Monday, October 19, 2009

The Dress is Complete!

I am so pleased with the dress! Sewing on good fabric (vs. the fabric from the muslin) made all the difference in the world! It looks better on me than the dress form, but of course, I refuse to model the dress in public until the wedding!

I ended up taking it in on the sides (hurray for Weight Watchers!) and it is very slimming. The soft pleats drape beautifully. For some reason, they droop on the dress form. I guess the girls are perkier than the form!!!

The coat is complete except for pressing. Here's a picture prior to hemming and sewing on the button.

As soon as I can, I'll press the coat and post more pictures.
For the coat, I lowered the bodice seam. It seemed to hit in the middle of my bust line, so I lowered it about 2 inches. Because of the neckline of the dress, I also redrew the front, lowering the V of the jacket so that the dress peaked underneath.
The only sewing project left for the wedding is a formal for the cruise. Stay tuned.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Reason for Sewing

There are times when I go into auto pilot while sewing. I don't often need to read the instructions clearly, and I sew without thinking. Then there are times that stretch my mind and all of my abilities. That is when I am reminded why I love to sew. After years of developing skills, techniques, and knowledge, I can use them to accomplish something I have never tried before. This is one of those times.
This pattern calls for precision in sewing, marking every seam, pinning carefully, using your instincts, and saying little prayers along the way. And when it works, the outcome is great! After inserting the side pieces to the front and back bodice, and matching them to the darts, I was very pleased with my work. Here are the results of the back bodice prior to rinsing out the markings. It was particularly challenging matching the dart to the corner of the bodice and side back. However, the key is marking and pinning carefully.
Since I began posting this, I came down with the flu and have been off from work all week. The upside is that I actually finished the dress. I'll be cutting out the coat this weekend if all goes well. The dress turned out great. I may want to take it up in the side seams some, but will wait until closer to the wedding to make further alterations.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Muslin: A Lesson in Patience

The muslin is completed, but not without a lot of anxiety and frustration. This pattern is not for the faint hearted! I cut out the pattern pieces and fit them on my dress form. (Last post) But when I cut out the muslin for the bodice and sewed it together, it was disastrous. The bodice did not come together well and was about two sizes too large. This has never happened for me when making a FBA. After great thought, and encouragement from my fiancee (he even made me lie on the floor in the sewing room at one point!) I decided that perhaps the alterations were not necessary.

So..... back to the drawing board. I left the alterations to the skirt to shorten above the waistline but took out the rest and cut out the pattern as is. Voila! It fit perfectly!
The construction of this pattern is very difficult. The insets on the front side and back bodice are attached into points and tight corners. On the back side, it has to match perfectly with the dart on the skirt. In order to successfully do this, all seams must be marked exactly and pinned perfectly. Unfortunately, you have to sew a side, unpin, pin the next side, sew again, and so forth.

I am pleased with the fit and what I think will be the end result. Next step: Starting on the actual dress. In the mean time, here are pictures of the muslin in a rust colored crepe.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Alterations

After much thought and one sleepless night, the pattern alterations are completed. This was a tricky pattern to alter due to how the tucks are made and the small bust darts. To make the full bust adjustment, I used the method in Fit for Real People, and think it turned out well. I may have increased slightly too much according to the dress form, but the muslin will tell the real story. Here's a picture of the alteration:

The waistline also needed to be raised, which brought about another challenge because the waist is in the middle of tucks on the front. I raised the waistline 3/4 inch straight through all tucks and redrew them.

I usually need an adjustment for high rounded back and sloping shoulders, but it wasn't necessary because of how the pattern is drafted. The neck line is three inches below the base in the back, and the dress falls mid way on shoulder.

Next the Muslin! I have an orange/rust color crepe that I plan to use. I knew I'd find a use for that fabric some day!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fabric and Patterns for the Wedding Suit!

The verdict is in! The fabric has been found. I went to Houston to see my daughter over the weekend in Houston and found just the right thing at High Fashion Fabrics. Actually, Stefanie found the fabric for the coat: a grey satin with beading. It was too much for the dress, so I found an off white crepe that was beefy and had wonderful drape.

Here are the fabrics:

The cream is a crepe fabric. The Satin is grey with beading. I have also made changes to my pattern selections. For the crepe fabric, I am making this Michael Kors design:

The jacket will be from this pattern:

I will be using a pearl and rhinestone button for the closure instead of the ribbon.

I will start working on the muslin for the dress this weekend. The big challenge will be the FBA. Stay tuned!

Friday, July 10, 2009

And the Winner is:

After much contemplation and lots of suggestions on Sewer's Guild, my finally decision on the wedding suit is: (drum roll please)

I will be making the dress version with the suit. Now I just need to find the perfect fabric. In the mean time, I'll be sewing up a muslin to get the fit just perfect.
All is coming together. My fiancee has a contract on his house, so looks like the wedding will be in November. I can't wait. Being 50 is fabulous!!!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Birth of a Wedding Suit

In preparation for my wedding, I have begun comtemplating patterns for my wedding suit. Since it will probably be in November and Alabama weather is very unpredictable (what place isn't?) I'm wanting a dress with a jacket. I don't think I can make a final decision on a pattern until I find the perfect fabric. But this is what I am considering:

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Here are the most recent creations from my sewing room:

I love this dress! It is from Vogue 8555. There are several large pleats, which was time consuming, but well worth the effort. I wear this with a lime green cardigan for the office. I have received several compliments on this dress and have been called Michelle Obama! The best of compliments.

Kwik Sew 3199 will be a new TNT blouse pattern for me. I love the fit of this blouse. The pattern also has a long sleeve, and mandarin collar versions. Definitely a pattern that will take me into fall.

The fabric is a fabulous embroidered cotton from Gorgeous Fabrics.

This is one of those patterns that didn't work for me! And it's a shame, because I loved this fabric from Gorgeous Fabrics. Oh well, the life of a sewer! It was from Favorite things. They are pull on pants with elastic in the back. No matter how much I took it up in the sides, it was just too big, and I knew that with the stretch fabric, the shorts would just keep slipping down. I would hate for my shorts to fall off in public, so sadly, they and the pattern went in the trash!
I hope everyone has a wonderful Fourth. There will be hamburgers and hot dogs cooking on the grill, while a watermelon cools in the refrigerator at the Miller/ O'Bryan home.

Friday, July 3, 2009

New Blog/ New Life

Because of changes in my e-mail address, I have decided to start a new Blog for my sewing adventures. I have been neglectful over the past year in documenting my sewing activities, but what an eventful year it has been. I have met a wonderful man that I plan to spend the rest of my life with, and as wedding plans develop, I hope to post the progress of my wedding dress or suit on this blog. Until then, have a wonderful Fourth of July!