Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Finishing a sleeveless dress (facing or lining)

During the long time I've been sewing I've used several ways for finishing a sleeveless dress. There are methods where you don't sew the center back or the side seams until the facing/lining is done. Which not always works as I'd like to, as it doesn't give you much opportunity for fitting while sewing. Which is what I (and a lot of you too I think) often do. At least for finetuning in the final fabric. The method I describe here requires the shoulderseams to be left open. And as it's a method for a sleeveless dress (or top), that's only a small seam to baste for fitting purposes. I like the fact that you can sew in the zipper too, if required, before sewing the facing/lining to the dress. Or use a pattern without a center back seam. 

I'm sharing this method with the regular disclaimer that this is what works for me. I'm not claiming this is the perfect method. In the steps below I refer to the facing, because that is what you see in my photos. It would be no problem if the lining was attached to the facing or if you use lining only. It's a lot of steps in the way I describe it here, but it's not overly complicated. Give it a try and let me know how it worked!

Step 1 
Sew the dress without sewing the shoulder seams

Step 2
Sew the facing without sewing the shoulder seams. Usually this will mean sewing the side seams of the front and back facing. My dress has a center back zipper, which was installed first and there are 2 back facing parts. If the dress has no center back seam, the facing for the back can be one part.

Step 3
Baste/pin the facing to the dress.

Step 4
Sew the facing to the dress, do not stitch to the end of the seam, leave about 3cm/1.5 inch open.
Trim and clip the seams where necessary. Again not to the end of the seam.

Step 5
Turn, press and edgestitch on the facing. How far you can do the edgestitching depends on the width of the shoulder, but do not stitch till the point where you stopped the seamstitch. Stop a little before that point.

Step 6
Fold away the facing and pin and sew the shoulder seams of the garment. 

Step 7
Pull the shoulder seam inside out.

Step 8
This is the most fiddly step, pin and sew the shoulder seams of the facing.

Step 9
Pull on the seams and match the shoulder seams from the garment and the facing. 
Pin the neckline and armhole side. Sew and make sure you start and end at the previous stitching lines. This is easier to sew when the seam is still wider, therefor it was not trimmed in the earlier step.

Step 10
Trim the seam, I trim the corners too to remove as much bulk as possible.

Step 11
Turn back the facing by pulling on it. Press the shoulder seam and you're done!

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Jacket modeled on me

I have a few catch-up posts to do. Let me start with a post with only a few words. This is the jacket I finished a month ago but didn't yet show wearing it.
I'm very pleased with it and have worn it a few times already. The sewing details are in the previous post.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Jacket from Burda February 2020

Though the muslin of the Knip Mode jacket was a huge disappointment I was still in a jacket sewing mood. I spent an evening trying to draft that jacket myself but it was too complicated. I do have some pattern drafting skills, but this was out of my league.
Then February Burda came along with this pattern. Not as complicated but still lovely lines. Add to this my confidence in their consistent pattern drafting and I was on my way tracing this pattern.

I compared the traced pattern to my sloper and added a little bit to the hip area and made it up in the fashion fabric immediately. My fabric was 1.50 meter wide, a little wider than the fabric used in the magazine and I managed to cut this from only 1.55 meter of fabric. You can see that some pieces are rather close to each other, I defnitely did not use 5/8 inch seam allowances! The only change I had to do was cutting the center back facing with a seam instead of on the fold. Minor issue in my opinion.

This is the fabric I used, bought at Croft Mill Fabric.

Construction was pretty straightforward. As most of you know I construct my jackets with a bit more internal structure than instructions in general tell you. This jacket has a shoulder shield (see picture), sleeveheads and a thin shoulder pad. The last two I forgot to take a photo of.

This "belt" is a nice detail and waist accent. Found this lining that suited the jacket very well. Any plain lining would have been fine of course.

Partly unzipped. The zipper was taken from a skirt I made a couple of years ago. It was still in mint condition while the fabric of the skirt was turning from black to grey. It even has a bit more of a story, because I bought this Riri zipper when I was in New York and met Nancy K again. Quite a few years ago now, wish I could do it again. Wish I could find this more special zippers locally too but never found a source for them.

Now I'm working on an easy project, here's a sneak peek. A dress from Burda January 2019. I was just too tired to put the sleeves in tonight.


Tuesday, January 21, 2020

An old pattern - Jalie 2449

These two tops I made recently. The pattern is Jalie 2449, a faux wrap top. I bought and made this pattern for the first time in 2007. It's no longer available.

