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More #sewingwin even better than before

Hello. It’s been awhile. I’ve been busy. Busy trying to figure this sewing shit out. Also, gardening.

I think I may have finally crossed a major sewing knowledge gap, which feels like the best thing ever.  I’ve learned some things in the past few months as I’ve been making muslin after muslin after muslin. It’s mostly concerning sleeves. I have to say, thank GAWD for the internet. It was both my doom, but ultimately my savior. Sometimes too much information is a bad thing. It’s finding the right information that’s the key – and the hardest part.

  • I thought I had a giant back and/or needed an FBA, but I discovered (on some sewing forum I didn’t keep the link to) that most commercial pattern armholes are too low for me. This was causing weird pulling across by back, which made me feel like I was the Hulk about ready to bust out of clothing in a fit of rage. To fix this, I need to raise the side seam inch or so on the bodice front and back, and add that same amount to sleeve itself. Like this:
    sleeves
    That original fitting shell I did acts as a great template. Which really underscores that it was super worth the time to go through the steps to do this in the first place.

 

  • I was having THE HARDEST time setting in a sleeve, as I mentioned in my last post. I thought I figured out the issue: I had to much ease in my sleeve cap. After trying multiple times to take it out and redraft a sleeve that always looked totally mutant and nothing like a sleeve, I pretty much gave up.
    Every sleeve I would sew I would ALWAYS get puckers. ALWAYS. I came to the conclusion that it must be me, and something that I was doing. How can every stinking sleeve on every pattern I sew have too many puckers? That seems weird. After much Googling I came across this blog post and my life was changed forever.It’s using pins to ease in the sleeve instead of sewing two lines of gathers. I tried this one evening after I got home from work KNOWING it would fail like everything else and I swear, I had that sleeve pinned and SEWN with NO FUCKING PUCKERS, in like, 20 minutes. I will never go back to the other method unless of course, the sleeve is meant to be puckered.



IMG_2600

I am having a hard time articulating how I feel about this because I LOVE LOVE LOVE sewing and I have felt for so long that I just sucked at it and intellectually I wasn’t ready to accept it because I know I am a smart and talented person so now that I’ve cracked a major stumbling block I feel so hopeful.

#sewingwin

NL6342

It’s amazing after so many sewing fails, how a sewing win can really boost your spirits. I’ve been avoiding adding sleeves to my sloper because I just CANNOT bring myself to face making another muslin.

So instead, I distracted myself by making a muslin of New Look 6342. It’s a shift dress along the lines of the Colette Laurel, which I have made several times. However, it’s never really fit all that well and I’ve hacked the pattern all to hell so much that I just needed to start over.

Especially since now I know a little more of what I doing (sort of) I wanted to start from scratch. One issue I’ve always had with the Laurel is that there is too much height on my sleeve cap so I always end up with it puffed and puckered. That’s not really a look I am going for. I knew I was going to have the same issue with this dress so I fit the sleeve in the bodice how I thought it should fit, sewed it up and hacked off the excess. It worked, but it’s not the method I want to use going forward so I’ll try this technique on the next one and actually do it right.

One other thing I like about this pattern over the Laurel is that it had an option for front darts whereas the Laurel does not. The back fit me as well, which is awesome because I’ve had some issues recently where I get gaping at the back neck. And….the best, best, best part is that I was able to get the dress on WITHOUT a zipper!

So…all I need to do now is hem the sleeve and bottom and tack down the facings and I’ll have a muslin I can wear and I pattern I know that FITS. I’m pretty happy about that.

I am really trying to focus on stash busting before I go out and buy more fabric, so I am going to have to wait to make this again. Next up, is a basic pencil skirt using the Burda Jenny pattern.

