Monday, October 14, 2013

Hacking Up Cake

OK, apologies for that post title, but I couldn't resist ...because it's literally true.

The Red Velvet "muslin" is growing on me, especially after seeing pics of me in it vs. just sticking it on Zillie to model. And I'm not about to NOT get a wearable something out of this pattern since I'm already pretty close. So, yes ... I'm making another one, which will be virtually the same but with some pattern hacking and a much thinner black knit for the skirt to eliminate the unneeded bulk.

Heather asked about the black/white color scheme chosen and if I was changing my stance on not wearing black. The real answer is simply that I was shopping my stash. But yes, I'm relaxing on the black aversion a bit and do wear it now, but always paired with a print. Plus, black in an office setting is always acceptable. Right Carolyn? :-)

I cut the new pieces tonight, eliminating the back pleat in a slapdash hack and kicking the facings to the curb. I  also removed 1-1/2" from the midriff band and will baste to see if that's enough, and I added 5/8" to the bodice length. On the plus side of all this, it's a very fast pattern to cut.

I want to thank all of you for your comments over the last few days' posts. I spent a LOT of hours on those posts and the review, and I must be honest and tell you that it's very rewarding to know you're out there reading and interacting. I do have one more post in me which will also be related to all of this, but I'm kinda burned out on writing at the moment so I'll let that one percolate in my head a little longer before I commit it to typed words. And I'll get to the off-blog emails soon too.

Oh, and before I turn off the lappie for the night ... Amanda asked what stitch I use for knits instead of the lightning stitch. Many experts and everyday sewists recommend using a slight zigzag for sewing knits, but honestly ... I just use a straight stitch, with a stretch needle, and my machine on its knit setting. Of course, your mileage may vary and so will your machine. I think the best advice is to test on knit samples or even wearable muslins and come up with what works best for YOU! By the way, the reasons I hate the lightning stitch are it can easily eat and/or warp your fabric because it's so thread dense and even worse, it can be extremely tedious to rip out ... which is why I think newbies and first-pattern sews are better served with a different stitch.

Nighty-night!

(And Ronda, thanks for thinking of me and waiting 'til late Friday for that MTC. It was waiting for me bright and early this morning.)





16 comments:

  1. Oops, I called her Tillie rather than Zillie. Hope she wasn't offended that I thought it looked better on you than her. :-)

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  2. Looking forward to seeing version 2 and hope it works out better for you.

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  3. Thank you for answering my question! I've used the lightning stitch and I agree, it does make it turn out a little wonky (and I can feel my stitches on the outside of my seams after they are pressed???) It actually doesn't reassure me about the strength of the stitch. I will try your suggestions!

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  4. Glad to hear you are having another go. Gotta get your money's worth!

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  5. I can't wait to see your newer version of this dress. I have a feeling it's going to look lovely.
    I agree with the straight stitch on knits advice. I tried it once with the zig zag and I hated it.

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  6. Playing catch-up in blogland this morning, and read your Cake posts with interest. Your critical review is appreciated. I like to support indie patternmakers as well, but not if they are not ready for prime time. Looking at your 'muslin', I like the color block/print combo with the faux leather midriff (shame it's leaving marks). However, I am thinking if you made a morph of your favorite Magic Pencil Skirt with a touch of added length, it may end up giving a longer and slimmer profile (which is my typical goal, haha). Just another opinion, what I'm seeing when I look at the pics. This has been a lot of work, hopefully you can salvage it to a wearable garment that you love.

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  7. I've been reading your posts for quite awhile - and just ordered this dress pattern last week, it should arrive any day. I will definitely be keeping your comments in mind! Thank you for the time put in giving a detailed review.

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  8. If I remember correctly, my circa 1985 Bernina user's manual recommended the lightening stitch for things like "ski wear." That may be about right - I could see it being used on some old heavy duty spandex or twill. My own non-ski wear lightening stitch experiments were not so good. As mentioned, it ends to warp the fabric. I use a straight stitch unless it something that needs to be really stretchy, and then I use the overlock stitch - or the Jalie method.
    Looking forward to seeing the new dress...

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  9. Can't wait to see this new version. For what it's worth, I didn't think the last one looked bad on you. If you made the midriff out of the same black fabric as the skirt and left off that back skirt pleat, I think it would have been downright lovely. :-)

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  10. I so agree with you. The lightening stitch is okay is you are committed to never making a mistake while you're sewing a knit. I've actually torn a hole in the fabric trying to remove it from a knit before. I just use a longer straight stitch and stretch the fabric slightly while sewing.

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  11. I really hate that lightning stitch! I used it once and never again.
    I think that it will definitely look more flattering with the changes you are making.

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  12. Hi Debbie, thanks so much for posting up your honest reviews of this pattern. This has given me much food for thought, as I bought this pattern recently based on glowing reviews on several blogs, keeping in mind my particular body shape. When I re-read some blog posts on another pattern by the same copmany I realised there were several people who struggled to get a good fit. I agree that it's great to support indie companies but to pay such a high price tag for something that gives a disappointing result really ^%$F#@ me off. I have been spoilt by Stylearc and Tessuti patterns which are fantastic and I use again and again. I think it's important for honest people like you to point out the truth as it will only help those indie patterns in the long run.

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  13. Thanks for answering my question! I remember you talking about not wearing black, and it's always stuck in my head when I consider colours (or, in this case, non-colours) that work with different people. I really do love your combination of fabrics in that dress, especially the print on top. Very classy combination (in the best possible sense)!

    Heh, I loved the title! I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with this pattern. :)

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  14. Debbie, I stumbled across this and had to go back and read all your 'Cake' posts. You have some very valid points. Even a start up company should have patterns with pieces that are trued for every size. No exceptions. They are selling a product in a professional capacity.
    Having said that I do think an email with your concerns would be welcomed by the founder. It would not constitute a 'relationship', just maybe save someone else the same frustrations.
    BTW I love the skirt of this pattern, both front and back. I hope you salvage it.
    Val (a new follower)

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  15. Wait, now I'm confused. When you said in your last post that you never use the sewing machine's "lightning stitch" on knits, I assumed that was because you use your serger to seam knits (I originally found you when your cover stitch tutorials were recommended to me). Are you just straight stitching the seams on the sewing machine for your muslin for ease of stitch removal as you make adjustments?

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Thank you for each and every comment. I appreciate them all, but I have to be honest and let you know that I'm usually bad about answering questions. I hope you understand that there just isn't enough time in the day to do everything I want to do.

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