Y-dart Dress

I am still progressing through my Craftsy course "Patternmaking + Design: Creative Darts & Seam Lines".  I feel like I have been stuck in Lesson 3 for quite some time now.  This is one of my drafts from Lesson 3 - the Ydart. 

I'm really pleased with how this dress turned out.  I never thought that a sheath dress could be so comfortable.  It is so comfy that I didn't feel the need to get changed the moment I got home today, and did my usual afternoon chores (ferrying children, feeding chooks, hanging out washing, watering plants) still in the dress.  I did get changed to cook dinner because I tend to splash a bit in the kitchen :).

The fabric is a summer garden cotton pique from EmmaOneSock.  The print was a little difficult to place, as the pattern repeat was unusual and there were dark areas, light areas and large red areas.  The back almost seems a different print than I used for the front of the dress.

I added a little bit of width to my sloper at the waist, and that seems to have resolved some of the crinkling in the back that I got in my previous dresses.  I am wondering if I can take some of that width back out of the back darts, rather than at the side.

Instead of using the skirt portion of my dress sloper, I used a skirt sloper that I made 6 years ago.  It has 2 darts front and back, with the back darts bigger than the front darts.  I had to make a few changes to get it to fit the bodice.  This has resulted in a skirt that doesn't have all the pull lines across the hips and buttocks that my previous dress had.  It seems to fit more nicely around the tummy as well.

The down side is that the back seems longer than the front and the side seam does not hang straight.  I think that I can work with this though.  Six years ago, my weight distribution was a little different to now, so I think if I redraft my skirt sloper using this same method and some new measurements, I might be able to tweak the draft a little.

Of course, there will be times where I will need the original one dart skirt portion of my sloper - say when I want to eliminate the waist seam or if I want to line up darts on the bodice and the skirt - but I think that having a second 2 dart sloper will give me flexibility in my designs.

It is hard to see the Y dart in my printed fabric.  The Y dart originates at the centre front waist and then the top lines of the Y radiate towards the bust point.  It combines the waist and bust darts.  There is no need for any bust darts from the side of the dress.  My "Y" turned out really neat.

It is a bit strange working my way through this course, as it means that my sewing plans are not directed by the seasons or fashions or latest patterns or what I see on other blogs (perhaps leading to a little bit of FOMO - fear of missing out).  I will also end up with more dresses than I need.  I enrolled in the 3 pattern making courses last Christmas (bodice sloper, darts, necklines). I have done most of the bodice sloper course (still need to draft the knit sloper) but I am not even halfway through the other courses.  I feel that I am making real progress with both my fitting and drafting though, so I will continue for now.


Bookweek 2015

We've had a few years without a bookweek parade.  Back into the swing of it this year and probably only one more year to go.  Without further ado, I present to you

1.  Moonface

2.  Geronimo Stilton

Moonface's vest was made from a Burda pattern I traced off years ago.  Don't know the magazine or pattern number, sorry.  His bow tie was made by his sister.

Geronimo Stilton's jacket was a quick make from Burda Boy's Classic Button-Up Blazer 02/2015 #142  So quick that I didn't get the pockets on or buttons in the sleeve vents.  Wonder if I should bother doing that after the event??  I didn't line the jacket.  I am not that familiar with sewing jackets and when I went to look up some instructions in my sewing books for how to do the collar and lapels, I realised that there was no way I could absorb that information and do it properly in my very short time frame, so it really is a bodge job. It fits pretty well.  The fabric is a cotton chamois that was an internet purchasing mistake back in 2007.  I am pleased to be finally rid of it from my stash.

Geronimo made his own tie.

Geronimo's mask was a lot of fun.  I downloaded the pattern for a fox mask from Wintercroft and we  didn't stick the ears down to make it a bit more Geronimo-like.

(ears falling forward to fox mode for this photo)

In this age, when we are always looking for free stuff on the web, these masks are fully worth the asking price.  They are seriously cool.  I'm trying to think of an occasion where I could wear a mask, just so I can make one for myself.  Perhaps I am thinking of it all wrong and shouldn't be looking for an occasion.  Perhaps I could get about in a unicorn mask in my everyday?


