Sewing projects

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sally
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Re: Sewing projects

Post by sally »

How are you finding the process now, a bit easier? Remember that iron, set it up when you are sewing and iron at every step of the way, you'll like the results much better I promise!

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Re: Sewing projects

Post by ladydetemps »

sally wrote:How are you finding the process now, a bit easier? Remember that iron, set it up when you are sewing and iron at every step of the way, you'll like the results much better I promise!
I am using the iron more. But...the ironing board well last time I tried to set it up it ate my fingers...quite painfully. So I'm using my stepping board as an impromptu ironing board.
I'm finding it easier...but I don't think I'm a standard shape. Doomed to always make a toile. e.g. that A-line skirt. Pattern said it was for a size 12. Well the waist was too wide for me and the rest clung to me hips too much (suspect if I tried to sit down it would rip) so have to widen that.
Do you think I should experiment with that toile and put a gore in for practice?


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mally ley
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Re: Sewing projects

Post by mally ley »

ladydetemps wrote:Do you think I should experiment with that toile and put a gore in for practice?
What is the A-line toile a pattern for? It appears to be far too narrow for anything medieval.
If it's for something modern and you're just practicing with techniques, putting gores in will add width around the hips and hem, so could solve the sitting down problem!

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Re: Sewing projects

Post by ladydetemps »

mally ley wrote:
ladydetemps wrote:Do you think I should experiment with that toile and put a gore in for practice?
What is the A-line toile a pattern for? It appears to be far too narrow for anything medieval.
If it's for something modern and you're just practicing with techniques, putting gores in will add width around the hips and hem, so could solve the sitting down problem!
Its a modern pattern. I dug out a book I bought ages ago. Which I know my sister has made several skirts from so thought I'd give it a go. As didn't want to go all out on a 'historical' dress, mess it up and waste all that material. So practicing with small stuff first.

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Alice the Huswyf
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Re: Sewing projects

Post by Alice the Huswyf »

Nice fabric - and you are getting confident - keep it up! We all learn by experimentation and making small modern items you can wear will teach you how to alter toiles and patterns for more complicated makes.

Simpler things are harder to make in a way becuase you have to get all seams straight and perfect: you can't hide faults under trimmings. Press at each stage to make life easier. If you put a band inside yout skirt waist it firm it enough to sit well and will stop stretch. It can be as simple as a striaght strip cut on the grain (following the straight line of the woven threads - Biad is diagonally across them, which allows for stretch). Tip: vertical button holes are for non-stress areas like the front of blouses - use a horizontal button hole where you expect pull - waistbands, waistcoats, ver yfitted garments.
Is it 'coz I is middewl clarse, aih?

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Re: Sewing projects

Post by ladydetemps »

Alice is the outfit the rich lady is wearing here 'bergundian'?

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Re: Sewing projects

Post by Alice the Huswyf »

The outfit that the actress is wearing is "Medjeeval". Whatever she has on her head is not a real medieval style or an easily wearable hat.

In the biggest nutshell possible, that is the illegitimate stage-costume child of a cotehardie (loosely C14th )
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cotehardie.jpg
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and a burgundian (later C15th)
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gown.jpg
gown.jpg (3.95 KiB) Viewed 9535 times
Of course there are variations by status, time and nationality: to more immobile the sleeves and hemline can make you shows how highborn you are, becuase you need help to move around. Broadly speaking big sleeves are earlier, narrow sleeves to make you look fragile are later.

The basic A-line fitted with a belt, V neck tight sleeve "burgundian" style gown with or without collar, contrast cuffs and hem guard (all of which can be added later) is the easiest to make and most useful . Becuase the suggestion is to master one set of techniques to make an outfit, this is the style you will need: the earlier ones are constructed just like the smock instructions I sent you (see footnote on bottom of the second page on how to use it to make a gown) and shapely fit is given when the belt is put on and the bodice and skirt neatly arrranged into pleats and folds.
Is it 'coz I is middewl clarse, aih?

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Re: Sewing projects

Post by ladydetemps »

I've started a sewing blog (and general stuff) - so no posting big pics to this thread I'm sure you'll be relieved to hear.
http://stitchintimeandspace.blogspot.com/
Found a sew-a-long blog for a vintage pattern which I'm following at the moment. Just doing a bit at a time.
So far cut out pattern and made a mini doll sized mock up to see how it fitted together as the instructions that came with the pattern were rather confusing. Its like it had skipped some key details. Or maybe I just wasn't reading it right.
I'm gonna make the 'adjustments' suggested on website on saturday and might have time to iron and pin/cut out fabric too. Then I'll have to wait till end of the month when I have time again to sew it all together.

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Re: Sewing projects

Post by Alice the Huswyf »

I can't join blogs, so answer here - The fitting isn't working becuase you have to stitch the darts before fitting ont he body - cut out your lining fabric / an old sheet, transfer the dart markings, sew them up and then the dress will work on your body shape.
Is it 'coz I is middewl clarse, aih?

