Crafting Chavs

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Blue dress, part 2

The last time I wrote about this dress (here) I mentioned my misgivings and promised another story when I fixed them.  Today's the day!  I added the piece to the back, which now rises to a height I am more comfortable with.  Unfortunately, I see a little hump about 1/3 or the way down so I'll have to take that in.  I took another Butterick pattern, laid out the back and placed my dress over it.  I then used my tracing wheel to create the missing area I needed on a piece of paper.  I then cut that piece out of my ample leftover fabric and added it to the top of the back.  Of course, that required that I re-insert the zipper (3rd time).

You might also recall that I mentioned the neck piece needed to be altered so it lay flat.  I decided to try gathering it a bit, since I had extra without the dip in the back.  That still didn't make it lie as flat as I would have liked, so I tore off the extended piece, leaving the original width.  It still has a bit of a gather in it, which I like, and seems to be enough coverage to make me feel comfortable.

After I fix that bump on the back, and iron this dress yet again, I will finally be able to wear it!  With a sweater, of course, since this has taken me into the chillier days.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Blue dress

I added the hook-and-eye to this today, which finished the dress, according to the pattern.  This is Butterick B5745.  I saw a finished example in JoAnn's at one point and made a note of the number with the intention of purchasing it when the pattern went on sale. Apparently, that happened twice because I found a copy already in my pattern drawer when I was placing the new copy there.  That led to organizing my patterns by maker, in addition to clothing type.

The material is a heavier cotton I picked up at a thrift shop (surprisingly, I have not looked at fabric at thrift shops before).  It was a generous amount of fabric so I knew it would be enough for a dress and immediately thought of this pattern when I saw it.  When I got it home, and unfolded it for the wash, I found an IKEA tag on it, and that 3 of the 4 edges were hemmed.  I don't know what it was in IKEA land (sheet? duvet?) but today it's a dress.

It may be difficult to see in this picture, but there are many panels to this dress, and each panel is topstitched.  It might be a bit of busy pattern for so many seams, but I am happy with that part of it.  Before I sewed it, I thought the neckline might be too wide for me; I don't like adjusting my underthings when wearing anything.  I took the neck line piece and doubled it, thinking that would cover up a bit more.  I neglected to adjust for the extra width so that piece sticks out a bit.  The coverage is fine but I'll have to take a tuck or two in the piece to make it lie flat.

I am also not happy with the depth of the back opening.  I could never wear anything like this to work (I know, throw a sweater over it, but sometimes I want to take off the sweater) so I plan to rip out the zipper and add another piece to the back to add some coverage.  Since I already plan to adjust the neck line piece, this will just add another step.  Darn if I didn't put the zipper in with such ease, too!

This pattern has a sleeveless version which might look better with the lower back. I look forward to fixing this one and will post it again when done.

New shirt - pink? tangerine?

I finished this about two weeks ago but didn't get the picture taken until today.  I must give Anna full credit for sending this pattern to me: and suggesting the fabric to use, which was on my shelf (she probably gave that to me, as well).  I must admit I have never downloaded a pattern before; it's like a puzzle - print out the pages then match up the correct pieces.  I found that I missed a page so had to figure out which page it was to avoid printing all of them twice.  I know I could have transferred the pattern to tissue paper but, since there are only two pieces, I went ahead and pinned the printer paper version to the fabric.  I jumped right in and started sewing this up, without reading the pattern first.  Remember the two pieces?  That would be front and back; no facings for the neck or armholes.  That would require bias tape!  Colette is nice enough to provide a tutorial on making your own: which would work marvelously if this fabric wasn't so prone to shredding.  I thought of using premade bias tape, but if you look at the title of this post, what is the color of this fabric.  There is no matching color in bias tape at either of the two fabric stores close to me.  So, I bought a darker color, made the bias tape Colette recommended, and sewed it to the premade bias tape.  That also worked out better due to the slippery nature of this fabric; making the bias tape was a bit of a challenge since, when marking the lines, the fabric kept jumping around.

What would I have done differently?  Well, if I were more like Anna, I would have made this out of muslin first.  It seemed so simple that I just didn't take the time (and I didn't have any muslin).  The pattern has you sew the bias tape to the inside of the top, then flip it to the outside and sew it on.  I would have sewn it to the outside, then flipped it to the inside, hand-sewn it in place on the inside, and top-stitched from the outside.  All in all, I am very pleased the the result, though.

It was by lucky accident that the cute pleat on the front of this top ended up with the pattern down the center.  I give myself no preplanning credit.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

For the Home

Spraypainted dining table and chairs
Krylon spraypaint in pistachio and ivory 

Ok, maybe I'm showing off because it is just spraypaint. And Dad did about 80% of the work.

But it's cute, isn't it??

Stained Armoire
Stain from Woodcraft Seattle

And this turned out so good! I've had this armoire for about 12 years and always left it unfinished. Not sure what inspired me to stain it cranberry, but I know Mom liked it since she's using the leftover to stain her hutch.