Inadvertent Cocktail Waitress Dress

This is the V-necked dress I drafted as part of the Craftsy course "Creative Necklines" with Suzy Furrer".  I am slowly making my way through the drafts in the course.  I want to make the patterns up for real, not just in muslin, and I had the idea that I could do this from my stash.  Initially I paired this eyelet with a textured blue fabric for the skirt, but at the last minute, I decided the blue would get greater wear as the shorts for which it was originally intended, so switched it out for a black sateen remnant.  Once completed, I could see that the pairing is not so great, with the eyelet being day wear and the black not so much and so I have ended up with a cocktail waitress looking dress, which will probably be relegated to the dress-up box.

I made a little peplum thingy.  The eyelet is lined with cotton batiste.

 It was a bit tricky deciding how to construct the dress. Black zip or white zip?  Lining or interlining of the eyelet?  How to work the zip with the peplum?  I went with an invisible zip in the side, so that it would be less obvious if it wasn't completely invisible.  I really need to get a stash of regular zips so that I can do lapped zips.  I don't think it turned out too badly.

I am reasonalby happy with the fit in the bodice I am not super happy with the fit of the skirt on my dress block.  It is a bit poochy at the front hips and pulls on the buttocks.  I guess there is only so much shaping that can be achieved with a single dart front and back.

I really need to go back to my block and adjust the back length, as it is a bit long on all my dresses.  The frustrations of making that block has left me a little scarred though, so I am hesitant to go back and fix it.  Also, I think I really need a bit more ease in the waist, even though I added the recommended amount to the initial moulage.  I have another dress made on this block and another cut out, but then, I should perhaps review my block.


Craftsy square neck dress

I am making my way through the dresses in Suzy Furrer's craftsy course "Patternmaking + design: creative necklines".  This is the fourth dress I have made - I haven't actually worn the second and third dresses yet and so have not got around to photographing them yet.  This queue jumper is a fitted dress with a square neckline and an a-line skirt.

 I didn't actually muslin the skirt after I drafted it and it is not as sticky out a-line as I was expecting.  The dress also ended up a little closer fitting than I expected.  Theoretically, I have included about 4 cm of ease at the waist, bust and hips, but it doesn't feel like it.

The fabric is a cotton drill from Tessuti.  I wish I had cut it so that less of the green colour was near my face, but I wasn't really thinking about it when I was cutting.

This drafting exercise was about drafting a neckline with corners...I think I have hit my corners pretty sharply!  I don't have a necklace that works very well with this neckline though.


The back neckline also has corners.  I got carried away and added corners to the back armhole as well.  I used an invisible zip.  I would have preferred a lapped zipper for this design, but I didn't have a normal zipper the right colour and length and I don't have good quality zips available to me locally.  I recently bought a new sewing machine (more on that in a later post) and the invisible zip foot that came with it works pretty well, which I am happy about.

 Now that I have made 4 dresses as part of the course, as well as a Burda dress that I also have not shown you, and an emergency dress for my daughter, I am getting quicker at making dresses.  For this one, I drafted the bodice and made up a muslin in one short "school day"  and drafted the skirt, cut out and sewed the dress on a second "school day".  Admittedly, it is not a complicated dress.  I am trying to put aside one school day a week to work on the drafting course, which should equate to drafting and sewing a pattern every 2 weeks.  However, family stuff gets in the way and there are always other things to do on my drafting day...looking back, it has taken 16 weeks to make the last 3 dresses instead of the planned 6 weeks.  Still, I am excited that I can finally make fitted dresses that do fit....feels like I have achieved a very big item on my sewing bucket list...one that I was worried would forever elude me.

Do you have a sewing bucket list?  For the big stuff, not the every season want-to-sew stuff?  What's on your list?


Jersey Layers

I got my daughter to take a quick snap when I realised that two of the garments in my outfit today are not-quite-recent unblogged makes.

The top is Tessuti's Mandy boat tee, made up in a silk jersey.  I made a slight modification by adding side splits and cutting a hi-low hem.  Possibly I made adjustments to the length also.

The bottoms are a shorter version of this track pants pattern mash-up, made up in a rayon jersey.  I wish I had made the elastic a smidge tighter as they have a tendency to slip down when I am wearing them.

The tank top was previously reviewed here.  It hasn't worked its way into my wardrobe too much, so I was pleased to incorporate it into an outfit today.

My daughter made me the necklace from some shrinky dink plastic.