Thursday, March 26, 2015

Butterick 6166 Finished......

What a great learning experience this has been!  When I saw the picture of how big the back of the dress was, I knew that there was some type of alternation that needed to done but it was something I had never done before.  First thought was a narrow back alteration.  So, I pulled most of my fitting books to see what needed to be done.  The first book I looked at “Every Sewer’s Guide to the Perfect Fit” mentioned the alteration but the information just didn't make sense to me.  The second book was “Fast Fit” and the information regarding the alternation made more sense.  The third book was “ Fit for Real People” and this information made sense.  I ended up following the information in “Fast Fit”.  The reason was that book had the alternation going all the way to the waistline and it seems more appropriate for the wrinkles I was seeing on my muslin.  So, I started with the smaller of the two amounts which is ½” tuck.  Here are the results:

The picture on the left is the dress with a minor alteration at the shoulder.  The dress on the right has an increased shoulder alteration and the ½” tuck from the waistline to the shoulder seam.  Isn’t that an amazing difference?  I can still see that this needs to be a wee bit of wrinkles going on and I will be increasing the tucks to ¾” on the final pattern.  So, the alterations on the final pattern are:

1.      Change the angle of the shoulder line by ½” at the shoulder line.
2.      Move the armhole down by ½” so that the sleeve will still match.
3.      Add the ¾” tuck on the back and true the seams.
4.      Add 1” to 2” of length.

Here are the results of my hard work:

I am happy with my new dress.  It is far better than what I can generally purchase.  If you're interested in my journey on this dress, here are the other two posts:

I didn't anticipate was that the dress would be a bit snugger because of the front band.  So, if you're thinking of making this dress be sure to add that to the muslin as it will affect the fit somewhat.

I'm going to write a little tutorial on how to alter the back like I did.  The information in Fit For Real People indicated that this type of alteration was generally only needed if you picked the wrong size due to a larger bust.  Maybe I did.  I do know that when I compared the altered back to the original, it actually matched a size 14.  Even though the dress indicates that maybe I should have made a small FBA, the narrow back adjust is far easier to accomplish that a FBA.   The back indicates that maybe I should have removed a little bit of length.

My next project will either be a yoga skirt or a yoga pants.  I haven't decided yet.  The stash has yielded fabric for both items.  Don't think for an instant that this really reducing the stash much because Fabric Mart had a great sale on knits a week or two ago and I had to indulged a little bit.  I need to remind myself that the next move does not need to have a huge stash to move.

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Spring/Summer Wardrobe....

I find that I'm veering from my the wardrobe colors I chose last fall and maybe I should.  I think the point of choosing a set grouping of colors is so that your wardrobe is easy and you don't feel like you have nothing to wear.  I'm leaning more toward blues/reds/pinks so far with the purchases that I have made. I I have only purchased tops so far:

When I saw this little navy top, I had to have it.  First, it isn't a knit but a woven rayon.  I can tell you that it washes up beautifully.  I'm ready for spring/summer so I can wear it.  It will most likely be a top to wear with jeans.

This was an impulsive purchase.  I'm not sure what drew me to it but it was one of those immediate purchases.  I spent a little more on this top than I normally would.   It washed very well.  I do need to check the sheerness factor.  I'm think it may need a cami and I don't remember if it came with one.

I love the blue floral of this little top.  It washed well also but does need to ironed which will most likely mean not worn much.  The fabric is a little on the sheer side so I purchased a matching tank to wear under it.  This will most likely be worn with jeans and maybe khakis.

These two tops match very well in person.  I know the tank will get worn a lot.  These are year round staples for me.

How's the for veering away from black, gray, teal, and rose?  I do like everyone of these items though.  It will remain to be seen whether or not they are loved.

I'm still working on the black & white dress and planning a blue skirt with a matching top if there is enough fabric.  It looks to me that it will be mostly shades of blue for summer.

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


The binding get together has been completed.  My friend has a Martelli Kwik Bias Binder Attachment.  We got a little further along with this attempt.  We finally were able to do a straight edge but most projects have a corner unless it it round.  She also had the minute miter clips which given the small piece of paper with 4 instructions on it didn't do much for actually being able to use it.  These clips were meant to be used with the binder but we couldn't figure out how.   If anyone knows and can explain how to use this binder with the clips we would greatly appreciated.  I have looked on the Martelli website and on youtube for the bias binder attachment videos and can not find anything.  I can still purchase this item via the distributor.

A formula for calculating bias binding requirements was found at Quilts and Creativity.  It is pretty easy to use as long as you have some sort of a calculator.  There is a good discussion at Generation Quilts regarding binding types and when to choose which type of binding.  You will also find calculations available.  You can see how I create bias bindings here.

