Sewing Vloggers

Thursday, August 8, 2019

The Dyna-Flow Top, Butterick 6486

I am 90% pleased with this wearable muslin. It is a muslin as well  as a painting experiment, after all. I'll go through and let you know where it failed. My goal here was to find a pattern for a dress/jumper that would basically hang from the shoulders but still fit those shoulders. I wanted something I could wear a turtleneck under in the winter, make out of warmer, bulkier fabric; and whose bodice I could manipulate into a curved waist that you don't see here (in my head).  Basically I was looking for a loose fitting block to play with at a later date and I found it.


This is Butterick 6486.   It is described as "Misses loose fitting , gathered waist pullover top with bell sleeves." I will now get back on my Ease Rant. This pattern got terrible reviews on Pattern Review due to the  fit. Did you know that the words pattern companies use to describe their patterns are up there with biblical book and verse? If it says loose fitting, it IS loose fitting, people. ALSO, in the pattern books at the store as well as on line on their sites are the ease charts for the Big Four pattern companies . If the pattern company describes this pattern as "loose fitting", (back to book and verse) by the ease chart, that means there is 5 1/8 to 8 inches of ease above your bust measurement for this particular pattern design. This is DESIGN EASE. This is not ill fit. Know what you are buying. Do your homework. If it has that much ease and no darts, you know it will be a bag. So if your bust measurement is 34, this could be up 42 inches wide at the bust. I was looking for something that would just hang from my shoulders. It works for me. If you want a bodice that is fitted with darts, this is not your pattern. I will now get off of my Ease Rant soapbox that I know I have been on a lot lately. I apologize for being so brusque!

All that being said about the fit of this garment, it went together perfectly at all seams. I was very pleased with the drafting. The pattern, once the fit is understood, makes a great, loose fitting, comfortable top, one I think that can be pretty versatile. There was not too much ease in the sleeve caps. The sleeves were beautifully shaped with a distinct and welcome difference in shape between the front and back armscyes. I applaud these sleeves.  Here, at the waistline,  is where I saw a problem, the ten % that failed, IMO.

 OK, I have boobage, a C cup and narrow torso. I did some measuring. For me to make the back bodice match horizontally with the front bodice I would have to either lengthen the front or shorten the back by 1 3/4 inches at CB or CF. I noticed this hiking up on most views I saw on PR. Boobage made it worse. The less endowed did not have as much of an issue. Yes, darting could help but I really think it was an intentional design call that just  flunked. I looked at other patterns like this that I own and they are longer in the back as well. Is it prego? baby doll? both? Just personally I would prefer either a horizontal waistline front and back or something with a distinct design curve that gave a reason for the lengths being so different. That is my only complaint with the pattern but one easily fixable in the next iteration. I made notes and will work around this next time. 


This was the fun part! Being a trial garment, I searched the stash for something I wasn't too invested in. I dug up a very soft, much washed but still lovely, damask tablecloth that I believe to be a heavy cotton. It's "card table" size which indicated it being quite old. I had been researching DynaFlow paints and decided this muslin would be a great chance to just try some out. The paint and the fabric did not disappoint and I go into more detail about the painting process in my last post. I first cut out my pattern pieces. Then, I painted them, let dried and then heat treated them for permanence. After that is was crank up the machine. The fabric was a bit ravelly but we managed. I love how the color separated in other shading. If this were done outside in the hot sun I think the colors would have dried to quickly to separate and would have remained more intense. I will definitely be ordering and using more DynaFlow again, great paint. In the first photo of the front of the top you see swirls on the breasts. It doesn't come across like this in reality. The damask design in the fabric is lighter and picked up the flash from the camera in a way that made it shine far more than it does. You don't motice it much at all in person. The fabric was great to sew on. Love those natural fibers! 


ditch stitching in well of shoulder seam and understitching

There is nothing difficult about this pattern. I did tweak a few things, aka, did them my way so here is a rundown. 

* I did not use the pattern recommended French seams. I wanted to be able to adjust my muslin if needed. I opted for a simple and quick stitch and serge for all seams. 

