Sunday, 29 January 2017

Is it a good idea?


I got completely rid of my first UFO today. The dress pieces, the toile made in the same fabric including the zip from the toile all gone - at least, the pieces are in the scrap bag ready to take to class. There is also a leftover piece of the fabric but to be honest, I can't stand it anymore. Too much hassle in the process of working through this garment.

I am a Scot, though! The zip was perfectly fine, I thought, and quite expensive to get the colour I wanted. So I decided to unpick it. It's a concealed/invisible zip. I sewed it in over interfacing to give some strength and some structure to the rather floppy fabric. I remember (now! after the unpicking!) that I had some problems sewing this zip because the teeth seemed slightly too big for my concealed zipper foot, which normally works very well. In fact, the zip that I threw out was cut apart as I couldn't get it out of the toile - that was a while ago, so I think I can be forgiven for forgetting. Rory put that zip in using a standard foot or a ordinary zipper foot when I couldn't get it to go in at all using my concealed zipper foot. Back to this one - because the teeth were a little sticky in the zipper foot, some of the stitches were VERY tiny. I wasn't too worried as that was the 'final' version of the dress.

So the problem was that I had great difficulty getting this zip out. In fact, now remembering the issues with sewing it in (it's a decent quality zip) maybe I should have jettisoned it too, especially given that I have jettisoned the matching fabric! Why the problems getting it out? First and foremost, the tiny stitches in certain areas. Secondly, my thread matched TOO well! I couldn't see the stitches even using my magnifying light. Fortunately in places I could see the tiny stitches showing against the white of the interfacing. The fabric tore in a few places. I was careful to avoid stretching or cutting the zipper tape.
Zip out. Thread ends still there.

You can see how closely the thread matches zip. This is very magnified.
At the left of the photo, see how the stitches nestle right against the zipper teeth
The stitching along the middle of the tape is to secure and I use as basting

Showing stitches nestling against zipper teeth

So my question to myself - and you! As this is a concealed zip where the stitching doesn't show - would I have been better using a less well matching thread to guard against the need to unpick? What do you think? David feels that would be a rather negative approach, foreseeing failure rather than success and advocates using matching thread - the thread that matches the garment if there is a slight mismatch between the garment and the zip as he believes in cutting down the variables. I see his point - and I do baste etc in advance of the final stitching.

Also - any suggestions for sewing in a zip that my concealed zipper foot really doesn't like? I did slightly open the zipper teeth using an iron, which I do find helpful usually, but not in this case.

I don't normally have any problems putting in invisible zippers. I definitely think it was the tooth size in this particular zipper - in fact, in this particular colour. Though, I wonder about the thread too. Could it have been a little on the thick side? However, I use Gutermann threads which are generally good though I did have one large reel of black that gave off fluff while sewing to a huge extent.

My camera battery went flat and the photos I thought I had taken didn't register on the sd card! I din't realise that could happen - and I didn't get any warning, so hopefully it is that and not something more serious. I've took a couple on my phone but had to wait until other tasks were done before posting. I cooked today with harissa paste, which I've never used before. Moroccan turkey kebabs - for tomorrow and freezer  and Mediterranean fish cakes for the freezer. Both Slimming World recipes.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Perfecting pattern for Helen's red silk dress; part 4. Getting rid of UFOs. Weight loss update

Altering Pattern Pieces

It might seem premature to start working on the pattern for Helen's red silk dress before I've had feedback about how the green toile fits.


While making the toile I was aware of issues which needed to be addressed. Even if the size is otherwise perfect and that's unlikely.

Cutting single layer - making full size pattern pieces

This is the biggy for me. The difficulties I had with the back were due to me cutting on the fold and the fabric slipping. I have already redrawn the back skirt as one full skirt piece, though I will have to modify and I will be redrawing the front of the dress as one full piece, too. I don't need to alter the back bodice pieces, unless I just do another piece to help with fabric layout. I haven't yet done the front.


Princess seams


In the final dress, the seams will be overlocked together pressed to one side and top stitched as in the original. They are not French seamed, though with a fine silk that would presumably be possible. Helen wants me to identically mimic the original so I’ll overlock and stitch over the overlocking. I need to buy some better colour overlocker threads. Note to self - put on my to do/to buy list


The first issue was the way the princess seams had to be folded on the back bodice of the dress. One side is rather curved,  the other is straight and Dan pointed out that the seam wouldn't lie in the direction of the curved seam. I therefore trued up the seams to allow them to lie in the direction they wanted to. A few minor changes but which should improve the sewing experience. I hadn’t realised this. I always find it fascinating the little tips I pick up which aren’t given consciously, really, but are part of the experience my tutors have.


