Monday, August 31, 2009

Six Panelled Skirt Pattern Tutorial

The easiest pattern to make to fit yourself! Here it is: I just used a trapezoidal piece of newspaper based on my measured waist circumference divided by 6 and hip circumference divided by 6, as pictured below. Just add seam allowances and you have a lovely pattern. I sewed the 6 panels together, taking in an extra dart on the two back ones. I then made facings by tracing the pieced together skirt, ironed on some interfacing and sewed it inside. I put in a side invisible zipper. One of my skirts I used french seams and put in a lining, the other I just did normal seams, no lining, and probably didn't even tack down the facing. For the one above I used a 1.5 yards of a dobby cotton Kokka fabric - not sure who the designer was.

Look - french seams! Usually I'm too scared to do French seams because they seem so permanent. The bottom overlay of dupioni silk is done in an unusual fashion since I didn't know how to sew a curve at the time. I simply cut out a piece of fabric the same size as the bottom curve of the skirt, then put wrong sides together to sew the bottom hem. I flipped the dupioni over, folded it under, and top stitched. It actually makes a neat hem because there is no hem stitching, and the french seams are hardly visible. For the lining I just used the rolled hem foot on my sewing machine.
Here's the invisible zipper with lining:
Here's a view of the top stitching:

Vogue 8396 Gauchos

This pattern seems to be now out of print, but actually is a very easy and quick pant for lounging around in. I used a stretch knit cotton, also from denverfabrics. They do fit relatively acurately to size. The design had straight legs down from the waist, so I took them in a bit at the thigh so they flair out some. I've left them un-hemmed at the bottom, mostly out of laziness. I might do a twin needle stitch if I get around to it, but I kind of like the curled hems you get with 2 way stretch knits.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Vogue 8411 Dress

I've been meaning to start this blog for some time now. I've learned how to sew thanks to the many blogs and tutorials available on the web, and so I would like to share my sewing with others going through the same process. So here goes...

As for the dress, it's made out of a lightweight rayon from denverfabrics. Many people on patternreview said that it was super easy and quick - I am a beginner, so I would hardly characterize it has quick, but definitely is doable. This *was* my first time putting sleeves on something after all! The instructions were easy to follow. Sizing was much to big as others have stated - I cut a 10, then took in the side seams at least an inch on both sides of the top bodice and a little bit in the back seam to make a more fitted look. The pleating was not difficult, but time consuming. I did hand baste, which was slow going, but worked fine. The sleeves I did incorrectly, so they are a little tight on the shoulders. I have now found this excellent tutorial which I will attempt next time: here. I also found a new technique for gathering, which i pulled the bobbin and top thread through the machine so there was enough to match the whole length of the gather. I then did a zig zag stitch over it like many do over a piece of cotton yarn (which I didn't have). All you have to do is pull the 2 threads through and you have a gather without tying any knots or anything. It's a pleasant, comfortable dress. Unfortunately it is still too hot to wear it around here this time of year!

The wrinkles are strangely much more prominent in the sun than in person! Maybe I will iron before shooting next time.

Friday, February 20, 2009