Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Frankendress 2014-01 Butterick 1983 4948 and Lecien Chatter Tailors 2000's 2402: Part V

Finished the purple Frankendress this weekend!

My mother says I need to dress more provocatively.  I wish I were joking.

Started another Butterick 4948 adaptation--this one in blue striped bedsheet with buttons down the front.  It will have short sleeves and . . . I'm not sure what kind of neckline.  Maybe a flat collar.

Rather useless pic.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Frankendress 2014-01 Butterick 1983 4948 and Lecien Chatter Tailors 2000's 2402: Part IV

So the sleeve draft was a failure.  I went back to the trace-the-armscye sleeve, cleaned it up, and made a new test sleeve that seems to work.  So on with that.  I'm pretty sick of sleeves at this point.  I do want to try the sleeve draft again sometime, though, to see if I can make it work.

I didn't get any other sewing done this weekend, though.  A long-time friend is moving and I spent most of the weekend loading music into the computer, and then loading a Shuffle for her to take with her (we had a bunch of out-of-production records converted to CD a couple of years ago, so I have a bunch of music that she can't get). 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Frankendress 2014-01 Butterick 1983 4948 and Lecien Chatter Tailors 2000's 2402: Part III Sleeve rough draft

This is a very rough draft of the new sleeve cap, done according to the BurdaStyle directions.  The BurdaStyle draft is mean to be done using a bodice block, not an actual pattern, but since this is a commercial pattern the finished pattern is all I have.  It's not a precision tailoring project, anyway.

I did this on my lunch break and didn't have my curves or anything.  It obviously needs a lot of cleaning up, and it will also need a lot more adjustment.  It's only 13 1/2 inches wide and it needs to be about 16, which will involve spreading the sleeve and lowering the cap (the front of the sleeve is to the right in the picture).  I'm a little skeptical about the degree to which it's slated forward, too, but I guess we'll find out how that goes.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Frankendress 2014-01 Butterick 1983 4948 and Lecien Chatter Tailors 2000's 2402: Part II

I did two test sleeves yesterday.  I winged it and drafted the first one by tracing the armscyes from the bodice pattern, which is an idea I got from Sew Store-Bought and have used in the past with a reasonable measure of success.  It worked kind of well this time, except that the whole thing was off balance and basically hung across the grain.  I tried to even things up so the underarm seam would match and the sleeve would hang with the grain of the fabric but I only made it worse. 

So neither sleeve is usable, really.  I'm going to try again tonight to straighten out the first sleeve, but I probably need to actually draft a sleeve based on the bodice again (as seen at Leena's).  I know the cap needs to be off-center for this one.

Since that didn't fly, I went ahead and started the buttonbands last night, so at least I could get ahead on some handwork until I was ready for the sleeves.

Not much to see here.  They'll be topstitched by machine, but I'm turning and doing the inner edge with a ladder stitch first:

Will look more or less like so when they're done:

Monday, August 18, 2014

Frankendress 2014-01: Butterick 1983 4948 and Lecien Chatter Tailors 2000's 2402

The following project has no point.

Well, I guess the point is to produce a dress, but the entire thing is being conducted so haphazardly that . . . I don't know.  Sewing by the seat of my pants.

I have no idea where I got this fabric, probably either from Sheila in Louisiana or at the antique mall.  I never find this much yardage at Goodwill or garage sales.  I think it's an old VIP print

I wanted a loosely fitted bodice so I took the bodice from 4948 . . .

  . . . shortened it, and added darts.

I'm sure this didn't actually make sense but the pattern pieces were already on hand.

I borrowed the skirt from Lecien Chatter Tailors 2402 (2000's?  It might be dated but it's mostly in Japanese so I have no idea):

The skirt is somewhere between a semicircle and a rectangle.  A gently-flared pseudo-rectangle, really.  Nothing special about this except the pattern was nearby and it was slightly faster than eyeballing it myself.

I may also borrow the sleeves from this, or at least the idea of the sleeves.  They're 3/4 length and gathered a little bit into narrow bands.

I already borrowed the bound neckline idea:

It has side-seam pockets and it will have a button band all the way down the front, with pearlescent off-white 3/4-inch buttons.  It should be just below the knee (about the same length as the 4948 flapper dresses; not so long).

(The waistline is a bit raised, and the button band will make the whole thing wider.  It's not as tall and skinny as it seems here.)

Butterick 1983 4948: Finals

The wearable muslin:

The bust darts are way too low--I overcorrected--but I still love this dress.  Ridiculously comfortable.  Really easy to make.

Version 2, made from the Richloom pinks print with red trim.  I raised the waist seam two inches.  The fabric is heavier and stiffer so it stands out around my hips, but I'm OK with that (and it will soften).  

