Monday, June 15, 2020

Swimwear with coverage.....

Something you don't know about me, I was one of many women who wore the wrong bra size for many years which resulted in a bit of bulk around one underarm.  Regrettably, I need a swimsuit or two, because exercise is needed, the struggle is real.  So of course, shopping was involved.... enjoy, some full coverage options that are on the table.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

New priorities .... Undies next..... Beverly Johnson Sewing Panties Construction and Fit

I think everyone knows that Bluprint is closing.  I have about 12 classes that I hadn't watched, thinking, well, when I have the appropriate project,  I'll take the class.  Well now, I'm trying to get through all of them before they finally close permanently.  I've taken the Beverly Johnson classes for Panty construction and fit, and the boyshort panty styles.  I believe she has DVDs on her website  The store is in Canada, that's the only downside (shipping $$), she also has an Etsy store but it doesn't have as much selection as the website.  I am not being compensated in any way for this, just FYI, I'm just so excited to have the knowledge now, to make the panties from scratch vs cloning ready to wear.  This gives me more options.

These are the toiles for the patterns she shows you how to draft in these two courses.  I wanted to start with what I had on hand, and to work on applying elastic, because that needs to be practiced.  I especially need work on my fold over elastic, I picked one with the picot edging and managed to catch the picot in areas.  I will be better next time. The classes are pretty amazing, covering pattern drafting, adjustments for various body types, how to calculate negative ease, construction.  Truly impressed to have a pair of panties that fit, and I can now use to springboard into other styles.  The sky is the limit, and it couldn't have come at a better time.

This pair started off as the "cheeky" version, but the stretch lace was not wide enough, so I added the illusion waist piece, and saved them.

So this is what I mean by practice.....I used an elastic piping meant more for bra trimming which was quite stiff and strangled my legs, I cut it off and applied some picot edge elastic to try and save as much of the dimension as I could.  Honestly, I am so distracted lately.


My goal is to have a wardrobe of cotton panties, because I find them most comfortable and the summer heat is upon us. Now I get to scour through my remnant bag and see what else I can come up with.

She also has another class, which I may take for shape wear, I would like to be lump free in 2020.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Folkwear Victorian Shirt 202 - Night Shirt, or Gardner's Shirt?

Just can't stop making these Folkwear patterns, I have two more in the stash, and a book to get through, and then I think I'm done.  I thought this was a tuxedo shirt, because of the bib, it has that sort of vibe.

This is another test garment, I made the large, which is more than generous, and it is very long, reaching to above the knee, cut just 4" more and it would make a cute dress, for a 5'6" gal.  It has good bones I think...

 The fabric was a 2 yard cut from a Fabricmart bundle, and it is a very loose weave which unraveled badly. Argh!!  If you are making it out of the 56-60" fabric width, 2 1/2 yds should cover it, but it's the perfect project for using up remnants on the bib, collar, cuffs.  If there would have been enough black linen for the cuffs, I would have preferred that.

There goes my hem seam allowance....

 The black linen used for the bib and collar were repurposed from the hem cut off of a very long dress. The placket was reversed, so that the right closes over the left... because I'm a girl.

 There are some seams in the placket because I couldn't get the pieces out of the remnant without using the seamed areas. This makes it look historical.... like I was trying to conserve very expensive fabric.... that's my story. You can hardly see it.

Another seam at the center back collar stand, love it when a plan comes together.

This will end up being a nightshirt or a garden shirt, it is very over sized.  Remember when I was nightshirt shopping a few months back?  It looks like these examples, but this has way more wearing ease in it.... not a bad thing for sleepwear.

The pattern includes a side slit detail, with a number of examples to reinforce the top of the slit from extant garments from the period.  You can pick the one you like and go forward.

I've been working on this a few hours a night so it's been pretty stress free.  The construction on the bib is interesting, and it encases all of the seams, so it looks very neat on the inside.  I'm thinking of foregoing the buttons they call for, the linen is so stiff in this area it holds itself closed.

The placket pieces are in two lengths, and one had a finished bottom edge, which would suggest it would extend beyond the end of the bib.  Once the placket pieces were turned to the right side, it didn't make much sense, keeping it would make the bottom of the bib bulky, so I ended up trimming it off.

The pleats on the back yoke and sleeves are tiny, about a scant 1/4".  I had to play with them until I got the back piece to align with the yoke, and the same with the cuff pieces.  In the end, I released one of the pleats in the cuff piece so I could have enough for the turn back on the cuff slit, and it was still a bit short, but I decided to leave it, because.... no one will see it.  I always roll up my sleeves.

Just so you know I haven't been a slouch during this down time.... aside from the garden, there's also progress on the bathroom... my last bathroom tile job for a while I should think.