I bought the wonderful blue/white border print at Croft Mill fabric in the UK and thinking about how to use it I remembered a famous wrap top from BurdaStyle January 2008. There was not enough fabric for that one and rummaging through my patterns I found this one again. I liked it so much that I made another one.

On the second version The neckline is heightened about 1 cm above the bust, giving just a bit more coverage. It's a minimal change. Other than that I used the pattern as it was traced/changed in my pattern stash. It had notes on it and at the time I made it a bit longer and widened the sleeves.

Sewing a top like this is an afternoon project ;).

Monday, January 20, 2020

For the record

For the record I'm publishing these photos. I know the design lines are difficult to see, especially in the front because I used a remnant piece of dark navy linen and because there was not enough of it a piece of muslin fabric in the back.  You can see that it's straight down at the front and back. By the size chart I'm a size 42 in the bus area and I used 40 because of my narrow back. My reason was that I could do an FBA easier than changing the width of the back. On the back it's still too wide and there's no need for an FBA.
Of course I graded out at the hip area. There's more than enough ease in this area, even though I'm the largest size in the middle set of hip circumferences (see my post from yesterday). Imagine this circumference at the hips for someone whose hip size is 12 centimeters smaller!

I'm still loving the design and despite this thinking of a way to make it work for me. Perhaps I have to draw it based on my sloper. Not this week though.

I don't have confidence in the "drafting adjusted to the size chart" from Knip mode. Back to Burda and Ottobre!

Sunday, January 19, 2020

The new Knip Mode drafting to the size chart - a rant

Probably the title of this post says enough. This post is a rant and I completely understand if you click away and read something more interesting.

As I said in my last post Knip mode claims they changed the way their patterns are drafted to make sure they have a better fit. Because of this I started making a muslin of the jacket. So glad I didn't take my good fabric to start with.
I made the body and am that disappointed that I probably won't bother to attach the sleeves or the collar. It's basically shapeless, as on the model in the magazine. So perhaps I should have known better from the start. But the line drawing showed such nice shaping....

For me it's totally unclear how Knip Mode thinks their patterns will fit better. This is what it says in the magazine: The fit of the patterns is optimized. The patterns used to be big and are now better adjusted to the size chart. The size chart is unaltered.

This is my translation but it basically says they will stop making the patterns (too) big compared to the size chart. Great, it's good when you can choose your pattern based on a size chart and know the patterns have realistic ease compared to the style of the garment and you don't have to choose a size (or two) smaller because you know the patterns of the company are always bigger than expected.

But why, WHY are there only 3 hip circumferences for the jacket pattern? Knip modes' size range includes all sizes from 34 to 56. Yet there are only 3 hip lines on the patternsheet, one for sizes 34-38, one for 40-46 and one for sizes 48-56.
That means that someone with a hip measurement of 102 centimeters (size 40), will end up with a garment that will fit someone with a hip measurement of 114 centimeters (size 46) as well. That's 12 centimeters of extra ease. In the size range 48-56 it's even 24 centimeters!

Below is a photo of one of the pattern pieces where you can clearly see the lines for the 3 groups of sizes. It's the same for all pattern pieces in the hip area. In the shoulder/bust area there are individual lines per size. The fit in that area is better, but it all ends with a waist/hip pattern in 3 sizes.

Last point of attention is that size 40 is probably not in the right group. On other pattern pieces the size 40 line ends up in the line for sizes 34-38.

Enough said, I think I will call it a day on this jacket pattern and will not buy Knip Mode for a long while. I will make a photo of the muslin in its present state, even if it's just for the record.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

How fast do you sew?

The new issue of Knip mode has a pattern for a jacket that has my name written on it. One of my sewing friends posted the technical drawing in our whatsapp group yesterday and I bought the issue the same day when doing my grocery shopping. The fabric it's made of isn't showing it very well and on the model it looks a bit shapeless, but I love these lines.

It has an intriguing description: an outstanding jacket with special design lines. It needs advanced sewing skills and at least an afternoon of sewing.

In which world is this ever "an afternoon of sewing"????? Tracing and cutting will take up that afternoon (at least!). Putting it together, topstitching, single welt pockets, hook and eye closures, collar with stand.....

I'm planning to make a muslin this time, as Knip Mode has changed its sizing and now claims to be drafting to the size chart more exactly. Read: not as much ease as there used to be.
If it works out as I hope I will probably use zippers for the center front closing and pockets. I'll use a different type of fabric too.