Feels a Bit Snug

First and foremost, WordPress is driving me crazy. It takes me like 6 clicks just to get to this Add New Post screen. That’s too many. It’s too much work.

Second, I am working on too much at once. Trying to sew with a cranky baby is nigh impossible. She was napping for a little bit, so over the past several days I managed to get the shirt dress cut out, darts sewn, and major seams (French, thankyouverymuch) complete. In order to finish this project, I need to get the collars and sleeves on, hem and buttons. And the whole thing feels a bit snug… it was ok at the first fitting, but now it feels snug. That makes me a bit cranky.

Kick Pleats What Kicked My Butt

After spending the entire weekend sewing – thank you DH! – I nearly have a princess seam dress. This was an assignment for the Dressmaking and Design course I’m taking, and I had to adjust the pattern to fit. After making a muslin and tweaking the pattern at the neckline, I scrounged for some fabric in my fabric bin. I discovered I have a good deal of velvet. (Also, several yards of denim! and some brocades). DH decided on the red velvet, and we purchased red lining for it.

The princess seams are not fun, but totally doable. The kick pleats what kicked my butt. I wanted a double pleat kick pleat, so I did some research to try to figure out how to do them. Then, during the process of sewing, I did them backwards (I wanted an inverted pleat). Sigh. So I messed up what coulda shoulda woulda been a very neat dress. What I learned: KEEP YOUR DESIGN SKETCHBOOK NEXT TO YOUR SEWING TABLE! If I had only referred to my sketch during the sewing process, the whole fiasco could have been avoided. The lining was also a challenge, and I think had I not been obsessing about how to line the kick pleats (the answer is to stop the lining at the edge of the kick pleat), I would not have reversed the pleats. I was over thinking it. Yup.

Last step is to let the dress (and myself) rest overnight. Then I’ll do the hems. I also plan to embroider a hair clip to go with it.

  

Getting Pretty Serious

I am doing what’s called “getting pretty serious” about sewing. While I have been slacking a bit in the garment making area, I have been working on expanding my skills.

First, I am taking a Dressmaking and Design course through Penn Foster. While I would prefer a local, hands on classroom approach, it is hard to do so with baby and while working full time. This was the best choice for me right now. I will always consider more education in the future, especially workshops or other hands on sewing experience. This course is actually serving me quite well. I have learned a considerable amount in the first two thirds of lessons that I have completed. There are also activities that get me in front of a sewing machine, with the next assignment to include pattern adjustment of a princess seam sheath dress which I plan to make out of leather (or faux leather at the very least).

Second, I have had the wonderful opportunity to do some alterations. While I have done alterations sporadically in the past, I am glad to be able to use my skills to benefit others. Thank you dear alterations clients!

Third, I have taken the plunge and purchased a very entry level embroidery machine. Embroidery machines can cost thousands. I did not spend nearly that much, so I’m hoping the little guy I got will serve me well. My husband was adorable because he asked if it was something we could use for awhile. Well, it has a 20 year warranty, so… yeah? It uses the PES format of embroidery designs, and it has a USB connection so I can shop to my heart’s delight then transfer designs right over to the machine from my computer. Gotta love technology!

On a final note, I enjoyed Madonna’s multiple costume changes because she is keeping fashion designers and seamstresses busy!

“I’m a material girl… want to see my fabric collection?”  ~Author Unknown

Alternative Zipper Stops

While moving the hem up on a pair of pants, I encountered a challenge. These track pants have a side zipper at the bottom. I could (and probably should) move the entire zipper up the seam, or I can cut off the zipper at the new hem edge. I did not want to have to reset the entire zipper, so I chose to cut it off. However, that meant I was without a zipper bottom stop. I attempted to salvage the existing zipper stops, but the metal became weak and broke. I didn’t have a ready supply of replacement zipper stops, so I began to look for something else to use. I found these in my jewelry supply stash: crimp bead covers. These easily fit over the zipper teeth and I simply clamped them around and flat against the zipper teeth with my flat nosed pliers. In my opinion, I think it looks much cleaner than standard replacement zipper stops!

 

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