Sunday, November 9, 2014

You Give Me Butterflies -- and Not in a Good Way

Pure adrenaline and novice enthusiasm must have helped me get that first sleeve in. On the second sleeve, I had a lot of trouble just pinning from the underarm to the first notch in the front. I steamed it again. I did some hand gathering stitches. That area is supposed to be 1:1. There was at least an extra 1/2" there now. What happened?

Of course the culprits were the lovely changes I made to the armscye.  The pink line is the original sleeve seam line. The aqua line is the armscye seam line after all my alterations. Aren't these supposed to match from underarm to the notch? Well, they did on the back, so I figured they should do so on the front too. The sleeve from underarm to notch was 3/4" longer than the armscye! So much for 1:1.  


I had a feeling this would happen. I'd even started a secret board on Pinterest for sleeve alterations. However, my eyes glaze over whenever I read the articles. One day, this will make perfect sense. Right now, it's all Greek to me. I was really hoping that Craftsy would come through and put the sleeve-drafting class on sale, but no luck. I think I'll ask them. Pastor always says that you have not because you ask not :-)

So with great trepidation, I attempted to draw a new curve. Whenever I do this, I always feel like I should have paid more attention in geometry. My pattern alterations make me so nervous because the altered pieces look, at least to me, weird compared to the originals. I guess if they didn't, I wouldn't need the alteration. I'll take some comfort in that thought.

So here's where I ended up.


I am so nervous that I had to blog before cutting it out of fabric! This dress has to be finished by next Tuesday and I haven't even gotten to the skirt. Butterflies be gone! I've got work to do.

Wish me luck!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Set It Off

Peeps, that's not bad for a rookie :-) That's machine-basted. Yeah, the basting threads are still there. This is on Ruby, who is now a few sizes smaller than me, but you get the point.

The front

The back

A tight shot of the shoulder, where my seam matching is not the greatest. I forgot to check how I did at the underarm.

Much love, again, to Craftsy! Linda Lee's Ultimate Guide to Sewing Knit Fabrics was on constantly. I must have have watch the part about setting in a sleeve a gazillion times. I guess I should write my review of the class soon.

I wish I had time to try it on me, but work got in the way (gotta keep the funding going for fabric). I'll probably wait until I get the other sleeve basted in. I'm still pleased because I set in a sleeve today :-)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Don't Mess with Texas or a Woman Who Gave You Her Hard-Earned Money

Please excuse this departure from sewing. I have not had to lace up my clown shoes in a long time, but Ashley Stewart has me dusting them off. I also hate doing this on my sewing blog, but I am beyond upset right now. I am really sad about this because I just gave Ashley Stewart a shout out on this blog because I liked the Butterfly Bra so much.

I've been trying to return one of my Butterfly Bras since 10/18. After about a month's wear, the wire is poking through. Not cool. In my entire life, I've never had wire poke through on a bra.

You see that fraying on the strap? Never had that happen before either. The lace was poorly stitched on too. I bought five of these bras. I've only had an issue with this one.

After going back and forth with customer service on how long it was taking them to send me a return label, I received an $8.95 credit today. That was the shipping cost for the order. Really???!

When I called customer service, I was told $8.95 was the best they could do because there is a no-return policy on worn items. So you can sell me something that falls apart in an unreasonable amount of time (about a month) and I'm stuck with it? No way. All I wanted was a replacement bra. Now y'all are making me mad.

Credit Where Credit is Due

Y'all know I'm a gadget girl. I realized that I've been keeping some new favorites a secret. (At least I couldn't find any pictures of them on the blog yesterday.) How selfish of me.

I've gathered from the web that most people enjoy time at the machine rather than pressing. I'm the opposite. I LOVE pressing! Sitting in front of my sewing machine makes me anxious. I'm just not comfortable enough actually sewing yet.

Anyhoo. Here are my custom pressing tools in all of their pink glory! The French Poodle is the cotton side and the plaid is wool. 

These were made by Stitch Nerd. In addition to the awesome color combo, I love that the hams and seam roll are so much larger than the versions you see in the store. She makes them in the regular size too.

I used the ham today to shape the sleeves for the dress. I didn't get much further than the shaping. Sleeves are scary!

Speaking of which, the sleeves have a pleat (see below) in them. I still needed to baste and gather in order to set them in, correct? I guess I was thinking that the pleat would make that unnecessary. Shows you just how much of a novice I am.


Maybe I will sew one in tomorrow :-)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Bodice!


People, I have a bodice! It took seven muslins. I am so unbelievably excited. If I hadn't already planned my days off for the rest of the year, I would have stayed home to work on the sleeves. I think that's funny because I didn't do any sewing this weekend. However, I was on it at 4:30 Monday morning.

Check out the back.


The back neckline is a wee bit loose, but I can deal with it. I want to see what the cowl does before I make any more changes to it. I'm hoping the fix will be simple like snugging it up with clear elastic.

Here's the pattern -- a true testament to the number of alts. The aqua line is the final dart. From the previous muslin, it's 1/2 longer and 1/4" shallower.



So about darts. I'm so thankful for Craftsy's Couture Dressmaking Techniques. I now start sewing at the point! Takes a lot of the stress out of sewing darts.

Now about that dart. The one on the right came out great. I messed up the left one when I stitched the side seam. It's a basted muslin, so no big deal. However. After extremely careful pressing, the dart only lays flat when I tug on the bodice. Otherwise, it looks like this:


See that weird thing below the pinned dart? That's a stitched and pressed dart. Is it the bulk? Is it the length? Should I slash the dart? I'm working with a Ponteroma Knit from Hancock Fabrics. Do you slash darts in knits?

I'll figure it out eventually. Right now, nothing is bringing down my bodice high!