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My little black dress…

17 Jun

Final

We all know every girl needs her little black dress, before now I actually did not own one – shocking I know,  this being one of fashion’s MUST HAVES it is hard to believe that any female would not have one.

Me being me, I use any and every event as an excuse to sew, usually leaving the project to a week before it is needed to be on me, this one being the worst procrastination to date… making the dress the day before – with no back-up dress so I have every possible thing crossed that it turns out great.

A dress fit for a night out with the ladies – Jade’s Bachelorette!

Oh and if you are questioning the hair in the above photo, we were requested to wear the brightest, most vibrant wig we could find, our little fun way of not losing each other as the night went on and of course to help the bride and her girls stand out in the crowd!

Pattern challenge – Simplicity 2648

2648

After searching the fabric store for material for almost an hour I realized why I don’t own a little black dress, to be blunt they seem quite boring. Each plain black material I looked at, it was just that… plain. Boring. After not being able to pick one I decided I would sneak a little sliver into my ‘little black dress’ and after that decision was made finding the fabric was easy. I bought a black stretch cotton, a silvery satin, black lace to overlay the silver and let’s not forget the super cute, a little pricy buttons!

Fabric

Button

Being an ‘amazing fit’ pattern allows you to get that perfect fit for your body type, however this does making finding the right pattern pieces more complicated and more difficult to read, but not impossible so don’t hesitate because they do give you that great fit!

They can really cram a lot of information on those pieces!

Simplicity does a great job describing how to chose the proper fit for the bodice, but I was a little upset that they didn’t do the same for the skirt, when I had to chose between slim, average or curvy I had no idea how to figure that out based on my measurements so to play it safe I just stuck with average fit.

Noteworthy: I am not sure if I mentioned this before, but a while back I purchased artist drawing paper from Currys Art Store  so I can start tracing all of my purchased patterns. This is a little more time-consuming however worth it because now all of my patterns can be reused at any time and as any size. Best thing I have started doing to date 🙂

Pattern-Tracing-Paper

Pattern-Pieces-Being-Traced

I now have all of my pattern pieces traced and cut out I have also sorted them so that I know what pattern pieces go with what material.

Material-and-Pattern-Pieces

All cut, LET’S SEW!

The only ‘tricky’ part of the cutting out I would say was making sure when I cut out the lace that the pattern was all facing the same way – if you have flowers or some sort of design on your lace you want to make sure it is cut proper or part of it might end up upside down!

OH! I also don’t think I mentioned my new scissors before either! This post just has all sorts of new goodies to talk about! I got these babies for Christmas from my parents and let me say they totally ROCK!

New-Scissors

Old-Scissors-with-New

Haha but in all seriousness they are by far the best scissors ever. I am sure you all understand  what a world of difference it makes to have the proper tools, and while yes I did have a great pair of sewing scissors I got for Christmas about 5 years ago that still cut great, they are much heavier and larger so a little more difficult to manipulate while cutting. I used to not be able to go in and cut notices with ease but look at these beauties…

Notches

Moving on with my project, I marked the wrong side of all the black cotton pieces so it would be IMPOSSIBLE for me to get the right and wrong side of the fabric confused… those that know my sewing know how bad I am for that when the right and wrong sides are so extremely close in appearance… I always struggle when that is the case – but I REFUSE to struggle this time – I don’t have time I need this dress to be ready in just under 24 hours (I know, I know – my own fault).

White-Xs

So when prepping my material for sewing I had a little issue with my bobbin, no idea why it did this… but a bobbin should NOT look like this 😉

Messy-Bobbin


It even tangled all around the bobbin holder!

Bobbin-Mess-on-Machine

After a little work I managed to pull out all the tangled thread

Clean-Bobbin-Winder

and once I detangled the mess and tried again it my bobbin turned out perfect 🙂

Good-Bobbin

An issue I ended up encountering… When I removed the pattern pieces from my bodice fabric I seen why…
1 – I prefer using my pattern weights over my pins and
2 – that I DEFINITELY need new pins.

My pins pretty badly damaged my satin material 😦

Pin-Damage

Thankfully the lace will hide this but before I sew my lace onto my satin I am going to try and fix the pull by softly pulling it and flattening it out and by using the iron on the proper setting to smooth everything out the best I can.

