It started with Spider-pillow

My photo
A while back when i worked at The Comic Book Shoppe (bank st) we had a regular christmas secret santa. The first year i was there i pulled Ted who had a thing for Spider-man. In one of those strange moments of brilliant clarity I whipped up spider-pillow. It was the old Spider-man logo with a round pillow in the middle and 8 3-D legs all made out of comfy fun fur....things have continued in this manner. This is my so called craft

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Almost finished!

its a dress!!

so turns out the skirt i initially made also needed to be another size smaller.
plus i'm 'curvy' around the behind, damned hourglass shape. so not only is there a size issue there is also a puckering issue. It took 2.5 hours of fiddling with the zipper and then rebuilding the skirt to get it to fit smooth but dang it looks good. what do i mean by fiddling? well i put the zipper in with pins and basted it in so it wouldn't move. then i took my thread ripper and opened up the entire back of the skirt along that seam. with Kami's help (my sewing buddy) we pinned the dress around the zipper bottom. with that lying in place and flat it was just a matter of cutting off some excess skirt in a slanting up/in direction towards the bottom of the zipper.

final steps, sew the straps down permanently. get rid of the zipper
tabs at top (you can see them in the photo). hem the bottom. and
layer and press all the seams now that it fits for sure and i don't
have to resew. i made the belt already, just have to make thread loops.

might i say that Blaise is very impressed at the moment; come to think of it i am too. :P

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Resizing it all

ok we're totally resized. 2 sizes down. this bias thing plays a major role in dress making, remind me never to ignore it again. i had initially planned to pull apart the original bodice and just resize but i had cut off the excess material and couldn't find my working marks. fortunately the material i'm using had a spare foot or two at the end of the role and the store's policy meant i had to purchase it. i wasn't too upset it was cheap and i figured i could do something with it. turns out i used it to make a new bodice from scratch.

attached the completed waist/bodice to the skirt with pins

TADA!!! look i made a dress!!

still a little big on the top, i'll do a slanted cut and take out some
of the excess then put in the zipper.

Monday, August 4, 2008

That thing called bias

remember our sizing issue. well one of the factors playing into this is a thing called Bias.

let me try to explain is as best i can. you have a piece of material that is woven on a loom, and its woven in a back and forth motion. i'm choosing the simplest form here; so you essentially have a cross-hatch pattern.

now when sewing you want to find out which direction the threads run, this is called the grain direction. easiest way is to pull a thread on a raw edge from the bottom of your material and see which way it pulls off.

when lying out the paper patterns on the cloth for cutting you have to line the pieces up along the grain line. many pieces have marks and lines showing you which direction to lay it down. now on some of those pieces it shows you laying the piece diagonally along the grain direction. then on the pattern piece is usually a little chart that looks like the back of the envelope but it goes on about "the bias is 2.5 inches..."

turns out this is relatively important and i probably should have gotten more educated on bias before i started to sew. the reason some pieces are diagonal to the grain is because you want stretch. pull diagonally and there is some give/stretch on my material. you want to use this for certain pieces, the parts that go across breasts for example. what the little chart is trying to tell you is that if you are a size 14 according to the envelope you have to re-adjust using this little chart based on what they have figured out the bias/stretch will be. in my case because of bias my size 14 top is in reality a size 10-12 on the breast measurement; i'm supposed to make it smaller because its going to stretch because i'm pulling diagonally against the grain.

well thats part of my issue solved at least. thanks to my mom who walked me through this on the phone.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Vanity sizing

So i feel we need to have a discussion on sizing...

remember all the excess i had, well it turns out i'm really really screwed, i sewed the skirt to the bodice, we're talking tent.

well at least i can make it smaller, i would have cried if i had made it to small.

so when picking out which pieces and size to use you refer to the back of the pattern envelope.

then you measure yourself on three spots, bust, waist and hips. seriously get help its almost impossible to do this correctly by yourself as a beginner.

so then you take your measurements and check against the envelope. now i was measured at a 36 bust, 29 waist and 39 hip. this means i fell into some half sizes but thats ok you just choose the bigger size and assume you will do some small mods.

ok so according to the envelope i'm somewhere between a size 14-16.

when i initially did this at the sewing store i nearly died. welcome to vanity sizing.

when i shop at the mall i was always quite pleased that i fall in the 10-12 range (depending on year and store, i hate the random fluxes in the fashion world). so finding out i'm a size 14-16 was upsetting that first time.

buts it normal, retailed clothing sizes down so us ladies can feel good about ourselves. but sewing follows an actual table that existed before vanity sizing. so i'm a size 14 and proud!!!

the envelope also follow a table that was designed and doesn't take into account curves and odd shapes. plus there is a thing called bias. too mad right now to explain it ask me later.

my dress does not fit. rage fills me.