Bust Dart Merry-Go-Round

If you have to FBA the woven version of the Colette Myrtle, what do you do with the resulting bust darts, if you don’t want to have to see 4 matching darts?  You rotate them into the collar…unless they are Big Honkin’ Darts common to larger FBA’s because even if they are small 1″ darts the distance from the bust point (and dart point) to the side seam is smaller than the distance from the bust point to the top of the cowl, which means that the distance along the edge gets much bigger at the cowl than it was on the side seam, thus dropping your cowl down toward your belly button.    What then?  Well, I’m trying a rotation of the bust dart partially into the cowl and partially into the waistline.  As you can see the original FBA dart (left) wasn’t very big, but it converted into two mid sized darts at the top and bottom of the bodice (right).  Hopefully, I can add 2″ to the skirt waistline (1″ per side) and let it be taken up in the elastic.  The new drop in the cowl should be workable and no darts need to be sewn, provided that all of this works as planned.  If you have a different/better solution or see any lurking problems please chime in.

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First Dress of Spring

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So many challenges, that is how I think of this dress.  It’s my first woven Myrtle and the first of several light drapey fabrics (rayon challis mostly) set aside for woven Myrtles.

Problem one:  When I ordered this (fabricmart) It was described as embroidered and rose colored.  The embroidery is ever so slightly shiny in an appealing way, but…it is NOT rose colored.  Instead it is decidedly coral or melon or something far more orangey.  Note to fabric vendors:  Please get yourself some Pantone color cards or something else because I am so tired of ordering fabric and having it come in in a completely different color family (I recently got some orchid rayon jersey that was surprisingly the same color as the dusty rose rayon jersey from the same place).

Problem two:  It was very much see through, which meant the skirt need to be lined.

Disliking the fabric did mean that I didn’t care much if I messed this muslin up.  Things I enjoyed about this were as follows:

  • Using some vintage bias tape for the facing.  Very easy on this project and it made for great results.
  • Practicing European turned lining, which I don’t recommend for drapey things, but it was useful for encasing the highly fray prone seams while also dealing with the sheerness issue.
  • Learning how to hand stitch a shell hem.  I don’t love it, probably because I used #12 perle cotton in a contrasting color because I ran out of matching thread.  It might have been nicer if it were daintier and matching, but sometimes you need information you will only get by trying things.

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It fits well as a muslin, but I will likely cut the length of version 1 rather than 2 next time and shorten until it is just right.  This accents my legs, but cuts me too much in half to really look good on me.  Needing to get the bust darts just right on the shell and the exterior is a bit of a pain, which will easily be remedied by rotating the darts into the cowl, which will lower that back down and help it lie better.  This one woman jury is still out on the pockets.  They are bulky under this fabric and maybe also not big enough to be useful.  If you have changed out the pockets or left them out I’d love to hear your results.  They seem great in the knit version, but other woven versions may be even drapier making the pockets more noticeable.  Still undecided is whether or not an additional 1/4″ across the back will make it a touch more comfortable.  It doesn’t restrict movement as is, but pulls a little when I cross my arms at the elbow in front of me (not something I do often when I’m not testing for a fitting).

 

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Here We Go Again

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Crabapple Hill “How Does Your Garden Grow?” take two.  Working on the stems, again, and still enjoying it. Looking forward to the flowers.

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Little Bunny

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Still not quite finished, this is just waiting for embroidery and closures.   The closures, pewter sweater clasps, will be here sometime next week. The embroidery is still being pondered possibly something from some vintage Aunt Martha’s embroidery transfers.

I can’t say entirely how this would have worked up according to the directions, what I made bears a limited resemblance to the original VFT Molly because of the alternate patterns for the hood and pockets and then the changes I made on top of it.  One piece of advice I can give on the hood pattern is that it isn’t sized down well to toddler sizes.  It’s pretty gigantic and the ears always flop forward because of how they are attached.  They were way too long for the little kids sizes.

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You may be able to see the blue mark on the left ear here, which marks the 3 1/2″ I cut off the bottom of each to make them fit better on A’s little head.  When they are much shorter they don’t flop past A’s face.

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They are rolled at the bottom to help them stand, but that isn’t really enough o make them stand up straight because the seam is backward into the main hood rather than into the hood trim.

When I brought this down for A to try on O asked if he would get a coat (I was carefully non-committal.)  and A picking up this one, said “I want this one.”   That’s one for the win column, now we’ll have to see if she’ll actually wear it once it is done.

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Fire in the Head

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45 pieces,  that is what happens when there are so many cool things to add.  It started with this adorable vintage jacket that a friend picked up for A, because it is awesome and she new we would appreciate it.  My friend didn’t know what it was made out of “felt, but not felt” was the description and it was correct.

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It’s a wool jacket with what is probably a poly lining that has been cleaned incorrectly.  The wool felted and the lining is a bit cobwebby.  But the style is gorgeous and the color is lovely and oh my, embroidery with beads and everything.

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Having previously purchased the Violette Field Threads Molly jacket and loving the free eared hood and inseam pockets patterns also from VFT I saw no reason to give those up.  When Oliver and S designer Liesl Gibson release her Building Block Dress Book, which is all about how to do various alterations I thought it was a perfect match.  Unfortunately, pleated yokes with linings weren’t covered so a fair amount of time and thought have gone into that.

