Sunday, January 30, 2011

Completed: Simplicity 5511 from 1973

Simplicity 5511 circa 1973

I am on a roll. Below is a picture of my completed dress made from the Simplicity 5511 circa 1973 pattern. This dress has a bodice, straps and a gathered skirt. This dress gave me a bit of trouble in terms of fit. My original finished version was huge despite me cutting and sewing exactly as instructed. The pattern was for a size 38 and for some reason I had at least 3.5 inches of ease on the bodice and skirt panel was huge. Since this was a wearable muslin I decided to just take the dress in an inch on the sides. The fit was a little bit better although I think I will take in the skirt portion a little bit more than an inch.

Please excuse the bad IPhone photos. Better pictures will come later.

Again this is made from blue broadcloth that I have been using to make my wearable muslins. Although I am getting sick of seeing this fabric.

Lastly is the picture of the back and my first invisible zipper insert.

Pattern Review (The Pros): Again I chose this pattern because it looked easy to put together. The pattern was another learn to sew type of pattern and was very easy to follow. The pattern was made up of five pieces not including the optional pocket.

The Cons: I had a lot issues with the fit. I finished making a size 38 in another dress (see Simplicity 5424) and I had about 2.5 inches of ease. This dress ended up with 3.5 inches of ease on the bodice and gathered skirt panel was huge. And this was from following the sewing the instructions for a size 38. I guess sizing does vary from dress to dress.

Did it come out like the pattern picture? Yes, although it was a much bigger version. I kinda thought it was more rectangle shaped than A-line.

Do you need to make adjustments? Hell yes. I am planning on taking the bodice by an inch and sewing with a 5/8 in seam. This would alter the bodice by about three inches. I think. I would also take in the skirt panel by two inches with a 5/8 in seam. Hopefully everything works out with the new measurements.

Pattern Level: Experienced Novice. You'll be sewing darts and inserting a zipper. Instead of a regular zipper I inserted an invisible zipper (my first).

What could I have done better? Chosen a better draping material and maybe premeasured the pattern pieces first to get an idea of the overall fit.

Would you sew this pattern again? Of course. Already in the process of redrafting the pattern.

Pattern: Vintage Simplicity 5511 from 1973 bought on Etsy.
Fabric: Blue Broadcloth from Fabric
Techniques: Zipper insertion, darts, facings, underlining and hand sewing.

Simplicity 5424 Pictures

As promised here are some pictures of the Simplicity 5424 dress on a real person: ME! Please forgive the fact that the dress is wrinkled. The pictures were last minute and had to be done in a rush since Mister was getting ready for work and I had just put my daughter Buni down for her nap.

I really like the shape of the dress. I can't wait to make this dress again in a more drapey type of material. Here is a not so good picture of the back. I was trying to emphasize the A-line design of the dress. Or perhaps I was about to curtsey to the wall.

Here is the last picture. The bodice is a bit big and I will have to figure out how to get it a bit more fitted, but overall I like it. Very proud of this dress. Hopefully the rest of my dresses will be just as successful. Hope I didn't just jinx myself. Happy Sunday everyone.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Completed: Vintage Simplicity 5424 from 1972

Behold! I completed Vintage Simplicity 5424 circa 1972 using the blue broadcloth I purchased from Fabric Mart.

Simplicity 5424 circa 1972

Here is my completed version. The front. Don't pay attention to the wrinkles. I wore this to work and was too lazy to iron it again.

And here is the back.

With a close up of my very first zipper insert.

Pattern Review (The Pros): the pattern was relatively easy to put together. The pattern was a learn to sew type of pattern and I loved how it spelled (almost) everything out for you in the instructions. Even included the 5/8 seam allowance line on the pattern that you can trace on your cloth, which I did.

The Cons: I'm sure there had to be an easier way to sew the facing down without hand sewing. I'm wondering if I could've serged the underlining so that it doesn't come out. I did a bad job of hand sewing the bodice facings.

