New Bluegingerdoll Pattern - The Odette Dress


Oh my it's been a busy week around these parts, everything happened at once! Sorry about clogging your blog readers, but I have one more thing to share with you. Something I've been sitting on for awhile and has been staring at me from the corner of the sewing room. That's right secret sewing!  Abby, of Bluegingerdoll, is always hard at work making new patterns and I had a good time with this last one. So without further ado let me show you the Odette dress.
The Odette dress comes with a contrast bodice inset feature, waistband and 6 panel gored skirt.  The contrast panel is "buttoned in" right along the neckline split. This gives you the option of making several insets with different buttons to change up the look. (Confession - I made up more than one because I couldn't decide if yellow or black buttons looked better.)
This pattern also has several sleeve options, sleeveless, cap sleeve, and 3/4" with cuff.  I've close the cap sleeve on my version. Like all Bluegingerdoll patterns the bodice is fully lined for a clean finish on the inside.
For this sample I pulled out some stash cotton originally purchased from It's from Ascher Studio, a favorite fabric designer of mine, but is a little heavier weight then the other Ascher cottons in the stash.  I figured that the Odette pattern would work well with this fabric. The thicker weight would help make the cut out neckline stand up crispy and also look good in the gored skirt.  My fabric pairing instincts proved to be right and I'm really happy with the fabric/pattern pairing here.  Though I will confess that I could have done some work figuring out pattern placement.  The majority of the yellow flowers ended up on the back of the dress. Oops.
I really love the skirt on this dress. Gored skirts are such a nice way to get fullness at the hem while keeping the waist area nice and trim. Oh and I almost forgot to mention that it has inseam pockets. What's in your pockets, precious?  Why the other inset I forgot to take pictures of..... Blogger Fail.

Finally a quick list of my fitting details since they come in handy every now and again.
- I went one size up from the recommended size because I like more ease.
- I did all my standard fitting alterations to the bodice. Dropping side seam dart and waist dart point 1 ", forward shoulder adjustment 1/2", Upper back widened 1/2" and back waist dart intake increased. In this case the intake was increased to a total of 2.5".
- After all my standard adjustment the bodice was still a little roomy in the waist band area. I nipped out about 1/2" at each side seam for a total of 1" removed.  Adjusted the top of the skirt to match and then everything fit nicely.
To celebrate your purchase of Odette will be 10% until 9/14/2014 when using the code Odette2014 at the checkout. So head over to the Bluegingerdoll store if you're in the mood from some pattern therapy.  I love the smell of new patterns in the morning.

It's a Celebration of Sewing


September's not just about school supplies, and planning for Fall.  It's almost National Sewing Month!
To celebrate Maris, of Sew Maris fame, is doing a series of guest posts on the topic, "Why I love to sew." Guess who volunteered to write one? That's right I mean me.  So if you enjoy my irreverent look at the world of sewing, then pop on over to Sew Maris and take a look.  After you're done proudly wear out your me-mades and see who you can convert with your sewing stories.  Come to the sewing side, we have silk and chocolate.  Hopefully not mixed together.

1940's Dress Part Three - Sleeve Changes


Almost there 1940's dress hackers. You've created/modified some insets, converted your bodice to a wrap and added some shoulder tucks. Today we'll cover the final steps to modify the sleeve. First up, shortening the sleeve to a cap. Then the final touch of adding ease to the sleeve so that it can be gathered up into a pretty poof. To do these steps you'll need the following pattern piece:


Shortening the Sleeve
How to covert 3/4" into a cap.
1. Take a traced copy of the sleeve and measure 1" down from the top edge of the side seam. Repeat on the other side.

2. Using the new marks square a line across the sleeve.

3. Find the center of this newly drawn line and mark. From the mark draw a vertical line through the sleeve cap. Mark 1" up on the vertical line. Note: The measurement of an 1" here is arbitrary. If you like the sleeve to be smaller you can increase this measurement and continue with the same steps.

4. Use a french curve to redraw the hemline of the sleeve. Cut off the excess length.

5. Now we will reduce the sleeve cap height.  Using the same sleeve center line measure an 1" down.

6. Redraw the sleeve cap curve with a french curve.

7. Redraw any notches if needed and then cut off the excess.  This change will make the sleeve sit out farther from the dress which will complement the gathers we are about to add.

