New tools and a dress!

Happy Wednesday everyone!

So last week I was really lucky – I mean, so lucky I should have bought a lottery ticket. The wonderful and lovely Christine Haynes (follow her on Instagram here or visit her blog) gave away a box of sewing magazines and I was the lucky recipient! I had managed to comment first on a post and she was lovely enough to send them to me. I found a treasure trove when the box finally arrived, about 22 magazines if I remember correctly. One of the magazines I am most excited about is Love Sewing, a British magazine, mostly because it came with a Ruby dress pattern from Simple Sew Patterns! It is vintage inspired with a lovely high neck-line and full circle skirt. The back is a low-cut v shape with a zipper. It’s the most simple yet perfect pattern and I’ve already gotten started on making one.

The magazine itself.

The magazine itself.

The dress pattern, so cute!

The dress pattern, so cute!

What I really love about this pattern is just how simple it is to sew it. I think it has to do with the order you sew the seams in. Basically, the bodice darts are done, and the front and back bodice pieces are attached, but only at the shoulders. The facings are done  the same way, and then the facing is sewn to the bodice at the neckline and arm holes. The sides and back are not sewn yet, so you can pull everything right side out without it being awkward or having to slip stitch something. The sides are sewn next, and then the zipper. Ingenious, really.

I’ve started on a mock-up already but lo-and-behold, it was too big. According to the measurements there should only be 1″ of ease, but it’s more than that. So then I tried the smaller pattern size…and it’s still too big in the chest! I already know I have to move the bottom darts a little farther apart from each other and cut them down, but I can pinch a lot from my chest. More than is comfortable really, it makes it bubble up. Anyone have any ideas on how to fix that?  I’d be more upset but this is sew easy to put together and cut out that doing 2 or 3 mock-ups really isn’t a big deal.

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So much gap! Of course, a little is ok, but this is just too much.

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The side darts are in the right spot and are actually perfect, but the front darts…not so much. They are way too high and not centered at all.

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Can you see the gap? Can you? I can. I can also feel the gap. Ew.

I usually hate having to trace the pattern that much as well but not anymore! I actually got some Pellon tracing fabric. It’s an interesting mix between tracing paper and interfacing. It’s stiffer, like interfacing, but see-through and takes to being drawn on very well, like tracing paper. It’s usually $2.99/yard at MY local Joann’s, but I got it on sale at 40% off, with a 20% coupon on top of that. I got five yards and I’m pretty sure that it’s 60″ wide which means that will last forever.

I really would recommend it simply because it’s so much nicer than tracing the pattern itself. I can keep the pattern extra clean and it pins to the fabric to keep it from moving around so I don’t have to deal with pattern weights getting in the way. So even though it might be more expensive compared to tracing paper, newspaper, or whatever else, I am really happy I got some and will be using it for all of my patterns in the future. There was even another version with a blue grid printed on top if you like having that sort of thing.

Super useful, love this stuff.

Super useful, love this stuff.

Another tool I’ve found lately is called feedly. It’s a blog aggregate site, so it follows all your favorite blogs (or news sites, or whatever) and you can see everything in one place! It’s great because I follow blogs from many different platforms, and with sites like WordPress, I can’t follow blogs from different platforms on my feed. Feedly takes care of that though! So now instead of a lot of emails or a long list of bookmarks, I have everything on one page, sorted neatly. I can also group things and I did. I have a group on general history, historical fashion, museum, sewing, fashion, embroidery, DIY, cosplay, and costuming. It’s really amazing for me to have things organized so neatly. For reference, I follow over 500 blogs. So yes, this really helps me out. And no, I’m not being paid for advertising! I don’t get paid for fun things like that.

You can look at everything, or browse one category at a time. Right now I only have 'historical fashion' showing.

You can look at everything, or browse one category at a time. Right now I only have ‘historical fashion’ showing.

What are your favorite tools? Anything you’ve found that’s changed your sewing game entirely? What tools do you consider worth the investment, if they happen to be more expensive? I’d love to hear your recommendations! Please also share more blogs you think I might like!

Until next time,

—Bethany Out

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2 thoughts on “New tools and a dress!

  1. How about neckline pleats, a la 1930’s style? If you’re daring, you can put the pleats on the outside. (They did sometimes!) I’ve just gotten their second issue & blouse pattern. Will make up when weather’s a bit cooler…

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    • I’ve actually thought about that. I really love those pleats too honestly. For some reason though I’m still afraid of changing the pattern that way. I guess I need to just take a leap and go for it! Thanks again for the idea, I’m really going to look into it. Can’t wait to see what you come up with.

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