Threading Lightly

Adventures in amateur sewing

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Sheer Skill: beautiful inside and out

Pattern: Butterick ivy + blu B6021

Butterick B6021

I live in New England. This winter has been murder with the snow – more so than usual.  February was one big white blur and everywhere you turned, snow banks were piling up higher and higher.  Houses were buried, mailboxes were lost and ice dams were creeping onto many a roof.  People have grown a little colder as well – sick of shoveling the stuff, driving in the stuff and seeing the stuff. The waste management company for my town actually hurled my recycling bin on top of a giant snow bank where I could barely climb to reach it.   I just left it up there for four weeks. I love snow, but even I realize it has been a little much this year.  I decided, as the icy winds blew outside, to make this sheer dress even though I knew it would be a while before I could actually wear it.Sheer dress 1

I finally got around to using the birthday material my mom got me, seen in this post.  This was the first time I have worked with material so thin and sheer, but I knew french seams were the way to go.  They work so well on this type of material, plus I’ve been striving to make my garments look more professional, inside and out.

The Tale of Two Bodices

When I saw the picture on the envelope, I had a feeling the bodice on this might be a bit too big.  I generally have this problem anyway, having such small shoulders.  And look at that model – it looks like the top is just falling off her.  So I cut out a smaller size, which still seemed to match my measurements.  After I sewed up the finished seams and stitched in the lining, I tried it on.  It was so tight under my armpits, it started to leave welts.  The straps couldn’t even rest on my shoulders straight.  I was going to try to adjust and let out the seams on the arm holes, but I realized that I still had a lot of the fabric left – plenty more for a new bodice.  I was even able to squeak out a new lining, although that was a close call.  Looks are definitely deceiving with this one – the top is not as loose as it looks.

Strap on dress

Pinning it Down

This pattern was mostly easy to follow.  It has an elastic waist, so you have to create a casing and do the whole thread-the-elastic-through-the-hole thingy.  But no zipper!!  Getting the dress on and off is also surprisingly easy despite having no zipper, although figuring which was front or back took some thought (sewing a tag in would be a good idea).

The only directions I got confused by was Continue reading

My First Blouse


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It Seams Complicated: My First Blouse

Pattern: New Look 6104New Look 6104

New Skills Acquired: 

  • French seams
  • Tucks

I’m so proud!  I took one piece of slightly stained discount fabric and made an actual blouse!  With buttons!

As much as I like the end result, I did find this pattern a little difficult to follow.  I think the main problem was it assumed I already had experience making pin tucks and shirt cuffs.  It took some concentration and some interesting maneuvers cutting around a few stains, but in the end I made a pretty nice trial blouse.

Tuck Ever-Exhausting

I decided to make view C because I liked the short sleeves and I didn’t think the ruffles would work with the almost flannel-like material.  The directions on the pattern basically just said to fold the material on the line provided to make the tuck.  I had no idea which way to fold the material or how to make the seam.  Even doing an exhaustive search on youtube confused me, since the videos usually showed using multiple lines for guidance.  Using a practice scrap, I attempted my first tuck.  Annnnddd I folded it the wrong way.  Well I’m glad I practiced.

Tucks are created by basically folding the fabric up on the pattern line, with the wrong sides Continue reading