Tuesday, 31 January 2012

January dress

Well I made it by the skin of my teeth.  I set myself a challenge to make a dress each month this year and the very first month I’m almost late!  What with decorating, visits away and procrastination I didn’t even buy any fabric until 25th Jan!  My plan was to use New Look 6802 but I’m not sure that's what I made!  I did a FBA, I also added some width to the hips and length as I wasn’t sure how long I wanted it.  So I’d spend ages fiddling with bits of paper, I also had to take a wide pinch of paper out of the back neckline otherwise I get a very bad gape at the back neck.  I don’t actually know what this is called or what it is supposed to resolve but it seems to work….  Once I got the fabric, I realised I hadn’t bought enough, I first bought  2m and then went back and bought another 1m although half would have probably been enough.  I started cutting it out and that when everything started to go wrong.  I wasn’t convinced about the darts I’d created in the paper pattern but sewed one up first of all.  Once I had it looked completely wrong and in the wrong place so I took it out, then a number of mistakes were made on my part which I had to fiddle to resolve, I won’t go into details but pieces ended up upside down and back-to-front!  Anyway I ended up with a dress AKA a sack!  I did need the darts so I did a fudge which I made a design feature which was to add a fold at the waistline which affected the bodice and skirt part.  It somehow works. 


I stitched in the ditch to get this looking ok.


The next thing I had to change was the fit, although the measurements and tissue fitting all showed it needed to add some width to the waist/hip it was too big, so I pinned and shaved a bit off especially the waist. 

Now it was beginning to look like an ok dress, sleeves next, turns out the long sleeves are very long!  I thought they would be a 3/4 length and in my haste I didn’t even try to tissue fit them or anything.  So now I had a dress for an orang-utan!  I tried a couple of methods to resolve this and eventually sewed a line with elastic in the bobbin, shirring the fabric shorter.


So what did I end up with I hear you ask? Well………


……something that's not too bad! And hopefully doesn’t make me look pregnant!

(P.S. I’ll get some better pictures soon when hubby is around)

Not the greatest dress in the world but not the worst either.  As you can see I’ve left it quite long as I felt it looked quite flattering. 

What do you think?

It was strange working with jersey knit after using woven fabric before.  I found it difficult to cut out as it kept moving and lining up selvedge was very had as was finding the grain line.  Coincidently my new Sewaholic pattern, the Renfrew turned up today I’m hoping that Tasia will run a sewalong that might help me with some of these issues.  I also found it hard to identify pieces and which way was which as the knit seems to have a mind of its own and just holding it in your hand is a challenge!  But sewing it was easy, most of it was done on my overlocker using the knife and it was quick and easy and even the mistakes I made were easy to resolve as long as you were willing to be creative!  So whilst I started with New Look 6802 I ended up with something unique!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Starting to panic

So I set myself a challenge to make a dress a month, its half way through the first month and I'm making very little progress!  Eeek!  Progress I have made

  • Bought myself a Lady Valet dummy
  • Set up dummy and padded it to resemble me ( a highly traumatic experience I'm not ready to blog about!)
  • Fiddled with New Look 6802 to fit it to me.  I think its about ok apart from the length.  I've done a FBA (first one!), made the whole thing bigger as I just can't seem to stop eating atm!  
What I still need to do
  • Check the sleeves, hopefully they will be ok
  • Make a muslin especially as I've made so many changes although I'm not sure about this as I would normally use calico but this is for a knit pattern so shouldn't it be done in a knit?  Any ideas?
  • Make the bloody thing!
Whats stopping me doing all this......

My living room atm

And the rest of my house looks like.....

so once my decorating finishes then I will be back to the sewing.... promise!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Carbon Copy

So I received some money for Christmas and I’ve thought I would get myself a dress form hopefully in the sales.  But after looking at some I can’t get a grip on which one I want so I thought I would ask the font of all knowledge, t’internet!  I guess the first question to answer is what do I want from a dress form.

I want to

  • have as close a representation of myself as possible, I’m quite prepared to pad a dummy (in fact it will probably be essential to do this as I have ‘bits’ that need to be taken into consideration)
  • I would like to have flexibility to change the dummy as I have gained back a bit of weight I lost previously so I don’t want to do a Duct Tape Dummy in case because I will lose the weight!
  • be able to tissue fit on the dummy and be able to see all the way round and pinch and tuck and pin everything together
  • same with a muslin/toile, I guess I need to be able to stick pins in the dummy
  • Hemming……
  • I’m not too bothered about the aesthetic of the dummy
  • not be too freaked out at seeing what I look like in the flesh!  Tall order I know!  Maybe that's the point of it, to be able to see myself the way others do and understand the fitting solutions my body needs. 
  • I have about £140 to spend so want to take advantage of the sales

Looking around there seem to be a few options


I like this one for its aesthetics and it looks stable and robust.  Is it flexible enough in its adjustments? How many adjusters do I need? Is more better? This one has 10. Split waist, foam backed. 

£149 including hem marker


Looks a little less stable and less attractive but attractiveness is optional!  Has a hem maker, do these work?  How?  12 adjusters including a split waist




This one has only 8 adjusters but has legs so adaptable for trousers.  I’ve never made trousers, no plans to make any but might feel differently in a years time……..  Have a very squishy tummy, saddlebags and bottom so would this be better?




Diana seems to be a popular dress form, this is the fuller figure version, do I need that?  8 part body with 12 auto set dials.  What does that mean? Split waist  Looks ok. 



8 party body with 12 adjusters again with a split waist , foam backed so I can stick pins in



So whadda ya think?  Do you have a dress form, are they useful or is it something that will sit in the corner and never get used?  I’m veering towards the Lady Valet but is it worth the extra cash?  Do I need a stretchy cover for it as well, I’m guessing so to keep the extra padding in place.  Help!!!!!!!!