Monday, 14 April 2014

Next up: Spring Dress!

Excellent news everyone!  My three month probation has finally finished at work, which means my perks kick in!  The most exciting is the display program, which lets me make one outfit a month with all the materials supplied for me, in exchange for the garment hanging in the store for a month.

So, without further ado: Project April!

I'm going to be doing a version of Butterick 5605, view C (in the top right).  I got the pattern for Christmas and I was planning to make it for dinner with my fiancee's work, back in January.  If you recall, my stash-busting was my doom, and the dress got shelved.

So, on Saturday, my manager very kindly cut 4 meters of a gorgeous stretch poplin.  It is fairly light, cotton polyester, royal blue on lighter blue.  The pictures don't really do the colour justice, unfortunately.  It has a nice hand to it and I think it'll work really well with the skirt in this pattern.  There's enough body to fill out the back pleats, but its still light enough to fall nicely, especially over a petticoat.

This is truer to the colour

I've got two weeks to get the finished dress back to work, where it will hang for a month, and then it's all mine!  Needless to say, I'm fairly excited about this whole program.

Fabric and materials were provided by my employer in exchange for use of the dress as display for one month.  All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Better Fit Friday -- The Round Back

Today for Better Fit Friday, we're going to look at the Round Back adjustment.  You can find all of the previous Better Fit Friday editions here.

A round back will cause drooping towards the armhole and the center back to be too short at the waist.  Measure how much length needs to be added at the center back.

At the bottom of the shoulder dart, make a slit from the center back to the arm scythe, leaving a hinge.  Make a slit through the shoulder dart leaving a hinge.  Spread the bodice back the amount that the center back was short.  This will widen the dart, creating a better fit through the back and arm scythe.

So, there we have it.  A nice simple alteration for today.  If you have any questions, leave them in the comments.  And stay tuned next week for the 'Too Erect Figure', our last bodice back adjustment.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing - A Review

At long last, I'm going to review Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing, written by Gretchen of Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing.  It's been quite a while coming, since I got the book back in August.  I wanted to make something from the book before I came up with my complete review, and then the portrait blouse had some roadblocks.

But, here we are!

I've read the techniques section, as I said in my August pre-view.  It was very useful, it covered a lot of advanced techniques with simple instructions.  Some of the patterns require you to go back and use sections to develop pieces line facings or simple dirndl skirts.  I think that its a really good way of not only saving space on the pattern sheets, but also providing projects to use the new skills in.

I really like the designs in the book.  That was the main reason that I purchased it to begin with.  Unfortunately, I found the patterns to be a little bit difficult to work with.  Gertie has said that the sizing does not follow regular pattern sizes (from the Big Four), or ready to wear.  She developed her sizing based of her measurements as the median size 8.  While I'm sure this did simplify a lot of things in development, it means that any normal fitting adjustments you do won't work.

I also noticed a few flaws in the patterns.  Nothing huge, just things like pieces being slightly different lengths (like the front and back of the portrait blouse side seams).  As a few other reviews have mentioned, it looks like the darts in the sheath dress don't align from bodice to skirt.  Since the skirt is actually the same pattern as the Pencil Skirt, I'm guessing it just didn't get the double check it needed.

There were a few other things that I found made working with the patterns more difficult.  First, there are no finished garment measurements.  I think that since the book is filled with fitting advice that references the finished garment measurements, I think it was an oversight not to put it in.  It is also has no bust or hip markers.  Again, the book has numerous directions for adjusting fit that are based off the but or hip points, but they aren't marked.

Overall, I really respect Gertie.  She has accomplished quite a bit to go from blogger to published author and pattern designer for Butterick.  However, I don't know if I would say these patterns are up to the standard I would expect from a published book.  Conclusion:  The fitting information is wonderful.  However the patterns are not what I had hoped, or expected.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Better Fit Friday: Broad Back, Narrow Waist

This adjustment is similar to the adjustment made last week.  Last week, we broadened the back and the waist.  This week, we will be adjusting the back across the shoulders, but leaving it at the waist as is.  It is recommended for the 'young figure'.

To make this adjustment, slash the Bodice Back under the arm scythe and through the shoulder dart.  The piece with the arm scythe is then moved out to provide the necessary space at the shoulder blades.  Increase the shoulder dart by the amount of the adjustment.  This insures that when you attach the shoulders, the bodice front and back are the same size.  Redraw the line from the arm scythe down to the waist.  It will be a sharper angle thee previously to accommodate the width added.

 The rest of the Better Fit Friday series can be found here.  Thanks for tuning in, and stay tuned next week for the Round Back!