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Jun 27, 2010

Just another Sunday at our house...

Happy Sunday, readers!  Here's what's happening at this very moment at Chez MPB:

Michael is in an iPhone 4 trance from which he should emerge any day now.  In his defense, he just received it.

At his feet, Willy and Freddy nap and digest their morning meal.  Can't last long enough!

And what of me?

Studying, studying, studying for the big exam!

Yesterday I went back to the fabric store in search of the perfect poly chiffon for the yoke of my McCall Twenties dress.  But my favorite fabric dive was closed!  So I had to shop elsewhere.  I realize why people shop at normal fabric stores.  You ask for pink poly chiffon and that's exactly what they show you; you don't dig among the remnant bolts and hope for the best.  But you pay for the convenience.

I bought one yard of this:

It's a salmony pink sheer poly chiffon (Or is it poly organza?  Is there a difference?).  It's diaphanous but also quite sturdy, with lovely drape.  In fact, I'm thinking of doing not only the yoke with it, but the sleeves as well.  Do you like that idea or should I do the sleeves in the dotted chiffon?

Nice, right?  (The sheer chiffon photographs bluish there but they match extremely well in normal light.)

I've been experimenting with a lot of different seam finishes.  First, I tried various commercial double-folded bias.

These were too heavy.  Self-fabric bias works best.

I think if I use any bias, rather than fold over and topstitch, I'll stitch it to the outside, right sides together, fold it over, and then catch stitch it by hand on the inside.  I don't like topstitching, even with matching thread, for this dress.  (We're talking primarily about the neckline.)

I also like this (see below), which is just folding the edge over and stitching, leaving a clean raw edge on the inside.  Would that make me a bad person?   I like it because it's light, especially for that extra panel under the waistline that creates the lovely drapey effect, as well as the long sash.

I'll probably reinforce critical seams with rayon Hug Snug stay tape if need be.

As for the main seams, I'm not sure.  The front and back panels have underlining, and I may just have plain seams and finish them in a simple and light way; nothing fancy.

That's it for today, readers!  Michael seems to be emerging from his stupor, so I should check in with him; at least to say hi.   Hopefully I'll make some progress on "Polly Chiffon" today.

Have a great day, everybody!

Little librarians, take heed...


  1. I am excited to see this come together, and glad that you abandoned the stripes (I was too much of a wuss and a nice person to tell you that I did not like it). The polka dots are pretty cute and I like the idea of the pink contrast at the neckline. I would leave the sleeves as-is though, it seems like the main focus of the garment is on the contrast neck, you wouldn't want to detract from that!

  2. I would construct the dress with french seams.
    I agree that the dotted fabric is good for the sleeves.
    For the sleeve cap seam you could bias bind the narrow seam allowance on the inside or use your rayon tape.
    If you're going to tape the neckline I would suggest self fabric attached the way you described.
    For the edges of the waist drape I would do a very narrow double turned hem. With chiffon you could be quite successful with the attachment if you have one. If not it's quite easy to do without it.

  3. Oh Pierre!

    Polka dots aren't popular as evidenced by FOUR comments on you new dress!

    the stripes would've been spectacular, the paisley divine. Polka dots - especially in that fabric -- look too granny.

    Sure, I'm no sewing genius and I have trouble enough choosing fabric so who am I to judge? No one, that's who!

    I know, I'm not as stylish as you or Gertie or Elaine but still -- polka dots? Salmony polka dots? Black and white *might* have been better, non?

    Toronto is burning and I have to go to the core tomorrow, to work in the yellow zone.

  4. Ut oh! I've been reading Cool Couture & Fashion Sewing Secrets...prepping for fall jackets exams! I do hope that's enough.

    iPhone/iPad comas can be really rough, hopefully he'll remember to eat a little something for sustenance. Just a tip from rehab! LOL!

    I totally agree about the bias. Self is best if there's enough fashion fabric!

    Have a super Sunday Peter!

  5. Thanks, HLT!

    Oh, Sewsister, could it be true? I just assumed people were out enjoying their Sunday!

    Oh dear....

    Hopefully Cathy can "sex" it up a bit.

  6. Use French seams! They sound intimidating, but (as I recently found out) are actually easy and very pretty and clean. And my books all say they're especially good for sheer fabrics. Can't wait to see how this comes out!

  7. I'd use french seams. I heard a tip recently where you finish the fabric edges with a rolled hem on the overlocker and then make french seams. The rolled hems are enclosed, but small and neat. I haven't tried this yet, but I will next time I sew chiffon.

  8. ohh I love lazy sundays! I think cathy can work these polka dots. She is quite stylish, maybe she can make it "edgy" haha.

  9. Do you have a rolled hem foot? That works great on this sort of fabric.
    Too bad the Hong Kong seam finish didn't work out, that's my favorite.

  10. I must confess that the picture of your half nekkid gorgeous geeky husband is quite distracting OH LOOK AT THE CUTE LIL DOGGIES!!!!!


  11. Of course there's a difference between chiffon and organza! Chiffon is drapiness personified (well, better in silk, but whatever) and organza is utter crispness. Don't confuse them, even both are sheer.

    And what's wrong with those anti-polka dost people? Sheesh.

  12. iPhone 4 coma is totally understandable ...did you know there's an app called Fabric Stash?

    Can't wait to see the finished 20s dress. Love the pattern ... I would be tempted to make a dress like that for myself if I didn't have Too-Many-German-Ancestress hips!


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