Sunday, April 28, 2013

Wedding Sewing

  My older brother is getting married to a very good friend of mine in June... and I will be a bridesmaid (bridesmatron?). But before then, I have a lot of sewing to do. I'm sewing boleros for three of the bridesmaids, as well as adding length and a neckline modesty panel to dresses for the same three bridesmaids. In addition, I have to do extensive alterations to my dress (I will be almost 8 months pregnant!) and sew a flower girl dress for Booper.

  Here's what I've finished so far:

  It looks uncomplicated, and the pattern really is pretty simple, but you know I went and complicated everything up. First, I added a lace overlay, which required basting every lace piece to the corresponding underlining pieces. Second, I decided against using a lining, since I was already quite a bit over budget in the fabric department. Skipping the lining meant that I needed to use some other sort of seam finish on every seam, and since these are for a wedding and I really want them to look nice, I sewed every seam as a French seam:
  And finally, since I'm not using the lining I have to finish the outer edges of the bolero very differently than the pattern suggests. I am thinking bias strips as a facing... I haven't sewn this part yet. I'll need to sew them on the inside by hand to avoid topstitching, which I think wouldn't really look good with the lace. I also need to hand-sew the sleeve hems. So, a lot of work, and this is only the first of three!

  Booper's dress will be fun though. I don't have the design fully planned yet, but I know I want tulip sleeves, a square neckline, and pick-ups throughout the skirt. I'm using white satin overlaid with hunter green lace for most of the dress, and hunter green satin for the sash. For this, I bought lining.
  Isn't that pretty?

  Initially I couldn't find green lace in any of the fabric stores around here, so I ordered it from Joann's online... and let me just say that was a mistake. I ordered the color on the left, and the light green on the right was what I was sent:

  They aren't even close to the same color! And while both are pretty, I really needed dark green to match the wedding colors. I had given up on the lace overlay and went to Joann's in person to look for dark green satin, and was surprised and delighted to find just 3 yards of the hunter green in store... so it all worked out, except that I have to either find something to make with 3 yards of bright green lace or pay the extra to ship it back. Any suggestions?

  I'll share photos of the dress alterations when I'm finished, as well as a modeled photo of the bolero. And you know I won't be able to resist showing you the flower girl dress... I'm excited about it. =)

And now I must be off to sew... I have only 7 weeks to finish everything, and I'm not nearly fast enough at sewing yet!

Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, April 19, 2013

Negroni Shirt- Finished!

  I did it! I finished the shirt for my husband. Here's what it looks like:

  Doesn't look like much for how long I spent working on it, does it? But I assure you that it has a lot of details to it.

  Details which, unfortunately, I could NOT get a decent photo of. I tried 3 separate times. Here is a blurry cuff-and-placket photo though. Please ignore all the lint... that is what happens when I leave something on my sewing table for several weeks. =)

  I loved the placket instructions, but I hated the way the cuffs were sewn on to the shirt... the instructions have you sew one side to the sleeve at 1/4", then edgestitch the other side down...but since you baste that edge down at 3/8" when assembling the cuffs, it's impossible to sew it down neatly, without either pulling the seam of the cuff to the front, or having your former stitching show. I picked them out and sewed them my own way, and I like the results a lot better this way.

 I'm also not fond of the facing. I put so much effort into flat-felled seams and lined back yokes, that it's not really great to have this right at the front:
 It doesn't show unless you lift it, but I still don't like knowing it is there. I think I would have preferred a traditional button placket over a faced one, a regular button-hole at the collar instead of a loop, and a stand collar instead of convertible. Those are really more style preference, but overall I won't be using the pattern again as-is. I may alter it and make another later though, along with some sizing changes... the sleeves are too long for even my long-armed husband, and the waist too slim, although the fit everywhere else is very good.

  I'll see if I can convince Joshua to let me take a photo of him wearing this when he gets home... he hasn't seen it since before I finished the cuffs.