"Puffing"/Adding ease to the sleeve
We are going to slash and spread again to created gathers.
1. Evenly space about 3 marks across one half the cap of the sleeve.  I used the measurement of 1.25" to space my marks.  If you want less ease added to the sleeve then make fewer marks. More ease then add more marks.

2. Repeat step one on the other side of the sleeve cap.

3. Draw lines through the entire sleeve at each mark.

4. Cut each line from the sleeve cap almost all the way through. Leave a "hinge" at the cuff edge.  You can see I did not cut the center line. You can chose to cut this to add additional ease or leave it uncut. When you are done cutting then fan out the cut areas a bit.

5. Place a large piece of paper behind the sleeve.  Tape down the center and then spread each cut area .5" wide. Tape down at this measurement.

6. With a french curve go redraw the sleeve cap to a smoother curve.

7. Cut out the adjusted sleeve and you are finally done all the 1940's dress modifications. Hooray!
When sewing the sleeve, take the sleeve cap gathers and cluster them around the shoulder seam area. The rest of the sleeve should be set in smoothly.  To finish the sleeve hem edge use Gertie's tutorial on using piping as a facing. You can use store bought piping or use some self fabric to make your own.

OK folks, that was an intense 3 day course and I hope you found it informative.  If you have any questions or need clarification feel free to comment/contact me.  I will do my best to answer between surfing the internet for T-strap shoes. ;)

1940's Dress Part Two - Upper Bodice Changes


Hello again intrepid pattern hackers! Hopefully you've gotten your insets all worked out, or at least gave the directions a once over.  In part two we'll be covering the two design changes made to the upper bodice. First we will convert the bodice to a faux wrap style. Secondly a cluster of tuck darts will be added to the shoulder.  To complete these steps you will need the following pattern pieces:

* Upper Bust Panel
* Neck Facing
* Center Back
* Side Back

Converting Bodice to a Faux wrap
Time to change the CF seam into a wrap.
1. Trace the bust panel pattern piece and cut around the pattern leaving some extra paper on the CF side.

2. Lay your ruler on the lower edge of the neckline curve.  Extend that line out.

3. Remember how we cut off the point of the waist inset in the previous post? Now we have to add that bodice length back in.  On my inset I cut off 1" so that will be the amount I add to the bottom of the bust panel.

4. Measure down from the original CF line the amount you need to add. In my case 1". Make that placement.

5. Use a hip curve or a regular ruler to redraw the bottom edge of the pattern.

6. Next we are going to fill in the neckline a bit so there is enough room on the shoulder for all the tucks. Increase the front edge by tracing a parallel line 5/8" away. After that is finished cut out the bust panel pattern.

7. Before you forget, grab the center back piece and fill in the neckline 5/8" there too.

8. Now we will fix the facing to match the bodice changes. Place the facing on top of the bodice, notches matching. Trace the lower part of the facing along the new bodice lines. Remove the facing for now.

9. Draw in the shoulder seam allowance on both the front and back pieces. You might also want to pin together the center and side back. Line the shoulders up on the seam lines like you were going to sew them.

10. Place the facing back on the patterns, lining the facing up with the neckline notch. Slowly pivot the facing around the neckline curve so that it lines up with the back neck.  Reduce the length of the facing here and reposition the double notches so that they match.

11. The facing modifications are complete and the pattern piece can be cut out.

Adding Shoulder Tucks
We'll be doing some slashing to the pattern to make shoulder tucks.
1. If you haven't done so already, draw in the seam allowance on the shoulder of the bust panel.

2. From the shoulder edge, measure 1.5" and mark.

3. Make three more marks .5" away from each other.

4. Place the clear ruler on one of the marks, perpendicular to the shoulder seam line. Draw a line all the way through the pattern.  Repeat the process until you have 4 lines drawn through the pattern.

5. Cut each line from the shoulder almost all the way through to the bust seam.

6. Place a large piece of paper behind the bust panel. Spread the cut areas open until they are an 1" away from each other. Then tape down the pattern all along the cut edges.

7. Draw in lines 1" from the seam allowance down each cut area. When you make the dress you will sew the tuck down to that mark. Also draw in an arrow pointing towards the neckline so you remember which was to fold the pleat.

8. Trim off any extra paper attached to the pattern and the finished piece should look something like this.

Shewwwww, after all that hacking I think we need to call it a day. I'm sure your pointer finger is tired of scrolling. In our last hacking season, part three, I will show you all the sleeve changes needed to finish up your dress.  Till then happy hacking!
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