Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Happy New Year to all my friends!

Overall 2013 was a very good year for many of us, even though there were bumps in the road.

It is with my humble thanks that I wish you all a fabulous New Year. You have enriched my life and I'm glad you are in it.

For 2014 I wish you all the best that life has to offer; great achievements and experiences; pride in yourself and everything you do; success in everything you do; freshness and beauty in your life; good health; lots of love; lots of possibilities; and peace.

Remember, what Walt Disney said:
 "If you can dream it, you can achieve it!"

And I'll end this year with one of my favorite blessings:

And a Happy New Year to you all!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Happy Camper Tonight!

Although I've purchased a few, I haven't done much with my Style Arc patterns up to now. I think that may be changing!

I've spent a few minutes here and there the past week copying off my Stacie Jean Jacket which will be my first entry for the SWAP 2014. I knew with a new pattern and a new to me company, I would have to do a muslin, even though I prefer to just forget them and dive head first into my project.

Yesterday and today I got to work on my muslin a bit. As per usual, I knew I would have to narrow the shoulders and enlarge the sleeves, but since I'm new to Style Arc I wasn't sure what additional changes would be needed. This pattern has multiple pieces, with a front and back yoke, and three front pieces, as well as two back pieces, and lots of curves to make you look great, but trying to compare the pieces with a SFD blueprint was out of the question for me. There are just way too many curves and I couldn't figure out if it was good, bad, or somewhere in between.

At my first comparison, I decided it was going to be too small, so for some unknown reason, I added 1/2" to each seam on the jacket. Remember, there are 3 front and 2 back pieces, so with the 12 seams, I added 6 inches! Oops. Sometimes the brain doesn't engage. So today, I took everything apart, took off all my additional inches, and figured I'd sew it together as drafted and see if I needed all my other usual alterations. Score! It is very close with the first muslin!

The only alteration necessary is a small FBA between the center front and the mid front pieces. I took my seam allowance down from 5/8" to about 1/4" all the way to the bottom. No sway back necessary. No fiddling with all the bits and pieces. The hem line is basically even all the way around. I'm thrilled. I just need to true up all my pieces and be sure I've walked my seams and this will be in production!

After I did the FBA, it looks like this:

I think this will be a big winner in my closet! I'm already seeing it in wool, silk, linen, denim, and many other fabrics both solid and prints. It's the kind of jacket I love wearing, and fits my casual professional work style perfectly! Can't wait to see the completed jacket! Full speed ahead!

More later!

It's Begun!!!

I'm really  hoping to get my SWAP done for 2014. In case you missed it, here is the plan:
If you look closely, you will note that the Style Arc Stacie jean jacket was on last year's list and didn't reach achievement. Also, the Hot Patterns Great White Shirt. Those will be completed this year! I have my wearable muslin of the Great White Shirt done in the leaf print shirt of my Winter 6 Pac. The Stacie has begun it's muslin journey. Here's the progress so far:

Traced, ready to cut for first muslin fitting

I anticipate having to do at least a few changes to this muslin based on my typical body changes, but as I haven't done that many Style Arc patterns, other than the narrow shoulders and bodacious biceps, I will put the muslin together first and see what additional changes are needed. I expect a sway back adjustment will be needed as well as a possible FBA, but I want to make the muslin first and see how much of each will be needed, as well as any length adjustments that may come up.
Stay tuned. I hope this becomes a very interesting year for sewing.


Saturday, December 28, 2013

2013 In Review

A quick recap of the year in sewing. My 2013 SWAP theme was Chocolate Dreams. Storyboard here:

As you may recall, my life got a little hectic before the Spring came when my adorable husband had a heart attack rapidly followed by a quadruple bypass and a stay in the hospital and then extensive nursing for a bit when he got home. Kind of limited my sewing time for a while!

But as I counted up the other day, counting my 7 Sure Fit Design bodice muslins, I completed over 30 garments in 2013. A good year in spite of some epic fails! (If I count all of the SFD muslins, it's 39!)

