Google Thewallinna and other creatures: May 2013

Sunday, 19 May 2013

The neckline saga

Like many sewing bloggers out there, I am under the spell of Hisako Sato's Drape Drape series of pattern  books. The books had been sitting patiently on my shelves until last weekend I decided to make a dress; I attempted to sew pattern no.3 from the first book, waste gather drape dress.

Spot the differences!


According to the size chart (shown below), with my height of 177cm, bust 86, waist 73, hip 97, my body measurements put me somewhere between L and XXL :) From the very beginning, I had a gut feeling that something would go wrong.


When I drafted the XL size, I automatically added 3cm of seam allowance in case I needed some extra fabric, even though the general recommendation for knit fabric is to draft one size down due to the stretch properties of knits. The biggest difficulty at that stage was that I was not able to properly measure the size of the finished garment due to the complexity of the pattern vs standard bodice shapes.

Also, when I laid out the pattern, I came to the conclusion that if I cut the dress as one piece, the waist would be situated somewhere below my bust. So I cut two separate pieces, a bodice and a skirt, adding 5cm to the bodice and 5 cm each to the top and bottom of the skirt. 


Technical drawing of the pattern
The first fitting of the bodice resulted in complete failure - my shoulders were too broad for the garment. The bodice was so tight at the neck that it looked as if I was trying on kids' clothes. The sleeve holes were too small as well. So I made the following modifications:

* cut into the neckline to create a bigger hole 
* partly released the gathers, to allow my arms to fit in



But these two actions slightly affected the balance of the lines and you can see on the two pictures below the problems with the dress. 

The left side of the neckline is gaping
Slight diagonal pulls coming from the chest
I looked up how to remedy the neckline in different fitting books and re-sewed it twice. It now gapes a little bit less but you still can see there is something wrong with it. 

Currently the neckline is not stabilized but its finish is a tiny rolled hem. Maybe I could add some knit stay tape and when attaching it  pull it in order to gather the neckline a little bit. Do you think it might work well? 

As for the rest of the dress, there are no major problems. The skirt fits well but it does not hug super tightly. Because I had enough troubles with the neckline, I decided to to put more stress on it and omitted the invisible zipper.

Only now I realized that I did not take pictures of the back. During the "photoshoot" I was so concerned with the neckline that I completely forgot about my rear. 

The biggest conclusion that I drew from this project is that I still don't know a lot about knits, especially when it comes to problems with fitting and deviation in proportions. Also, I should have analyzed this pattern with more attention before constructing the garment. Moreover, I did not make a muslin as I usually would.

Luckily for me, I've got 1.5m more of the same fabric and my next knit project will be based on a simpler pattern! In Tokyo, summer is in full swing. As you can see from my pictures, flip-flop season is beginning!

Which summer knit dress pattern would you recommend?

Friday, 17 May 2013

Winner of the last giveaway

The winner of the last giveaway is Pamela! Congratulations!


These books fascinate me. I want to find them and just page through for as long as it takes. Thank you for all the information you provide on your blog. You have garnered my interest.


It was so much fun to co-host this giveaway with Yi Farn! Thank you all for participating! 
I also wanted to remind that if you already own a Japanese sewing book, you can find a lot of useful information on Yi Farn's blog, for example, how to understand Japanese patterns or dictionary of Japanese sewing terms.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Last giveaway!

I am happy to announce the winner of our previous giveaway, Evie!

Evie  3 days ago
I really need to try Japanese patterns. Just need more sewing hours in the day! But I suspect I'm not alone in that...



And now, the last giveaway: Stylish Dress Book: Dress that I want to wear every day...



I remind you, that this giveaway is  running between my blog and Japanese Sewing Books, whose owner Yi Farn kindly agreed to share it. If you already own a Japanese sewing book, you can find a lot of useful information on her blog, for example, how to understand Japanese patterns or dictionary of Japanese sewing terms.

To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment about anything that crosses your mind - the state of international affairs, the book you are currently reading, today's weather forecast or your current sewing project. Yi Farn and I will draw one winner from those who have commented on either blog (maximum two entries per person, for leaving a comment on each blog).

The giveaway ends on May 16th, 23:59 Japanese time.

Good luck!

Friday, 10 May 2013

Giveaway #4

This time the winner is Maider. Congratulations!


Maider  2 days ago
Thanks for the giveaway!!!
I am sewing a jersey knit top, after sewing a jersey knit dress, I want more and more of jersey knit! Ha, ha, ha...

For the next giveaway I offer this book, Dressmaking at Home. I've used this book to create one pattern.  To check projects from this book please visit Amazon.co.jp.



This giveaway is running between my blog and Japanese Sewing Books, whose owner Yi Farn kindly agreed to share it. The conditions are simple. Leave a comment about anything that crosses your mind - the state of international affairs, the book you are currently reading, today's weather forecast or your current sewing project. At the end of each giveaway period (there will be four more including this post), Yi Farn and I will draw one winner from those who have commented on either blog (maximum two entries per person, for leaving a comment on each blog).

The winner of this giveaway will be announced on Man 13th. The same day will post the last giveaway as well. 

Good luck!


Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Giveaway #3

Congratulation to Angela! You are the winner!

