OK, the style may be Project Runway, but I seriously doubt that the garment construction would hold up to their scrutiny. I have finished the muslin for Annies dress, and decided to line the bodice per their instructions on the muslin to get a better idea of construction and fit. I want to line the entire thing, so I'm glad I did this to figure out a better way. First of all, the dress is easy and goes together quickly. Unfortunately, "quick" sacrifices appearance. If you look at the back of this dress, you can see that they have you line the upper bodice, then attach the lower bodice and lining, and then sew the center front seam. After that, the skirt is attached and the zipper installed. I don't know why they don't have you line the skirt, but why would you want to wear a slip if you're already lining the bodice? The big 4 seems to do this frequently.
The problem here is two fold. Now we have a raw edge where the skirt attaches the bodice. They suggest binding the seam, but that would be more bulky and time consuming than adding a skirt lining. Minor detail. The big problem is the zipper. by lining the bodice and attaching it to the skirt before adding the zipper, the upper end of the zipper is left with raw edges everywhere. Not only is the zipper completely exposed, the upper edge of the tape (mine is extended because it is a muslin) will be left raw and the seam allowances where the zipper is attached will also be left exposed. This looks sloppy and unacceptable in my opinion.
Now, of course, I have to figure out a way to correct this. Because of the way the bodice front is constructed, it almost has to be lined separately to eliminate bulk where the gathering is. I think the best option will be to follow their method, but to leave about 2" on each side of the zipper with the lining unsewn. After the zipper is attached, I will hand sew the lining to the garment and to the zipper. If anyone knows a better way to do this, please let me know!
On the other hand, I AM impressed once again with Christine Jonson's Basewear Two pattern. I made this sleeveless turtle for myself earlier this year out of a rayon jersey. Now I have made one for my friend Maureen. This is made from a cotton interlock that I got from Sewing Studio. This fabric was a joy to work with. First of all, it came in a tube, so there is much more usable fabric this way and less waste. Also, it just lies nicely and was easy to work with. It has great stretch and recovery.
CJ has a great guide in her patterns where you compare measurements and stretch of the fabric and ease to get the right fit. Here's a good example.
Maureen is tall - I am not
Maureen has broad shoulders, I have narrow
Maureen needs SBA and I need FBA.
We ordered fabric for her measurements. After getting the fabric, calculating the stretch and doing the guide in the pattern, I found that Maureen will wear the same size as me! I had her try mine on to see if I needed to tweak it, and it fit her perfectly! So, today, I completed her top. This is a super fast pattern, and I didn't even use my regular sewing machine.
I love my serger. Even though it is old (about 18 years I think) and has no bells or whistles (no differential, one foot) it does just about everything I need. It made this top come together in a matter of minutes.
First, I serged the shoulders, adding stay tape.
Then, the side seams. Next, you sew the end seam of the turtle rectangle. Mark the turtle in 4 equal parts and serge to neckline.
I pressed under 5/8" at armholes and 1.25" at hem. I used my coverstitch machine to finish it.
One of the things you must be careful of with the coverstitch machine is to press accurately. You are stitching from the right side of the fabric, so you are going by measurement here in order to cover the raw edge underneath. In this case, I missed a couple of inches. Of course, this is the beauty of steam a seam tape. It will fix that right up. (Sorry, Maureen)
I do have a hem guide for my coverstitch, but am finding it awkward to use. Maybe some of you know some tips for that. Right now, I am using the seam guide that goes through the back of the foot, sort of like a quilters guide. Until I master the other attachment, I will be using this.
Maureen hasn't seen the top yet (Unless she's reading this,) but I love it, and I have enough fabric left over to make one for myself!
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Posted by Nancy Winningham at 12:16 PM