Friday, May 25, 2012

The making of the Burdastyle Panel Dress

Dear readers, one of the projects I was working on in the last couple of weeks was the Burdastyle Panel dress, and so, here it is.

I guest blogged about it on Burdastyle, and if you check out my planning post and the finished dress report you will find some tips and techniques you may want to use in your projects as well.
It is a couture version of the dress, but I don't claim that it is the only way to make it - I made decisions I thought were right for this particular project. If you have questions why I did something the way I did, please ask - I will be happy to explain. And do suggest a different way to handle things I would love to know how you do it!

One of the readers asked me about seam finishes - here:

The question was: "When you clip the seam allowances to allow for curves, do you always round them?"

There are two reasons why I round seam allowances:
  • It is easier to catch stitch around the clipped corners if they are rounded and not sharp. 
  • The seam lies really flat and looks neat. 
This is the larger image of the stitched curve. I must admit I got carried away with the curves, but you get the idea, right? 

I made it following Susan Khalje's great tips on stitching curved seams:
  • I recommend staystitching both sides of the curved seams, and then clipping any U-shaped (concave) curves, to allow you to fan them out and shape them to the corresponding seamline (the convex curves). The staystitching will help keep the seamlines from getting out of shape. Handle them carefully – with all of those curves and varying degrees of off-grain seamlines, you don’t want any distortion! 
  • Give yourself lots of matchpoints, every inch or two, just to make sure everything lines up as it should. 
  • Baste the curved seams, of course – basting will hold them better than any amount of pins, plus you’ll be able to use both hands to control the fabric as you stitch, without having to constantly stop to take out pins as you go along.
  • Once you’re happy with stitching and take out the basting, then you can press the seams carefully and catch stitch the seam allowances to the underlining.
If you wonder, I did put a lot of matchpoints in muslin stage and transferred them over to the linen pieces.

Linen behaved relatively well, I must say, but I could see that without match points the panels would have stretched and shifted. 

On this image, besides match points on the muslin, you can actually see how I used the shell muslin to cut front lining. Burdastyle didn't recommend using lining, which I thought was strange because linen can be relatively sheer. So, I did make lining, matching the front panel seams as long as they lied flat, with darts forming above the bust point.  This saved a lot of time and worked beautifully - no curved panel on the lining, just two darts. 

That's it for the dress. Again, there are many images on Burdastyle, so check out the two posts - the links are at the beginning of this post. And, by the way, I did enter this dress for the PatternReview Natural Fiber Contest, go check it out - there are quite a few lovely creations in the contest gallery!

Have you made anything from the recent Burdastyle releases, magazine or website? Please, share your projects here if you did!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Project Runway fabric mecca to get an online revamp

(Public apology in small print: I can't believe how quickly this month passed. I was very very busy, so much happened lately and I need to report on all of these events, but let me start with the most recent, and, I promise I will catch up on the other May events and activities (with reviews and useful resources).

Ok, so, approximately a week ago I opened my email to find a message from Mood Fabrics, the Project Runway fabric mecca. Apparently I have been chosen to participate in a focus group with several other terrific people to give my opinion and suggestions on online shopping with Mood Fabrics. Ahem!.. moi?

Have you tried shopping on Mood Fabrics website? I did, twice - cumbersome and overwhelming. I gave up... Who would not, honestly? Maybe I am spoiled by Zappo's online shopping experience, but, hey, this is, hopefully, the standard, or?

Wait, not that I am not a Mood Fabrics fan. I love Mood! I love discovering amazing fabrics there and I often (too often) find amazing designer pieces at a fraction of regular price... Well, the good news is that Mood is working on a new website! Yes, I repeat, in approximately six months Mood will have a new website, which will be, I very much hope, faster, user-friendlier, more social, more intuitive and more informative. Let's revisit it then and see if it lives up to our expectations, shall we?!

For now, let's give them a big 'Thank you, Mood!" for listening to a common fabric shopper's voice. It was fun!

Thank you, Mood!

Now, back to you, readers! Have you shopped at Mood Fabrics online? Do you shop for fabrics online? Where? and why? I'd love to hear your experience and recommendations!!!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Couture Wardrobe Challenge, May: Let's celebrate curves!

Sewing has kept me very busy recently despite the lack of posts here. A planning post for this dress (Burdastyle Magazine, May 2012) is up on their page, and I hope to finish the dress on Monday. 

If you like this style and want to learn or practice couture techniques, do check it out. Susan [Khalje] shared a few great tips on sewing curved seams and using lining. If you know the basics, you will be all set up to do it.

Otherwise, I do update my Facebook page on daily basis, with favourite links, excellent tutorials from friends, and inspiration...

Is anyone making this Burdastyle dress? Let me know, I would love to feature it here, on my blog and on my Facebook page! 


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