Sunday, July 29, 2012

Liar, liar, dress on fire. (Or, New Look 6097)

This dress... somehow, despite the complete LIES of the photo on the envelope, and a very questionable decision on my part, it seems to have turned out ok.  I already got a small stain on the skirt front, and the quality of this fabric isn't great - so I'll be loving it into a premature death pretty soon.

New Look 6097

Issue #1: I bought this fabric at Spandex House in the Garment District.  It's a very lightweight stretch knit, and the quality is pretty questionable.  After washing, the stripes started to develop a very slight ribbed effect, I think a symptom of the two colors shrinking differently. The white sections were slightly sheer, so I underlined the whole dress in a solid white knit.  This helped with giving the skirt a little more weight, which is nice because it ended up fitting pretty snugly in the end.

New Look 6097

Issue #2: When I opened up the pattern to look at the printed finished garment measurements, I was very confused.  It has something like 4-5" inches of ease built into the waist! In a knit! Ok, it does have you make an elastic casing at the waist, but it was still not going to look the way it was supposed to.  There's no evidence of an elastic waist on the envelope front:

And only those tiny little lines along the back waist to suggest this on the line drawing:

So, I cut the smallest size, a 10 (the recommended size for me was a 12).  And then I took it in by 4 inches at the bust and the waist, tapering to nothing at the hem.  This did make the dress rather form fitting - next time I may try to work in a little more ease at the hips, or maybe try switching to an a-line skirt.  
Other changes I made included skipping the pockets and binding the neckline instead of using a facing - in both cases I was concerned about gaping.  I also used clear elastic at the waist, to prevent it from stretching out of shape.  
New Look 6097

All in all, I probably wouldn't recommend this pattern.  It has so many issues, and it seems to me that dealing with these isn't worth it for what is a pretty basic silhouette.  But if you have your heart set on it for whatever reason, definitely expect to cut a couple sizes smaller than what the envelope recommends.

New Look 6097

I know it's been excuse after excuse here this month... but here's one more! My parents are visiting from San Francisco, so I've been playing tour guide this weekend .  But, stay tuned later this week for a little giveaway!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Project Runway Season 10!

Is anyone else watching? I'm just so happy that Tim and Heidi are back - I hated, hated, hated the few episodes of All Stars I made it through because they weren't there.  [If you haven't seen the premiere yet and intend to watch, stop here and step away from your computer - spoilers are coming!!]

I liked that there weren't any crazy twists to the challenge for the first episode - it was nice to just see what the designers were capable of in a day (especially compared to the looks they had brought from home).

My feelings thus far about the season 10 designers:


Favorites based on personality:
Kooan (he reminds me of my dad if he were 30 years younger, more flamboyant, and a designer - so really he reminds me of my dad because he has big hair and he's Japanese), Andrea, and Christopher.


People I wish would go away because of their personality:
Gunnar, Dmitry

Favorites based on design: Christopher (the gown), Ven (the bustier), and Alicia (the jumpsuit)
What were they thinking?!: Lantie! Beatrice's designs were really just soooooo boring, but I can't believe the judges let Lantie stay.  I think I prefer boring:

to this mess:

The judges seemed to think Ven had some of the best construction skills (and I agree that the bustier is beautiful) but look at these bust darts!

This is the first season I've seen since moving to New York (minus two episodes of All Stars, which just does not count).  It was fun to see the designers in Mood now that I've been there - though I've never been with even $100 dedicated to one garment before, and that really would just change the whole experience.

So, are you watching? Any early predictions on who's going to win?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Summer Sewing Swap!

I signed up for Kestrel's Summer Sewing Swap a couple of months ago (my first swap!) and was paired up with the lovely Shivani.  My package arrived from London on Wednesday, and it was the best part of my week.

The cutest little buttons ever (and one giant button), trims, a Retro Butterick pattern, an "M" label, a Liberty (!!!) belt buckle, a cotton print, a flower pin, and a little purse frame. I can't wait to use it all.  I've been thinking I really should try using more trims, I'm so excited about finding a project for the cute tiny buttons, the label is most definitely going on the coat I'm making this fall, I love the dress pattern (plus no zip!), and I could go on and on...

Thank you, Shivani!

My new camera charger is supposedly on its way to me, so hopefully I'll have photos of my two new dresses to share with you all soon! Have a good weekend!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Just popping in...

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who commented on my plea for help with the paisley fabric - you were all so helpful.  I do think I'm going to stick with the maxi, but use a different pattern (fewer seam lines, and a straight waistband so that I can accent the waistline with a ribbon).
I finished a new dress this morning (Anouk from Victory Patterns), but my camera died and I haven't seen the charger since the move.  Things may be a little quiet around here until I can get a new one.  July is an extremely busy month too, so that's not helping with my sewing productivity and blogging time.  At the rate that I'm eating out though, I may need to sew a whole new wardrobe!
Hope you're all having a good weekend!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Stash Babies & Advice Needed

I'm pretty sure my stash is having babies behind my back.  That's the only way to explain its exponential growth.

