czwartek, 30 marca 2017

The morphology of the suit pt I // Morologia kostiumu, część I

Dear Readers,

I've got one spring novelty and it's the bilinguality of the blog (it's both English and Polish now). Those of you who follow me on Instagram already know that I'm putting a beautiful wool from Wera into use, making a 1961 suit. The pattern is McCall's 6199 and the version is C.



Drodzy Czytelnicy :)

Na początek wiosenna nowość: blog jest teraz prowadzony w dwóch językach :) Ci z Was, którzy obserwują mnie na Instagramie zauważyli już, że piękna wełna od Wery znajduje swoje przeznaczenie jako kostium z 1961 roku. Użyty wykrój to McCall's 6199, a wybrana wersja to C.


I've started sewing with the skirt, so I thread traced everything with a single layer of fabric ( I always do this for precision and since I have to match the fabric's pattern it's even more important that earlier). The bright lemon thread is the seam line; the red marks the matching spots, zipper endings etc., and the light pink thread (not shown here) was used for basting. After cutting the wool pieces I made a quick fitting with a running stitch; there was no need for major changes and I've gladly noticed that he front darts-sewn on the bias-are tho most flattering little things ever, making the stomach area natural and flat.




Zaczęłam konstrukcję od spódnicy, więc na początku przeniosłam oznaczenia z wykroju na materiał używając nici i rezygnując z podwójnego złożenia materiału (zawsze tak robię, mając na celu jak najwyższy poziom precyzji, a biorąc pod uwagę, iż w tym materiale muszę jeszcze spasować wzór, było to podwójnie ważne). Nić w kolorze niedojrzałej cytryny:) oznacza linię szwu, nić czerwona ważne punkty spasowania, wszycia zamka itd., a różowa była użyta do fastrygowania (nie miała tyle szczęścia, by załapać się na zdjęcia). Gdy skroiłam już wełnę, zrobiłam szybką przymiarkę po sfastrygowaniu; nie było potrzeby robić rewolucyjnych zmian, a przy okazji z radością zauważyłam, że przednie zaszewki (szyte po skosie) to najbardziej wdzięczny drobiazg na świecie - dzięki nim spódnica leży w okolicach brzucha naturalnie i płasko.



The important thing was choosing the right interfacing. I was going to use it even before I read the instructions (since this is to become a suit and it has to hold its shape well), but I was very happy to see that pattern itself calls for full interfacing of the skirt. Ahhh, the joy of working with well-thought-out vintage sewing patterns. I picked a medium weigh and quite soft linen canvas, as linen tailors well and should work splendidly with the wool. I cut it without the seam allowances and - instead of sewing the darts and increasing the bulk - I cut out the dart "body" and joined the dart lines with a catchstich, shaping the skirt with minimum excess fabric.








Istotną kwestią był  wybór właściwego interfacingu (nie mam pojęcia, jak oddać jego ideę po polsku-nie jest to zwykłe wzmocnienie, nie jest to też sztywnik sensu stricto...). Placnowałam go nawet zanim zajrzałam w instrukcje wykroju (biorąc pod uwagę, że kostium to kostium i ma porządnie trzymać kształt), ale z radością odkryłam, że McCall's sam z siebie przewiduje pełne "wsparcie" głównego materiału spódnicy. Mmmmm, przyjemności płynące ze starych, dobrze przemyślanych wykrojów. Wybrałam średniej grubości miękkie lniane płótno, które-jak to len- dobrze znosi wszystkie krawieckie zabiegi i dzięki temu powinno współgrać z wełną. Skroiłam interfacing bez zapasów na szwy i zamiast uszyć w nim klasyczne zaszewki, wycięłam ich główną część, a linię szycia złączyłam ściegiem zakopiańskim; w tej sposób mamy maximum kształtu i minimum nadmiarowego materiału.




I joined the interfacing to the skirt, matching all the marks, with a loose basting stich, using orange silk thread; it runs parallel to the future vertical seams and extends beyond the linen pieces. Then the edges of the interfacing were joined to the seam allowance of the wool with a catchstitch. The half of the belt was padstitched to the stiff cotton/linen canvas as it will have to withstand more stress when wearing.


 Spasowując wszystkie oznaczenia, ułożyłam interfacing na wełnie; sfastrygowałam lużnym ściegiem używając jedwabnej nici (pomarańczowa); fastryga biegnie równolegle do przyszłych pionowych szwów w spódnicy i wychodzi nieco poza len. Brzegi lnu zostały na stałe przyszyte do zapasów szwu wełny ściegiem zakopiańskim. Połowa paska została uformowana padsitchem (brzmi to okropnie, czy ktoś zna polską nazwę tego ściegu?) na bazie sztywnego płótna z mieszanki bawełny i lnu, jako że będzie musiała znosić spore obciążenie podczas noszenia.



