Sunday, June 15, 2008

A Fitting Post

(that's a title for my Dad, except I don't think he reads this!)

First, the shots of the original attempt at the vintage dress bodice. Keep in mind that the pattern is designed for someone who's 3" smaller around the chest than I am - the bodice pattern is a little complicated, so I basted and pinned a muslin together out of an old sheet to see where I could add the extra.

(the trial fit of last post's skirt makes an appearance too!)

Ummm - not only do I have about 2" of ease under the bustline, but it keeps falling off my shoulders!! I've cut out a second version, adding 1" to the V at the neckline to see if that's enough to hold it on. I might be able to cross the pieces over more at the base too - depending on how the skirt fits on. So I've cut out the skirt pieces as long as the hip line to see how that all fits together. I mean, it is a bit of a daring look - but I'd like to actually keep the dress on!

In other fitting news, starting the second sure-to-be-finished-for-the-JCC:

Vogue 8324 skort. Definitely "vintage", but I can't find a date on it anywhere. Somehow I assumed 70's. If it turns out to be 60's, I'll regret drawing on it with pencil. 1970s doesn't seem old enough for me to warrant museum-like reverence ;). Definitely a lot more expensive than the 1950's patterns I have, so I think I'm safe.

So the first thing I did was to lay the shorts part of the pattern over my most recent pants-fitting pattern. Which of course had me straightening the back crotch line almost vertical, scooping out the back curve, and shortening the depth by a fair whack. (This is where the pencil entered the picture.)

Not bad for a first attempt. Although this shot was telling:

See the angle the side seam makes to the horizontal? Part and parcel of the extra fabric under the backside. Everything is getting tilted towards the front.

Having looked up my trusty Pants Fit for Real People, well for about the hundredth time, I saw a little box about this very thing - flat seat + tummy = whole pants rotation. They said to pull the front pattern down, and pull the back up. Problem is, I'd already worked so hard over the past few years getting that crotch curve right!! So I was thinking... I need to do the swing forward, but then redraw the original crotch curve on the new pattern. So I laid out the pattern pieces crotch point to crotch point to trace the curve. Then I stared at the pieces a LONG time. What I finally came up with was rotating each piece about the top-side-seam (which is supposed to stay stable), until I'd pulled the front centre point down 1/2" and the back centre point up 1/2". Then I drew in the new side and inseams, leaving the top the same as before (which effectively added the 1/2" to the front, and took off 1/2" from the back). Then I tried to squeek the new seam lines onto the existing pieces...

Now, would you look at that vertical line!! Best of all, they feel so much better!

The astute among you will no doubt note that the drag lines on the front have gotten worse :(. I was playing around with the darts... Ah, well, all of this is going to be covered up by the skirt anyway, so I don't know if I'll bother fixing it. My go-to pants pattern has no more darts in front at all - this is the reason! Thing is, if I take the darts out entirely here, I'll have to recut the front yoke pieces, because they won't be long enough, so I'll see how much the perfectionist wars with the completionist. During contest season? My bet is on completion!

Funny thing?

See step 4: "Insert zipper in front opening". That's the sum total of that instruction. I thought the vintage dress pattern had terse descriptions! At least that one has a whole back-of-the-page for general sewing instructions - this one had nothing! I saw from the diagram that it was a centred zipper application, but it's been so long since I'd done one, I had to pull out my Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Sewing for a refresher!


And here's hoping for a bit of a pick up in sewing speed from now on, June is half over, and the capsule contest requires more than 2 items!!

Sadly, my photographer was unavailable, so I tried to make do with the self-timer...

Not bad! Pretty decent on the colour, a little off on the clear line of sight (this was the best one!), and I am leaning back, which is making my stomach stick out more than usual. But nice general idea.

But general ideas are never enough, are they? So back to the bathroom mirror shots for a slightly more holistic view...

The view which says "clean your mirror!" and "iron your skirt first!" ;).

But even that isn't really picking up the details, so here comes the macro shots!

And the nitty gritty, for my records should I try and repeat this one! (I spent half the project wracking my brain trying to remember what I used this pattern for before, since it had wheel dents from transferring things like pocket placement with carbon paper on it... finally remembered an ill-fated attempt at using "linen-look" polyester discount fabric for a knee-length version - it ravelled and pilled and was definitely not the kind of fabric you try to put patch pockets on - it's long gone. But I wish I'd made notes then about what I did fitting wise! Then again, the answer was probably "nothing" :P)


Simplicity 9842, juniors (hey, it's an a-line skirt, what's junior sizing going to do to me?), what eventually turned out to be size 13/14 (which should not have been near fitting my waist... I suspect the dreaded Ease again!). The only funky thing I did with this is attempt to compensate for the sway back + pouch tummy by making the top of the yoke/waistband with less seam allowance on the front pieces and more on the back pieces, but since I only offset them by 1/4" total, I don't think it made any difference. There's not much space to angle it anyway, it's quite a narrow yoke, so to do it properly, I'd have to start from the side seams of the skirt on up. The main part of the skirt is in a very light blue cotton chambray, the contrast band is an intense blue stretch cotton. All in all, a pretty easy sew (yeah, I don't know why it took me so long either).

