Thursday, April 24, 2008

muslin revised

Tuesday was a marathon sewing day. I didn't really expect it to be one, but I just. kept. going.

1) Pleating... Pleating... 1.2.3. Pleating...

So in a flash of inspired foresight, I thought that I should do a test run of the pleats with the wool fabric and batting that I intend to use. The test was worthwhile because it turns out that the wool actually compresses more than the cotton muslin.

No to worry. My experience with these pleats has taught me that is the trough stitches (the ones that show on the right side of the fabric) the ratio increases. So I kept the crest stitched (the ones underneath) at 1/2" and decreased the though stitches to 1/8". I also switched from the fleece batting to the 100% cotton tablecloth under-cloth.

Here is the new stitching pattern:

And here is the result. The pleats are actually a little less compressed than the muslin version, but this will work out fine since the cartridge pleats are starting to gap on my muslin.

I don't think that I am going to adjust the sleeve or back patterns in light of the new pleat compression. I will just pull the pleats tighter, which can only look nicer.

2) shortening bottom length

This was the easiest pattern revision and the one I tackled first. I took 5" off the bottom length of the back and front panels.

3) adjusting front pattern
I wanted to do several things to the front pattern

* join the two front pattern pieces together
* add back 1 of the two original pleats
* remove the front facing bits from the original pattern

Joining the two front pattern pieces together was easy. I just overlapped the seam allowances and taped. Done.

Adding back one pleat was also pretty straightforward. I untapped the outside pleat. After looking at my one-time use gown, I decided to move the location of the pleat closer to where the velvet trim will eventually be placed. (see picture below)

I moved the pleat by using the pleat guides from the original pleats as my inside and outside more for the new pleat.

Removing the facing pattern was also pretty easy, since I had a center front making, I just cut along that line. D'oh! As soon as I finished cutting I realized that I still needed a seam allowance there in order to sew the facings on later. So... I took out 5/8" from the section of the pattern that was still pleated out rather than taping on another 5/8" of paper (which also could have worked). Below is the rather bedraggeld looking revised pattern piece for the front:

4) redraft yoke pattern

I was sure that I have a good shoulder angle now, so I wanted to draft a new yoke pattern to get rid of the shoulder seam. I also wanted to adjust the shoulder width (see the previous post for details)

I redrew the shoulder seam by first marking the seam lines from my pinned adjustment (in blue) and then marking the new cutting lines 5/8" away from the seam lines.

Back yoke pattern adjustments:

front yoke pattern adjustments:

I then overlapped the should seam allowances and redrafted the full yoke pattern which is cut on the center back fold.

5) draft velvet trim pattern

I based the trim pattern on the width of the pattern's original decorative outter facing and the newly drafted yoke patter. I joined the two and voila!

6) draft front facing pattern

The front facing pattern is just the straight section of the velvet trim pattern. Easy.

7) trim & facing construction

I cut 4 of the velvet trim facing and joined sewed them at the center back. When I do this with the actual fabric, the outer layer will be cut in velvet. I may also decide to underline the velvet with some organza for stability. Then I will cut the second layer of the trim pattern in a lining fabric or possibly the wool. I would like to find something as lightweight as possible because I will be wearing this outside in the sun.

I sewed the outer edge with some old seam binding I had to simulate the piping and to help me estimate how much piping I will actually need. I clipped and turned it so that the trim was now right side out. This was so successful that I forgot to take a picture.

8) adjusting the yoke pattern... again

Once I got the yoke pattern pinned to the front in preparation for putting the zipper back in, I realized that my newly drafted yoke pattern needed to be adjusted just lightly so that the cutting lines matched.

9) front zipper insertion

This was the trickiest part for me. My spacial orientation skills are not as good as some, so it took several tries at reasoning this out before I finally figured out how I was going to be able to topstitch the separating zipper but not sew through the velvet.

At the yoke, it is simple to add the outer trim. The right side of the trim lining is on top of the right side of the robe fabric. Then the right side of the trim and the right side of the yoke lining are together when its sewn. That puts all the seam allowances between the robe and lining. (I know, I know a picture would have helped here).

I could extend this idea down the the front opening and the facing, but at the front facing I would also need to incorporate the zipper. I'll save you the many false starts and let you see the solution that finally worked: pinning and topstitching on the robe fabric, underneath the outer facing:

This is what that looks like from the wrong side of the garment:

And here is what it looks like from the right side:

10) draft arm trim pattern

I based the arm trim pattern off the sample garment I have. I will choose the exact placement once I have a sleeve pattern that I've settled on. I will need 6 arm bands for the final garment. Point to point, the bands are 12" long. The horizontal sides are 10" long and the band is 2" high. Those are the finished measurements. I then added the seam allowances.

11) shorten sleeves

I thought that I would need to make the sleeve shorter. I have short arms and I didn't need a ton of extra fabric for the poofy sleeve. I decided to take 3" off the outer sleeve pattern and an additional 2" off the sleeve lining.

12) draft sleeve lining pattern

The sleeve lining, I decided should be 2" shorted that the sleeve. that was easy to do. I then needed to take out some of the fullness in the sleeve. It still had to be full enough to accommodate a suit sleeve without clinging, so I wen tback to the original sleeve pattern from Butterick.

I pleated out all of the pleats on the original pattern. This tooka bout an hour. (ugh!):

I then drafted the lining pattern by tracing this and adding 5/8" to the top of the sleeve cap to accommodate that changes I had made at the shoulder (I also added this to the outer sleeve pattern):

13) insert sleeve lining

I trimmed one of my sleeves and ran gathering stitches around the bottom edge. I thine pinned the sleeve and the lining right sides together:

14) poofy sleeves? Hmmm...

I turned the lining to the inside to reveal...

A result that I'm not sure I like. It's definitely too short, but that could be fixed easily. The sleeve is also ahnging very unevenly, which could be due to changes in the sleeve cap height. But mostly, the sleeve is just too full. I know that the wool will hang very differently, but this just feels silly.

I double checked my sample robe (which is the cheap-o version) and it's sleeves are just open at the bottom. This is looking like a more attractive option. hmm...

15) semi-detached muslin

By the time I had the new poofy sleeve, I had been sewing for about 14 hours straight and I ran out of steam. I tidied up and pinned the muslin back together, but it hasn't been sewn yet:

16) TO DO list

* sew muslin together
I an concerned with how the sleeves are hanging after I took in the shoulder width. Also now that I have added the outer trim, much of the excess in the shoulders has disappeared and I think that the shoulder seams are too high.

* prep back in wool
I was going to do the sleeves as well, but I now that I am unsure of the sleeve cap height, I will wait on that until my class on 5/10

Yesterday I went shopping and cleared up that last few things on my list that I could buy before class starts: my piping, buttonhole twist navy thread for the pleats, and gold thread for the piping.

No comments: