motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (bookworm)
Remember that floral skirt I was making where I very carefully planned out exactly where the flowers would go across the front and back?

Well, I put an invisible zipper in it, and it was maybe a little too tight. And as I mentioned before, that combination proved fatal and resulted in me standing in my bathroom, slightly weepy, wielding a pair of scissors and cutting myself out of my skirt. Man, once an invisible zipper gets stuck, there is no unsticking it.

In order to make the skirt less tight, I had to remove and make a new bottom border, and cut gores from the minimal scraps of remaining fabric (thankfully I kept them). So minimal that I paid no attention whatsoever to the grainlines.  Ok, I did, but just to say, "Wow, I really hope cutting this that skewed doesn't make it drape badly."

Here it is, on a windy and "I don't feel like getting out my tripod" day.  The photos are a little over-exposed, but you can sort of see the gores compare to my original mockup.1


I constructed the gores the same way I originally constructed the skirt - I cut both fashion fabric and lining (I think it's a white rayon "Hang Loose" or something equally cleverly named) and serged them together, so it's really underlined, not lined.  That worked okay for this skirt, however, it was a little wrinkly after washing, and I probably wouldn't do it this way again. I'd probably line the skirt then sandwich both the lining and fashion fabric in the bottom border so they hang somewhat separately. Ha, I almost said "hang loose".

Back with a METAL zipper, thank you

To figure out where to start the gores, I ripped the seams up to where it released the tension across my hips, about 3" below the waistband. Then I just eyed how wide I wanted the gores at the bottom - about 5".  So I added 20" total to the bottom circumference. Luckily, I had bought enough of the black sateen to cut another bottom border.


So the finished object doesn't quite match up with the original design, however, it's now much easier to ride my bike in this skirt now, and that's really what's important, right?

1. And, holy cats, can I ever remember to iron and use a lint roller before taking pictures?
motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (bookworm)
So, now we know why Ichabod will be staying in period clothing and where he gets them.  So clever and not just a little hilarious.

And now...
I'm currently working on finishing up the seventh item1 in my "sew one piece of clothing a week" collection... from October.  Things keep getting slipped into the queue as they have a higher priority.  Like resewing the buttons on my pants again because I'm either losing weight or they are stretching.

And putting gussets in the underarm seam of the sixth item - a basic short-sleeved button-up blouse1 - after completely finishing it, because it was one of those situations where the entire shirt comes up when you lift your arms.  Which is really the point of this post.

After reading Kathleen Fasanella's post about how sleeve cap ease is bogus and what a sleeve cap should look like to follow the actual shape of a person, I wanted to try drafting something like that on the next shirt I made to avoid the shirt-rising problem.

The seventh item is indeed a basic long-sleeved button-up blouse from the same pattern as the short-sleeved.  I took the gusset from the short-sleeved and marked the points where it starts and stops on the arm scye. It makes the bottom of the arm scye over 2" (5cm) higher! And it's not exactly parallel to the floor. It slopes slightly down toward the front.  Not quite as much as some of the pictures in the tailoring forums:armhole-cutter-and-tailor-5-5xBut like this:armhole

I can understand shaping the armhole opening, but the sleeve is beyond my understanding at this point.  Measuring my arm around the deltoids and comparing it to the pattern measurement makes me think I need to add about two inches more in width? Which sort of could correspond to this picture?


And then there are these which are lesser priority, but frustrating me to think about.

I had to cut myself out of my black and white skirt. Have you ever been able to un-jam an invisible zipper? And it really isn't as full as I originally wanted, so I want to add gores and a new zipper. Which means taking off the bottom black band and making a new one of those.  And I could probably line it this time instead of underlining it. Basically, I would like to make an entirely new skirt. Urg.

The black dress I made from a pattern I thought fit me is exceptionally tight because the waist is too high and I should have lined it, not interlined it.  The corduroy and rayon lining really need to move independently.  Which means, basically, making a whole new dress.  And taking the collar off because it looks a little too... churchy?  Wednesday Addams?

