MPB is proud to be the world's most popular men's sewing blog!



Sep 7, 2011

Winners & Losers!



Friends, first things first -- the winner of the vintage Forties pattern giveaway...

She's a Sagittarius and a self-described "crazy lady with lots of kids and lots of hobbies," put you hands together for Denver, Colorado's own...

LUCHA LOVELY!


Lucha Lovely, please email me (peterlappinnyc at gmail dot com) as soon as you can with your address, and I'll send this lovely pattern off to you ASAP.  Congratulations!

And now, friends, the rest of today's blog post.  You're probably wondering what I've been working on the last few days.  A picture is worth a thousand words so why blather on?  I am in a sewing crisis, with a complete re-do on the horizon.



In other news...

I am supposed to pick up my Singer 201 today from Rain -- and wouldn't you know today it's pouring.  But I have rescheduled this pick-up so many times I simply can't delay it any longer without losing the best vintage-sewing-machine-repair friend a guy could ever have.  No, this time I simply must get into my rain gear and head over to Rain's secret location.  This time I'll bring my camera.


After yesterday's eyebrow-raising eyebrow post, a great many of you are no doubt wondering how I maintain my eyebrows.  Friends, I don't.  Not only do I not pluck my eyebrows, I rarely shave, don't wash behind my ears, and generally maintain a level of personal hygiene that most would consider troubling.  

I was born with good brows.





I think men with plucked eyebrows usually look dreadful.  Adam Lambert, maybe.  If you're not a glam rocker, proceed with caution.  (I'm not talking about weeding out a few grays, I'm talking hot wax.)




Moving right along.

Readers, I must ask: what is the most number of times you have ripped out all the seams from a sewing project and started over, and still ended up with something you'd call a success?  (I'm hoping the third time's the charm -- Eek.)



I generally ask for very little other than a kind comment now and then -- though little gifts in the mail are always nice -- but today I need your good sewing thoughts.  (When I get metaphysical, you know it's bad.)

I hope you are busy stitching away in your happy corner of the world and making something beautiful.  If not me, let it be you!

And now, back to seam ripping and re-conceptualizing.

Have a great day, everybody!

37 comments:

  1. Keep your (unshaven) chin up...you will prevail!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've done tear outs a few times, and ultimately ended up buying more fabric, and starting over. I hope that doesn't happen with your project; every ripped out seam is frustrating enough. I would be interested to know how things went wrong, though. It seems like your initial assesment of the problem, and how you altered it, were on track. These are the things that cause lesser souls to give up sewing, so I am sending you some strength!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well, I know how you feel. Things can only get better though. It seems like if you tugged up that gaping corner it would fit back into place. To me that says maybe you stitched it too close to the SA and its just a bit low. Instead of ripping it all out (which I would do out of spite to the dress) try just ripping that one section by the gap. maybe it was just cut funny on that corner. The fabric looks slippery. I cut on a small table, in a basement, with kids clinging to me, (b/c god forbid I get 2 minutes by myself), so this has happened to me more than once. You could also try just giving the skirt a good pull to snap some of the stitches. It will loosen them up and you may be able to just resew it on a looser tension and things will pucker less. Not to worry! In the grand scheme of things it's just a dress and you can sew it again. This is not your Waterloo!! Keep Calm and Carry On. I can post some god-awful messes of mine if you want, it may make you feel better.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have ripped out so many seams I lost track! Sometimes it's better to just put the project aside, start something new and revisit it with a fresh attitude. It's amazing how the brain sort of unconsciously works out these kinks if we give it a little time. I'll be out running and out of the blue I'll go , oh of course I should finish that seam with a bias trim instead of a facing!Those of us sewing obsessed know how this happens!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Peter, have you thought about basting the pleats into their correct position befor you attach them to the upper thing. It might keep them from shifting, kind of the way tailors do with pockets in jackets?

    ReplyDelete
  6. steam, steam, steam and then more blasting shots of steam before and after sewing.....maybe that will help. Other than that pathetic pearl (coal lump) of widom, i have nothing!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Good sewing thoughts headed your way- and I am in the same exact boat today with some tucks I need to fix on a gown. Perhaps you should baste the pleats shut before sewing this up at the waist? I hope you get it all worked out. This stuff can be such a pain in the arse.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Peter,
    I feel for you. When I was learning to sew many years ago in 4H I routinely ripped out everything 2-3 times. My first jumper took about 6 months to complete. (I did get it right, though.)I would baste the pleats, then baste to the bodic before sewing. I'm not one for doing a lot of basting, but it seems that it is necessary. Your problems are not making me want to go out and get this pattern!

    ReplyDelete
  9. What the...? This is where I hang the garment carefully in the closet, out of sight, and go for a walk. I can't seem to get more than one full seam-ripping out of a garment - the second generally destroys it forever. I most definitely sympathize with your predicament.

