A quarterly check-in and Me Made May

I can’t believe it’s April already! I thought that this year, rather than remembering I have sewing goals that I’d set for myself in November and frantically trying to see if I did them, I’d review them in more of a quarterly fashion to help me stay on track. Besides, I still haven’t managed to get photos of the jacket I finished in January, and I’m stuck in a muslin/fitting stage of my current project. So here goes!

First up, Me-Made May. I haven’t participated in this in awhile. Last year, I was only 2 weeks postpartum at the start, and if you’ve been following here for awhile, you know how much havoc my two pregnancies have wreaked on both my body and my handmade wardrobe. But I’m finally in a good place to play along again– Padawan is only nursing at night now, and since he’s nearly a year old, there’s a good chance that I might be done altogether by then. So I don’t have to worry about nursing friendliness! My official pledge is:

“I, Becky of sewadagio.wordpress.com, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’18. I endeavour to wear something me made 4 times a week. I also endeavor to work in as many of my non-nursing friendly me-mades as are seasonally appropriate, in order to determine what still works for my lifestyle and body.”

Unofficially, I have a couple other things I’m hoping to accomplish through this challenge:
– Figure out some ways to style my Jalie Vanessa pants that I made last year, since I haven’t quite sorted that out yet.
– One of my goals for this year is to build towards some small capsules within my wardrobe. So I’m hoping to figure out which pieces in my wardrobe would be good ones to build off of, so I can figure out the holes and how to fill them. I already know that casual clothes for my at-home days are a major hole, but that might be something I have to work towards for next year, since that mostly doesn’t line up well with my Make Nine plans for the year.

Speaking of Make Nine… I’ve only finished one thing so far, the Carolyn Pajama pants. (Which, fortunately, ties in well with my goal of revamping my pajamas. I’m halfway done this one, since my winter ones are all finished!) I’m working on my second project currently, which is the True Bias Lander pants in the shorts view. My wearable muslin has turned out to be highly unwearable, due to some major fitting tweaks that need to happen, but thankfully it’s fabric that I really didn’t care for the color of. (I would have attempted to dye them if they’d worked.) I’m hoping to get the fitting changes made on my pattern and at least get the real version cut out this week. I admittedly got rather sidetracked by Easter gifts for my boys, which I’ll share more about soon, and my entry for the Day and Night Dress Challenge. So if I want to have a decent shot at working through these projects, I’ll need to be more focused going into the summer for sure.

I am hoping to tackle the swimsuit before too long. I’d love to get it done in time for Memorial Day. I do have patterns and fabric chosen and safely stored in my sewing closet now. So that’s progress, I suppose.


a post of small things, part 2

To continue from the other day…though these are slightly bigger things.

1. So you remember back when I was making that wedding dress, and I had to muslin the top of the Cambie dress 4 times to get it to fit? Obviously, planning a wedding was messing with my judgment, because this was my thought process at the time: “The bulk of the dress is going to be supported from the waist, so I should fit the waist first and then adjust the bust to fit, even though this is for pear-shaped figures. Even if it takes me multiple FBA’s and eventual conversion of the darts to a princess-seamed top.” (Which it did.) 

Well, somewhere in the moving process, I lost the final muslin. And I never actually made those changes to the pattern, because I was sewing a wedding dress/packing and moving all my stuff/often working 6 days a week, and who had time to alter tissue patterns for later projects? But the next thing I have planned to sew, aside from the costume, is a “real” Cambie. And since I’m using a bigger table at my parents’ house to cut out the costume, I dug into my refashion bin one night recently and found something to chop up and do a quick mock-up, which I’m hoping to turn into a wearable top at some point. Makes me feel better about muslin time, if I get something actually wearable out of it. But this time, I cut the size based on the bust, because it’s ok for a casual summer dress to be a little looser at the waist. Around here, it might even be preferable.

Clearly, I should have done this for the wedding dress, too. This is straight out of the envelope, with the only alterations being that I took the back darts in a tiny bit and did Tasia’s straight neckline variation. Oh well…live and learn, I guess.

For the record, I know the neckline looks gappy, but when I fold the seam allowance under, it seems to be fine. There’s also some diagonal wrinkles at the sides, but the weight of the skirt should pull that out in the real version. I think I could probably take the front darts in maybe 1/8″. Any thoughts, before I start chopping up my pretty dress fabric?

