Breaking in the new sewing table

So my two new pieces for the sewing space showed up Wednesday, and I’m pretty sure that the UPS driver hates me. One package was 75 pounds and the other 91 pounds. The furniture is shipped flat and then it was my job to put it together. Given that constraint, the table is surprisingly solid and a much better fit for me than the old desk. I decided I needed a quick and easy project, which McCall’s 6559 definitely qualifies as. I made View D, which is a maxi dress consisting of a whopping two pattern pieces. Yep, really stretching the sewing muscles here, folks. And if you’re thinking, but she hasn’t sewn anything since before the summer vacation road trip, so at least she finally made something, well, you would be right. Regardless, I cut out the fabric yesterday afternoon and with an hour of sewing time after dinner, I had a new dress in hand.

M6559Done

I used a rayon jersey from Hancock Fabrics. The only pattern adjustments were cutting a size 10 through the upper torso, going out to a size 14 directly below the armhole. I debated taking out a half-inch between the bust and shoulder and decided not to do so. That was the wrong call. The weight of the jersey pulls the dress down to the floor so after five minutes of wear the top of my bra is hanging out.  In the pictures, the shoulder seam is actually shifted back which alleviates the drooping in the front by a little bit.  However, the back becomes a mess that way.  The back neckline is supposed to be 2.5 inches below the neck and I have a pooling of fabric in the small of my back.  I don’t generally need to do a swayback adjustment; I think this happened because the bodice is too long.

M6559back

To fix this, I just need to take up an inch or so through the shoulder seams, which will also help how low the armhole ended up getting; but I don’t want to deal with yanking out the clear elastic that I used to stabilize the shoulder seams nor re-hem the armholes and neckline. Part of me is thinking that with Labor Day this weekend, summer’s over, and I can fix this later (like when I have twill tape again and a coverstitch machine to do the hemming).  I used a twin needle for the everything and dislike the amount of tunneling on the rayon.  For some reason it bothers me less on poly/lycra jersey garments I’ve done in the past where I’ve done a simple turn under hem for the arms, but I see some distortion through the shoulders on this dress.

Sewingtable
Clearly, this table would be even more awesome with a coverstitcher, right?

This dress is nothing more than a really long tank top, sewing-wise, and my biggest decision involved where to hem it. I had a fair amount of fabric on the floor, and I’m most likely going to wear this with my flip-flops, so I went with a deep three and a half inches. I have really liked using a deep hem on knit dresses since making Vogue 1179 four years ago. I loved that pattern and am sad to see that it’s now out of print.

M6559hem

I have been absolutely awful with buying fabric over the last week, though I am telling myself that it’s my excitement at getting started with my fall sewing. I love cold weather fabrics and with two kids in school this year, I hope to get more done during the day that I haven’t been able to do this summer. Wish me luck!
M6559partingshot

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Improving my sewing space

So the major downside of a new puppy and a messy sewing room is that I won’t let her in there. Of course, she whines any time she isn’t glued to my side, so I’ve been going with the hanging out with her and no sewing has happened. On the plus side, I’ve decided to replace the hodgepodge of furniture that isn’t working out for me. My sewing machine had been hanging out on my old kitchen table, which frankly with the chair is at a terrible height for me to work. Any extended amount of time sewing resulted in a sore back. I moved everything over to my childhood desk, which combined with a chair from my dining room is better; but there is no leg room to speak of and the space is really too tight for comfort. With some reflection, I’ve decided on just a long table with enough room for my machine and serger to hang out full time and get a stool that works with the height of the table. I feel so smart right about now. Now, if only I could find a reasonably good storage solution for my unreasonably big fabric stash…

Apologies for the radio silence

Apparently driving across a good chunk of the country and back over a span of just more than two weeks, finding out the husband is transferring to a deployed squadron months earlier than I was even anticipating a transfer, and picking up a new puppy really messes up the blogging mojo. Like anything else, this is a habit and one I had gotten out of. Also, I had no internet access last weekend so I couldn’t blog even if I had wanted to. Yep, excuses, tons of them, but nonetheless, I dislike just disappearing into the ether.

lulu
Our new whippet puppy, Lulu (short for Lucinda)

I wish I could say that I were sewing up a storm, but with the new puppy, I haven’t even been in my sewing room except for the few minutes I snuck yesterday to iron DH’s uniform while Lulu was sleeping. I was rewarded with a puddle of urine in the kitchen. Whenever I knit, she bites at the yarn. She will happily sleep all day so long as I volunteer to play pillow, which really interferes with doing pretty much all of my usual activities. On the plus side, I have managed to get some decluttering accomplished in the family room. Given that she’s only 12 weeks old right now, I’m hoping that we soon find a happy medium where I’m able to move throughout the house and she doesn’t try to chew everything to pieces.  I’m itching to get back to the sewing machine.