Monday, 11 May 2015

Sewing from the 70s- pattern not fabric

I've got a hello kitty nightgown to make, and then I want to finally make a 70s wrap dress for work. But with three quarter sleeves instead of these.



I'm  a bit of a loon, cos I'm going to enter the PatternReview plus size contest.  I started filling the pattern review template - getting that bit done early. I also compared this pattern to a knit wrap dress I've been wearing for about 8 years now. I was startled that this pattern is bigger in a couple of areas, eg back width. But as i filled in the template I looked at the back of the envelope to the body size (not finished garment) measurements.   

The envelope size is 42, and I was expecting it to be sized for a 42" bust, but nope just read the back and it's 46" bust, 39" waist and 48" hip.  I might just do an FBA, take in the upper back/shoulders a little, leave the hips larger and sew it up.  In a knit I can just take the side seams in if needed. I'm going to add tie belts to the dress itself, and not include waistline casing for elastic - am shuddering at the thought.

Monday, 4 May 2015

a gift dressing gown complete - Simplicity 3575

I headed off to the sewing retreat on Friday, still with lots of nausea thanks to an adverse reaction to medication. I'd been exposed to whooping cough and 3 days later come down with sore throat+swollen glands+sneezing so was put on antibiotics as a precaution while waiting for the test results - thankfully negative.

We got to Stanwell Tops about 3.30-4pm, and were able to start setting up straight away. After dinner I started working on my black skirt, only to realise I hadn't marked the wrong side on the back piece and stalled when it got matching front to back. The front is asymmetric so was easy to work out.  I switched to making a dressing gown for a friend and then went to bed early *AGAIN*. 3rd night in a row. Silly body.

Saturday morning I switched back to sewing my skirt and finished it. Only to find my fabric was a poor match for the pattern and it looks fugly as. I know it's the fabric  cos it's my fave Decades of Style pattern that I've used multiple times. In linen/rayon herringbone it drapes beautifully, ditto wool crepe, and even a soft wool twill.  This linen/cotton twill ended up that bit too stiff and my right side seam is clumpy and lumpy and not fixable.  It fits, so it's not a fit issue. GRRRR  I'll repurpose the fabric for something else. Either a corset outer layer, or a bag for packing shoes, or *something*. There was half an hour left til lunch was served so I filled it with a mix of sitting+vegetating and showing someone who's not getting dart ends sitting right how I finish the ends of my much bigger darts so that they are subtle not pointy.

I was also feeling sore-throat and swollen glands again, 3rd weekend in a row. So I plodded along sewing the dressing gown stopping for wine and cheese and nibbles at 5pm. After dinner I returned to the fleecy snuggle gown and got all but the belt sewn before turning in to bed.  My friend Jess is about 31cm taller than me (12.5") and I cut the body 30cm longer than the pattern, and there wasn't a whisker of zebra fabric left to make it any longer - so I hope it's long enough.



This is it on Sunday when the belt was made - the pockets might be too low, but I had to guess placement and it is what it is :).

I didn't get much more that the belt done on Sunday. I felt even worse - slept through my alarm and only got breakfast cos my roomies came back after theirs and woke me up.   Another person gave me a lemsip which helped me feel a little better, but I was zombie stage 1 all day, and a polar fleece tie belt is about all I was fit to sew. I cut out a Hello Kittie flannelette nightie but didn't have any red thread with me to sew it. Politely declined the offer of thread as I knew I'd make a huge booboo.  Then I started sticking a PDF pattern together - a fitted knit T so not an awfully painful number of pages.

Still have swollen glands and feel rubbish. blergh!!!!!  Like the side seams on the dressing gown "will this never end"

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

planning for a sewing retreat

I haven't even looked at my camera for photos of my black 1913 dress - I made sure to get a couple and hope they're not blurry. I came down with a virus a couple of days after getting home, and hadn't unpacked properly as on a couple of those nights I visited hospital. A very good friend had life-saving surgery while I was at Discworld. I've not been able to visit her again as I still have swollen glands, and can't risk infecting her (or anyone else in the hospital either).

Because of teh bug I had to cancel going to Ironfest in Lithgow - which was very, very disappointing. It's one of the highlights of the year for me.

So my bug ends and we get a couple of days cyclone level storm sitting over Sydney. At least I didn't get flooded or power outage, or anything worse that drenched getting to/from work.

It's the sort of weather that makes you hibernate in your pjs as soon as you get home, and not be productive nor deal with any domestic chores.

I'm home this weekend - YAY - and I'm refining my list of things to sew at a sewing guild retreat. Over the next week I need to make sure everything is cut out, and to pack all the things (overlocker thread, zps, buttons, thread, pattern instructions in case I forget what I'm doing).

~ black twill linen/cotton skirt (Decades of Style 3004)
~ ufo blue stripey cotton shirt (KS2966)
~ ufo floral cotton dress (Lilly Rose)
~ fluoro tiger fleece dressing gown (where is that dang pattern!)