2. In other news, I’m having a surprisingly tough time with last week’s Wardrobe Architect assignment. It’s one thing to assemble silhouettes that I’m drawn to for various seasons, and another to use that to plot out a capsule wardrobe. I think where I’m getting hung up is the spring/summer bit–I already have a few projects in the queue that I’d really like to get to this season, and it’s not necessarily stuff that would make for a cohesive chunk of my wardrobe. And I haven’t really had a whole lot of time to sew in the past week or so. When I have, it’s basically been that Cambie top mockup or working on a prom dress that I agreed to shorten for a friend of mine. (Only because she’s a good friend that I see regularly–I’d already turned down one request this spring from someone else who I haven’t actually seen in years but am friends with on Facebook.) For now, this week’s assignment on colors is inspiring me more, and the more I think about this, the more I think I may be better off skipping spring altogether and focus on the summer, or even summer into early fall, since that will allow me time to get these next couple of projects done first. So I’ll come back to these later.

muslin making and palette play

Same pattern company, different type of garment… I’m making a Robson Coat next!

I’ve learned from experience that Sewaholic Patterns need more tweaking on my top half than my bottom half. (Incidentally, I really hope I still have that wedding dress muslin around somewhere, because I’d like to make a “real” Cambie sometime and don’t want to muslin the top 3 times again!) So I figured I’d better actually suck it up and make a muslin on this one. Since it looked like the finished garment measurements for the bust and waist were about the same, and my bust isn’t quite that…um…flat, I decided to experiment with cutting a size 10 for the top and sleeves, grading to an 8 at the waist, and leaving it a size 8 for the hips.

Here’s my result.

Robson fitting front

The front of the coat. I didn’t cut the muslin the full length, because fitting over the hips was not the issue I was worried about. I’m also not entirely sure I pinned the coat closed in the places marked on the pattern, or on the correct side for that matter, but you get the idea. I do think my grading worked pretty well, though there is a bit of a diagonal wrinkle going towards that first pin that makes me wonder if I need to do a slight FBA after all. I also doubt I’m going to be doing airplane impressions much in this, but I wanted to test the range of movement in the arms. They feel pretty comfortable over a long-sleeved shirt, which is probably the most I’d be wearing under this, so even though it pulls when I do that, I think I’ll be good.

Robson fitting back

And then here’s the back. I know I’ve got a bit of a swayback going here, though I don’t want to overfit this one since it’s meant to be worn over other things. I might just leave it. The one tweak I’m thinking I may want to seriously consider is adding just a little more room across the upper back–this was me raising my arms to the level I would need to, say, drive my car. It’s not like I’m about to do my impression of the Hulk, but adding just a tiny bit more room, say 1/8″ in the center back on each side, might do a lot for avoiding strain on the seam. Any thoughts from you fitting gurus out there?

It looks like the sleeve length is pretty good here, but I think I’ll have to check the hem depth and probably add a little to the final pattern–I’m probably not going to want it much shorter than what it’s showing up as here.

I think I’m going to like the style of this coat! And though I am going for the full length for the real version, because I like longer coats, this muslin makes me think that it could be a cute shorter coat as well. 

I’m throwing the most recent Wardrobe Architect assignment in this post too, because it’s more or less an extension of last week’s color assignment. All we were asked to do was organize our palettes into three categories: neutrals, near-neutrals, and statement colors.

So I took last week’s palette and did a little rearranging. No surprise, over half of my colors fall into the “statement” category. Unless teal is now a neutral, because I wear it a lot these days. It’s the perfect compromise color between blue and green. So teal is totally a neutral, right?

Even though I wasn’t sure how to make metallic swatches on Photoshop, I’m adding metallic silver, gold and copper to my near neutrals, because the majority of my jewelry incorporates some kind of metallic. I do mostly lean towards silvers, but have discovered the value of having gold, especially the more antique color, and copper to mix things up over the last few years.

Of course, the problem with statement colors being your main thing is that there’s so many different shades of the same thing. Like that purple– I categorized it as plum, but it could also be eggplant, or maybe a darker radiant orchid, since that’s the color of the year. The darker green could be emerald, or kelly, or grass, or whatever. There’s probably at least 5 shades that could fall under the umbrella of “teal”. So I’m looking at this more as a guideline than a rule.