Sewing 2017 – The Fitting Shell

Photo Feb 15, 6 40 49 AM

So,…one of the other items that is taking up much of my brain space lately is sewing. I’ve had some super frustrating experiences the past few years and I’ve almost given up completely a few times, but I just…can’t. I thought I would try my hand with the Emery Dress because I am technically skilled enough to sew darts and sleeves and zippers, but HOLY COW.  It did not work. Like, at all. That bodice block did NOT work on my body.
I decided to go back to a project I started last year, and that is following the Little Tailoress’ series Fun with Fit where she walks you through taking your measurements to use the Butterick 5627 Fitting Shell to create a block that works for you. I had completed the front and back bodice – successfully – but it all turned to shit when I added the sleeves. So…after much Googling I *think* figured it out. This bodice/sleeve fitting article on Threads was a lifesaver.
My issue main issue was that my armhole was too low and I totally botched the sleeve alterations. However, by raising the armhole, it eliminating the pulling across my back when I moved my arms. It’s just a tad too high, however, as the armhole is a little too tight to be comfortable.
Another very helpful article was one describing how to take excess fabric out from under the bust by altering the darts. You can see my mangled version above.
Now I need to move on to the actual sleeves again. I rented a Threads fitting DVD from my libary that was SUPER helpful and now I know what I did wrong the first time. I think the main thing I got from that DVD was the instructors saying that your pattern, after you have altered it to fit your measurements, might not look at all like a standard bodice pattern. Hearing that from people who know what they are doing made me feel better.
Also: Swedish Tracing Paper is magic.
Also 2: I am getting really, really tired of making muslins.

Simplicity 1647

LOOK AT THIS PATTERN:

I die. You know what REALLY sold me on it? (It was a bit pricier than what I normally spring for.)  The jacket. It’s a ONE-SHOULDER JACKET. Oh man. No matter that it’s not my size. I HAD to have it. I also might want to rethink the whole “perusing the internet when I wake up” thing.  My self control is not at its best at 5:30 in the morning. I do take comfort however, cialis sale levitra in the fact that I could grade the pattern up to my size. I should start on that now, cialis sales viagra actually. I might get it done in time for summer!

And since we’re on the topic of impulse pattern purchasing, advice I also recently acquired the Beginner’s Starter Pack from Victory Patterns. I saw Sallieoh’s version of the Satsuki dress and decided that I NEED ONE TOO.

So…you know…I got this pattern buying thing DOWN. Still working on the sewing part. In fact, I still haven’t finished that blouse because I need interfacing (and buttons) and haven’t had the time to restock supplies. BUT! I DID create my muslin for the Simplicity 2406 – Cynthia Rowley (view C) this past weekend and it fit! and it survived the ever discerning eye of my husband. Houston, we’re cleared for takeoff.

Just as soon as I get some interfacing.

Sewing Like Crazy

This is the first blouse I have sewn in…well…ever. That’s not entirely true, viagra buy cialis but it may as well be. I’ve never made one that turned out well enough to actually wear. I’ve been sticking to skirts because they are easy, cialis buy unhealthy but what’s a wardrobe with 9 million skirts and nothing to where with them?

I am stash-busting and using a beautiful grey linen. I love linen so much, viagra and I am very please with it’s progress so far. Making a muslin version first was incredibly helpful and allowed me to figure out the tricky bits.

The pattern is a vintage McCall’s which I bought through Midvale Cottage on Etsy. I subcribe to here shop feed (dangerous) and have purchased a lot of vintage patterns from her.

I am sewing View A, although my collar is not as crisp. I love the use of tucks on this pattern instead of darts and the pleats around the neck. I am about 80% done. I need to do a little finish work like tacking down facings…and the buttons. Buttons. Wish me luck!

Spring Palette Sew Along Sketches

Busy, best viagra sick busy, viagra usa busy lately so I just wanted to post my wardrobe ideas to let you know that I wasn’t dead. I have actually made TWO skirt muslins, both of which were too small and used up the last of my muslin. Good times.


Back soon with some fun things like stripping paint, tiling bathroom floors, and new vegetable illustrations.

Colette Patterns Spring Palette Challenge

Remember my blue fabric stash? Well people…it’s time. Colette Patterns is hosting a Spring Palette Challenge/Sew-a-long and I am going to try my gosh darned hardest to participate and even – gasp! – MAKE SOMETHING! Never mind the fact that I still have an un-hemmed pencil skirt from the last sew-a-long I took part in. I’ll get around to it one of these days.