* I used the recommended facing for the V neckline. I did the Nancy Zieman triple stitch treatment for the understitching and serged the edges. It was interfaced. The facing was then ditch stitch at the shoulder and CB seam wells as shown above. 

facing triple zigzagged and interfaced. Fabric is baby cord.

sleeve head catch stitched to seam allowance between notches

* When the top was complete I felt like the sleeve cap was caving in. I had left my seam allowance in and pressed it toward the sleeve but it just didn't give the nice roll I like. What you see above is a strip of quilt fleece catch stitched to the seam allowance within the seam allowance so no stitching shows publicly. This is then flipped toward the sleeve with the seam allowance and gives the armscye a bit of a soft roll. 

* I used what has become my "signature" machine hems. I started using this just on knits and now bring it forth whenever I need a machine hem.

inside hem

outside hem

* The hem is made by folding under a 1/4 inch and then turning to the inside another inch and pressed into place. The hem is edgestitched with an edgestitching foot and then again almost an inch away to catch the top edge. There were a lot of thread color changes while making this top.


I think I have a cute top to wear with jeans, dark or white, or with a flowy pair of white linen pants. I recommend the pattern with suggested awareness about the design ease as well as the shape of the waistline seam, which I don't think flatters anyone. Otherwise, this is wearable, cute and fulfilled it's goal of giving me a loose block to play with in the future.

I apologize for no personal modeling but hubs and I are in the midst of carpentry on our facia boards and painting the house. We are doing it ourselves and have two weeks to get it all done and are in full focus mode. I am not sure what my next project will be. Have to get this house painted first! Color: Sherwin Williams Peppercorn!. ....Bunny

ETA: We had some visitors in the yard for brunch this morning!

Monday, August 5, 2019

A new top, Butterick 6486 and painted!

I am going to call this The DynaFlow Top. It has really been fun to play with. I got this pattern some time ago and a pretty floral to make it up with. Will it fit? On Pattern Review there were numerous comments about how large the pattern ran. I was specifically looking for a pattern for a future project that would have a rather loose hanging bodice with an attached skirt and this looked like one I could use to reach that goal, something along these lines.  I do promise you, my plaids will match a bit better than these if I use them!

 For now, it's hunt something for use as a muslin from the stash.

I started to search  and since I had a pretty good go with my Dandelion Dress muslin I looked at better fabrics but not fabrics that were too too good. I was just playing here. This was a loose fitting top so if the fit was a bit off on the wearable muslin I could live with it.  I decided on a vintage cotton damask tablecloth in sky/baby blue. It  was beautiful square cloth and so very soft but, ugh, that baby blue! The contrast on this photo has been exaggerated so you can better see the fabric. The design is not yellowy at all in reality and is really pretty. Having been washed countless times, it has that worn softness  and should be comfy to wear. The sample you see above also is from the scraps. When something goes into the stash and has a defect, I mark it with a small safety pin so I won't not notice it when it is time to cut.

This project has been in the "to do" pile for quite some time and in the meantime, on a Pinterest binge, I clicked and discovered a paint called DynaFlow (no affiliation). Then I got sucked into Youtube vids on said paint and I was sold. I cautiously laid down my plastic on the Zon for one bottle but in my favorite color, periwinkle. I thought I would try just this one bottle before buying one of the sets of colors. It was in the six dollar range. I did find that Amazon has limited color choices and there is a lot more available at Dharma Trading.  Let's see what happens!

Finally, today I got a chance to play with my paint and my soft, blue tablecloth. I cut out the top but only with my usual petite adjustments. There were no darts which worries me but we will see how it looks. In reviews the top pulled up on the uber busty but on those just a little extra busty it seemed ok.

I  cleared my work table and was thankful it was so long. Then I laid down what the bag said was a drop cloth but when you pick it up for a dollar at the dollar store you can't expect much. It was a big sheet of very thin plastic but it worked. I covered everything around my work area in case of over splash. the sheet was secured and then I spread out my pattern pieces flat on top. I did some piecing on the peplum strip to accommodate the design in the tablecloth and max out the yardage. This top pulls over the head. I did my best to match the design of the damask as I cut out.

Next I sprayed the areas of the garment pieces where I wanted to paint with water. This paint is the consistency of water itself but quite intense in color. It flows like watercolor paints but is more saturated. You can play with it like water color paints. It is heat set in the end and all I read and see says it is very permanent. Those areas I sprayed? Not enough water and too futzy. I switched to a bowl of water and a clean two inch paint brush. I just brushed water generously where I wanted to put paint. This technique made the fabric stick to the plastic sheet in a nice flat surface to work on, no wrinkles.

Once everything was wet. I poured straight DynaFlow into a junk bowl and dipped in that same brush. I painted along the top edge of the peplum and I wanted more intensity there. Then I cleaned my brush and just pulled down the paint with a clean wet brush which made it lighter, just like a water color would behave. By the time I did the full strip of the peplum I went back and did another coat near the top edge to intensify it further. I painted all my pattern pieces in this method as I had envisioned. I shut the light out, went upstairs, grabbed a beer and made dinner.

A couple hours later I went back to my studio to check things out and loved what I had found. The color had migrated a bit in a nice soft way and it had separated into different tones in a few places, very pretty. I liked it even more now.  This morning, after drying all night, it looked great, what you see above. When it is all dry for 24 hours I have the option of ironing it or throwing it in the dryer to set the color.

Here we are after 24 hours. Years of painting fabrics have taught me that the color can migrate to your ironing boards and show up when you least want it to on a white shirt. I covered my steam press with a heavy towel, laid down the pieces to be heat set, put a press cloth on top, and turned the press to "cotton". I used no steam.  We are now ready to mark and get sewing. This looks like a pretty quick top. I will pay close attention to the upper chest armscye area per the reviews on PR but the largeness I think may be what I want for a future project and this experiment will let me know that. The DynaFlow muslin top begins!      Bunny

Saturday, August 3, 2019

I have found my Muse

I have finally found a woman I can really relate to, someone who gets my love of color, love of painted natural fabrics , and love of tailored details. I think this woman is beautiful, wears clothing extremely well, and inspires me to dress in ways I hadn't thought of. I don't know her name. I don't know the designer she models for. All I know is that if I could dress like her and even look like her in my dotage I would be very happy.  Why wait for my dotage? I am inspired to copy this garment now!

I keep seeing the name "Milano Moda"  and Daniela Gregis come up when I search these photos. Is this the designer? Is this the model? To me this outfit exemplifies how women of a certain age have earned the right to wear whatever they want and look like they are having fun doing it! Unfortunately, what I often see happening is the exact opposite of my muse above. Notice her simple hair, her lack of makeup, her bit of tan, breaking all the rules, the classic simplicity of her clothing paired with the vibrancy of color that many of a certain age simply over do or forget to do.

Often, when one does a search for fashionable women over 60 we get nothing like my Muse. The blog "Advanced Style" rises to the top on that Google ride. Photographer Seth Cohen has made a career of roaming the streets of New York City and other big cities around the world photographing some well known and some not so well known lovelies in their favorite clothing. I find the photos interesting and the subjects appearing to be really enjoying being models in their later years. They always seem to be having fun, lots of smiles! Yay for that. But sometimes, they really have dug a little too deeply into the back of the closet! Often the women are over corseted with over Botoxed faces in combinations of garments and jewelry whose scale is so out of sync it appears to have jumped from the cartoon Maxine. These are beautiful women. I just don't want to ever look like them. In my opinion, they would be far more beautiful without all the exaggeration. Too many bracelets, too many necklaces, too many patterns , too many colors, too many styles at once, and all happening at the same time. Feel free to cruise the "Advanced Style' Blog to get my drift. Do they get dressed in the morning hoping to run into Seth Cohen or are they really like this? Is this a Big City Thing? My muse above and her designer appear to be a part of Milan Fashion week so no lack of sophistication there.