So, SO close

Does it make me sound like a horribly lazy person that I’m glad I got an unexpected day off of work? I didn’t have to go to the shop because the weather is gross and the manager predicted sales would be extremely slow. They’re selling Christmas trees now, and who wants to look for those outside when it’s rainy and cold? Not me. So I got to work on the dress this morning instead.

It took a little longer than expected, because I had to tweak some seam placements in the skirt again. But I think I am basically there, as far as the muslin goes. Except for one issue. (Pardon the iphone photos–the lighting around here is pretty terrible today due to the rain, and I figured I’d have more luck with mirror shots using the phone than I would my camera. Also, my tripod broke.)

Dress Front 2This is the front of the dress–now with spiral-steel boning! The stitching on that is completely wonky because I was having to stitch the channels on with the boning in it in order to actually get the boning inside. (I had to make these channels myself. I may have done it too tightly. I’m debating whether I’d be better off making new ones out of, say, grosgrain ribbon for the real thing.) For the most part, I think the boning helped, at least on the side and back.What I’m not sure about is all of those diagonal wrinkles right in the center front. I think it’s time to post in the Craftsy class again and see what Susan has to say.

One more note about those skirt seams–the black lines are not the seams. Those were the original thread tracings, and those seams were moved to line up with the princess seams.

Dress Front 1One change to the front that I do like is that I retraced the curve of the sweetheart neckline (the white that’s slightly showing above the original stitching.) I like this one much better.

Dress Back

And here’s the back. Not entirely accurate, since the very top will be tacked closed with a button. But I did add a zipper–partially to check the fit, and partially to play around with a lapped zipper. (It’s on my Check The Technique list anyway! Still needs work.) This is obviously not the zipper I’ll be using, since it’s grey–I didn’t have a white one on hand. And I think I’ll have to extend the zipped part an inch or so, because it’s just a liiiiiiiittle bit hard to pull on over certain curvy bits. (Ahem.) But with the zipper, the fit is actually quite comfortable. Even with all of those extra layers that the seam allowances made around the waist, so I think it’ll be just fine with the underlinings and such. Again, I added some boning to this, right over the darts, and I think it does do a nice job of smoothing it out. I will have to shorten the actual bones on both the side and back pieces just a little bit, though. Maybe about 1/4″.

Dress Side
Speaking of the side–I do think I am going to have to alter the curve of those pieces some. It does still pull towards the front slightly, though the boning did help that out quite a bit. I think that shaving 1/4″ out of the middle of the front and adding it to the back should do it. Again, the thread traced black lines are not the actual current seam lines. But it does look like things are laying pretty smoothly in the front, so I’m pleased with that.

Dress SkirtAnd although it’s not the most flattering view of my middle, here’s a view of the whole skirt. I tried it on with the shoes this morning to check the hem length, and I’m going to have to add at least 2″ plus the hem allowance. I might do 2 1/2″ just to be on the safe side, since it’s easier to make a wider hem than to skimp on the fabric there. The circumference of the skirt is plenty wide enough, though, and even with my long stride, I can walk comfortably in it. I guess I’ll just need to figure out if I need to add something to the hem to poof it out some, whether it’s horsehair or some tulle underlayers.

ShoesSpeaking of shoes–if you were curious, here they are! Since I rather dislike shoe shopping (mostly due to that lovely widening bony bulge you can see riiiiight under my big toes), I decided to be cheap and lazy and wear the same shoes I wore as a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding several years ago. (Incidentally, this is the same friend whom I just made the Star Wars bibs for, and she’s going to be a bridesmaid in my wedding as well, so the circle is complete.)

Since I don’t have too many occasions in which to wear strappy silver sandals–and when I do, I usually wear my gladiator flats instead–they’re in good shape. All of the little rhinestones are still there, and I just have a little bit of scuffing on the heels and the very edge of the toes. Nothing a little nail polish can’t fix, once I find the right extra-shiny shade.

I love it when a plan comes together!

I do still have some important details to figure out. Mainly the internal support structure. But I did get the new bodice basted together with all of my pattern changes, and if I may say so myself, it worked beautifully.

