Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Washi Sew A Long Post 2

First I am going to admit that I got this post all done and scheduled to go out and then accidentally deleted it. I thought I was deleting something else. And just was not paying enough attention .......sigh..... oh it goes ....again.

One more of my sewing philosophies that I feel I need to share is ......

Sewing is not really just sewing. Sewing is........
80% planning and cutting
10% sewing and
10% cussing and starting over.
I think I need a t-shirt that says it, so I don't have to keep saying it all day to my poor students.

Now you should have the pattern. Either you downloaded it or bought it in the envelope. And you should have already put it together.

Next we need to decide which size to cut out. In researching this topic there are more theories on this than I would have imagined.

Some say choose your shoulder size and adjust everything from there. Some say choose your widest part and adjust from there. I tend to agree with the latter.

Here are some great resources on measuring:
Sew Mama Sew - How to take measurement
And if you are plus sized I suggest The Curvy Sewing Collective Beginners guide to how to measure yourself. 

I will walk you through my process. First take your measurements. I measure every time I make something. If you are one of those people whose measurements are always the same, great tell me how you do that. Mine go up and down all the time.

Upper Bust: 39"  (XL)
Bust: 44" (XXL)
Waist 39 (larger than XXL)
Hip 47 (larger than XXL)

This particular pattern is very forgiving at the bottom so the fact that I am slightly larger than the measurements that they give does not really matter. If you are more than a couple of inches larger than than the pattern measurements you will need to make some adjustments.

 If you want more advice on choosing size here are some great resources:
Workroom Social 
Threads Magazine

If you are really struggling with what size to cut, you should send me an email ( with your measurements and we can discuss.

Before you cut, READ THE DIRECTIONS. Ok so I say that like I actually do that. I do it sometimes. But I read these directions and they are good and clear. Page 13 has a really great summary of the instructions and a cutting layout. So at a minimum read page 13! It is really handy.

Now Let's Cut!

This is my muslin fabric. It is a white on white print from Jo Anne's. It was $2.99 a yard.

It worked out ok but I can be honest and admit I did not wash it.

I deeply regret not washing it. 

But I will tell you why next week when we talk about sewing our muslin together.

My current preferred method of cutting is pattern weights and a rotary cutter.

Especially for patterns like this where it is big pieces that are fairly easy to cut.

I do not love that the pocket is cut out like this and is not a separate piece you attach, but I am coming around to the fact that it is much easier.

I have discovered that with lots of pressing and a little top stitching it can look like a more tradition pocket.

 The hardest part of the back piece is marking the lines for the shirring.

Mark your lines on the right side of your fabric. 

You want to sew them so that the elastic is on the inside of your dress. The elastic goes in the bobbin only.
I make little tick marks at the sides and in the center of the piece.

Then I use a long ruler to connect them. I used an erasable fabric marker here.

You can also use chalk or a pencil. What ever you use, make sure that it will wash out.

So maybe no Sharpie.

This is the front skirt piece.

I had to flip the pattern piece because I wanted the little arrows all going the same direction.

It is also cut on the fold.

Keep in mind which way your fabric is going when you cut. You want to make sure your front and back will match.

Mark your pleats.

Don't forget to mark both sides. If you just mark one side you will open your fabric up and know what I mean.

Leave your fabric folded and pinned to your pattern. Simply fold down the pattern and mark.

Again there are other ways to do this. So you could google pattern marking and see if you find a technique you like.

But it is not rocket science, don't over think it. Just make sure that they are evenly spaced.

If it makes you feel better, my friend Ella and I were working on samples together and we both some how messed up this step and had to re do it.

Just be patient with yourself. It will all work out.

I pinned the bodice pattern piece, it is smaller and has more cuts. I still used the rotary but I wanted it to be more stable.

Or my hands just grabbed pins without me thinking. Who knows. I sew in a trance sometimes so you people are lucky I remembered to stop and take pictures.

The one thing I do not like about this pattern is the dart cut out on this bodice piece.

1. It leaves you with another raw edge to deal with. In a spot that is not ideal.

2. If you have a large bust it does not leave you any room for adjustments and it takes out all the extra fabric that would absorb some of the tension on this particular spot.

For the sake of the muslin I tried it. But I am not going to cut out my real deal Washi this way.

Leave your pattern pinned to your fabric and make a hole where the dart point it.

I used the point of my scissors. A pin will work too.

It does not have to be huge.
Just big enough to get your marking tool in there.

I used chalk, but use whatever you like. Just make sure it is enough so you can see it.
Now unpin your fabric. Leave it folded and flip it over. You need to mark the dart point on the other side as well.

Make sure you line up all your sides and edges. You want the points to be evenly spaced.

OR you can put a pin through your first mark and use it to make your 2nd mark. Again do what makes more sense to you. Depends on the day as to what I do, has something to do with the barometric pressure I think. My creative process it deeply impacted by the weather.

Then you will take a ruler and draw on your stitch line.

The pattern only give you a 1/4" seam allowance here, make sure you mark it. All the other seam allowances are 1/2".

You do this from the edge of your bodice, to the point that you marked.

I will show you pictures of what I mean when we are cutting the real deal, but I am going to leave that fabric in there.

 If you are going to try the little U cut out in the neck line you can go ahead and mark it now, but don't cut it yet.
You will cut it out after you sew it. to the facing.

Apparently there are marks on the bodice that you need to mark on your fabric so that you can position your sleeve correctly on your bodice.

Well.....if you are one of those directions followers sort of people maybe you should do that too.

Speaking of the facing you need to go ahead and cut that out too. I was going to try the muslin without it but I realized that you don't really get an idea of how it will lay without it. Same as the bodice, don't cut out the U yet.

You will also need to cut out interfacing for the facing. There is a front facing and a back facing. Make sure you cut and interface both pieces. I like a woven fusible interfacing for apparel. It costs a little more but works better.  If your fabric is black or dark you should try and use black or gray interfacing.

Last cut out your sleeve. Cut two on the fold. There are no markings but you will line up the edges of the finished sleeve with the marks you made on the bodice. If you are planning to go sleeveless, skip this step.

Whoo! Did it, twice. And honestly I think this 2nd one was better. Everything happens for a reason!

It is not too late to join our Slack discussion group. All you need to do is send me an email with your name and where you are from.

Happy Cutting! Next week we sew!!!!

- C

1 comment:

  1. You left out the fact that I had trouble with the pleats, despite measuring and marking more than once myself and once with help! #pleatfail