Did it come out like the pattern picture? Sort of. The pattern was for an A-line dress and my version was very wide on the bottom, but I guess that's what an A-line should be. It feels like I could put a petticoat underneath. Of course I did choose broadcloth which is really stiff and probably wasn't the best choice for this type of pattern. Hopefully I'll be able to get Mister to take some pictures of me modeling the dress so that I can show you.

Do you need to make adjustments? Yes, although I don't know what type. The bodice seems rather big and I would prefer it to be more fitted and I would like to take the sides in a bit. Since this is a wearable muslin. I'm hoping my next version of this dress will fit better when I figure out how to do those changes.

Pattern Level: Experienced Novice. You'll be sewing darts and inserting a zipper. I suggest practicing your zipper insertion before placing it on the dress. I made a small zippered pouch before working on the dress.

What could I have done better? I could have sewed the seam allowances better. I edge stitch parts of the bodice and the skirt panel. I'm wondering if this is probably the reason the dress feels big. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to fit into the dress. I should have also finished my edges. I didn't have pinking shears and was too lazy to zig zag the edges. Now I have blue threads everywhere. Oh yeah. I should have also looked up how to sew single fold bias tape. I sewed it on the hem like double fold bias tape and afterwards wondered why it was so hard to put on. Then I looked up how to sew it and found out what I did wrong. Yep. Completely different way to sew it on. A long list of mistakes. This is the reason why I'm a novice. At least the final product is wearable.

Would you sew this pattern again? You betcha. And I will use fabric that is less stiff and finish my edges. Hopefully my next version will be better.

Pattern: Vintage Simplicity from 1972 bought on Etsy.
Fabric: Blue Broadcloth from Fabric
Techniques: Zipper insertion, darts, facings, underlining and hand sewing.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Self Drafted Mini Skirt

I decided to be ambitious today. I stumbled across a patternless skirt project on Burdastyle that I it thought looked simple enough. The instructions were for a self drafted skirt that uses your waist and hip measurements to create the pattern. I thought the instructions were simple and self explanatory. Wrong! I knew something had to be wrong when the skirt piece wasn't exactly matching up to the width of the waistband despite my carefully following the directions for creating the darts. I thought being off by almost an inch wasn't too bad. WRONG AGAIN! I have to keep reminding myself that when you're making self drafted clothing that you have match up everything. Despite all my efforts on being thorough (e.g. zigzagging the seams, sewing slowly, following the directions, etc.) I still ended up making mistakes. My skirt looks fine from the front, but in the back the portion of the skirt gaps out. *sigh* Nothing a belt can't fix. Oh well. I guess I would get a "E" for effort, which isn't too bad for being a first time drafter and my second effort in putting a zipper. I finished the hem using a single fold bias tape, which probably wasn't a good idea for the thick corduroy fabric. I guess this is one of the many reasons why I am a novice. Let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions for fixing the back. The instructions for the skirt can be found here.

Sorry for the bad picture of the back, but take my word for it that it does gap out. Also don't ask why my hands are like that. This is the best I can post from my Iphone. I'll hopefully be able to retake some better pictures.

Pattern: Patternless Skirt Project-Burdastyle
Fabric-Green Corduroy-Fabric Mart

Friday, January 21, 2011

Just a peek.

Just a peek at something I finished last week. This is a wearable muslin (aka mock-up of a pattern) made of blue broadcloth using vintage Simplicity pattern 9359 from the seventies. Check out the details in my other blog Apple-Buni. Stay tuned for more details and another completed dress.

Simplicity 9359

In the beginning

Just started this blog to document my adventures as a "novice sewer". This is what my mother loves to call me. By the way she is a self taught seamstress who has been sewing since she was a teenager. My mom was also the person who made all my dresses from homecoming, ring dance and prom. Hopefully I can learn how to sew as good as she does. Hopefully my readers (if any) will learn from my mistakes and celebrate with me when I do something right. Stay tuned.