Friday, August 15, 2014

Clare Lee Brick Part IV

Yeah, the neckline is too big.  The fit is good but I'd still like it bigger.  I'm going to finish this one with the frogged yarn from the failed black sweater, and then do another, starting with a small neckline.  Also, four stitches is nowhere near enough to pick up across the underarm; I did eight and there were still gaps.  

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Butterick 1983 4948 Belle France #2 Part II

Can I choose buttons, or can I choose buttons?

I spent my lunch break marking the skirt and running a gathering thread through it, so I hope I'll have a dress, if not finished, at least almost in one piece soon.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Clare Lee "Brick" sweater Part III

Again, not much to see.  I've just started the ribbing around the bottom.  That will leave the sleeves and the neckline.  I think the neckline is going to be too big--when I make this again, I'll probably cast on for a small and then keep increasing to a medium, or whatever.

(The back of the sweater.)

Butterick 1983 4948 Belle France #2 Part I

I found, once I started wearing it, that I had way overcorrected the bust darts on the blue 4948, and they were far too low.  No big deal; it's only a casual dress.  I retraced the pattern this weekend and lowered them half an inch.

Of course, once I got started, all kinds of fabrics started begging to be made into summer flapper dresses.  I found this awesome Richloom pinks (the flower, not the color) print at Joann's (coupon, baby!):

I decided to go with bright red binding on the neck and armscyes, and I found light turquoise buttons with white rims for the front placket.  I don't have the skirt attached yet so there isn't a picture, but I shortened the bodice two inches--it should it at the high hip now.

This was taken before I bound the armscyes.  The bias is cut from a red print I found in the fat quarter racks (the Scientific Seamstress has an easy and totally doable bias-cutting tutorial):

I'd like to get the buttonholes done tonight and at least get started on the skirt.  I'm thinking of doing bias stripes on the skirt, too.  It might be overkill but . . . whatever.  Part of me wants to do a scalloped skirt edge but maybe that's definitely overkill?

Monday, August 4, 2014

Butterick 4948 (1983?) Belle France drop-waist dress, Part III

I didn't get as much done this weekend as I'd hoped but I did make some progress.

I attached the skirt.  I didn't really have enough fabric so there are no sleeves, only one pocket, and the skirt itself is pieced in five unevenly-sized panels.  Whatever.  This is a wearable muslin, anyway, so it doesn't have to be perfection.

Waist seam bound in yellow bias, because I had a lot of it:

I keep swearing I'll never work with bias-cut cotton-polyester again, and I keep proving myself a liar.  But gingham is so hard to find otherwise.

I did a front neck placket instead of the zipper in the back.

Inside out.  I have a lot of hand seam-finishing to do, and the buttons (I did the buttonholes last night; there are only three) but then it's done.  Nice, easy, dress.

The pattern only allows a 5/8-inch narrow hem on the skirt.  I hate narrow hems on skirts so we went with more bias gingham.  You can see the one pocket there on the right-hand side, and there is an odd seam in skirt just left of center in the picture.  Oh, well.  This actually made me kind of want to do a dress pieced in tilted plaids.

In the future:
1) Shorted bodice by about three inches.  This looks as it should from a design standpoint, but the waist seam hits right at the widest part of everyone's hips.  It would look less extreme and more flattering if it were at the high hip/low waist.
2) Lengthen skirt accordingly, of course.
3) Possibly put a seam up the back, curved in slightly, to take up a little of the fullness.
4) Lower bust darts about an inch.  I redid them on the muslin, but I need to do that on the pattern, too.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Butterick 4948 (1983?) Belle France drop-waist dress, Part II

No pix.  I took out the bust darts last night and re-set them lower.  I don't think it will need an FBA now that the darts are in a better position.

I got blue and white gingham to make binding for the neck and armscyes.

Clare Lee "Brick" sweater Part II

I just finished the raglan increases, moved the sleeves to waste yarn, and cast on the underarms.  It doesn't look like much, though:

Monday, July 28, 2014

Butterick 4948 (1983?) Belle France drop-waist dress, Part I

Mispickel was completely out of control yesterday and I didn't get anywhere near as much sewing done as I hoped.

She finally fell asleep and I started the pattern grading on Butterick 4948 (1983), the Belle France drop-waist pattern.  I'm using the closed neckline from A but the plain skirt from B, graded up to a 12 from an 8, and a little extra added around the hips.

I think it might need a small FBA overall, but it's pretty close.  The side-seams are curved inward a little so it's loose without being a complete potato sack.

I forgot to lower the bust darts or this would almost be the start of a wearable muslin, if I have enough left to cobble together a skirt.  Maybe with blue gingham armscye and neck binding?   I might take the seams out and see if I can fake the bust darts lower to salvage the muslin.

 The original plan was for this to be black floral with short, cuffed sleeves.  Probably with buttons all the way down, too (we were going for a 1990's feel here):

And then a purple.  I thought it would have buttons all the way down, too, but I'm kind of thinking placket.  Long sleeves, if the yardage will allow?  Band collar?  Peter pan collar?  No collar?  Three-quarter sleeves?

