The first problem I had with the fit was that the dress was entirely too large. According to the measurements on the envelope I should fit perfectly into a size 12. When I tried the dress on before I put the zipper in, there was way too much extra room. The dress should have been made one whole size smaller than the envelope recommends.
The next problem I had with the fit was the width of the shoulders. My shoulders are not real wide so the original dress stuck out way past the end of my clavicle. To fix this I cut away one inch of fabric from the shoulder seam and blended the rest with arm opening. Even if your shoulders are quite wide you may want to consider doing this. After you have cut away the extra fabric be sure to check the length of the armhole facing to make sure it still fits.
The final problem I had with the fit was with the neckline. My bust is very small (just a 32B if you can belive it) and the bodice of the dress was just plain big. The dress even had trouble staying on a normal hanger. It took me a little while to figure out how to fix this problem since the dress was almost done when I tried it on. I wound up taking in the the center front seam at the neckline and tapering it down to the midriff.
At the start of this project I was a little worried that the dress would not be long enough since I am 5'9" tall. The pattern does not include a way to lengthen or shorten the bodice so the one size is all you get. Fortunately as you can see from the pictures the length of the bodice turned out perfect. If you have a petite size frame you may want to figure out a way to shorten the bodice.
Another pleasant surprise I had when I was working on this dress was the fact that a serger was totally unnecessary. Every seam is either a french seam or concealed in some way. The inside of this dress is almost as beautiful as the outside.
Over all I love the style of this dress but the fit needs a lot of work. It's easy to wear and can be layered with other clothes when the weather is cooler. This style would work very well for someone with a large bust since there is so much room in the bodice and because a bra can easily be worn underneath. This style would also work very well for someone with broad shoulders but don't be deterred if you have a thin frame like mine.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
This is a quilt that I made for a friend. It is only the second quilt that I have made. It took me about a year and a half to complete. Just yesterday I found out that it was saved from a horrible RV fire.
For the quilt top, I started with two king sized sheets and well over 100 crown royal bags. I pre washed everything just to be sure. It was a good thing because all that flannel turned my washer purple! Then I cut all the backs and draw chords off the bags. Thankfully the sheets have a plaid pattern printed on them. I used the plaid to line up the bags nice and straight. As I stitched the bags down I left their tops open so that I could put a few handfuls of poly stuffing in each one. Then I just topstitched the bags shut.
At this point with the top done I made the quilt sandwich. I put the second king sized sheet on the floor face down. Then I spread out the thinnest polyester batting that I could find. Next I spread out the quilt top face up. Starting in the center I used safety pins to hold everything together.
Now it wast time to quilt all the layers together. At the top of each bag I used yellow yarn to create a bow like the original bag had. I would have used the original ties but they were too thick to sew through the quilt. After each bag had it's own little bow I stitched the edges of the quilt together and trimmed off all the extra fabric and batting leaving 1" all the way around. To finish the quilt I used 1" wide prepackaged cotton blanket binding in a golden yellow color.
Monday, March 7, 2011
For this project I used an old pair of jeans. The jeans fit me perfectly but they were full of holes and I was going to throw them away. They were perfect for cutting apart to draft a new pattern. Below are the steps I used.
1. First I cut jeans apart along the seams. I only cut one side of the jeans apart because both sides are almost the same.
2. Then I laid the pieces out as flat as I could on pattern paper. The paper I use for this is just leftovers from a large commercial printer. I can't believe they were just going to throw all that good paper away. Large pieces of newsprint paper also work well for this but you might have to tape a few pieces together. Pattern tracing paper, with the 1" blue grid printed on it, also works really well but it costs more than the other two options.
3. Next I carefully traced around all the pieces with a pencil. I think I wound up with about eleven different pieces. After each piece had been traced I set the jean parts aside.
4. I added labels to each piece so that I would be able to tell what they are and how many to cut. I also added grain lines.
5. Each piece that I traced needed to be cleaned up so I used my 3"x18" ruler and french curves to make sure that my lines were strait and smooth. I also checked to make sure that all my pieces would match up when they are sewn together.
6. Then it was time to add seam allowances. I used a 1/2" seam allowance because it is just easier than using the traditional 5/8". For all the straight lines I used my 3"x18" ruler again. For all the curved lines a compass works wonders. Just open the compass up to your desired seam allowance and then trace around any curve.
7. The last step to drafting the pattern was adding markings for things like pockets.
The back pockets you see on my jeans are actually from another pair and not the originals. That's one of the cool things about drafting your own pattern. You can add or change any details you want. If you are at all unsure about your drafting skills be sure to make a muslin first so that you can work out all the "kinks" first. Otherwise, just jump right in and start making your new jeans.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Mark the desired length of the pants.
Add 3 1/2" to allow for the cuff and the hem.
Cut off the extra fabric.
Finish the raw edge with a serger.
Turn under 2 1/4" and pin in place.
Blind stitch the serged edge in place by machine or by hand.
Turn up 1 1/4" to form the cuff.
Secure the cuffs to the pants by stitching on the outside directly in the seams.
Press and you're done!