Friday, July 31, 2009

3 in 1

Last week I made (mostly) 3 skirts in 1 week (even though four were cut out). I had fitting issues with almost all of them. Here’s what bothers me…they are all a-line skirts. If it fits at the waist it tends to buckle under my tummy. If it doesn’t buckle under my tummy, then the waist drops down to my hips. Anybody else deal with this? I’m also having issues because I gained some weight this spring and because of well, previous surgery mentioned somewhere in the middle of this post, my stomach is uneven. My body shape looks really weird. I don’t know how to fit my waist anymore. You know, if you have to add 1-2” to the waistline of a pattern it’s not a big deal. But if you have to add a stinkin’ 5-6” it changes the design! Okay, enough whining about fit. Time to whine about something else.

You won’t see any detail shots of any of these garments. If you read the last post about me being “project-oriented” that’s why. Too many interruptions = crummy workmanship = no detail shots! Okay, whining is over.

This year I decided that my outfit of choice for the summer would be some fun prints – skirts/dresses. But because I like to ride bikes and generally play with the kids in the summer, there is the issue of modesty. At first I was going to do the jumper with overskirt route (and hopefully I will get one of these done) then I decided to just make some simple knit shorts to wear underneath the skirts/dresses…for security. That should explain the “under” pix.

Greeny – this is Vogue 7879 (Sorry, many OOP’s in this post.) I think this one fits the best of all but there are no pockets! I guess I mean it looks the best on. The skirt really sits about 1" below my waist. There are pockets on the skirt, they’re just not functioning. At first I thought I would just add them in the side seams and all would be okay – uh, no. They’re still in the side seams but when I decided it looked awful I just sewed the seams shut.

Yellow-y – this is an OOP McCall’s 3656 pattern. I just loved all the options on the cover, so I cut out three from this pattern (blue-y isn’t done yet). Also, one of my inspirations was a Talbot’s skirt that I saw online - a-line with front pockets. For all three (McCall's) skirts I cut size 16 at the waist and tapered to an 18. And when the first two were all done – I had to remove 2” of width from the waist down. For this skirt, since it didn’t have a waistband, I just made a stinkin’ CF seam and got rid of the excess. The fabric is from JoAnn’s; a good cotton from one of their collections (i.e., not the Keepsake collection).

Greeny II – another skirt from the McCall’s pattern and the least favorite (a big disappointment as I really liked this Amy Butler print). I removed the 2” excess with this skirt from the CB. That’s right, took out the zipper and put it back in again. Somewhere along the line while sewing these I determined that I just might have to make a swayback adjustment, from the waist down. For this skirt I removed almost 2” at the CB waist which then made the back hem, um, really short! It looks even now...on the outside. Underneath, the front hem is 1-1/2" and the back is 5/8". It's not pretty. I should have just stuck with Simplicity 3754. That one worked out great last year and it has fantastically deep pockets!

On a fabric note, I ordered this fabric - oops, was going to give you a link but it's all gone, when Carolyn speaks the bloggers listen! It's a silk/cotton twill - and even though I listened to Carolyn when she said, “the softest, drapiest fabric...and wonderful to work with”. I seemed to ignore the shopping online advice that said, “read the descriptions for key words”. The fabric came and it was much too yellow for me. (Yes, I know it said “yellow” in the description. I just wanted it to be more of a yellow, um, “tint”.) So I decide to dye it. Here’s how that project went: 1. Yellow to ecru = weird spots, color only mildly darkens the yellow. 2. Remove color = back to the original yellow, spots still there. 3. Go black = a really flat, dull gray. 4. Add fuchsia = mission accomplished. Even though the results are not a color I would have picked out, I checked on the dry piece of fabric just after shopping at Ann Taylor and getting an eye-full of this same exact shade of purple. In addition, it will look great with my gray pieces from last year and soon-to-come ivory pieces for this year.

Took a bunch of project pictures today, so I may actually post again before the month is over!

Oh yea, like I told my sister, I knew you would all jump on my case about that Vogue dress (8552)! I have to admit that when I saw the picture I liked it a little better. So at the last minute and I mean really last minute – we’re talkin’ loading up the bags of donation clothes in the car – I saved it. I saved it and threw it in with the silk (step #3, black). It also came out a dull gray and I was ready to make another trip out for some black dye until I saw this. Will this really and truly save the dress? I haven’t tried it on yet to check out the new color. I make no guarantees!


Faye Lewis said...

Well, they are all cute!

Gail said...

the green with the red belt is particularly nice. I wouldn't have thought to put those colours together but they work.

patsijean said...

I do like the Simplicity 3754 based pattern from last year very much. Could you lay the current over #3754 to see where the differences are and alter the new skirt pattern that way? You do not mention waistline darts as fitting tools. Were you taking length off the center back or width? If you were taking length off, you need to add it back at the hem. Did you use stay-tape at the waistline immediately after removing the pattern to keep the waistline from stretching (and to do some easing in of the extra width? With the exception of the fact that you are a bit bustier than I we have similar lower body shapes. I hate to say it, but we need to exercise whether we like it or not. As soon as my lower back is stabilized (bulging disks) I am going back to Curves--quite effective and fun.

Helen said...

In a way, the fitting problem is similar to big b**bs. When you do an FBA, sometimes you do a waistline (vertical) dart to pull the fabric back toward the body.

But, for the abdomen, you don't want to do that.

So, you need the fabric to be biggest over the abdomen, but then drop straight down from there. My guess, if the skirt is pulling in beneath your stomach, is that you're borrowing fabric from the sides for the front.

Also, what is the widest part of the lower body? Skirt slopers expect it to be 7 to 9 inches below the waist, with those long darts. My abdomen is only a couple of inches below my waist -- darts are not in the right place any more.

Plus, I think a shaped yoke may be a better way to fit the waist than darts, which have to be very short.

I think this is why (as they say in England) elasticated waists are used for certain figure types. It's easier to get the quick release of fabric in a relatively short distance.

Released tucks replacing the darts might be another solution.

I like the idea of the knit shorts under the skirt. They look terrific.

Cennetta said...

Very cute, fun skirts. The knit shorts are the perfect solution.