Teh Bewbz, it is a lie! Part 1 (and a mini-tutorial of sorts on how to sew a tube bodice.)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 Jonette 0 Comments

English teacher's note: Hello, dear students. Please ignore the above title as well as some captions in the proceeding pictures to be examples of the Queen's English. However, if you feel you are ready to "speek teh language of teh interwebz" (and god forbid you be consumed by it), I suggest you follow this finely-crafted link.

Now repeat after me: Ave, Caesar, morituri te salutant. Class dismissed.

At last! the written word again! I am finally free of the ensnaring clutches of that evil, evil Bernina! I am free! Freeeeeee!

Not that I'll stay free for too long, though.

I've lately been mastering the art of finishing work and clocking out early or on time so I can rush back home and spend more time cutting, hemming, sewing, and wrecking textile havoc in the living room-cum-kitchen. I'm at the moment flitting back and forth between the corset entry and a dress made of pretty, pretty blue cotton cloth. Loverly.

I've been rather quiet about my progress between the two, and perhaps you might say I've been a dolt for not taking pictures of the process. I have my reasons for opting not to stop for these details. The first would be... well, have you ever experienced talking about a certain goal you want to achieve, thinking that talking will help you stick to it, only to lose steam and/or (god forbid!) abandon the whole project all-together? I've noticed it works that way for me. (Note: it seems I'm not alone in saying this. In fact, some scientists say so too.)

So... there.

The corset is plodding along quite nicely with its canvas underpanels all nicely hemmed, waiting to be stitched together and boned. There is still much work to be done. (oh, just cutting the brown pinstripe top-panels, hemming and sewing them together, putting together the entire piece, setting eyelets, working the laces, and adding a faux coat flap in front. Yep, just that. )

Work on the dress began last Sunday. I was originally meant to keep the mistress of the house (read: me) occupied while James and his pal James Asis were downstairs picking Trojans off the PC. (Trojans... *sigh* let's not go there...) I wanted to put two possibilities to the test. One, could a buxom young adult female of the species fit into only two yards of 45-width cloth? Two, would the patterns I'd drafted a few weeks ago really fit me impeccably? (Oh, and Three, could two males of the geek variety survive without a woman for long?)

Answers: Yes, yes, no-and-yes.

Ok, first things first: with two yards of cloth at an 45-inch width, I wanted a skirt around 26 inches long (add an inch for allowance and hemming) and two yards wide, and hopefully enough cloth to fit a tube-ish bodice. How did I do that?

I used the cloth on the right. Cute set, eh? Not a bad deal at P80.00 per yard. that's about $1.60, or €1.23.)

After pressing the entire cloth for a smooth finish, I folded it crosswise and laid it evenly on the clean floor. Starting from left side(because that's where the pretty border is -- technically that'd be the bottom of the skirt once it's upright), I measured out to the other side up to 26 inches. I marked where the measurement fell, and drew a long line (whole, dotted, or broken) on the length of the measurement's level.

What about the bodice? Did the drafted pattern fit? Was there enough space for allowances? Thankfully, it did without having to lie sideways on the cloth. (phew!)

When I was absolutely sure all my corners matched and the line was exactly where I wanted it, I took my trusty scissors and started snipping away. Setting aside the cut skirt part, I set to work pinning the front and back bodice pieces on the folded cloth, taking care to lay the front edge of the pattern on an evenly folded cloth edge. (of course! Just like cutting out paperdolls.) Minding the allowances, I snipped away.

well, I didn't exactly lay the folded pattern edge on the exact cloth-folded edge... more like, an inch away from the edge. (Gasp!) Well, this brought around an interesting problem with an equally interesting solution. We'll get to that in a bit.

(Wait, we have men in the house? Oh right! I paused from my bedroom/work area for a spell to set some Japanese sweet corn on the boil. The boys were busy waiting for the PC to finish scanning its registry while deep in the throes of a Magic: the Gathering duel. Big casserole, water, rock salt, fire. I set my baking timer to 30 minutes, and took it back upstairs with me to the workroom.)

Hooo-kay. With the front and back bodice pieces cut, I next pinned the raw edges evenly and pressed them to make sure they stayed flat and still under the sewing machine needle. Trust me, you absolutely do not want your hems rolling up and going crazy as you sew, much less with a structured piece. With both pieces given the pin-and-press treatment, I brought them down for some serious hemming at the machine. (At this point, James and James finally cleared the PC of bugs -- h'ray!-- and were now finishing a rescue mission on Freedom Force vs. the Third Reich. quite a mouthful, but a pretty awesome game if you happen to love the Golden Age of Comics.)

After hemming, I pinned the two pieces' right sides together, and sewed up one side. On the other side, I put in an invisible zipper, using the sewing machine's zipper foot. Sooo much easier this way.

I know some of you may be going, well duh, of course you use a zipper foot for zipper work!, but I just want to say that while it is indeed possible to also use a regular sewing foot, don't expect your zipper job to come out even or neat. It also does not make an invisible zipper really "invisible", as a regular foot will always need a bit of space for the foot to pass. Visible invisible zipper? Do not want.

You will want to use a zipper foot for this because it can press down on the cloth and ensure the zipper is right on edge with zero wiggle room while sewing it deftly into place. No mess, no exposure, perfectly invisible as that pink-purple elephant behind you. Oh, didn't you know? ^_^*

**To be continued... later today! Dundundun-dunnn!


Care to leave a comment? I'd love to hear what's on your mind. :)