Recent Sewing Projects

It has been a while since I have posted, but I have been doing projects in the meantime.

I have added a new “toy” to my collection: a serger! I’m getting better at using it each time, improving at making the seams balanced. Sometimes I use it to overlock the edges of my fabric pieces before constructing, other times I use it after construction to finish and reduce seam bulk. Rarely, I use it to actually construct a piece. I’ve even dabbled in rolled hems (more on that below). I’m still experimenting.

I modified my sloper to make a cross-front bodice pattern, then used it to make a true wrap design with a one-way stretch I found at Walmart. It is NOT the highest-quality fabric, but it is bold and pretty, and it was CHEAP!!! Good formula for an experiment. I am not thrilled about some of the seams, though. Despite using a walking foot, they puckered and warped in places. (Sorry about the poor-quality photo.) It is floor-length with an a-line silhouette and elbow sleeves. The v-neck bodice is self-lined, but the skirt and sleeves are not. I used my serger for some of the finishing, but not all. It was my first “real” project trying my serger and I wasn’t that confident yet.

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Next, I used this same pattern to make another maxi wrap dress. This time, I used a very light-weight non-stretch fabric I found on clearance at Walmart (again, Walmart. who knew??) Since it was nearly sheer, I toyed with the idea of underlining, but eventually went with just a standard lining- fully lining the skirt as well this time, but attached to the dress at the waist. I used the serger for finishing again, with fewer mistakes this time. I also patterned, after MUCH research, indecision, misgivings and outside advice, a flutter sleeve. It turned out OK. Not fantastic, but OK. I tried a rolled hem for the first time with the serger and didn’t really like it. However, when making the contrasting scarf, I discovered why I didn’t like my first attempt at a rolled hem: I didn’t balance the stitch AT ALL and essentially, it was a crappy rolled hem. No wonder. When I (inadvertantly) balanced the stitch on the scarf, it was like a lightbulb went on in my head. OH! So THAT’s what a proper rolled hem looks like? That’s niiiiiiiiiiiiice. =)

That’s my “puppy” Bentley in the second photo. Sometimes he “helps” me sew =)

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I also self-drafted and made a gift for my SIL, of which I am ridiculously proud, but I can’t post pictures of that until after she receives it 😉

Finally, I found more rayon on clearance at JoAnn and attempted to copy one of my favorite little casual knit dresses (from college??). I tried a new skill: making and using binding to finish the neckline and armscyes. It went swimmingly. Then, I gathered the skirt to the crossover top and gathered the top slightly to fit my chest. That did not go well. I took a shortcut with the gathering that the fabric did NOT tolerate. After I ripped it out and did it right, it turned out much better. Lesson learned. Again, sorry about the photo quality.IMAG0830.jpg

That’s all for now. More after my SIL’s bridal shower, most likely.

-J

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