Sunday, May 26, 2013

DIY: Pre-Shirred Fabric Dress and Chemically Crinkled Dress

The Pre-Shirred Dress was supposed to be the easiest, one seam dress ever.  And it could have been. Except I didn't buy enough fabric, which I guess was my fault, but I blame the Fabricland people for not helping me :)

For this dress, you basically buy enough fabric to wrap around your chest and then sew a straight line down the side - because the top portion of the fabric has elastic in it, it conforms nicely and then flares out from the waist down.

You measure around your chest and buy that amount of fabric.  I needed 84 cm, so I decided to buy 1m to have extra for straps if I decided I wanted them.  Well, you need to cut 84cm where the fabric is all scrunched - not along the bottom - or you will not have enough of it. Guess what I ended up with... It wasn't too tragic, I just couldn't walk in the dress unless I took tiny steps, which, of course looks ridiculous.

Back w/ Slit
Notes to others (and self)
- measure the top part and get them to cut that length
- pre-wash and dry --> this is cotton fabric, so it shrank a bit

A few moments of quick-thinking and I opened the seam from the bottom up to my knees and made a slit, reinforced the top of the slit w/ a tiny piece of ribbon, and then I could walk!

The great things about this fabric - even with mistakes, it is a pretty easy dress (perfect for beginners) and if you are comfortable with the length as it is, you don't even need to hem the bottom! It truly can be a single seam dress!

Chemically Crinkled Dress:  This dress was really easy to make.  It is very similar to Pre-Shirred fabric, but there is no elastic, it has been chemically or heat set to make part of the fabric crinkled which allows that part to stretch nicely around the torso and then the rest drapes nicely for the skirt portion.

The differences b/w this fabric and the pre-shirred fabric:
- the fabric is sheer
- the scrunchy-part is not at the top, but all along the middle, so you have to fold it in half to a) lessen the sheerness (unless you want your underpinnings to show) and b) so that you can create a layered effect

To make the dress:
- fold fabric in half so that the crinkly part is along one side (I staggered the other ends so there was a ruffle effect, but you can do it evenly if you prefer)
- measure your chest and use this measurement + seam allowance (I actually just wrapped the fabric around my body and cut where the fabric overlapped. This isn't science, people!)
- NOTE: this fabric has no real stretch, so don't make the top part too tight or you won't be able to get in/out of it.  Ask me how I know...
- use extra fabric to make straps

Friday, May 24, 2013

Me-Made Vacation

I have been sewing up a storm! This is on account of our family vacation to sunny Cuba. I've been putting off a lot of projects only to plow through all of them as soon as we finalized our trip.

Some pics are included here. The more detailed ones will be in separate posts for the new items.

The new items include:
- pre-shirred sundress (so easy!) Blogged about here.
- fancy bathing suit cover-up (supposed to be easy, but I made it so much more difficult than necessary!) Blogged about here.
- peplum top using fabric from my first Meetup (Toronto Fashion Sewers) and a pattern suggested  and reviewed by MimiG - New Look 6168. Blog post to follow re: my experience with the pattern and review.
Pre-Shirred Fabric Dress

Bathing Suit Coverup

Peplum Top - New Look 6168

Old items that came along on the trip:
- jersey skirt
- cowl dress (everyone's favourite, Vogue 1250)
- sheer sundress using crinkle-top fabric (like pre-shirred, but done in a chemical/heatset way)

Jersey Skirt

Cowl Dress - V1250

Sheer Crinkle-top Dress
I actually didn't realize I had so many trip-worthy me-made outfits, so I was super excited when I realized how many I had packed :)

More sewing to come!