Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Happy Spring!

I just can't wait for spring and so, when I saw New Look 6104 and it practically screamed "SPRING!!", well I had to get it.

I was able to pick it up at my local Walmart for $2.97, which is pretty good! I wanted to get started on it right away and since I was in the fabric department getting the pattern..... I found some gingham of unknown fibers for $1.50 per yard and I thought that would be perfect for my muslin.  (I used to pattern fit, using the methods in "Fit for Real People" which I totally recommend, but the results have been less than stellar in trying to fit myself, so now I muslin everything.)

After measuring, I should probably have done a size 14, and a FBA, but being lazy, I decided to just go with a 16 and wing it. ;)  I have to say that I am pleased with the results. After making a few alterations that I then transferred to the pattern I can totally see myself making more versions of this pattern. It is a bit loose in the shoulder area, so one day I will do the 14, but for now, I am labeling New Look 6104 a TNT!!!

So, what alterations did I make? Well, first one happened in the paper pattern stage, before stitching up my muslin.  I simply pinned the pattern together and tried it on a la "Fit for Real People" and immediately knew that I was going to have to fix the gaping neckline.  So, I made a dart in the neckline that tapered to nothing in the armhole.  But, of course, there was no way to check the fit in the back other than to see that it was wide enough, so next I made the muslin.

The muslin turned out so cute, that since I had to put the placket on for proper fitting, I decided to go ahead and finish it.

The other changes that I made were: a seam down the back to remove 1/4" each side for a 1/2" total. And I put darts in the front! Yup, maybe should have done the 14, but .... The french darts work!

Conclusion: quick, easy to put together.  Few alterations needed. Now a TNT. Cute, wearable muslin, for under $4 (the card of buttons set me back a whopping $.67). While the fit isn't totally perfect, trying to get a perfect fit in the past has made me sew nothing, so I will enjoy this top as is. Altogether= total win!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sick Day= Sewing Day!

So, a few weeks back, I had to suddenly cancel all plans for the day because my 11yo started throwing up just before she was supposed to leave for school. And since she was home for the day, I thought that I might be able to get some sewing done of my own. Not so much. Instead, my daughter got some sewing done!

Several months ago, she expressed an interest in learning to sew and I found the Simplicity "Learn to Sew" line. And she picked some really cute flannel to sew a pair of pj pants. We washed the fabric and I showed her how to measure herself and select her size and cut the pattern.

And then... we moved cross country from DC back to UT! And the project was packed and forgotten by me. But, apparently not by a sick child who decided to follow me into the sewing room (dungeon) and start opening drawers and totes until I dug out the project and handed it to her.

 Before I knew it, my project was forgotten and her sewing machine was set up, threaded and I was anxiously watching over her as she pinned and cut her fabric. I tried to go back to my project, but I ran over at her every call and got nothing done.

But- the day was not a waste! Not a waste at all! I have a proud daughter with a finished pair of pj pants that she just loves! And I have created a monster! She is already planning her next project!

 I have to say that I highly recommend the "Learn to Sew" line from Simplicity! They had clear instructions that were easy for my 11yo to follow, even though she double checked everything with me. And she was able to complete the project in just a few hours.

Here she is in her pants! I waited until she was better to take photos because I refuse to make my kids pose when sick. :)
And the back-
And the side-
You may notice that they look a bit long, but 1. They are the right length when she actually has the waist band at her waist, but she never wears pants that way no matter how I try, and 2. They are PJ's, so who cares?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy!!

So, over the last few weeks, I have actually done some sewing! I made 2 skirts and a simple jacket. Those reviews will be coming as soon as I can get them photographed. Anyway, I didn't do too much because I had a niece get married last weekend and had my house full! So, I started a knitting project from Wendy Knits Lace by Wendy D Johnson.
Now, it's been a few years since I took on any kind of yarn project. I did learn to knit as a teenager, my mom is very talented in this department, but I haven't done any since then. So, I picked a beginner project from the book- the "Lace Stripe Scarf".
It seemed like a pretty simple pattern, you only need to know a handful of stitches. Unfortunately, I only remembered the basic knit stitch, and while the book provides descriptions and drawings for the stitches, I still didn't get it, so off to the internet I went! I have to say that I love the internet! I found several sites and watched several videos to learn the stitches that I needed for this pattern. And when I find the slip of paper where I wrote down the sites I used the most, I will be happy to post them. Now the pattern calls for 2 skeins of Madelinetosh Tosh DK, 100% superwash Australian merino. I couldn't find any of that at my local Hobby Lobby, but what I did find was a beautiful yarn with sequins in the perfect color to match a top that I already have! It is Patons Lace Sequin in Aquamarine. Now this could be the reason my scarf looks nothing like the picture.
But I still like how it looks, so I plan to keep going. Of course, after I fell in love with the yarn and bought it, I reread the part of the book where it talks about yarn selection and says that anything over 20% acrylic does not do well for lace knitting because it does not block well. My yarn is 68% Acrylic. Oops! I promise that next time I may possibly get the actual yarn recommended so that my results look more like the picture. Or maybe not. That's just how I roll.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Happy Mail Day!!

Today, I really love my postman!! Not only did I get my Colette Pattern order,

I also got my Amazon order!

I am so excited!! Now I have my Clover pattern for the sew along and the lovely Jasmine pattern to go with it! Can't wait to sew them up!