Final bodice test- frontI think the moral of the story is that when it comes to very fitted bodices, princess seams are going to work for me ten times better than double darts ever will. This made a HUGE difference in the look of the front. I also like the new lowered neckline, though I think I’m going to have to adjust those curves a bit to make it look a bit more sweetheart-y. (That somewhat pointy section on the right side is the result of the clipped piece sticking out. If this was the real thing, obviously I would have pressed it and stitched down the seam allowances and such, since the Bridal Couture book strongly recommends joining the lining to the upper edge of the bodice by hand. But this isn’t the real thing.) I also did a rather sloppy version of the cap sleeves, with the side seam allowances on both the lace and the organza just folded in, but it’s enough to tell that it will work, provided I can figure out how to conceal the actual seam allowances on the sides and shoulders as much as possible.

It looks like that waist on the front is really crooked, but it’s not nearly that bad outside of the picture. For one thing, I think I forgot to tug this into actual approximate placement before I took the picture, so the top will run a bit lower. For another thing, the jeans are not helping that visual.

Final bodice test- sideSee? It’s pretty straight from the side. On an unrelated side note, yes, these are the jeans I made, and for the most part, they’re washing and wearing beautifully! But I have noticed that the waistband has stretched a bit so that it gaps in the front–though the back is still gapiosis-free!– so for the next pair, I’m going to need to stabilize and/or alter and/or completely swap out the waistband for something more contoured. On the plus side, I was afraid that it would be too tight in the crotch area, and it’s actually quite comfortable!

Ok, back to the dress. There is that one diagonal pull there, but I think once the skirt is on, that will probably straighten out. The boning might help too, once I get that in.

My favorite new detail? The back is exactly how I pictured it to be. Check this out:

Final bodice test- backThe lace is one piece, and underneath there’s the “fashion fabric” on the lower part, and organza on the upper part. So the effect when I’m wearing it is just that my upper back is covered in lace. The pattern alteration was soooo easy to do–I took my french curve ruler, started where the front bodice meets the back armhole, and did a very slight curve towards the center back. Then I added seam allowances to both of those pieces. Given my usual lack of success when it comes to flat pattern alteration, it’s very gratifying to know that this worked. Again, there is some rippling, but I do think that will straighten out when the skirt/boning is in.

My next adventure is figuring out boning placement–I’m not sure I technically need it, since this isn’t strapless, but I think I’ll have a little more peace of mind knowing that I’m not putting all of that strain on the organza in the shoulder seams. Especially since I have no idea how much this skirt will weigh when all is said and done, given the length and the layers of lining and underlining and stuff. (Plus I need to figure out if I need to add tulle and such for fullness.)

boning placement- test 1I’ve never used spiral steel boning in my life, so I’ve been using this tutorial for cutting it. It was definitely easier than cutting through an entire length of metal, but still hard! My little wire cutters, which I generally use for jewelry-making, were not quite up to the task, so I ended up having to resort to just snipping it over the same area over and over until the metal finally weakened enough that I could break it. I did get all of the lengths that I’m pretty sure I’ll need cut (a bit tricky for the front, and some of the pieces are very, very short, since I was using where my bra ended as a guideline. See between those yellow pins and the waistline!). I got the tips on all of them. The website also recommended wrapping the tips in some plumbers’ tape to keep the tips from coming off while sliding things in and out of the boning. I don’t have any, so I’ve been at a bit of a standstill ever since. Not that I’ve had time to sew since Monday anyway.

On an overall plus side, the lace is behaving better in the actual bodice, so maybe I’ll only have to hand-stitch the seams and darts (just for motif placement), instead of all over the pieces, after all!

that sinking feeling…

…in which you realize that you might have to hand-embroider the lace on the entire bodice of your wedding dress. That’s what I’m experiencing right now.
lace test 1I’m currently in the process of testing the pattern changes I wanted to make for the lace–this is the back, with a new top panel of organza with the lace over top. (Thank you, Joann’s Casa Collection, for giving me a way to test this in cheap polyester before I mess with the real thing.) Even though this is still the muslin, I hand-basted all of the lace pieces onto all of the muslin pieces, just so they’d line up the way they were supposed to. This is why I’ve been quiet this week.

