An Overdue Posting

simplicity 7737 in blue wool | allie J. | alliemjackson.com

Years ago when I first started this blog, I was searching for a perfect-fit shift dress. I made a few versions (not even going to link to them) from several different big 4 patterns which I wore for a while. Then I found Colette's Laurel and made five versions (two tops, three dresses) because I liked it so much and I thought it fit so well. While it did fit better than my first attempts at shift dresses, looking back, I've realized the fit isn't great.

simplicity 7737 in blue wool | allie J. | alliemjackson.com

Most importantly, though, I've realized that this type of shift dress with minimal shaping achieved through bust darts and back fisheye darts only just isn't a style that I love to wear. I almost always throw on a cardigan because I feel self-conscious in this type of shift--the column shape doesn't do anything to flatter my assets (small waist, long legs) and can emphasize my slouching, besides being tricky to fit around my small bust and larger hips (a 14"-ish difference).

simplicity 7737 in blue wool | allie J. | alliemjackson.com

Then when I pulled out a (very) old dress for my bridal shower (a symptom of having "nothing to wear") I realized that I had had a great shift dress all along. One of the very first things I made was a blue wool version of Simplicity 7737, a 1968 A-line dress with both bust and french darts and back shoulder and fisheye darts. I made this dress in maybe 2009(?) before I knew anything about fit (and barely anything about sewing) and although there were a lot of problems with it (a very visible invisible zipper, a tragic sleeve setting), it fit really well. I unpicked and resewed the zipper and fixed the most egregious puckers on the sleeves and, although it is far from perfect, I wore it to my bridal shower feeling great.

simplicity 7737 in blue wool | allie J. | alliemjackson.com

Anyway, this is that dress, in advance of a new version, which I will share soon. (You'll notice this one looks nearly identical to version 3. My proclivity towards copying the envelope goes way back.)

simplicity 7737 in blue wool | allie J. | alliemjackson.com

Obviously, this dress is imperfect, but for something I made five or more years ago, it looks pretty good, don't you think? Anyway, I was always taught to Strive for Excellence, not perfection.

simplicity 7737 in blue wool | allie J. | alliemjackson.com

xoxo,
allie

ps: shop this look! (fairy woods background not included.)

allie J.

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Eliminating flickr Logos on your Blog Photos

I think it is kind of funny that SO much of the SBC happens on flickr, like, people use flickr? It's 2015! But it does end up being the easiest way to store photos. I used to just keep all my photos on my computer in a giant folder named "blog." Pro blog tip: this is not the best way to store photos, especially if they are all automatically named by your camera "IMG00387" or whatever. But recently, I noticed that all my pictures were getting an annoying overlay c/o flickr with the photo's name and the flickr logo. You can see it in the picture below: in the top right-hand corner it says "flickr" and then bottom left and right have my flickr username and "all rights reserved" respectively. Add that pinterest button and you can barely see the picture. Ugh!

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If I want a label on my picture, I'll do it myself.
I did some googling and couldn't find anyone who showed how to get rid of this, but I figured it out myself through trail and error.

When you get your photo from flickr, you'll copy a little bit of code that will look something like this:

<a data-flickr-embed="true"  href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/85553129@N04/21373864336/" title="Untitled"><img src="https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5757/21373864336_ee759a453b_n.jpg" width="640" height="427" alt="Untitled"></a><script async src="//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

What you want to do now is past it into the html view of your post editor, and then delete that first bit highlighted in red below:

<a data-flickr-embed="true"  href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/85553129@N04/21373864336/" title="Untitled"><img src="https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5757/21373864336_ee759a453b_n.jpg" width="640" height="427" alt="Untitled"></a><script async src="//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Your photo should look like this--no overlay!

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I haven't seen flickr logos all over everyone's pictures, so maybe it's just me? I really have no idea what's going on with this. All of a sudden they just started showing up! Do you use flickr? Do you have this same problem? Is there a better way to get rid of the overlay? Basically, do you know what you're doing at all? I don't!

xoxo,
allie

ps: another blogging tip! i used to struggle with making my posts semi-uniform but i made a template. you want to write a little fake post with any of your formatting (like making this endnote italic, or whatever) and then copy all the formatting from the html editor screen. then you can paste this into the "post template" box under settings>posts and comments. this is what you would use if you had a signature file for the end of each post, or a bloglovin' button like the one right below here!

allie J.

Dealing with Princess Seam Darts in Vintage Patterns

Whoops! Where'd I go?