Let's look closely at how she's working it. She is always in flats, usually Mary Janes. Nothing is corseted and she is clearly comfortable but she doesn't look like a lampshade from your grandmother's victorian parlor. There are no super voluminous shapes with layer after layer after layer of ruffle, no intentional hiding of the female form. (Think Tina Givens). She is belted, often. She goes braless but not blatantly so. She rocks being braless and who's to know? . If she has an extra layer, it is because she needs that layer. She has no fear of simple. I love me some simple, in my home and in my clothing. Yes, Simple shapes, Fabulous natural fabrics, Yes!

 Our Muse loves color. Do you see that bit of red lining peeking out? Those orange shoes? Just the right spot where  you need it.

Our Muse is comfortable, so comfortable. Have we not earned that right by her age? My age? I think of years of stilettos at work>bunion surgeries;  years of pantie hose>yeast infections; years of underwire bras> they still sag. All that was collateral invested in the future time when we could just be comfortable. Our muse shows we can be older, comfortable and beautiful.

I have been searching as I write this post and have found that our designer is Daniela Gregis who I believe is part of the Italian fashion scene. She is known for using models whose ages cross a broad spectrum. Her male models are not the perfect Calvin Klein underwear type of guy but good looking real men just the same and it is nice to see them up on the runway as well. I am going to continue to follow her designs. Here is another of her models from the runway that is not fitting the standard model mold, beautiful woman, a tad younger than my muse. Here is a link to her garments which I find so inspirational. I hope you do too. I must, must, must make that pants and top garment you see in the very first picture. Thank you for such gorgeous clothes and models, Ms. Gregis. You know  how to dress a women well!.........Bunny

Sunday, July 21, 2019

The Periwinkle Linen Dress

The Dandelion Dress served as the muslin for the Periwinkle Linen Dress. I love them both and they  are really both quite different as you will soon see. They are both made from New Look 6866 with original alterations  to change the silhouette and hem finish. I was inspired by the garment you see here. With the Periwinkle dress I went for simple, letting the fabric shine.


New Look 6866 is a flowy, summery maxi dress that the pattern describes as  "five styles with length and neckline variations." They are all sleeveless and the necklines are all lovely. I went for the high front neckline and the V back. This is a fabulous basic pattern with lots of design ease but it fit me well in the upper chest/shoulders so I am very happy with that. I flat pattern measured and there was no need to do an FBA for my C cup. I will get on my high horse and say once again, this is design ease, that extra room, not a mistake in drafting the pattern.  You want big and flow-y, you get bigger and flowier than the basic pattern block.  Design ease..........


The computer does not do this fabric justice. It leans toward lavender and I used lavender thread to sew it. It is a yarn dyed linen/cotton blend, a fabric I have used many times and think is one of the best values out there. However, I am stymied. I want more of this periwinkle but did I look at the bolt end for info? Just quickly to discern that it was Essex linen from Kaufmann. Now, when I go to the color charts, I can't find this color. I can find Cadet but that is blue and I have some of that. This has a green selvage. I am going back to the quilt store where I bought it to see if they can help and hopefully order some more. You can never have too much linen. It is the fabric that will be in style forever.

Another issue with yard dyed fabrics, well let me stop right here! Just in case you don't know what a yarn dyed fabric is here is an explanation: Yarn dyed fabrics have the yarns/threads dyed before they are woven into fabric. This allows you to have all of your weft threads one color and your warp threads another color. It gives a lot of character and depth to the fabric. If you've seen iridescent silk dupioni, you have seen a yarn dyed. Kaufmann's Essex blends are often  a colored linen thread and a white or black cotton thread going the other way. Back to the issue---I wanted to topstitch this dress, all over. It is hard to make prominent topstitching on yarn dyeds. Which thread do you match up to? Doesn't  matter the match will disappear and the non match will sort of look yucky. Either way, they just don't stand out. Above you can see some samples I did. On the right is the thread I was using for the construction, a lavender periwinkle color. You can see it just disappears in a regular stitch. In the middle, same thread with a triple stitch. I don't think it looks that good and my machine does a great triple stitch on other fabrics. On the left I tried a darker thread, really no improvement. I made the executive decision to not topstitch this dress anywhere. I liked it's soft look and was going to go with that. 

