Thursday, June 28, 2012

Bright Blue Dress: PASS

A Frankendress from Sew U Home Stretch: The Built by Wendy Guide to Sewing Knit Fabrics. I combined the Tank Girl crew neck variation with the skirt from the Tiny Bubble dress variation.

The fabric is from an AMAZING estate sale I happened upon this spring. (Seriously, the sewing supplies and fabric could have filled a U-Haul. And we got a Hammond organ for FREE!) It's a 70s polyester double knit that was a breeze to sew. My husband says the end result reminds him of a cheerleading outfit. I was thinking more tennis dress. Either way, I feel like I could take on the world in this one.

I see that Pattern Review is having a pattern stash contest in July. Maybe it's time to bring out those patterns that have been stacking up in my "make this next" pile for the last twelve months. I am, after all, highly motivated by prizes.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wild Flag Tribute: FAIL

As promised, here is my wild fail from  Sew U Home Stretch: The Built by Wendy Guide to Sewing Knit Fabrics. Last fall I fantasized about wearing a groovy tribute minidress to a Wild Flag concert or while celebrating my birthday. Those possibilities came and went months ago. Now I'm left with this ill-fitting, itchy skirt.

"Skirt?" you say. Yes, I had to ditch the bodice almost immediately.

Error 1: Forgetting the dress patterns in this book have NO EASE.
Result: A sausage casing skirt and impossibly small bodice.

Error 2: Not comparing the stretch of my fabric against the fabric recommended.
Result: A knit garment that acts like a woven, i.e. doesn't stretch. (See "sausage casing" above.)

Error 3: Failing to read the instructions carefully on Wonder Under fusible web.
Result: A backwards applique, which I decided to apply to the back side of the skirt. Additional hours spent cutting out the applique correctly for the front.

Error 4: Rushing straight to the applique instead of pin fitting the skirt first.
Result: A beautifully appliqued, unwearable garment.

Error 5: Using the first thrift store fabric I found instead of shopping for something just right.
Result: An itchy, translucent fabric with a slightly greasy feel. Eew!

After failed attempts at gathering the top for a waistband (what is this crazy material that won't gather?), I tried adding stretchy side panels and hook and eye closures, which look terrible and don't hold the skirt up. It is dark days for this would-be dress. Maybe my hero clear elastic will come to the rescue.

Or maybe I'll scrap the whole thing and start over.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Detroit Public Television Tank: PASS

I made this tank top TONIGHT in less than two hours. I am not generally a speedy sewer. I am challenged by things like spacial relations, measuring, and using pins without poking myself. Finishing this project so quickly makes me feel like a superstar.

The pattern is the Tank Girl crew neck variation from Sew U Home Stretch: The Built by Wendy Guide to Sewing Knit Fabrics. Maybe I'll tackle my horrible fail from this publication next week. Or perhaps I'll keep sewing t-shirts.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

fancy tigers: PASS

I nearly flunked out on this attempt at the Get the Scoop crew neck variation from Sew U Home Stretch: The Built by Wendy Guide to Sewing Knit Fabrics. The neckline stretched by four inches when I applied the elastic, making me look like I was wearing a wavy bag around my neck. Forty-five minutes of picking out serger stitches was well rewarded with this improved version. I switched from standard 1/4 inch knit elastic to 3/8 inch clear elastic, set the differential to 2.0, and stretched the elastic as I serged. Yes, that was overkill. But the new neckline is cute. And I can wear it while biking without flashing oncoming traffic.

Another challenge was choosing an applique to cover up the advertising text under the tigers. My husband, who donated the shirt I cut up for the project, suggested the bow tie. I like the randomness of it.