Gertie’s Bombshell Bodice

Bombshell-title

The Pattern: BurdaStyle 07/2011 #132

Size + Alterations: I started with a size 48 but I followed Gertie’s Craftsy Course for the fitting so the actual size is anyone’s guess. I took quite a lot out of the back panels and the three-piece cup changed shape dramatically.

The Fabric: Oh, I splurged for this ;) 1.5m of Anna Maria Horner’s Turn of Events Voile and the same of medium weight cotton  both from the lovely folks at Raystitch.

Time to Make: I was on a bit of a deadline for this project so it was quite intense. I completed it during evenings for a week and over a weekend. Using the craftsy course was great as it broke it into manageable chunks but there’s no escaping the fact that there is a lot of hand sewing and fitting involved.

Bombshell-composite

New Skills: Too many to count thanks to following the course – thread tracing, draping the cups, properly underlining, boning, joining the lining by hand.

bombshell-4x4Favourite Features: The fabric is just dreamy to work with and I love the way the zipper works – I hate the feeling of a side zipper tab under my arm so I inserted it upside down. It now sits at the bottom when zipped up.

Ch-ch-ch-changes: In hindsight, I made the cups a little shallow. It fits because they are quite wide but the centre panel doesn’t sit flat on my chest. The bodice is really a work of engineering because of the weight it needs to support so next time I would trace off the cups of a well fitting bra as the starting point.

bombshell-issue

First Worn: Eek, I haven’t yet. I chickened out of wearing it to the black-tie even as it was work related and this felt a little too booby-liscious. I’m working on building up my cahones to wear it in public.

Repeatability: Well I don’t really need another for the reasons above but for the learning experience – absolutely!

Sew Grateful: Thanks to Gertie for being a kick-ass teacher on the course.

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Palette Challenge:
Saffron Vogue 1250 + FBA

Continuing on my quest for work-wear that feels like PJs, I finally jumped on the Vogue 1250 bandwagon and like a broken record I can add my cry to the masses – “what took me so long?!”.

Made from a soft golden light-weight double-knit found on Goldhawk Road, I started cutting the pattern at 6:30pm last night and was done by 10:00pm. It’s such a dream to go together.

The only tricky bit was figuring out the full bust adjustment, as there is really only 2 pieces to this pattern – the upper back, and the rest. I took flat measurements and added a couple of inches to the skirt at the centre back. I knew I’d need more room at the bust but I didn’t want to add any at the waist so rather than a normal FBA, I winged it. (Sorry if it doesn’t make sense – the pictures didn’t come out as clear as I’d hoped.)

The net result is a much deeper tuck at the shoulder giving more room at the bust. I had my fingers crossed the whole way but I like how it turned out.

The Sew Grateful Dress: Vintage Simplicity 4908

 

The gorgeous and gracious Debi, who I’m sure you all know from her blog My Happy Sewing Place and her work on the Sew Weekly, recently hosted a challenge in celebration of Thanksgiving.

The instructions were to use a piece of fabric or pattern you had won or been gifted or to use a tutorial from another blogger in the spirit of saying thanks to the collaborative community that we are all a part of. And lucky me, the day after reading Debi’s Sew Grateful challenge, I won a blogiversary giveaway of two vintage patterns from Amy of Sewing Through the Motions.

I decided to make Simplicity 4908, which according to the Vintage Patterns wiki is from the early to mid 60’s.

 

The dress has a princess seamed bodice and kimono sleeves. The front panel and the belt are all cut as one piece and it finishes at the back with a bow. Which makes me feel a little like I’ve accidentally made a bridesmaid dress…

Image via Aeva Couture

I blame Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Still, I think a 60’s vintage dress in coral sounds just lovely so I didn’t let that put me off. Nor did I get defeated by the amount of pattern alterations that were needed.

To start with, I graded it from a 36in to a 41in bust before tackling the full bust adjustment. Frustratingly because of all the angles involved in the side front panel it just wouldn’t come together so instead I created a new pattern from a hodgepodge of ones I already knew fit.

The first pieces I needed were for the shoulder princess-line bodice, so I grabbed my Sewaholic Pendrell blouse. Next the kimono sleeves, which came from the white lace tee I made a few weeks ago.  I fit the pendrell pieces under the bust (it’s usually a loose blouse) then cut the side panel at the midriff to mimic the curve on the original piece. The bottom of the side panel attached to the front piece. The kimono sleeve addition was pinned to the side panel before tracing it off again and adjusting the seam allowance.

The back piece was the only originally graded piece I used, except for the bow. The only change made was to make the neckline scooped rather than V- or bateau necked. I continued the belt from the front piece around the back tracing the outline of that piece.

The skirt I adapted from Burdastyle’s Jenny Pencil Skirt, and the pockets came from another pattern.

You can see the original pieces above and below you can see how they sort of piece together.

 

In the end, it came together pretty well despite all the improvisations. By the time I’d made all the changes, a muslin might have killed me so I just went ahead and whipped it up but next time I’l remove a little length under the bust and definitely add more ease at the hips.

Still for my first attempt at sewing a vintage pattern, I’m chuffed.

 

Sewaholic Minoru Muslin/Sweater-dress + FBA

I find myself with a bit of a problem. Whilst my brain knows that making a muslin is not a waste of fabric I seem to be physically incapable of disposing of one once it’s made.

Which goes a little way to explaining this odd sweater/dress hybrid.