I also used a white  100% cotton voile to underline this dress. I did a "flat lining" in the method you see here. It worked out perfectly. This made the dress very  comfortable. I wore it today in 100 degree heat to a "backyard" wedding. The dress kept it's looks all afternoon and was spot on for the occasion. 

The facings were fused to cotton woven fusible interfacing. 


Here are the changes I did for this dress, some of which were not done in the Dandelion dress. I wanted to reduce the volume a bit. You will see the difference:

* My usual petite shortening in the upper chest. 
* Raised the armhole 3/8ths of an inch at the side seam tapering to nothing at the notches to hide my bra. 
* Reduced the front width at center front by a half inch. 
* Reduced the back width at center back by two inches. 
* Reduced the "bumpouts" one inch from the Dandelion dress bumpouts. 
* Flat lined the garment which meant all vertical seams, really only 3, were able to get a Hong Kong finish. This was nice. The HK finish was on the hem edge at the top, the facing edges and all of the sides seams as well.  By flat lining I was able to catchstitch my hem and facings to the voile underlining. 

Another thing I did was to do a diagonal basting of the underlining to the dress, front and back,  after it was flat lined. I also basted diagonally on the  area where the upper hem edge would be. I let my dress hang out on the dress form for a couple days before doing this basting and trimmed as needed, not much. 

 The darts in the dress were made to include the flat lining. A line of basting was done down the center of the dart on the lining to hold the two layers together while the dart was being sewn into the dress. The hem band is just the linen layer so no special treatment on the hem darts. Just mark those top and bottom edges of the hem band.

The picture above shows where the seam gets ditch stitched to secure the hem band to the dress. This is done on the right side of the dress.  I think failure to do this will cause the wide hem to billow and this holds it flat. It also sort of bolsters the shape of that side seam bumpout.

I did have a screw up, totally my fault. In my unbridled enthusiasm I did not read my pattern instructions. Heck, I just made one of these although it wasn't lined. After the dress was flat lined, hung out, and the lining hand basted diagonally to the fashion fabric, I stitched together the shoulder seams. I bound the edges of the facings with the voile, stitched them together and attached them to the neckline. Next was my favorite, understitching the facing with the triple stitch a la Nancy Zieman, all well and good. Nope. Seems now I can't stitch the armholes and turn them. I looked on line for some sort of magic I knew nothing about to solve this. There is none. I was too late for magic.  I slept on it. What to do?  I refused to rip out triple zigzagging on this lightweight fabric. 

Luckily, this fabric and lining are quite lightweight. I did a wide bias binding, understitched with the triple zigzag, turned and pressed, pinked the edges so no bulk, and catch stitched down to the facing. I think it will pass. It doesn't add bulk and is neatly finished. 

Another issue that came up was the refusal of the side seams to lay flat in the curved bumpout area. I decided to catch stitch them down. I so love to catch stitch.  This actually helped reinforce the shape.

Here they are, all catch stitched, tamed and tidied. Now it was on to catch stitching down the facings but only under the arms. The rest of the facing is free floating.  I also catch stitched the upper hem edge. I just can't stop catch stitching once I get started!

The inside is all finished and pretty! No topstitching in sight, volume brought down as desired, fit is spot on, life is good. The dress is fitting snug on my form as I am a size or two  smaller now than I was when I made the form. 

In Conclusion:

Once again, I am really happy with this pattern and the changes I've made to it. I look forward to making it also as it is designed, as a long flowy maxi dress maybe in the view with bow in front and in a softer fabric, perhaps a cotton lawn print. I will be on the lookout for that. In the meantime I think I am putting aside my beloved skirts that are my  summer staples and joining Team Dress! It's just such a comfortable, cool way to go. I highly recommend this pattern and love the way the dress is draped from the bust and shoulders. Flat pattern measure first and make a muslin. Do not assume the pattern is too big. You decide if you want the design ease that has been put into it. I like it either way. I love the full volume of the Dandelion Dress and also the more conservative look of the Periwinkle Dress. I will say that whenever I wear the Dandelion Dress in public people stop and compliment left and right and ask where I bought it. We will see what happens with the Periwinkle dress. I like that the  Periwinkle look is a great foil for my jewelry too. 

