Category Archives: dress making
At the end of May Craftsy seemed to be desperate for me to spend my money with them, they sent me a ‘buy one class for £14.99’ so I obliged by picking this class.
It is a very well taught class by Judy Jackson, I wouldn’t have said that the blurb gives you a complete idea of the course, the first thing that you don’t realise is that Judy assumes that you have a body double, and brushes very briefly on what to do if you don’t have one, where as any other sloper course I have taken relies on measurements and drafting onto paper, this one is more of a draping class than a sloper course.
The course starts off by describing different types of stretch fabric and how to tell how much stretch it has. You cut two pieces of fabric and and pin one to your dress form, then working on one side of the dress form you pull the fabric tight across the shoulder and under the arm. After getting this to a state you are happy with you then mark it un pin it and duplicate to the other half.
Once you have the front peice you copy that to the back peice, apparently the front and back should be close to the same size. You pin these together on your dress from and take some more markings duplicate it on the other side of the back peice. Once you have your front and back pattern peice you stitch them together and try them on your dummy and see if there are any other tweaks needed.
Once you have your pattern this is when the class comes into it’s own, it shows you how to take your sloper and create tops and dresses, the class also shows you how to take a woven pattern and turn it into a pattern for stretch fabric. At the moment I do only have one photo
It has given me lots of ideas for future projects and I can’t wait to actually get home start trying it out.
Overall for £14.99 the class was brilliant and I hope to get a lot of use out of it.
I have taken a couple of photos of me wearing the love notions Rhapsody blouse and the Lutterloh dress.
First up is the Rhapsody Blouse, I have given it a good iron, basically I ran it under the tap and then ironed it wet, the fabric is a nightmare to get the creases out.
I difinitely should have made the next size up, you can see in the slightly blurry photo underneath this that the shoulder seam is quite away from my shoulder. This will be fixed by going up a size.
The rest of the fit doesn’t look too bad but I’m wondering if the whole garment might benefit from the extra fabric.
I’m still not keen on the sleeves, the next one I try will probably be the 3/4 sleeve with flared cuff.
Second, the Lutterloh Dress
It does appear to have a slight issue with sliding back, I know that there is a way to fix this, I just have to remember where I saw it.
The gathers at the bust line need to be more even and also look like they should be gathered in a slightly different place, as I said in the previous post the front is cut far too low. I also think that the top line of the skirt piece needs a bit of smoothing out as well.
I think that the drag lines are caused by the dress sliding backwards but maybe it could do with a small sway back adjustment.
The dress doesn’t look too bad in this side view, it does highlight the gathers need to be moved
The arrow is pointing at where the point where I didn’t transition the top into the skirt portion correctly, which means it doesn’t drape properly.
hopefully more soon….
I have had a couple of failures the last month or so, you will have seen the Lutterloh dress and this one which is the Rhapsody Blouse from LoveNotions, I had high hopes of this pattern, I have a similar top and I was hoping to reproduce it.
https://www.lovenotions.com/product/rhapsody-blouse-xs-xxxl, it has 8 sleeve types, I’m very impressed with the website, the pattern pages also have lots of pictures of how it looks made up, I am quite sure that my issue is more to do with fabric choices rather than a problem with the pattern.
I loved the look of the top right up until I attached the sleeves and then it was uck I don’t like you at all.
I am going to give it a good iron before making any decisions on it, I could just take the sleeves off and have it sleeveless or I could just replace them with the ‘cap’ sleeve as the arm hole is slightly bigger for the sleeved version than the no sleeved version.
It has French seams and gathers at the shoulder and a tuck at the back, last time I tried it on I realised that I probably should have made the larger size it doesn’t quite fit on the shoulders, but I am happy enough with the rest of it.
I will be making another attempt at this probably with softer fabric with more drape….
There still hasn’t been very much sewing done since my last post, with most of my fabric boxed up and the house still in a bit of an upheaval and will continue to be for the next 2 – 3 months crafting is looking bleak.
I do however have two makes to show you the first is a Plantain (no not another one I hear you say) this one is for Liz, as I had already corrected the pattern for her build, I had told her to get some T-Shirt fabric and I would make her a couple more.
Liz bought her fabric from Kaye’s Textiles, it is a good quality Robert Kaufman print the only thing I’m assuming neither of us factored in, I know I didn’t until I laid it out to cut it, was the pattern.
