Tuesday, January 8, 2013

My First Attempt at Sewing Myself a Dress

Here goes nothing. Sink or swim. I've had the Craftsy.com Couture Dressmaking course in my queue for many months. I now find myself needing a new dress to wear to a dinner function on the 26th of this month. Here are the fabric and pattern I'll be using.

Since this is a winter dress I chose a substantial fabric. I also wanted something a bit classier than I am usually drawn to. I can't help myself, I am drawn to the gaudier colors and prints. I want this dress to be something that a business woman would wear. I had no say in the dress pattern, itself, as it was included in the price of the class. I do like it, though. I'll be making view C but I will attempt to add 3/4 sleeves. My main fabric is a poly/rayon/spandex blend in a black and white herringbone. I will be cutting the fabric on the bias for the skirt side panels, the bodice sides and the waist band. I am hoping it adds some visual interest to my rather boring fabric choice but the lines may be too subtle to show up. I won't know until it's finished. Here is a close-up of the fabric.

Here are some other supplies I added to the sewing studio. 10 yards of inexpensive muslin, a sleeve roll, and some French curves.

I will be attempting to morph the sleeve from Vogue 8211 onto the sleeve cap of 8648 . 8211 is actually a coat. I think it is lovely and had it filed in with my dress patterns. I'd love to have a dress like that.

Here is a close-up of the sleeve dart detail.

I will also be attempting to morph sizes as I have the classic "middle aged woman" figure where my middle is a larger size than the rest of me. I have these books and video at my disposal but have a severe time crunch so won't be able to refer to them much.

Time to soldier on. I am using couture dressmaking techniques which involve transferring the stitching lines and all of the pattern information to pieces of muslin which you can alter further and those become your actual pattern. I am in a bit of denial about my real size so will probably end up making 2 muslins. Time will tell. I chose a middle of the road muslin. Not too flimsy and not too narrow. Here I have the selvages pinned and am ironing.

 In couture the big thing is "in grain we trust". Sadly I did not choose my muslin wisely. The weft grain is way off on one side as you can see in the following photo. This is where I tore off the fabric from the bolt. This should be a straight edge. It is fairly straight from one selvage to the center but the second half is skewed badly. Oh well, lesson learned. Let's press on.

Time for another important muslin lesson. When you are going to be placing large pattern pieces on the bias you'll need wide muslin. I will have to piece the bottom edges of the skirt sides.

Are we having fun yet? This was as far as I got yesterday. Today we will be transferring the markings to the muslin. We're getting to the juicy part.

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