Friday, September 28, 2012

Working on KwikSew 3949 part 4

The waistline casing of this dress is almost done:

The outside layer of the waistline casing is being pinned to the outside of the bodice.  Its seam is between the overlap and the side seam.  I staggered the waistline casing seams to reduce bulk at the side seams:

The outside layer of the waistline casing was basted close to the edge.  The inside layer of the waisline casing was pinned to the inside of the bodice, with its seams at center front and back, then stitched with a greater seam allowance than called for by the pattern:

Here is a closer look at the two rows of stitching which hold the waistline casing layers to the bodice:

I serged the edges of the upper seam of the waistline casing.  I also serge finished the unattached edge of the inside waistline casing:

I steam pressed the upper seam of the waistline casing:

I pressed the outside layer of the waistline casing away from the bodice.  The inside layer remains behind the bodice:

I pinned the front and back skirt pieces to each other.  After stitching, I zigzagged over the raw edges of the seams:

Steam pressing the skirt side seams:

After steam pressing a straight seam, I place a heavy metal ruler over the seam, and leave it until the fabric has cooled.  This helps to hold the press:

The bottom portion of the picture is the center back of the bodice.  On top of the bodice, in the middle of the picture, is the inside layer of the waistline casing.  I have placed the opening of the inside layer of the waistline casing at the back of the dress.  At the top of the picture is the inside of the outer layer of the waistline casing.  This has been pinned to the skirt, which is inside the bodice:

The next steps will include finishing the waistline casing, checking the length, and hemming the dress.

So close!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Working on KwikSew 3949 part 3

I have finished the bodice of this dress:

Most of today's work was attaching the bias strips to the armholes, but first I basted the front cross-over:

I basted the side seams before testing the fit:

I am not giving a preview, so there's nothing to see.  Move along ...

It fits OK, I guess, but not badly enough to change anything.  I stitched the side seams and finished the raw edges of the fabric:

Here is the bias strip being attached to the armhole:

Here is the first stitching of the binding to the armhole:

Here is the bias strip being pressed towards the seam allowance:

Here are the pins holding the bias strip after I wrapped it around the seam allowance:

The next step will be to attach the bodice to the waistline casing, and the waistline casing to the skirt.  The waistline casing has an inside layer and an outside layer.

I prepared the waistline casing by sewing together the front and back pieces of each layer, forming two circles of fabric.

I left a gap in one of the inside layer seams so I will be able to insert elastic in the casing:

To finish the seam allowances on the waistline casings, I zigzagged through all layers on the inside piece (above).  To finish the seam allownaces on the outside piece, I just zigzagged the raw edges so they will not show through to the right side of the fabric.

I guess this dress is more than half done!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Peek at my BlogRoll - September 2012

I would like to introduce you to a fellow (?) Florida blgger on my Blog Roll:

Stitches and Seams - Miscellaneous Musings on an Obsession ... and other things that get in the way.

I met Debbie Cook when we were both members of a local Pattern Master Boutique (PMB) user group, which I'm pretty sure was before 2006.  She also appears on a popular sewing web site called Pattern Review.

My favorite part of her blog is the tutorials (click here).  Her tutorials are grouped by Projects, Techniques, and Alterations.  She has several alterations tutorials for full bust alteration, aka FBA - all useful!  Really, ALL her tutorials are useful, so give them a try.

The napkin holder I made (click here) was inspired by her tutorial to copy some IKEA bins (click here).

Debbie has blogged mostly about sewing, but sometimes real life intervenes.  For example, she recently finished her first year in the most awesome job ever!

She shares with her readers whenever she buys shoes, or fabric, or even moves house with lovely Florida plants:

Debbie seems to make lots of clothes.  When she makes herself a new dress, she shares portions of its creation, and then - of course - the wearing thereof:

The same is true for tops and skirts:

I hope you will visit Debbie's blog and find great enjoyment from it.


Click this sentence to read about Pattern Master Boutique.

Click on this sentence to visit Pattern Review.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

One-Pot Dinners

One-pot dinners were made for me.

If I could just throw everything into one pot and call it dinner, I would.

I made the veggie tonight.  It was kale.  I threw everything into the big pot, forgetting that I was supposed to saute the bacon and onions first, not all together.  It took a while for the kale to defrost.

I'm surprised that I bothered  remembered to cut up the bacon  - before I cooked it.

Also in that pot were several pats of butter and about half a cup of coconut water.

