Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Simplicity 3748 HELP!

I need some help with the Simplicity 3748 retro shorts. They came out just awful! They look great until I put them on and then they are a hot mess and a 1/2. This was a "practice" set made from some free material, but I am still upset at how they turned out. I am not sure if I need to extend the seat or what (they kinda ride up, if you know what I mean). The short leg-holes are so wide I could become a flying-squirrel with them! I have made the bolero in this set and adore it, I was hoping for the same result with the shorts. I was wondering if anyone out there has attempted to make these before. Any help would be great.

This is a picture of the pattern:

Darts with Artist's Tape

I recently got a snippet from Colette about ways to improve your dart making skills. And I don't know about you, but I always fuss over how my darts look! No matter what I do they aren't perfect; chalk, pins, basting lines all did not result in a perfect dart.

In this snippet it said to use artists tape to mark along the dart lines. I figured, "what the hell?" and went to Joann's with my 40% off coupon to get some. After much hunting a nice lady found it for me in the fancy painting supplies (not the crafter paint the faaaaancy paint lol). I picked up a low-tack tape and was on my way.

I did the same as always, marked my darts, blah blah (won't bore you with the details) but then I used this tape and put it on the leg of my dart on both sides. And I am telling you, man did it make it easy to match up the legs in an exact manner. I then pinned the darts, pressed (I was worried the tape would melt, it did not because it is paper), and used a zipper foot to stitch. By using the zipper foot I was able to get right up next to the tape line. I made a mistake on one and went through the tape a tiny bit. I was worried I would have to unpick it because the tape would be stuck. I figured I would try to rip the tape off and if I saw it ripping the stitches I would stop. To my delight the tape came off super easily! I then pressed the dart in the correction direction and finished it off by tying the tail ends. (hats a whole other lesson I learned about darts a few years back!)

The lesson of this story: try Art tape out. It's $3.50 without a coupon. Why not pick some up on your next trip to the craft store?

**I had a question about what exactly this tape did for creating a dart. I'm sorry I was not more clear as I was typing (blame the espresso ;) ). The tape helped: stabilize the fabric during sewing and made the fabric more manageable for a precise matching of the marks, enables the dart to be tapered correctly so the end/tip of the dart did not pucker, created an excellent straight line to follow. I hope this clarifies things**

Monday, July 16, 2012

More Patterns!

Recently a friend of mine had a garage sale and was getting rid of her sewing stash. I wasn't able to make it the day of the sale but I did swing by the next day. The darling said I could have it all, as payment I took her donations to a thrift store. After sorting through scraps etc. I found some gems. Check out the pics :)

I am thinking about using the brown fabric for that 1940s simplicity pattern. I'm worried the fabric is not time appropriate, it has a suede to it. What do you think?

Now I have to actually start sewing instead of watching Law and Order reruns!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Simplicity Retro

Simplicity patterns are in sale at Joann's this week so of corse I had to pick some up while I was there getting MORE material for my practice wedding dress (more about that later).

I picked up the new 1940s pattern they just came out with along with baby patterns. I know the baby ones aren't new but I have a few friends that have buns in the oven or just had a kid-o and I thought I needed the patterns. (notice the word need lol). I really like the woman's pattern I picked up. I don't look very good in dresses from the 1940s but I would like to try to make this one for winter.

Speaking of winter, is anyone else totally wanting to sew for winter? Maybe it's my desire for the 110+ weather to be over but I want to make some coats and heavy dresses.

Anywho- enjoy the pattern pics!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Welt pocket- take 2

This is my second attempt at the welt pocket. I sewed the pocket bag thing in wrong but that wasn't the part I was concerned about. I like how the welt came out this time.

Welt Pocket - Take 1

After calling for help in an earlier post and wanting to throw my fabric down after what seemed like hours of youtube tutorials I used an awesome tutorial by Melanie on Seamstress: Poppykettle on welt pockets. I am proud to say after what seemed like hours I have made my first welt pocket. Check that one off the list :) I think I did it correctly. But I do have some questions! (Also, seeing this was only a rough-draft I used white thread. I hope this doesn't distract you!)

1. How do you make sure your welt rectangle is straight? I am drafting it so I have no pattern.
2. How do you make it so it does not looked "pulled"? I am assuming it is because the stiching lines when I first started were not perfectly even.
2a. How do I ensure my stitch lines are even? My machine back-stitches kinda funky. Any hints?
3. The welt seems crooked. Why??
4. Any other hints/helpful tricks?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A few first times.

I am doing a few "firsts" on my next project.

