Sunday, June 15, 2008

BWOF 5-05 #133 Facings

For those family and friends who read this blog just to see what I'm up to, feel free to stop now. I'm going to try to demonstrate a sewing technique.

Drafting the facing:

After altering a pattern's body pieces it can be a real pain to then have to remember all the alterations you did to change the facing. So here is my quick and dirty trick.

Note: I only do this when I have enough fabric to cut out another facing if this doesn't work :)

Note 2: If you click on the picture, blogger will open it up a little bigger.

These are the back pieces for the dress. The black lines are the important seam lines for the center back piece, the green lines are the important seam lines for the site back piece. I lay the pieces down so that the princess seam lines at the armscye are touching. This means that they pieces overlap by 1 and 1/4" because you must take the seam allowances out of the equation.

Don't worry about the big old gap caused at the bottom, we don't care for the facings. Instead, just lay another piece of tracing paper and trace around the edges and then cut roughly around the blue line. Voila! A back facing that takes into account any busy/shoulder/width adjustments you made.

Sewing the shoulders.

Burda's directions are plenty accurate, but they aren't intuitive, so I'm trying to share some pics.

I think the directions are clear about putting the facing on, and sewing up to about 1.5" away from the cut edge. Then it all goes crazy.

The first important thing is to turn facings to the inside at this point (ask me how I know). Then sew the shoulder seams for the body. It's important to fold the facing bits down. I pinned them to keep them out of the way, as below. It's also important to sew the right front shoulder to the right back shoulder. Your dress will look very odd if you try to sew the right front shoulder to the left front shoulder (ask me how I know).

Then, with some finagling, sew the shoulder seams of the facings. This will take some work, but you should end up with something that looks like this:
This is me coming from under the facing and poking my hand out where there are still holes.

I tried to take pictures of the next bit, but the fabric is very busy and it just looks like a wad. So, first thing to remember is that it's o'kay if it looks like a wad.

To get an idea for what you do:
Sew one side of the straps at a time.
In the picture above, as I am pulling by thumb out of the gap, I would pinch the facing and body pieces at that opening and pull them with me. Then sew the gap opening closed. Here is what it looks like after you've pulled the gap. The red line is the approximate sewing line.

After you sew that line, sew the other side of the strap by following the same procedure.

It's hard to visualize, but easy once you do it. The nice thing is that there is no need for hand sewing!

Pressing Table in Action!

I actually sewed some this week. It was the first time I needed to use the entire top of my pressing table since its completion.

It works so fabulously! The top is much firmer than the ironing cover for the hobby table. There was one small glitch:

If you look closely, the landing zone forces the fabric to bunch a little. However, I don't know how one would get around this since I want to be able to have fabric running off on all sides. It's still much nicer than having to find another place to put the iron.

Today I got some of my big cuts done for the cutting table. Don't know how much I'll be able to get done the rest of this month since we're having visitors next weekend, but it's a start.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Planning the last part

This weekend the only productive bit I did was to mess up my sewing room :) I drug out all the materials I want close at hand while cutting/tracing/altering patterns.

Here's what I have and how I'm thinking of storing them:

Left to right:
  • Rulers/french curves: I think I'll build a divider like the following into one of the drawers. That will mean that I will need to make the drawer a little taller than my cone thread drawers in the pressing cabinet, but that's okay

  • Cutting implements/ Pattern Weights/ Tracing utensils: Just a shallow drawer for this. Don't need anything fancy:
  • The really long things are my lovely tracing papers that I got from Greenberg and Hammer Plus there is my tracing paper. Like many folks on PR, I use Soil Separator cloth
    to trace my patterns. This pieces are really long, so I'll have to make full width cubby holes. I have a special idea for the cloth, but I don't want to spoil it if it doesn't work.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Two down, one to go

The pressing table is finished!

The cabinet took one coat of primer and two coats of paint to get an even color. The white makes the muslin look really dingy, but I don't care.

I put it to use the last two nights making up a very quick tshirt. It's so fabulous I think I need to name him.

Me: I really should get the seam roll out, but then I'd have to find it and put it back up.
It: No worries, just pull open this drawer.


Me: Shoot, I need my pressing guide.
It: Why here it is.

So fabulous having two flat surfaces. Normally I have to drape my chair with the cut pieces as I work, but now, I can just move them to the pressing table.

I did decide to put the pressing table against the inner wall instead of the window b/c I do more long term cutting/altering than long term pressing. I need to get a good pic up, though.

Oh, and I did get one thing sewn between starting work on the cabinet and finishing it:

I sewed my husband a shirt he actually likes!!! Of course, it's because he told me to copy another RTW shirt he likes. I used David Coffin's copying shirt video to get me started. It was fairly easy and dh actually likes the shirt. Piping and the collar were a beast, but I got it done.

Now that I've seen how wonderful the pressing table is, of course I don't want to wait to start on the cutting table. Maybe I can get it all done before school starts up again in August.