Monday, June 10, 2013

Current Projects: B5678 and Pamela's Patterns Favorite Bias Skirt

Well I guess I went and took a little blog-cation for the last few weeks!  I've been keeping up on all your blogs and admiring your wonderful makes.  Some of you make so many things so fast, I am always amazed. Also, I am loving the pictures of gorgeous gardens I'm seeing popping up on blogs all over blogland.

I've been working for a {long} while on refining the fit of Butterick 5678, the shoulder princess seamed shirt pattern. (Rhonda Buss did a series of collar adaptations using this pattern recently on SewNews, check it out!)

One of the conundrums I face is getting a slim fit at the waist in the presence of a large bust without looking Dolly Partonesque.  My full bust is 10 inches larger than my waist, and is equal to the measurement around the fullest part of my bottom/very low hip area (damn gravity). So in essence I'm an hourglass, but with my back being narrow, the top part of the hourglass is not distributed equally.  Rather, it's all up front.

This first blurry cell phone picture is the latest muslin pinned closed at the front. The fabric is rather stiff, not drapey at all.  What I'm not loving here is the excess width at the waist, and the shoulders are a little wide. There is also some excess above the bust (damn gravity again) but once I take up the shoulders, I'll see if I can live with that excess or decide to remove some at the princess seam.

Here in a slightly better picture, I am holding the sides in to show I have a waist!  I sent these pics to Myra for her opinion; she said "Take it in!" I had pinned out a couple inches at each SS at waist level, and a little at the bust and hip levels. There are some lines all around the bust that may or may not be due to stiff fabric, pinning, and me pulling on the fabric for effect.  Last night I distributed that amount between the front and back princess seams as well as the side seams on the pattern.  When the wind blows the right way again, I'll sew it up. 

In the meantime, I've been wanting a long bias skirt in linen for summer. I bought a few yards of beige  linen at Mood while in NYC expressly for that purpose.

Source: Talbot's website
Recently, I tried this skirt on at Talbots. I seem to remember it was a little longer on me, and I'm 5'8". The model is probably 6' tall.  I liked the look and really wanted to take this skirt home and love it, but it had a fatal flaw that I could not live with for the price: rippled seams!  This skirt has 4 seams - 2 side and CF & CB. I'm guessing that's to conserve fabric, but it gives more opportunity for poorly sewn bias seams.

Tell me - do the CF and CB seams serve a shaping (or other) purpose? I am curious, please speak up if you know!

How nice is it that we don't have to put up with paying $$$ for rippled seams? We can just make it!

I had Pamela's Patterns Favorite Bias Skirt Pattern in my stash, so that's what I used. Pamela suggests taking waist, high hip, and low hip measurements, and selecting the size based on your largest measurement. I did this, and selected a size large based on my low hip mmt. (See gravity reference above.)

I made a muslin with some mystery fabric of which I had a ton in the stash. It had some stretch to it, but nice drape. It was fatally ugly, though. The muslin was too big, but because of the stretch, I stayed with the large, and cut the lining out of white batiste from the stash, and the beige linen for the skirt body. Easier to remove fabric than to add it back. I went with the lines for the slim cut skirt - the pattern gives the option of full or slim cuts. I wasn't looking for a lot of fullness.

When I tried the lining on with elastic tied around my waist as Pamela recommends, I found I preferred the look when I pinned about 4 - 5 inches (eyeballing) out from waist to hip. Doing so makes it impossible to pull on and off without a zipper. The skirt is designed with an elastic waist, but my plan is to go with a slimmer look and side zipper.  Today I will baste in my changes, tapering down to the hem, and see how it looks.

My plan for finishing the waistline of this skirt is to add a side seam zipper, and use organza selvedge as a waist stay to prevent stretching.  Check out this tutorial on draping a zipper in a bias skirt!

Funny, I did not find many reviews for this pattern on PR, in fact only one! Pamela's Magic Pencil Skirt Pattern seems to be popular, though.

That's all for now! Hope you are enjoying your summer or winter, depending on your location, and getting in plenty of sewing time.  Thanks for stopping by,

My garden