I also got "Wendy Knits Lace" by Wendy Johnson. No, I don't knit. Well, I learned as a child, but that was long ago. But, the projects in this book make me want to learn again! Hopefully I will have some success with this book.

Second book is "Handbag Designer 101" by Emily Blumenthal. I am also not a handbag designer, but have always wanted to learn and this book has some great ideas and resources that would be great for all sorts of projects. Plus, I have extra fabric from my raincoat that has been screaming to be made into a matching tote.

And last, but certainly not least, "Patternmaking for a Perfect Fit" by Steffani Lincecum. I love pattern drafting and I love the idea of being able to copy your favorite pieces! Can't wait to try some of the ideas from the book.

Lots of new sewing stuff for me!! I think I will be busy for a while! How about you? Any new sewing purchases that have you excited?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Sewing Summit

So, quick update on what is going on with me- Moved cross country. We are back in Utah and after moving, I had a week to set up house and get the kids registered for school. Fun!

So, weeks later, I was finally able to set up my sewing room. It's in the unfinished basement. Maybe one day I will get pictures of my space.

Anyway, while cruising some of my favorite blogs about a week and a half ago, I found out about The Sewing Summit.

Of course, I had to go! I was only able to go for one day, but that was still wonderful! I met so many great people and learned so much! I actually decided to update my blog!

I just want to thank Amy and Erin for their hard work in putting the Summit together!

And the teachers were wonderful-

Dana of the Old Red Barn Co. taught about blogging and social media. I got lots of great information from her. And met lots of people from Utah County! So many sewers right in my neighborhood! Yahoo!!! (Note to Dana- sorry for the terrible photo, I hadn't yet taken the photo class. :)

I also took a photography class from Vanessa Christenson of V and Co. I don't have a photo of her because after looking at all her great photos- I was too intimidated.

And then I got to take my last two classes from the wonderful Gertie of Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing!

She is truly wonderful and a really great teacher!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Vintage Pattern Finally Finished!

Yeah! It is finally done!! It took me a while because we were making life decisions at the same time, but I have triumphed! Of course, I am also getting it in just under the wire.

First a list of changes that I made to this pattern-

1. Graded up just a little in the back only.
2. FBA on the front.
3. Swayback alteration in the back.
4. Really deepened the darts on front to give the bodice more of the shape on the drawing.
5. Pegged in the hem about 2 inches on each side, again to give it more of the look in the drawing.
6. And this is the big one- FTA (full tummy alteration, for those that don't know.) This was a big one because I did muslin after muslin and just couldn't get the front to drape right. I kept getting wrinkles that just wouldn't go away.

Can you see what I mean? After much research, what I found was that I had to do the FTA. It has been a while since I seriously sewed for myself and so this was a new one for me. In all the books I read, they recommend staying away from darts altogether with this flaw, but the dress has 2 front darts on each side. What I ended up doing was cutting the front skirt off and redraping it with only one dart. So, the front bodice and skirt are now actually 2 pieces instead of the 1 the pattern originally had. But, this works perfectly! No strange wrinkles!

I meant to take photos of this process, but with the upcoming cross country move, I have been rather preoccupied.

Anyway, here are more photos of the dress- they are kind of difficult to see because of the dark grey fabric and the fact that my photographer is only 15 and doesn't know about lighting, but beggars can't be choosers and she did a great job overall!

Full front

Full back

Hem done with seam binding as per the instructions.

Close up of the neck pleats.

And the elbow darts!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What I have been up to......

Well, it has been a while since my last post. I had hoped to post photos of my new Easter Dress, Vogue 1043, but it was not to be.

I had even picked out the perfect fabric- a beautiful pink with white polka dots! I had dreams of vintage perfection. I did 3 muslins and really tried to make this pattern work, but it just wouldn't.

But, not all is lost! I have learned a lot from the experience. It has been a really long time since I really sewed for myself and I am still having a lot of problems fitting. I have lost a lot of weight and totally changed my body shape so at least I have a good excuse!

I think the problem that I ran into with this pattern is that it is a wrap with a cut on sleeve, but no darts. I needed to do an FBA, but ran into problems because the cf is not on grain. I even tried to de-draft (is that a word?) the pattern to take it to its basic shape and see how it was drafted, but that didn't work.

I have not totally given up on this pattern, but have set it aside for a little while while I practice my fitting skills on something a little easier- like my pattern for the PR Vintage Pattern Contest!

Here is my pattern again-

I traced the pattern because I want to keep the original intact. I can't replace it if I mess it up. I must say that I really like the details on this pattern. It is only a front and back, sleeves attached, and facings. Really simple! But it has great details, like 3 darts on the back sleeve for elbow shaping!

Since I knew I would be doing some grading on this pattern, I pin fitted to see how bad it was going to be and to measure for the FBA- it wasn't going to be as bad as I thought!

I have concluded that I need a fitting budy! Tissue fitting yourself is really hard!

After all of that, I made up a muslin. Only one this time! I am getting better! But I must say that it now looks like a Frankin-muslin. I have realized that some of my fitting issue may be that I don't like as much ease in my clothes as they put in the pattern. The first fitting looked like a shapeless sack, even with all those darts! All I have done since then is take in and reshape darts! And the ever needed sway back alteration.

Now that almost all of the changes that are needed are done, I think I will do one more muslin from scratch to check all of the changes before I touch my fashion fabric. But that works out because I don't have all of my supplies yet, still looking for seam binding locally. I may just break down and order some.