I’m a little worried, though–the lace isn’t exactly laying flat against the fabric underneath. I guess it’s to be expected with polyester organza, since that ripples out the wazoo, but the fact that it’s also doing it on the muslin is a bit concerning. So now I’m wondering if stitching all of the sunflowers onto the silk so the lace isn’t poofing away from the bodice is going to have to be the way of things.

I’m finally getting my usual November time off of my retail job this week, somewhat, so tomorrow has been designated as a sewing day. So my plan is to sew this entire bodice back together, make sure the new princess-seam pieces are going to work, and see what this lace is doing after that. Oh, and I also need to throw some boning into this thing at some point, if I can figure out how to cut spiral steel boning!  I also want to play with the zipper, since my thought is to only have it go to the top of the solid part, and then finish the edges and just have a button at the very top of the sheer part. I also need to figure out how to best finish the edges of the organza/lace sections, since that will affect the entire armhole section, but that may have to wait for another day. I’m thinking maybe hand-stitched bias binding out of the organza to camouflage the lace in the seam.

So if I do have to hand-stitch all of the lace to the underlayers, I guess I need to figure out if I would just do that through the top layer, the eventual underlining, or both. And also if I might want to just throw beads on the thing while I’m at it. I’m leaning towards not, since that might detract from the sunflowers and would certainly make the seams a total pain. But then, it would give extra sparkle, and I do like sparkly things!

pictureless progress

It’s been fun to see all of the costumey goodness around the blogosphere over the last few days! Nothing Halloweenish for me this year, alas. I had no parties to go to, and I wouldn’t have had time to make a costume anyway. I did go back to my retail job yesterday, which is unfortunately still an outdoor register thing, And Sandy apparently decided to bring winter with her, because it was in the 40s pretty much the whole time I was out. So the closest I got to dressing up for Halloween was as an Eskimo while I was at work, as I was wearing FIVE layers up top, the last one being a winter coat! (Though I’d taken the fleecy liner out, thinking that the thermal top/long-sleeved shirt/required work t-shirt/hoodie sweatshirt would be sufficient. That was obviously a mistake.) Plus a scarf, hat, handwarmers, and gloves. And I was still cold. It’s ridiculous. I don’t know how you people that live anywhere further north of here do it!

I did go to the mall later on Halloween with my fiance, and I wore my Cadence sweater because it was orange. And I was still cold, despite having been indoors for hours and having hot tea. Blah. Anyway.

So I’m doing what is now my 4th bodice front, as well as an entirely new back. I want to make sure the princess seams are going to work, as well as test the pattern change I’ve had planned for the back. And I also want to make sure the lace idea is going to work, period. I haven’t had a chance to work on it since Tuesday, so I haven’t taken pictures yet–between a dj meeting, a weekend of rehearsals for this evening’s flute choir concert that I’m playing in, and the usual work stuff, I just haven’t had time to sew.

I did also go to a craft afternoon yesterday hosted by a casual friend, and started knitting a scarf to go along with the hat I made for my fiance back around his birthday. He’s been asking for one now that it’s starting to get cold again, and I need to use up the yarn anyway. So I figured that this can be something I work on while hanging out with him and watching tv for awhile, at least until I get to a point where there might be wedding-related crafts that aren’t my dress.It’s a simple enough pattern, just a striped ribbed scarf, and so far I’ve managed to get about 6″ done, I think. No pics of that yet either.

We’ll see if I get more work done on that bodice this week (I haven’t even finished cutting out the new pieces yet). It’s a bit iffy, since this week also marks round 2 of the dental surgery, and I know that sewing that day is off the table based on how I felt the last time. (That, and having to work one-handed while holding an ice pack to your face just doesn’t work. I tried.)

So hopefully I’ll have something to show soon. On an unrelated note, I have been reading the reports of how different bloggers fared in the storm, particularly in the New York area, and I’m glad to hear that you’re all safe!

Hey, it’s starting to look like a dress!

Considering that we’re pretty much in Sandy’s direct line of fire, as of when I started writing this (around 10:30 on Monday night), I’ve gotten off pretty easy! It’s been very wet and windy here, but no trees down around my house, and the power hasn’t even flickered. We were, however, under a state of emergency that required staying home. So I just sewed basically all day, other than a little flute practicing break. I can’t say I was sorry that I had a day to do that.