We’ll start with the epic fails:

Brown wool slacks that I forgot to add the seam allowances; floral cowl that’s neckline reaches down for exciting views; seersucker bowling shirt; redesigned seersucker bowling shirt and black and tan rayon cap sleeve shirt (not shown); flutter sleeve cardigan that is way too fluttery.  

The not quite there yets: Aqua/tan/brown floral tee where I mistook a stretch fabric for a knit and didn’t add enough ease; Multiple Sure Fit Designs Bodices; multiple bras.

The good ones that are worn regularly: Nicole’s skirt; Long sleeve brown tee~ also a short sleeved tee and a tank out of the same fabric; chevron striped tee; brown/black stripe pants;  tan tee; brown batik top; brown/aqua/orange print tee; twill pants; black & aqua tee; black/aqua/tan linen; taupe micro suede over shirt (looks greenish but isn't); Brown/white cardigan; tan tank that went with the flutter sleeve cardigan; jungle tank; fleece topper; leaf print shirt; Dale’s sweatpants; my sweatpants; my brown pants slip and brown wool pants. (Not all are shown!)

As I look back, it was a great year for sewing. I learned a lot about fitting the body I have now instead of waiting for it to get to the body I want. I put together a pretty cohesive wardrobe over the year. My closet is much more friendly each morning when I’m looking for things to wear.  

I am inspired by all of my blog friends wherever they may be. I do watch Stitcher’s Guild although I’m not a super active poster there. I learn from all of you and love seeing your creations and hearing your thoughts.  

My goals for 2014 are to do a complete SWAP, and if it doesn’t work out in the time frame allotted, I’ll keep going. I have a red grouping coming up after SWAP. I need to focus on my health a little more. I need to focus on learning better habits instead of procrastinating when I am nervous or unsure about doing something. And as always, I need to focus more on living in the present than in the past and the future. Happy New Year my blog friends! I wish you a fun filled, exciting, healthy, and abundant 2014!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas to all my sewing friends!

I have been doing a bit of sewing, just not posting as time is short in my life right now. I've done a pair of sweatpants for me, and a nice pair of brown wool pants with a matching brown pants slip instead of a full lining. I like those better because they can be laundered instead of taking the pants to the dry cleaner every week or so.

I'll be doing a year end wrap up I think, and that will be some time between now and the end of the year. I'll post them all, the good, the bad, and the ugly! :P}}

SWAP 2014 starts soon and I can't wait. Got three pieces of fabric from Santa with my gifts this evening. I did tell Santa exactly where, and how much to get, but it was a nice surprise to have them to fondle!

I wish you all a wonderful, exciting and Merry Christmas!

As always, more later!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Warm and cozy and with pockets!

My husband decided he needed some sweatpants. Since he's been working for about a month to get my garage cleaned up so the car can go inside and building me lots of shelving for my fabric bins, I figured he was due.

Knew he wanted pockets, and I was just figuring on some down and dirty inseam pockets, and done. But oh, no! He first said he wanted cargo pockets. Perplexed, I pulled out my Threads Index and found the right magazine with the cargo pocket tutorial. Then I asked if he wanted the ones with the baffles around the edges. When he looked confused, I asked exactly what he wanted.

His response: ones like these. He had Levis on. I told him those weren't cargo pockets, but his response was that he just wanted some pockets deep enough that his stuff wouldn't fall out. Okaaaay. But then the he added that he wanted one back pocket too. Only one and on the left hip for his wallet.

So instead of my quick and dirty sweats that were going to take an hour or so, a day and a half later, he has nice sweats. The front pockets are like trouser pockets, the back is a copy of the Levis back pocket, and it has a separate waistband. He is very pleased, so that's a win.

