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Posh Frock Progress Report (1)


Hi All,
Just thought I'd update you on the posh frock progress, as you were all so kind with your hints and tips as I was starting the project.
I machine washed all the fabric together on a cold delicates wash and it came out fine - the cupro lost a little bit of its smooth hand but nothing significant.
I made the sheer over-blouse, using my standard blouse pattern without the bust darts, went for a mandarin collar and bound the slits for the cuff opening rather than using a placket. After fiddling around a bit, I constructed it using a modified 3 thread rolled hem on my serger as recommended by Kate & Beverly. It worked really well leaving me with a very narow seam. As my shear was quite a crisp bouncy man made almost organza like material, I did not use any interfacing in its construction. The cuffs and collar I dealt with using the sewing machine, and careful trimming of seams and threads so the blouse looked as good as possible given it is very see through. The seam finish was a little bit itchy on a test wearing - more due to the fabric than anything else, so I have washed the blouse in the hopes that will have softened it up!
I have made a test top from the Size 16 New Look 6428 pattern, and DH helped me check the fit and mark the alterations this evening. The good news is the pattern went together well, and I've learnt how everything works, but the bad news is that it doesn't fit that well! Checking the pattern, its meant to have 3.5" ease, I've got about 4" and it does look big, and its sticking out under the arms. With my best bra on (i.e. the one I'm planning to wear on the night), the bust point is about 1" low. Also the waist is 1" high. Needless to say because the top is constructed in two halves, it doesn't actually have a lengthen/shorten line on the pattern! I'm going to make Test Top Mark 2 based on the size 14 pattern pieces to deal with the excess ease, plus the alterations DH helped me identify with regards length, position of bust and waist. I've got the pattern, spare tissue paper, pencil & sticky tape waiting on the table for me to redraft the pattern as I type!
I made the skirt from New Look 6428, but added a waistband, and tweaked the top of the pattern to deal with the fact my waist is 2 sizes smaller than my hips. I also cut each pattern piece from hem to mid thigh, and spead it by 2" at the bottom to give the skirt some extra flare. The skist is made minus heam, and is now hanging for a few days just in case - it shouldn't stretch as it is cut on grain though. It's way too long - draping on the floor despite the fact I didn't think it would be quite that long! I shall have to stand on a stool on the coffee table when I get DH to mark the hem for me! The cupro is lovely heavy weight stuff and not fraying too much - it is misbehaving a little in that it is quite slippery.
I've got 2 weeks and 2 days left to draft & make Test Top #2, alter it if necessary, and then make THE REAL THING! Oh, and I probably ought to make a couple of matching fabric flowers / scrunchies for my hair and maybe a matching purse - but only if I get time!
Sarah
Reply to
Sarah Dale

This sounds like the project is going well. For skirts, remember that patterns are made for a woman of about 5'6", so if you are shorter (especially in the leg department!), they will be long. It sounds from the top as if you are long waisted, and need greater length in the top half than the bottom half - just like me!
It sounds lovely, and you need to get pix up somewhere! :)
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Kate  XXXXXX  R.C.T.Q Madame Chef des Trolls
Lady Catherine, Wardrobe Mistress of the Chocolate Buttons
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Reply to
Kate Dicey

Yep! I'm long waisted and short legged. Strangely DH measured me to the ankle at 40" and the floor at 42" (from natural waist line). The skirt is listed as being 42" when hemmed and worn 1" below waist. So I just made it full pattern length - its draping on the floor! I shall get DH to mark the hem at ankle legth for me this weekend, shorten the excess off and do the hem.
I will certainly try to. I've editted half the top pattern i.e. all the bust alterations, and have worked out how to shift the waistline on the other half of the top, but not done that yet. Must get cracking!
Sarah
Reply to
Sarah Dale

Wonderful, glad Kate's and my advice helped.
Sounds like you're making good progress, yell if you run into anything.
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Beverly
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Reply to
BEI Design