Angela
MAY 5, 2013 AT 7:52 PM
I sew from the children’s books, but not for the adult-sized books, so I would love to try this one :-) Thanks for a great giveaway!

Now it's time for the third giveaway! If you are into skirts, this book is for you! You can look inside the book on Amazon.co.jp.




This giveaway is co-hosted by Yi Farn from Japanese Sewing Books and I. To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment about anything that crosses your mind - the state of international affairs, the book you are currently reading, today's weather forecast or your current sewing project. At the end of each giveaway period (schedule included at the very end of this post), Yi Farn and I will draw one winner from those who have commented on either blog (maximum two entries per person, for leaving a comment on each blog).


May 10, Fri
May13, Mon

Monday, 6 May 2013

The need for tweed!

If you passed by this piece of Chanel tweed in a fabric shop, what would your reaction be?


Mine was: WOW, thinking about both the beauty of the fabric and the price. Many wonderful garments   which could be made from this tweed flashed through my head, but buying two or three yards of this fabric was out of my budget. But then Marina rescued the situation and said, What if you made a bustier? So a bustier it was!


Light, smooth and cuddly, this tweed worked perfectly for a bustier. I used only 37cm out of the 70cm which I purchased. The bustier is based on V8766, with a couple of modifications: I moved the zipper to the left and created princess seams on the back, using six pieces in total (one front piece, one back piece and four side pieces).

If you are going to make a garment with boning, I cannot recommend enough this spiral boning, sold by the metre. You cut only as much as you need for one seam and then close it with a special metal tip. When moving in my bustier I don't feel any discomfort. Double thumbs up!

I started to sew this bustier at my friend Judith's house in Montreal. It was so great to spend the entire week sewing together! We brainstormed different ideas for both our garments (Judith was re-fashioning her bombshell dress). If not for her, I'd have spent weeks working on it by myself.

The construction of the bustier is quite interesting: it contains four layers of fabric, plus boning.

I needed to stabilize the tweed in order to prevent it shifting or distorting. In the classic French jacket which I made before, the fashion fabric was quilted to the lining. But this could not be done for a bustier because it required an intermediate layer of fabric to which the boning could be attached.  So first of all, I quilted the tweed to the silk organza! Lightweight but stiff, the organza created a firm shape for the bustier. The third layer of fabric was muslin, chosen because it is strong yet flexible. To attach the boning, I used the method explained by Gertie in her bombshell dress Craftsy lesson. The last layer was the lining, crêpe-de-chine. I don't know whether this photo is clear enough to show the inside of the bustier, but I have included it anyway.

The silk organza is transparent but you can see how it blurs the tweed.

Once we decided on the construction, the sewing process was fun and fast to execute. My biggest pain was the zipper. As much as I tried to make the ends of the fabric hide the zipper, I did not succeed even after unpicking and sewing it back seven or eight times. Despite being far from perfect (especially at the top), the zipper is hidden behind my arm when I wear it. So I should not move too much if I don't want to reveal it ;(

Not happy
I also added a hook and eye on the top of zipper to avoid gapping.


I have to admit that personally I don't enjoy looking at girls with bad postures like mine wearing bustiers. Seeing a woman with a slouchy back wearing a bustier breaks my heart.  Needless to say, looking at my reflection in the mirror made me feel miserable.

My back is slouchy and bony, and I don't find it attractive
My first reaction to correct shape of the bustier was to add cups. I considered this idea for more than a week but ultimately decided against it.

Instead, I looked for more ideas on how to make the bustier look better on me. Among the hundreds of photos which I browsed through on the Internet, I found this corsetry archives slideshow in Vogue where a few girls are wearing similar types of corset/bustier and looking kind of cute.

Source: Vogue
Source: Vogue
But instead of painting my body white, I liked the idea of wearing a big necklace to fill the open area at the front.


All in all, I like the bustier but won't wear it a lot. Despite working on trying to keep my back straight through hours of yoga, some bones are impossible to re-position. If I wear the bustier again, I'd pair it with a bolero or a shrug and a big necklace. I loved tackling the boning and brainstorming the construction of the garment was the most interesting part of the entire sewing process. And I can't wait to find another cute fabric to use with the remaining 33cm of my Chanel tweed.

How about you? Are there any garments which you had fun sewing but were not sure you'd wear afterwards?

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Giveaway #2

Thank you all for the lovely comments! The winner of Giveaway #1 is Athena Neill. Please contact either Yi Farn or I (thewallinna at gmail dot com) and provide your address.

MAY 1, 2013 AT 10:29 PM
Please enter me in the giveaway! Thanks so much for sharing the Japanese pattern love:)

And now is the time to announce the second giveaway - Stylish Dress Book. This book has been used - I like it so much that I made this dress from it! The winner of the second giveaway will be announced on May 7th.

This giveaway will be running between my blog and Japanese Sewing Books, whose owner Yi Farn kindly agreed to share it.The conditions are simple. Leave a comment about anything that crosses your mind - the state of international affairs, the book you are currently reading, today's weather forecast or your current sewing project. At the end of each giveaway period (there will be four more including this post), Yi Farn and I will draw one winner from those who have commented on either blog (maximum two entries per person, for leaving a comment on each blog.