Now it is almost like it never happened but goes to show you how important it is to toss all your old pins and replenish frequently. You can still see it a little but like I said once the lace is on top you won’t – if I wasn’t using the lace this would have ended bad.

Fixed-Satin

To start I am going to use the same process I used when making A Touch of Lace dress and sew the lace pieces to the appropriate satin pieces. Remember to sew the wrong side of the lace to the right side of the satin so both the right sides will face out.

Lace-stitched-to-satin

I always love the look of the bodice coming together 🙂

Bodice-Coming-Together

The skirt isn’t shaping up too bad either. I really like the fabric I chose for the shirt, it sews and presses beautifully!

Bodice-and-Skirt-Pinned-to-Dress-Form

I really wanted to play around with this dress and do some simple yet decorative features that I haven’t played around with much, so instead of serging the entire seam off I serged just the edge not removing any extra fabric so there was still about 5/8″ seam that I pressed towards the front of the skirt.

Seam-and-Serged-Edged

Once that was nicely pressed I pulled out my double needle and using grey/silver embroidery thread I did a double top stitch on only the front seams. I chose silver so that it would tie in the silver satin with the pure black skirt.

This is what the double need looks like for my Brother Machine:

Double-Needle

This is how my machine sets up to hold 2 spools of thread, you will see that an additional thread holder fits on top of my bobbin winder spot:

Double-Thread

You thread both spools exactly the same way and just thread one thread per needle:

Double-Needle-Threaded

I love how straight and professional the double top stitch looks, I will definitely start using this more often.

Close-up-on-top-stitch

I used embroidery thread instead of the regular thread because it is shinnier so it just looks a little more decorative than regular thread:) I tried 3 different silvers, one which was a metallic silver and it looked awesome but didn’t match the silver satin… definitely need to find something in the future to topstitch with the metal silver though!!!

Onto the bodice back – this allowed me to use another ‘new’ tool to play with. I say ‘new’ in quotation marks because this is actually a tool I have had for a very long time I just never attempted to use it before… I can see this being something I use all the time now that I have found out how amazing it is!

The tracing wheel. I used this to trace my darts. What you need is the tracing wheel and tracing paper.

Tracing-Wheel

Tracing-paper

These items you can find at a sewing store or even a craft store. This is an extremly simple method of tracing your pattern marks and I honestly don’t know why I have never used it before!

What to do:

Place your tracing paper down with the whiter side down and the black side up

Tracing-Paper-Sides

Then place your fabric wrong side down on the black side of the paper and your pattern piece on top of the fabric

Tracing-paper-in-place

Lay your pattern piece on top of your material and using the tracing wheel trace over any markings you want transferred onto the wrong side of your fabric. Use a back and forth movement of the wheel.

Ta-da!

Please note – do this on the WRONG side of your fabric, I have not tried to remove the marks to date so I am not sure how easily they remove from the material, if they even remove at all.

Transfered-lines

The zipper was where I got a little stuck and probably strayed from the pattern at this point. However it worked out nicely:) I did have to remove the seam in the skirt back once the zipper was in because it was no longer laying proper but I was able to make it work with a new seam!

Hidden Zipper:

Hidden-Zipper

Zipper revealed:

Zipper-Revealed

For the neck facing: I sewed the neck facing to the neckline but I did not serge this, I used a triple stitch to make it extra sturdy and then clipped through the seam allowance all the way around so that it would lay flat. You won’t see this seam as you will fold the facing in and top stitch it in place – this will hide that not so pretty clipped seam.

Clipped-Seam

I was initially going to use the satin for the neck facing but didn’t have enough left so I made it out of the cotton, which I think this was a really good thing because it helped me get a really nice flat finish – how gorgeous is this neckline?!

Finished-Neckline

Now onto the sleeve (flange): I have never made a flange before but I can’t even describe how excited I am to do this! I have a feeling this is going to be a super easy and cute chic sleeve for some feature projects of mine!

This is what the pattern piece looks like

Sleeve-Folded

You fold it in half and sew on – done! LUV it!

So cute right?

Finished-Sleeve

Finished-Sleeve-Side

After this all that was needed was a beautiful handcrafted label (tutorial coming soon!) and a nicely done blind hem stitch and I was read to party!

label

Final-Close-up

Until next time ~ happy sewing! 🙂

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2013 in Dress, Tips and Tricks, Tools

 

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