Booby nightmare, obviously the pattern needed to be centred but once centred do I try and get the pattern to not go across the bust line, or do I hope for the best, bearing in mind Liz wasn’t there to check the placement.
I hoped for the best, I haven’t seen it on yet but I am pleased with the finish, the fabric is a bit heavier than I have used for a Plantain previously so I hope it hangs alright.
I decided to have the lighter colour go down the middle and using the FBA point I worked out where best to place the pattern hopefully the bust point should go straight through the top of the repeat and avoid the small circles.
It was constructed using the Overlocker and finished off with my sewing machine twin needle and walking foot.
This is a quick post to tell you about the three Plaintains I made just before coming away.
They took about 3 hours from cutting out to finishing, I did most of the work on my overlocker which speeds up construction immensely.
As I promised here are another two
The top fabric is from Primark, I bought two of the largest size T-Shirts and cut them up, the design isn’t printed on grain, so I had to make the decision of did I want it on grain or the lines straight, I went for the lines, It doesn’t hang quite right but that is better than looking at it with wonky lines 🙂 Bottom fabric is from eBay.
I overlocked the shoulders, inserted the neckband as per the instructions, I might go back to doing it the other way. Inserted the sleeves, pins are my friends for this on the overlocker as there is a very good chance of holes if the fabic isn’t totally level. Then up the sideseams and under arms. Over to the sewing machine for the twin needle hems and one row of stitching to hold the neck band in place.
Hello, here is number three in my list for February, the Sew over it Vintage Shirt Dress, the pattern is lovely and very easy to put together, however I was sort of led astray by the gumph in the little booklet and should have gone with my initial thoughts to do a size smaller.
The pattern does give you the finished sizes for bust waist and hips, it also says that the dress had less ease than the big four patterns, looking at them I should have gone with the smaller size, however I am very conscious of ‘design’ ease.
As you can see I changed my mind about the fabric, and you can also see it is a little bit shapeless and that is with taking a extra inch out of the waist.
luckily though before I did my usual 1inch out of the bodice I checked the internet, and discovered that the top piece was quite short anyway, after measuring it I came to the conclusion that it didn’t need to be any shorter.
The instruction booklet was very straight forward and the set in sleeves were some the the easiest I’ve installed. One of the changes I should have made though is a full bicep adjustment, although I can get the dress on I can’t move my arm. The two choices I have is to either make it no/short sleeves or see how much I can get back from the seam.
If I make it again I will make the smaller size do a SBA and widen the sleeves. I’m not sure if the fabric is just a little stiff for this pattern as it makes me think of a coat dress rather than a shirt dress.
At the moment I am toying with taking it apart and making the smaller size. I don’t think that I’ll wear it as is.
next up challenge for March
I managed to get in a second Moneta dress this month, this fabric has been in my stash a little while, I think is an eBay buy, it is a slightly heavier t-shirt fabric.
I made this moneta a size smaller on the top, removed 3/4 inch from the length of the top and graded out to the same waist measurement, with the skirt staying the same size.
I feel that this is a better fit.
I lengthened the sleeve again by 2 1/5 inches but used a binding for the neck, I assume because it is a heavier fabric than the last one it was easier to tell the back from the front, while putting it together I had stitched a small square of fabric to both back pieces.
bye for now.
This is my inspiration photo
As I said in my previous post I started cutting out the top of another pattern before deciding this fabric was totally wrong
The first thing that I needed to do was to work out if I had enough fabric left over to make the skirt. I suspected, looking at the picture that was a 3/4 circle skirt, it didn’t look full enough to be a full circle, after spending 5 minutes looking for my skirt pattern, then looking at the instructions in the sewmanydresses book I decided that I couldn’t be bothered with creating a 3/4 circle pattern.
I folded my fabric in half and pinned it still, I took my water soluble pen attached it to a piece of string held it in one corner of the fabric and made two 1/4 circles on the folded fabric with the pen on the other end, then just cut 1/4 off each piece, which was handy because I used those bits for facings.
I decided that I could use the basic bodice from the sewmanydresses book, it did give instructions on how to make a button down bodice, unfortunately I didn’t have the fabric to use the all-in-one method so had to cut a separate button tab.
I had a couple of problems due to the fact I had already cut out the bodice pieces for the other outfit and so would have to use these to create the top of my dress. The main problem was that the fabric wasn’t quite wide enough, using a 3/8 inch seam allowance on the front I managed to move my under arm problem into the seem allowance.