So I got the princess-seam-creating dart sewed in, marked the changes to the straps, lowered the neckline, fiddled with the waistband, and got the skirt basically basted together enough to do this:
Full test front
Basically, this is what my dress will look like! When I cut out the skirt pieces on Saturday, I wasn’t sure if the skirt would be full enough that I could comfortably walk in it, but I think it will be fine. I did have to do some tweaking–there was way too much room in the back skirt to match up with the waistband, for sure. And after pinning it all together multiple times, I basically had to shift the top of every seam around so that the skirt seams more or less line up with the darts and seams of the bodice. (Hopefully more.) 
I think I’m going to have to redo the bodice muslin one more time, with the princess seams, to make sure I haven’t just stretched and warped the fabric into submission. It’s just as well–I also ended up having to move the shoulder seams, and I need to test the pattern changes for the sheer upper back. And, well, the princess seams, which I also need to smooth out anyway. But it’s getting to the point where it’s closer and closer, and that’s rather encouraging.

Full test backI’ll give you a back view while I’m at it. For the record, these pics were taken before the hours I spent tweaking the skirt seams for where they’d line up. And I may need to do some work on the back still, since I’m not sure if those wrinkles count as making a swayback adjustment necessary. But I think I’ll hold off on that one, since I am still going to need to play with some boning, and that might help to straighten it out.

Anyway, I may work on this bodice some more tomorrow, depending on if we have power and if I need to/am not allowed to report into work because we’ll still be under a state of emergency. (I don’t know if we will be or not. I guess I’ll have to wait and see!)

In which our heroine changes the FBA yet again! And other fitting tales

I have to say, Craftsy classes are awesome. I’m currently doing the Couture Dress class, along with reading the Bridal Couture book (both by Susan Khalje). I’m on the Muslin Fitting video section (obviously), and posted a picture of my muslin so far with a question about when in the process I should start dealing with the boning. And I was quite pleasantly surprised that Susan wrote back the very next day with some excellent constructive criticism!So I’ve been tweaking the muslin as I could over the past two days, as per her suggestions.

As I reminder, this is what I had at the beginning of the week:

Dress Bodice 3.0

And this is what I have now:

Muslin fitting, 10/25

  1. For the back, I took a horizontal tuck across the upper back, I think about a total of 3/4″. (The seam was about 3/8″ from the foldline.) Goodbye, weird saggy armholes!
  2. Susan pointed out that the side seam was pulling to the front a bit, which I hadn’t really noticed before. She suggested taking a bigger dart and letting the side seam out just a bit. I think I’ll still have to let it out a bit in the middle–I actually ended up pinning on the side seam again after deepening the dart (about 1/8″ out from the original stitching, for a total of 1/4″), but it definitely looks better than before.
  3. I also took a nice big chunk out of the center front, by starting the seam for that about 3/8″ out from where it was.
  4. It’s just folded for now, and I’ll need to play around with it some more, but I did fold the sleeve caps under further so the edges would be on my shoulder instead of hanging off the edge. I like this look much, much better.
  5. Susan also mentioned that the shoulder seams were pulling too far towards the back, so I tried to center them up. Which basically meant shortening the front sleeve section a lot–I just checked the outer edge on the one side, and it’s nearly a full 2″ shorter than before!
  6. The biggest change: After all of that FBA work, it looks like I’m going to have to turn this into a princess seam bodice after all! I just could not get it to lie right, and it was still gapping in the front, even after I played around with shifting the inner edge of those sleeve cap strap things. And the only way I could get it to lie flat was to pin a dart out, about 3/4″ total on each side. You can see this best in the side view picture–I know it’s still bubbling a bit funny at the bust, but keep in mind that this is only pinned in for now. I hate to say it because I really wanted to avoid altering the basic design lines too much, but it really does lie much better with the princess seam. So now I just have to figure out how the heck to make it work. I’m hoping that those side dart bits will just function as a flat piece, because I’d really like to avoid the look that I had to resort to on this blouse

I’m definitely going to have to lengthen this bodice some now, because there is absolutely no way that waistband is going to hit anywhere close to the right place now with all of that darting and tucking I’ve had to do. I’d say that I’d have to patch on some muslin, but in all honesty, I’ve made so many changes to the darts and all by this point that I might be better off just re-muslining the whole thing, if I can just transfer the changes to the pattern right. (Especially since I need to change the back anyway to split that into two pieces.)