I had a little unintentional break there for a few weeks. I'm not a sewing blogger with a huge backlog of projects; what you see here is what I'm making, one piece at a time. I just had two weekends of weddings in a row and that cuts down significantly on sewing time.

I re-wore my aqua silk Simplicity 6220 to one of these weddings.

I find that one of the most common alterations I make when sewing from vintage patterns is mucking around with the darts. Unless you want to commit to wearing period-accurate undergarments every day, the darts for 60s and especially 50s patterns are often much too high and out there. Being somewhat small-busted myself, I sometimes end up making small bust adjustments (SBAs): see here and here.

I recently had received an email from a reader named Mariah (hi, Mariah!) who had a question about the modifications I did when making Simplicity 6220, which has beautiful V-shaped princess seams--instead of terminating at the waistline, the seams meet just above the waist to form a V. If you use a busy print, this detail would be lost, but in a solid fabric it's little details like these that stand out! I think that this V-shaped seaming gives an especially retro look.

However, this pattern also had tiny bust darts from the from the princess seams towards center front. When I whipped up my muslin I realized these darts were not going to work on me. (You don't even want to see.) Since this is a fairly common feature in vintage patterns (see Simplicity 2266Simplicity 7322, and Simplicity 6936), I thought I'd do a quick little tutorial on how I deal with these extraneous darts: I get rid of them!

In my opinion, these darts are not an integral part of the design. In fact, none of the pattern descriptions for dresses with this construction feature mention the darts, just saying the dresses have "princess lines." It is so much easier to fit princess seams alone.

Here's how I did it, first on Simplicity 6220's unusual V-shaped princess seams in particular, and down further, applied to any princess seamed shift with darts. Most of this should look familiar to those of you who have made an SBA (or FBA) before! What we're going to do is ditch the darts by doing an SBA, leaving us free to meddle with our princess seams without worrying about that dart sticking out.

Step 1: Draw in the bust point (1" from the apex of the dart). Mark it with an x. Now draw one line to the armscye seam line and one to the CF where it intersects with the princess seam line (the red lines below).

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Step 2: Slice from the CF up through the bust point, then just to the armscye seam line, leaving a hinge. Snip the dart line just to the bust point, leaving a hinge.

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Step 3: Pivot the dart hinge closed, overlapping the two legs of the dart so that the princess seam line is continuous.

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Step 4: Pivot the armscye hinge until the princess seam line intersects with CF.

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That's it! Just retrace your pattern piece, truing up the armscye and princess seam lines.

Next!

For a princess seamed shift, we'll do a more traditional SBA. Again, this should look really familiar of you've done one before.

Step 1: Draw in the bust point (1" from the apex of the dart). Mark it with an x. Now draw one line to the armscye seam line and one straight down to the hem, parallel to CF (the red lines below).

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Step 2 & 3: Slice from the CF up through the bust point, then just to the armscye seam line, leaving a hinge. Snip the dart line just to the bust point, leaving a hinge.

Pivot the dart hinge closed, overlapping the two legs of the dart so that the princess seam line is continuous.

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Step 4: Pivot the armscye hinge until the vertical cut you made is parallel to the CF.

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Step 5: Fix that hem!

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You'll note that the pattern piece in both versions is shorter at the CF than it started. Remember, what we're doing is an SBA, and you are getting rid of some room by eliminating those darts. If you only need a little bit more room, you can add some width by letting out the princess seams. But remember, what this modification really does is eliminate darts, allowing you to do all the regular things you could do with any other pattern featuring princess seams without worrying about the dart, so this is where your FBA would go if necessary. Just use a princess seam  FBA, not a two-dart style FBA.

Please let me know if you need clarification! This is only my second tutorial, and I'm not the greatest explainer. I'm more of the "whyyyyyy don't you understand its sooooo obvioussss" type.

dress: post title | cardigan: link | shoes: link

xoxo,
allie

ps: for the other wedding, i wore a j crew bridesmaid dress. it was lovely, with a v neckline in front and back, princess seams, pleated skirt, and a natural waist with some piping. this is it here. what you may not be able to see is that the piping is continuous over the side seam. this is totally a logical decision for a home dressmaker, but for a designer making something that is as commonly altered as a bridesmaid dress, this is an insane decision! in order to let out any of the seams, a tailor doing alterations would have to unpick the entire waistband and rearrange the waist piping. so unnecessary.

allie J.

@helloallieJ

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