Monday, 25 March 2013

Work in progress and some tips for wool

I mentioned a few posts ago that I'm working on a 40s dress in wool, and I thought I'd show you all how it's coming along. A little WIP (work in progress), with a tip for pressing wool at the end.

Dress almooost ready

I've made some changes compared to my last version of this dress. This is my third make (see first here and second here), and I'm still tweaking the pattern! I'm hoping third time's the charm... For a better fit, I shortened the neckline, to prevent gaping, and added a fitted underlining to the top front bodice pieces, to control the spread of the extra fullness from the gathers. Stylewise, I reduced some fullness in the sleeves,  and also turned the gathers into pleats (on sleeves and both front and back bodice).

First sleeve-placket!

I've also for the first time ever made a shirt sleeve placket!

I love working with wool, it really is the most amazing material! Eh... yeah, I might have said that before... The yoke and the midriff is top-stitched here, easy for the yoke's straight lines, but the midriff piece has a curved top, which can be tricky in other materials. Here's why wool is awsome...

The piece is cut out, interfaced with fusible lightweight, and the edges are overlocked with a right needle 3-thread seam (zick-zacking works great if you don't have an overlock). Using a measuring guide, I pinned down the seam allowance.

Then basting. Here the seam allowance is 1,5 cm, and the basting line is approx 3 mm from the edge.

Remove pins after basting, and behold the surpluce fabric!

Insert a piece of paper (mine was standard writing block weight, so I folded it double) between fabric and seam allowance.

Place a press cloth over the whole thing, and with the iron on the highest - steam it while pressing down. Do not move the iron around! The presscloth will protect fabric and interfacing from the heat, the steam will shrink the surpluce seam allowance, and the paper will protect the right side from pressmarks. For a presscloth I use a very lightweight 100% cotton. If one wants to go fancy there's always silk organza. As long as the presscloth is see-through and natural fibers, it's good.

Remove iron and presscloth, place a clapper on the fabric if you have one. Continue all the way around =)

And here the difference is quite clear.

Instead of this multi-step pressing procedure, one can of course just trim and snip the seam allowance, letting the snipped pieces overlap each other, but I think this way is less bulky, makes a nicer edge and is more durable as the fabric remains intact. It's also really easy to topstitch on this clean and distinct edge!

This pressing technique - paper, presscloth, hot iron, steam and a clapper - is how I press every seam along the way I sew. With a little less steam and pressure of course, as I don't want them to shrink =) It makes the seams flat, and protects the right side from pressmarks.

Different fabrics of course demands different pressing techniques, this is just the one I've come to prefer on light to meduim weight wool. Heavy wool deamands a bit more, I find. What do you say, is this something you already do? May try? Or do you have another method that you'd like to share? Chime in!

Love, Erika


joelle st-laurent said...

vilken fin klänning! hoppas att den här gången blir du helt nöjd med resultatet! var köpte du tyget? jag letar efter ett fint tyg till en liten jacka...

Foster said...

Wow. That is a great pressing tip. It looks so professional. I love this dress! Maybe you have said before, but what is the pattern?

Erika said...

Joelle; tackar! Jag hoppas innerligt allt går som planerat så den blir klar under veckan =) Tyget köpte jag tyvärr i en lokal tygaffär här i Umeå (Sidenatljén), men jag skulle nog ändå inte rekommendera det till en jacka, det har väldigt lite stadga och är inte ruggat alls (det lyser igenom om man håller upp det mot ljus), dvs det skulle nog snabbt se slitet ut om det användes som ytterplagg.
Jag skulle nog hellre rekommendera Handelsgillet. Jag använde deras vanliga kläde till min vinterkappa (630g/m) men de har även tunnare tyger. De har fler färger än vad som syns på sidan, man kan ringa och prata med dem. Annars kanske kostymylle funkar? Sonjas textilateljé har riktigt fina ekologiska prisvärda kostymtyger i 100% ull. Hoppas du hittar nåt du gillar!

Foster; Thank you so much! I just love this method, the result is so flat with a really crisp edge =) The pattern is loosly based on The Swing dress, but I drafted it from my sloper and made a lot of style-alterations (I think most of them are mentioned in my post on the first dress from this pattern). For the two later projects I've also changed the overlap in front to a straight edge and buttons. Hope that helps! =)

Zoe said...

Wow, that's going to be a stunning dress!!! You can really see how the 70's took a lot of inspiration from the 40's can't you. Happy sewing! xx

Isis said...

Jag var på Silvergruvans dagar i Sala i somras där Handelsgillet hade ett stånd och deras kläde är sann tygporr. Ljuvligt!onsuprm 7723

Erika said...

Zoe; Thank you so much! So funny, but I have had quite a few moments during this make when I have wondered if this will look 70s or 40s! There are def some huge 70s details, I think the only real "markers" for 40s will be the lapped sidezip and the skirtlength. However, I've decided that it doesn't reallt what decade(s) it is, as long as I like it =) It will be fun to hear people's guesses in the future though!

Isis; Oh ja, ren och skär tygporr! Hade de med sig det överskurna klädet? Det som säljs till det habila priset 850 - 1100 kr/m? Jag var grymt sugen på det mörkgröna till min kappa, men tog mitt förnuft till fånga - det var ju första skrädderiprojektet! - och "nöjde" mig med det vanliga =) Hade svårt nog att klippa i det, så var alldeles rätt val. Men nån gång... Om inte annat är det skönt bara att veta att sånt tyg finns här i världen.

Kitten von Kat said...

Åh, så intressant! Men tidskrävande? Det där med pappret emellan kan jag absolut tänka mig att börja med, bra sätt att undvika genomslag. Klänningen ser mycket lovande ut!

Erika said...

Kitte, def lite tidskrävande. Men den här klänningen har jag ändå döpt till jagkanskeskulletråckla?-klänningen :) Väl värt de extra minuterna, om det är ylle. Nog mycket mindre effektivt på bomull, och misstänker att det inte funkar alls på syntetiska tyger... Tackar, så mycket! Har nu kvar två knapphål, sy på 4 knappar och pressa halsringningen en gång till. Innan påsken är slut, så! :)