Plus I fitting a mock up of the Evadress Coat pattern 33269

I want to add another shirt in there, but maybe I should finally use the SBCC Tonic fitted teashirt  and see how it goes together.

So this weekend not only do I need to deconstruct the mess in my home space, but fix the pattern drawers in my storage room so that I can start putting my patterns away and then sort the mess down there out. Once I'm not stepping around bags/boxes of patterns it'll get easier.  I also need to put all the to-be-culled items in something to take the the Fabric Cave.

I'm looking forward to the retreat. It's great to get away and not have to cook or clean for 2 full days - starts 5pm Friday and we're packed up by 4pm Sunday. Plus I can sew til as late as I like and not disturb my neighbours. I can't do that at home or risk complaints and being evicted.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

One small change to the pattern instructions

I did one change to the original pattern/instructionss.  When I've worn the black one I find the steels at underarm and towards teh bust dig into my arm, so I thought about the corsets with horizontal bones/cordning on the upper side edge. It works!  I'm not getting stabby stabby!  They're 2xshort  6mm wide flats, and covers side seam to the bust gusset seam.


 The nylon lace is stitched in at the same time as the binding, and it covers the horizontals quite nicely.


It's so comfortable to wear, and I'll get a decent photo on the weekend, I hope.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

corset steels shopping list

This morning I worked out what steels I needed, and went through my stash.  I've got more than half, and I could use all spirals, but I'd prefer flats at the centre front, and either side of the grommets.


I also put my pliers somewhere "safe" so I've added replacements to my shopping list.  I have PLENTY of 6mm spiral and enough end caps for a couple of corsets at least. But no pilers to put them in place. Oh, do I have the dies for my American Tag press.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

slow progress on my edwardian corset.

Only the binding and casing had to be bought so far and part of me wishes I'd waited til I got home & checked the stash for cotton prussian tape. Though it's heavier than I know is available in Japan - a herringbone cotton "Damask Tape"  that I have from a fashion designer who's business closed.  The Damask Tape isn't wide enough for this task.  From stash, I've used coutil, busk and some of the steels and I have a choice of white lacing cord too. So that's great.

Tomorrow I'll go & buy a list of the steels I need to finish it. So here's so far - it only needs the steels inserted - am measuring & counting them right now.  Hmm maybe I should give it a steam press before I insert the steels.


I really do like the bias binding. Thanking the now retired quilt binding person who produced so many delightful ones to choose from.



I've recently been diagnosed with non-anaemic iron deficiency and I just run out of energy far too quickly. Still hopefully it'll resolve itself easily.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Progress pics as procrastination

The bobbin ran out of thread so instead of instantly re-filling and stitching I ran away from the machine.

I'm probably going to find out why grosgrain ribbing isn't a good choice for corset boning cases, but meh it was there and it was cheap. Instead of basting i pinned it. A LOT. first I folded it in half and finger pressed it so I could see the middle as it's double boned with 6mm, not wider steels.




Then I started stitching - was in early days of the either-side-of-centre stitching when it ran out.


And as you can see I can't bring myself to use plain white for everything. the waist tape is, but the casings aren't, Neither is the pure cotton bias binding I got for top & bottom edges, along with some nylon type lace which I'd normally avoid like the plague but it's quick and cheap and so is this corset.  The coutil wasn't even listed in my stash catalogue. Oopsie!


As you may have noticed, I love stripes.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

A rant and a solution - my new black fabric

Not only did I have infected sinus with headache from Tuesday til yesterday but my ebay fabric order was a disaster. I paid for it two Wednesdays ago and they were a bit slow (5 days) sending it on Monday. The dealbreaker for me is that unlike every ebay notification which said AustPost 3kg satchel they used Fastway. Which aren't fast! I wouldn't even use them within my own city let alone another state.

It's a brick & mortar store, so not a random potentially flakey solo seller. They're just flakey, because apparently their using Fastway without checking with me (and their mentioning aust post everywhere) is Ebay's fault for not automating the choices on offer. Could they have used the 5 days to message me for a preferance ... well I certainly think so.

It's 2-3 days from Melbourne via parcel post, and though I was irked that they'd waited til Monday it should still have arrived by Thursday. Easily. Except it didn't, and only on Thursday night when I checked the tracking number did I discover that it was Fastway. F%^&#*s. Yes I still feel that strongly about it. And either the tracking number I was given has a typo or the fabric was delivered (as in to recipient) in Brisbane - another state again.

So I may have had a tanty, and am still crankstipated. But solution oriented I went shopping yesterday and found a black cotton with metallic thread, in a subtle weave. Here's a macro photo of it on the clothesline, where it's drying after a soak in hot hot water.

The run off was brown, like cold black tea , but there was exactly the amount I need on the roll, so it's a winner.