There are still some tiles that have to be installed, that pile on the floor, and the glass shelf, then my least favorite grouting.  I'm dragging my feet because the tile mosaic, was not the best quality, and it doesn't cut as much as chip.  I'm working on a tile cutter that should have been retired, it has no blade guard, and it spits up water and ceramic dust when cutting.  I have just three more little tiles to cut, but I wait to have dirty hair to cut the tiles.  But soon my friends, soon this puppy will be complete.

I tried to do a craftsman style bathroom (within my budget), I wanted the enclosure to look larger and taller, and couldn't find a nice white matte tile.  This is what I ended up with.   I picked it because the tiles are almost a perfect match to the cabinet.  It is what it is.  Funny how the last tile job, was my best, I should have started with this bathroom.

Not sure what will be next on the sewing table... I am in desperate need of clothes in general.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Gaza final? and brainstorming a new project (short shopping online)

The round appliques were fun.... I had thought of adding a bit more, but I think it's good for now.

Ok, I am a roll up sleeve kind of girl. I had to add the slit.  I think it makes it look a little more ethnic, and it's very comfortable, so looking forward to lounging around at home.

So what's next on the project list?
I'm thinking a kilt .... to garden in ;)

It may not be a true Kilt, because I would need 8 yards, or 4 yards of wide fabric.
I received this plaid in a Fabric Mart mystery bundle last year, and have been wondering what to make with it.

Either a kilt, or .... I saw these on Net a

Stay tuned....

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Gaza dress modifications....

Wow this took a long time, but here we have it the Gaza toile / muslin completed.  Why so long? you ask, the long seams are flat felled by hand.  Don't know why, I needed a little zen sewing.
It looks so much better after a good press.

I'm not going to lie, this pattern gave me some problems.  It might have been the fabric choice, they say not to pick a light fabric, because of the embroidery, and this is a cotton lawn.  I could see this being better in a double gauze, or something heavier with drape.

It's an interesting pattern, there's a front, back, three side panels, two piece sleeve (with an option to make it one piece), and two yoke pieces.  It is  one size fits all sizing.


So my first hiccup was with the neck circumference, my neck is 15", the pattern was 15 - 15 1/2, that didn't leave a lot of space.  My personal preference, is not to have anything too close to my neck.  The final measurement of the neckline after alterations is 23".

And if you remember from my last post, I also had excess on the sleeve cap.  The sleeve is set in an interesting way, there are no gathers at the cap, almost like a kimono sleeve with a gusset (except with no separate gusset piece). The armhole encompasses the side panels, so the armhole opening is 31". 

The center of the sleeve seam, aligns to the center side panel.

In the end, I added a panel to the shoulder to fix both the neckline, and the sleeve excess. Adding the shoulder panel fixed the sleeves, and the neckline. It also had the benefit of not having to cut into the yoke making it shorter, which I did not want to change.

Later, I wondered how I got this piece in there if the sleeve was the same size as the armhole.  I measured the pattern, front, back and across the three side panel that make up the armhole and the pattern is correct.  I can only surmise that I opened up the underarm seam on the sleeve in excess of 1 1/2" while setting it in.

I shaped the shoulder a bit just to reduce the excess fabric.

I've always drafted patterns with a shaping at the shoulder seam.
As you can see on the pattern, it is straight across.

I did a little research and found a traditional Gaza dress, and there is a slight taper to the shoulder seams, which reduces some of the excess fabric around the shoulder and armhole. 

You can also see that the shoulder yoke neckline is a different shape than the dress front and back neckline.  They measure slightly different aprox 1/2".  

When I cut out the pattern pieces, I did not cut the neckline out, but kept it intact.  Then I marked the neckline from the shoulder yoke and sewed it, and trimmed away the center.  I thought this made things easier.  What didn't make things easier was the seam down the center front yoke, which made things very bulky, and made the slash opening a bit tricky.  This is not part of the instructions or the pattern, it was me trying to make things interesting with the Chevron yoke.  I won't be doing that again.

The one last item that needed to be fixed is the sleeve width, at the wrist/lower sleeve.  It does fit, as is, but I am accustomed to rolling my sleeves up, and it is too narrow to accomplish this.  The wrist measures 9", I would need to add another 2" to get a comfortable rolled up cuff circumference.  I'll wear it and see if I need to do that, if I do, I'll update, but thinking a slit, bias and buttons might be the way to go.

In the end I have a new dress to hang around the house in, and when I find the right fabric, I'll make another, with the modifications.  In the meantime, I have two embroidered yoke pieces that will need to be used, and a tunic might be in my future.... or a kilt.  Stay tuned.