The only reason I make kale occasionally is because we need to eat more veggies, and kale packs a real nutritional punch.

Hubby tolerates it.  Cousin likes it (I think).  I love it.  Well, these statements are only true if bacon is included.

Food preparation would be so much easier if all I had to do was throw stuff in.  That's what I like about making smoothies.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Ironing the Pillowcases

Ironing is important to achieve a professional look.  I have found that only the pillowcases which I've ironed while making them will fold squarely for storage.

I finished the first two pillowcases a couple days ago (click here to see them):

I have shown that turning the hem also forces the pillowcase seam to one side:

By steam pressing this seam to one side along its entire length, the final pressing is neater:

For the final pressing after assembly, I first turn the pillowcase right side out, and poke out the corners with my fingers.  Then I lay the pillowcase on the ironing board with the hem edges matching and the seam to my right.

I start by pressing along the seam, carefully folding along the seam, and press towards the opposite side.  I pull the pillowcase towards me and iron the next section, and so forth, until I get to the seam on the end opposite the hem.  Starting from the right side, I pull on the seam so that it's folded along the seam, and press it, doing these both for about two inches at a time, until I get to the left side.

Here are the last four pillowcases:

I guess this means I can get back to sewing on my dress, huh?!?  (Click here to see the dress project.)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

I Interrupt this Dress with Pillowcases!

Yes, I needed a change of pace - a quic-ker pick-er up-per.

I had already bought these fabrics just for making pillowcases - except for the fabric left over from my dress (upper left fabric):

So far, I have finished the white pillowcase liners, shown underneath at the right, and the red print pillowcases.  Since this fabric has printing along one edge, I sewed the pillowcases with the printing at the opposite end from the hem so I could cut off the words:

This is my quick version of pillowcases.  I use the full width of the fabric, preferably in the 42- to 45-inch range.  I always buy more than I need and prewash (washer and dryer) three times before cutting it out.  I cut across one end to even the fabric.The liner fabric is shown here with the big ruler ready for the cut:

First I measure 21" from the trimmed edge:

Then I roll up the fabric, skootch it across the cutting mat, and cut another 20" beyond that, for a total length of 41".  Here are all my printed fabrics on the ironing board, ready for the next step:

I was able to use a selvedge for the hems of the printed fabrics, but the white fabric had two unfinished selvedges.  I serge finished one edge of the liners for the hem.

The fabrics were folded crossways, which folded each selvedge in half.  A pin was placed three inches from the selvedge at the cut edge ...

... and at the folded edge:

I used the pins to fold the hem down:

I pinned all along the cut edge:

Here is a pile of pillowcases ready to be stitched:

I stitched them together on the serger, which makes it a really quick project.  I started at the hem, leaving a thread tail:

I stitched down the length of the pillowcase, angled in a bit at the end, and stitched off the fabric.  I then stitched across the end of the pillowcase, crossing the previous stitching at the side, and tapering in at both ends of that stitching.  This tapers in the corners just a little bit.  This is when the printed selvedges were cut off:

I used a double-eyed needle to tuck in the thread tails.  At the hem, I weave the needle between the hem and the pillowcase, pointing it towards the fold of the hem, and then out:

Once the needle is in place, I thread the tails into the needle and pull it back out.

When the thread tails are too long, I trim them.

Next, I steam press all the stitching, then I pin and press the three-inch hem in place:

I stitched the hems in place along the selvedge edges using my sewing machine:

Here is the end result:

Friday, September 7, 2012

Working on KwikSew 3949 part 2

I am still working on the bodice portion of this dress.  Click this sentence to see the beginning of the project.

I pinned the bias strip to the neck edge:

... and then I pinned it some more:

The bodice front edge seemed to be longer than the bias, so I eased it on.  I think it's to prevent gaping at the front, but I will soon find out:

After stitching the neckline, the seam was pressed flat, then open, with the seam allowances pressed towards the bias strip:

The bias strip was turned around the seam allowances to the right side and pinned:

I tried to make the fold of the bias strip cover the previous seam when I pinned it in place:

I used a lot of pins to hold the bias in place so I could topstitch it:

This is the stitching in progress:

When I remember, I try to take a picture of my stitch settings in context.along with what I'm doing.  I will need to remember how to do this when I get to the armhole finish:

The edge stitching did not always go completely over the first stitching, as seen from the inside:

The outside stitching is mostly even:

When all that was done, I steam pressed the neckline:

I want to test fit the bodice before I continue.