Sunday, December 30, 2012

Completed: That Speckled Skirt + New Blouse

The skirt turned out surprisingly well, I'm happy to report. My new-found craving for learning couture sewing techniques has really driven me to expect nothing but excellence in hand sewing (time permitting)-- holding myself to a higher standard, you know? Granted, my hand stitching is still not the absolute best, but I'm determined to get there (eventually).

You can see that the stitching still needs perfecting, but alas, I know I have plenty more catch stitching in my future.

The lapped zipper was the easiest I've ever inserted. Only one machine stitch? Not having to worry about a zipper foot not sitting correctly? Ah, it was amazing! I think I just need more practice getting the seam allowances correct on it.

The weight of the skirt is amazingly supple and beautiful. I think underlining really helped with the overall quality of the garment: it actually feels high quality.

I'm kind of fudged the instructions a bit by using two layers of sew-in lightweight interfacing, rather than something a bit stiffer for the waist. I really didn't have the time to search high and low for heavyweight fusible interfacing. I'm a little worried about the waistband staying stiff and not getting crazy bendy, but I have faith it'll work out. After wearing it out once all ready, I think the waistband is (mostly) ok. Next time I make it, I'll actually have to make it not so high-- I didn't take into account my short torso.

I think I also need to trim down the waist by an inch or so. In a last ditch effort to make it fit me more snuggly I had to move the waist band button over. Next time around, maybe a size down on the waist. 

The length overall makes me really happy. It falls slightly past the knees after hemming and is actually really flattering, even with my little bit of a tummy. I am looking forward to making a few more in this length and then chopping the skirt to just slightly above the knee-- so it can work with boots. Right now this skirt is most flattering with flats or small heels.

For Christmas celebrations I also eeked out another pattern from Gertie's sewing book, the Portrait Blouse.

The fabric is silk charmeuse which is terrible to photograph properly-- but in person the color looks like Pantone's color of the year: Emerald

I have to say, the blouse is good for a one day project, but I could do better, I think. For one, the darts need to be readjusted overall: the front darts need to go up higher by at least 1.5in and the back darts by at the very least 2. The zipper I'm not so happy with, either. And I'm not sure if I have to do a sway back adjustment yet, but I think one step at a time. 

Finishing the inside of the blouse was also kind of a pain in the neck. I've never worked with fabric so flimsy- so whip stitch didn't seem to work properly at all! I think maybe lining the seam allowances with seam binding might not be a bad idea next time around. 

It really isn't a bad blouse, though, minor adjustments aside. Maybe I'll lengthen the next one a bit more, too. But for a "tuck in" blouse, I like it. I'm looking forward to making it a couple more times in different colors. The silk charmeuse was super inexpensive, (~5$ a yard)- so maybe I'll have a new blouse in a couple weeks again so I can get the design down once and for all.

This is the "finished" version of everything~ I didn't take pictures wearing these things besides the one below. 

I would apologize for the messy room, but it was Christmas Eve and nothing to be done by that time...!

Since I finished sewing everything, I haven't touched my sewing machine. Kind of burnt out from making the blouse so quickly-- I didn't get to savor the process as much as I would have liked. 

I mean, after this, would anyone blame me? Some people are quite lucky to have proportions "from the envelope"! 

This includes multiple size gradings, shortening of the bodice, full bust adjustment, and repointing the bust dart. Never mind the amount of tracing paper and tape that went into mapping this out!

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