I personally think they should be a bit slimmer and a bit shorter, but he's hidden them from me so they will stay as they are! LOL

My sweat pants are up next! More later!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Quick Update

Not too much going on around here. I did finally finish my "muslin" of the Hot Patterns Great White Shirt. Not white. I tried to overlay it with my SFD blueprint, but I'm still getting the hang of it. I have already made a few alterations to the pattern in anticipation for the next go round. Love the shirt, love the style, love the fabric, and I found PERFECT buttons in my stash that may have been purchased for just this shirt, as the prices for the buttons were obviously from a really LOOOONG time ago! It took me a long time to make this shirt as I went slowly and tried to take care so I would be able to have a perfect TNT long sleeved blouse. Fabric was bought a zillion years ago, and is either a wool challis or maybe even a silk as the printing in the selvage says "Mayar Silk, Inc." I was pretty sure it was a wool challis but now I'm uncertain. Doesn't matter much. It's been washed and dried and already worn.

I also got the fleece topper altered so it fits better now. 

This weekend should be quick and dirty sewing. I have a couple of pair of sweatpants to make, one for me, one for hubster, and I may start the flannel robes I want to make. It's finally getting colder her, and I'm in need. :P}}
After that I'll start my muslin for the Stacey jean jacket. I'm hoping to make at least one version of that before SWAP starts and the rate I've been sewing lately, I'm already behind myself!
If you're in the States, I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving. If you're elsewhere, I hope you're having a fabulous weekend!
More later!


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Not MIA, just crazy at work

Hi all.

I'm not missing, just super busy. Finished the pants finally after multiple adjustments and alterations, but don't have current pictures. Maybe today. :P}} Adding pictures 3 hours later. It must be the fabric as it keeps growing and growing. Looked and felt okay when I first put them on. A few hours later they feel 2 sizes too big. But here they are first thing before they grew.

I've also been working on fixing the seersucker top that I did to see how the body blueprint really fit prior to my retreat. I added some linen/rayon in a taupe that exactly matches the stripe. I added half moon curves to the shoulder area, and switched out the collar for the same fabric to make it look more like a design choice. It is completed now, and the width is okay, but now I think it looks like a bowling shirt, which isn't my preference for work. I may add in some waist darts and see if that helps. What do you think? Waist darts, something else, help on this one please!

I've also been working on my story board for my 2014 SWAP. I think it's okay at this point, but would like to do some more work and actually get the swatches inserted into the pattern drawings like the navy pants. It was easier this time, as I have the textbook for Adobe Illustrator marked with places I use. BUT, doing it once a year is not enough to learn this program. It has so many capabilities more than I do. Hopefully, I'll have more time and get things done better. Anyway, here it is so far:

I think this one may be a winner and I may actually finish for once! Hooray for TNT patterns!
More later!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Almost forgot

My new better fitting pants are underway. I hope to have them done this week if I can keep to the 20-30 minutes a day sewing plan. I'll post pictures when I get that far.
Hope your week is fabulous!


Our Adventure!

It all started when I found tips on the Stitcher’s Guild website where people referred to their Sure Fit Designs body blueprints as the starting point for their new garments. While people around the globe were using Sure Fit Designs, many of the garments were from people living in Australia, and the more I saw, the more I thought that each garment fit the designer quite well. Everyone raved about the magic “Glenda.”  

As I did more and more investigation, I found the Sure Fit Designs system and Glenda Sparling. There were multiple kits offered for dresses, pants, shirts, children’s wear, and also design leaflets to allow you to make other garments from what she calls your “body blueprint,” known to most of us as a sloper or block.

I purchased the dress, (for the bodice) a shirt, and a pants kit. I worked on the bodice through multiple muslins, never getting the fit quite right. It may have been due to having measurements that were slightly off. AHEM. My wonderful husband happens to be much better at wood measurements than he is at human body measurements.

The Sure Fit Design system starts with a basic block, and has “dots” that you utilize to draft a made to measure bodice. The system goes from very tiny to large enough to fit most of us. Glenda also has designed a stylus that she sells along with the kits that is like all the French curves in one, and includes a slot along each edge that gives you a 5/8’ seam allowance when used correctly.