Armhole


I also had to true the back armhole,  shaving a little off the area where the princess seam meets the armhole. I had to trim this area on the toile. There had been a small projection in this area,  as a consequence of the way the seams were trying to lie.


I carefully smoothed out the front armhole curve after folding out the dart. I had done this previously but I felt the edge was raggy.  It's better now.


I'm not doing these in order of completion.


Dress length


The sides of the dress were a good bit shorter than the front in particular but also the back.  Doing the toile, I trimmed the front after measuring from the floor. I wasn't sure how to make changes to the pattern and asked Dan's advice. She advised adding to the side seam to smooth out what is effectively a dip at that point. This would give me more leeway. The hem would still need to be evened in the same way as for the toile on the final dress. I haven't actually done that as yet - I'll do it when I redraw the pattern pieces.


External band at waist


I decided to slightly lengthen the band at the waistband - by 3 cms but haven't redrawn the pattern piece yet.


Pocket, pocket flap, poppets


Most of my time in class was spent on the pocket and this has been redrawn.


First,  I marked on the pattern front where the pocket was to go. This was pocket size without seam allowances. I attached pattern front and back at the side seams and continued the pocket across the seam. There will be a lot of drill holes marking corners  etc. I will also make card versions.

The two pieces are not stuck together here and have slipped slightly. 


After discussion with Rory and examination of the toile,  we concluded that there had to be additional support behind the poppets or they would tear out almost instantly. You'll remember the original dress doesn't have this and Helen doesn't want it. However,  the original dress has torn in that area. I don't  want to put a lot of effort into something which will tear so readily. I'll discuss with Helen.


Anyway,  I concluded I wanted to put an interfaced facing piece onto the pocket edge and the area where the poppets attach. Just a couple of cms wide but it should make all the difference. I will overlock so that there isn't extra bulk and move the facing away from the side seams where several layers come together.


Rory also helped me with the proper placement of the pocket flap and with the placement of the poppets.  Once I had it explained what the principles were,  I was able to fine tune this myself.


In class,  I also drew up the facing for the pocket. That's not in the photo for some reason.



I will redraw all pieces onto fresh paper and make cardboard templates for the pockets and the flaps to help make the seam allowances even.

I have ordered some suitable snaps and a Snapsetter (as recommended by Seamstress Erin). They are coming from the US, I believe, so will take a little while. We weren't very happy with the system we used though it did work.


Inside the toile pocket there are some raw edges and I need to think more carefully how to ensure this doesn't happen. Dan  also advised me on how to attach the flap in a better manner. One side on the toile is unsatisfactory.


The toile,  of course, was designed to help me with fit and with construction. I'm now much clearer about how to construct the final garment. Writing this, though, I realise I haven't completely worked out all issues (I'm thinking of bias binding at neck and armhole edges) but at least I'm getting there.


I waited before posting the toile as I needed to let Rory see it. Helen has now received it, says she loves it, has sent me a (poor) photo and intends to wear it to work today (Friday 27th January) and out for a birthday celebration tonight - presumably an after works drink. I didn't specify the problems I saw - and I guess if Helen doesn't see them, or doesn't care, well that's fine. I can't tell from the photo whether it fits well or needs any further modification.

I may as well wait now until I get feedback before completing the pattern modifications.

Broken Foot Control

At the sewing bee yesterday, I dropped my foot control getting it out of my sewing machine bag (I like to take my own sewing machine). We're a little cramped, to say the least. As it hit the floor, the control broke into 3 pieces - top, bottom and a spring. My tutor put it together apparently ok but unfortunately it was stuck and couldn't be used. I spent the rest of the class using the foot free start/stop control which I don't really like - I prefer the foot pedal and the knee lift as this gives me greater use of my hands.

My husband was reluctant to pull it apart although he didn't think it was broken. I saw a bit of plastic which I thought had sheared but he pointed out that it couldn't be as otherwise the pedal wouldn't ever have been able to move. I phoned my machine dealer, expecting to have to go and possibly replace the pedal, but he gave us instructions over the phone and the pedal is now working. At least I hope it is - I haven't tried it in earnest but it is moving freely. It seems that this is a fairly common issue.


