piątek, 28 października 2016

Une jupe plissée

    Hello, dear Readers. Those of you who are following me on Instagram may have seen that some time ago I started sewing a skirt with an interesting pleat arrangement.

    The pattern is vintage Simplicity 2813 from 1958. I found it on Ebay and it came to me from the beautiful France. I love it so much I'm going to use it again and again; currently I'm thinking of navy silk shantung/dupioni or faille for the 2nd version. But back to my already sewn number 3:

 All photos by my patient Husband :)

    I used the same fabric as with my pants (I wrote about them here), a black wool blend. As with most of the vintage skirt patterns, once I've chosen the size the fit was perfect - so I made none alterations at all. Even the lenght was spot on.

 Hades the cat always wants to be the centre of attention. We're gonna forgive him, aren't we?

    The construction of the skirt is straightforward; it has side seams and center back seam as well as eight darts, which are the main reason for a good fit between waist and hips. All of the bottom part is separate, to be completed on its own and sewn to the main skirt pieces after they had been constructed as well.

A hat a day keeps the lady doctor sane :)

      On the top of the junction there is an ornamental strip of fabric, finished off with a bow (to add some texture to the bow I used Berisfords' velvet trim-the best one I've seen, found on jaycotts ).

     To get the bottom part to stand away from the skirt and accentuate the flare, I made the upper skirt-lower skirt junction as a kind of buttressed seam. That proved to be a quick solution which worked perfectly. The zipper is a lapped one, sewn by hand with prick stitches.

   The seam allowances were secured with zigzag stitch. The only struggle with this skirt was putting it the lining; I hate sewing with slippery fabrics. Even though this one was especially nice to touch and had a wonderful lustre (it's a 1980s rayon satin with a slightly irregular weave), it was a pain to sew with. I set it  in all by hand to have at least some control over this slippery devil; I wanted to attach the satin as far as it was possible to keep the lining from riding up, so I joined it to the seam allowance of the skirt's bottom part, leaving the pleats to hang freely. Still, it's the only part of the skirt that I'm not happy with.

Now all is left to do is to think about the next project :-)

czwartek, 27 października 2016

They don't make it anymore the way they used to in the 1960s

     Today's post is rather a shortie and stars Renée as the graceful model. Some time ago (oh my, 2 years to be precise) one lady from my family had heard about the fact I'm sewing and she approached me with a request. In general I don't grant "would sew me this or that" favors, but there were 3 things that made the situation different that time:
1) the lady had a fabric that we both loved
2) she has waited patiently for me to sew the dress for 2 years without as much as a word of hurrying me up
3) she wanted to have a dress like the ones worn in her youth, that is the late 60s. She sighed, looked at the clothes in her closet and said "They just don't make it anymore the way they used to in the 1960s, you know".

     The trick was that she only had a 140cm (about 1,5 yards) of the fabric. I chose Simplicity 1609, a 60s repro, because if the iconic and clearly defined A-line of the dress and clever shaping with only 4 main pieces, but the pattern called for at least 170cm of fabric.
That is why, my dear Readers, the print is awfully mismatched at the seams.
Have mercy.

 My camera had a terrible problem with focus when photographing that print.
     On the pattern cover model the dress is just above the knee, but since the future owner of this cotton frock looks her best in something just-below-the-knee, I lenghtened it by a few centimeters. I loved how the combination of bust darts and french darts shape the bodice. The lady I sewed for is big busted, so I had to modify the pattern a little bit. Aside from FBA it's a good thing to keep in mind that shortening and rounding the bust darts is a quick and simple way to flatter the D+ cups (I think I've read it somewhere in Threads).  The fabric was pure fun to sew with-a dense, cheerfully printed seersucker cotton. Beause of the yardage shortage, I made the facings out of white cotton poplin from my stash. All the seam allowances  are pinked and topstitched.

    I changed the fastening- instead of a long back zipper I made a small opening at the neck with a tiny button and a loop made of a strip os bias-cut self-fabric with the stretch steamed out of it. There is no prolem to get in and out of the dress.
As you can see in the photo above, I also made a small string-like belt to help with accentuating the waist.

 The back...

...and the insides

     Because I had so little fabric, I hemmed it with a help of white satin bias ribbon, hand stitched (as always) to avoid marking the fabric from the outside.

    I won't model the dress as it's not my size, so I hope the mannequin photos will do for you. I'm off to pack the dress as a gift :-)