Monday, November 12, 2012

upgrading my skills

the book

(Major Moma here)  Next up from Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing is the Wiggle Dress.  What is a Wiggle Dress?  Well, I am not exactly sure and the title is not exactly appealing to this mother of three.  But, look at that picture.
Who would not want such a sleek and classy dress?

One of the reasons I bought this book was that it has techniques I have never used before.  I really wanted to try something new and add skills to my repertoire.  So, in this post, I will show some of the 'new' things I have done in the process of sewing this dress.

my patterns
The book contains pattern sheet,s so what you do is trace the pattern (in the size you want) and transfer all the markings and labels.  I usually use a heavy duty sew-in interfacing to trace patterns like this.  I like using the interfacing because it is fairly transparent (so it is easy to trace) it does not tear, and it sort of sticks to the fabric so it does not shift and I can use less pins and weights when cutting.
However, I ran out of my interfacing.  So I tried something I saw on Sewaholic's blog.  I traced the pattern on tissue paper but then ironed cheep iron-on interfacing to the tissue.  I have a lot of this stuff from a JoAnn Thanksgiving sale years past so I figured it would be worth a shot.  It worked quite well, but not as good as the thicker interfacing.

darts pinned and ready to be sewed

darts completed
I marked and pinned the darts in the front and back pieces.  And one thing I managed to not know sewing all these years is that I am supposed to start at the center when making these long darts in the middle of the fabric.  Thanks to Gertie, I have changed my erroneous dart sewing ways! 
The major thing that I have learned so far on this dress is how to make under-arm gussets.  Yep, gussets.  Gertie explains how they used to be common but are not so much anymore.  Gertie has full paragraph instructions and line drawing instructions so if you are more visual, you can just follow the pictures.  She also has a blog post on under-arm gussets that was very clear with step by step pictures and explanations.

diagram of gusset instructions

my gussets in progress
I really like how this dress is coming along, but I have to do some traveling for work and progress will have to be paused until I come back.  I can assure you though, I will have a post with the finished product and let you know what those gussets look and feel like.  I am excited that I get to learn all these new techniques!

What new and challenging things are you up to?

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