First time I am:
1. Sewing for someone else. Even though it's my soon to be.
2. Making men's wear. I kinda-sorta started a mans suit once, but that went terribly wrong. (see other post lol) and now this said project is in a pile under my sewing table.
3. Making a welt pocket. It's Rich's favorite type of pocket. So instead of doing the traditional "slap on" (that's what he calls it) pocket I am going to try to make a welt pocket.
4. Making a shirt in general. In all my years sewing I have never made a shirt. Lots of dresses and skirts, never a shirt.
5. Attaching more than 2 buttons that have to adhere to a certain pattern. I am worried about this one! Rich is excited he gets to pick from my vintage button collection. He is so picky I hope he can actually find something he likes, but at the same time I don't want him to take my faves. I know, I am greedy!

I am using a thrift store pattern find ($0.70) simplicity 5581, view A. (see picture) It's a modern pattern but I may shorten it so he can wear it with high waisted pants. I am using some thrifted cotton blend fabric I found for $5 for the bolt. I figured if the shirt looks like a 5 year old did it I wouldn't be too mad. I only would have waisted thread and time.

Stay tuned to see if I swear off sewing men's wear!

Thrift store pattern

Even though our thrift stores are really drying up once in a while I find something that makes me say, "Oh I will just go and check". I found a pattern from 1959 for $0.70. I know some ladies find them all the time back east but it's so rare to find anything here. Now I need to take the plunge and learn to resize! I adore the back tie jacket on this baby! Now to get her home and see if she's complete.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Learning the Hard Way

I have learned the hard way that you shouldn't actually CUT your patterns! When I first started teaching myself to sew (thank you Youtube) all the tutorials had you CUT your patterns, so I did too! This went on for years until I messed up cutting the wrong size pattern and I purchased my first uncut vintage pattern.

I thought long and hard about how to remedy the situation of ruining a pattern that has lasted over 50 years and to never cut the incorrect size again. I turned to Youtube and the sewing blogs. They told me to go and get pattern "paper" which I discovered was in the interfacing aisle. I was floored when I saw how much it was and that it was very thick.  I could not figure out how to "trace" the pattern. They said to get one of those pattern wheel doo-hickeys but that pokes holes/dents your pattern and quite honestly, it is a lot of work for this lazy sewer! I sat there pondering thinking, "Surely there is another way!" I called my mother to chat about it- she suggested tracing paper (another costly alternative). Then it hit me (around Christmas time none-the-less) tissue paper! You can buy it for so super-duper cheap and it comes in large sheets.

Why it has taken me this long to come to this point in my sewing journey, you got me. But from that day forward I trace all my patterns, new and old, and store them with my original pattern. The steps are really quite easy!

1. Iron the original pattern. (No steam and all that good stuff. If you have a Walmart special iron, like mine, you may want to remove the water from the iron).

2. Iron the tissue paper.

3. Put the original pattern face up on a flat surface. Place the "tracing" tissue paper over it. I sometimes need more than one sheet of tissue paper. Make sure to tape where there isnt anything important.

4. Secure. I use large washers that my soon to be got me from a home improvement store. This way I am not using pins. 

5. Trace.

6. Nicely put your original back in the envelope. This part takes me the longest. Stupid confusing fold lines!

7. Cut your tissue piece. Too-dah! I make notes and what not on my tissue paper version.

Look how easily you can see the pattern through the tissue paper!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Red, White, and Boob *ahem* BLUE

Yes! I said, "boob!" As you can see in the picture where I am flashing the camera it is a little big and droops. BUT when I tightened it up, it was way too tight and squished the "girls". The top on this dress is still on perfect, I still need to work on it. Not sure what to do to make it work. Thoughts??

This was my "first" on a few things! It was my first attempt at sewing anything with lines. After having this fabric in my stash for years I decided to take the plunge and make a dress! The hardest part about the stripes- the darts! I am still working on that one. Any helpful hints on how to concur these striped darts would be great.The second "first" was top stitching. I mixed red and white thread together in the upper needle to get the patriotic feel. I must admit, I was very pleased with the outcome. (The soon to be was impressed too!)

Back to the "boob!" This dress top is VERY low cut. I was a tad self-conscious and kept the jacket done up. I was surprised it was so low, usually Butterick patterns are pretty modest. I had to button it higher than what the pattern called for. Which is odd- I usually have to lengthen things because I am so tall.

Ok I promise, I won't say BOOB again! Hope everyone had a wonderful fourth.

The Facts
Fabric: Cotton with a sheen (not sure what that is called) and blue cotton.
Lining- Lined with the same fabric.
Pattern: Butterick Retro 5214
Year: circa 1947
Notions: zipper and covered buttons
Time to complete: Under 8 hours but the fitting took a while. A whole lot of basting :)
First worn: VLV 2012.
Wear again? Yes! For the Fourth of July!
Accessories: Remix reproduction shoes (worth every penny), red Bakelite bangles and rose earrings. 

Inverted pocket

Does anyone know how to make a pocket like the one pictured? My soon to be lives this style of pocket and I can't find any tutorials anywhere.