Tag: dress

Creative Finishing…or Making it Work?

Things were going so well! I have done some of my best sewing in years, and then this…..


Can you see it? My bound buttonholes are literally on the edge! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I pinned the facings, so I pulled out the pattern pieces to look again. They were correct.  I studied the markings still in view, and I have no idea what I did to make this happen (other than the obvious screw up of not marking correctly)! I admit it really took the wind out of my sails, but after sulking for a day, I gave myself a lecture and we moved on. After all, there was no fixing it, so there is nothing to do but keep going! Yes, the life lessons learned while sewing. It doesn’t matter how old you are or how much experience you have…humble pie is part of the deal, thankfully not too often.

I decided a break was in order, so left the coat and moved over to the dress, which had three main pieces. I decided that I would pin baste the organza to the linen and serge the edges. Not the best way to handle it, but I needed to move a lot faster, and that would save some steps. The potential for error was there, but thankfully, no mishaps, and the small bit of overhang will disappear when I fold up the hem.


The darts were straightforward. I marked the organza , then thread basted on the drawn lines and sewed them, tying knots at the points. The invisible zipper went in smoothly, good thing, because my choices were gray or white. I  bought the gray, but didn’t really like it when I pinned it in. The smooth application made it a non issue, because it is invisible. I’ll use some nail polish on the tab to lighten it up.

The most challenging part of this dress was attaching the facing to the lining. I thread basted the curves, they were pretty crazy! I decided to top-stitch everything down once it was pressed, just to keep everything in place. Another round of crazy curves and understitching to get the armhole and neckline, as well as the back straps, which were surprisingly straightforward. Finally, I could actually put it on, and …..it fits! ­čśů

In between, I did bits of hand stitching of the coat, so it didn’t just languish. After a quick DSCN0917check in with the graduate to be, I gave it one more push before I called it a night and took up my knitting needles to try to finish MIL’s birthday shawl. Today I tackled the nasty business of dealing with the buttonhole facings, and have determined that of course now my buttons are not going through those holes and will have to be downsized. However, I don’t anticipate buttoning the coat next week, so I think I’ll just go ahead with my oversized buttons for now. That leaves me with only the coat lining hem and the actual dress hem. Having the silk organza will make the dress hem a snap, no worries about it showing on the right side.

So, in spite of the nasty discovery that I’d made a huge mistake, with no option to change it, I still think I have a great outfit for this coming weekend. Back to the ironing board! Next time you see it, I’ll be wearing it!



´╗┐Fabric Hunting

dscn0703I’ve shared often that we have no good apparel fabric stores in the area. That makes for a lot of extra time and searching when looking for something special. Access to stores through the Internet is wonderful, but it still doesn’t replace seeing and touching. I have had some great input from folks concerning my quest for fabric to make the dress in Vogue 1537. Some of you got me thinking in several different directions, which was very helpful.

Armed with my new possibilities, I again hit the web, and still had difficulties in finding things I felt might work. I did save one link to some pink linen at the Denver Fabric Warehouse, but the more I have thought about it, the more I really don’t want to go with pink unless I have no other choice. Another day dawned, and a new search began. This time I searched by city, and started with Minneapolis. Bingo, maybe! I found a store that specializes in silk, linen and wool, along with other less exotic yardage. The Sewing Lounge┬áadvertised on their web site that they specialize in support and project completion, having lessons and the ability to sew on site. Interesting! I wrote to Maggy, and asked about help with matching fabric, and she replied within an hour, saying that they would be happy to help me via mail, and if I would send a swatch, she sewing lounge logowould try to provide me with several options, so there is hope!

I sent my swatch in the mail last Friday and will be waiting for swatches this week. Meanwhile, I’m going to lay out the coat, and possibly purchase the lining here in town for both. I am really looking forward to getting Maggy’s envelope! She emailed me today, letting me know she had received the swatch and telling me she is sending a variety of colors and neutrals from their stock! I can’t wait to see what she sent!

Sewing for Me!

Yes, I have made a decision about the first thing Iwill sew   for our graduation trip to California….and the winner is….the Kay Unger dress and coat! Now there is some altering to do on this dress; it needs to be longer, and I think that the back may be a bit wild for a daytime dress.  

Now for the fabric…I have two fabrics in my stash that I would consider, but both require finding a match, so the hunt is on! Girl #2 says that the temps could be in the 90’s, so I definitely need to consider that! 

My first choice is to use this for the coat. Unfortunately,  there will not be enough fabric to do the entire thing, so I’m going to need to be careful and creative. This fabric is a silk linen blend, really great texture, with a faint window pane plaid. I am trying to decide my best course of action, assuming that it will be impossible to match the blue. There is the white of course, along with a thread of pale pink and melon running through it.

After spending the afternoon cutting about 40 pattern pieces, I believe that I can squeak most of the coat out of the silk/linen. I think the pockets will fit, leaving me option of adding just a bit of something like a floral print, maybe for the buttonholes and the tabs on the sleeves. 

I have also found a pink linen that looks like a decent match, but maybe that’s too silly for an old mom? I would love to do a floral, but I think that may be too much. Or I could go with plain white and put a band of color or floral on the bottom…ugh!

Opinions? Advice? Fabric shops?  Anyone with a totally different idea? I’m interested in any and every possibility!