Wednesday, 10 August 2016

WOW: Auditioning the Pattern

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
Today I'm sewing up the bodice part of the wedding dress pattern. I've had a good look at the Butterick pattern my DD chose and after some hassle with the super thin paper, I'm happy to report that the pattern itself is just fine and completely achievable for any intermediate home sewer - which is a nice surprise. Several people have asked me to report back to them on this point and I know what they mean. There are some pattern manufacturers who just make everything needlessly hard to follow, Butterick is not one of those.

Looking at the pieces now and knowing what my DD wants, I'm pretty sure that we won't be using this pattern for the finished dress. However I am prepared to make up the dress according to the pattern to show this to my DD. After that, I'll draft my own pattern and start the real wedding dress work. I don't actually mind making the Butterick one first as I am curious to see what an off the shelf wedding dress looks like straight from the pattern and I always like to warm up with a starter garment. It's been years since I professionally sewed any clothes and I'm out of practice. I never thought I'd be interested in clothes sewing again and have fallen much out of the loop.

Like quilting, new techniques and styles are coming along all the time. As far as quilting is concerned, I have learned so many new tips and techniques which have really cut down on the time it takes to create applique pieces. So I'm sure the same must be true for sewing generally - I just don't know about it as I don't do it anymore. I still follow the old school systems and I'm sure there's already a better way. So to make sure I am sewing as quickly and efficiently as possible, I've purchased a Craftsy class on corset making. Again, I have made many corsets and they're a lot of work. I'm hoping to learn some new quicker methods and will let you know how that goes.

Today, it's back to the Butterick pattern. With the price of lace being what it is, the sample dress is being made with the aid of some old curtains (above) and the dress is being made from cotton muslin. Far from glamorous, but a good start.

What's Your WOW?


14 comments:

  1. so glad to hear you have some old curtains to practice with - well enjoy following your progress - I do not do much with sewing clothing although I used to years ago make my maternity clothes and baby clothes.

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  2. Oh Esther you really are a professional, making up a mock wedding dress first, it made me smile when I read a old lace curtain??? How lovely though for both you and your DD that you are able to share this journey on such a special time. I'm so looking forward to seeing a photo one day of her wearing it. Glenda

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    1. Honestly if was just for me, I wouldn't bother. But the youngest one is fussy Glenda and must see all the stages for herself and approve every little detail before we progress to the next...:)

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  3. Looking forward to seeing each step. I haven't made clothes in a very long time either. Early high school is the last time I sewed a lot of clothes just for me. Made my daughter lots of clothes when she was young and some for my boys. Loved it.

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  4. Last garments I ever made were for my daughters wedding 19 years ago. No, not her dress but the bridesmaids dresses. The first and only time I made a mock up with an old bed sheet. She found the dress of her dreams at a bridal show for under $300 that we had to have altered a bit.

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    1. That sounds like a dream, yes to the sample dress!

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  5. Sheesh, you had me worried there until I got down to the last lines. I doubt there is new corset technology but good for you on being willing to cover all the "bases" (baseball terminology) and taking a refresher, just in-case. Who knows, they may have come out with some new "boning" material like a strong polymer instead of metal.There's nothing like getting stabbed by your undergarments when you least want them.lol.😁

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  6. I keep losing my comments to you. I doubt you will need a refresher course re the corset but you may find out that they have come out with a boning that isn't metal. There's nothing like having your under-garments stabbing you when you least expect it.lol.😁

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  7. A wedding dress in just a month?!? I'm impressed! I'm sure that the dress that you make will be wonderful - lovely to read through your words the love and care that is going in to making it just right for your DD. So generous of you both to share your progress too.

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  8. You're so brave to sew a wedding dress. And what a fantastic idea to practice on an old curtain.

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  9. I'm curious, Esther. What does your daughter have in mind for her wedding dress, and why do you think the Butterick pattern she picked out won't give her what she wants? Can you tell us the pattern number so we know which one you're making? The frustrating thing for me with garment patterns, trying to teach myself, is that the garment sewing bloggers I follow and the reviewers on PatternReview.com always talk about how the pattern instructions leave out steps, or how they disregard the pattern instructions because the instructions tell you to do things in a way that doesn't come out as nice or look professional. How is someone who never learned to sew in home ec class supposed to know which instructions to follow, which to disregard, and have any chance of ending up with something they can be proud to wear out in public? I bought fabric for a simple skirt pattern a year ago, got as far as a muslin and redrafting of the waistband yoke thing to fit my shape, but I'm STILL trying to work up the nerve to cut into the good fabric and make a start of it. I keep saying "today I'll make the skirt," but it's so easy to just make another quilt block instead. No zippers, no interfacing, and NO CURVED BELLY BULGES and fear of crooked hemlines!

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    1. Hi Rebecca, I'll do a whole post on the inspiration style of the dress so you can all get a visual. I think the Butterick pattern is actually rather good - far better than I expected actually. It really delivers what it shows on the cover although yes I agree there is quite a variation out there on what people expect from patterns these days.

      Take me, I was unhappy with the quality of the paper but the pattern itself is fine. Some people with very little sewing experience purchase patterns expecting full length tutorials on every step of the garment construction process, so it's a hard line to draw on what we actually want from patterns these days.

      Even before I took up a profession in fashion, as a girl I knew all the fundamentals of basic sewing and so did all my friends. We could have easily sewn our own clothes (if we'd been motivated to) from ages 14 up. Nowadays, most women don't have a fundamental grasp of how to use the patterns they purchase and it puts everyone in a bad mood - the consumer and the brand launching the pattern. In my own opinion, I do think that if anyone wants to sew clothes worthy of wearing out and being proud of, they will need professional classes. You can't just muddle through or you will end up with clothes that look 'home made'. Today we all have Craftsy, however just 10 years ago you would need to do a course. I've purchased several Craftsy videos out of interest and I honestly think you make your own clothes after following those online classes. My own elder DD has done this with surprising (to me) success and it was a real eye opener.

      I think another issue is that the people who are prone to make their own clothes fall more under the category of 'artistic' rather than accomplished and their poor workmanship puts a lot of people off. You need the skills, certainly. But those skills can be learned - more easily than ever thanks to the internet and online providers. If only more women hobbied at those skills, they'd be in a greater position of power. Take for example the brides to be in the wedding dress boutiques I visited with my DD. The women there were hugely impressed by the most basic bodice and skirt combinations and were paying a hugely over inflated price for their lack of knowledge. If they had just basic sewing skills they could see the garments for what they actually are - mostly intermediate sewing skill level.

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  10. I have this image of this mock up looking like something from the Sound of Music. Lols. I remember my daughter watching her teacher go down the aisle in a fabulous, simple bias cut dress made by her mother. She asked me then if I would make hers. I just hope she has forgotten about it by the time she decides to marry....

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    1. Oh how I wish, I'd love to sew a Drindl! My DD however, may think otherwise..

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