Saturday, August 3, 2013

Practice Pattern Continued -- Starting Over


For the last couple of days, I have been working on my practice blouse. I got all of the muslin pieces cut out and marked using the tracing wheel and waxed tracing paper as I told you in my last post.

Then, using my sewing machine and a dark colored thread, I sewed along the seam lines on each pattern piece to both stabilize the seams (especially on the lower bias pieces) and also give an unfading and tactile seam. This makes it pretty easy to pin the pieces together. You can literally use your fingers to slide the seams together and they "stick" when they are in the right place.

I then constructed the body pieces, less the sleeves and the collar. Pinning is
an important detail. It takes a lot of time to pin seams carefully. It is so much faster to throw in only a couple of pins -- or no pins at all -- and fly through the seams. But that is not the way of couture sewing. Couture is a slow, meditative process not a way to knock out an outfit on a Saturday afternoon. (Just today I read an article about how factory workers sew in ready-made clothing faster then home sewers. One reason was not using pins.)

figure 1
I was so excited as I went to try on the muslin for the first time. Ten seconds later I realized that the -- er, um -- "endowment" my mother gave me was going to mean going back to the drawing board. But that also meant that I could use the book that I reviewed last week!

I read up on how to adjust the bodice of a pattern for a larger bust. And then just followed the directions step by step. I drew my lines onto the pattern with a pink marker (figure 1), cut carefully and spread apart the cut pieces as the book described.

figure 2
You can see the yellow tissue paper from my gift wrapping stash that I used to fill in the gaps left by the cuts (figure 2). I used tape on both the front and back of the pattern piece to hold everything together so that I would not get any shifting.

figure 3
Since it was necessary to widen the top piece, I also had to widen the bottom front pattern piece. After lining up the top front and bottom front pieces, I marked the position of the cut onto the waistline of the bottom piece and took that line down to the hemline parallel to the center front line. I cut down the line and then slipped in another piece of the yellow tissue paper for fill in and taped it up matching the width of the gap in the top front (figure 3). The cut made the bias grain line jog, so I redrew it with the pink marker.

Next, I get to cut out the four pieces, mark them with the tracing wheel and paper, sew the seam lines in and reconstruct the body. Then we will see if my adjustments fixed the problem.

Happy sewing!

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