Thursday, October 28, 2010

Amy's Black Vinyl Corset - Vogue 2810

This is probably the coolest thing I've ever made.  A few months back, I was daydreaming about how many different ways I could make corsets, because I wanted to start selling them.  One day in the upholstery shop, I was sewing some vinyl pieces together and topstitching them (which is one of my favorite things), and I got inspired to make a vinyl corset!  I immediately dreamed up the colour combo: black vinyl with red topstitching and a red zipper.  Amy immediately came to mind.  We took Fashion Production together in College, and she was always dressing gothic.  Almost everything she wears is black, and she loves to throw in a little red to spice things up.  I thought this would be perfect for her!  This is essentially a trial run to see if the vinyl would be usable in a corset.  Turns out, it works!  
I rifled through the giant stash of vinyl at my dad's upholstery shop, and I found this satiny slippery black vinyl that wasn't too heavy or too thin.  I borrowed some red upholstery thread, and I went home and got to work.  I wasn't sure if my Juki industrial would be able to handle the vinyl like my dad's heavy duty upholstery machines can, but I tried it out, and everything was great.  Heavier vinyl probably wouldn't work as well, but this weight seems to do the trick.  It's so cool.  It looks like something batman would wear.
Here is the inside layer of denim and interfacing.  The boning is sewn to this layer.  The bust is a size too small.  I let out the bust a full 2".  Also, the zipper is too low.  When I sewed the zipper in right up to the top edge, it zipped up perfectly.  I was a little wary of how tight the vinyl was when I sewed it together.  Thankfully, it has a bit of stretch to it, and when everything was finished, I finally relaxed and knew it was going to fit.  
I am so thrilled at how this corset turned out.  Amy is just as ecstatic as I am.  She's wearing it for Halloween.  I can't wait to see what she's come up with!  As soon as I get her glammed-up photos, I'll post them.  

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Brown Satin Dress - Simplicity 2401

I made this dress for Nina to wear to her brother's wedding.  We went fabric shopping together, and she picked the pattern and the fabric (with my 2 cents thrown in, of course!).
Simplicity 2401

The bodice is lined in cotton broadcloth, and the skirt is a slinky polyester satiny fabric that we found in the bargain bin.  I gotta say, I'm loving the contrast of the funky skirt!
 I love pleats!  There are 3 pleats on each bust piece.  I am loving how nice they look and how much more forgiving they are than darts in regards to fit.  Not to mention that they are so much faster and easier to sew than darts.
Finished Dress
I used the lining as my muslin.  I had to make a few minor changes.  I chose a size 14 based on the finished garment measurements.  The only measurement provided was the bust, so I didn't know what the waist or the hips would be.  I had to let out the waist/top of hips a bit, and I did a 1 1/2" swayback adjustment.  I also shorted the bodice 1" at the waist seam.
 The back of the bodice of this dress was kinda weird, so I changed it completely.  They have you make an elasticized section at the center back, and there's no zipper.  Judging by how snug it fits at the waist seam, I don't see how you could pull it on without a zipper.  I created a seam at the center back and put in an invisible zipper.
I originally put in side seam pockets, but when Nina tried the dress on, they flipped out funny.  So I sewed them shut.  Problem solved.
 I was pleasantly surprised that this dress went together very easily.  The design was very simple, and it practically sewed itself!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Burda 7866 - Kimono Sleeve Top

 Last week, Fabricland finally had a sale on Vogues and Burdas, so I bought a handful of each that I've been wanting.  Among the Burdas was this top.  I wasn't planning on making this anytime soon, but as I was reading through each of my new patterns, I noticed that this one was really easy.  So, I decided to be spontaneous and whip myself up a top.  This is the second thing I've made for myself this year.  I figured I deserved to try this "instant gratification" thing that everyone's been raving about.
Burda 7866
I bought this fabric from the bargain section at Fabricland sometime last year.  I was planning on making a long-sleeved V-neck top with it, but I wasn't particularly keen on it.  I decided it would be good to use for my first trial of this pattern, as I wouldn't be heartbroken if it didn't turn out.
 This top took me 2 hours and 5 minutes to make.  For me, that's amazing.  But I could have saved myself a ton of time by simply serging my seams instead of stretch-stitching and then serging.  Back when I was 18 and had my first serger, I thought it was the most wonderful thing ever invented and I rarely ever used my sewing machine.  I sewed all my funky cotton pants with serged seams, and they held up just fine.  Once I went to college, I discovered that the proper way to sew seams is to sew them first and then serge them.  It's certainly more accurate, but for a project like this, it wouldn't matter if my seams weren't perfect.  Anyways, to make a long story short, next time I will simply serge my seams, and hopefully cut my time in half.
 I was so impressed with the accurate fit of my Burda cargo capris that I cut and sewed the size 18 again.  I didn't make any alterations.  The only thing I fiddled with was how much to hem the sleeves and the bottom.  I wasn't liking how it was fitting at the hips, so I folded the bottom up 3", and it was much better.  I hemmed the sleeves 1 1/2".  I hemmed both with the coverstitch on my serger.
 I love how taking pictures of yourself makes you less judgemental of the little things.  When I first put my top on, I wasn't sure how I felt about it.  This top would probably be nicer in a drapier knit.  Nevertheless, once I saw a few pictures, I fell in love with it.  I love the neckline, the sleeves, and how it hugs me just right at the hips.  
 I'm inspired to make a few more of these.  I've been living in jeans and t-shirts for the past year, since I left the Bridal House and embarked on my new career of upholstery and seamstressing.  This top is close enough to a t-shirt that I feel comfortable wearing it around the house, and it's dressy enough to help ease me into the idea of embracing my funky fashion sense more often.
 I probably won't make another one of these right away, as I have a few more wardrobe basics that I want to tackle first, but knowing that it'll take me just over an hour to whip out another one makes it very enticing.
 Burda has won me over once again!  Garment #2 for 2010 is a success!  Bring on the sewing bug!