The shelves are at capacity, so it's time for another stash busting pledge.  I, Mika of Savory Stitches, will not purchase any fabric until I have sewn at least six items with supplies from my stash.  
Notions, interfacing and lining are excepted from this pledge, since my reserves on those are running pretty low.

And now, I need some advice.  I bought this insane (for me at least) rayon challis print from Metro Textiles.  It's definitely a step (or one hundred) outside of my comfort zone - the colors and the paisley are not what I would normally pick up.  Initially I was thinking maxi dress with this pattern:

But I'm concerned about the maxi + seam lines being too much.  Maybe something with fewer seams interrupting the print? Or piping around the midriff? Or a contrast [what color???] midriff band? Or do you think a maxi at all is a bad idea? 

Pattern numbers, general thoughts, "just make something already!"s are all welcome! (a.k.a. SOMEONE PLEASE HELP MEEEE!)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

FO: Check Mate Shirtdress

Oof!  This was definitely one of those pain in the you-know-what projects, but I know I'm going to wear it all the time so it was completely worth the trouble.

Check Mate Shirtdress

I didn't make a muslin (this is where the trouble began), and cut an 8 in the bust and 12 in the waist and hips. I anticipated needing to take in the hips, but I ended up having to take in the whole thing everywhere - I ended up closer to a 6 in the bust (with more taken in here and there at the princess seams), 8 in the waist, and 4 for my non-existent hips.  I also hacked off a good 6" from the hem, and made the waistband about 1/2" shorter to ensure it landed at my waist.  The fabric does have some stretch to it, so if I make it again in a non-stretch woven I'll probably start with a size up overall.  Next time I may also raise the waistline at the back a little more - there's the tiniest bit of pooling back there.

Check Mate Shirtdress

This was my first time trying to match a gingham and my first time doing a lapped zipper, and oh boy does it show.  The matching is decent on my left side, but slightly off on my right.  In some places it's really just completely off, but I'm not sure there's anything I could have done.  I cut the button band, back yoke and waistband on the bias for visual interest and because it meant less matching - what can I say? I'm lazy.

Check Mate Shirtdress

The lapped zipper was a nightmare - I must have ripped out parts of it 5 or 6 times before I decided it was good enough.  The pattern just uses the standard 5/8" seam allowance around the zip, which I think was part of the problem - next time I'll follow Lavender of threadsquare's tutorial and add a bit to one side.

Check Mate Shirtdress

I like the design a lot - the straight skirt feels more work-appropriate to me than the full skirts I prefer on the weekends.  Eventually I'd love a basic black one with sleeves and a full skirt, or a red one with short sleeves and trim. The possibilities are endless.

Pattern: Simplicity 2403 (OOP Project Runway pattern)
Fabric: Stretch cotton gingham from Paron.  It took less than 1.5 yds.
Modifications:  Skipped the button holes and just sewed the buttons on through both layers (again, lazy).

Monday, July 2, 2012

Busy Bee - More Home Projects

It's been a little quieter than usual around here, but I've been busy! Here are a few home projects my boyfriend and I have finished up in the last two weeks.

Dining Chairs:

Primer, paint, polycrylic, and new cushions with outdoor zigzag fabric.  (Let's not talk about the print matching failure - I blame the horrendously off-grain fabric.)

Not-so-mellow Yellow Dresser:

It took a little while for this color to grow on me, but it really adds a nice pop to the bedroom.  It was primed, painted, and polycrylic-ed.  We replaced the original wood knobs with glass knobs, which I love.
Upholstered Headboard:

We finished this one up yesterday - the headboard is made of plywood, foam, and batting, with the buttons held on with zip ties.  The plywood is about 6 inches taller than the original headboard, which makes it much more comfortable to sit up against (not to mention all that foam!) Mostly we followed the tutorial here, with a couple of changes.  The board sits behind the mattress and is attached with screws to the old headboard - the fabric wraps around the original frame, so that it looks like one piece.  The foam starts right at the top of the mattress, since it's too thick to fit between the mattress and the original frame.  We used a different approach for doing the tufting - you can see in the photo on the right above that I threaded the button and made a loop and tied a surgeon's knot.  Then I used a yarn needle to push the thread to the back of the plywood, pushing the button into the hole in the foam while Sean threaded a zip tie through the loop on the other side.  I'm a little nervous about how it's going to hold up, but I was not shot in the eye by a flying button last night, so that's a good sign.

We're done with all of our major projects, and it feels really good to have all of the supplies off of the floor! Is anyone else working on a home project?