Tag Archives: Sew Liberated

Bodice for Sew Liberated’s Clara dress

I made some great progress on the Sew Liberated Clara dress this week.

After making a muslin and checking the fit, I ended up making my usual adjustments:

  • I lowered the bust point. Because the pre-existing side dart pointed up sharply, I just changed the angle. It occurs to me that I need to find the ideal spot and angle for the side dart point, then I could recreate it for each garment.
  • I made a full-bust adjustment. Truthfully, now that the bodice is nearing completion, I realize that I could have made this a little larger.
  • I lengthened the entire bodice by an inch. I usually lengthen by a half-inch, but this pattern seemed to need more. It’s really impossible for me to tell precisely until the skirt is attached, but for patterns from the Big Four companies, it’s usually a half-inch.

Here’s what the altered bodice front looks like:

I traced the pattern with Swedish Tracing Paper but ran out when it was time to make the alterations.

I traced the pattern with Swedish Tracing Paper but ran out when it was time to make the alterations.

I finished the collar (though it’s not yet full attached) and am pretty happy with the way the cording looks.

Collar on Sew Liberated Clara dress.

The cording makes the collar stand out despite the busy print.

Next up, I’ll be finishing the bodice and tackling the sleeves with the interesting keyhole detail.

 

Navy and white paisley Clara

I discovered Sew Liberated’s Clara dress in the April/May issue of Sew News. In fact, Sew News featured it as part of a sew-along. The magazine showed the dress on a larger model, and it looked great on her.

I am late to the sew-along, which finished up at the end of last month, but I did buy the pattern. I already had a great fabric that had recently joined my stash — a navy and white paisley shirting I picked up at Jo-Ann’s. Here’s the mood board:

Mood

Mood board for the Clara dress. I’m not sure which thread I will use, the navy or the white. It may depend on whether I’m sewing construction seams or visible stitching.

The Clara dress is a shirtwaist dress, with a bodice that has a bit of a blouson effect. It has a collar, front placket and keyhole detailing on the sleeves.

The fabric pattern is pretty busy, and I want the collar and placket details to stand out, so I searched for a white trim of some kind. Since I had just used packaged piping on my coral wrap dress, I wanted something different for this dress. But all of the laces, chocheted laces and eyelets I considered got lost in the paisley. Instead, I opted for more of a cording.

Pretty, isn't it? I imagine this shiny cording was intended for use in a bridal gown. It only came in white and ivory.

Pretty, isn’t it? I imagine this shiny cording was intended for use in a bridal gown. It only came in white and ivory.

It stands out, but it’s a little different from packaged piping.

I always have a terrible time looking for buttons. In fact, I can spend 30 minutes looking for just the right button. It doesn’t help matters that Jo-Ann’s has reduced its garment button stock by about 25 percent in favor of stocking more “craft” buttons. I sat down on a low shelf and went through an entire clearance basket of La Petite buttons to find something suitable. I wanted a shirt-type button, but not any of the usual styles I see all the time at the store.

With four holes, edge detail and a bit of a wavy texture, these are a little nicer than the shirt buttons that come eight to a card for a dollar. Plus, you can't beat the price!

With four holes, edge detail and a bit of a wavy texture, these are a little nicer than the shirt buttons that come eight to a card for a dollar. Plus, you can’t beat the price!

I want to sew the buttons on using navy thread and a different pattern than the usual “X” or parallel stitches.

But first, I need to trace the pattern pieces and do a muslin. A muslin will be particularly important because I haven’t used a pattern from this company before. The sizing is likely to be different from the Big Four pattern companies. I don’t know how much (if any) I’ll need to add to the waist length, for example. I’m hoping the fact that the dress isn’t closely fitted will make fitting a little easier.

 

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