Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Let the LBD begin

I don't know why it is, but the well-formed curved seam is just a thing of beauty to me. :-)
The darts are sewn in the lining and the dress.  This took me a couple of hours tonight!  Not only are the darts a pain to pin, they are also a pain to press.  The sewing wasn't bad.  But all of those curved seams require notching - which takes twice as long as clipping.  And you have to do that too!  I also pinked the seam allowances since both the lining and the dress fabric would fray.  Now, the hardest part is done.  Next I will put in the invisible zipper and then assemble the rest of the dress.

I was hoping to finish in time to meet the deadline for the Little Black Dress contest over on PR, but that's not going to happen.  Tomorrow I have a staff meeting after work and then an appointment with the trainer at the gym.  Then I will be frosting and decorating cupcakes for the school fundraiser.  Friday night is the school carnival, DH's birthday, and the deadline.  So, other things win out, but I wasn't entering to win.  It gave me the motivation I needed to make the dress, so I'm still going to get it done this weekend I hope.  We are going to a Christmas party the following weekend, so I plan to wear it to that. Hmmmm  I think I'll have to buy some new shoes!

I had almost forgotten, but it is about that time to start the SWAP over at Stitcher's Guild.  I hope to actually complete the darn thing this year!!  I have so many things I want to make, and the rules are pretty flexible this year, and you basically are making 2 mini-capsules with one connecting piece.  I'm going to try to make up a story board this weekend and get it posted.  My tentative plan is using patterns from

  • Colette - clover pants
  • Hot Patterns - jeans
  • Loes Hinse - cap sleeve top
  • Gertie - Portrait blouse
  • The Sewing Workshop - Mimosa Pants
  • Silhouette Patterns - Anns top and Sharon's blouse 

These are the TSW Mimosa pants on the left.

There are still a few tops I haven't decided on, and I have a couple of ideas for the "cross-over" piece. I'm either going to do a black and white boucle jacket from Either the Louise Cutting Acute Angle (bottom) or The Sewing Workshop's Now and Zen jacket (right).

If I find a fabric that I really like, I'd love to do this Vogue Sandra Betzina Coat.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

the LPD will be a LBD!

Yes, my little pink dress is going to have a twin sister - the LBD!  The fabric and lining are cut, and tonight I marked and pinned all the darts.  Especially since my alterations, the darts on this dress are not that easy to line up.  Imagine an elongated figure 8 with a curve!  Well, not quite a figure eight, but you get the idea.  Now, who knew that silk lining would be so hard to mark?  I used fine pins to mark the darts, gently pulled off the tissue, then marked them with a chalk wheel.  Well, that chalk just does not stick to the silk very well and I could hardly see the markings to pin them.  Of course, my poor eyesight and bad lighting in the dining room don't help much either!  Since there are only 3 days left in the LBD contest at PR, I'm pretty sure I won't finish in time, but I will finish, and I will have a LBD!
     I think I'm mostly excited about it because I wore the LPD to work today and got lots of compliments on it.  The dress was comfortable to wear too.  It was colder than I expected today, so I never did take off the jacket either.
     Tomorrow after work I hope to sew my dress, but I also have to go shopping and put together a basket for our "Harvest Carnival" at school.  It is our annual fundraiser, normally in the spring, changed to the fall this year, and on DH's birthday Friday.   :-(  I was looking forward to the school event until I realized it was the same day as Andy's birthday.  sigh

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Ahhh... much better!

It's amazing how just 1/2" can make such a difference.  I'm so happy that I lowered the neckline on this.    It is only 1/2" lower at the CF tapering to nothing at the shoulder, but it feels much better and I think it looks better too.  I'll be wearing it tomorrow, so that will be the true test.  (Funny you never notice how something like your necklace being caught in your dress until after you are finished taking pictures!)

Thank you all for your great input and suggestions on the LPD!  I’ve decided that I am going to go ahead and make the black version with a few adjustments.

I will do:
sway back adjustment
fold out extra fullness above the bust
shorten the dress by one inch
lower the neckline.

After lowering the neckline on this pink dress, I already like it so much more.  It just feels and looks better.  Now I am anxious to make it up in the black wool.

This morning I made the little jacket that goes with this.  I like it, but probably would not make it again.  I always have problems with double breasted anything hanging right.  This does have an inside button at the top, but still it doesn’t hang like I would like it to.  It is cute and comfortable though, so I know I will wear it with the dress.  I know that some days at work I never take my jacket off because it is just a little too cold for me.  This will be perfect for that sort of thing.  You can see on the dress form (it's inside out) that it has nice wide facings in the front.  I like that.

