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August 23rd, 2010

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06:25 pm
All images are clickable thumbnails.




Construction Details:

The pattern - Vogue 8280. We used this view (A), but without the contract shoulders. Also, the skirt was shortened about 3" and cut on the bias.

Vogue 8280

The front and "flanges" (= straps) were underlined with silk organza. It was trimmed away from the darts on the inside to reduce bulk. The basting across the front waist is from dropping the skirt about 1/4" down to correct some really obnoxious wrinkling. I never actually took the basting out, it was covered by the lining in the end.

Inside front

The back was interfaced with a Palmer/Pleitch interfacing (for speed, mostly). It had stretch in one direction. It fused on quite well, but the darts didn't press in as well in back. On the other hand, the fusible was perfect for stabilizing the zipper edge in the skirt.

Inside back

The side seam. I let it in and out a couple of different times. In the end, this is what worked. The maximum let-out was about half-way between the waist and the hem. The Vogue pattern assumed the fullest part of the hip was much higher than A's was - I ended up lengthening all the darts pretty substantially, and letting out the side down in the "straight" area.

Side seam

The inside and outside of the hem at the back slit.


Closeup of the mitered corner.

Mitered corner

Baby's First Invisible Zipper!

Invisibly zipped

A very dramatic shot of the crochetted belt loops. I used two strands of silk floss.

Belt loops

I noticed afterward that the flanges are actually supposed to be sewn into the underarm seams, but I am glad I did it my way (sew them completely separate and apply them down after) because the seam would have been very bulky and I don't think it would have looked as good.


Outside front

I made the belt from petersham and a length of the fabric. I overlapped the seam allowance onto the petersham and stitched along the very edge. Then I folded it over and closed it up by hand. The hooks start inside the seam and only the points stick out. I had to bend the hooks slightly to make them fit over the folded petersham. The loops are tiny buttonhole bars. Technicaly, the first line of machine stitching is visible on the inside, but it's incredibly hard to see.

Belt under construction

Belt under construction


Belt closed

Anyway, I'm quite pleased. If I were doing this again, I would add about an inch into the back and then dart it out again. I think that would have saved some trouble. As it is, she'll only be able to let it out a little bit (probably about 1" total) in the future. There is enough fabric left to recut the back of the skirt, though, if she ever decides she really wants to do that.

Walking away

In summary!
Things I did right:
- Contract and specification of work
- Sewing. I'm damned proud of the work I did.
- Signed receipt on pickup

Things I am not so good at:
- Deadlines. In particular, pacing myself between deadlines so I'm not up all night finishing. Why do today what you can procrastinate on tomorrow?
- Deadlines. ZOMG.

I also managed to snip the lining as I was putting it in. Nice big hole (about 1/2" on a side), no way to hide it and DEFINITELY no way I was tearing it all out and doing it again (also, no extra lining to do that with anyway). So I put on a neat little patch right at the waistline. Don't have a picture of it, sorry. But the corners are all trim and tidy, and it's as unobtrusive as possible. I'm not even all that unhappy - I could bloody well feel it coming, and I'm just glad it wasn't, say, center front of the skirt, or something. I'm not really sure whether to put that under good or bad.

(9 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:August 24th, 2010 02:22 am (UTC)
Dude. I would TOTALLY hire you to make me a shit-ton of dresses if I had money. That is some gorgeous work!
[User Picture]
Date:August 24th, 2010 06:08 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm entirely pleased with myself.
[User Picture]
Date:August 24th, 2010 12:00 pm (UTC)
Nicely done! I love how the contract, spec and signed receipt are an important part of what went right. That rocks. I hope you charged the right price too!
[User Picture]
Date:August 25th, 2010 02:30 am (UTC)
I gave her an estimate which was at the top of her price range and for a "reasonable" amount of time (which I anticipated from the beginning I would exceed, because I'm new at fitting other people). I feel well compensated for my work, considering how much I learned for next time. I will definitely be making revisions on my paperwork (not at all because I had trouble with her! But because I can see where I can make it better, and head off trouble at the pass).
[User Picture]
Date:August 25th, 2010 03:58 pm (UTC)
Well done you!
[User Picture]
Date:August 24th, 2010 08:13 pm (UTC)
Ooh, lovely! Your finishing work on it is superb!
[User Picture]
Date:August 25th, 2010 02:24 am (UTC)
Thank you! I may have spent about twice as long as the "estimate" was for, but by damn I did it right! I anticipated that I would be spending a lot more time on it than I quoted her, so I was not much frustrated by that.
[User Picture]
Date:August 25th, 2010 02:34 am (UTC)
Oof, that happens to me all the time! Let me know if you figure out the magic estimation technique.
[User Picture]
Date:August 25th, 2010 03:45 am (UTC)
Lord, I know. I'm trying to be really good about recording my hours so I can get better at estimating, but I'm incredibly bad at that, too. Half the time at work I don't fill in my time sheet for a week at a time.

By the way, that's an awesome hat you've got there.

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