Friday, October 31, 2014

Latest Multi-Size Pattern, the 1947 McCall Two-Piece Suit

Originally by McCall, this two-piece suit is now in multiple sizes for 32 to 46 bust:

The five-piece skirt is split at the hem in front.  The New Look influence is apparent in the princess-seam jacket for its unique button-trimmed peplum front.
As a construction note on the inside corner of the jacket peplum inset, I recommend making use of the small facing technique I advised for turning corners that are lapped or top-stitched as demonstrated here on a godet:

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Finishing waistband on the 1929 skirt, patterns SE20-5955/B20-5955

This summer, I worked with my skirt project from the 1929 Ensemble pattern.

The details originally included with the pattern do not lend much insight, so I am sharing my way of going about it in photos below.
I sewed the skirt in chocolate wool crepe and lined it in silk habotai.  The first photo demonstrates placing the front and back facings for the left side opening which I cut from the lining fabric.  This step is straight from the original instruction (click images for larger views):

Please note that I deviated from the original construction advice for this skirt by joining all the skirt seams in the regular manner, that is, I did not use lapped seam construction.  It is my way of keeping the finish of the skirt really clean.
That said, the next step will be easier on a skirt with the seams joined in the plain manner, not lapped.
For the curved tab ends of the front and back yokes, I cut small facings from the according portion of each yoke pattern using the lining fabric once again.  I made use of the selvedge so as to avoid having to turn that inner edge under, thus creating more bulk:

The front yoke facing pinned into place (with facing for front closing un-pinned enough to get yoke facing stitched in).  I stopped sewing the seam between the front yoke and skirt front 3/8" from the edge just below the curved part of the front yoke.  This allows me to use 3/8" seam allowance when sewing the small facing to all corresponding edges with the yoke front:

A view of clipping to join the small back yoke facing at right side of skirt:

Everything on the inside of the skirt will be covered when the small facing is turned inward (side closure front binding shown turned and stitched into place):

Alternately, if you are lapping the skirt seams together, when clipping, you will want to ensure that the lapped seam stitching is backed away from raw edges enough that when you clip into the skirt to join these additional facings, none of your top-stitching will be compromised.

I created the waistband using dyed grosgrain ribbon with ribbon seam binding per original instructions.  A view of the waistband as it is turned and slip-stitched inside the skirt:

...and a view of the waistband in place:

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Make it with Wool 2014 - Part 2

Pardon my lengthy pause in getting this and following posts up.  Our dear family pet passed away and it has been devastating so I have just been working slowly at the interim.

As for the sheer wool dress, I joined the interlined bodice pieces with regular seams.  I use silk thread when sewing wool for beautiful seams that are subtle, yet very durable.  Before these regular seams are joined, I had to finish all edges of the non-interlined bodice front/scarf that were to be left free with rolled hems.

Again, I used white thread in photos below for better visibility, but of course I stitched the final rolled hems with black silk thread.  I made a line of stay-stitching by machine 1/4" from the raw edge where roll hemming was to be done.   Following McCall's advice in Dressmaking Made Easy, published 1946, on hand rolling hems was as follows, 'Roll edges as you make stitches from right to left.  Pass the needle under the rolled edge, not through it.'
In the case of this sheer which is of a gauzy grid weave, I caught one thread of the scarf and one thread at the bottom edge of the roll just above (click images for larger views):

The stitches at wrong side of scarf once they are slightly drawn to form the rolled edge:

On the right side of the scarf, the stitches are barely visible:

The center front rolled edges complete with hooks and bars sewn on the wrong side and tailor tacks mark button trim placement:

Per my previous post, when rolling the center front edges of the sheer wool scarf from the shoulder seam down to the bottom of the front opening, I used Threads technique from issue 172 (April/May 2014), pg. 62 for Design Plus Straight Fusible (superfine weight) Stay Tape.  I applied it directly along the raw edge of the scarf on this edge to add stability since the scarf closes at center front with hooks, bars and is trimmed with glass buttons. Below is another rolled hem detail shot on the finished dress:

While on the subject of hems in this dress project, I turn to those of the short sleeves.  Enter another Threads technique from the same article when it comes to reinforcing a sheer with self-edging.  I cut a bias strip of the sheer with which to finish the hem edge of each sleeve per the suggestions given by Lyla, but I omitted use of the recommended fine, paper-backed fusible web tape.  This is because I didn't think I would need the tape and I was right since the wool sheer compresses so nicely, I really acquired a nice edge in this manner.  Below, the bias strip is pinned into place on the right side of the sleeve:

A good look at just how sheer this wool is had in this shot of the sleeve.  Here, the bias strip is turned to the wrong side of the sleeve after the seam allowance is trimmed to 1/4":

The last demonstration regards another manner of hemming in the form of seam finishes for the skirt and skirt lining (lining shown below just below left side opening).  To manage keeping seam allowances closed and very clean, I opted for a felled French seam (a.k.a. self-bound seam) in which the seams are joined with right sides together (I did so via directional sewing) and one seam allowance edge is trimmed to within 1/8" of the seam stitching.  The remaining seam allowance edge is turned under and felled over the trimmed edge to be catch-stitched into place:

In the next post regarding the competition dress, I will 'map' edge-stitching the bodice lining after it is placed in the bodice.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Make it with Wool 2014 Projects

First of a series detailing my 2014 Make it with Wool entry.

