Thursday, April 25, 2013

MOG Dress Construction Pt 2

When it came time to draft the skirt portion of this dress, I was not sure WHAT to start with!

If I chose a Dropped-Waisted DRESS, which seemed like what I was making, the waist of the skirt was straight just seemed odd.

So I looked at just using a SKIRT...and adding FLARE.  It had a little curve to the waist but not much.

So I looked at the Empire-Waisted DRESS.  Again, once I cut it off at 6" below the waist, I would be left with a straight line for the waist seam.  Hmmmm.....

Next I looked at the Midriff-Waisted DRESS.  This one seemed more promising!  I don't know for sure that the waist SHOULD be curved, but it seemed logical to me that it should.  So this is the one I chose.
On the FRONT pattern, I used the OFFSET tool to offset the waist 6" below it's current level...this is because the midriff of the bodice extends 6" below the waist.  I removed and discarded that upper portion, then duplicated/mirrored the front pattern to create a whole front, adding BIAS grainlines.  Yep, as if this isn't already hard enough, this will be cut on the bias.

Again, for the BACK pattern, I offset the waist 6" and discarded the upper part of the pattern.  I chose to add a bit of walking ease to that back center seam...I found KNEE LEVEL on my pattern and CUT the back seam there, then ROTATED (by units) the lower segment outward (CW) by 5".  Bias grainlines were added.

Now I had a layout...I could see how much fabric was required and knew how to layout the pieces.  But I did NOT print the full-size layout...too much paper and assembly!

Instead of printing the WHOLE front, I printed the half pattern, then taped it to more paper at the center line, folded at the center, then cut out the pattern double.  once cut, I unfolded to have a whole pattern.

To cut this large pattern piece, I placed a folded cardboard cutting board on the ironing board and put it right up next to my cutting table.  I carefully layed out the fabric, keeping the cross-grain and lengthwise grain straight.  I rotary-cut what I could on the large mat, then used scissors where I had to.
 Once the front was cut and set aside, I carefully pulled more fabric up onto the cutting table and again smoothed it into place, trying to get the grainlines straight.  I cut one back and then the other.

When it was time to sew, I found that the seam lengths were unequal.  Well, long story short, eventually I compared my cut fabric pieces to the pattern pieces.  Oh dear!  One back was close enough to 'right' to be used, but one was way off!   After cutting other pieces, I no longer had a nice straight cross-grain to align with the matt when pulling up more the fabric on the table. 

I had just enough fabric left to cut ONE MORE back pattern!  And this time, I carefully aligned two cardboard cutting mats on the floor, then carefully aligned the cross-grain with a line on the mat, while carefully aligning the selvedges with other lines on the mat!  I even pinned the fabric to the mat to avoid distortion!

After placing the pattern in postion, I CHALKED around it...carefully!  Yes, this is how it SHOULD have been done in the first place.  But I was trying to take shortcuts...

Once the chalk lines were drawn, I could then pick up the fabric and carry it to my cutting table, where I proceeded to use the rotary cutter to cut it out.  It is much easier for me to cut this way, as opposed to crawling around on my knees with scissors!
Finally!  The skirt was finally sewn to the midriff section!  It is starting to look like a dress now!
I hand tacked the "waist" seam allowances...above and below the midriff the foundation fabric, just to be sure they stayed smoothly in place.

When it came time to cut the lining fabric, there was NO QUESTION as to how it would be done.  On the floor, with chalk...

Once again, the pattern pieces were layed out and chalked around while the fabric was pinned to the board. 

The lining went in nicely.

I attached the lining to the dress at the neckline, using NO FACING.   I attached the lining to the zipper, too, and (later) made thread chains to connect the seams near the hem.

Now it needed some pressing and a hem...but before I could hem it, I had to find some SHOES!

To be continued...

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