Another Hack for Joanne? Postponed

I need to take a break from Helen's dress for a while. I want to make a couple of things for myself and Joanne, who is visiting at the moment, has asked me to hack a top she likes but which doesn't fit well - bust gathers gather on top of the bust instead of underneath, the length is pulled up at the front and feels too short. I have a couple of patterns with some similarities and I'd prefer to start there rather than with another full blown hack. I plan to use the pattern of the bodice for Joanne's bridesmaids dress to help with sizing, though as Dan pointed out that is for woven whereas this  top is stretch. Unfortunately, Joanne forgot to leave the top when she left to go back and so I think I'll leave that for a bit - we'll be visiting in 3 weeks.

UFOs


I thought perhaps a slightly snazzier image would make me feel better about these!

The first thing I do for myself will be a really simple UFO. I’ve decided I either complete the UFOs lying around or they go out - they are just taking up space both physically and emotionally. I’ve already abandoned a couple of UFO projects so I feel I have made real progress! I had decided to enter the PR UFO contest but as I have abandoned every project bar one I’ve picked up so far, that may not happen! I guess I can see why I abandoned these projects.

Abandoned projects

Simplicity 1156 - I suspect this is abandoned forever
Although Dan pinned this tighter, making the dress more satisfactory than it was prior to that, sorry it just doesn't work for me. I still find it frumpy and the length is not right - it is too short at the back, longer at the front, and overall just not an attractive length - I couldn't even the dress by trimming from the front (the dress is already hemmed) as overall I would prefer it longer. I also took off the bias binding around the neck and armholes (I can't remember why!!) so too much to do, anyway. This fabric will be discarded after I mark the changes from Dan's fitting onto my pattern - in case.
I've shown the skinny pattern version rather than the one on me, which is elsewhere on this blog, regrettably!
If you want you could search for it

Vogue 1082 skirt
There is just too much to do and as I am losing weight, it doesn't seem worth modifying the fit at this stage. I will wait until autumn as it's more a cool weather skirt in any case. The fabric I used is a summer weight cotton but I don't feel it suits the skirt. This really would be more of a toile for fit. I do like this skirt very much.

The skirt has been partially sewn up, basted and taken apart again - a mess of fabric pieces and threads

Sewing case
I didn't understand the instructions and didn't have all the materials I needed at the time - the interfacing was difficult to get (I have it now). I just don't need it at this stage.

Thread catcher.
Again, I didn't understand the instructions. It will have to wait - too much to do. This is not technically a UFO as I hadn't really started. I would like one but there are alternatives.

Trousers McCall's 6901
They are a million miles away with fit so not at this stage. The fabric will be discarded. actually, I probably won't use the pattern again, either.
No - I refuse to post the version I have; besides it's in pieces!

I also have trousers that I was going to hack. They had a tear so I had actually taken them apart and cut them up. Unfortunately I don't know if they would be anywhere close to fitting me now! Undecided what to do as yet.

Rory is going to drape me for a trouser block, hopefully starting next week or shortly thereafter. She originally asked me for my'best fitting pattern'. Sorry, there isn't one!

I am also going to another pattern hack class with Dan.

Postponed projects

The dress I hacked at Dan's last class, intended possibly as a MOB outfit for one of the events.

This is me in the original dress. The hacked version is plain grey
No photo of my version. The lining is great and fits really well but the outside needs work. I can't yet decide whether to take this garment with me to the new pattern hack class. Makes sense, doesn't it? In a way. On the other hand, something new that would fit in with my more immediate plans - a jacket or trousers would work better.

This wouldn't technically count as a UFO for the PR contest anyway as I will have to modify the outside layer of the dress which will probably mean re-cutting. The pattern certainly needs trued.You need to have cut out all the main pieces prior to October and I haven't. I'd like to finish this dress but I'm not in a hurry.

UFOs I will hopefully complete

Lace cardigan - more details in another post. Needs a fastening and the sleeves shortened.

Pattern envelope, now gone

This is from March 2016. Nearly done, just need to stitch hems on sleeves now -
sleeves looks short in photo but they are way too long

Skirt McCall's 3830 - more details in another post
The original was too big, taken in to too small, needs modified to intermediate state! Doable.

The fabric
These two would count as UFOs for the PR contest

The other UFOs that I have, which wouldn't count for the PR UFO contest are the two jackets I'm making but put off over Christmas and until now. They don't count because I haven't cut out the main fabric, just toile fabric and probably I was still working on them after the latest date, anyway. They will get done, soonish.
McCall's 6172 - just about ready to cut into main fabric. Boiled wool.