1 From fabric bought for me while visiting home. :)
motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (bookworm)
I can't tell you how glad I am this is done.  I love it!  I've been working on it pretty steadily even though I: 1) hate cables and 2) had many other things to do.  And of course, just as I finished, the weather got warmer.

The pattern I used was a previous cardigan I picked up at a thrift store, debating all the while because it was "expensive" for a thrift store sweater, which I then wore out because I loved it so much.  It was originally Banana Republic that someone had felted a little bit, and I added the front button band and neckline bow from the Tri-Stitch Cable Sweater in "A Stitch In Time" by Susan Crawford.

You can see a teensy bit of the skirt I recently made (and love, too!) in the pic, too.
motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (bookworm)
I think I'll make another pair of Ruby pants, and use the remaining to make a skirt, specifically this one:

Simplicity 1690

View 3 (the red one), but make the tab welt things into actual pockets, since I need pockets in everything. And I already have buttons for it.  Also, the waistband is faced with grosgrain ribbon, which I haven't done before and I'm interested to see how that will work.
motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (bookworm)
I only had enough fabric to cut out the skirt, and of course I forgot to take a picture of the layout.  I think I got it lined up correctly for the most part. It was hard to get my croquis blown up enough without the details of the fabric getting blurry so I could see where the flowers started and ended.  I picked up some lining at the fabric store last night and grabbed some generic black and grey lining remnants for my stash, because I always seem to need lining.  I tell you, having an organized stash is da bomb, as the kids these days don't say EVER.

And I cut out the pockets. :)

My lasts are still drying.
motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (bookworm)
I'm going to draft the rest of this skirt pattern tonight. With my amazing willpower I will get up out of my seat and clean off the plaster of Paris from my sewing table and get cracking. WITH POCKETS.


I always regret not having POCKETS in my skirts or any garment, really, and always forget to put POCKETS in, so emphasis on POCKETS. POCKETSPOCKETSPOCKETS! I'm forgetting it even as I'm typing it! Geez.


The fabric is 100% cotton decorator fabric that gorthx gifted me a while ago. It was waiting for a decoupage project, because I thought I only had .5 yds, but it turns out it's 1.75 (yay organized stash!). And it fits in really well with my black and white themed collection. Thanks, gorthx! I hope I can piece it as drawn with the yardage I have. The back has slight variations I can't decide on.

The top will come later - a simple boat-neck sleeveless dealy I think I can draft from... something vintage.

Also, I'm debating on sewing this as part of the Fall For Cotton Sew-Along.

My custom lasts are drying in their negative molds. I'm highly suspicious they will not come out well in the toes.

motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (bookworm)
The last and most recent project is another skirt based on the skirt Flora wore in "Cold Comfort Farm".

I saw something nasty in the woodshed!

I drafted a version of it a few years ago, couldn't find the pattern recently, so drafted what I hope will be a basic A-line skirt block THAT I WILL KEEP AND NOT LOSE, and added a pleat in both the front and center back seams. This is also the skirt I croquised and subsequently realized the 50s skirt I wanted to make actually needed to be this pleated skirt. Alas, I did not have enough fabric for pockets.

Aaaand after cutting it out noticed holes right down the front - hard to notice on a double layer of fabric. I don't know if they've been there the whole time, or developed because the fabric has been undiscovered in my stash for so long. But I fixed them with a few little squares of fusible knit interfacing.


The pleats are handy both for striding towards a camera while looking grim, and riding a bike while looking like a dork (I'm assuming).

Flora skirt

I may need to adjust the block for a swayback, or simply stand up straight.
Flora skirt

And since the fabric has a subtle blue pinstripe, it will be a good match for this sweater:

Blue Beaded Sweater
Someone fire the maid for her ironing skills, pronto

You can once again see more in my Flora skirt flickr set.


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