Wednesday, January 13, 2010


My sheltie Declan died unexpectedly early this morning. He had just turned 10 in September- I'm still in a big state of shock, since he was in good health until he developed a cough two days ago. I took him to the vet early this morning with the cough and while we were in the exam room he had what appeared to be a stroke and passed away within a few minutes. It was very quick, and he was in very capable hands when it happened, so if it had to happen that wasn't the worst way. My dad thankfully works right down the road and rushed to the office right after it happened.

I miss you little guy- you're always my best friend.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Vogue 2253 again

Well, I traced the front, back, and sleeve patterns:
pattern tracing

Then I added the 1" in length to the bodice, and increased the arm pattern:
longer pattern

And straightened out the new sleeve curve:
arm pattern

Here's a blurry closeup of the front:

I feel like I need to raise the bottom of the armhole up again, since now it hits too low- but the bust dart hits a little better place. I didn't pinch out the dart at the inner corners of the neckline since I wanted to see just the extra length. I'm wondering if maybe an inch was too much to add and I should fold out a half inch. Hmmmm.


The back definitely needs a swayback fix.


My brain is kind of mush so I'll keep this short, but there we are- muslin #2 of vogue 2253. ;-)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Another muslin...

Here's muslin #2, from Vogue 2253. First I marked the bias grainline on the skirt pattern pieces using a quilting ruler that had a 45 degree line marked on it. I lined that 45 degree line up on the original grain line, then used a marker to draw in a new grainline. In order to cut the skirt pieces out of the muslin, I cut about 6 feet off the bolt for each piece, unfolded it, then folded it perpendicular to the way it had been folded on the bolt. I was then able to cut the skirt pieces out. The front, back, and sleeves were cut out from the extra fabric around the skirt pieces.

When I attached the skirt to the bodice I had to ease stitch around the waistline of the skirt- something I rather expected I'd have to do, since the bias relaxed a little bit while I was sewing. This skirt has a nice little dip at the hem in the very back- sort of a hint of a train- which is really cute, but not long enough that I'd trip over it. It's just enough to sort of pool a little bit on the floor when you're standing still.

Here is the muslin hanging up by my sewing machine with the fitting notes on it- this one is definitely worth tweaking and trying again! I tried it on with my wedding shoes and twirled around the kitchen for a minute. :-D

muslin #2

The fitting notes are:
  1. Increase size of arm pattern. I have chubby biceps. ;-) I'll do a slash-and-spread from the base of the arm pattern up to almost the top
  2. Add about an inch just below the shoulder- this adjustment my mom always has to make for herself, and she thinks the bodice will look better with that extra space
  3. pinch out a dart, in the pattern, at the lower corners of the neckline to bring the shoulders in a little bit. The neckline and armhole need to be "narrowed" to fit me better.

Once those are done, we'll re-examine the bust darts. They looked weird, but it's no use adjusting them before I make the other changes.

I'll likely take out the waist seam and reuse the skirt pattern pieces for muslin #2... I should have written the fit notes on the bodice instead of the skirt piece, but there you go!

Merideth asked how many bolts of muslin I have.... a few! I'm using kona muslin, which is fantastic soft drapey stuff that I always use for quiltbacks. For one, I want the dresses I try on to have a somewhat similar hand to the real fabric, and this muslin is sooooooo nice! I have a special project in mind so I'm saving all the largeish muslin scraps from cutting out these dresses for it. And last, Kate (who is no stranger to muslins- I make them for some of her little dresses to check length sometimes) has asked if she can have the muslins for the patterns I don't end up choosing to play dress up with. She wants to paint & embellish them into princess dresses for dressup. Yeah, they'll be huge on her, but she loves playing with long fancy dresses and these will perfect for her to goof around with.

Carolyn asked what I'm doing with the dress patterns once I've picked one out- besides the one I pick, I'll probably keep a few of the ones with shorter dress options, and then- I have no idea what to do with the rest. Most of them I bought for the directions, which I won't need anymore once the real dress is done. And I really don't have the time to sell them back on ebay, so there will probably be a big dress pattern giveaway here next May or something. I don't want to keep them hidden away in a box forever, so stay tuned! ;-)

Friday, January 8, 2010

2 more vintage wedding dress patterns....

We'll see if I can steal a break from work this weekend and sew up another muslin, because I have a fantastic new pattern. It's *very* simple, but it shows a lot of promise. :-) May I present vogue 2253....

vogue 2253

Empire waist, check. Sleeves and scoopneck, check. (I'll shorten them to short sleeves I think). Very simple lines, 1960s-ish, check. And Vogue, which my mom still thinks will fit bette on top. I'm tempted to cut the skirt on the bias to see how it hangs since it's not gathered at the waist.

And its new friend, butterick 5284 which I might make up as just a simple summer dress someday when I have more time to sew. ;-)

butterick 5284

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Here's one more christmas sewing project- a little table topper that I made for my mom. I used a layer cake, and made two toppers- one for my sister and one for my mom. Very simple project, but they came out nice.


I drew a diagonal line from corner to corner on half the squares, then paired light to dark squares. The squares were stacked on top of each other- good sides facing- and stitched on either side of the diagonal line. Then I cut them apart on the line, and ended up with 2 squares made of light & dark triangles. The layout was kind of figured out by wiggling them around on the floor, then sewn together and quilted.

I'm really getting into the free motion quilting with my sapphire- the stitching is a little easier, and I feel like I have a better idea of how to move around the material. Still haven't done anything bigger than a twin sized quilt, but it feels more natural now. :-)

And finally a few foggy pictures from my quiet new years in virginia. I hope everyone had a wonderful new years holiday!

New Years Eve

Elizabeth river fog