I’m glad I didn’t as the torso is just barely long enough. There is no “camel” effect, but if I’d shortened it at all, it would have been all camel - all the time. Yikes.

I ended up with too much extra fabric between the boobs and the hips. (Was this because I couldn’t adjust for the waist?) It was looking pretty lumpy in the front around the zipper and there was no obvious waistline. I was not digging it at all.

I decided to try adding some double-dart-thingies on either side of the zipper. I eyeballed where the darts should go and pinned them in. I tried on the suit and moved the pins around until the darts seemed even and straight. Then I took it off, checked my work, and stitched them in. It worked! It fits so much better now. The lumpiness under my boobs is completely gone and the suit as a whole is rather sleek, actually.

The collar was a bit of a pain. It needs to be exactly the same height on either side of the zipper and the points need to be precise. The poly didn’t really want to be ironed so it was really difficult to make it look even and crisp. Instead, it came out kind of wrinkly and bendy but I don’t think it’s too noticeable.

I knew I needed to add a belt to camouflage my belly but I wasn’t sure what to do. I thought, at first, about wearing a wide store-bought belt in a complimentary color at the hip line. I experimented with a few different ideas but eventually decided that a contrast line at my hip just made my hips look wider and didn’t really do anything to camouflage the beer gut.

I decided to make a self-belt with a white ring closure in the front. It was really hard to find a white ring that was the right size. The internet was useless. Eventually I found a child’s white bangle bracelet at Claire’s that was just perfect.

Leaving the belt un-attached didn't really work. It kept riding up and sliding around. After some trial and error, I attached the belt to the suit by cutting it down to the right length and stitching it into the seams at the side.

Here is the finished jumpsuit. I think it came out really well.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Red One

This poor pattern.

I suspect it was someone’s hated Home Ec project from the way each piece was haphazardly cut out. Many of the notches were cut off and the cut-lines were missing (or cut crookedly) on several pieces. Plus, it was shoved back into the envelope without any care. The pieces were so crumpled that not even gentle ironing could get them to completely flatten out. The main piece was so brittle that it tore several times (in the darts!) while I was trying to pin it.

Does anyone know a good way to repair torn patterns? I’m tempted to use cellophane tape, but I’m a little afraid. Any advice will be gratefully accepted.

It’s too bad that someone so obviously hated this pattern cos I love it!!! I used leftover red broadcloth from this project. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough for the jacket, but I wish I had. The jacket is too cool!

There is only one main piece for the dress and two more small pieces for the facings. It really couldn’t be any easier to cut and assemble (which makes me wonder why it took, like, 5 hours from start to finish. I think I’m out of practice.) The only major adjustment I made was to shorten the bodice to accommodate my weirdly high waist. I also shortened the skirt a bit as mid-calf doesn’t look that great on my short stubby legs.

For some reason, there is no facing piece included for the armscye. The pattern instructs you to make one out of bias tape. Instead, I cut a strip of fabric about an inch wide. It worked out okay, but not great. The facing keep flipping out flat under my armpit. Not enough to come out of the hole, but enough to rub uncomfortably.

I was afraid of the collar at first, but it worked out very well. I’ve heard horror stories about making collars, so I’m glad this one was easy to attach. I might even be brave enough to try a making a shirtwaist now. Although, the thought of making a shirtwaists' worth of buttonholes still horrifies me.

My one regret is the fusible interfacing I used around the neck. It’s entirely too heavy and I had a heck of a time getting the neck facing to lie down. I eventually had to topstitch it flat.

The zipper is, as usual, a nightmare. I still don’t quite have the hang of zipper installation. The good news, though, is that I used my new Viking double-sided zipper foot for the first time and it’s a dream and a half. It’s got a clip on each side so you can just snap it in place and its reversible, and can be turned to accommodate whichever direction you need to sew.

Here's a picture of the finished dress. I like!