I bought the Marianne dress pattern and two kits from Christine Haynes on the day she released the pattern which was sometime before Christmas. I had been looking forward to her next pattern release as I really love the aesthetics … Continue reading
I had been eying the Clover pattern by Papercut Patterns since it came out, but wasn’t sure if I should get it or not as I was sure it would look like a ridiculous moo moo on me. After seeing … Continue reading
I bought the Emery dress pattern when Christine Haynes was having a sale in her webshop. I have been holding out on attempting to sew it in hopes that Sew LA offered another Emery dress class. Good thing I waited … Continue reading
I found that the dress sewed up pretty quickly. In one night I had the shirring done, the front was attached to the back, I had the facings in and I was ready to attach the sleeves, but I figured I had better try the dress on. Good thing I did, it was huge! I could stuff another me in the front of that dress! I certainly could not bend down in this dress. I pinched and pinned and figured out that at least 3 inches would need to come out. I tried to figure out what the best way to fix the top was and decided to just take it in in the sides and see how that worked…So I took in the top over an inch in each side. Well, now the dress was uncomfortably tight around the arms and there was still gappage at the front….I sat down and took the top apart and put the dress aside.
Luckily for me the next day I had a private lesson with the lovely Haley at Sew LA to help me do a small bust adjustment to my Emery dress pattern. When I got home I attempted a SBA on my Washi pattern. I took in my bust darts by about 7/8″ and this time sewed up a muslin of the front and sewed it into the rest of the dress. Hmm, there was still some gappage so I then took out over an inch from the font. I recut out my top from my fashion fabric and sewed it up. I tried it on and the fit was pretty good, yay! All that was left was to sew my sleeves, bind my sleeves, tack down my facing and sew the lining.
I ended up using pre-made binding, which I think was too small and made things a little bit difficult to sew, but it looks okay so I am fine with it. I then tacked down my facing and sewed my hem by hand.
I find that I seem to like to try at least 2 patterns by a pattern company so when I ordered the Emery Dress pattern by Christine Haynes I also ordered the Chelsea dress. Since I am taking a class … Continue reading
Body did I have trouble with the elastic thread. I just could not get it to gather the fabric at all. I re-sewed with a longer stitch length, fiddled with tension, steamed the seams with my iron and even tried drying, but no matter what the seams would not shrink up. They do look a bit gathered when my skirt is flat, but once it is on they straighten right up. Lindsay did send out instructions/helpful tips for working with the elastic thread that would have helped me if I hadn’t rushed to sew the pattern right away.
I also picked the wrong fabric. The jersey I picked felt pretty heavy, but when I tried on my dress, the skirt was like a second skin; whoops. The top also came out a bit loose, but I knew it would. My bust is smaller than the smallest size for the pattern, but I figured if I was testing I didn’t really want to make any changes; plus it’s knit so it doesn’t really matter that much. If I was to make this pattern again, I would choose a heavier weight fabric and take in the top a smidge. For now I think I am going to take the skirt off the dress and turn the top into the crop top variation from the pattern.
Overall I think the pattern is cute and I think I will make another one once the pattern is officially released.
I have always had trouble fitting tops and dresses because my ribcage/bust is very small (I seriously have a tiny chest here) so even the smallest size of a top just looks like a big bag. I don’t know what size 0 person with a C cup these companies are making clothes for, but I envy her because she can buy clothes off the rack that fit. Anyways, I figured one of the benefits to learning to sew would be that I could finally make clothes to fit my top! I am finding as a beginner sewist, however, that commercial sewing patterns are also not designed for people with tiny top halves. All the patterns that I have acquired so far start the smallest bust size between 30 and 34 inches and are designed for a B or C cup; lets just say my bust is smaller than 30″ and I am maybe an A cup (if that), so I guess I will have to learn to alter my patterns….
I bought the Colette Moneta knowing that the smallest size was for a 33-34″ bust and that Colette designs for a C cup, but I figured since it was a knit pattern it wouldn’t be that bad. Well after making my first bodice I figured I was wrong about that. The top was just huge at the bust, like a few inches too big at both sides. So I figured since it was knit I could just take it in on each side. So I took off about an inch and a half on both sides of my lining and tried it on and it fit pretty well, but when I did the same thing to the fashion fabric I knew it definitely didn’t work quire right because now the armpits were a bit short/tight.
