Monday, 25 June 2012

Time to customise...

Today I finally settled down to customise a t-shirt which belongs to my brother's girlfriend (it had been in the 'to do' pile for too long)!  

It started out as a really simple vest style top.  

For a looser fit I was asked to add black lace panels to either side.  To do this, I first made a pattern piece by marking my size requirements (+seam allowances) onto tracing paper using a ruler and set square.  I then cut out the pattern piece and pinned to my fabric in the usual way.  

The next step was to overlock the four sides of each lace piece.  I then turned over the seam allowances on the top and bottom and stitched into place.  

I opened up each side of the t-shirt using a seam ripper.  I pinned and tacked the lace pieces into place.  The lace has a bit of stretch in it so it was not the easiest fabric to work with.  I finished by machine stitching into place and removing the tacking.  



I love the lace effect, I think I will have to re-create this simple technique again but this time on something I get to keep!  Has anyone else customised using lace?  Feel free to share a link to your blog for me to nosy at!  

Friday, 22 June 2012

Duchess - Part 2

Well here it is, the finished product!

I was still finishing this off yesterday just before my ball.  I managed to get it done in time with just a little bit of stressing out.  

I machine gathered the skirt at first but it looked awful so I unpicked it all and hand gathered instead.  

This was my first attempt at an invisible zip.  I love the special foot for the machine and I found it quite straightforward to do.  

I would love to hear what you think.  Has anyone else made McCall's M6508?  I would love to see some other versions of this pattern!

Cost of materials:
2.5m satin @ £9.95 per metre = £24.88
3m lining @ £2 per metre =        £6
Pattern M6508 =                         £4.13
16'' invisible zip =                         £3
Thread @1.55 per reel =              £3.10

Total =                                          £41.11

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Duchess - Part 1

I thought I would share my progress on my next dress which I have called 'Duchess', simply because it is made of a duchess satin.  Unfortunately, no matter how many different settings I try, the camera does not do justice to the gorgeous emerald green of the satin!  So just imagine a nicer colour that how it actually appears!

I am using McCall's pattern M6508 which is VERY strange. Basically it has instructions for 11 different pieces (different straps, bodices and skirts) and you pick the combination you want to make.  So as you can imagine the pattern is difficult to follow.  Like all commercial patterns anyway, it misses out key explanations and assumes a level of knowledge which a novice just does not have.  I am slowly getting over the frustration of this!

So, onto my progress.  I opted for one shoulder bodice with ruffle and short gathered skirt.  I plan on wearing it to my College of Law leavers ball in July.  Hence why I am rapidly trying to progress with it! 

I have made the main part of the front bodice and my next step is to press open all of the seams.  I am waiting for my tailor's ham to arrive in the post though (hence the bumpy seams in the photo).

I still have the one shoulder strap to finish and the side back pieces.  Each pattern piece (except the skirt) is underlined with a layer of lining and the dress is fully lined.  So far the most difficult part to make has been the ruffle.  Sewing it into the seam was a nightmare due to the poor instructions.  Anyway I finally did master it!

This is the underlining.  The lining will sit on top to hide all the seams. 


Since my last post (where I showed you my completed English Rose dress) I have been on a short break to York which I thought was the perfect occasion to wear it.  The sun was shining and I received some lovely comments from one or two strangers which was very flattering.  York has a little 'Crafter's Trail' around the craft and haberdashery stores which was lovely to follow on their nice map/pamphlet. 

Also I am very excited to report my latest investment, a Bernina 700D overlocker!  I say my was a birthday present off my Mum.  It runs extremely smoothly and I am very happy with it.  With a sewing machine and overlocker I needed somewhere for them to live so I invested in a cast iron Singer table base with added table top.  My dad drove to Bradford to pick it up with me (I think I still owe him for that)! 

Anyway, I am very happy to occupy a small corner of our house for my dressmaking!

The man who restored the base painted gold detailing on the Singer name and on the side decorations also.