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Re: Sewing projects

Post by Sophia »

Having looked at your blog I strongly suggest that you find an old sheet and make a full-size toile before you cut your cloth - you cannot fit off a paper pattern alone if you really want a good fit as paper is not cloth.. I would also suggest that you find yourself a good dressmaking book (Batsford and Reader's Digest have both published them in the past - try Amazon) and/or find out about basic dressmaking classes at your Local Adult Education College. In the long run this will save you money, I speak from experience!!
aka Thomasin Chedzoy, Tailor at Kentwell Hall

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Re: Sewing projects

Post by ladydetemps »

Alice the Huswyf wrote:I can't join blogs, so answer here - The fitting isn't working becuase you have to stitch the darts before fitting on the body - cut out your lining fabric / an old sheet, transfer the dart markings, sew them up and then the dress will work on your body shape.
The odd thing is the pattern doesn't mention lining? I have bought some lining material just incase.
Sophia wrote:Having looked at your blog I strongly suggest that you find an old sheet and make a full-size toile before you cut your cloth - you cannot fit off a paper pattern alone if you really want a good fit as paper is not cloth.
But I've got an old sheet and I do want to make a toile of the pattern (minus circle skirt bit) to see how it fits and practice my sewing a bit.
I would also suggest that you find yourself a good dressmaking book (Batsford and Reader's Digest have both published them in the past - try Amazon) and/or find out about basic dressmaking classes at your Local Adult Education College. In the long run this will save you money, I speak from experience!!
I'll probably have to do the book option. All the weekend & eve courses I've applied for in 'dressmaking' have all not run coz of lack of take up. :( Which is a pain.

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Re: Sewing projects

Post by Sophia »

The fitting process when using a commercial paper pattern runs something like this:

Get someone to measure you accurately - you cannot take accurate measurements on yourself.

Choose size of pattern you are going to use as your base, use the measurement chart provided by the pattern company not your normal dress size. Best to match your bust and hip measurements with a dress - companies like Vogue have information on selecting your base size on their websites.

Cut the chosen size out

Shorten, lengthen, narrow or widen the pattern pieces to match your measurements. Many quality patterns have markings on them to indicate where to do this, a good dressmaking handbook will have an illustrated guide to altering a commercial pattern.

Make a new paper pattern based on these alterations, taking care to transfer all the markings. Copy very carefully to ensure measurements don't change and cut on or just inside your outline where you have drawn round the original.

Now iron your toile cloth ensuring that the weave is square. Lay it out to cut with as much care as if it was the actual cloth you you will use for the finished garment. Accuracy now will save time later.

Having cut your toile with a 1/2" rather than the standard 5/8" seam allowance machine baste (sew together on the machine with the longest possible stitch, use pure cotton thread) as if you were making up the main panels of the bodice (don't worry about the sleeves at the moment). Don't bother to steam the seams open.

Now you can fit, if you do not have someone to help you consider buying an adjustable tailor's dummy as this will help (like with measuring your movements will alter your proportions and make the fitting harder). To do this put the garment on yourself or the dummy inside out.

Points you will need to look at when fitting are the sit of the darts (wear the type of bra you intend to wear with the finished article, plus any shapewear as many vintage patterns were designed with such items as a foundation), the length between the underbust and the waist (does the pattern intend for the waist to sit on your natural waist or is it above or below, how snug should it be, etc.), the centre back length as well as the fit in the width overall.

You can take in or let out (hence the wider seam allowances). If the darts need to be moved then open them up and take the same pinch a little higher or lower accordingly. If you have to make them bigger or reduce the size of the sleeve opening to lift the bust point this will alter the size of the armhole which will mean that if there are sleeves you will need to redraft the sleeve head (for this you will definitely need a dressmaking manual). If there are sleeves you will want to incorporate them into the toile for any further versions to ensure that they work properly particularly if you have altered the armhole in any way. When the bodice is working you may want to add a toile of the skirt to check fit over the hips, hang and length.

When you have got the fit you want, which will probably need two or three versions of the toile, dismantle your final version and very careful steam it flat ensuring that you do not distort the weave. You can now use it to create your paper pattern of record - mark it carefully with the date for future reference (any pattern more than 6 months old will need to be checked for fit if being re-used unless you are exceptionally lucky).

You can now proceed to cut your cloth of choice this time with the seam allowance and make up as per the instructions.

The above instructions assume a garment with a waist seam - if the dress does not have a waist seam then you have make up all the panels rather than just bodice panels from the word go. I would suggest that before you attempt any fitted dress with full length panels make several simpler garments and also several fitted straight skirts to get experience in fitting the lower body. When you do move to a dress with full length panels you would be better avoiding those with vertical darts for shaping as they are more difficult to manage. A dress with 4 or more panels and shaping of the princess seam type offers more points for alteration.