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Vintage Patterns, Part 2

As you may have noticed, there's been a slight delay on the "current projects" front, but hopefully we will be back with our regularly scheduled programming shortly. In the mean time: more eye candy!!

Anne Adams 4702, size "14 YR-32 BUST". LOVING the swing jacket (named "short sleeve bolero" on the pattern). The pattern includes the jacket, a 4 panel skirt, and a blouse which they only have a teeny-tiny drawing of - I think it's a jewel neckline, wide-shoulder=cap-sleeve little shell. As with the dress pattern from the newspaper, the instructions for all three pieces are in the 6.5x18 inch section at the bottom of the instruction sheet (the top being the size chart, piece drawings, layout instructions, and the illustration shown above). The back of the sheet has general sewing info. I hope those ladies had good reference books! Unprinted. No date on the pattern, but the mailing envelope had a 1 cent stamp sent Aug 28, 1949. Funny thing is, the newspaper was based in Halifax (even the pattern department according to the return address label), the customer was in Lunenberg (about 1.5 hours away), and the stamp says the pattern itself was sent from Ontario!! Centralization must be a long tradition ;).

Also loving this jacket!! Anne Adams 4906, size 15 (33-27-36), unprinted. Sent from the Star Weekly in Toronto, Feb 18, 1949. Well, I guess if this style was common for "jackets" in 1949, then the previous picture is definitely a "bolero"! I'll have to try sketching this out on my croquis - I tend to do well with the princess seams, but I can sometimes read as a "pear", and depending on where the peplum hits, I may end up looking stuffed in this.

Simplicity 1490. Waist 24, Hip 33 (no sizes but waist measurements). 1956, printed. I really liked this when I thought it was a dress. I might have to draft a boatnecked shell to add onto the skirt one day! Two very wide skirts (between 2 and 3 yards of fabric in a knee-length skirt!), version 1 is pleated at the top, and version 2 is gathered. The pattern for the cummerbund is included.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Due to Popular Request...

(ok, due to one request - but around here, that's popular!! So Em from Stitcher's Guild, here you go!)

Part 1 of ? of the vintage pattern haul.

These are the other dresses that were in contention for making up soon. I do still have some mint rayon that needs to be a dress, but I'm not sure I could get away with THIS much mint...

McCall's 4597, marked "Easy to Sew". Size 14 (34-26-36), which is in a different proportion to the 14 I'm making up now (32-26.5-35). Cut on sleeves, front boat-neck and back v-neck (I like back v's!). It's a printed pattern from 1958.

Simplicity 4249. Size 13 (31-25.5-34). The McCalls had the odd number sizing separate as Juniors', here they are all thrown together, and generally go up an inch at a time. A halter dress and jacket. The skirt is one big rectangle, the bodice front and collar is all one piece (ok, two pieces - one for each side!), and the midriff band is one piece in front, but three in back. The jacket has the sleeves cut on. 1953, printed.

Butterick 6300. Size 14 (32-26.5-35). And I quote from the envelope back: "Season's favorite fashion has charming feminine touches. Softly draped bodice, cut-in-one with the little cropped sleeves, is underscored with smart button detail. The skirt billows luxuriously from the tiny waist." I hope the tiny waist thing isn't a prerequisite for this look! It's a full circle skirt (with even more volume, because the top is still pleated even with the arc!). The rest of the pieces look a little odd - it'll be a puzzle putting this one together! No date on the envelope or instruction page - I don't want to go through the whole printed pattern to see if it's stamped on there somewhere. Stated price: 50 cents.

Advance 6712 (American Designer Pattern: Sylvia Franklin). Size 15 (Junior - 33-27-36) View 1 (the plain version) is recommended for bridesmaid dresses - even though it's View 2 Girl who has the bouquet and hat-with-net on. Actually, if you used the jacket pieces instead of the bodice, this would be getting very close to the dress I'm trying to make now (which is a Leading Designer Pattern, but a different designer - must have been something in the water...). Unprinted, undated, 50 cents.

That's all for today folks. Tune in next time for the further adventures of "what? a 32" bust bodice fits as is??".