Archive for the 'Sewing Projects' Category

Vintage Vogue 8875 – Cherry Blossom Dress

I mentioned a while back that I wanted to make up Vintage Vogue 8875 in a silky poly floral fabric I had been saving for a special project, and I decided to jump right into it and make myself a new dress for my cousin’s wedding. The wedding was set to be a very classy affair in black and white — much fancier than the usual Southern Baptist weddings I’ve attended where people sip punch made from ginger ale, pineapple juice, and orange sherbet while nibbling on a cake baked by the bride’s aunt.

In other words, MUCH fancier than my own wedding.

Continue reading ‘Vintage Vogue 8875 – Cherry Blossom Dress’


Altering a Ready-to-Wear Dress

In some ways, I am still a slave to ready-to-wear.

Continue reading ‘Altering a Ready-to-Wear Dress’

Small Victories

I’ve been wrapped up in all sorts of projects lately so I haven’t been able to sew very much (let alone update my blog), but here’s an update on what I’ve been doing.

Continue reading ‘Small Victories’

Second FBA on New Look 6107

Thanks to the guidance of my mentor Claire Kennedy, I finally figured out how to fit New Look 6107 to myself!

Continue reading ‘Second FBA on New Look 6107’

Sewing Project: Dress-up Bedlah and Play Veils

I finished a project! Hooray! After weeks — no, months — of being afraid of working with chiffon, avoiding sewing anything, and suffering from sewing project ADD, I buckled down and got something DONE. I made a bedlah (bellydancer costume) for my daughter, who is currently in love with bellydancing. Bellydancing is a new hobby for me and I love it. My daughter has picked up on it and, being a fearless child with absolutely no hang-ups about her body or her abilities, loves to dance with reckless abandon.

Continue reading ‘Sewing Project: Dress-up Bedlah and Play Veils’

Chasing UFOs

No, it’s not a new show on the History Channel. It’s my current sewing dilemma: unfinished objects, or UFOs as they are called in the sewing community.

Continue reading ‘Chasing UFOs’

FBA on New Look 6107 = FAIL

Just made another muslin of New Look 6107 with a full bust adjustment using the Palmer Pletsch slash-and-spread method, and it was another failure.I had to add a side dart, which was very difficult because I couldn’t even tell where it needed to go so i just put it on the horizontal slash. I thought I needed to move the vertical dart, but it seemed to be in the right place. The final result was a shirt with bust darts that were too long and a vertical dart that looked like it was in the wrong place. I didn’t take a picture of it because it looks really horrible and I’m too angry to deal with the process of editing, watermarking, and uploading a photo.

I have no other choice — well, other than just completely giving up — but to get real help with this and have someone teach me. This makes me unbelievably angry. My self-confidence is taking a huge hit because I’m accustomed to teaching myself everything. Almost everything I know about sewing is self-taught; I figure out how to imitate techniques, I do research and follow diagrams or written instructions, or I use trial-and-error. I really don’t like having to get someone else to teach me something that isn’t even that difficult to comprehend. Other sewists have figured this out without having to take a class or get someone to show them, but apparently I’m just not that brilliant or talented.

Second Fitted Blouse Attempt: New Look 6107

In my continuing quest for a fitted blouse, I made a muslin from New Look 6107. I tried a size 16 to see if I could avoid the tent-like appearance of a size 18 and let the gathers at the shoulder provide some ease for my bust so I could skip the FBA.

That was a stupid idea.


The design of the blouse is quite flattering for my figure (though the darts and side seams could use some adjusting) and I like the pseudo-1940s yoke-plus-gathers look, but…yikes. It’s tight in the bust…


…and it has those telltale signs of needing a full bust adjustment. Note the gaps at the back of the neck and the front of the armhole.

Unfortunately, this damn pattern defies all standard FBA tutorials. It’s like it has a dart in the shoulders, only it doesn’t. It has a yoke with gathers and a vertical dart. Clearly, I need to trace a size 14 and add to the bust, but I don’t know if I need to add at the gathers, or fudge in a bust dart.

I think I may need to talk to Claire Kennedy again and make arrangements for one of her classes. I want to bring in different types of patterns — a blouse, a dress with bodice and skirt, a sheath, maybe something with a gathered bust, and something with princess seams — and have her break them down and show me how to do the FBAs. Normally I can teach myself all kinds of crazy sewing techniques, but this is so specialized and challenging that I just can’t do it on my own. I hate admitting that, but it’s true.

Side note: this pattern is more evidence that Simplicity patterns SUCK. It has the dumbest method of sewing facing to the neckline that I have ever seen. I can’t even describe it. It’s just outright mind-blowingly idiotic.

More Thoughts on This Maddening Pintuck Blouse Project


This is a follow-up to yesterday’s lengthy post on a pintuck blouse project. This will be a bit rambling and almost stream-of-consciousness, but it’s all part of the process!

This morning I realized that the cream crepe has a light vertical texture to it, so I don’t think I can do anything bias-cut with it. That means that #3 isn’t a good idea. I’m also starting to think that pintuck fronts are just a bad idea in general for me because they create a long flat front panel that makes me look frumpy. Tucking the blouse in would show my waistline, but I hate tucking in blouses because that makes me look frumpy too.

So…I’m running out of options very quickly. Vogue 8857 is out, New Look 6104 is out, Sorbetto probably won’t work with this fabric, and that leaves me with New Look 6107, which I had set aside for two other fabrics. If I make 6107 in cream, I’m going to have three blouses in that style, and that’s too much devotion to one pattern without much variation.

#4 is starting to look like the easiest route right now. I could put the crepe in my stash and save it for a more suitable project, like a different blouse pattern (no pintucks or ruffles) or using it to line a sheer dress or skirt. I’ve got a couple of knit fabrics that I can try out. Both were inexpensive so I won’t feel awful if I botch the project.

Or…I could make a very basic shell or fitted button-up blouse from the crepe. No pintucks, maybe some ruffles in the right places, but overall very simple in construction. New Look 6104 would work if I add those vertical darts, and I have another pattern in my stash that might work too.

Ugh, I don’t know. Maybe I should just back away from this project for a while and make something else. Heaven knows I have other projects I could do, and shifting my focus for a while might help me figure this project out down the road.

Pattern Adjustments: New Look 6104 and My First Full Bust Adjustment

Lately, I’ve been trying to make a pretty vintage-ish pintuck blouse to go under a lovely 1950s angora cardigan that I bought a while back. I’m planning on making it in a nice cream-colored polyester crepe I found at a local fabric shop (the very last one here that’s not a big box chain store!), and I have a few modern patterns that might work. I also want to include some small ruffles on the front, just like many of the delicate vintage pintuck blouses from the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. It’s a classic feminine look and I think it will be pretty with the cardigan.

The first one on the cutting table is New Look 6104. It’s a very basic pattern with ruffles and pintucks down the front. I decided to make a sleeveless version because I never intend to wear the shirt without a cardigan or a jacket over it. The pintucks were very easy to make. I had to practice on scrap fabric a little before I figured out the right settings for my sewing machine. Surprisingly, my Janome’s pintuck foot wasn’t very helpful.

Continue reading ‘Pattern Adjustments: New Look 6104 and My First Full Bust Adjustment’