You should also stick to woven cloth initial as jersey and other stretch cloths make fittings more complex - to get a truly good fit with these you need a similar type of cloth and may need to include any interfacings which are destined to impede the stretch before you can cut your final pattern.

Often in the past when girls were being taught to sew in school they would start with simple fitted shirts and straight skirts before they moved to a dress. The reasoning behind this is that they require little alteration from the basic dressmaker's body block pattern and introduce many of the core fitting skills.

In terms of equipment you should have a long straight ruler (1m rule), a short ruler, plenty of paper (a roll of cheap lining paper is good for this), tailors' chalk and/or marking pen (different colours is useful), a pair of reasonable shears for cutting cloth, a separate pair of scissors for cutting paper, plenty of pins, a cotton thread that is not the same colour as your toile cloth for basting, a small pair of scissors for cutting thread and opening basted seam up. A pencil, notebook and couple of different coloured biros are useful too (I tend to mark up my toiles in as I make the alterations, also number them and stack them as I work so that I can go back a step if need be - do not dispose of any toiles until you have your final pattern made up).

Other advice - Don't try and do things in a hurry it is not worth it. Always eat something before you start as low blood sugar does not help. Accurate preparation, fitting and cutting will be time consuming but ensure that the garment will go together well - it is not uncommon for fitting and cutting to take two or three times as long as the actual assembly process unless you are hand sewing the entire garment.
aka Thomasin Chedzoy, Tailor at Kentwell Hall

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Re: Sewing projects

Post by Alice the Huswyf »

You can line any garment you choose to - a lining is simply a mirror garment, made in a lighterweight fabric, assembled and then put inside the garment, back side to back side of the dress fabric. It adds luxury to any garment, extra body to bodices and allows invisible boning to be put in to add structure if desired (the boning is sewn to the back of the lining vertica bodice seams so that it doesn't show on either side).

You do need to read up on how and why darts before you make up a dress. It really helps. The Ann Ladbury book "Sewing" I recommended is technical but approachable with excellent diagrams - effectively a dressmaking course aimed at beginners.
Is it 'coz I is middewl clarse, aih?

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Re: Sewing projects

Post by ladydetemps »

Sophia wrote: a good dressmaking book (Batsford and Reader's Digest have both published them in the past - try Amazon)
I've found 3 different ones?
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Readers-Digest- ... 0895770261

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1606 ... 0895770261

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0276 ... 0895770261
Alice the Huswyf wrote: You do need to read up on how and why darts before you make up a dress. It really helps. The Ann Ladbury book "Sewing" I recommended is technical but approachable with excellent diagrams - effectively a dressmaking course aimed at beginners.
I managed to find it, but will have to order it from the library. Only 1 copy in whole of Essex?! Seems the ohter 2 had been loaned out and never returned.

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Re: Sewing projects

Post by Shadow7cat »

I have an older edition of this one, and still turn to it to remind me of techniques when necessary, after over 40 years of sewing. I expect the others are also good, but as I do not have them, cannot make any relevant comments.

S

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Re: Sewing projects

Post by Alice the Huswyf »

Sewing, Ann Ladbury, multiple copies on Amazon from 1P http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sewing-Ann-Ladb ... 380&sr=1-3
Is it 'coz I is middewl clarse, aih?

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Re: Sewing projects

Post by ladydetemps »

Managed in 2 afternoons to get this far.
http://stitchintimeandspace.blogspot.co ... ate-2.html

Probably do some more next weekend too. After doing this pattern (with help) I think I could do the same pattern again on my own.

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Re: Sewing projects

Post by ladydetemps »

Finally finished something from scratch..although its a hat and I'm fairly ok with hats as long as I get the measurements right.
http://stitchintimeandspace.blogspot.co ... rdict.html
I was quite pleased with my improvisation when I found it was too small.

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Re: Sewing projects

Post by ladydetemps »

Little update.
I've found my niche. Embroidery.
http://stitchintimeandspace.blogspot.co ... idery.html
It seems sewing wise that's what I'm best at....and fitting (clothes) is my downfall.
I did manage though to make myself an apron though using instructions from an online (1920's) book.
http://stitchintimeandspace.blogspot.co ... apron.html
And if I feel brave enough will try the housedress.

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Re: Sewing projects

Post by Alice the Huswyf »

You aren't pressing at each stage like your Aunties here have explained - that's what makes it all lie flat and so much easier to work as you go along.

Your collar seam edges at the seam allowances need little 'V's of cloth snipping out to almost the stitching line; this allows the edge to curve inward on itself without bulk to follow the neckline and lie flat. ('Notching' - if you want something to stretch in an outward curve to match - like a sleeve in an armhole, make little cuts to the seam allowance - 'snipping.')

