Sunday, July 31, 2011

Progress on Shirtdress

Just goes to show when you put in a couple of hours straight, you can really get somewhere on a dress. I put on some music, settled in and really got places. Even with all the edge-stitching and top-stitching, this moved along quickly. I was going to quit when I reached the collar, but thought I would just keep going as I was thinking of the collar as a hurdle to overcome. Easier than I thought and quicker and I am happy with the results so far.

All that is left now is the sleeves, hems, buttons and buttonholes. I am thinking that this should have those classic shirt buttons that look like horn. I might even have enough of them in my button box.

This fabric is so soft and has a lovely drape, it feels like thick soft pyjama fabric. Makes me wonder why I left it stashed for so long.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

One Kwik Sew Finished, Another Begun

I finished up Kwik Sew 3050 last night, sewing on the 8 buttons while watching a movie. And during the week, I had gone through a box of fabrics, having energetically decided to sort my fabrics by colour. (will I ever be done?)

I came across the softest striped denim in a pale blue that I have been hanging onto for a couple of years. I had originally thought 'jean skirt' for this fabric, but Kwik Sew 3488 called out to me. So this fabric will become a shirt-dress. I actually have another length of it, so I can still make a jean skirt later if I wish. Hoping to lose a few more inches before making something with a definite waistline.

The dress is cut out now, and the interfacing has been applied. This pattern too looks like a quick-sew and I know I will really enjoy wearing this so-soft denim. This is probably my favourite type of project, working with denim and top-stitching forever.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Side Seam Pockets Method

Years ago, when I was dressmaking, a client brought me a RTW skirt to alter and I was intrigued by the pockets. They were side seam pockets but I could not see how they had been sewn into the seam. It wasn't until I found the method in a Kwik Sew pattern that I realised the pockets were sewn entirely to the front of the skirt. In most pattern instructions, you sew one pocket piece to the front, one to the back, then you sew them together when you sew the side seam and this means you must clip the back pocket seam allowance in order to turn the pocket to the front of the skirt.

This never made me happy as I really dislike clipping seam allowances. You never see this done in clothes that you buy; why should we do it in our own sewn garments?

With this method, one pocket piece is placed, right side down on the side of the skirt and you sew three sides of a square at 3/4" from the edge, as indicated on the pattern piece in the photo.

Then you trim out the fabric and clip into the corners, then turn the pocket bag to the inside and press. It is advisable to interface the edge of the pocket to provide stability for this pocket method.

Then place the second pocket piece, right sides together on the first piece, sew around the pocket bag and baste the top and side edges together. All that remains to do is to sew the side seams of the skirt, at 5/8" (which just skips past the pocket opening you made), making sure that you avoid catching the opening of the pocket in the seam. If you have done this well, the pocket is practically invisible until you insert your hand into it. Also, it rarely rips out with use as there is no strain placed on those clips that you didn't have to make!

The other beauty of this pocket method is that it doesn't gape. Have you ever noticed how those other side seam pockets pooch open and you can only see it from the back? not pretty, in my opinion. These pockets lie flat because they are all connected to the front which eliminates any possibility of gaping.

It is hard to see which piece is which, given this print, which is why I inserted the pocket pattern piece into the pocket to show where it is. The pocket really is as discreet as this photo, which is why I love this method. The more you do it, the closer you get the stitching of the pocket opening and the subsequent side seam, so that they are just a fraction apart.

Loes Hinse also uses this method on her Cruise Pants and she also top-stitches the edge of the pocket opening to reinforce it and keep it nice and flat, I suppose. But that is not really necessary.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Summer Dress

The days are warm here, and I desperately need some cool dresses to wear. This is from Kwik Sew 3050, an out of print pattern. I wore a dress to aquacise the other morning and, when one of the ladies said "what a lovely dress", I thought why not make another one?

A quick trip to Fabricville netted a cotton print that was in colours I like, teal green and some burgundy accents. There is not much to choose from in this sewing-deprived town. And my stash didn't yield enough in a print for this pattern, plenty of solids, but I wanted a print.

This will be a very quick sew, as I know the pattern fits and it is pretty simple and straight-forward. I will put in the pockets, which are done the Kwik Sew way which is so much better than the other pattern companies' directions. I will take some photos as I make them, so that you can see the difference. This is also the method of Stretch and Sew, and I suspect that many of you are familiar with this method of sewing the pocket entirely to the front, then sewing the side seam in one continuous pass.

The pattern doesn't have sleeves and I added some from a Burda dress to this. I am not that comfortable in sleeveless tops as my arms are not toned enough. Hopefully, I will get this finished this week so that I can get some good wear from it in the next month or so while this warm weather lasts.