Saturday, September 24, 2016

Cotton Sundress

I bought this wonderful printed cotton in my summer holidays in Lisboa. It is made in Portugal, with a beautiful Japanese pattern, good quality old cotton, only at 9 Euros per metre. Traveling to Lisboa is worth it only for fabric hunting. And food. And Alfama. And weather, beaches, nice people...
When I came back, I decided to replicate another sundress I already have, this time to make it with a lower waist, since the first version is lovely but has this unconfortable problem.
So I used the same pattern than the previous version. The bodice is my pattern, with the waist enlargement modification, and the skirt is a masterpiece I love, by Burda. It is a flared skirt with inverted, unpressed pleats, two in front and two in the back.
I self-encased all the seam allowances in the dress, and topstitched them, since black thread is really invisible in this fabric.
First, I finished the skirt with a waist band, and then I made the bodice, sewing it to the same waistband, which becomes invisible, but works as a stay to the waist when wearing the dress. I had to calculate precisely the waist measure to make it conformtable to wear, not to tight or loose.
I also modified the shoulders, moving them towards the inside, because in the previous version they had a tendency to fall off.
I installed a 70 cm long zipper in the back. Due to the waist sructure, this cannot be sewed as invisible, but as the old lapped zipper thing.
The dress is very confortable to wear, beautiful and becoming, I think. Total success!


Sunday, September 4, 2016

Classic Bodice Bust Dart: My First Draping Project

Every summer I try to learn something new in sewing, and this 2016 draping it was. I bought this massive book:

which is proving to be really impressive and worth it. I have only had time for the first 5 projects, but I can already apply the newly acquired learning to my sewing projects.

The first project is a tunic; which I did wrong, thinking it was whole front and back, when it was only half of each. 

This is a study on breast darts. Much more easier and graphic than the horizontal paper alternative!!
On top of that, I believe new learnings are better acquired  if applied with a real purpose, so I plan to use the projects the book presents to me as real sewing projects whenever possible. And this presented as a wonderful possibility. I had some remaining fabric from my last dress. It is a wonderful cotton Liberty print fabric, not to be disregarded, and it was perfect for the Classic Bodice Bust Dart project:

 The book gives you graffic ideas of how to transfer the studies to actual clothes. This was a blouse with a bust dart, no waist shaping and a bias neck-bow piece.

This is the pattern as I made it over my dress form. I invented the armscyes and the neck-cut, but in fact I pretty much followed the book suggestions.

And this is the result. With a deep-blue background, it is screaming for some jeans to go with, poor thing.

When I was draping my pattern, I put a little on at the waist. To be able to visualize that and do it there! is great. I love that!

This is a blouse to put in your suitcase for holidays in warm places. Really wearable.

The fabric was so scarce, I had to attach different pieces to make the bias neck tie.

I will go on practicing... maybe not so much in winter (I must work and study, so less hobby time), but the projects are candy for my eyes, really. Great book, it seems!