Hi All,
Further to my fist progress report, I have the following update:
Following my trials and tribulations with Test Top #1, I made Test Top #2 from the size 14 (#1 was size 16) and all the length alterations I'd identified from #1.
You will all be pleased to know that Test Top #2 fitted reasonably well first time round. DH helped me identify some minor alterations which I then sewed staight in (a tweak to the strap length, and reduction in the under bust seam line dimension, lowerering the arm hole a smidge at the lower edge). Test top #2.1 fitted very well.
I transferred the alterations back to the paper pattern, and tonight I cut out the lining and have completed construction of half the lining.
I wobbled around on top of the telephone directory on top of the coffee table and taught DH how to mark a skirt hem at the weekend. I made sure to wear the shoes I'm planning to wear to the actual event. I then shortened the skirt by 5" (!!) to about 1" below DH's marked line.
I've turned the hem up, pinned it in place and given it a light press (this cupro doesn't want to crease easily - I need to give some thought to how to do it when I sew this hem in). I want DH to double check the hem again before I sew it in now that the skirt will not be draping on the floor while I'm wearing it ;-).
One question - I've noticed with this cupro that it is very easy to pull threads. I'm concerned that if I hand hem this skirt - which I was considering, that I will end up pulling threads due to the weight of the hem. I could blind hem it using the machine, but I think this would maybe cause a similar if not worse problem. Has anyone had experience of hemming cupro and able to comment on my worry? Or have any useful suggestions?
If it were any other skirt I'd probably use the RTW hem finish of a 3 thread o/lock followed by turning up 1/4" and straight stitching the hem, but I think this would look awful on this skirt.
TIA, Sarah
Reply to
Sarah Dale

Sounds like you did all the right things there! :) Well done!
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Kate  XXXXXX  R.C.T.Q Madame Chef des Trolls
Lady Catherine, Wardrobe Mistress of the Chocolate Buttons
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Reply to
Kate Dicey

Sounds like you did all the right things there! Well done!
Congrats on teaching the DH such a useful skill! I must emulate this...
Good move, that double checking, especially after chopping so much off. Let it hang out a day or two before the final tweak...
I'd do it like I did the bias cut disaster hems: clean finish the edges with a 2 or 3 thread overlock, using thin thread and 70's needles. Then hem up by hand, using silk thread. try a fine silk thread or possibly even a rayon machine embroidery thread and a fine needle. Don't try to make the stitches too far apart.
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Kate  XXXXXX  R.C.T.Q Madame Chef des Trolls
Lady Catherine, Wardrobe Mistress of the Chocolate Buttons
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Reply to
Kate Dicey

Well - he wasn't too impressed with his new skill LOL! What made me laugh most was that he told a friend of ours this evening - "We've spent hours getting this right" and I'm thinking to myself - Yeah, right, you've spent all of 1hr maybe helping me fit the thing and I've spent many hours making it! Still, our friend admired the work to date.
Actually part of the reason for the double check is because of the shanghied help, and also because of the amount I had to cut off.
It's hanging! Hem pressed up, pinned and waiting for a final fit.
OK - that makes sense, close together stitches will give more support which will reduce any tendancy of the threads of the fabric to pull. The skirt is already 3 thread o/lock finished. I have some matching hand embroidery thread I could try, or non-matched machine embroidery thread, or matching Gutterman poly, unless I go shopping at the weekend. I shall have a play with the scraps and see what is going to work best. Thanks for the tip.
The top is progressing fast, the lining is now made up as far as possible without the fashion fabric being available. I've part cut the fashion fabric and need to go and finish it after this post! I am being super careful and keeping all the pattern pieces the same way up onthe fabric and as to which side is 'right' (because you can't tell the right side from the wrong side on this fabric).
Got 1 week and 1 day to go!
Sarah
Reply to
Sarah Dale

You could hand-sew running stitch instead of the machine straight stitch. If done with warp threads raveled from a scrap, it should look very nice.
It isn't unknown for weft threads to be more suitable than the warp threads. Either will require a good coat of wax before you sew. I like to dip raveled threads in water and let them dry before waxing, in case they got stretched while being pulled out.
Joy Beeson
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http://home.earthlink.net/~joybeeson/ -- needlework
http://home.earthlink.net/~dbeeson594/ROUGHSEW/ROUGH.HTM 
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Reply to
joy beeson

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