Nope. This has nothing to do with Hurricane Irene. I've spent the week working on gathers. The great news is Nancy Zieman"s technique of gathering over the bobbin thread works like a dream. (If the link doesn't work, the technique can be found in her Sewing A to Z book and video. The bad news is I have trouble keeping the gathers evenly distributed when I sew. After liberal pinning, I end up with this:
Maybe I didn't pin enough? How do you stabilize gathers? Am I not tying the thread tight enough? Before I left for work yesterday, I played around with my gathering foot and came up with this:
Aren't they beautiful? Now the trick is figuring out the machine settings so that the piece is gathered to the correct width. I can't find any info on how to do this. Is it trial an error every time? I guess everyone else has figured out how to do this without using the gathering foot. I'm playing around with some scraps to see how it goes.
I guess the best news of all is that my narrow edge foot and I are besties. Slow and steady wins the race.
Now, let's talk about the pattern alts. I started with a 1/2" square shoulder alteration.
Then, I went in for the dreaded prominent bust alteration. It's not that hard, but it was intimidating because in Fitting & Pattern Alteration, you get a whole column about how to do the alt on a simple bodice.
For the empire waist, all you get is a picture. Yes, I'm sewing special ed -- I like colorful pictures, but I need more details too.
Here's where I ended up.
I wouldn't mind the bodice maybe 1/2" tighter. I think I want to try it in something that has less stretch first. On a side note, this project has really shown me the power of a push-up bra.
So, as I head to the sewing machine to practice gathers, I'm not sure how this will end up. I have no desire to rip out the skirt and fix the gathers. But, even if I figure out the magic formula with my gathering foot, I don't think I want to cut another muslin or even move on to my fashion fabric. The days are getting cooler, so I won't have long to wear this.