Looking around the Sure Fit Designs website, I found that Glenda offers a 6 day retreat in Oregon for fitting both bodices and pants. As I contemplated a visit for expert fitting help and more in depth information on the Sure Fit Design system, I got more and more convinced that was the answer I had been looking for.

My friend Barbara and I have done multiple classes together at the JC, and find our personalities and outlooks to be similar. I knew if I did this, I wanted a “buddy” to come with me, and couldn’t imagine it not being Barbara.

Both Barbara and I have taken flat pattern at Santa Rosa Junior College. I found the class to be a wonderful inspiration, but was never quite happy with the fit of my slopers. As I’ve aged and various issues have come into play, I’ve had more and more difficulty fitting my unique shape and body. I know for most of us fitting is such a huge issue and prevents so many making their own clothing.  

Our adventure began Saturday morning very early. Barbara left home around shortly after 5 am, picked me up, and we were on the road to beautiful Eugene, Oregon around 6 am. This was my first “sewing workshop” out of town, and my first trip north of the bay area, not to mention my first “girl’s road trip.”  

There were five students, Glenda and her new in training assistant Jayna in our class. One of the women had come all the way from Lexington, Kentucky, one was from outside Auburn, Washington, and one was local, from Springfield, Oregon, as well as Barbara and I from the greater San Francisco Bay area.  Glenda has arrangements with the local Residence Inn for a very special rate during her workshops, so we had a wonderful two bedroom, two bath suite for the price of a regular room.

 The Group. Kathleen, Joann, Lynda, Glenda, Jayna, Denise and Barbara

We were up every morning at 6 am, and at Our Sewing Room in Springfield by 8:30 am. It’s such a fantastic place that every city and town should have one. It’s a wonderful huge studio with everything sewing. We had irons, cutting tables, sewing machines, sergers, and all the necessary tools to complete our “body blueprints.”


Our Sewing Room, Eugene, Oregon
Glenda Sparling, owner and designer of Sure Fit Designs met us bright and early each day. We’d all brought our kits with us for a bodice and pants as well as fabric for muslins, and knits for yoga pants and a tank top.

The first morning we all got measured expertly so the rest of the week was for drafting our patterns and fitting our muslins. Pants were first. As you can see from the group picture, we were all sizes and shapes. Kathleen on the left, is maybe 5 foot tall if she stretches. Barbara was the tallest, at least with her hair done. We had three days for pants and three days for bodices.  

We learned many tips in helping to fit our bodies. Three of us wound up making a seam down the center back and center front of our pants for more fitting opportunities. Kathleen got pants that fit her height without having “knees” at the hem level. It was a very eye opening session. We spent time fitting our body blueprints and doing muslins. Once those were complete, we were shown how to go down a “dot” to make a yoga pant. The third day was for making yoga pants or continuing to get your woven sloper perfected. The triple mirror was very helpful in seeing all sides of the picture! I think this was the day Glenda came in the morning and told Barbara, “I’ve been thinking about your crotch all night!” It got a good laugh all around. 

The fourth morning we started with bodices. Four of the five of us were rather voluptuous, and Glenda had been thinking of the best way to fit us all. On top of everything else, I have very bodacious biceps that have to be taken into consideration as the bodice is being fit so the sleeves will fit into the armscyes without having miles of extra fabric to ease in.  

Glenda had four of us start one size larger than our measurements for the front, and one size smaller for the back, while leaving the neck and shoulder area at the actual measurement. It worked like a dream. Although there was some tweaking of the bodices for a perfect fit, we all wound up with a perfectly fitting bodice and sleeve.

Yoo Hoo! A bodice and sleeves that fit!

Thursday, we adapted our bodice slopers for a tank top, and were to move the dart to a different area for fitting. The balance of the day, we could work on yoga pants or our tank tops.

