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Sewing Tidbits

Sewing Tidbits is the sewing blog written since 2013 by Delphine, the co-founder of Just Patterns.

Filtering by Tag: white

From Inspiration to Garment - Part 3 - With a commercial pattern

Sewing Tidbits

Dear readers,It's the third part of my little serie and I want to talk about those times when you feel too lazy to draft or drape the pattern! For several years now (yes, several), I have been thinking about slip dresses. I was a teenager in the 90's so I will always be convinced that calvin klein epurated slip dresses are the coolest. Kate Moss and Rachel from Friends shaped my idea of style (for the best and the worst!!)! Twice a year, when the idea of making a bias slip would sudden become urgent, I'd frantically research patterns meant to be cut on the bias, take note of linings in some Vogue patterns and forget about it. Until next time. But not this time! Let's look at the inspiration first, all collected on Pinterest, with of course, queen Moss:
As stated before, some Vogue patterns include a slip which is meant to be cut on the bias. Carolyn of Handmade by Carolyn made a beautiful version. I myself own New Look 6244 but it's at my parents' house... in France... I actually made this dress 10 years ago but purposefully ignore the bias for the lining (so stubborn) because I did not see the point. Ahem Ahem... I have to admit that in my early sewing years, I was (still am) very stubborn and I did not see the point of many things . Those things included seam finishes, easing sleeves, aligning the grain, wearing ease and many more... Slowly but surely I integrated them in my sewing for the better!Bias silk dress by SewingTidbitsOne detail, I dislike in current Vogue slips such as 1287 is the bust dart. I was convinced I could get away without one since the bias could do the minimal shaping I require. I finally decided to go with the lining of Lekala 2021. It doesn't not specify that it's meant to be cut on the bias, (at least Google Translate does not say so) but since I got to start with a pattern customized to my measurement, so I figured it was worth it.Bias silk dress by SewingTidbitsMy first step was to do a toile. I used regular muslin even though my silk was going to be behave differently. I figured a "skin" tight fit on my form (slightly bigger than me) in muslin would result in appropriate amount in and the 2 layers of silk would have appropriate wearing ease on me. It was a bit risky but it worked! I also used the toile to check the neckline and position and measure the straps. I had to take in 1/2" from each side at the bust and waist, tapering to nothing at the hips and I made no changes to the neckline.http://instagram.com/p/3ERTPTGrMX/The most challenging part for me in working with with silk is cutting, especially on the bias. It takes forever and I'm always tempted to cut corners. However, this time I did not. I lied my 23mm silk crepe from Calamo New York on a first layer of paper, aligning the selvage with the straight edge of the paper to prevent distortion. I created a "marker", which is another layer of paper with all the pieces to be cut drawn in their cutting position. I added my "marker" on top and pinned between the pieces to avoid marking the silk. I then cut through the 3 layers. Bias silk dress by SewingTidbitsBias silk dress by SewingTidbitsI have an important piece of information that some of you may resist. It's OK to cut through paper with your fabric scissors! Yes... I know what the home sewing police says but really, you'll be fine! And it will actually dull your blades a lot less than cutting wool or tweed!!Bias silk dress by SewingTidbitsI stabilized both layers of the neckline with fusible strips and attached the sides with french seams. For a reason I cannot explain, sewing went well for the first pass of the french seam but my industrial Juki refused, yes refused (!!), to go through the second one with a repeated mess of skipped stitches. I was confused and about to cry but I decided to add a layer of paper on top of the seam and tear it off after stitching and it did the trick!Bias silk dress by SewingTidbitsFor the straps I used the method described by my friend E. on her blog. The only thing I would add would be to not be afraid to use a rather large strip of bias, such as 2.5 or 3" as the allowance will "fill" the tube. For the hem, on top of providing the tutorial, E. gifted my ban-roll. I don't know why I never tried before. Actually I do know why (see stubborness mentionned above) but I regret it deeply. This thing is absolutely AMAZING: perfect baby hem on silk. Every. Time.  No need to say more. I actually want to try it to hem shirts with it too!Bias silk dress by SewingTidbitsThat's it for my notes. I love love love the final dress and I wore it for my birthday (30... yikes). We went dining and dancing and I felt very comfortable in this simple yet dressed-up silhouette. I am now thinking of making a single layer one out of thicker black silk crepe. And tank tops, a lot of tank tops, I may have opened the pandora box of bias project! Do you have favorite patterns for bias cuts ? I would love to see what you recommend!