I am creating Vogue's 1937 Dress from pattern 573 in a featherweight black sheer wool.  The wool has a fine grid weave which lends a graphic quality to the dress and gives it an edge.  My intent is to demonstrate wool's diaphanous ability by using this sheer so the short sleeves, front scarf inset and skirt hem are left un-lined.  This way, the translucent sheer is really played up against the opaque china silk-lined parts of the dress.

The second piece of my entry is Vogue's 1937 Coat from pattern 3916 in black wool jacquard.  This is a medium-weight coating which is a little chunky with floral patterns in the weave so the jacquard surface reads almost as though it were pixilated.  Parts of the jacquard weave are more open than others so there is a transparency in this wool as well.  I will line the coat with a contrasting glacial blue silk satin, the idea being that as the coat moves and catches light, hints of the contrasting lining will pop through the more open parts of the jacquard weave.  In tune with the dress, this is the coat's play on translucency and opacity.

Additionally, my approach has been to explore gradient, light and shadow as well as the different graphic scales of each fabric weave in this two-piece ensemble.

The first photo shows the dress bodice and skirt back cut from the sheer wool before I placed the respective interlining (click images for larger views):

The inside of the assembled coat before I placed the lining:

The dress bodice pieces (aside from the scarf front insert and sleeves) are interlined with silk organza to give structure and to obscure where seam allowances would show through the sheer.  There is simply a lining under the skirt pieces.  I left the skirt pieces without interlining as part of the gradient effect and for a natural hand of the sheer to be obtained.  On that account, the skirt requires different treatment of the seams than those of the bodice (details about that later).

Each bodice piece was also cut in silk organza.  I did not cut notches, but rather marked them with tailor tacks as shown in blue thread:

and hand-basted to the wrong side of each respective sheer piece:

I started assembling the dress by handling the pieces to be left sheer first.  All non-seamed edges of the front scarf insert had to be hand-rolled before I could start joining seams.
I went for Threads Magazine's recommendation of Design Plus Straight Fusible Stay Tape (April/May 2014, issue 172) when rolling the neck edges of the scarf for support since the scarf closes at center front with hooks, bars and is trimmed with glass buttons.  The tape is superfine weight and doesn't interfere with the fabric's natural hand.  The tape I used is black, 3/8" wide.  Since I hand-rolled edges that would only take up 3/8" of the fabric's edge where 5/8" seam allowances were given, I trimmed 1/4" off the edges to be hand rolled ONLY!  This meant leaving the full 5/8" given where the scarf edges would not be rolled and thus joined in bodice seams.  The photo shows a test piece having been trimmed.  I did stay-stitching in white for visibility:

Right side of the front scarf insert, tailor tacks indicate placement so I know where to stop trimming for hand-rolling the edges:

Next post, I'll pick up at hand-rolling the scarf edges.

Patterns Update - 6 Additions

Although it has been some time since I last posted here, there have been a number of patterns added to the site.  First off, the 1927 Frock by McCall is now in sizes 14 to 46.  It features an optional asymmetrical over-blouse and tunic skirt over the frock skirt front and back, a very unique style that is simple yet loaded with details:

Closely following the August issue of the 1927 Frock was this French design for a princess seam sweetheart neck-line dress with kimono sleeves.  Since this was originally a custom grade project, the size range is from 32 to 40" bust. I will add more sizes according to demand.  Please note the size standards are different for this pattern, so be sure to read the description on the pattern page below:

Also in multi-size patterns, the 1930 Frock by McCall in sizes 14 through 46.  It is THE quintessential Deco frock!

The set of four hats by Butterick is the last of the pre-fall patterns I have made available.  I was particularly excited about this one for the cloche styles!

As I advised in previous posts, my personal sewing had taken a real back seat due to business demands.   I hung up the sheer halter project (I modified from the 1956 McCall's swimsuit pattern) to be revived again in time for next summer.  Another reason for staving off that sewing; the sewing time I have gotten, I have been at the two competition pieces I will submit for this year's Make it with Wool competition.  I had shared the first image below to demonstrate the sheer quality of the wool for making the Vogue 573 dress (shows the bodice and skirt back pieces).

Now you also see the jacquard wool for the 1937 Vogue coat which has wonderful translucent qualities:

I am happily working up a post of detail images of the progress on the dress and the coat which you will be seeing in a few hours.
Happy fall sewing!