We also tried out the technique of using fusible thread with the binding so that you do not need pins to hold the binding in place.  Originally, we were going to use the serger to apply the fusible thread but I finally decided to use a zigzag stitch on a regular sewing machine.  I was disappointed in this technique. It took a lot of time to accomplish and the results were not worth the time spend applying the fusible thread, ironing the binding which didn't fuse very well, and then stitching in the ditch. I still need to go back and hand stitch the binding due to the large number of missed spots.  It is always possible that the iron wasn't hot enough to melt the fusible.  It certainly seemed like the fusible didn't adhere well.  I will continue to hand stitch the bindings for now.

It was interesting to see that I did my bindings differently than my friend.  I always use bias binding, stitch the binding on the front, wrap it to the back, and then hand stitch the binding.  My friend does her with french binding, stitches the binding to the back, wraps to the front, and machine stitches.  Interestingly enough, she thought that I had shown her that way of doing bindings.  How do you do your bindings?  Do you have some good resources for applying bindings by machine?  I would love to hear about them.

Next up is to finish my dress, finish the quick and easy place mats, and Saturday is knitting day.

Happy Stitching!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Muslin Butterick 6166 Part 2

Oh, I know I said the next time you heard from me regarding this pattern that I hoped it was finished but I still playing with the muslin. Here's a few pictures you haven't seen:

Here I have thread traced the waistline to see how it looked.  I was surprised to see that it doesn't look too bad. You can see there is a touch of upward movement in the front. I'm not 100% sure that it is enough to warrant a adding length.  We'll see what I decide. DH is my helper.  I did ask him to tell where the markings were in relation to my actual waist and it seems that it about an inch higher.  Now, I will decide whether I need a second muslin or if I can make additional modifications to think one.

Here's the back.  I modified it from Thursday by re-installing the zipper and redoing the back seam.  Don't you just love the little bit of black zipper showing itself at the bottom?  Just kidding.  The zipper I ordered was a bit short but I used it on the muslin so there is a tiny little gap.  Here, I have also hand basted the darts and not perfectly at that.  The dart on the left side looks much better than the dart on the right side.  Overall, the back above the waist looks too big.  The fit below the waist doesn't look too bad.

Here's a close up of the back after DH pinned those wrinkles out and the those pins go up to my shoulder blades.  Of course, he doesn't know what he is doing and was only listening to my explanation of what needed to be done.  I need to do some research into fitting this area.  I have seen this issue before.  If you know any resources, feel free to send me the information.  In the meantime, I will be reading through my various fitting books and seeing what they have to say.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Muslin Butterick 6166 Part 1

Well, the dress has been started.  Here's the line drawings:

My thoughts were to do dress B with the sleeves from C at a 3/4 length.  After examining the pattern, I decided to start with a size 18 as a base dress.  I have never chosen to start with a dress in this size before but my thinking was that I should start closest to my bust/hip size.  I have a not so flattering knit it stash and decided that it would be a good muslin fabric.  So, I cut out the base dress which isn't shown as an option but it's there.  If you take away the gathered piece at the waist and the overlay, there's a very basic knit dress.  If I can get that part to fit the rest will be easy.  I'm also guessing that the dress will need a minimum of 3 inches to be correct length but that can be added later.  Here's the first effort on the muslin:

Not too bad for straight from the envelope with really quick and dirty sewing.  I didn't hem anything here.  My first thought was the the shoulder line fell too far off my shoulder but when I looked a picture of the dress, I'm not so sure.  Here's a picture of the sleeveless version:

I do think that the neckline is too wide on me when compared to the pattern picture.  Other changes that I see from the picture is that I need to change the angle of the shoulder line just a bit, maybe a 1/4".   So, here's my little list of things to do:

1.  Change the shoulder angel just a bit.  This I can do to the existing muslin.
2.  Change the shoulder length just a bit.  This I can do to the existing muslin.
3.  Remark the waist so I can see it in the pictures.  This I can do to the existing muslin.
4.  Double-check the neckline against the information provided on fit in the pattern.  I think it said that it was 5/8" before a jewel neckline.  This can be done on the existing.
5.  Check the back shaping.  This can be done on the existing muslin.  (I didn't provide pictures of this because my down and dirty sewing wasn't so good here, lol.)  --  do darts, check waistline.
6.  Double-check hem-line length.  It's hard to decide that looking at these pictures.  My son is almost a foot taller than me.
7.  Adjust sleeve length.

Hopefully, the next time you hear about this dress it will be finished and not tossed as a wadder.  I'm hoping that the overlay and the banding will be nice to my belly.

The subject for the March monthly get together has been decided.  We will be working on different techniques for binding.  This will mostly be for quilting or home-dec type items.  Specifically, we will be working with a binder that my friend purchase and has never been able to get it to work.  Have you ever been to a sewing show, saw a demo, purchased the item, and then couldn't get it to work?  I'm hoping that we can get this working for her as she spent a lot of money on this particular binding system.

Happy Stitching!