Sewing Cafe

Patterns, Tutorials and Works in Progress from the Sewing Studio of Lynne Williams

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Mad Men Sew Along

Wahoo! My lining and zipper arrived from Sawyer Brook which has allowed me to spend the day sewing my dress.  After much debate with myself I ordered a poly anti static lining, even though I would have prefered using a silk.  The poly lining will help the silk from wrinkling on me, a concern with this style because of the snug fit through the hip. I pre-washed the lining, silk, and zipper in cold water, line drying the silk, then pressing.  As you can see the lining is a bit warmer in color then my silk, but I am pleased all the same, as I was worried it would be to bright, or on the green side. 

Talk about a close call, or is that a close fit?
  As you see my pattern pieces just fit on my fabric. 

 With a great deal of optimisim I simply kept rearranging the pieces until they fit. 

This did mean that my pocket flap had to be cut on the straight of grain instead of the bias.

I was considering cutting down the seam allowance to help, but did not end up needing to go quite that far.

 Marking:  I used tailors tacks in two colors for most of the marking of pleats, darts, and even notches.  Normally I cut a snip into the center of my notches, but I am concerned about raveling on this silk, so felt a tack would be a better choice. 

Due to the curved shape of the dart I needed more then tailors tacks. so I used wax free dressmakers carbon only after I made sure the color would not show/bleed through to the face side.  After sewing I trimed the seam allowance down to 5/8"  and pressed open.  I then sewed up the rest of the darts, 2 on the skirt front, 4 on the skirt back, 2 on the bodice back, repeat for lining.  I also basted the pleats on the front bodice neckline with 2 lines of stitching, one at 5/8" and another at 3/8".  Thats a lot of darts!

The pocket flaps have 3/8" seam allowance.  I folded the pattern in half to create the interfacing pieces.

For interfacing I used a soft fusible knit designed for silk.  Silk is notoriously difficult to use fusible interfacing on.  This product works quite well.

After sewing the edges of the pocket flaps I trimmed the the seam allowances and used my gorgeous point board to press the seam open.  The point on this board is so nice and sharp it gets into even tiny areas like this with ease.
My completed pocket flaps.  I did choose to top stitch them because I plan on hand sewing them onto the skirt front instead of doing them by machine as the directions suggest.  You probably cannot see it in these pictures, but the bottom edge has been zig zagged to finish the raw edge.  I do own a serger/overlock which I could have used as well.  I debated between a 2 thread overlock or the zig zag, as I want to minimize the amount of bulk added to the seams which a heavier overlock would create.  In the end it just seemed simpler not thread my serger/overlock, but to just use my Bernina for everything, especially as it will be fully lined.

Time for lunch!  Holiday weekends are great!  They are my guilt free sewing time....kind of sad I know, but when you sew for a living your clients come first...except on Holiday weekends. Hooray!  Not to mention you can only have wine for lunch when your sewing for yourself.  For the fine diners out there, the cheese is a aged english cheddar with a dollop of fig preserves. 

A word about the pattern directions...which I did not follow, not because they were bad, but because I chose to fully line the dress which changes the construction path from the directions.  The pattern  calls for only the bodice of the dress to be lined.  You will learn more about that later. 

 To stabilize the neckline lining I created a pattern in the same way I would if making a facing. 

Trace the neckline and shoulder edge and then create a 2 wide facing following the neckline curve.  I cut the outer edge of the interfacing with my pinking rotary blade to help soften the edge. Do this for both the front and back bodice.  Fuse to the wrong side of the lining.

  After sewing all of the darts I sewed the back bodice to the back skirt pieces repeating with the lining.

After sewing my bodice to the skirt at the waistline  I added a 1 1/4" strip of fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the centerback seam ending just beyond the end of zipper notch to prepare it for the zipper installation. 

Goodness does this mean the zipper is next?

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