Grainline Morris Blazer - will be in lightweight boiled wool I suspect. nearly ready to go
Weight loss update

I was Slimmer of the Month for January with a weight loss of 12 lbs. 4 lbs this week despite Joanne being here - but I wasn't slimmer of the week as someone had lost 6 lbs and another had lost 5 lbs!! I thought 4 was impressive. The only time I ever lost more was when I was ill.

I'd like to carry on losing 2 lbs per week for a bit. 2 lbs this coming week would take me to 1 stone lost. That would be great.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

The red silk dress is still green polyester crepe. Final stretch for the toile. Helen's red silk dress part 3.

This past week

Original
Green toile

 After finding the back of the dress was so very distorted, I cut a new back skirt piece. This time on single fabric. Very carefully.  I measured as well as I could to ensure the fabric was on grain. The fabric was lying smooth and square.  The result was much better.


I decided to attach the pockets to the front before around up the side dreams of the skirt part, as far as I felt reasonable to allow space for the side seams. The dress remained attached above the waistline.

As far as could see, there were two ways to attach the pocket.  
  1. The first was to sew the pocket from the inside so that the joining seam was exactly on the fold. Then edge stitch. Rory advised me this was difficult. I can see that. She had a name for this but I can't remember what it was, I'm afraid. 
  2. I therefore chose the second way, which was my plan in any case, which was to tack the pockets through the two layers including the dream allowance, to the dress and attach by edge stitching. 
First, I carefully marked the pocket positions. It would have been so much better to have done all the markings on the flat, while cutting out. This took quite a while. I did, incidentally, do something I wasn't going to and checked comparative lengths on the rest of the dress - no significant issue. I stitched the pockets to within a few cms of the side seams. This was easier than I had anticipated

I then attached the new skirt to the bodice and was pleased to see that the lie of the dress was much improved.

The next step was to attach the band to the back of the dress, again to within a few cms of the side seams. This I achieved without too many issues.

Then, I sewed the side seams. After that I attached the waist

Not so with the pockets, I'm afraid. I'll cut through hours of sewing, unpicking and redoing to say that I eventually got them sewn semi-satisfactorily. I have made notes for the real dress. I was disappointed that the top of the pocket was so gappy and tried to fix that by tightening the top which made everything worse as the dress didn't lie properly. So I had to redo. At this stage I realised that it was better to have the pocket attached through the gusset to the dress. That doesn't make sense - I mean I lined up the top of the pocket with the stitching to the dress and tacked; after all, this gusset is the equivalent of the edge on a box cushion. Then I was able to stitch where it should be.

However, when I came to do the pocket flaps, I found that one pocket edge had stretched by a fair bit, even though it is interfaced. I should say that the pockets started off identical - I checked. As I write here just before I go to bed, I'm not sure what to do. I don't think I can rectify it.  At least I fully understand the need for comprehensive marking on the silk dress - and much less handling than this one has had.  David had to remind me again that this is a toile - if wearable, fine, but its main purpose is to allow me to practice new techniques so get it finished and move on. He's right, I realise. I will finish and send to Helen and she can do what she wants with it. I have learned a few lessons and if course this fabric was never going to look like the original dress.

When I was making Helen's wedding dress, I made toile after toile but as Rory said, and has repeated, is had so much practice that sewing up the dress would be a breeze (it wasn't!) and the same holds true here.

If Helen was willing to have the pocket on the front only, that is so that it doesn't cross the side seam, that would make it a lot easier for me. If she's not willing, at least I have a much clearer idea of what to do and in what order. I managed the band okay which does cross but a band is much easier than a gusseted pocket. The need for interfacing the pocket edge is clear - I did interface but it has still stretched so I need to modify that. Silk is slippy but it's much less bulky than this polyester crepe, so the issues I've had because of bulk should be negated.

Sure, I'm disappointed that this won't be a wearable dress but I have learned a lot. I'm not saying I won't make more mistakes because obviously I will but I feel much more confident going forward to tackle the real dress.

So tomorrow, I'll do what I can with the flaps, which should also have been sewn on the flat as much as possible I now realise, make and insert the tie and hem. That's all that's left. Oh, not forgetting the poppets! Hopefully post Monday.

Saturday

I decided to accept the pockets as they are (TBH if I'd done anything else David would have had something to say about it!) even though I think I can see how to improve the poorer pocket without toooo much effort. Obviously I'd do this on the real thing but not here.

