Thursday, August 30, 2007

Tarte aux Poires and an almost wearable muslin

To celebrate my return to my own place, I spent yesterday doing some activities I had been missing while away for the summer. I baked my very first tart! It's a pear tart with almond cream. Pears aren't exactly in season, so it could have been more flavorful, but I've been dying to try this recipe, so I decided not to wait. I think my favorite part of tarts is arranging the fruit. Next time I'm going to cut them very very thin and fan them more finely.

During breaks from tart making, I was sewing an almost-wearable muslin for Simplicity pattern 3835, a cute Built by Wendy dress. I used a cheap woven polyester fabric that I picked up at a sale in the spring. I'm at a stage where I'm trying to figure out what types of fabric I like to work with, and how fabrics drape. This fabric seemed to have a nice drape, which I thought might work for a dress, plus I liked the color. And it was really cheap, so why not give it a try?

I ran into a few problems. First, the polyester unravels like crazy! I could have guessed as much, but man, does it go quickly. I solved this problem for the most part by making false french seams (also a first for me--they make the inside of the garment look much more professional. I might try real french seams next--I have a feeling they might save me a little time.

I also learned that fabrics that don't wrinkle, like this woven poly, don't make soft gathers--this makes the highly gathered neckline look a little funny. On the bright side, though, it gave a really interesting look to the ties at the sleeves. They puff out, and really hold their shape as three-dimensional objects. I like it.

In my excitement to start sewing again, I neglected to notice that my sewing needle was 1/8th inch left of center--so I was sewing 6/8th inch seams rather than 5/8th! Consequently, everything ended up smaller than I imagined it would. Until I realized my mistake, I had been cursing Wendy for drafting such tiny sleeve openings--I have pretty skinny arms, but wow! Now that I know, I'm fairly certain that this size will work for me the next time around without adjustments--as long as my needle is where it should be, and I choose a less ravelly, more breathable fabric! Overall I'm pleased with this pattern. It was easy to cut out, and fairly quick to sew. I'm half tempted to try to salvage this muslin and make it wearable, but I think I'll be less attached to it once I make another one in nicer fabric.


Anonymous said...

I love the tie on the sleave on the latest dress you made. That dress looks really good, even though you mentioned all the problems making it. It is a good design for your tall skinny shape. The photos of the fabrics are awesome! You would love the fabric shops in Turkey.

lsaspacey said...

I know you said your needle was in the wrong place but I think the bodice is still a size too small. I'm just going by the ease listed for the pattern and the front seems to be stretching across your front where it should be loose.

Kelly said...

This color is so terrific on you; I like it just as well as the finished one! I'd definitely salvage it if you can.