As you can see, I worked on my tank top. I really don’t wear knit pants except for pajamas, and wanted the tank top fitted. I did a French dart, and Glenda was so thrilled with it that she actually sent me a photo collage!

Although it fits quite well, I’m not thrilled with my side and back photos, but I think you can see why I needed some extra fitting help!

On our way home, we needed to make a stop in Ashland, and just happened to hit a quilting store, Fabrics of Vision, and found Diane Erickson’s studio. A few little pieces of fabric might have found their way into my fabric stash. They just might make an appearance in my 2014 SWAP.

We had such a good time and I think both of us are quite thrilled with our results. If you have a yen for designing your own clothes, or just would like to have a great sloper as a jumping off point, I highly recommend Sure Fit Designs! And if you want a sewing getaway that will leave you with a great sense of satisfaction, consider a Sure Fit Designs retreat. http://www.surefitdesigns.com/




Friday, October 11, 2013

Quick catch up

I just want to tell you all that I think Glenda Sparling is a genius! I am exhausted, excited, exhilarated, and enlightened. I have a bodice that fits perfectly, sleeves that fit perfectly, and pants that fit perfectly.

I'll do a longer post when I get home, but it's been a fabulous experience. Best quote of the week: Glenda coming in first thing in the morning looking at my friend and saying: "I've been thinking about your crotch all night!" Only in a sewing class would this be okay and understood.

It's been a fun week but it is really an intense experience. If you ever get a chance to come to Oregon, you will have a great time. Just be aware, if you're not someone who loves rain, that you might want to do it when the forecast is for sun! LOL


Have a great day!

More later.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Finally a minute to write!

Scary September ended with four bras made, and none that I particularly liked. So I have ordered a new custom bra pattern from Dini and can't wait for that to get here. I won't be showing pictures of that on my body, but I'll try to toss a few finished bras into the mix so you can see that I am indeed sewing something very useful!

Moving forward into October, my friend and I are having an adventure! My first road trip (other than going "home" after moving to Northern California,) AND Barbara and I have come to the beautiful area of Eugene-Springfield Oregon for our Sure Fit Designs retreat aka workshop. http://www.surefitdesigns.com/

Barbara drafting her pants

We left EARLY Saturday morning...Barbara picked me up and after loading my stuff into the car, we were on the road again by 6 am. After a few stops and lunch in gorgeous Ashland, Oregon, we arrived in Springfield at a few minutes before 4 pm. Glenda had let us know she'd be at Our Sewing Room, the venue where the retreat is held, between 4 and 4:30 pm, so we stopped by to drop off our things for the week. http://oursewingroom.com/Welcome.html

Our Sewing Room

Bright and early Sunday morning, we started our adventure. Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday were  pants. We had measurements done, learned the proper way to draft our patterns the Sure Fit Designs way, and then made our muslins. Barbara and I both got Princess Pants due to our unique bodies and shapes. That allows a greater opportunity for fitting curvey bodies without having excess fabric in places you don't want it to be.

We're with a lovely group of ladies. Five of us will soon have perfectly fitting patterns! There are Barbara and I from the Wine Country in California, Kathleen who is local, Joann who is all the way from Kentucky, Denise from Washington State, and Kathleen who is local.  Then Jayna from a prior retreat has joined us and she is working to become Glenda's assistant. It's a great group!

Barbara's Pattern and hand!

Because I never wear knit pants,I spent the Yoga Pants day refining my pattern and cutting out my pants from a light weight denim. I am hoping to have the pants completed and ready to wear before the week is over.

Today we begin our slopers or as Glenda calls them, our body blueprints for our tops. Y'all know I've already completed mine, but having a "Pro" to help with fitting will probably help with my little issues that I came up with and couldn't figure out on my own.

We're having an exciting (if exhausting) week, and I'll  keep you posted as I have time!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Moving forward in small increments

Trying to do the Stitchers Guild 20 minutes a day at least. Some days are a lot more and some days are nothing. But it is keeping it at the top of my mind. I do know I function better in my entire life if I take "me time" as sewing time, even if just for a few minutes.