If you take the basic Molly and add the hood with bunny ears (because bunnies) and turn the front of the jacket into a yoked front, then simply add pleats your good.  Or maybe you need to realize that the Molly is finished as a single piece and the pleats will require separate hems, which may require facings.  BTW if the pleats go down the front of the jacket bodice you now need to use inseam pockets rather than patch pockets (Yep, I figured those things out in that order.)  Oh and also, if you want it be warm it’ll need a layer (or 2) of batting, which will need to be quilted onto the lining.

This is taking much longer than expected, but expect a finished jacket post in the near future.  In that post I’ll let you know how everything turned out and what lessons I’ve learned and give you a bit of feed back on the patterns used.  Maybe you can help me with ideas and suggestions to help with areas where I had trouble so that I’ll be prepared for next time.

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I Sew Because…

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Are you a fan of LuLaRoe?  A friend of mine has been raving about the leggings and the cardis.  She always looks great in them.   She recently hosted a LulaRoe party via FB and I’ll admit I was curious.  Rarely do I have enough time to sew even a fraction of the things I’d like to make.  This is most easily demonstrated by the fact that I’m making this jacket for A, which I had planned to make last fall, or maybe the spring before.  PDF’s for many of the things I planned to make last fall have now been assembled, but as far as finished projects just 2 from my fall makes list have been sewn.  The complete lack of sewing time in the fall led to a lot of shopping at Eshakti, since discovering it last August.  The opportunity to try styles and fabrics without putting hours of labor into the test garments has been great and pockets, bra stays and custom sizing and styling  made eshakti very inviting.  About half of what I’ve purchased has had to go back though, and I never sent things back due to styling.  You can, but because it’s been an exercise in style exploration I stuck to sizing issues.  Some of my current favorites come from Eshakti, some of my eshakti dresses could use minor alterations (shortening the hem a few inches for example.), but I’m tired of disappointment too.

Lessons from Eshakti:

Necklines:  mandarin-no, big collar-no, sweetheart-yes, medium V-yes, Low V-a bit racy for my small town, but I can rock that, super low V-at least I still have camis that can save that

Sleeves: bracelet length-no, elbow length-yes, cap-maybe, short-maybe

Hems: at the ankles-yes, a few inches below the knees -maybe,  just above the knees-yes, floor length-no

Zippers:  side=good, front=great, back=A is always there for me (and is better at this than her father)

Substrates:  I still prefer natural fibers, but not having to iron is also very nice.  A poly chiffon is warmer than a cotton jersey in breezy situations.

Styles/Silhouettes:  Fit & Flare, defined waistlines, empire waistlines, structured garments are all yes,  boxy=no, drapey with a high neckline=no, drapey with a belt=maybe

I’ve also learned some things about my favorite dresses during this time.  Washi adjusts well when you lose weight (to a point), and it has pockets.  Even though Nightlife and Autumn Sky were among my first me mades  I still reach for them more often than my next favorite dress the Appleton (From the Appleton Collection) because they have pockets and adjust better to weight changes than wrap dresses, but Autumn Sky at least requires ironing.  Enter the Colette Myrtle, no ironing, plus pockets, plus flexible elastic waistline unfortunately no sleeves.  I see why this pattern is so popular.

Going into the LuLaRoe party, I know what I like.  Leggings don’t happen to make the list, so a major selling point is going to miss me entirely.  My friend tells me that they have sizing and fitting info, which they do.  It starts out with the words “True to Size”, then has fit categories and recommendations for going up or down a size.   I stopped at “True to Size”.  True to what size?  I just couldn’t do it.  The next morning after reading my friend’s FB posts I went back in and noticed that the sizing was xxs, s etc.  Really? Okay I’ll come back to that, instead I take a quick look at stuff.  Dresses I could make out of material that would suit me better for way less, that would actually fit if I made them instead of upsizing from, oh wait the random sizing.  I was done again.  My lack of interest in clothes shopping isn’t new, I love clothes but I am way too lazy to go through all of that to end up with clothes I’ll feel meh about.  Excellent motivation to send me back into my sewing room, to work though some complicated alterations and dull prep work of quilting the lining for A’s VFT Molly.  At the other end of this project I’ve promised myself a nice easy woven Myrtle (or two).  All of the Myrtle pattern work should be done and I’ve got several rayon challis prints just waiting.

Clothes that fit, in colors, fibers and styles that I like.  That is why I sew-and also apparently because I’m way too lazy.

 

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Vintage Neutral Quilt Block

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One down, seventeen to go.  Production in general has been a bit slow and ironing is way behind.  This is from my vintage linens collections.  I did my best to color match the threads that were included with the one block that had been started using DMC.  Having since stitched a Crabapple Hill block (they are appearing here out of order)  I am wondering if this should have been backed with muslin.  The Crabapple Hill block is stitched on Kona Snow with a fairly heavy weight muslin behind it.  This is a very light weight fabric.  The small dots are meant to be guidelines for quilting.  Either the blocks could be finished as is, the remaining blocks could be stitched with a layer of muslin or the blocks could be stitched as is and then quilted with a layer of muslin as part of the backing/batting/front quilt sandwich.  Does anyone have any experience or recommendations for this situation?

 

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