Sunday, June 28, 2009


Hey y'all. It's hard to believe it's been so long since I've posted. I'm still here. Thanks for all the comments on DN's dress. She's a sweetheart and I enjoyed every minute of it. According to her, she had the only custom made dress. I hope I haven't created a monster!

I have been busy. First, I made yarn. The more I use my wheel, the more I love it. The bobbins I ordered came, but I had to return them. I've been talking to the owner and she couldn't be nicer. This skein was spun from what we were given in class. It's wool, but I don't know which breed of sheep. I haven't been able to spin since I returned the bobbins and if I hadn't been so busy, I'd be in withdrawal. The last time I spun, I took my wheel out on the deck. Just me, my wheel and the birds. It was so peaceful. I'm looking forward to more lazy days this summer.

We're also doing some remodeling. It's long overdue and needs to be completed before I retire. Sorry Marie, I'm not adding a yarn closet, but in a pinch I could turn one of the two remaining bedrooms into a yarn haven. I've been busy choosing fixtures and tiles for the hall bath. Due to a misunderstanding on my part, I had to start all over again. I still need to order the granite countertop and the mirror, but everything else for that room is done. I've an appointment in 2 weeks to make selections for the new downstairs bath.

I've been sewing. I made a slim skirt from MY OWN PATTERN!! Last summer the Sassy Sewer started helping me fit a sloper, using the Butterick Fitting Shell. We finished the skirt, started the top and I broke my foot. I just haven't taken the time to go back. I traced the skirt onto a piece of exam table paper and pegged the hem. The skirt sloper was wider than I thought, so even though I pegged it a total of four inches, it's still not quite a pencil skirt. Here it is on my dress form.

Carolyn of A Diary of a Sewing Fanatic has developed a series of tried and true patterns that she uses all the time. She incorporates details into them or uses them as jumping off points for Ready to Wear (RTW) knockoffs. Lisa of Sew On and Sew On, blogged about making 11 muslins to perfect the fit of a dress. I've been channeling them both this past weekend.

For the skirt I made a couple of muslins. And I could have gotten away with just one. But I've got a slim skirt pattern that I can use from now on just as it is or use as the jumping off point for other skirts. But now I am trying to make a sheath dress. I used this pattern (Butterick 3987)once before, but I wadded it up it never saw the light of day. The fit was horrible and that was before I knew what constituted a good fit.

Alterations so far: (FRONT) Full Bust Adjustment (FBA). I used a size 14 pattern to get what I hoped would be a good fit through the neck and shoulders. I did the FBA to add the additional inches needed between the size 14 and 16. Then it fit good through the bust, but there was this huge fold going from the bust point to arm pit. I made the remaining adjustments to the right front only. I'll translate them to both fronts in the next version. I added a dart to take out the excess fabric and did what Nancy Zieman calls a major sloping shoulder adjustment (see below). There's a slight pull line from the neck to the bust, but I'll let out the neck seam, then redraw that seam line.

On to the back. I really hope that when I was sewing right of the pattern envelope, the back of my clothes looked as good as I thought they did. Because right now, the backs are a hot mess. Alterations so far: 1) Completed the FBA; 2) raised the hip to eliminate the fabric that pools just above my rear; and 3) a sloping shoulder adjustment. I cut the "L" from the middle of the shoulder seam to just under the armscye. Nancy Zieman calls it the major adjustment for sloping shoulders. AND IT'S STILL A MESS! The shoulder width looks good now, the fabric pooling across the tops of hips is gone. The horiztonal lines tell me I need to increase seam allowances at the sides, an easy fix. But the area near the shoulder blades, ugh. I can see the problem, I just can't figure what to do about them. I think I need to start over with a size 12, complete the FBA, fix the hip and the sloping shoulder. Increase seam allowances at the sides. It looks too large through the upper back - the back darts are too far to the outside. That's a relatively easy fix in and of itself, but I think it points to a larger problem. What do you thnk?

I'm only up to 3 muslins on this sheath. If Lisa can do 11, I can do as many as I need. Otherwise there's going to be a heck of a firesale.




Beverly said...

Good luck with all the fitting and shaping. I'm sure you'll be very pleased when it's all finished.

Ivalyn "Tee" Jones-Actie said...

Hi there, I think the upper back width is too wide, it's making the sleeve seam extend into your upper arm too much. As for the lower part of the back, when you raised the hip, I think it made it too short across the lower back. you don't need to add to the side seams above the waist, just below it to make the hip area looser. I hope this makes me if it doesn't.

cici said...

Wow.. you have been busy I see. I agree with you where did the month go??? You have come full circle now,, with making your own yard, Congratulations♥♥