Clare Lee "Brick" sweater Part I

One of my biggest hobby problems is focus.  I just have too many ideas and nowhere near enough time or energy to execute them, so when I do get a little time I go nuts and can't decide what to do with it.  

I started a black sweater a couple of years ago but didn't like how it was turning out, so frogged it and put the whole thought aside.  I've been going around and around and around about sweaters and finally decided to just pick a simple one, for which I could use yarn I already had (in this case, the frogged black Lion Wool-Ease), and start.  

The pattern I picked was Clare Lee's "Brick", which is a top-down seamless raglan pullover.  "Top down" and "seamless" are magic words for knitters.  Top-down means you start at the neck, which means you can try it on as you go and you won't have to worry about getting the length wrong: You just keep knitting until it's as long as you want (you do this for both the body and the sleeves).  

"Seamless" means just that--you knit on circular needle so there aren't any side-seams and, in this case, since it has raglan shoulders, there aren't any shoulder seams.  Seaming knits is a pain in the rear.

Not much to see yet, just a few rows of neckline:

I picked this because, well, top-down and seamless, and it got generally good reviews.  This one is supposed to be slubby--I'm making a size large and not doing the waist shaping or sleeve tapering.  The neckline seems to be designed to be wide so if I make a more fitted one, I'll probably cast on for a small and keep increasing until I get to a medium.

I bought this 1950's sweater pattern on Etsy a year or so ago.  It's worked flat and seamed (circular needles weren't that popular in the 1950's and they're only used on the yoke here), which seems like an unnecessary pain.  My goal is to rework it once I have a better idea of what I'm doing.  I think it will probably be the body in one piece and then the yoke picked up and knitted upwards, but we'll see.

Triangular Shawl #1 Doctor Who remnants: Part III

It looks pretty much the same, just bigger.  I don't have an updated photo.  I think I have about six inches left to go, which is probably another repeat of stripes worth.  Maybe two repeats, as long as the yarn holds out.  No point in making it undersized.  One more repeat would be about 27 inches from nape to lower point, and that seems to be a minimum size for triangular shawls (by about 50 inches' "wingspan").

Monday, July 21, 2014

Trianglular shawl #1 Doctor Who remnants: Part II

Listening: Polly Jean Harvey

I ended up going to Joann's and buying a skein of light blue yarn just so this shawl wouldn't have only two little blue stripes, which would make it look hopelessly makeshift.  But it was only one skein and it was on sale, right?

(That's gray, not olive green, and rust, not bright red.)  I am determined to do this without buying yet another, still-longer, cable needle.  Right?  Right?

But then I sinned.  Charlotte's had a coupon.  Rosslin From The Ashes (Breyer "SBH Phoenix") is our new Clydesdale gelding:

My shelves are packed and this is a fairly large model.  I have no idea where I'm going to put him . . .

Thursday, July 17, 2014

It's Thursday.

Yes.  Yes, it is.

I'm still waiting for my new cable needle, although it should be here today or this weekend.  In the meantime, I've started culling some sewing projects that I find I'm not wearing.  The blue sundress with white lace trim ended up being a fit failure, and the green calico and blue 9880's are just enough off that I don't really enjoy them.  I found another blue fabric that I like (Moda Bella Solids Prussian blue.  Like Kona only by Moda instead of Robert Kaufman) and plan to make a replacement 9880.

I've also started taking apart some older projects to salvage the fabric.  The 1947 Grit nightgown pattern needs more alteration so I'm taking the finished one that totally did not fit apart for the calico.  I found a deep-rose circle skirt I made probably ten years ago when I was just starting to sew, that I never wear but whose fabric I love, so I'm going to take that apart to salvage for the navy and pink Crown of Thorns quilt that's on the to-do-someday list.  I'm taking apart the dress Mom made me for reenacting in 1991, to salvage the dark brown and black plaid brushed cotton for a skirt.  It's pretty worn but I think it will hold up well enough.  The dress shrank when we washed it and the sleeves are too short, and it hasn't been worn in a long time (and it was a commercial modern pattern, anyway; not remotely historical).  But I love the fabric.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Triangular Shawl #1 Doctor Who remnants: Part I

My sewing table was occupied this weekend so I started experimenting with triangular shawls.

I'm using leftovers from the Doctor Who scarves.  I did a garter tab cast-on, which worked great, and then basically did:

Right side:
Knit 1
Increase 1 (I did this by picking up and knitting the "bar" between the stitches)
Knit up to the center stitch
[place marker]
Increase 1
Knit center stitch
[place marker]
Increase 1
Knit to last stitch
Increase 1

Wrong side:
Knit all, or knit five [purl] knit five, or whatever you want.  I've been messing with knit and purl textures.

However, I knitted until my US8 straight needles were full and had to order a longer cable needle, which should be here by the end of the week: