Simplicity 2174 (plus a minor sewing disaster and a bit about muslins)

I have been doing some sewing stuff recently, but haven’t felt like posting much. I did a shed-load of cutting out today and realised that if I didn’t post about my previous couple of projects now then I’d end up with too much to post about, and then I’d fall so far behind that I’d probably just give up altogether.

First up, I spent absolutely ages using loads of the information I learnt from the Susan Khalje Couture Dress course to make a dress from New Look 6910

(view D)

I made a very careful muslin, machine basting all the stitching lines; took that apart and used it to trace and cut underlining for the bodice.  I then used the underlining pieces as the pattern pieces and hand-basted the underlining pieces to the fashion fabric (using silk thread); carefully cut out and sewed about 90% of the dress,  and then ……. I did this

(If anyone reading is considering the course then please don’t let this put you off.  The course is fantastic and this is down to my own stupidity and the course has absolutely nothing to do with it – a serger isn’t even used during the course.)

Those of you who own an overlocker/serger may recognise what this lovely photo is showing.  For those of you who don’t have such a machine – it’s the moment when you discover that, instead of just cutting off the excess seam allowance with your serger, you have also managed to catch part of the main garment pieces between the blades (and then you continue serging for a few cm even though there’s a teeny voice in your head saying “Something doesn’t feel right”)!!!  This is only the second time I’ve managed to do this, and both times have been when I was rushing so, now I know that, I’m hoping there won’t be a third time.

This disaster was too far from the nearest seam to be rescued so after cutting out all the largest pieces to use as scraps or for dolls’ dresses, the rest of the dress went in the bin.  After all that careful work it was rather annoying, but fortunately I didn’t love the fabric (it’s one of those that has been aging in my stash for about five years), and the dress was cut out before I realised just how much skirts with waist pleats don’t suit me so I’m classing it as experience 🙂

I have sewn one (nearly) successful garment so far this month, using Simplicity 2174

I made the longer length, with the short sleeves and sweetheart neckline.

I like it, but I’m not completely sure that I haven’t inadvertently made a bridesmaid’s dress!  It also doesn’t fit me quite as nicely as I’d like. It needs a couple of tweeks to get it to fit a little better, and the fabric (100% cotton) feels a little stiffer than I’d like.  It’s not a “must wear as soon as possible” dress, but it will definitely go in my wardrobe once it’s been tweeked.  It definitely needs a belt and I have cut out the same belt I used for my cherry puppytooth dress, but I need to make piping for it.  I have a bright pink remnant left over from the bag I posted about here and I cut out the bias strips today to make the piping (I already have piping cord).  This is at the top of my sewing list.

I mentioned in the title that I’d write a bit about muslins.  This is just about my recent experience, but maybe it’ll be useful to someone (and if I write it down I might remember it).  I’ve recently discovered that whenever I make a muslin I only really pay attention to the fit of the parts that I think are going to be a problem.  For both the dresses in this post, my main concerns were the bust and waist, so they were the only things I really paid attention to when I looked to see how the muslins fit.  I failed to notice on the first dress (New Look 6910) that the pleats at the waist were a bad idea, and on the second (Simplicity 2174) I didn’t see that the neckline gaped badly at the back. It also gaped a little at the front but I hoped that once I’d put the facing on that problem would just disappear (it didn’t!).  Once I’d finished the Simplicity dress and tried it on I realised that at absolutely no point during the fitting process did I even look at the back neckline, even though experience with Simplicity patterns should have taught me that this is a common fitting problem for me with their patterns.  Next time I make a muslin I will definitely take lots of photos, rather than just relying on looking in the mirror and seeing what I want to see.  I’ve known that I should do this for just about forever, but it hasn’t properly sunk in.  Now I’ve written about it perhaps my brain will actually pay attention!

In other news – I have bought yet more fabric!  I recently went to my local fabric shop to buy just a couple of things and they had loads of new stock.  I did inform the staff that it wasn’t permitted for them to get new stock unless I needed it, but they didn’t pay any attention to me :).  The first one was the fabric used for the Simplicity 2174 dress above.  The others are also 100% cotton in pretty prints.

I don’t know what it is about polka-dots but I find them almost irrestistible. This fabric, with this size polka-dot, was available in about six different colours but I managed to restrict myself to just buying one.  The shop also had it with a teeny-weeny polka-dot as well – I have no idea how I walked away with just one cut.

The next is actually exactly the same print as used for my Simplicity dress above, but I didn’t notice until I got home.

It looks lovely when put together with the polka-dot fabric above so even though I bought enough for a dress, I might have to reconsider.

This is the last one and was bought with absolutely no project in mind, but I love it.

Actually, I lied, that isn’t the last one.  I did buy some navy cotton twill to make some shorts for Mr RTS, and another print to make a present for my mother-in-law.  She knows what the present is but hasn’t seen the fabric and although I’m fairly sure she doesn’t read this blog I don’t want to spoil the surprise so I can’t put a photo of it here.

And finally – I haven’t quit my Burda Challenge.  In fact the shorts for Mr RTS mentioned just above are from the April 2012 issue, although not as short, and I have picked out potential sews from the other two April issues I need to sew from.  I also still have one garment from February and one from March to sew – both are cut out and just waiting for me to be bothered – December could be an interesting sewing month if I keep this up 🙂

Stash update:  A bit out, too much in – I’m now at 292.05m.

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9 Responses to Simplicity 2174 (plus a minor sewing disaster and a bit about muslins)

  1. judy says:

    I am so sorry about your first dress.That is so frustrating, when things like that happen.. I do them things all the time.ha
    I love your simplicity pattern dress [I actually bought the pattern a long time ago..and never could make my mind up, if I liked it.. NOw.I really like it, and am going to make it.thanks for sharing the photo]
    What beautiful fabrics.. I love all of them, especially the last one.. so pretty.. I so ,can not go into a fabric store, and come out empty handed……..eeeh…. the new stuff calls me.lol
    Enjoyed reading your article. Happy sewing.

  2. Elle C says:

    Don`t you just want to scream when you do something like that? I have learned (the hard way of course) not to SWT (Sew While Tired) because it is then that I will do this kind of thing. I am glad for you that you weren’t in mad passionate love with the fabric anymore.

    It scares me that you know how many meters of fabric that you have, and it makes me feel like I should know too. It is never going to happen. My husband could find the evidence.

  3. eumoronorio says:

    I actually gasped when I saw the hole! My husband asked what was wrong and I showed him the picture. We both feel sorry for all your efforts, but I’m glad it wasn’t a fabric you were in love with. I have to agree that craftsy class is amazing! I can’t wait to get my fabric! Love the polka dots too! I want to go fabric shopping now!

  4. T. Sedai says:

    (1) So sad to see the serger accident! Especially after you put so much work in to the dress.

    (2) I like your new fabric – can’t wait to see what you do with it!

    (3) I have nominated you for an award on my blog – no pressure to accept, but you are welcome to post the Liebster Award to your blog!

  5. prttynpnk says:

    I’ve discovered that as soon as a tiny voice in my head says ‘Hey, I could finish this tonight!’ that I need to step away from the sewing area- a huge speed error is being foreshadowed! I love all your florals- I’m tempted to do some unneeded shopping today.

  6. amaryllislog says:

    Oh crap, I feel your pain! I have done the same thing twice and wished so badly I could “command z” it (computer geek stuff) back to before the mishap. I’ve learned it’s okay to go slowly with the serger but I can’t tell you how many times I think “oh no did I do what I think I just did?!” such a painful lesson!

    Love all your fabric and finished dress, spring is in the air yay!

  7. Anna Lin says:

    I love the fabrics very much!

  8. thanks for sharing, I have a serger and haven’t done this yet, but probably will soon. At least I will feel less alone when I do! I pretty much always rush when I sew and serge.

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