Classic white shirt - From Archer to TNT

Sewing Tidbits

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Dear Readers,First things first: Happy New Year! I won't do a review of my year because I only posted 23 times, so there would not be much to say... My goal for 2015 is to double this number! Now, without any transition, let's look at my new favorite shirt! The shirt was finished at least 3 weeks ago but I hate making buttonholes so much that it waited in a dusty corner until I made another shirt, for The Old Man this time, and then did all the buttonholes at once.wpid1008-White-cotton-shirt-9.jpgI wanted this shirt to be as close as possible to a man classic Oxford shirt but with an appropriate fit. I believe that I achieved my goal.The initial pattern for this shirt is my modified Archer. Additional changes included using the collar and stand of my white shirtdress (from the Japanese book Blouse, Skirts, Pants), adding back darts, removing the CB box pleat and shortening sleeves AGAIN by 2". They look embarrassingly short on the hanger but just right when worn. #Creepybabyarms, again.wpid998-White-cotton-shirt-4.jpgI can now officially say that no pattern piece is the same as the original Archer and that I am very close to a TNT pattern. Why, not a TNT yet? Because of some pooling in the upper back. I tried to pin out a horizontal take of 1" just under the yoke and it looked so much better. However, I have not figured out how to remove it without completely killing my armhole... I'm waiting for an Eureka moment that may or may not come!wpid996-White-cotton-shirt-3.jpgThe fabric is cotton I bought in Panajachel, Guatemala (by the beautiful lake Atitlán). It was cheap, has some texture and looks like washed cotton. I'm not sure if it has a name but it can get almost a paper feeling. I think it works well for this shirt but I would not recommend it for any project.wpid1000-White-cotton-shirt-5.jpgMy shirtmaking skills are work in progress but they are improving each time. Compared to my last shirt, I went back to a classic collar construction order and I used different seam allowances for the flat-felled seams. Everything came together painlessly EXCEPT when I prepared, attached and topstitched BOTH sleeves to the body, only to realize that the wrong sides were on the outside. A lot of seam ripping/self cursing. Not fun.wpid1004-White-cotton-shirt-7.jpgThe shirt is definitely filling a gap in my wardrobe. I cannot remember for how long I've wanted a 100% cotton white shirt. They seem to have become a rare commodity and I hate the blends that are sold currently from H&M to Ann Taylor. In addition to yellowing and aging badly, they also tend to be see-through, which is puzzling to me since their primary use is for the office.wpid1006-White-cotton-shirt-8.jpgFinally, the pictures were all taken with my new camera, in full manual mode! I know it seems normal to a lot of you but I'm very happy about it. Also I quit on trying to keep the dog out of the pictures. He loves being in the middle of things...After this shirt, I decided I was comfortable enough to go up one step: a man's shirt. I will be back in a few days with pictures of The Old Man in his fancy linen shirt! I thought I would be done with those 2 shirts for a while, but then I saw the beautiful one Sasha just posted and Sewaholic released the Granville pattern. So... Granville is already printed and taped, I guess I will be back with more shirts soon! What about you? Are you getting closer to your TNT patterns in 2015?

White shirtdress and catching up on blogging

Sewing Tidbits

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So with the sewing machines, also arrived the tripod for the camera. This means that I can take the pictures of the projects I finished while still in NY. As with the Preen skirt and the Jadigan/Cardicket, I was already sewing with a warmer weather in mind as I new I was going to move to Haiti. This shirtdress is something I had in mind for a while, I looked everywhere online and I couldn't find what I was looking for. Of course now, shirtdresses are everywhere...CIMG2119The pattern is a combination of different things, for the top I used the basic shirt from this japanese book.I changed the undercollar to account for the technique described on Kathleen on Fashion-Incubator. I made the shirt in muslin, put it on my dress form and added a band for the waist, a tiny pocket and gathered rectangle for the skirt (but with pockets !!).Test in muslinCIMG2120For the construction I used different techniques : Pam's tutorial on Collar points (which works great but I'm not sure it should be used in combination with the smaller undercollar described on Fashion-Incubator...), and a lot of reversed engineering from my nicest Ann Taylor and J-Crew shirts (especially the plackets).CIMG2122I used french seams of the shoulders, set the sleeves in flat (stitch overlocked and then partially topstitched as per JCrew) and then closed the side seams and sleeve at once (well twice because it's a french seam again.IMG_0645Sleeve head topstitchingIMG_0644I had the buttonholes professionally made Jonathan Embroidery in NYC, such a relief to not mess everything up right at the end. The fabric is a very nice "coton piqué" from Mood and the buttons are from M&J Trimmings. The lightweight interfacing (collar, collarband, plackets and waistband) is from Guide Fabrics.IMG_0639The waist dart is doing all the shaping for the front and therefore it is quite wide. I took some picture while sewing it at the "french waist dart". I don't know a proper word because this is not a french dart, it's more of a waist dart sewn as a french seam. If anybody know how it's actually called, let me know !! I'll try to make a tutorial out of the pictures I took.CIMG2125I really love this dress, it's super comfortable (I spend a good portion of my days hopping in and out of 4x4, I realize that I need my skirts quite full to perform this task) and warm weather friendly ! The only problem is probably with the whiteness... I don't know about you but the lighter is my outfit the more I spill stuff on myself!! I am strongly considering a version out of chambray, stay tuned!