I finished off all my ends. I pinned and basted the pocket flaps in place. Again, I realised this should have been marked from the pattern. The poor pocket side is sewn slightly too wide leading to asymmetry and the flap on this side was too short. However, I went with the flaps.

Because of the distortion, the pocket is lying too low on one side, the stretched, right side. The bottom of the pocket is supposed to be parallel to the grain of the fabric, but it isn't. That could have been fixed - and will be in the final version.

I measured the dress length from the floor and trimmed a little off the front only. I then pinned up a narrow hem, the edges overlocked, and top stitched. The dress has been on Missy for a couple of days. The completed toile is about 1.5 inches longer than the original. That should be fine as Helen wanted it the length of the hem I had originally allowed longer - I think it was about 1.25"

I then made the tie. Bias cut, folded, quarter inch seam, turned through, pressed. Then I inserted it into the channel. This went fine and I think my length is just about perfect.

Overnight tonight, the toile is therefore completed except for the poppet fasteners. I didn't have a choice when I went shopping for them and these aren't what Helen wants but again, practice. Tomorrow David will help me put them in.

Sunday

David helped me put the poppets in today. We found it pretty difficult with the little tool supplied. To get roughly the right size on the surface, I bought 10mm jersey fasteners, which cut through the fabric with little prongs. Maybe in jersey, it can just push the fabric aside. These are a little bigger than the ones on Helen's dress and we don't think they'd be suitable for silk (tbh, I don't think this style is suitable for silk but that's another story!) as it would tear the silk. The original poppets are a little different but I'm not sure where to get them or what kind of tool to use. I had a look online and haven't come u with anything suitable as yet.

It's not a suitable fabric but the dress looks much the same as the original at least as much as it could






Lessons learned/ things I need to do before next time
·      Mark pattern
·      Make sure all marks are in place when cutting out before removing pattern
·      Cut out on single layer
·      I thought my tension was okay but looking at the dress now, I feel it was probably too tight. Test and check tension.
·      I will adjust the paper pattern before using it again. Full piece for the front (I've already done the full piece for the skirt). Draw on pocket and flap position.  When making up the toile, I found that the seam allowances on the back bodice didn't want to lie the way I had intended. The armhole ended up needing trimmed as there was a slight bulge at one part. I need to true this area to account for the changes.
·      First though, I need to get feedback from Helen. I've sent her a photo and video view on Whatsapp but I think she's away for the weekend.

Edited to add (Friday) - Helen thinks the dress is fabulous and is wearing it today! Woo hoo! She sent me a photo she took on her phone via Whatsapp. I need to work out what I can do with that.

I have lost another 2 lbs this week - 8 lbs in all. It's more difficult this week as Joanne is visiting for a few days.


Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Distorted fabric. Unsatisfactory seams and lie. Helen's red silk dress part 2.

I was quite flat tonight,  I'm afraid. Not because it is Blue Monday. (I'm not going to use the word ‘depressed’ as my background in mental health doesn't allow me to demote the meaning of that word to something simple and every day like being a bit fed up because something hasn't gone well.) I ran into problems with the dress I'm making for Helen.

I went to my sewing bee, complete with green crepe dress to move it on a bit and ensure that my ideas for attaching the pockets to the dress were okay.


I finished pulling through all the edge stitch thread ends at the corners of the pockets (after making sure I didn't have to redo them because of a bit of raw edge which I hadn't thought to overlock early enough. I didn't as that raw edge is enclosed in the seam at the top,  though I made it longer on one side than it should have been.  Sortable.

I haven't pressed the edgestitching yet in this photo


Anyway,  the dress was at the stage where I had sewn up the main seams, the hem was pinned up, the bias binding around the neck and armholes was attached but not yet topstitched. I hadn't earlier marked the placement for the pockets as I first needed to check with Helen whether she wanted them lowered along with the lowered waistline or kept at the same level. The answer was at the same level. I also have to top stitch and attach the pocket flaps - oh and buy some poppets and attach. Maybe a little more than I thought!

Rory examined the original red dress and realised the maker had attached the pocket flat to the front before the side seams were sewn and then the part that crossed the seam was sewn afterwards. She said this would be easier for me when I come to do the silk dress. Noted. This also applied to the back band.


I laid the dress out ready to mark where the pockets were going to go. I was feeling quite positive. I had earlier redone the back band the way that had been recommended in class and felt I was nearing the end of the process. Just pockets, back band and bias binding top stitching to do.


