Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Who else but Burda?

I'm still working on the #137 dress from the May Burda. I didn't get to do anything tonight - got in later from work, bolted dinner and went to book club, and had the sense when I got in at 9:30 not to start something I was too tired to do properly.

But I wanted to share one of the interesting bits of this dress before I get too far along and it just merges into the pattern review.

Going by Burda's pattern photo, the collar looks like a regular collar, right? The front bodice piece, when I first looked at it, seemed odd. It was a straight bodice with a cut-on facing. Where's the collar? Where's the lapel?

The collar piece was obvious enough, but what's this pie-wedge piece? A separate lapel? WTF? That was a new one on me.

After reading the instructions a time or two (or four), I got it. The collars get sewn together normally, along the back and the short side - but not the short side on the bottom. Just like where I messed up on Mario's suit jacket and had to redo. Okay.

The light bulb is coming on gradually.

The pie-wedge pieces get sewn on the long outside, and along the top only to the mark. The lapels stay inside out at this opint, and the collar gets pinned into the unsewn part of the top of the lapel. Sew that seam, turn the lapels out, press, and it's a collar.

All in one piece, very neat. Then it gets basted to the neck edge of the dress, and finally it gets sandwiched between the bodice and the attached facing.

The only thing Burda didn't think of, and neither did I, until it was too late, is what happens to the inside back neck edge? And what about that cut-on facing?

Not so tidy. Ever notice that sometimes facings just don't reach as long as the pattern piece they're supposed to be facing? Even when they're cut-on? The facing doesn't quite reach the shoulder seam, and Burda's only hint about how to deal with the back of the neck is to "neaten" the seam.

Neaten, my ass. There's 3 layers of fabric and 2 layers of interfacing there, plus a line of basting and another line of stitching. How do you neaten that? Why didn't they make a back facing piece? Better yet, why didn't I think of it?

My solution, since the raggedy seam would be visible around the back of my neck, was to cut a bias strip of the fabric and hand sew it down over the seam, curving it to cover the top edges of the facing. It works, but I'd rather they had drafted it right to begin with. Barring that, I wish I'd been able to see what was going to happen while there was still time for me to change it.

Hindsight is 20/20, right?

I got one sleeve in on Sunday night, but since it was after 10:00 at that point, I decided not to risk setting in the second sleeve. Last night I got the second sleeve in, and since it was much earlier, it went in much easier.

Like cutting, I think setting in sleeves is something that should be done early in your sewing session. And sometimes I even remember that.

The skirt also got constructed - pockets inserted, side and back seams sewn, everything pressed.

Tomorrow night I think I have nothing planned. I hope I have nothing planned, because really I think I can finish this off in a few hours if I go flat out and nothing goes wrong. Attach skirt to top, "neaten" my seams, hem and cuff the sleeves, make 12 buttonholes and sew on 12 buttons, and hem the skirt. That's not too much, if I'm not distracted.


Anonymous said...

I wanna see the yucky seam!!! The dress is looking great!

Beangirl said...

you made my head hurt.

fortunately, there were some really cool photos of a finished collar. this seems to help the headache. can't wait to see the finished piece!

Jenni said...

The dress is looking wonderful. I do hope you get chance to work on it tonight. The collar looks totally perfectly sewn but its really annoying about the facing/finishing. I find Burda's throwaway remarks to "finish this neatly" really annoying too.

Elaray said...

This dress is on my "to sew" list, but I'm so glad you did it first. You know my history with Burda collars! I've read the directions 4 or 5 times, but your photos really help.

Karin van Dam said...

Oh I hope you'll be able to finish it tonight. I can't wait to see the end result!

Lisette M said...

Well, Burda is always trying to keep us on our toes or giving us a headache, depending on how you look at it. Thanks for all the info, looking forward to the finished dress.

Nancy K said...

I have sewn one or two Burdas with this lapel treatment, my yellow coat from Vogue is sewn this way too. Both of those had neckfacings that connected to the lapel facing. Don't know why they would leave it out. Anyone else who sews this can always add a facing I suppose.

Nancy K said...

this is a plus sized pattern; how much did you have to grade it down, and what method did you use?

Nakia Stewart said...

Wow!! You are very talented and I think this is your passion. Keep up the excellent work. I may even need yoy to make me some things. Do you make curtains or comforters? Email me back with information please.

Linda L said...

This is a great looking dress in progress. Love the fabric.

Michelle said...

Great dress! I have been working on some vintage patterns, and many of them have a similar collar construction. I think the dress will be gorgeous when it is finished.