All last week I was working on the fitting of the bra and redrafting the parts to get it to work correctly for my current body. I finally got everything worked out and Friday night and yesterday I cut out the next bras. Yes. That is a plural. I figured that I have two that will be done with black thread so I may as well go ahead and do them at the same time in assembly line fashion. Although as I'm short on black elastic one may be black and white by the time the elastic gets added.

Got everything all ready to go, machine set with the black thread and bobbin, just sat down to start, and BAM! Our power went out. We've had lovely sunny and hot weather up until yesterday. Then all of a sudden we got a really great rain storm through. Something hit the power lines, and we were out of electricity for a while.

I had promised hubby that if he'd grate carrots and apples, I'd make him a new muffin recipe I found for gluten free bran muffins. He was almost through with the grating, and the oven was pre-heating also. So the almost ready muffin parts got set aside. The oven was off, the machines were off, the iron was off, and the lights were out.

What to do? It was just around lunch time so we both got cleaned up and went out to lunch across town where they weren't having power problems! Then went to the grocery store too while we were out.

A few hours later, the power was back on. I got the muffins into the oven... quite good by the way... and got back to the sewing room.

I promised to take pictures, but of course I forgot part of it. At the same time, I decided to type up my own version of the instructions that I could print out with pictures. Dini is doing a translation from Dutch and doesn't do all the pictures that most of us are used to using in the US to puzzle things out. I realized I need to have the instruction printed out in a way that will remind me of things I forget, and it is easier with the pictures included since I don't do these every week and will forget between sessions. I will see if I can figure out how to post them in a separate area on the blog for anyone interested.

So. A few comments that have got me thinking about bra making that I would like to respond to.

Bra making isn't really scary and IMO is much easier than a lot of items that you all sew every day. It is a little time consuming for such a small garment. The really good news is that your topstitching doesn't have to be perfect as no one will see it unless you allow them to do so. If your sewing isn't perfect, no one will know so long as you haven't messed up the fit. If you can go with a custom pattern from Dini, it will fit out of the envelope and you don't have to worry at all about fit.

I never liked wearing a bra, but as I aged and got a little larger, it was a necessary evil. I would remove it at the first possible opportunity when I got home and did without whenever possible. Then I had my first custom made bra. If you have the fit correct, it's no more uncomfortable than wearing a tee shirt. No more squeezing in the wrong places, sticking out in the wrong places, and underwires digging into sensitive areas. So it's worth it IMO to have a custom bra. That said, I did buy a complete set of underwires from Bra Makers Supply in order to find the right ones for me. The have a set you can get for what I considered a reasonable price, and so you can try them on to see which size is right for you.  You have to get them the same size as the base of your breasts in width and hopefully you can find the right height also. If not, they are easily altered in height.

Now... a sneak peak of progress. This picture is of my ironing board with my two that are under construction sitting on top of my laptop where I'm typing instructions at the same time.

I'm hoping to have these moving forward rapidly at this point. The bridge piece has been attached at the top, turned, and basted at the bottom, then attached to the bra back piece. The front cups have been sewn at the top with a piece of clear elastic in the seam line, turned, and the balance basted together. The lower cups have been basted wrong sides together. The upper and lower cups are currently pinned together waiting for stitching. I'll try to document better the rest of the day!

Have a fabulous day.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Great News! Custom bra patterns available.

Dini is still doing custom bra patterns. If you're interested, please email her. She'll let you know costs and give you a very involved measuring sheet in order to get it right.
My experience with her is the custom patterns are super well drafted and fit perfectly out of the envelope. You will need to copy and add seam allowances based on your elastic width and the number of hooks and eyes you intend to use. They are done in metric, so for my US friends, it looks like very odd numbers, but it works!

