Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Sewing for me! Dress and skirts

I realize that I have been very quiet on the blog front the past week and half to two weeks! Oops... Not because I have not been creating but more because I have been in uber sewing mojo mode and very immersed. Don't you just love when that happens!!!

On my mental to do list for 2013 has been to play more with incorporating embroidery into my garment making, in order to do this several things had to happen. The biggest of which was to come up with a new set of TNT patterns that fit my 40lb weight loss. Although I do continue to slowly loose wight and plan on doing so for a while, I think that from this point on it will just be more of a tweaking of patterns versus a huge shape change that I have encountered. (I actually had to recycle a bunch of patterns because I had dropped out of the pattern range of sizes! Woohoo!! Virtual hi-five to myself)

Anyhow... To get to my above criteria I decided to sew up some new patterns and some re-sized patterns to ascertain fit, style, and then decide if they would be candidates for embellishing or should I say tasteful embellishing. We have all seen cases of embellishing gone wrong!!

After taking inventory of my closet I also tried to incorporate pieces that I knew I needed. Mainly bottoms. Mainly skirts and/or dresses. Want more digression? Here goes... When your job entails air travel on a weekly basis and you also wear a brace on one leg that goes from the upper third of your thigh to upper third of your calf it requires extra screening. Meaning that if you are wearing slacks and going through TSA security you are required to have a private screening so you can DROP YOUR PANTS so that they can test the entire brace for bomb making residue. Testing just the mid to bottom of the brace is not enough after all I may be just using the top of my brace to hide the bomb making residues!! Anyway, it gets old having to drop your pants in front of strange woman every week. I really need to get my knee replaced....

Interesting digression, huh?

Back to sewing. All of those factors above and just the plain old fact that I wanted some new clothes in my closet led me to making a new fall dress, one completed long skirt and one in-progress straight skirt, 3 tops. 2 of which I am very happy with and one wadder (I think). More on the tops in another post.

The dress is a Simplicity pattern that I have made already as a maxi dress. This time I made some changes, the biggest of all in the length. Due to my brace I try to make skirts and dresses either at mid calf length or longer although the silhouette at the knee looks nicer I just don't always like showing off my hardware that much.
Pattern:Simplicity 1804 view c with modified length
Fabric: light sweater knit recently purchased from Linda Z's in Arlington Heights, IL.
Lining: none
Changes made: (from last time I send this) shortened length to somewhere between the 2 looks on the pattern, used a facing for the neckline instead of a band. I did try out the 'twist' feature at the waist and hated the bulk it added and removed it.
Overall: I love the silhouette from the front and the back give nice shaping. From the side it could go a little maternity looking due to the gathers, especially if you were a sloucher!
Impression: very happy with this new dress, perfect for fall and spring with tights and a scarf, great for warmer weather in sandals. I wore this to a luncheon this past weekend and received several compliments. I also plan on arming this top to a function at the Georgia Aquarium this Saturday. We have a business casual/casual dress charity event for work. I think the aqua color and swirls will be very aquarium appropriate. :)
If this dress were to be sewn up in a solid color then I think there would be an opportunity to add some nice embroidery to it. Some ideas I had were along the neckline, along the hemline with dress at maxi length, up the side of the skirt.

Next up, a long 8 panel skirt, the Stockbridge Skirt by Gail Patrice designs. I picked this pattern up last fall at a sewing expo because I loved the samples that were sewn up! Very flattering, design options are really only limited to ones imagination and can be made at any length.
Pattern: The Stockbridge Skirt
Fabric: black poly blend woven of some sort in a bottom weight. In my stash for an indeterminate amount of time.
Lining: black ambiance from my stash.
Changes: none
Overall: directions are very easy. I only read them over because this was a new pattern to me and sometimes small independent designers have some interesting things written in their directions! Skirt has 8 panels and I overlocked all the seam edges prior to sewing for a longer lasting finish. The hem was a cinch! I just did a 3 thread rolled hem on my serger. Looks very finished and professional on this fabric. Even the elastic waist band was finished very nicely and smooth.
Impression: this could be construed as a basic black skirt. Hah!! It is! Except that it has an interesting silhouette. I do plan on making this skirt again and want to play with embroidery on it. I think it has many creative possibilities.

These photos have it paired with a top that I will review in another post.

So hard to photograph a black garment well! The pic above has been lightened somewhat to show the seam lines.

The last skirt I am making is an in-progress project. A Cynthia Guffey straight Skirt and one that I realized last evening that I need to cut new side back panels for the fashion fabric and the lining. Duh!!! I was transferring the marks from the mock up to the pattern paper and somehow transferred them in reverse on the pattern paper. For skirts to be level on me the waist seam can be almost an inch and a half to two inches higher/longer in the back than the front. (Need more fabric to cover the booty!) so if you look at my waist line drawn flat from center front to center back you have a diagonal line that travels from low to high. Now imagine on a four princess seamed skirt that you somehow reversed one of those panels at the side back and the line is crazy wonky going up, up, down, up instead of a smooth line. At least I figured it out before full construction. I just need to rip out the two side back/back seams in the fashion fabric and re-cut. Thank goodness I somehow have like six yards of this stash fabric.

- Posted by Steph from my iPad

Location:37000 feet over north eastern USA

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