And just in case you missed the last post here is another pic of our recent house guest:

Happy sewing!......Bunny

Saturday, July 20, 2019

A Wide, Shaped Hem Band for NL 6866 & a special visitor!

Back to our Dandelion Dress, New Look 6866, and the alterations that made it unique. You can see my inspiration here and see that there is a very wide shaped hem band around the bottom of the dress. I've always loved deep hems and they way they can affect the drape of a garment. Here the deep hem has a definite function.  It adds weight to the hem which keeps the bumpouts from blowing out like balloons. On the Dandelion dress the addition of the hemband was fairly simple as there was no lining to the garment but the band can be added to an underlined garment and I will show that when I post the linen version of this dress which is now complete.

The first step is to put the shaping darts in the front hem area only of the dress. They should be inline with your bust points. If you put darts at the hem in the skirt back it will balloon out toward your bum. At least that's the message my brain is getting from years of asking my self "does this make my butt look big?" The back skirt should fall straight down from the lovely V neckline with no poufing. Also, if you haven't sewn the back seam yet, when you do, leave a 6 inch space at the bottom open for your slit.

* Lay out your front pattern piece.

* Mark your new cut hem edge six inches below what the pattern indicates for View B&E, the purple arrows.

* 7 inches (for me) from Center Front, aka, the fold, draw a line from the hem edge 5 1/2 inches long up toward the original hem edge, the red broken line. Make sure this line is perpendicular to the hem edge which isn't parallel to the side seams or center front.  This is your dart line. It should be in line with your bust points and for me that was 7 inches. You more than likely will have your own number. I figured this out by draping the dress on my form and on myself and seeing where the fold fell down from my boobs.

*At the new hem edge draw in a half inch dart, in other words starting 1/4 inch left and right of the original dart line you just drew, just like any other dart you would draw. Draw the dart from there to the tip 5 1/2 inches up.

*Make the darts in your dress front and press to the Center Front of the dress. Set aside.


*  Take your front and back dress pattern pieces and trace off the new hem band pieces, one for across the front to be cut on the fold, and two for the back that will mirror image and end in a slit, like a giant facing. 

*Cut out these pieces in your fashion fabric, three pieces total. 

* Mark and make the darts in the front  hem band the same way you did in the dress front.

*   Sew the side seams of the hem bands together. Don't sew the back seam as that is your slit. This is a good time to check that the edges at the side seams of both the band and the dress match. Trim if necessary. Iron the side seams open.  There is a bit of an upward curve at the side seam which is nice on this dress. 

* Iron the hem band darts in the opposite direction, toward the side seams. You will be nesting the darts which you can see above. They will oppose each other and therefore not make a big bulky ridge. I have had to play with some serious contrast in these pictures to show the detail and it makes the fabric look filthy. I apologize. It's not.

* Stitch the hem band to the skirt , matching bottom hem edges. I know that sounds obvious but it is REAL EASY to get the top and bottom of the band mixed up. I highly suggest a piece of tape or such to keep the top and bottoms of the band clearly marked. So this before you draw in your darts.

* Once the hem edge is stitched to the skirt, grade seams and press toward the band. Understitch the edge with a triple zigzag stopping and starting about an inch short of the slit corner. It is similar to the method I used to understitch this collar which  you can see here.  Give the new hem edge a sharp press. 

*  Finish the top edge of the hem band. You can serge, Hong Kong, bind, whatever you like for the finish. Try not to add bulk. I serged mine and that was it. 

* Fold back the hem band to the skirt, RST and stitch the slits up to the end of the closed center back seam. Grade and turn the slit seams. Press. If you are not feeling secure about the slit you can zig zag across on the outside with a satin stitch bar tack or on the inside, hand stitch the bar part from a hook and eye at the split to secure the two seams further. Being a full skirt, I am not worried about the slit splitting. 

* Give the band a really good press. Line up the side seams and pin their seams together. On the right side ditch stitch in the seam to secure the hem to the skirt. 

