Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Making progress...

Yes, I am sewing. 
A dress. 
But not just any, this is a Mother of the Groom dress! 
What possessed me to do this? 
...especially when the wedding is less than 3 weeks away! 
Well, I really didn't want to make my dress
I wanted to buy one.
Already ready already.
I put off shopping, because I didn't want to find out that I couldn't buy a dress.
If I didn't shop, I could continue to delude myself that I would be able to buy off the rack.
But the time came.
I had to shop.
I tried on a gazillion RTW dresses, and although many of them were nice, there was always something I wanted to change about each one.  MANY (, ALL!) needed alterations to make them fit me. 
I was seeing a trend.
Apparently, I am short-waisted for my circumference.
A size 10 is the right length through the body, but MAN is it tight!
By the time I get into the 12s and 14s, the waist is way too low.
 I figured, why buy an ill-fitting dress and alter it when I can just make a dress from scratch for about the same amount of effort?
Yeah...right.  The same amount of effort?  Pfff.....
But I am plugging away, and, happily, I am nearly finished. 
 But not so fast!
This afternoon, I put in the sleeves...little cap sleeves.  So very confident that this was going to work, I didn't baste them...I sewed with a 'regular' stitch length. 
And now I must rip them out.
I am using PMB5 for my pattern, and things have gone remarkably well, fit-wise.  My construction, though, leaves something to be desired. 
But that is neither here nor there...right now, I am talking about the sleeves.
I drafted the PMB cap sleeve.  I wanted it to be about 3.5" tall at the mid-cap, so I (stupidly) lowered the cap height until it was the desired size.
I cut these sleeves, both layers...a lace and the gold mesh that goes under it. 
 I stitched the layers together along the hem, then understitched, turned, sewed the underarm seam, then aligned the layers to be sewn as one. 
I inserted the sleeves...both of them!...into the dress using a 2.5mm stitch length. 
Luckily, before I trimmed the seam allowances, I decided to try this on to be sure these sleeves were good.
They were not good.
Not good at all!
What was I thinking...lowering the sleeve cap?  Yes, I wanted the sleeve to be 'shorter' but that was NOT the way to do it!  That was a rookie mistake!  I know better.
So now I am printing a new pattern for my sleeve.

This time, I started with the basic SET IN sleeve (above), then drew a shaped hem (below)
...maintaining the original cap shape as drafted, and manually changing only the hem shape. 
I am not sure that I have the hem shape just right...I had to wing it!
But I will certainly BASTE this time!

 Cross your fingers!


Anonymous said...

Hi Trish,

You sure have a way with words :)

I can't wait to see pictures of your beautiful dress!


Trish said...

Thanks, Rosemary! Pictures will follow...

Dale said...

Hey Trish, I totally get the problem with RTW.
Being quite short in the waist for any circumference I have always had problems with off the rack tops and blouses.
I can wear a size 10 in petites, but need a 12 in regular because the waist is 2" too low,
so I need the bigger size to make the waist fit my high hip level.
Then the problem is the too wide shoulders and too long armholes and for some reason the sleeves get longer on larger sizes.
I guess they grade everything up!

In any event I'm waiting in anticipation to hear how your innovative sleeve draft works.
I like the idea of a shaped hem.


Trish said...

I hear ya, is SO hard to find RTW that is just right!

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