 And then it was finally the time to match the pattern and sew the skirt - joining the seams, sewing in the belt, the zipper, the lining...But all of these will be presented in another part. As Hannibal Lecter used to say: All good things for those who wait. :)





A potem nadszedł czas na spasowanie kratki i właściwe uszycie spódnicy - łączenie linii szwów, wszycie paska, zamka, podszewki....ale to w kolejnej części:) 



piątek, 24 marca 2017

Whiter shade of pale

Dear Readers,


You probably know by know that my Husband took all the photos :)

  some time ago I bought 2 remnant pieces of beautiful grosgrains: an apple green rayon and a creamy-white cotton one (found on http://aksamitny.com.pl/). I never worked with grosgrain except for the ribbons and I was surprised to find how delicate, soft and drapey it is. The rayon grosgrain has more body and is a bit firmer; the cotton is light and smooth; both have a wonderful, subtle sheen to them, which catches the light beautifully. The only problem is that thay fray like crazy: be sure to leave a considerable seam allowances and to properly secure them if sewing with grosgrain fabrics (I used a dense zig-zag stitch).

 Hades the cat is convinced he has hidden himself well

 


I used the Simplicity 8049 reproduction pattern. I was attracted to the three-armhole dress idea (which was invented by Vionnet and used as early as in th 1920s) and I liked the purity of its lines.



The construction was pretty straightforward; surprisingly enough, the front is cut on straight grain so the "cowl" had to be forced into the fabric somehow - it wouldn't collapse by itself like it should when cut on the bias; Simplicity did this using pleats. I decided to line the whole dress using my favourite Superior lining from Truro fabrics; this cleaned up the mess inside and helped to give the dress a little bit more body and less transparency. The lining pieces were created using main pattern pieces, I hand-stitched them in place all around the facings, the side seam and the hem.







I made some personal touches to the project: I added a lining cover to the snaps (they help to keep the wrap-around part in place), arranged the bow in a more sharped-line manner and made a separate belt, which fastens with 3 hooks-and eyes and a snap.




I was afraid that this kind of dress would look bad on a full busted figure but surprisingly it gives a light, fresh feeling, especially when it's unbelted. I consider sewing it up again, this time using some heavy jersey or crêpe .What do you think about it?



sobota, 11 marca 2017

The anatomy of the rose

Dear Readers,

we all know that people who sew have a strange urge to see the insides of the garments. Who am I to subdue it? So without further ado, here is the left side of the grey roses dress:

The lingerie guards...
 ...open

...and closed

Finishing of the bodice

  Satin bias binding covering the armhole, center back and waist seam allowances; cream grosgrain                        waist-stay; bodice cotton lining; lingerie guard; skirt lining; lapped zipper



                    Hook and eye at the top of the lapped zipper (well, only a hook pictured here)


More details of the waist seam allowance finishing; the waist stay, which fastens with 2 hooks & eyes



Pick stitching and hemming



                                                  To keep the contrast bands in place



                                                            To sew in the zipper




                                              Sleeve hem, slip stitched to the cotton lining



                                                        The hem - from the right side...



    ...and the left side. You can see that wherever it was possible I used the selvedge as the finish  



                In other places I used the blanket stitch to secure the skirt seam allowances; Both the                                 main fabric hem and the lining hem were made using hand rolled hem



The long seams of the lining were made with quite wide french seams



Thank you for reading! Have a wonderful weekend.






niedziela, 19 lutego 2017

A bouquet of grey roses



Dear Readers,
 

do you know this feeling when you've been making one thing for so long that you can't even look at it any more? ;-) I've been working on this dress on and off since December and few days ago I finally finished it. It's a good thing as it really has tired me out. But - off we go to the photos.




       I've used a modern pattern with a modern design, which could be easily modified for a vintage look; it's Butterick B5984. As I've suspected, quite a few changes were needed-the most important of which was to modify the princess seams of the front and side bodice panels to accommodate the bullet/cone shape bra. I didn't have to make the ususal FBA as the pattern had the A-B-C-D cup options, which was a nice change. The pattern was drafted to accommodate a modern, sphere-like, heavy bust shape and I had to change the seam curve below the bust from convex to a clearly pronounced concave one.