I looked on-line to see if anyone had written about the Moneta being too big, but found nothing. I did find a post on doing a full bust adjustment on the Moneta, but I figured adding darts was not going to help me. I ended up e-mailing the lovely ladies at Colette and they sent me a link to a tutorial on grading down a patter. I set to work and graded down the bodice by just under 4″ total. I sewed up my lining and it fit pretty well, so I set about sewing my fashion fabric (adorable deer fabric I got at Girl Charlee). When I tried on the outer bodice the fit was really good, the only problem was that I couldn’t get it off without help! My fashion fabric didn’t have enough stretch! Curses! My problem boiled down to this, if I made the bodice tight enough to fit my bust, it would be too tight to take off….What to do? I ended up making the shell and lining of the bodice out of my stretchier knit (the stuff I bought to line the dress). So all in all I ended up making the bodice 3 times.
Does anyone have suggestions for knit dress patterns that have a smaller fit in the bust?
I have been MIA from the blog for the last few weeks for a couple of reasons, 1) I have been busy with work, and 2) I haven’t had any completed sewing projects to show off. Well, at least I can gladly say that I now have 2 completed sewing projects to debut.
The first project is the Sewaholic Gabriola skirt. As soon as I saw this pattern on the Sewaholic blog I knew I wanted to make it. I love maxi skirts and I loved how the bias paneling on the skirt really made it look different. I wasn’t sure what fabric to use for the Gabriola, but I knew I wanted something swishy and floaty, and finally settled on some emerald rayon challis from Fabric.com. I washed, dried, and ironed my fabric and cut out a straight size 2 from the pattern (I actually traced my pattern pieces onto tracing paper instead of cutting into my pattern, which took forever with the long lines of the maxi skirt). I folded and laid out fabric on my cutting table and carefully laid out all my pattern pieces, which I have to say was difficult because the rayon really wanted to slip and move off grain every time I tried to smooth the fabric, but I pinned and cut and I thought I did a pretty good job of it, that is until I tried to match up my pattern pieces. That is when I realized that my fabric must have slipped off grain/moved when I was cutting out my pattern pieces, because none of the pieces didn’t seem to fit together correctly when I went to pin the panels together! Ugh! Trying to match up the panels on this skirt was so frustrating; my fabric looked the same on the front and the back (I did mark the back with chalk, but the chalk was rubbing off as I handled the fabric pieces), there was really only one notch to match the pieces so I wasn’t exactly sure how the pieces were supposed to line up at the other sides, and I was dubious that my pieces were the correct shape to begin with after my cutting fiasco, also the pieces are cut on the bias so I think they maybe stretched a bit…so yeah, frustrating.
I managed to get all the panel pieces sewed, and finished the edges by pinking them, we’ll see if that holds up. I had an easier time sewing the skirt pieces and finished those edges with my serger. I put in the zipper (I still don’t think I am doing a regular zipper correctly because it looked pretty messy) and attached my waistband. I was pretty excited that it looked like a skirt, but when I tried it on and showed it to the bf he informed me he could see my underpants. Crap! So, I figured I had to add a lining if I didn’t want to scrap the skirt. I knew I didn’t want to completely remake the skirt for the lining with all the paneling, no way. I ended up taping the pattern pieces together to make one front and one back piece in the same shape as the skirt, but short (I figured I only needed the lining to cover the butt). I cut out my lining from ambience bemberg lining, took the waistband and zipper out of my skirt and then attached the lining the skirt. I re-sewed the zipper and put on the waistband (making it slightly smaller this time).
My next frustration came with trying to even out the hem. I hung up my skirt from a hanger and sat there with my ruler, chalk, and scissors and stared at my skirt, I had no clue how I was supposed to even out the hem. Was I supposed to let it all fall in the middle or hold out the sides? No idea. I ended up evening it out to where it all naturally fell off the hanger. I then folded up the hem and tried it on, hmmm, too long….okay re-mark, re-fold, re-iron…better. I did the hem by hand, which took quit a while, but I finally finished! This skirt took me over 2 weeks of pure frustration to complete. I kept telling myself that after all the issues I had with this skirt that as long as it was wearable I would be happy. Well, it is wearable, but of course I keep thinking about all the things that are wrong with it. But you know what? After wearing it out I was actually pretty pleased with it. It is floaty and swishy and feels nice against my legs when I walk, so who cares if the zipper is wonky?
So overall the pattern wasn’t bad to make and the skirt design is super cute, I think all of my issues stemmed from fabric choice and inexperience.
I definitely plan to make this again, but maybe in a more stable fabric next time, like voile?
I also completed the Coco dress by Tilly and the Buttons, but I hope to blog about that later this week.