Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Completed Shirtdress!

So I made a shirtdress. It started off as Mccalls 6696. In admiration of Mary at Idle Fancy I decided to join in the Autumn of 1000 shirtdresses.

I planned to use my newly drafted bodice sloper to assist in fitting. The shoulder was quite different so I decided just to use the sloper, despite the fact I hadn't even begun to watch the sleeve drafting class I signed up to. I manipulated the front darts to match the pattern and cut off a back yoke then roughly slashed and spread the remainder to form the gathers. I used the original pattern for the sleeves with a small fitting change for a bit more room in the bicep, and original collar and placket. This was not such a great idea, the armhole needs work and it would definitely have made sense to have started with a simpler garment with no top stitching. I had to take the waist in by 4", not sure how that happened! My placket was too short so I had to slightly shorten the dress, the collar fitted ok.

I am pleased with it overall, and pleased to participate in the challenge. Check out the flickr group to see the other participants.

The fabric is a mid weight cotton from les coupons saint pierre, a fantastic shop in Paris which sells great value 3 metre lengths. The quality is always lovely and this fabric was only 10 euro for three metres. I still have not found anywhere here to buy buttons, hundreds of fabric shops selling polyester in every colour of the rainbow, but no buttons. Our sea shipment has arrived so I now have all of my sewing supplies and these buttons were in my stash.

Monday, 12 January 2015

I knew I would not have access to my fabric and sewing supplies for a few weeks during our recent move to Saudi Arabia so I decided to use the time to do a project that needed few supplies. I signed up for Craftsy's Bodice Sloper Class with Suzy Furrer. I think these classes are ridiculously overpriced, I paid a quarter of the list price by waiting for a sale, I would recommend to anyone to do the same as they come around quite frequently.

Lots of bloggers have put this a New Year's resolution, so I felt very clever to have started this in November! Every dress or top I made in 2014 had fit problems in the neck and I ended up pulling it in with gathers and finishing with bias. This is my chance to fix these problems. The class is very good, Suzy is incredibly thorough, she is completely clear at every step and makes sure everything is checked. She answered my questions promptly. I was concerned at first that despite all the measuring we were still using industry standards for measurements such as waist to hip, this felt to me to defeat the object, but I now  think she is right about this. As a first attempt at drafting it is helpful to keep some consistencies as a starting point and to make it easier to evaluate the fit. First we drafted a moulage:

This is supposed to fit like a second skin, much closer fitting than a sloper. It has 4 darts, shoulder, arm hole, side and waist. We bowed out the waist darts for a closer fit and I bowed out my shoulder dart and managed to get a really good fit in the neck, which is brilliant. I realised that this shaping is only possible with some sort of shoulder dart or seam so that is really useful to know and seems so obvious now, not every pattern or style line is going to work for everyone. We did a bit of dart manipulation to make a princess seamed pattern to sew this up.

Then we turned this into a sloper by adding ease in a few places:

It still has 4 darts in the front, 2 in back, you can see where I marked in the shaping of the shoulder dart I did, I took in quite a lot. I realise now I have forward rolling shoulders which cause this, it is nothing to do with having a large bust. I'm not sure if the armhole will need some refining. She doesn't suggest making a muslin of this, maybe a simple garment would be better to test it. There is very little information on drafting in this class.

I initially want to use this for fitting patterns, to do this I will have to make a new version with 2 or 3 darts as a better point of comparison.

This process is quite dry, I found myself desperate for colour after this, but it is so worthwhile, a very good class despite the price.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Hi, I'm Izzy, and this is my place to record and share my creative ideas, projects and inspirations. Most will be textile related including garment sewing, but will also soon include new adventures in print making and art quilting. We have just moved to Saudi Arabia with our young family of Tadhg 8, Blathnaid 5, and Maeve 3, so hope to have many adventures to share from this new exciting place.