Fitting comes with practice, but starting with unfitted items - as you now have - and working eventually up to fully fitted ones will boost your confidence. Half of us start on the too-complex stuff, and either master it by battling on with sheer bloody mindedness. The other half (more sensibly) take a step back and start again with something simpler, taking up the over-complex one again when you ready for the techniques. You will get there in your own way. The important thing is to enjoy the process, as you are clearly doing!
Is it 'coz I is middewl clarse, aih?

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Re: Sewing projects

Post by ladydetemps »

I did press, honest...got the burns to prove it. ;)

I interfaced the collar...at least I knew to do that. (It wasn't in the instructions as original didn't have collar. But I saw my sisters blouse hanging up and wanted to do a collar like that.)

That crinkle cotton is a pain in the....well when I ironed it flat 5 seconds later it was crinkled again. Even cutting the fabric was a nightmare. I ended up pinning it to the ironing board as I pressed it -to keep it in place - then cutting the fabric out.

I will *never* buy crinkle cotton again.

I've got the skirt from thispattern in my sights next. Or a circle skirt. This means I'll have to learn to sew the dreaded zipper...it will have to be by hand as I don't have a zipper foot.
I'll do tops once I get my hands on a dress form....its impossible otherwise. Plus I'm still nervous about doing sleeves.

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Re: Sewing projects

Post by Alice the Huswyf »

Drapey or chemically textured fabric is a pig to work.

http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/365 ... t/page/all just one of many articles on how to make a personal fitting form on the cheap.

As to seeves, start with the simplest (probably a magyar sleeve) and work through the styles - kimono, gussetted square sleeve (the shift/gown instructions I sent you), raglan, then the commercially attached shaped sleeve (don't join the bodice sides together, join the bodice shoulders, attach the sleeve to the shoulder hole flat and then sew the side sean and sleeve seam in one go from bodice hem to cuff) until you reach the traditional set-in sleeve, which is just a trick of getting the sleeve backs on the smae side as the bodice backs and the right sides with the right sides). http://www.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/fcs2/fcs2807/fcs2807.pdf
Is it 'coz I is middewl clarse, aih?

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Re: Sewing projects

Post by Polly Victorian »

Alice the Huswyf wrote:Sewing, Ann Ladbury, multiple copies on Amazon from 1P http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sewing-Ann-Ladb ... 380&sr=1-3
Thank you to everyone on this thread who recommended Ann Ladbury's excellent book. It is brilliant! Everything I needed to know about sewing but didn't know that I needed to know. :)

Polly
"Speak your truth quietly and clearly and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant... " Desiderata

http://www.polishandproof.co.uk

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Re: Sewing projects

Post by ladydetemps »

Keeping you up to date. Working on a shirt/blouse.
http://stitchintimeandspace.blogspot.co ... art-3.html
I've decided I'm going to have to try and redraw the sleeve (eep!) for it to work there is just something wrong with the sleeve pattern...everything else fits.

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Re: Sewing projects

Post by ladydetemps »

Woo! I actually completed a skirt on my own without help. :)
http://stitchintimeandspace.blogspot.co ... skirt.html
Now just got to squeeze out a little shrug/bolero jacket from left over material.

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Re: Sewing projects

Post by ladydetemps »

I've completed a 2nd top, a blouse this time. All hand sewn in 1 week! Never used the machine once.
http://stitchintimeandspace.blogspot.co ... hould.html
I wonder if that's a record?

Getting quite adventurous. I've got a drop waist tunic dress, and a horrockses dress pattern a found online in my to do list and my first genuinely vintage pattern to complete.
and with the added exercise from doing swing jive lessons I appear to have lost 2 inches in width...I'm hoping by the time I start making regency dress I'll be back down to a size 12.

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Re: Sewing projects

Post by ladydetemps »

Lost another inch (yay).

Also completed my 20's inspired dress. (skill: pleats)
http://stitchintimeandspace.blogspot.co ... dress.html

And done my first bodice with princess lines...those curved seams eeep! (Skill: curved seams)
http://stitchintimeandspace.blogspot.co ... eview.html

Yet another skill towards making a regency dress. I've got some 'tap pants' in line to do which will involve gussets and plackets. Two more skills.

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Re: Sewing projects

Post by ladydetemps »

a little update. I've been concentrating mainly on vintage and retro inspired projects but have finally started on my 'regency(esque)' dress.
http://stitchintimeandspace.blogspot.co ... gress.html

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Re: Sewing projects

Post by Alice the Huswyf »

Coming along very nicely and you are getting adventurous - best way to learn is to work your way through the problem.

You need to press the seams flat at each stage - then things will lie flat during making up, fitting will be mroe accurate and thigns will not look like they are "made from a sheet".

Seriously, it really is the secret to success.
Is it 'coz I is middewl clarse, aih?

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