 Edited to add: Despite his dislike of being photographed, Joshua did let me take this one... just because he loves me. =) It would appear that those pounds gained last week were lost this week, and the waist now fits. =) Sleeves are still too long though.
Any grime is due to this being a minute-he-walked-in-the-door photo. =)
   I'm just glad it is finished. I do think it came out well, the pattern just wasn't as amazing as I hoped it would be. =) And amazingly, the buttonholes were much less of a fight than I was expecting, although they are a tiny bit too short and you have to fight to get the buttons through. =)

 And now to sew 3 lace boleros, add to 3 bridesmaids dresses, and come up with a flower girl dress, all of which MUST be finished by mid-June. Think I can do it?

Thanks for stopping by,

PS: Linking up at The Train To Crazy

Monday, April 15, 2013

Husband Shirt Update

   No, it isn't finished. =) But I have made quite a bit of progress on the button-up I've been working on for Joshua. I not only finished marking everything but have most of the shirt sewn together. To finish, I need to sew the cuffs, hem, buttonholes and buttons. And considering how scary this shirt is, that's a lot of progress!

  The buttonholes are the part I'm looking forward to the least, since my buttonhole lever still isn't working the way it is supposed to. It's supposed to be entirely automatic but I'm having to do parts manually... I think I'm missing a spring or something. Once I have the time and money, I'll get it looked at, but for now I'll just be extra careful with every buttonhole to make sure it doesn't make giant knots on my fabric.

  Another thing... this shirt is too small. It isn't my fault though! Some weight has been gained in the ridiculous amount of time that I've been working on it, and the waist measurement is now several inches larger than it was when I cut the fabric. Fortunately for the shirt, my husband is working on dropping those pounds again, so there is still a possibility of it being worn eventually.

  There are several things about this pattern (the Negroni, from Collette Patterns) that I'm not impressed with, but I do appreciate the clear sleeve placket instructions and the use of flat-felled seams. It's a little extra work, but it makes things look so much nicer when finished.

 There is a distinct possibility that I will finish the shirt this week... we'll see how things go! And once that is finished, I have a flower-girl dress to get started on, 3 lace boleros to make, and 3 bridesmaid dresses to add to, one of which I also have to alter. I also have high hopes for a shirt for myself, and if I get the perfect arrangement of spare time, a maternity skirt. I wish I was faster at sewing! =)

Thanks for stopping by,

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Quick Dress-To-Shirt Refashion

  So I have still been procrastinating on that shirt for my husband... it still scares me. I did get the interfacing cut out, but I still haven't marked everything properly.

  I did finish refashioning this dress though:

  Here's what it looks like now:
  No more waddling due to too-tight dresses! =) It was a pretty simple fix on the length, in spite of having to hem a lining separately. I wanted the front to be a little longer, so I marked where I wanted the dress to hit on the side seams, then laid it out and cut it like this:
  This photo is after cutting... the pin is the mark for side seam length. I don't remember this dress being labeled as maternity when I bought it, but you can tell from the photo that it definitely is! The ruffle wasn't finished, so I cut a curved line to about 1 inch above the hem cut, to allow room for hemming the shirt. I just used a twin needle to hem, although I did use quite a few pins because this fabric is pretty shifty.

  I also changed the neckline a little... I'm not fond of showing my undergarments while walking around town. I used the piece I cut from the bottom of the shirt to mimic the shape of the original neckline and hand-sewed it in place. It didn't come out as well as I had hoped it would, but at least I'm not showing things I don't want to show!
  Now you may remember that I said this fit beautifully other than the hips, and you may be noticing that it looks a little tight. The truth is, it is a tiny bit tight now. I gained a few pounds in the past two weeks... normal during pregnancy, but obviously not in the right spot if it is making the sleeves tighter! ;-)

  I think the extra weight probably has more to do with some cranberry-cheesecake bars I made this week than it does with tiny little baby Beckers. (Yes, she already has a nickname.) =)

  Doesn't that look delicious? It's the best cranberry sauce I have ever tasted. =) I'd offer to share the recipe, but I don't want your clothes to end up tight too. ;-)

  So I may not have finished the biggest project on my list, but I did complete something this week!

Thanks for stopping by,