* Topstitch or hand stitch your hem in place. On the Dandelion Dress, the bottom edge of the hem was edgestitched, using an edge stitching foot. I then topstitched along the top edge of the band from the wrong side to see what I was doing.  The Dandelion Dress was made of bull denim and I treated it like a pair of jeans when it came to topstitching. In my linen version there is no topstitching at all. The hem is catchstitched to the underlining.  It's a much softer look for a lightweight, softer fabric. Do what works for  your fabric. Either way, you need to ditch stitch the band at the side seams. 

Your new wide, shaped hem band is now complete. I think it is a great custom touch for this pattern, New Look 6866. I hope you give it a try. If you have any questions, ask away. The next post will be about the linen version which is quite a different construction and look. Stay tuned! In the meantime..........

.............In the last post I showed you some pictures of our back yard and some of the improvements my husband and I have made and worked hard at. Seems we are not the only ones enjoying our hard work. This is a large male and he hung around for quite some time. An hour and a half earlier I walked out the back door to continue gardening and came face to face with Momma Bear  a few feet in front of me. Her cubs were in the front yard. At one point my next door neighbor had two large males, the mother and two cubs in her yard. You could hear the air horns going off all over that afternoon. That is how we signal each other that bears are around in our yards and to be on the alert. I don't garden without an air horn on my belt.  Big Daddy came back the next day but we haven't seen any of them since. Life in the wild!

Happy sewing!...........Bunny

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Adding "bumpouts" to a pattern, New Look 6866 or any other

I have started working on my linen dress. It will reflect some fit changes from the original Dandelion Dress shown here. It will have a tad less volume, particularly in the back. The armscyes will be raised about a half inch but otherwise, it is the same dress. I have a new pattern to play with as they were on sale and this way I could start fresh for all of you who wanted to know how to go about adding a bumpout to an A line dress or even a skirt. The pics aren't too exciting as they are of pattern tissue but the concept is a fun one so let's get going!

What do you need? 

* New Look pattern 6866 if you want to really copy what I did which is fine or any other maxi A line pattern. 
* A cutting board so you can see the measurements as that helps to establish grain and get your alterations correct.
* Dressmaking ruler, French curve or whatever shaped ruler you like to use for pattern drafting. Above are my rulers , decades old, purchased at a travelling sewing show. Great learning experience and lots of unusual notions. I don't think I have put these down since I got them in the eighties. I use them for everything despite their names. 
* A red or blue fine point Sharpie or whatever you would like to use to make your changes as long as it is not black or navy. You want a line that stands out to avoid mistakes. 
* Tissue paper in case you would like to trace from your original pattern, which I would recommend,  or if you need to add extensions.

That's about it. 

The first thing you need to do is iron your pattern tissue, BEFORE CUTTING, and I insist on it. It will just be easier to work with, never mind other good reasons why. If you are using 6866, be aware that the facings have different sizes on different facings and they are overlaid on each other and I don't know why. 

A note about the pattern and really any pattern you are going to cut. Iron it (no steam), lay it out flat, and measure it. Only then will you know if it is close to fitting. In this pattern I used the smallest size. The bust area, I think, fits great on me. You judge. There are 40 inches in the bust for the size small. THIS IS DESIGN EASE, PEOPLE. I will write a post on this soon. This is not an ill fitting pattern. The shoulders were perfect on me.  More to come on this subject as there is so much misunderstanding about the concept of fitting ease and design ease, two different things. Movin' on.......

Getting ready to cut:

Roughly cut out your pattern pieces. Do not get rid of any of the tissue in the side seams. Keep it all, including all sizes.  Use your red marker to extend the View E hemline out to the end of the tissue from whatever size you are using. I am using small here. Don't cut off any of those other sizes. 

 If you are using the larger sizes you will have  to add an extension of tissue or paper about 4 or more inches wide to draw the bumpout.  I am using View E, the shorter version here. Don't cut anything yet!  Lay out your front piece. We will concentrate on the hems for now.  Measure across the tissue six inches down from the View E hemline and make marks all across. This will be your new hemline. Connect the marks to give you your new cutting line for your hem.