I want to make an all-weather version of Sewaholic’s latest pretty and practical pattern – the Minoru Jacket. Tasia’s sew-a-long begins in earnest in January but I thought I’d get a head start on the muslin being that it usually causes much feet dragging. I had some double-knit which would work and really I just wanted to check that the full-bust adjustment would work okay on the dartless bodice.

Here’s how it went:

(click to enlarge)

ETA: On regular version add the length created at Line 3 to the front placket and zip, too.

 It worked just fine and I now know when it comes to making the real version I’ll need a 34in separating zipper not a 32in due to the additional length from the FBA.

Still I didn’t want to waste a zipper I can’t really afford on a muslin so I thought to myself… what would happen if I cut the front on a fold (adding in the width of the button placket)? Answer is… a Sweater-Dress. It’s very comfortable despite being unlined and the fact I messed the collar up royally. I didn’t notice the front placket went up to the top of the collar so I forgot to add the additional length and then I went and sewed it on backwards. Oh well, good thing it’s just a knock-around for home.

 The pattern itself is so lovely to sew, and now I have my alterations all done I can’t wait for January.

Floral Straight Skirt: BurdaStyle October 2011-136

The Pattern: Burda Magazine October 2011-#136.

Size: 52 – No alterations.

Fabric: Floral Cotton-Sateen remnant from Ditto Fabrics.

I was on the hunt yesterday for something simple but pretty to wear for my sister’s birthday dinner and this skirt fit the bill perfectly. The fabric has been in my stash a little while after picking it up from the remnant table at Ditto fabrics on a trip to Brighton and I was quite happy to put it into use.

The pattern is from the plus section of October’s Burda Magazine is really just 6 panels with a side zip. It is lined rather than using facings and although the back has two vents, the lining is cut to finish above them so you don’t frazzle your brain attaching it.

In fact, the only thing that required creative thinking was the hem.

The skirt is shaped by the curves of the panels meaning the circumference at the hem is smaller than were it’s folded.

In the end, I unpicked the seams between the top stitching and spread them apart so they sat flush before stitching each panel in place which left everything neat and tidy inside.

On to the fit – for the first time I made a straight size 52 without any alterations which fit fine size-wise although I have a small issue with the shape.

Every figure has it’s quirks to work around and one of mine is a large high hip that juts abruptly out as you can see in this picture.

This means that skirts and pants that sit below the natural waist and with no waistband sit oddly on my hips like my Suedette Skirt (A-line skirts are the worst).

For styles like this I definitely don’t tuck in my top and style-wise, high-waisted pencil skirts are a better way to go (this is where I sing the praises of BurdaStyle Jenny yet again).

Rooibos Sew-along: Muslin Two

 

Today is just a brief one as I’m off to Edinburgh for a couple of days, but I’ve adjusted and re-cut the bodice of my Rooibos muslin so I think I’m ready to roll on the full version, hurray!

Going back to the first muslin here is the photo showing the length issue in the bodice.

The pins indicate where the midriff line should fall.

To make the adjustment I measured the additional length needed (1.75in at the full bust + 1in at the  centre front).

Then I cut a line from beneath the underarm bust dart to the full bust point then vertically down (avoiding the under-bust darts). I left a hinge at the side seam stitching line so the side seam length remained unchanged, then pivoted the bottom piece down 1.75in.

Then I drew a line from the full but point to the centre front (perpendicular to the CF) and slide that piece down 1in before filling the gaps with paper and truing up the line.

This seems to have added the right amount although I had to play with the dart position and length a fair bit in the muslin form because the angle had pivoted down. I think now though, the problem is solved.

Here is the first muslin:

And here is the second:

It certainly feels like a better fit even if the process was somewhat of a guess :)

Vlog: Sewaholic Pendrell FBA (part two)

… and here’s part two. Warning, my editing software putted out on me so this one is pretty wordy!

 

In case it’s needed here’s the picture of the adjustments to the front piece:

The first adjustment should match the gap filled at Line 3 on the side piece. The next is to add the amount added at the full bust point. Finally I added an inch to the centre front to make sure the princess line falls in the right place.

From the front

The Back

(you can see part one here)

Vlog: Sewaholic Pendrell FBA (part one)

Procrastination leads me to many crazy pursuits. In my desire to put off packing, I’ve been doing a fair bit of sewing and decided to try making a video of the full bust adjustment on Sewaholic’s Pendrell Blouse.

The result is somewhat awkward (god it’s awful watching yourself on film)  and involves a fair bit of fast motion to make it fit, but you get the idea. (Part two to follow).

Just in case, here’s the pictorial breakdown of choosing your size based on your high bust measurement:

Muslin (mark II)

So, after playing with my first muslin this way and that I decided to try again and this time lengthen the hip (from about 1/3 of the way down from the waist) by 3 inches and move the darts closer to the centre. I took it in at the hip a bit and at the waist a lot and this seems to have solved the funny bagginess I was working in the first go.

Unfortunately, having run out of plain cotton I sacrificed this piece, which I bought a couple of years ago for a table cloth at thanksgiving. I couldn’t bear to just waste it though and so I’m calling this a wearable muslin.

I’m happy with the fit of the skirt but I’m going to try Sunni’s advice of cutting the waistband on the grain vs. the bias as it’s still gaping a bit after taking it in.

I’m going to make the “real” version with an invisible zip, back vent and lining following the tutorials at the Cupcake Goddess using this printed cotton twill from spotlight and hopefully it’ll be done before Self Stitched September begins – can’t believe there’s only a week to go!