This will be a an excellent opportunity to make good on one of my new years resolutions, cialis sales generic and….AND…I have even rearranged the piles on the floor in my office to clear a path directly to the sewing machine.

I have nine fabrics, viagra sales out of which I would like to make nine garments. It’s a pretty tight time frame and I have a million other things going on right now as well, but basically it boils down to about a garment a week. Can I do it? We’ll see.

I used to save every image I came across that inspired me in anyway, so as a consequence of that I don’t know where a lot of these images came from. Now I have wised up and I tag them in my reader, or if they are REALLY awesome I pin them on my Pinterest board. (Have you guys seen this yet? I love it.) My inspiration images came from Anthropologie, Strawberry Koi Vintage, ModCloth, and can’t remember. The one on the bottom left is my palette, a sampling of the fabrics I have to work with. They are all cottons so I don’t foresee any need for lining anything.

I have a basic idea of what I want to make out of each, so now comes the hard part and finding a pattern to match. I am pretty sure I already have something in my pattern stash that will match and I won’t have to purchase a pattern, but I am not sure.

I also need to figure out a timeline and schedule. I am thinking that I am going to tack the skirts first, as I have made those before, are pretty easy and can come together quickly. I bought myself a rotary cutter recently and I can’t believe I haven’t had one before. I love that thing. I also just purchased an overcast foot for my machine since I don’t have a serger and I can’t wait to try it out. And, just like the not-quite-finished pencil skirt, I plan on rewarding myself with a pair (or two) of shoes once I am finished.

Excited! Overwhelmed! Here we go!

Fabric Stash: The Blue Period

With the resurgence of sewing energy I have been feeling of late, I think it’s time to address my fabric stash. I acquired 90% of these fabrics in a buying frenzy sometime last year, in an earlier attempt to sew my life-transforming wardrobe.

I did have to buy new fabric for my pencil skirt because, shock of all shocks, I did NOT have any black fabric in my stash. I told myself that the next thing I make will have to come from my existing store – no new purchases (accept for lining and notions and such). This is the part I totally suck at, and it renders me immobile- figuring out what to make with what fabric. So, let’s do a little analysis and brainstorming to see what we can come up with, shall we?

I think this was my attempt to get away from black, so I chose navy. These are all cottons, so right away I see blouses or dresses. Most are 59″ wide and are at least 2 yards each.

1. Broadcloth-A long sleeve button down shirt, perhaps.
2. Polka dot sear sucker- full skirt? Something twirly. Polka dots feel like they need to twirl.
3. Striped sateen, I think. All I know is the texture of this fabric is DIVINE. Light and silky and want to roll around in it. I suppose that’s a good thing for a garment – sleeveless shirt with a bow tie and ruffles down the front? Stripes and ruffles? I don’t know.
4. Another polk dot, this time with pinecones! That’s the problem with buying fabric online, sometimes you can’t tell what you are getting. I still like it a lot and you can’t tell they are pinecones unless you get reeeaaaal close -not sure what to do with this.
5. Another sateen. (I think) It’s got that same glorious texture as #3- Blouse with puffy sleeves.
6. This is a twill. I think. See…I threw away/lost/found/lost again the packing slip that came with this order, so it’s a bit of guess work at this point. It is heavier and stiffer than everything else, so it’s probably a good candidate for a skirt.
7. Gingham. Part of me is thinking I must of been DEL-U-SION-AL when I bought this. I mean, gingham? Really? I HAD to have something in mind when I bought this, but I can’t for the life of me figure out what it was. I’ll have to run through my inspiration images and see what prompted this.

Next step is to find a pattern to match. That shouldn’t be a problem as I have many, many, many to chose from. Years of buying 99 cent patterns on sale have left me with quite a collection. Time to bust into them!!

Sewing, Tiling, Digging, Drawing

Wow, it’s been a while since I posted around this here blog. What have I been up to? Let’s see….

1. Crazy MAJOR progress on the pencil skirt. This is a close up of the fabric and lining around the zipper. Just a few finishing touches and she’ll be done and ready to wear. Just as soon as I get new shoes, generic cialis tadalafil and figure out a top to wear with it. Neglecting your wardrobe for years leads to gaping holes that are expensive to fill.