Contact her at: Danglez http://www.danglez.nl/
info at danglez dot nl

Mention my name so she'll know you were referred. Can't wait to see a bunch of beautiful bras!


Just a minute to update!

Wanted to keep you in the loop on the bra construction. I made the second bra out of another kit I had and the entire time kept wondering "what was I thinking?" I do know someone would love this fabric, but it is not I.

The band was right, but I still needed to adjust the cups so the upper edge was correct and the straps wound up in the right place for my body. So that one was a wash also.

Bras seem to be much more difficult than even fitting a bodice. There are so many variations on breast size, configuration, more in the top, more in the bottom, hanging out the side, round or conical, that it becomes a big trial and error process. I did timely enough see a book listed on Canada College website that I purchased as a download for my kindle and also my desktop. It's called "Demystifying bra fitting and construction."  http://www.amazon.com/Demystifying-Bra-Fitting-Construction-ebook/dp/B00C9QYV3U/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1379692363&sr=8-1&keywords=demystifying+bra+fitting+and+construction It did give me some insight into alterations that might work on this particular model. I may try that later. I do have a bit of a lingerie sewing stash to put it mildly! LOL

It was extremely frustrating to have to complete an entire bra to find out it didn't fit. A LOT of thinking and puzzling and visualizing over the next 12 hours finally gave me the proverbial light bulb moment. Finally, I realized that since I had the band correct, I could take my old paper pattern from my custom bra, pin the cups together, and hold it up to my body to see how to adjust the cups to fit. Voila! I did so, measured the distance that needed to be altered to make them fit now, and cut a "muslin" for the cups. I cut the cups out of a scrap I had from a cotton interlock I used for a tank, and sewed them together, then basted them into the band so I could see if they were going to work. Both my husband and I think I have it nailed.

So, next thing you see will hopefully be a completed bra in my size that fits me well. Can't wait. It will be another one of the kits I bought with a patterned cup. Just can't get away from those quite yet. But soon I hope. Want to be sure before I cut into my beautiful dyed to match fabrics that I have it right, and even though it worked well in the cotton interlock, the lycra may be a little different fit. But it should definitely be a wearable muslin at the least. I'm feeling very positive at this point! I'll take some pictures of the process for those that find bra making scary. :P}}

And, BTW, I did send a message to Dini at Danglez to see if she's still making custom bra patterns. I'll let you know if I get a response. It still says they are shutting down on the website, and I noted many of her patterns are no longer listed. So, we'll see and I'll keep you updated.

More later!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Quick update ~ Am I doing BeaJay's Scary September Sewing Challenge?

I didn't think about joining BeaJay's Scary September Sewing Challenge as I don't think of sewing as scary. If you're interested check out http://ontheroadtosewwear.blogspot.com/ That said, I think all sewing is a matter of following direction. But fitting, now that's scary! So I may have joined without knowing it. :P}}

I am working on bras. I've made my own bras before, but at a few different sizes. When I got where I thought I was staying, I had a custom drafted bra pattern made so I didn't have to deal with that bugaboo... FIT. But the custom draft doesn't fit this body, darn it. So I am reinventing the wheel.

I am frustrated that my body is not cooperating in fitting the things I make. :P}} It should be that I make things and my body cooperates in fitting into them instead of vice versa.

One more task to figure out. Is someone trying to tell me to be more flexible in my thinking?

Got my first bra done. Wild kit, not my style at all, but a good trial garment. Band slightly too small.

Upper cups need to be completely redrafted to bring the outside edge where the straps attach inside by 2 1/2"! As I was scratching my head trying to figure out where I went wrong, I pulled my custom drafted bra pattern out to look at it versus the newer OTC by the same designer.

Danglez by the way.  LOVE HER and her patterns. I don't think she's doing custom patterns any more darn it! But she does have OTC patterns still among other things.
The OTC band is straight. My custom band curves. A LOT. The curves on the band and cups bring the strap area in towards the center of the body. With my narrow sloping shoulders that's what is needed. These are the only bras I have ever owned that the straps, particularly the left one, don't fall off my shoulders continuously all day.

