Here's an update on my salmon striped dress, an early experiment in pattern drafting and an entirely hand-sewn dress. Previously, I had bemoaned my failure to get the neckline right on this pattern; the pull of my bra straps in the strap-catchers and the movement of my arms in the armscyes always drew the neckline in, and that created awkward bunching which I would have to fix by tugging the shoulders outward. Part of the problem was the wide neckline which made the shoulder straps sit too close to the joint of my arm, and part of the problem was that I didn't interface or otherwise stabilize the neckline while sewing it, so it "grew".
Recently, I realized that this dress was languishing unworn in my closet, even though I like it and always get compliments when I wear it. So I fiddled with the neck and pinned out the excess into two outward-facing pleats that mimic the other pleats and darts. I hand-sewed these pleats down, and the dress finally works!
I also finally got pictures of myself wearing it (many thanks to a random and confused tourist whom I press-ganged into doing the job), so I can analyze the pattern a little more. (I should subtitle this post "Finally!")
A friend who was getting married earlier this month asked me to do her wedding dress alterations. It was a three part job: hem the front skirts shorter, create a 5-point bustle for the back, and shorten the shoulder straps. The hemming was basic, and the bustling routine, but the shoulders were interesting, and would make a good tutorial.
Just a quick post, today! Sometimes it's fun to make a little change that makes a big difference: this wedding dress was quite a statement five years ago, but had spent too long in the closet, and the lovely lady who owned it wanted to take it out for some more events.
So my learning curve for denim continues! After one washing and drying, my client's three pairs of jeans all shrank -- in length, not girth. He reported that the jeans were now each 1" short, and brought them back for fixing (no charge).
Now, anyone can hem something shorter, but adding length is trickier, especially since jeans have a doubled-over hem with not much extra fabric. In the interest of bringing some good from this annoyance, I present a lesson and a tutorial.
When making jeans for someone, cut them longer than needed and serge (or zig-zag stitch) the bottom. Tell your client to wear and wash a few times, then bring them back for hemming after all the shrinking is done!
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