Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Double Trouble is actually Double Success!

Well wasn't that a flat-out busy weekend!  And a long weekend too!!

I spent most of Saturday, Sunday and Monday sewing the two wool Gertie Wiggle Dresses that I talked about in my last post.  I did it production-line style (or sweatshop style - thanks Bea W, I like that one!) where I did each step to both dresses one after the other, keeping them at the same level of progress.

When you are talking about things like darts and underarm gussets and zippers, it really gives you a chance to practice your techniques, but when its just straight seam sewing, its kinda mindless.  Thank goodness I don't actually work in a sweatshop!  I think I'd go to sleep and sew my finger to something!!

And I have NO IDEA how many times I changed the thread and bobbin on my machine.  Next time I attempt this I might have to try harder to plan so my thread colours are the same on all garments!

Another downside to sewing sweatshop style is that I get so focussed on what I'm doing (in multiple) that I forget to take progress photos.  This is only a problem if you have a sewing blog...

However, I did take this photo:

Mainly because she just looked so adorable.  Miss Stella was sleeping on this cushion while I did the hand sewing in front of the TV with the dresses on my headless helper.

Oh, and this one:

This just shows that I REALLY need to do some sewing machine maintenance!  I was sewing the lining for the green dress and I'd done a stop stitch to start and then got about 8 stitches down and the whole thing jammed.  The bobbin thread had wrapped itself around this giant ball of fluff under the feed dogs.  I tried yanking it out (which didn't work) and then I started worrying about damaging my pieces (eek! Don't want to do those darts and underarm gussets again!) so I got out my unpicker and levered the fluff ball out, breaking my unpicker in the process.  And while this all sounds like a mini disaster, I managed to clean all this up without ruining my fabric pieces!  Hooray!!

So, after a lot of diligent concentration over three days, I got my two dresses finished.

Here is the black one:

I wore this dress yesterday to a Rugby Union function - I think I was one of only three women in the room - so it wasn't really a situation in which I could take photos...  But how fabulous is the red lining with the pink bias on the edge of the black!!!  I love it!!  Just cause its a boring black dress on the outside doesn't mean it has to be on the inside!

Here is the green one:

Same with this one - I love the magenta lining with the teal edging on the wool!

And while I like the green one as is, I think it just needs something else, so I'm going to do a gathered waistband belt thing like I did on the Mad Men dress, just without the bow.  So while I say its finished, its not quite.

And can I say these are two of the best zips I have EVER put in.  EVER.  I know a lot of you have zipophobia, so this coming weekend I promise to do the photos for a zip tutorial.

I hope you are enjoying the start of my winter sewing, because there is so much more to come - I have such plans for my next few garments!

I'm off to do some maintenance on my sewing machine.  Anyone need to join me?



  1. Gorgeous dresses! Love the bright, contrasting lining. I love making clothes with things no one will see or know about. I'm hoping to start working on a few wool skirts for winter. I love my jeans but modern jeans don't look great with vintage sweaters.

    1. You are right Mariela, they don't. I'm totally into the winter sewing now, and loving it!

  2. They came out great!! Love the contrast on the necklines!

  3. so can you tell i'm playing catch up - been busy :P .
    stella is so cute!!!
    i'm lucky in that my two fahsion fabric portrait blouses that were a little behind the wearable muslin version in productionuntil the end, are both made using white thread :D makes it easy :)
    now for the really important stuff : OHMYGOSH!!!!!!!!!!!! gorgeous!!!!!! i bet those rugby men were drooling lol
    i hoave only done two zips before (remember, newbie lol) and they were horrid but iused the handpicked zip method outlined in gertie's book for my colette macaron dress and i am so flippin' happy with the results and let me tell you, i really enjoyed the hand sewing :D ! so i am no longer dreading the zipper thing ever again. hey, maybe i might end up a process sewer after all come to think of it