Tag Archives: butterick

A Sewing Update

11 Feb

Lest you all start to worry that I have sold my sewing machine to pay for all my new clothes, I have been slowly getting my Sew-jo back. It was temporarily interrupted by selling our home and moving into a much smaller condo. I don’t really have a dedicated sewing space anymore so that has made me reevaluate my sewing methods. But I will not be deterred and I have been slowly but steadily making my flat pattern adjustments to the new Sewaholic Granville shirt pattern. So far, I have done my full bust, forward shoulder, short waist, swayback, and uneven shoulder adjustments. Now all I have left to do is trace and cut the pattern pieces that didn’t have to be altered and make a muslin. I am feeling a little brazen and may forego the actual muslin and cut into a real fabric for this test run. The flat pattern adjustments are looking pretty good when I hold them up against my body in the mirror — ha!

I have also solved the dilemma about where to put my sewing machine. If you remember in a prior post, I was debating about what small space sewing solution to use to set up my work area. Well, I didn’t go with any of those options because my grandmother reminded me that I was supposed to take her 1960s Kenmore that is built into a cute little wooden cabinet. I picked up the machine a few weeks ago but knew it wasn’t in working order — I don’t remember my grandmother ever really sewing anything although there are rumors of her sewing prom dresses for my mom and aunt. You can guess how out of shape that machine was! I called my friend and trusty sewing machine doctor, Richard Givens, and he came and picked it up.

When I dropped by his shop today, he showed me pictures of all the work he had to do to get her back in serviceable condition — basically a complete overall with the machine torn totally apart. Almost every gear was locked up. But now that he has worked his magic, she is humming a sweet, sweet song, and I can’t wait to sew that Granville on her. Poor little Janome is going to get so jealous when I stash her in the closet for the time being. But she’ll come back out when the new house is finished. Mr. Givens says sewing machines aren’t manufactured like this Kenmore anymore — all precision metal parts, etc. And that if it were to be manufactured today, it would cost over $1000. Luckily the repairs weren’t quite that much but I can understand why many of us today don’t invest in repairing the things we have (as I could have easily bought a decent cheap machine — like my current Janome — for the cost of the repairs). But I would gladly spend it again to be able to sew dresses for myself on the machine that my grandmother and possibly mother once spent hours in front of creating the frocks of their dreams.

photo 1[1] Here’s a picture of Mr. Givens with my little Kenmore. You can start to get a glimpse of all the sewing machines that were laying around everywhere.

Sewing Machines

He let me snap some more pictures to show you all the different types of machines he works on. I don’t think there is a machine he couldn’t fix. The button machine does nothing but sew on buttons. And it does it in about 2 seconds. How awesome is that?!?

The last really cool bit of news is that I entered my Butterick 6019 bombshell dress into Gertie’s Grand Giveaway and I was selected as a finalist! Now I have to mail my dress off to NYC to be inspected by the judges — yikes! There is only a 20% chance I will win, but if I do, what will I do with 17 bolts of fabric??? We will have a big giveaway here on the blog! Cross your fingers, say your prayers, and send good thoughts my way!

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Bodice Modifications for Butterick 6019

27 Jul

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Hi, friends! I am here today with a quick “tutorial” post to address a question that came up about the fitting of my Butterick 6019 bombshell dress. During the muslin-making process, I realized that the bust cups of the dress were all wrong for me. The top of the dress was too low for comfortable decency and the cup seams created an awkward pointy shape over my bust (think bullet bra to the extreme). I also discovered that the under bust seam didn’t hit under my bust and the bodice was overall too long for my figure.

I will warn you in advance, I am going to share some less than attractive photos of myself in this post. But it’s all for the sake of science, right?

I started by pinching out the excess from bodice fabric in the front and back. This helped bring the under bust seam into the correct position. I then pinched and pinned out a little excess in the side seams.

 

 

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Once that had been taken care of, I pinned out the excess in the vertical and horizontal bust cup seams, creating a much more natural shape in this area. Then I checked the location of the horizontal bust cup seams and felt it was too low across my body and raised it across both lower cup pattern pieces (hence the reason it doesn’t look like I took any out in these areas). Hopefully you can see in the photos that the overall effect of these adjustments was to decrease the severity of the curve across the bust. At this point I made new muslin and tweaked all of the previous adjustments by a few more minor amounts.

 

 

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You can hopefully see in this photo how my final pattern pieces in white paper compare to the original pattern pieces.

 

Once all these adjustments had been made, I assessed the location of the top of the bodice all the way around and realized I wanted roughly 1/2″ added in the front and 1″ in the back. I added these amounts to my already modified pattern pieces and tapered the 1/2″ in front around to the 1″ in back.

 

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Since this layer wouldn’t show in the final dress, I sewed it with leftover bobbins in random colors.

 

I made my final muslin just to check the fit once more but to also use as the interlining if all my adjustments had been successful.

 

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You can see I added a lot more boning than suggested in the pattern.

 

During the earlier muslins, I duct taped cheap boning from Hancock Fabrics into place for fitting but on the final version, I went ahead and sewed my boning channels and added the spiral steel boning. Next time, I think I will lengthen this layer to my high hip (like a corselet) for added wearing comfort. As it is now, the boning ends right at my narrowest point, somewhat cutting into my body when I sit, and also making the skirt portion just below the waist seam blouse out a little bit.

 

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Here’s the finished dress just waiting on a hem. Please pardon the unattractive setting and the cute socks 🙂

Butterick 6019 — A Polka Dot Bombshell Dress

21 Jul

Howdy, friends! I hope this missive finds you well. I have been doing some sewing and knitting lately and finally have something finished to show you!

 

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This is Butterick 6019, a bombshell dress by Gretchen Hirsch of Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing. I have been muslining a dress like this intermittently for the past 2 years — I finally bit the bullet and finished one!

 

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I chose this pattern because it has a lot of visual interest with the fitted bodice with sash accent, sarong-style skirt, and shirring on the back bodice. I think the shirring is what attracted me the most.

 

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Alright, now for some wordy business about the process of creating this dress!

I started with the 14 D-cup pattern and made a muslin of the bodice. I ended up taking it in at the top and letting it out a smidge in the waist. I did a swayback adjustment on the bodice (but should have done one on the skirt, too). I also added about an inch to the bodice height to make the neckline more decent.

I found the cups to be waaaay too pointy for my taste so I tamed that down quite a bit also. I ended up shortening the bodice about an inch under the bust — I am accepting the fact that I am very short-waisted or my boobs are saggy…

That was all pretty straightforward stuff. The project got complicated when I decided to fully line the dress (the pattern only calls for partially lining the bodice — and for good reason I discovered) and then underline the bodice.

 

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The bodice underlining was simple enough. I just used corset mesh cut a little bigger than the shirred pieces to stabilize that area but still allow for some stretch. I used muslin for the rest of the underlining and added way more boning channels than the pattern’s prescribed two. I sewed a waist stay to a few points on the bodice. Next time I make a dress like this, I will extend the underlining layer down to my high hip to keep it from cutting into my waist.

 

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I also used bra foam for the cups instead of the batting that was called for.

 

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For the shirring, I marked lines perpendicular to the grain at 3/8″ intervals. Sewing all the shirring was one of the most tedious parts of the project but also one of the most rewarding. Look how beautiful!

 

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My dress is made from a navy and white polka dot silk cotton blend. It has a nice crisp hand but shows lint like it’s going out of style!

 

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To line the bodice, I used a luscious 4 ply silk satin remnant for the non-stretch sections and a scrap from the Gertie slip kit (not finished yet) for the areas under the shirring. I left small openings in the back bodice lining seams to allow the waist stay to pull through.

 

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Now, lining the skirt was a whole different monster. Since the skirt has a wrap front, I couldn’t just duplicate it and stick it inside. I decided to have the lining attached at the front vertical edges of both wrap panels which meant that something had to be stitched by hand — yuck! But hand stitch I did and don’t judge my really sloppy work.

 

 

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I did a machine hem on the lining and a hand stitched hem on the shell. For my skirt lining, I used a cute ivory polka dot silk charmeuse.

 

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I used my Threads #171 for inserting the lapped zipper with lining by machine, but as usual, I handpicked the overlap for greater control. Just like the method I used on my Rosy Elisalex.

 

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I guess that’s about it on this dress. It was definitely a journey as I initially planned to wear it to a wedding a few weeks ago but ran out of time to complete it so let it sit for a few weeks before getting up the gumption to finish it. But finish it I did!

 

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These photos were taken in the front yard of our eventual new house. I love our huge oak tree!