Even though this jacket is full and not fitted, I knew I would still need to do a FBA.  I have made the mistake of not doing it on things like this before, and the biggest problem is that they ride up in the front.  I did a combination of pivot and slide adjustments to widen at the bust and lengthen the front.  I could not do a normal FBA since there are no darts in this.  I'm please with how that part of it came out.

I was thinking about doing Hong Kong finish on the jacket seams since this is an unlined jacket.  But then, the directions suggested turning under and stitching the seams.  I did that and I like it.  I wish I would have done something similar with the armhole seams, but since they were double stitched and pressed toward sleeve, I just pinked them.  Normally on an unlined jacket I like to bind the armhole seams, and I kinda wish I would have on this one.  Oh well, no one will be looking at my armhole seams I hope!  The jacket went together quickly and easily - my kind of jacket!

I’m wearing this little ensemble to church tomorrow, so we’ll see how I like it after that.  I’m liking it a lot right now.

Back view.  The pictures didn't come out too well, but you can get a general idea of the silhouette.  I think the jacket would be a bit more flattering if it were a little shorter.
Thanks again for all of you who shared your input.  It was very helpful!

Friday, November 23, 2012


Here is the "test" for the LBD - but it's in pink!  In my last post I mentioned that I have some issues with this dress.  You can see that there is excess wrinkling above the bust.  I pinched out the princess seams and took them in, but this did not alleviate the problem and now I have wrinkling at the seams!  (I think that's because I tried to fix that without taking out the princess seams before I resewed them.  Oh, well.  I think what I need to do is to fold out about 1/2" horizontally on the center front pattern piece.  That may correct the problem.  Also, I think this is what is causing the neckline to ride up so high.

You can see in the back view that I also have some wrinkling above the waist.  I don't know why I didn't think to do a sway back adjustment on this before I cut it out.  If I make it again, I will definitely correct that.

So, here is my question.  I'm not sure if this is a flattering style on me.  I thought the shoulders would appear wider and be a better balance for my hips.  I like the fit of the dress everywhere except from the bust to the neck in the front.  I have some beautiful black wool and silk lining that is just waiting to be made into a LBD!!  Now, do I:

  • make this again with the above mentioned changes?
  • lower or change the neckline?
  • Hem length:  whether I use this pattern or another, should it be a couple of inches longer, shorter, or the length it is?  I've seen some longer looking dresses (think 40s) that look pretty hot, but then I'm also wondering if it would be more flattering shorter.
Would love to hear some input since I'm getting none at home - hehehe (daughter doesn't like anything I make and DH is blind - he tells me everything looks great - or to wear nothing at all!!)

So what do you think?  Go with this?  Another pattern?  What changes?

Thanks for your help :-)

Thursday, November 22, 2012


This year I am thankful for so many things - but right now, I'm thankful that I'm not cooking Thanksgiving dinner!  Since my kids are going to their dad's house for Thanksgiving, we accepted an offer to go to my brother's future in-laws for dinner.  I'm baking pies, and since I just spilled half of the pumpkin filling on the bottom of my oven, I decided it was time for a break!!  It seems that my cooking is not going any better than my sewing lately.  Hmmm - may be that I'm not putting enough time into either one!!

I finished this Vogue dress, but am not happy with the results.  I was so excited about this dress too.  l made it from this linen/rayon blend and adjusted the fit before I lined it.  I thought it would be fine, but I'm still not happy with the way the upper chest fits.  I took in the princess seam to adjust for the extra fullness, but now I have a wrinkly seam.  The seam was perfect before, but there was too much fullness  in the upper chest area.  I think I need to lower the bust point, but am not sure how on this pattern.  I redrew the princess line, so I hope that does it.  I always use Sandra Betzina's FBA for princess seams, which I really like a lot.  Now if I could just get my bust line back up where it was in my 20s, I'd be in good shape!   SB FBA

OK, so the bust issue aside, I think the dress fits pretty well other than that.  I originally was making this to 'test" the pattern to make a black wool LBD.  I think I need to slope the shoulder a little more and lower the neckline.  I think the neckline looks higher on me than it does in the drawing.  Unfortunately, I cut up the pattern, which I never do, so I'm going to have to do some guessing on pattern lines.  I have enough fabric left over to make the jacket, so I'd like to do that.  Even though I've already lined the dress and under stitched the neckline, I may still lower it and the armholes a bit.  Pictures soon to come.