Custom Draft Curved bottom band 

OTC Draft Straight bottom band
Going to try to figure this out.
Next band may be of muslin until I get the curves figured out.
You may be seeing multiple tries on this blog until I get it right.

Onward and upward!


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

It's been a long, long, time!

Haven't been writing much, but the SG 20 minutes a day group has me inspired! I've been trying to get things done for my Autumn 6 Pac before we go to Oregon for our Sure Fit Retreat the first week in October. And before that happens I need to make several new bras, so I wanted to  have everything else as close to finished as I can. I have promised myself September is Undies Month! LOL

I did get the tan cardigan done with a sleeveless shell to wear underneath. It is very light weight, and will be comfortable through at least October with our typical "Indian summer" weather. Overall it checks the boxes, but I'm not sure how well I really like it. The pattern is a combination of my Self Draft and the Petite Plus cardigan. Fabric is a rayon-linen jersey purchased on sale at Fabric Mart. I love those sales. Cardigan and shell total cost $7.00. Just makes me so happy to be able to have clothes I want in my fabric and color for those kind of prices!

Tan tank & flutter sleeve cardigan

Since I liked that style so well, went ahead with another cardigan for my Autumn 6 Pac. I absolutely love this one and have already worn it for work a few times! I'm not sure when I did the chocolate brown Margarita top for this one, but it really looks like they are perfect together. The pants were made for my 2013 SWAP, and they're a bittersweet chocolate pinstripe twill. The fabric for the cardigan was the absolutely opposite of the last one. It's a Christine Jonson rayon/lycra knit and was NOT on sale. Much more than I usually will pay for a piece, but I fell in love with the look on line and knew it would be a perfect bridge piece for my collection.

Since in the US, September 2 was a Holiday, I had a three day weekend. I made an executive decision to allow the work sitting on my desk, to wait until Tuesday to be completed. I want, need, and deserve a little time for myself. The Butterick top I've been promising myself for over a year now (maybe two or three?) finally was started. It's #5616 and looks like it's still in print. Here's the line drawing:

Mine is a sort of combo of several of these views. I started with view B, then decided on a  much longer length, definitely no band around my hips, don't need attention drawn there, and there are no pockets. I went with the 3/4 sleeves. I found what I think may be Microsuede in my stash. It's so old I don't even remember when I bought it. But it's a color I wear a lot, kind of a tanish-beigeish and will do well for either a light weight jacket or a shirt as we go into Fall. Since the color is very similar to the first Cardi and shell, it should fit in.
This shirt jacket made me question my skills and my sanity. I evidently got a bad spool of Gutterman thread. Used a micropoint needle as I had read the sharper the better for Ultra Suede, and this has the same texture. I went through absolute hell trying to finish this one. The sleeves were installed three times, the back armscye was altered after stitching and topstitching to get it to work correctly. Another good reason to be sure my muslin includes sleeves. About half way through the spool of thread, the thread started shredding and breaking. Doing the buttonholes it broke three different times. Can I tell you how much I hate having to tear out buttonholes and redo them?
But it's finally done and I like it quite well. It's a nice addition to my Autumn 6 PAC and I'm sure will be worn a lot as the weather cools. Until this week we were into the high 80s and 90s, but yesterday it did cool down a bit. Thank goodness. It will help with the wildfires hopefully. In my mind, it kind of looks like a painter's smock all buttoned up. It looks less yellow and more taupe in real life than it does in the picture.
The bras have been started. I think I have the pattern altered to fit my current size, and while looking for the fabrics, realized that I am a bra kit hoarder! I have about 30 or more bra kits with enough fabric to make matching panties. I expect to have lots of new undies by the end of the month! And it always makes me feel rich, wanted, and loved to having matching bra and panties, or knickers for all of my international friends!
Hope you're getting a lot of sewing done too! More later...