Saturday, April 21, 2012

Vogue 8241 Honu Dress

Vogue 8241 has been on my "To Make" list for a while.  It is a semi-fitted, pullover, lined dress with waistline casing in the seam and blousing in the bodice.  The back neckline opening has a button with a loop closing. 
I used a gorgeous crinkle rayon from Fabric Mart.  Having not worked with a crinkle fabric before, I was a little nervous going forward with cutting and making the dress.  I stared at the fabric on my shelf for some time before I dove in and got started.  I call this my Honu Dress, because the colors remind me of the seaweed, and I have recently spotted and captured, on film, the enormous sea turtle I told you about earlier.   Before I show you the dress, here are a couple of detail shots of the button and loop closure and the hem.  The hem is wavy, but I think it looks fine overall.  I don't know of any other way you would hem a crinkle fabric and not get waves, but if you know, please share.  I'd love to hear what your thoughts are. 
And here is the dress.  I have to tell you this fabric feels divine.  It will be extremely comfortable for Maui's hot humid weather. I decided not to make the self-tie.  I think this dress needs something to break up the fabric print, like the solid colored belt I am wearing with it.
There is only one page of instructions for this pattern.  Gotta love that!  I lined the bodice, but I did not line the skirt.  I also did not leave a slit in the center back.  I cut about 1 inch off the hemline of view A, and I lengthened the bodice by 1 inch.  Otherwise there were no other fit alterations to the pattern.  I cut out the size 10.  I did tissue fit the bodice to check that the armholes would fit.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that I did not have to alter them at all.  I was also glad to see that the pattern tells you to understitch the lining as far as possible.  As you may know, this helps the lining to stay rolled to the inside along the armholes and neckline. Here is a close-up of the bodice. 
Thank you all for your sweet comments on the last dress.  Caroline had a question from the last post that I'd like to answer. "You never mention making a muslin, and in the case of four-way stretch that would be pointless anyway. So are you making all of these adjustments "on the fly" so to speak? How does that work?"  I did make all of my adjustments on the fly.  From measuring the tissue, I could see I was going to have real issues with the bodice.  I wasn't quite sure how I was going to deal with the fit issues though, until I sewed up the original pattern.  Since I knew there was a lot of ease, I wasn't too worried, because if anything I thought I would be cutting fabric away, and that is what I ended up doing, both with the bodice and the shoulder seam.  It is a pain to undo stitching, but that is what I did to get to my final result.  It was a lot of trial and error and patience until I got it just right.  

I hope to get back to some regular blogging in the near future.  I'm trying to find my balance.  Early walks on the beach are a welcome time of reflection and prayer.  Especially when God gives you amazing gifts, like spotting this big guy!  Blessings my online friends!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

New Look 6098

Today I made it back into to the sewing room to test a new pattern, New Look 6098.  New Look 6098 includes a pattern for a knit top or dress with a low, narrow, V neckline, dolman sleeves, and a swishy full skirt.  I made view A, the dress, in a size 10.  I used a 4-way stretch rayon jersey from that I acquired a couple of years ago.  When I ordered it, I thought I was buying a red colorway.  When it arrived, I was disappointed to find out they had sent a rust and brown colorway.  I have exchanged fabrics before, but I was too lazy to send this one back, so I stuck it in the stash.  Since New Look 6098 was an untested pattern, I thought I would use the above mentioned fabric.  That way if it didn't work out, I wouldn't be upset for having used a piece of fabric I adored.  I have good news however.  The dress turned out beautifully, but not without a lot of fit adjustments along the way!
The fact that the pattern calls for a 2-way stretch, and I used a 4-way stretch, may be part of the reason why I had some fit issues to work out.  I found the bodice to be huge and the neckline entirely too low on the size 10.  The V in the neckline went way past my chest and into stomach territory.  Yikes!  However, if you are a busty gal, you may find the bodice to work just fine for you.  I, however, had to remove 2 inches from the inner neckline and about 2 inches from the lower front bodice.  By doing this I was able to eliminate the gathers altogether in the bodice. I also took one inch off the back shoulder seam.  In my opinion it wrapped too far to the front of the dress, and the arms had too much ease for my taste.  My adjustments caused the bodice front of the dress to be slightly higher than the back, so I shaved about an inch off the midriff, in the back, to even it up, before I attached the skirt.  Here is the finished dress.
Here is a close-up of the front bodice.  It does not gape, but it is necessary to wear a low plunging bra.  The pattern instructs you to lap the neckline at the bottom of the V, but I chose not to.  I like the clean look of it being side by side.
I didn't add the elastic on the top of the sleeves near the hem.  I just couldn't get it to look nice so I left it off.  I used my coverstitch machine to hem the dress and sleeves.  Once I had the fit on the bodice dialed in, the rest of the dress was a breeze.  While I was not enthusiastic about the fit of the pattern as it was drafted, I am quite happy with the end result after all my adjustments, and I can see myself making this again. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Home Again

My visit to the state of Oregon was everything I hoped it would be, a delightful time with family and friends, shopping at some of the best fabric shops in Portland, over a 1000 miles of driving along some of the prettiest roads, and unpredictable spring weather!  I thought I would share a brief photo journey with you. 
A familiar view from the driver's seat.
Don't let this picture fool you.  This was one of the only sunny days in northern Oregon.  I like this shot because I spent a lot of time on this Interstate.  Notice the train to the right.  It passed by fairly quickly going north too!
Overflowing banks of the Willamette River in Albany.
I saw three rivers.  All were swollen, swift, and muddy from the incredible amount of rain Oregon received in the month of March. 
Elevation ~4500 ft. above sea level.
I didn't expect to see snow on this trip.  How wrong I was!  While crossing over some mountain passes to see my sister in southern Oregon, I drove through a snow storm.  What should have taken me about 3 hours took 4 1/2.  I am so out of practice for this kind of driving weather!  I made it through safely though. 

The next four photos below show structures from the McKenzie River area where I lived from the early 1980's to the late 1980's.  It was raining hard that day!
Goodpasture Bridge ~ The longest covered bridge in Oregon.  It spans the McKenzie River and is still in use today.
McKenzie High School ~ If I recall, there were only 18 students in my graduating class.
McKenzie Bridge Christian Church

McKenzie Ranger Station ~ where I worked on a fire crew mopping up wildfires during the summers between college.
That was certainly a drive down memory lane!  I think the last time I was in this area was about 8 years ago.

Time to switch gears though, and show you the lovely fabrics I added to my stash.  Hopefully they will all be making an appearance, as finished garments, here on the blog!
The Knits
All from Mill End in Beaverton, Oregon
The Outfit of Rayon, Silk, and Linen
All from Mill End in Beaverton, Oregon
  The Wovens
The two on the left from Fabric Depot and the two on the right from JoAnn's
I am happy to report that I finally found Josephine's Dry Goods in downtown Portland.  It's a fabric shop I have been wanting to visit for some time.  While I didn't buy anything there, I sure did enjoy browsing the quality selections there.  And that is the end of my awesome mainland adventure!  I look forward to jumping back into the online blogging adventure, starting today.  Aloha!