BUT I noticed that the hem was wonky. By that I mean the dress length was shortest at the side seams and curved markedly down to the front but less so to the back. This wasn't satisfactory. I took out the hem. I put the dress on a dress form in class and measured from the floor to get an even hem. I was worried that I'd  lose all the extra length I'd  added but,  fortunately, I'd had a 3 cm hem and I can reduce that to around 1 cm by just overlocking and turning over and top stitching. I don't think this really shows up on the photos.

So I spent a while pinning the hem length and then marking it with thread. Quite a bit would need to get cut off the front, graduating to zero at the sides. Less needs removed from the back, also graduating to zero at the sides.

Then I noticed that the side seams on the dress as worn by the model were not lying straight and vertical. Size wasn't too crucial an issue as this is a loose fitting dress, so I wasn't too concerned about differences in size between this model and Helen.

One seam moved forward, the other back. Certainly not vertical.
Left side seam, not as bad as right

Do not adjust your set! This is a vertical photo and you can see how far back this right side seam angles
On the original dress they were not perfect,  either, but clearly distortion from wear could be responsible for that.  My dress was supposed to be symmetrical. On the original dress,  the waistline (back of dress) clearly dropped at the sides. On the green dress, the sides did not match. One side curved up and the other was straight. The relationship changed if the dress was shifted. Unfortunately, I didn't take a photo in class where this was clearer than it was later.


It seems that my fabric has distorted either before or after cutting.


Rory suggested taking out the waistline seam (it's rather up and down ie wiggly) and adjusting the lie on the model. It was the end of the sewing bee by this time so I decided I'd take out the seam at home ready for next time.


I discussed it with David at home.  He reminded me that this was,  in effect,  a toile,  a practice for the real thing,  the silk dress, and I shouldn't get too distracted by trying to achieve perfection in this one. He agreed that if it didn't take too long I should do what I could, though, when I said that I thought Helen was quite interested in this one, too.


We tried the dress on Missy.  Really,  it didn't look so bad!  However, there was a definite problem with one of the seams, more noticeable when the dress was laid flat outside in. This seam was rather puckered and there was excess fabric in the skirt part attached to that seam. The photos here are all on Missy as I didn't take any in class.


So this is what I decided to do :

Completely remove the back skirt section.
Measure it on the flat
Re-cut this section. I fully expect this to be required as I do remember that the shape didn't seem absolutely correct but I didn't realise the significance at the time. I had thought it was okay. Also,  I cut this in class,  on the fold which clearly can lead to slippage.


I have enough fabric.
It won't take long to cut out the piece, probably as fast as trying to rehang the other.
I'll take the opportunity to  put the pockets on the front, at least semi-flat. ditto back band.
I will not change the front or the back bodice and will not take further apart than I've described.


Wish me luck.

I hope to know by Wednesday whether this is salvageable or not

Okay, it's Tuesday now.

I unpinned the side seams from hem to waist and was quite surprised at the difference in lie. It didn't take long.
I hope this shows up in these quickly taken photos. I feel that the front is lying reasonably vertically at the sides. Maybe not perfect but this I'm not going to change.

Left side unpinned - not too bad

Back view after side seam released - there is quite a bulge on the right side, though left lies reasonably well

Left side at waistline

Detail of waistline on right side

Right side unpinned. Quite a problem!

I then unpinned the actual waist seam. Now my waistline curved slightly down, as intended.

I then laid out my fabric from the unpinned skirt. Look at the distortion in this back skirt piece!! No wonder I had problems!
Hem marked at the bottom. Rather distorted. This is as it lies, not due to the photo.


I assume this is due to the fabric being off grain when cut on the fold. You can see that I can place the edges together, but there is excess fabric on the side which isn't showing. It looks reasonably okay from this side, which is presumably what I saw. I can't see the fabric distorting by this amount afterwards.

I don't have time today to go any further - well, I might get the skirt pattern piece redrawn if I'm lucky but I won't be cutting out today. I go to bridge on a Tuesday evening.

Lessons learned -
  • If not absolutely happy with a piece, check again. It's easier to redo when it's still flat than after it's sewn up!
  • Listen to that inner voice
  • Cut on a single layer. In my defence I had been told it would be okay to cut double. I cut in class. However, as I'll be doing the real dress single layer I should do this one too. I hadn't realised that crepe could be so badly behaved.
Do you think it is salvageable?

A brief overview of a Sure Fit Designs Retreat in the UK

This is not going to be a lengthy blog post you may be relieved to know. It is partly for my benefit, a log, which was the original reason ...