Underlining for the First Time

I have never underlined a dress. Up until a few days ago, I didn’t even understand what an underling was and what it was used for.

Thankfully, one of the sections of Gertie’s Bombshell Dress class is on underlinings.

Based on Gertie’s recommendations, I will be underlining the bodice of both my dress and Elly’s dress. It will provide extra body to the taffeta fabric and also allow me to catch stitch the seams without my stitches showing through. Plus, it will keep me sane because I can write all my notes for each pattern piece on the underlining. Nobody will see them as they will be hidden in between the taffeta fabric and the lining. Brilliant!

I’m using a purple cotton from my stash for the underlining. The muslin in my stash felt too lightweight and it was 11 o’clock at night.

I still haven’t cut out the taffeta fabric or the colorful lining fabric. I’m hoping after I do all the thread tracing on the underlining I will feel more brave.

A Muslin for Me

It fits!

It also looks nothing like Simplicity 1910.

I changed my mind. When I saw Gertie’s Bombshell Dress class on Craftys.com, I fell immediately in love.

Since having Elly, clothing with clear waist definition looks more attractive on me. It draws attention to my waist and bust and away from everything south, such as my squishy tummy and my American thighs.

It took two fittings to get the muslin just right.

The first thing I noticed was that the cups sagged. My days of being perky are over it seems. A halter strap came to my rescue.

Additionally, the initial fitting had me struggling to breath and that was without the underlining, boning and lining. So, I let out the side seams a 1/4 inch.

It’s perfect now. I can breathe. It fits.

Now, I just have to get the nerve to cut out the gorgeous purple taffeta and irreplaceable Mexican lace. Gulp.

Elly’s 2nd Muslin

Ever am I glad that I chose to make a 2nd muslin for Elly’s (untraditional) flower girl dress. Though the belly darts still allowed for a perfect fit around the waist, Elly had grown so much (since March!) that the bodice was ridiculously short on her. The 1.5 inches I had taken out of the straps had to be let back in.

With the wedding 3 months away, I am terrified that Elly will shoot up again and the dress will once again be too short for her.

I don’t want to wait till the last minute to sew Elly’s dress. My nerves will snap under the pressure. I know me. I’m likely to make some stupid error and weep in despair.

I also don’t want to use buttons for future growth such as you would see on overalls. It would take away from the elegance of the dress.

At this point, I plan to leave a generous seam allowance and just check the fit a week before the day of the wedding. A week should be enough time to make a quick alteration. Another option would be to make the next size up, the size for 7-8 year olds. It just seems absurdly large for my daughter who will only be 2.5 years old. Elly is a big girl, it’s true, but she’s not that big!

Is there a better option? I’m open to suggestions!

Sewing Progress Slowed by Game Night

Progress has been slow on sewing a muslin for my dress. I blame Bananagrams and Can’t Stop. Dan and I have been playing one or the other almost every night after Elly goes to bed.

The first time we played Bananagrams, it took forever. We never finished it before bedtime. To stack the odds in our favor of completing future games, we upped the number of tiles “Peel”ed to 2 rather than the recommended one. We both lost the first game we finished. Both of us had words that aren’t in any dictionary. I had added a ‘y’ to joker, making jokery. It looked good, but it’s not a word. Dan had ‘sog’ and ‘qi’. He tried to sell me on ‘qi’ and I almost believed him. Then, when he was looking up ‘sog’ because I swore I had never seen such a word, he realized that not only was ‘sog’ not a word, but ‘qi’ was not either. Too funny!

Can’t Stop is a game that Dan printed out on our printer. To give the board a bit more stability, he then pasted it to a piece of cardboard using modge podge.

As usual, Dan wins almost every game we play. Maybe when he’s older, he’ll become senile and I can start winning a few games here and there. One can dream, right?

Wing Chair Looks Worse

Before

Now

It’s more colorful – just not in a good way. A store-bought slip cover will go back on until I can finish sewing the main body together.

This seat cushion took a lot longer than anticipated for 2 reasons. First, it took a back seat while the sheer curtains were being made. Secondly, all the seams were encased with a Hong Kong seam finish.

Typically, there is no reason to do anything with the seams other than press them open on a slip cover. Yet, as lovely as the green fabric is, it frays like mad. Plus, this is a slip cover that due to its light color and the fact that it must inhabit a home with a dog and a small child will get washed quite frequently. It needs to be able to withstand the wear and tear from the washer and from us. I do not want to be making another slip cover in a year. The memory of this one will need to fade away first.

In other sewing news, the pattern pieces of muslin #2 have been cut out for both Elly’s and my party dress. I anticipate a lot of work needing to be done on my muslin, but Elly’s muslin should fit perfectly. I probably just went and jinxed myself.

Elly Models My First Muslin

Of all the dresses I’ve sewn, I’ve never made a muslin first. I would just cut out the pattern size closest to my bust, waist and hip measurements. Then, I sewed the dress in its entirety and hoped for the best. Sometimes it worked great. Sometimes it didn’t.

Lately, I started reading some really great sewing blogs. Which reminds me, I need to update my blog roll. Time and again the authors of these sewing blogs would mention that they sewed a muslin first before cutting out the expensive fabric they purchased. Though the fabric I purchased for our dresses isn’t terribly expensive, it’s not cheap and I would prefer to not have to buy more.

Based on Elly’s chest measurement, I traced out a size 5T/6. It’s true Elly is tall for her age, but she is not the height of a 5 year old. Assuming the bodice would need shortening and not wanting to make such adjustments on the fancy fabric, I made a muslin of it. The skirt I was unconcerned about. I can always make the hem deeper. Plus, the width of the skirt doesn’t really matter since it is gathered.

I was right. The straps needed to be 1 inch shorter. What I didn’t anticipate was how tight the bodice was in the waist. I had forgotten about Elly’s big belly.

It took slashing the front bodice piece and adding 2.5 inches to keep the bodice from being skin-tight over her belly.

It’s a good thing Elly is only 2 years old. I don’t think she will appreciate me divulging such personal information when she is 13. Ha!

The other thing I learned from the muslin was how to put the pattern pieces together. I mucked it up in the first picture. I attached the shoulder straps next to the side seams when they are supposed to be shifted over a few inches. Nice to figure that out on cheap muslin.

So, I’m a convert. I’ll be making a muslin of my bodice as well.

Next, I have to wash the gorgeous fabric (pictures coming soon), take a very deep breath and cut out all the pattern pieces for Elly’s dress.