    On a possibly more helpful note, does it seem as though nearly all the problem originates somewhere between the left-side-back and left-side front panels? Could there possibly be a little something stuck in a seam where it's not supposed to be? I'm thinking either one of the pleats stuck in the waist seam or one of the underlays caught unevenly in a side seam.

    I have complete faith in your skills and patience, and I'll keep sending you good wishes and positive vibes.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I basted (though you'd never know it). The skirt isn't attached to the bodice properly. It also hangs heavy and drapes poorly. I'm eliminating the contrasting lining for starters. That way, if the pleats open unevenly, you won't notice as much.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh I don't know... I read from a very old vogue sewing book - it is older than me so it is old - that after each sewing, press. But perhaps the inside pleat is a little wacko or something? I don't know!!! I only started to sew this January!!! Yes. A lot of exclamations. I know. I am dramatic like my eyebrows. I pluck it so long ago that it grew so sparsely and only needed once a few month of removing the strays.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have ripped many a seam in my day. As others suggested, sometimes it is better to walk away for a while. Sadly, all I can offer are good thoughts. Sending good mojo. If anyone can work this out, it's you.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Maybe you could just rip that part instead of the whole seam? Sometimes that will give it the stability it needs and the wonky area will fall into place. I find that seam ripping only works for me if I know what went wrong the first time. If I can't figure out the problem, trying to fix it will make it worse.

    Oh, also, third time is full stop for me. I've tried to rip more than that, and it weakens the fabric plus it's unlikely to work at that point. Sometimes the problem is the pattern or the fabric and never the twain shall meet.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I feel like her waist is shorter than the dress, it needs to be raised up about any inch? And the pleats would hang much nicer (contrast lining still intact) if you closed them up about 2" down from the bodice. Then they would glide smoothly over the top of the hip before opening up.

    ReplyDelete
  15. And though we haven't quite gotten a full body shot I have a hunch that some length could stand to be taken off the skirt to reduce the weight. :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh no! This is the blog I read when I'm ripping out for a second time and want to see someone else's success. That said, I definitely have had 3rd times a charm successes, so try try again. My fingers and toes will be crossed for you.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Holy smokes! This pattern has to be seriously flawed. I would baste the hell out of it. I also like Courtney Janelle's idea of stitching the pleats shut for an inch or two. Good luck with it.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Can I offer my thoughts without seeming like the sewing police? I hope so.... And, let me assure you that this is not the fault of you as the sewer, but more than likely the pattern and/or the instructions. Mass produced patterns have a bit of inaccuracy in both. And sewers put the blame on themselves rather than where it belongs.

    If I am remembering correctly, you felt that the skirt was too big and cut some of the width out of the skirt. At the time, I winced and hoped that this was a problem with the pattern rather than creating a problem. Perhaps, I am remembering wrong or misunderstood. But, I bring this up because the seams in the skirt may need to be let out just a bit on each one to help the skirt fit to the bodice properly. This would also decrease the amount of fabric in the waist seam, which is a good thing.

    From looking at the picture, it appears to me that the ripping of seams has stretched the fabric and the skirt has been made to fit to the seams of the bodice rather than slightly eased into the bodice to fit with the seams of the bodice. (This easing may be no more than sewn with the skirt portion being fed by the teeth of the feed dog of the sewing machine; sewing with the bodice on the top.) The easing would be keeping in mind the smaller size of the waist compared to the hip and the weight of the drape. Easing should have been in the instructions.

    I would suggest letting the fabric relax after you rip out, and either steam the skirt waist with no stress placed on the fabric or putting it into the washing machine to allow it to go back on grain. Neither the steam or the washing would be a guarantee to easing the stretch but MAY help.

    The pleats in the skirt should be pressed favoring the outside fabric to the inside pleated area before attaching the skirt to the bodice. In fact, this can be the cheating/additional ease location to properly lay the seams of the skirt and bodice.

    The pattern probably said to stay stitch the waist of the skirt to prevent stretching. But this step will actually stretch the fabric. Instead of stay stitching, it is best to press very light press-in interfacing at the seam. This should be done as the garment piece is cut out...very little movement of the fabric will prevent the fabric from stretching. You could still do the interfacing to insure the correct shape of the waistline. I would "walk" the waist seam line of each skirt and bodice pattern to see if the pattern is correct. The skirt should be ever so slightly larger than the bodice to allow for the easing, favoring the outside fabric to towards the inside of the pleat and allowing for the weight of the drape.

    I do hope this will help. I'd hate to tell you how long it took me to learn this. That being said, I could be reading the picture wrong. I have to let my fingertips feel the fabric to really know what to do.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Oh, how about 5 or 6 times? I usually stop counting after 3 though, it's too upsetting.
    I'd start by edgestitching those pleats. They'll be much better behaved.

    ReplyDelete
  20. The bodice is decidedly too long. Look at all the fluffing up on the sides in the back photo. Too much dress, not enough Leah.

    Glad to know you are not into the male eyebrow grooming. I actually said "OH no he didn't!" out loud when I say yesterday's blog title. I thought Cathy had tried her hand at making you over.

