Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pastille dress: DONE

Pastille 1
Finally. This dress... I will say up front that this was probably the most difficult dress I've ever made. This one dress represents 13 hours of fitting (three muslins, oy) and 9 hours of construction. And I still have to tack the facings to the seam allowances.

Pastille 2
Apologies for the dark photos--I'm still trying to figure out my camera's white balance (and I thought I had it!) These were taken late last night, and I am heading out of town super early tomorrow, so wanted to get this posted before I take off!

Pastille 5
So, the dress. I was afraid of this dress since I got the book, and for good reason. Here's a brief rundown of the adjustments I made:
  • FBA of 1.5"
  • short-waisted adjustment of 1"
  • removed over 1" of width from the back bodice
  • removed an additional 3/4" from the back bodice length, regraded front to match
  • sway-back adjustment of 1"
  • lengthened back darts by 2"
  • used invisible zipper instead of centered one
YEAH. And, looking at these pictures, I realize I probably should've gone at least another round to reduce some width from the bottom of the front bodice, which is looking a little baggy, but...

Pastille 7
I used a gorgeous linen/rayon blend for this dress. Pros: the color is a lovely deep periwinkle that is definitely MY kind of color, plus I think is flattering on me (plus it goes with all of my jewelry). Once I pre-washed the fabric, it got really soft and comfy. Cons: the fabric is incredibly shifty, which made it difficult to cut. REALLY difficult to cut. I pre-washed and hung it to dry and it got that soft, rumply look--which will not iron out. And yet, the dress holds its shape fairly well and it incredibly comfortable to wear. For a first try, it's definitely a keeper.

Pastille 4
I didn't have time to make the neckline bow, and now I'm wondering if I should or leave the dress without. I do feel it needs a little something there... I'll be interested to see what everyone else does!

Pastille back
In all, I feel like the back is more successful than the front. I'm also wondering about making this as just a skirt. It would probably work well enough. I think the length on me is just perfect, too. Still, I'm ready to be done with this dress and move along, even though I know I'll have these bodice issues for the next dress as well. I'm heading to Chicago for the next five days (AWP! Anyone else going??) so it'll be nice to take a little break from my sewing room and spend some time with my Dear Jane instead.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Portfolio dress in velveteen

Portfolio velveteen 1
I will confess: I've been a bad sew-along participant. I am having massive problems fitting my Pastille dress. I started it late because I was working on this dress, which maybe wasn't the best idea, but it feels good now to have a completed dress that worked out while I'm struggling with my third (!) muslin for the Pastille. (Just....ugh.)

Portfolio velveteen 4
So. This is the Lisette Portfolio dress, sewn up in a luscious Loulouthi velveteen that was gifted to me for Christmas by a friend. Though I bought some Innocent Crush velveteen in October, this was my first time actually sewing with it. It wasn't as difficult as I thought it might be. I followed Anna Maria Horner's tips here, which I highly recommend. I finished all seams with an overcast stitch to minimize raveling over time; I'll let you know how that works out.

Portfolio velveteen back 2
The pattern came together easily. I opted not to use a contrasting fabric and instead fussy-cut the yoke and other details. I used a lightweight cotton lawn for the pocket lining and the facings, so as not to add bulk. I chopped 2" off the bottom, because I'm a shorty. I usually remove length at the waist, but because of how this one goes together, I didn't want to mess with redrawing those curves. My pockets are a little low, but I can live with that.

Portfolio velveteen 2
This is the first time I've really done any pattern matching to speak of, and I think it turned out really well. I knew that if I didn't take the time to match the flowers up all the way around, it would've bothered me every time I wore it. I've already worn this twice, and it's comfy and warm--the perfect winter dress.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Quilted wall hanging for Gramma

G Mary quilt 1
Finally: here's my final Christmas present. A couple of years ago I had made quilted holiday wall hangings for my mom and gramma, which were a big hit. My gramma liked hers so much that she wished she had another hanging of the same size that she could use for all seasons, so that's what I made. Though, I must admit, it looks a lot more Christmas-y in these photos than it does in person.

G Mary quilt hanging
The fabric I used is from the House of the Seven Gables collection by Blue Hill Fabrics. I live near the House of the Seven Gables, so this connection was too good to pass up. Big bonus that the fabrics were perfect for her living room, too!

Iris and G Mary quilt
The pattern is one I had made before, way back here, for a wedding quilt. I really like how this same pattern can look so modern and so traditional, depending on fabric choice.

G Mary quilt 2
I hadn't free-motion quilted anything in a looooong time, so I was really afraid at how this one would look, but it's a little like riding a bike. Though having a beer for lunch first certainly didn't hurt!

G Mary quilt machine-bound corner
I machine-bound this quilt to save some time. I think it looks okay, though not fantastic. I may have to try some other method next time to find a way that will work better for me.

Quilts have been few and far between for me lately. I'm hard at work on a Lisette Portfolio dress out of velveteen, continuing to avoid working on my Sew Colette Pastille dress for the sew-along... Fitting is scary!