The part I’m not so sure about is that neckline–I think the shape of it is great, and it’s good to not have it gapping now! But I feel like it’s maybe a little too high now–I’m not looking to flash a bunch of cleavage around in front of all of my relatives and friends, but I think the sweetheart would be a bit more flattering if it were maybe an inch lower.  Plus then I can have more fun with jewelry, because I still want a fun, sparkly (and possibly green) necklace! The only thing is, I’m not sure how to lower it, since letting out those shoulder straps will just shift the shoulder seam backwards again. Do I just need to redraw it a little lower or something?

I actually get nearly an entire day to sew on Saturday, which is super-exciting because this hasn’t happened in months! I’d like to get the skirt muslin pieces traced and cut out, finally, but I’d like to do some tweaking work on this bodice as well, if I have time. We’ll see, because it’s looking likely that Hurricane Sandy Frankenstorm of Halloween Doom is going to hit my tiny little state pretty hard. I’m just hoping that if it does, I don’t have to go to my retail job, because I do not want to sit at an outside register in all of that nastiness. And hey, if I lose power, I can baste and thread-trace by hand to my heart’s content! As long as it’s daylight out so I can actually see what I’m doing…

Previous wedding dress posts::
Tracing out the pattern
FBA attempt, part 1
FBA attempt, part 2 (with diagonal tuck adjustment)
FBA attempt part 3 (Bodice 2.0)
FBA attempt part 4 (Bodice 3.0)

Third time’s the charm?

I’m starting this on an unrelated note. I guess you can say I’ve been a little distracted with this whole wedding planning thing…it seems that both my blogoversary (6 years? Whaaaat?) and post #700 have passed me by with no notice. Um, yay me?

Anyway. I (finally!) had some time to sew today–I really wanted to work on this some yesterday, but I was thwarted by a co-worker who didn’t bother to show up for her shift, and ended up losing the three hours I otherwise would have had due to a last-minute lesson cancellation. Grr. So I started with some fresh paper and the original Cambie pattern and went back to square one.

Bodice Front 3.0

This is what I ended up with this time. There was a lot of cutting and taping involved–I added the side dart with the FBA, but it was too low, so I had to raise that higher, too. And that scribbled-out side of the vertical dart was my attempt to avoid what happened with the first bodice from over-wide darts.

And the result?

Dress Bodice 3.0

I think, this time, it actually worked! It’s still not perfect, obviously–I’m probably going to have to do some kind of swayback adjustment, the neckline gaps a bit, and I may have just a little too much room in the front near my waist. Plus there’s still that saggy back armhole thing going on. But, on the whole, this is most definitely a better place to work from than the previous two bodice fronts! I did already make one change from the pattern– the side ended up being too long to line up with the back side seam, so I increased the new side seam dart until it was the right length (I think about an extra 3/4″ from the original line I’d drawn). I’ll have to go back and thread-trace that at some point.

3,0 sleeve alteration
I’ve already made a few small tweaks, at least to one side of the pattern for comparison purposes. As you can see, the front sleeve isn’t gathered anymore–I swapped it out with the lining piece, because I figured it would be easier to alter a piece that’s supposed to be gathered anyway than it would be to figure out the right width on the flat piece. I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t want the sleeve to hang off the edge of my shoulder, because I just don’t think it will look right in the lace. So I’ve marked the outer edge about 7/8″ further in and tapered it down from there. (I’ll have to straighten that one line out.) I also took a small wedge out from the inner edge of the sleeve to try and combat the slight gappiness of the neckline, about 1/4″ tapered down to the original stitching line.

Aside from that, I’m going to wait to make further adjustments until I have a better idea of what effect the skirt will have on it. I did manage to get the waistband basted onto the muslin today, but I still have to entirely trace out and thread-trace the skirt pieces before I can go any further with this.

Previous wedding dress posts::
Tracing out the pattern
FBA attempt, part 1
FBA attempt, part 2 (with diagonal tuck adjustment)
FBA attempt part 3 (Bodice 2.0)