This is the new cutting line for your deep, shaped hem. Cut out the hem, ONLY , across the bottom. 

Fitting. Do any vertical adjustments you need to do before cutting any further. I simply tucked up some length a couple inches below the waistline but whatever VERTICAL  adjustments you need, go ahead and do them now. 

After that you can cut out any other parts of the tissue EXCEPT the right and left side seams for front and back. 

Let's look at the front first. 

I always find it easier on these nested patterns to outline MY dart in a contrasting color. Makes things a lot easier to mark and match up. I like to put dashes down the center too, to fold on. 

It is now OK to cut out your pattern everywhere EXCEPT the right and left side seams from the notch under the dart to the hem. 

If you need to do any further alterations, FBAs or such, do them now. You can see I raised my armscye a bit here, plight of the short people!

For larger sizes, add an extension piece of paper, maybe 5/6 inches wide to the side seam. You will be working outward from your normal size seam, whatever that may be. Place the tissue pattern piece on your cutting board ON GRAIN. With your French Curve or any other curvy Dressmaking ruler and your red sharpie draw a new side seam on the pattern as shown in this diagram below. It will give you the shape of my original Dandelion dress. In my linen version, I will be only extending out two inches, not three, to reduce a bit of volume and play with the shape a bit. In a nutshell, here is what you will do as you can see in the diagram. 

* Place your pattern piece on grain on your cutting board.
* One inch from YOUR SIZE side seam, at the new hemline, make a hashmark. This is where you will start your new curved bumpout side seam. 
* Twelve inches up straight up from the hemline make a mark on the old side seam.
* At that 12 inch mark, turn  Right 3 inches and make another mark. This is where your widest part of your bumpout will be.  Feel free to do less if you would like a different look. 
* About 4 inches below the notch, make another mark. This is where you will start curving in, instead of bumping out to give yourself some waistline shape.

Lay your new altered pattern down on the cutting table. Lay your back piece on top, matching the notch and side seam of the original dress. With your sharpie draw out the same shape you just made on the back of the dress side seam. Done. 

We still have the hem band to deal with but I want to get the linen all cut out first and lined and you will see why later.  You may want to wait for that instruction before starting to have a complete understanding as more shape is to come. 

I am five feet tall. These are the dimensions I came up with  based on nothing more than my inspiration picture. I am sure the model in the picture is far taller than me. You can move these curves  up and down any way you like to work with your own height. I have no magic formula. A muslin is wise. Just remember to go in that one inch from the side seam line for YOUR personal size, not mine. This helps shape the wide hem band.  Also remember to curve back in about 3 or 4 inches before you reach the notch to give your waist some shaping. A dress with this much volume needs that inward curve to look decent. 

You will be doing more shaping when the wide hem band goes in. 

Once all of your lines are drawn in with your red marker, cut out your tissue. If you've read this far, you can see that you are destroying the original tissue. I suggest that before starting you trace out your original tissue as this is a great classic pattern that I am sure you will use over and over. I know I will. 

 I did not cut out the wide hem band until the dress was all cut out for what will become obvious reasons. We will continue with that step in the next post as it is a bit involved. Stick with me! We are almost there! 

Because you have endured these rather "dry" pictures of pattern tissue, I will leave you with a bit more color. My husband and I have been working hard on our property we bought last year. The outside, like the inside was a nightmare but one with great potential. We took care of the inside with a total rehab and love it and it's like a brand new home but the outside now needs our attention. It is quite sorry. This property is on a bluff/cliff, whatever you want to call it on a small lake in New Hampshire. We have incredible wild life every day who drop by and visit. Looking forward to less energetic years at some point we are making this a no lawn, woodland shade garden for about 90 % and all of the back yard. It will be filled with mosses, pachysandra and other shade and acid loving goodies. We have done massive clean up here , I mean massive grunt work but it is looking so much better. We have a long way to go, long way, but gardening takes time and teaches patience. You can see our fairy moss growing happily and we can't wait till we have velvet everywhere. It is doing really well, coming from just a tiny bit. It will come as things grow and more hardscape goes down. Here's a few pics:

Happy Sewing!.......Bunny

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