Friday, September 20, 2013

Sew Bittersweet

Yes, that's how I am feeling this week, bittersweet.  The days have been beautiful, clear skies, cool nights and warm sunshine days.  I have had time to sew and time to work and time to kayak and ride bikes. But underlying the good things in my life has been the sad news about the people killed in the Navy Yard, among them six Marylanders, mostly in my age bracket.  And in the smaller world of sewing bloggers, I have been mourning the passing of Gwen of All My Seams All My Seams.  Gwen was one of the first people to add me to her blog roll when I started blogging three years ago, just an example of her kindness and welcoming ways.  She was always quick to comment on a post and I saw her encouraging, creative spirit on many, many other bloggers' comments sections.  When Gwen's jacket was selected to be in Threads magazine this past winter, I was thrilled and excited to see her recognized on a larger stage.  We went through a mutual move this past winter and spring and supported each other through the stress and uncertainty.  I will miss her but as I sew and write about my sewing, I will also remember to spread some of her encouraging comments and cheers to other bloggers.  It's the least I can do in her memory.
Sewing and enjoying the beauty of nature does provide healing during sad times and I am grateful to have a hobbies that engage me.  My latest dress saga does continue.  

All fourteen pattern pieces have been adjusted and the wearable muslin is stitched and ready for its lining.  I've selected a stretch woven for the first version.  It fits nicely but being a stretch woven I think I'll take the side seams in about 1/8" all the way the length of the dress to account for the extra stretch.  This is fabric I've used before, on a jacket that I stitched and enjoyed in Florida but which has moved on to a better life somewhere.  There was enough to make a sleeveless dress.  Free fabric, right?
There's an invisible zipper in back and I though I'd share how I make sure the above waist seam matches at that zipper area.  

Pin one side of the invisible zipper tape to the seam.  Pull the zipper up to the seam area and use a fabric marker to indicate on both seam tapes where the dress seam is.  Pull the zipper tab back down in order to sew the zipper in properly.
When you sew the zipper tape to the seam allowance (using that most wonderful foot, an invisible zipper foot  Viking Invisible Zipper Foot ) just make sure that those marks line up with the seam.

Matched back zipper with waist seam
plan on making this a sleeveless version with piping around the adjusted (and much more flattering neckline, IMNSHO) and armholes.  I just happen to have a wonderful stretch silk charmeuse in the perfect aqua for the piping and the lining.  
This weekend Mr. Lucky is leaving for two days so I'll have the house and sewing room to myself to finish the dress.  Off to select interfacing . I hope your weekend days will be more sweet than bitter.
Stream side pic from a bike ride along the beautiful Northern Central Rail Trail in northern Baltimore County


  1. Pretty colors in the dress. I'm especially sad, too, about Gwen. I miss her in my cyber world.

  2. Gwen will be remembered by all of us, from her cheery comments to her positive help when we became stuck with a sewing issue.
    Thanks for sharing the zipper info - I often struggle to match this area up - you have definitely perfected this skill. Loving the look of you dress ... J

  3. I'm another one who misses Gwen. She is a loss to the sewing community. Your dress is looking good. IMO,the aqua piping will be the perfect finishing touch. Happy sewing this weekend!

  4. I find myself thinking about Gwen a lot too. I happened across a particularly kind comment she made on one of my posts early in my bloogging journey and found myself with tears in my mind. I often think that all we bloggers who share our work with each other have a special connection and Gwen's passing has really underlined that fact.
    I love the print of your dress. Really pretty.

  5. I'm not sure how I missed the sad news of Gwen's passing before this. She was so kind and supportive.
    Your dress is beautiful. I need to get the Viking invisible zipper foot so I can easily sew them with my machine.

  6. Thanks for your nice comment on my contest entry on my blog. I realized that your blog had somehow slipped off my list so have just added it back on--looks interesting!

  7. I did not know of Gwen's blog but it is very hard to lose someone who has become a good friend. I am glad her daughter post the post up to let people know what had happened.
    Your dress is looking lovely and that's a perfect job on the zipper.


Love your comments, opinions, advice and questions. I just ask that we all "play nice."