    Baste the pleats in for two inches and don't remove the basting till she's ready to wear the dress. You'll get a crisper press that way.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I'm always unpicking - and three times is not out of the ordinary! I tell myself to get each step right otherwise it catches up with you at the end, like a wonky hem or something - I figure it is quicker to rip one seam than the whole lot!

    Not sure what's wrong with your pleats, the fabric looks like the grain is misbehaving in the last photo, so I would check all your grainlines. The centre panel should hang straight or the whole lot will skew. It could also have stretched while unpicking, so check it against your pattern and press it back into shape. Check also that the L side panel is the right way around - that kink isn't the hip curve is it?! Check the folds haven't stretched when you pressed them - I sometimes fusetape the inner fold to prevent stretching and they also look crisper!
    Have fun, I'm sure you'll sort it out.

    ReplyDelete
  22. The dress is soooo pretty! Those open pleats are a nightmare, though. I'm with the commenters who suggest that the bodice is at fault (at least partly). Raising the bodice seamline should help the pleats to fall more gracefully.

    I hope you can manage to keep the contrast lining; it's just gorgeous.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Keep smiling we all live it once in a while I sing this poem when I have projects like that Like the one I am on now which is another sleeve for hubby! I hate sleeves I even mark them left and right and I still tear one out about 6 to 7 times! but back to the poem.....rip and tear rip and tear all I do is rip and tear.....then wow you are done and it is perfect!

    ReplyDelete
  24. OMG!! I never win anything! Thank you Peter!! Email coming at you post haste!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. you're gonna rock it peter, i just know it!!
    sending warm sewing vibes your way!!!

    ReplyDelete
  26. It generally takes me at least 2 tries to set in a sleeve properly, and that's on a good day. And since most tops generally have 2 sleeves, that's a lot of unpicking and resewing. I've gotten pretty chill about it, these days. I just put on a good show, grab a cuppa tea and my seam ripper, and plug along.

    You can make this work, I know it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Ooooooooooh, Peter. I've also had a week of unpicking and stitching (then rinse, repeat, unpick and stitch again). Blargh. It's the WORST. I feel your pain. Sometimes it's the fabric (maybe the case here?) or, of course, the pattern,which is not the answer you need when you're creating a tutorial on sewing from a pattern for the company that produced the pattern. Eek. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Well, you could always sign up for Gertie's beginners sew along on Burdastyle and hassle her about this problem. Looks like it is the same pattern without the bodice.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Funny how that worked out... ;)

    ReplyDelete
  30. Too bad about your taking out the contrast fabric...You've come this far, can't you just try a test by basting a new waist/bodice seam where the pleats are pulled up? It seems like an upward curve where the skirt panels join is missing - not like I can pull and pin from where I sit, but it looks like those waist pieces are cut or stretched too straight in relation to their drape.

    Okay, I'll shut up now and call it a day/nite. I have faith that you'll make this look good.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Ehm, maybe it's just me, but (especially in the first picture) it looks like the fabric of the pleat underlay is clinging quite badly to the wearer's body. Riding up even. Which could even cause the problems at the front. So, this may just be a classic case of needing the right underpinnings for the right garment. I'd say let her try the dress over some slinky slip before you rip any seams.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I think that the only thing worse than ripping out a seam is not ripping out a seam if it isn't right. My view is that it's much better to suffer a little frustration and tears in the construction than forever (well, maybe forever is a bit of an exaggeration) having to live with a garment that just isn't right. Tell yourself that only the best is good enough for you! I am sending you good sewing thoughts across the ocean.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Hello from a longtime silent lurker who loves your blog! I'm also wondering if maybe the bodice isn't a bit too long. However, I don't think front and back should be shortened equally. Maybe 1/4" at the front and a 1" at the back?

    It doesn't need to be the patterns fault, and I'm surprised to see that conclusion being drawn so fast. Let's face it: we all have different fitting-areas. One of mine is just this: my back is a lot shorter than my front. Makes it impossible to buy RTW dresses, and major pattern changes are always required when I sew. It might be noted as well that I sometimes need to make a FBA plus shorten the front above the bustline. Makes no sense, but there you go. I've stopped buying patterns... =)

    It might be that the problem with the pleats solves itself if the waist is raised, as the angle of the waistseam will change. Otherwise, Doreens solution seemed spot on for fixing the strain.

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  34. I hate ripping out seams, it's one of those things that takes 2 minutes to sew and 20 to rip out!!! (well if it's thin flimsy silk it does)
    I ripped out a concealed zip about 4/5 times once and at least 3 times on a bikini seam!! all came good in the end. good luck with the dress I'm sure you will prevail.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Not sure what your sewing dilemma is all about, the two fabrics look surprisingly cool together, you know, for floral/chintz.
    After my second failure I GIVE UP.

    ReplyDelete
  36. How appropriate: picking up a machine at Rain's when it's pouring. Must be a good sign ... of whatever

    Jan-Theo NL

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts with Thumbnails