      I've lengthened the skirt, shaved off a little bit of the décolletage and altered the sleeves' length as well. As for the above-mentioned décolletage, I think it's the most beautiful element of the design. It's quite big and geometrical, but it doesn't expose the breasts at all and therefore does not look cheap, even with so much skin exposed. The extra emphasis on it  made with contrasting band is also wonderful, making a portrait-perfect frame for the face.






        The main fabric was bought by my Husband in...IKEA. It's a heavy, quilting weight cotton and it works wonderful with the circle cut of the skirt. The belt and the contrasting bands are made from  some heavy cotton twill. The bodice and sleeves are lined with ivory cotton batiste, having all of the seam allowances enclosed in a snow-white satin bias binding. 



I'd like to thank my Husband once again for these photos and his patience to take them.


        The skirt has its own separate lining, made from the one-and-only superior lining from Truro Fabrics; it's attached only at the waist and the zipper opening. The zipper is hidden behind a placket, prick-stitched to make it almost invisible. The circle skirt and the separate circle lining are both finished with a hand-stitched rolled hem, which took more than enough time. ;) There are satin lingerie guards to help hide the bra straps and a cream grosgrain waist-stay. I think I'll make a whole new post for you just to show you the insides and finishing techniques used making the dress. Meanwhile-


 a bow

 ...and a cat bonus

Thank you for reading!


piątek, 6 stycznia 2017

Trying not to jade the jade

   Hello, dear Readers!
The first post of 2017 is actually a past make. I had made this dress in October 2015, and since it was much too big for me now, as I've reduced, I decided to take it in. And as it's finally sunny here, me and my Husband could take some decent photos.


   This was my first "big" project: first time with silk, first time with evening clothes, first time with two fabrics treated as one, finally-first time with overcasting by hand all the seam allowances.


Big bow to my Husband for taking the photos and for helping (as always) with fitting and hemming!

    The pattern is Vogue 5456 from 1961 and the main fabric is a silk dupioni in a shade of jade green from Truro Fabrics.


It is fully backed with a medium-weight cotton canvas in dark green, for three reasons:
-to give the dress more body and make it "fall heavier"
-to reduce the crazy-wrinkling properties of dupioni (it crinkles from even looking at it)
-to have something to hand sew to without marking the outside fabric.





    As for the fit, I had to make regular alterations, such as FBA, but I had to go much further with back adjustments than I usually do; I have a short and narrow back and I ended up taking out 3,5(!) inches of back width and 2,5 of back lenght in this pattern.


    I lenghtened the dress by an inch.The dress fastens with my favourite lapped zipper, finished off with a tiny snap and the neck.


   The dress took about 100 hours to make, and most of the time was spent basting the seams and hand-overcasting the seam allowances. On the bright side, it was such a training that my hand sewing skills grew significantly.


 Some details

    



    I love sewing with stable silk fabrics and I love wearing silk; it keeps me warm when it's cold and cool when it's sizzling hot outside; ever since that dress was made I was lost in a silk fever.
Dupioni is a wonderful silk to start sewing with-it's stable, doesn't shift and takes the corrections gracefully.

Thank you for reading. Have a wonderful day! :-)


poniedziałek, 26 grudnia 2016

60(s) squares

     When I made the  Simplicity 1609 for a gift, I liked it enough to give it a try as a nice, breezy summer dress (yay for sewing warm weather garments in mid-December...). I had some fresh, luminous white cotton sateen in a period-perfect abstract/square print (I have no idea what decade it comes from, as it was given to me. It may actually be from the 1960s).

So without further ado...



     I made only minor adjustments:
-I shortened and rounded the bust dart to make it lay better, as well as re-drafted the pattern to give it a bit more room around the chest
- I made it longer, as over-the-knee lenght is terrible for my legs
-I interfaced the hem, which was done using a separate facing; this helped to accentuate the A-line shape.


     The dress closure is made with a lapped, hand stitched zip and a hook-and-eye.

 The biggest problem I and Husband-the-faithful-photographer had with blogging this dress was in fact the weather-we have such a grey, dull winter and it's always dark both in- and outside.



    I pinked the seams (the cotton is very firm and dense) and I didn't line it, as it's supposed to be a way out of my constant summer dilemma, "how not to expose too much skin but be able to stay cool in a sizzling city". I think this pattern was made for cheerful, light dresses; it's so simple and unfussy.

 
    I hope you're all getting some good rest during the holidays. Let it sew, let it sew, let is sew :-)