Thursday, April 7, 2011

Finished Dress - Weird Pictures!

The "good" camera was used for the pics I took of the finished dress!!!! BUT, it created a very distinct and distracting shadow on each and every pic!!! Gah!

I will re-take pics again, but for now, here is a pic - try to look past the shadow on the wall!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Back to the Business of Dresses (Capris are now a UFO)

I made good progress on my capris, then I lost interest and they officially transcended into UFO status.

THEN, I picked up a different UFO that was cut over a year ago, a 1940's house dress in a vintage floral fabric. I tried so hard to love this project. It was one of those projects that seemed like a good idea at the time, but didn't work when it came down to the sewing part. I tried to not give up on it, giving it "one more step" before declaring it a wadder. I finally reached that point when a friend pointed out that the fabric looked like an old sheet!!! I had that "OMG" moment, because did (even though the fabric was not a recycled sheet).

At this point, the time was ripe for a project in which I'd hit my zone again. I'm happy to report I FOUND IT! I've had this fantastic pattern, McCall's 4417 from 1957, for a couple of years and have had the urge to get it out of my system. With warmer weather around the corner (I hope), a sun dress called. My world is happy when I'm sewing a vintage sun dress. I'm using a lovely tissue weight 100% linen, a taupe with dark brown pinstripes on it. This fabric was used two years ago on a different dress that didn't quite work out (not because of fabric, but not a good style on me). I had just the right amount to do the slim version. I used a medium weight linen blend in solid brown for the neck band and belt.

The pattern calls for an optional lining. It's a vintage lining, which is not the full length of the skirt. I found a tissue weight linen/cotton blend to use for the lining and decided to underline the bodice since the linen fabric is semi transparent (like when the light is behind you and you can see through). These two fabrics have been a dream to sew. And I love how linen shapes. Yes, it wrinkles, but it's linen! And the lining/underlining should alleviate the wrinkling a teeny bit. These are the back bodice pieces after the underlining was basted and darts sewn: The neckline on this appears fiddly and difficult at first glance. BUT, once you start working it and doing the pleats, step by step it really makes sense! Just mark well and you won't be disappointed. In this pic, you can see where the neckband is pinned and then sewn about an inch and a half (orange arrow shows the other side prior to pinning). This picture shows pleats formed AFTER the neck band is sewn as just stated. It's a bit "floppy", but after the pleats are made, it lines up perfectly. Baste across top edge of neckband after pleats are stitched. This pic shows the neck band facing in place. It is sewn across the top edge of the neck band (after the back neck band is seamed at shoulders), then hand slip stitched down on the inside. I cracked away at this project last week, had my cousin's son for the weekend so work stopped for a couple of days.... and just attached the bodice to skirt this evening. All that is left now is inserting the zipper and hemming! Hopefully I'll have finished pics tomorrow or Tuesday at latest!

Of course, no project of mine would be complete without a token mishap. This project's involved the iron and my box of threads... I ran out of a spool and while pulling out various other spools from my plastic box, placing upon the fabric and contemplating/comparing to get the best match, I suddenly smelled something odd, like burning plastic! To my horror, I looked up and it WAS plastic!!! I'd flipped the lid of the box open and it was leaning against the plate on my iron. The whole corner and latch melted and was dripping/stuck to the iron. The good news is after completely cooling, I was able to pull off the plastic in about three pieces. :)