I did add an extra bit to this fabric before cutting out, I straight stitched then zigzagged an extra bit, the last place you need a weak stress point is under the arm.
there was also a tiny problem with the back of the neck but I decided to just make the back neckline lower.
If you look closely at the next picture you can just see where I am going to cut the neckline to. There is a faint blue line on the left side of the photo.
I am quite pleased with it so far, I have decided on 22mm white buttons, which I need to get and I think I am going to try bias binding on the hem and armholes.
Here is the long awaited update to Bra Making pt 1, it doesn’t take that long to finish once you get onto the elastic.
My kit came with two different widths of picot elastic luckily I picked the right one, the slightly wider one goes along the bottom band the other one along the outside of the straps.
Each bit of elastic has two rows of Zigzag stitching, the first row is to switch it to the front of the bra band then you flip it up on the back and do the other row, the first one is normal zigzag the second is the three stitch zigzag.
The elastic is only pulled tight across the bottom of each cup, and you cut the bridge fabric so that you can stitch that straight.
You do much the same thing for the top of the band and up the strap, the only bit that need pulling is the side of the cup.
The neckline trim doesn’t have to be elastic but the stuff in my kit was, and to be honest not my cup of tea once it was installed, it was a bit too big.
Once the bottom band has been completed, but before the strap elastic is fitted you check the band for size against the hook and eye band, trim off any excess on the band. You fit the hardware to the back strap then attach that to the back of the bra, and attach the bra strap to the the elastic back.
attach the hooks and eyes then you have a finished bra.
before you finish off the channelling for the underwires you try it on for fit.
The cup fit was pretty good, it was slightly tight along the top cup edge and the bottom band was also a bit tight, I was thinking of going up a band size but after asking the class instructor she suggested adding 1/2 to 1 inch to the back band piece and adding a wedge to the top edge of the upper cup.
So I’m going to try it and see how these alteration affect the fit.
If you are thinking of taking the Beverly Johnson class I would recommend it, I would also recommend getting her pattern and the kit that goes with it, I have enough fabric for about four bras, I will need to get extra elastic and findings. There are two reasons for saying this, if you take her other classes this is the bra pattern Beverly shows you how to alter and also I bought another kit from eBay and the main cup fabric is horrible and I think the the lace is unsuitable for bra making as it is slightly directional (one way) it is as if they have got a list of things needed for the process but have the necessary knowledge to select the right stuff. If I hadn’t bought the other kit I wouldn’t have known any better and probably not finished the bra.
I bought my official kit from b’ware they are Swedish website which accepts PayPal as well as credit cards the kit arrived very quickly.
Denise had some definite ideas for our funeral attire, black with a teal or pink accent colour. I didn’t actually own any totally black clothes, if you read to the end of this post I still don’t.
I had a general idea what I was going to make, then I went to Mood Fabrics and came away with a totally different idea., while browsing the aisles I came across some black eyelet fabric and with that a dress was imagined.
Black eyelet fabric over teal for the bodice and plain black skirt, I only had a week to make it so I wanted something not too complicated. So I pulled out Gertie’s Ultimate Dress book pattern sheets and tape measure so that I could work out what size I needed to go up to on the waist, it appeared to be the next size up, so I traced out a new bodice pattern and did the SBA on it and I traced off the new skirt pattern, originally I had decided on the same skirt as for Liz’s dress circle skirt with box pleats but I didn’t have enough fabric for that so I went with the three quarter circle skirt instead.
Simon found the ‘Teal’ fabric it was probably the most expensive fabric I bought in Mood, it was silk Crepe, at this point I was thinking about lining the whole dress with it so got 3 yards, I still have just over 2 yards to do something else with.
I knew silk was notoriously hard to work with and also ‘luckily’ realised I couldn’t line the dress with it because of the bodice darts so I interlined it (thank you Gertie)
I cut out the eyelet fabric first then used that to cut out the silk, it worked quite well that way.
I basted the two together and put in the darts, and the side and shoulder seams.
I attached the skirt, there was still something missing the skirt and bodice seemed like two seperate entities, and I wasn’t sure how to bring them together, after discussing it with Simon I decided to use the skirt fabric to bind the neck and armholes.
With a 22inch zip in the back and a small hem done on the sewing machine it was finished with 2 days to spare. I’m assuming that with the holes the islet fabric stretched out of shape as the top didn’t fit as well as the muslin, but I was very pleased with it.
To finish it off I wore my pink and teal shoes. It could probably have done with being taken in at the waist a bit and the front darts could have been more dartier.