Posts Tagged ‘ 3506 ’

How to add easy elastic ruching

I often lean on elastic ruching to get things to fit better, because my sewing sometimes takes shortcuts.

Like adding dimension to long t-shirts and tops. And taking up mermaid skirts without hemming. And sucking in the backs of dresses that don’t have much shaping.

It’s really easy to do. You need thin elastic or elastic cord, pins and a zigzag stitch on your sewing machine.

First, figure out where you want the ruching to go and how long you want it to be. You can do this by stretching the elastic out, or by measuring with a tape. Measure out elastic in that length, plus one inch so you’ll have half an inch on each end.

ruching measure

Pin the elastic at the top point, sticking pins in perpendicular to the elastic you’ll sew. Pin the elastic at the bottom end. Now match the middle of the elastic to the midpoint of the fabric and pin.

ruching pin middle

Keep stretching, matching the middles…

ruching stretch then pin more

…and pinning a few times until you’ve secured the elastic in place.

ruching keep pinning middles

ruching all pinned

Set your machine to a middle-wide zig zag. My machine uses a 1-5 scale; I use the #3 setting.

Drop in a few stitches, stretch the fabric and elastic and sew slowly until you’ve secured the whole piece.

ruching drop needle

ruching pull taut while stitching


ruching stitched

ruching finished right side

(I tell you this, though, knowing I ended up putting darts in the back of my dress remake. Didn’t want to lose my waist.)

Dress tried, dress needs more fitting

The back of my remade dress is still too bunchy. I never made the darts from the instructions, and on purpose, too.

dress back's still bunchy

Now that the rest is done, it’s time to figure out how to make it sleeker without wrecking the fabric’s print on the back.

dress - back's still big

The darts are still an option, only low ones in the black band so the print doesn’t get mashed up.

dress - darts?

But what about some ruching across the back with an elastic band?

dress - elastic?

Oh dress, so close!

I skipped the back darts for now. I tend to finish clothes, wear them out in the world once then go back and fix what bothers me.

dress almost done

So I left my dress-from-dress in the sink this morning, soaking in a little Woolite to get out both the red sewing markings and the vintage stink.

The finished little guy might need darts added in once it’s dry and on. I also plan to put in side belt loops I think I will quickly scrounge up from cotton crochet thread to hold the existing belt from the original dress.

So close!

Almost out of old dress for new dress

I cut out the outer pieces first from this Lorac Original, division of Lady Carol size 16 dress:

Key when cutting from very limited source.

Front. Back. Rectangles for front yoke. Back facing (see?).

This is all that’s left.

The front facing will be tight. I’m going to have to unpick the placket. Which is already interfaced. And if it doesn’t work… time to dive in the scrap bin.

What if I said ‘F that zipper’?

And just sew up the back?

I’m making this Simplicity 3506 dress from this other little knit thrifted dress.

And I ended up cutting the front of the Simplicity from the front of a shirtdress with buttons halfway up the front. Only one button and buttonhole survived, but one button and buttonhole still function.

So I sewed up the center back to the notch as written. Sewed the shoulders, pressed seam allowances flat and then, Aha!

What if I don’t have to insert a zipper up the back? What if the V-neck of the dress combined with the buttoned up placket of the fabric were enough to poke my fat head through? Like I just sewed it up neatly, like this?

Goddamnit, I think that’ll do. I think it’ll work.

F that zipper now!

Sometimes you can cut corners

And sometimes you better follow the di-structions to the letter.

Sometimes when you sew old t-shirt pieces together, you just do it with whatever’s in the machine.

And sometimes when you try to sew really thin ponte polyester knit, you need to change the needle. You need to use the recommended ballpoint or else the stitches don’t catch, don’t stick and you panic that you’ll need a brand new machine come Christmas.

When in fact you just need the damn needle very publicly recommended for knits. El punte redondo.

Which then proceeds to just sew like a charm.

Manifesto: Dress from dress

I’m trying this little dress refashion for fall, using the copious amounts of easy knit fabric from a giant honking shirtdress to cut out a simple four-piece dress from pattern Simplicity 3506. The original was cut from a border print, using the fabric’s variations to make different pieces of the dress. The belt’s all cut from stripes.

(There’s the original dress, opened up at the sides.)

Been staring at the dress a minute, deciding whether to take it in or just start over. And used the MANIFESTO to determine it’s worth cutting into a new dress:

This dress has lots of darts:
#5. I have a curvy body that needs a little harnessing. When the fits is right, wow. When it’s not, I want to tear up the photographic evidence.

And a good V-neck: #2 I wear open necks, not high ones. When my bosom gets buried under a lot of fabric, I feel giant. And I like necklaces more than other jewelry.

It’s easy knit:
#10 I hate ironing and don’t do it.

And it’s a pretty basic dark print, dark enough, I think to be un-regretted:
#9 I like easy dresses, too. I end up regretting most prints (save leopard). I’d rather let my jewelry do the talking. I love prints as sneaky inside peeks: pockets, trims, linings.

So it seems like a worthwhile project. I’ve jumped in, traced the main pieces and cut.

Figures I didn’t photograph its “before” status. Someday.