2. Getting ready to plant some garlic! I am so excited about this. I’ve dug a trench, ampoule but it still needs a little more working and also some compost in order to get ready for glorious cloves. Oh. I need to procure some garlic as well. Minor detail.

3. I have FINISHED [cue Angels chorus] tiling the glass in the tub surround which includes the small fiddly cuts in the corners. I just need to resume with the subway tile up to the ceiling and then – grouting! Huzzah! I am still trying to find cabinet knobs, need to tile the floor, install the new lighting, shelves, buy accessories, new towels…still much to do.

4. I have been trying to get back into the illustration groove and have been experimenting a little with making custom brushes in Photoshop. It’s been a hard battle, as I have not been sure if illustration was something that I want to move forward with, but I can’t seem to get away from it. We’ll see.

Pencil Skirt Sew Along

I am currently participating in the Pencil Skirt Sew Along hosted by the lovely Cupcake Goddess and I spent a good portion of last weekend clearing out my messy office to make room for the sewing machine. Now the office is even messier than it was before (how did that happen?) as I have magazine clippings and files strung out every which way to Sunday in the effort to get organized. In the midst of this chaos, generic viagra view I found a bunch of pencil skirt inspirations I have been saving for this exact moment. See? It works! Keeping all of this shit actually has a purpose! I LOVE it when things come full circle.

I am going to use Burda’s Jenny Skirt pattern and I am thinking that I will need to adjust the waistband, cialis tadalafil or remove it entirely as I am extremely short waisted and don’t want to end up looking like a stump. I pretty much have everything I need to get started, ampoule except perhaps the time, but that can be rectified by extricating my butt from off of the couch. I hear this is how people get things done.

Who knew? The only thing I have left to finalize is the fabric. As this is going to be my very first pencil skirt, I probably need to start with basic black. Anyone who knows me will be having a heart attack of NOT SURPRISED by this color choice, but hey…gotta start somewhere, right? I picked up a beautiful, thick weave Italian linen at Canvas Works here in Olympia, and I already have the most gorg-e-o-so red lining fabric in my stash ready to be put to use. It’s time to get crackin’ with step one! Here I go! Off to print and piece together the pattern.

I think I just might have to buy myself a congratulatory pair of awesome shoes when the skirt is completed. I think this donkey has found her carrot – I might finally get an actual garment made if I reward myself with a pair of shoes afterwards. Why didn’t I think of this before!?

So, today, I will have the muslin sewn. There is a flickr group for the sew along if anyone want’s to join! I’ll be posting my progress there just as soon as I have anything worthy to post.

Pencil Skirt Inspirations

(clockwise l-r)
I so love the odd color – wierd yellow. So not me!
LOVE the button front
Funky pockets? I quite like those
I really like the dropped waist and the belt
I am drawn to button on waistbands
I SO love the the ruffle – and the color of this skirt.
Mure waistband buttons and an funky orange.

Getting back on the sewing horse


School started this week and that usually means that I drop everything else I am doing or want to do because my brain can only handle focusing on one thing at a time. However,last semester was really stressful and it made me realize that I needed to keep these things, to help me focus on something else for a while and get my mind off of my classes. The first project is one that I started this summer, trying to appropriate Butterick pattern 5031 to fit the sloper I made last year.  You can see the resulting mess above.

One of the things I love (but used to hate) about sewing is that you cannot half-ass it, or rush the process, which I am wont to do. This usually results in a waste of fabric and an ill-fitting garment that completely negates the intention of attempting a custom fit in the first place. I am horribly impatient and every time I try to short-cut the process I end up with a piece of crap – a tactile lesson reminding me that I need to do it right.

I am thinking of perhaps a charcoal grey cotton, something I can throw in the washing machine, and to keep things interesting perhaps adding a black band on the bottom.

I am finding myself shying away from any sort of patterned print, but I think a trip to the fabric store is in order. But, first things first. I need to make a muslin and made sure it fits first.

All of these thoughts on sewing are leading me to seriously covet a serger. Oohh…I want one so badly.