Sunday, April 12, 2015

Sewing Machine-less!!

I have been the proud owner of a Viking 500 Computer machine for 20+ years.  That machine has been a real trooper with all the sewing I put her through.  Poor baby just didn't have it in her any longer.  She was put out to pasture earlier this month. 

I have a new Viking Sapphire on order, but she won't arrive until later this month.

I have been sewing on my back up Janome machine, until today.  She was acting up yesterday and just decided she had had it too.  Luckily, I think she just needs some TLC from our local dealer to get her back up to speed.

What does that mean for me you ask??  I have no sewing machine.  :(  Which means all my projects including my dress form are on hold.  I'm hoping my Janome won't be in the shop very long, and she'll be home soon purring along.  And I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of my Sapphire.

Until then, I'll have to do some hand work to get my fix.  Maybe some tatting will do the trick.  I have some new pillow cases in mind for my master bedroom maker over, so maybe I'll get that going.

Hope to see you back her soon with some finished projects.


Friday, April 10, 2015

Hadley's Tween Halter Top Dress - Review

This is a 3 in 1 pattern including a top, dress and maxi.  Overall, it's a good pattern.  My biggest pet peeve is the illustrations.  Some of the photos are of completely different fabric, meaning they weren't using the same fabric for the bodice in every photo.  It is very confusing for an intermediate sewer let alone a beginner, and this pattern is marketed for beginners.  I also wish the seam allowances were more prominently displayed.  I actually thought there were none until I went back through the pattern for this review and found it.

I made a size 14 for growing room, and there will be very little.  This pattern runs small.  But that's okay, it's just a note for anyone else wanting to try the pattern.

I didn't like having a raw seam at the waist, so rather than stitch the bodice and lining to the skirt as one unit, I chose to only attach the bodice then stitch the lining down to enclose the raw edge.  I used the stitch in the ditch method, and hand tacked any places that didn't catch.  Don't mind my stray threads.  Oops. :)

Pattern Review:

Pattern Description:   Hadley's Tween Halter Top, Dress and Maxi - PDF pattern

Pattern Sizing: Girls' 7/8 through 15/16 - I made a size 14.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes 

Were the instructions easy to follow? For the most part.  Some of the photos were different fabrics, and that makes it confusing.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It was fairly easy once I realized the photos were different.  That is my biggest complaint.  

Fabric Used: 100% cotton

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: The bodice and bodice lining are treated as one when attached to the skirt.  I chose to only attach the bodice then stitched the lining in place to cover the raw edge.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? No, I won't be using this one again.  I recommend it to others but with a note about the illustrations.  Pay attention.  

Conclusion: I think after having this experience with a PDF pattern and it being the first, I'll stick to the big 4.  They are better written and illustrated.  This pattern runs small, so measure if you can.  This little girl wears a size 12 now, and this dress fits her loosely, but it won't last as long as I wanted or expected.  I thought it would have much more room in the waist.  

I also made a matching doll dress using another PDF pattern, and I had some issues with it as well.  I'll review it at a later date.

I would advise buying these PDF patterns based on reviews.  There were no reviews when I bought these, and I won't do that again.

I hope this helps.  If you have questions, please feel free to ask.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Dress Form Continued

I've been working on this form off and on (more off than on) for a couple of weeks.

If you'll remember in the first installment, I suggested knowing certain measurements including the bust curve.  This is why that's so important.

This was my first padding attempt for the bust line.  My bust curve, that is from my apex down to my under bust, is 3.5".  When I remeasured this on the dress form after padding, the bust curve was 4.5".  Everything else was accurate, apex to apex, apex to side seam and shoulder to apex.  That meant I had overpadded the bra.

I removed the padding and started over.  She is outside almost "nekked" because the lighting was better.  I have no idea what my neighbors were thinking!!  I'm sure to get a letter from the HOA. Oops!

Anyway, now everything is dead on except for my full bust measurement.  That tells me that I need more in the back, not in the busts.  I have a wider back from doing pull ups in the gym, so once I pad that out, the new full bust measurement will be accurate.

So this means you can't just put your bra on the form and start padding out without knowing these measurements.  It won't give you an accurate representation, and we want this as accurate as possible.

I am working on my cover now.  I have carved out the sway back on the form, and I was left with a Jessica Rabbit butt. LOL  I know my hiney falls much lower in reality than on the form, so I'll be tackling that next.

Once I get that fixed, I'll begin padding out for the hiney, hips and the upper back where I need a little width/fullness. I have more an athletic build, but I do have a little more hip than Jessica is showing right now. Ha!  

I want to contour the hiney more underneath, so when I'm making pants, it'll be easier for me to fit - I hope. For that reason, I opted for a separating zipper, which I'll show in future posts.

I am posting as I go on this journey, so please feel free to ask questions or offer suggestions.  I know my friends are sick of hearing about this dress form, but they have been so gracious with their time and help, and for that, I am sincerely grateful!

Thanks for stopping by.