Thursday, June 27, 2013

Next attempt coming up

Not sure whether I measured incorrectly, or my weight has changed in the interim. Got my first bodice done, and needed to do some alterations. Front neck is surprisingly high for some reason, need the typical for me sway back, and bicep alterations. I usually do my sway back adjustment at my waist, so figured I was okay there. Not. From the pictures, it appears I am getting a much more forward neck than I've ever had before, and slightly rounded shoulders which I also didn't have before. Think it's time to start doing pushups every day. :P}

First set of pics...


So the next iteration is on the drawing board. Dropped the front neckline and took 1/4" out of the shoulder at the neck, tapering to nothing at the shoulder. Did a 1" sway back adjustment about mid lower back, above the dart, but below the arms. I also added 3/8" to the back side seam because that looks a little tight. Increased the bicep by 1" ~ even though it looks okay, it feels a little tight. After the next draft I will look and see if I need to cut the rear armscye in a little from the shoulder all the way down.

I have the draft redone and the back has the darts sewn. The front is cut out but not marked yet. Too bad I have to work today. I'll try to be really focused and get work done early so I can move on to my second muslin and see how that works. I'm quite encouraged with this as it's the best "first" muslin I've ever come out with. Can't wait to have it fitted well and get to making clothing!

More later!



Monday, June 24, 2013

Some pictures.

First the kits I bought, dress, shirt and pants with the videos, booklets and stylus.

Next the bodice front and my completed bodice front

The bodice back and my completed back
The sleeve and my completed sleeve
The only actual alteration I made other than the ones indicated in the manual for full bust and full bicep is my standard back neck adjustment where I remove 1/2 inch from the center back neck tapering to nothing at the neck edge.  

I do have the muslin cut out. It's on a gingham that will help me with grainlines and balance. After work today I anticipate stitching it together, and hopefully I'll have a full front bodice sloper with sleeve.
More later!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The down & dirty on the Sure Fit decision.

Well, time for true confessions I guess. If you've noticed, I post pictures of my garments, but not of myself in them, or at least rarely of myself in them. It's because at this point in my life I am not happy with the way I look.

I have been working with various "professionals" for the last six years or so trying to get my health issues straightened out so that I can eat normally and not continue to gain weight. My favorite was a Nutritionist that promised to help, and had me eating more and more and more whole grains, at the end even including wheat berries, which actually led me to someone else who was able to diagnose me with Celiac's, which is gluten intolerance. That was a 30 pound gain over about 3 months that hasn't gone away yet. I have had multiple promises of a fix, using "their way", spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars, with no results. But I think I now have a handle on all of the issues, and will be working through this myself. Seeing what Shams was able to do has given me a new outlook and even though I'm not going Vegan, I am hoping for some results.

I have taken flat pattern classes at college level, and given enough time and patience, I can totally draft patterns for myself. In fact, I took Don McCunn's pants class in person in San Francisco many years ago. I have drafted a few hundred pair of pants by now I expect. I haven't bought any RTW pants for at least 10 years other than in emergency situations...on vacation and the weather wasn't what I anticipated, or moved and clothes weren't here, nor was my sewing machine, patterns, fabric etc. Partially because RTW clothing doesn't fit me. Hasn't since I was in my 30s and a perfect size 8.

The problem is not in the drafting. It's the fitting. Well, and to be honest, I probably haven't had the same measurements two months in a row in the last ten years, so it's the never ending redraft. I have some health things, and I hate to sweat, but love to eat, so yadda, yadda, yadda. I am once again on a new program that is supposed to help me get to "goal" and stay there. Unfortunately, that's about 85 pounds from here. That's a huge sigh you just heard. And I have passed the mid point of my 60s, and frankly, things are falling! LOL

So long story, but I generally make all of my clothes, with a few exceptions. I kind of giggle at the Me Made Months that everyone gets involved in because I expect I do me made years. :P}} We live in the greater San Francisco Bay area, so I don't make coats. I have a rain coat that's probably a London Fog or a London Fog knock off, and other than very rare occasions, that's my winter coat. I generally will buy a cashmere sweater or two in the fall/winter just because I love them and would be afraid to buy cashmere and make it up just in case I lost my mind and messed it up. I have made bras, (again, the pattern isn't my size anymore) panties, tops, pants, skirts, and dresses. Not that I wear dresses any more. I live in self drafted pants, but I'm not loving the fit any more and I'm not sure what's going on and how to fix it.

I want a good fitting bodice sloper so I can take that and make tops that fit my unique shape and figure. My usual pattern alterations before I even get into the nitty gritty is to drop the center back neck by a half inch, tapering to nothing at the shoulders. Narrow sloping shoulder adjustment. FBB adjustment, which is full bust and full belly. Sway back adjustment, not because I have a sway back, but because I have a round butt and a high hip. Bodacious arm adjustment. Length adjustments. Then I do a muslin and try to adjust the rest of the fit. Sometimes I have wadders and sometimes I have tops that I can and do wear in public.

I'm hoping with Glenda's help, I can do this once, figure out the "major" adjustments I need for this draft, and then as I drop inches, just keep redrafting with the basic adjustments to the pattern.

Today was the first day that I have really taken the time to draft the bodice pattern. I had started before, then realized that I had to adjust both the front and back bodice due to the bodacious arms. So on the front, I had already made a few mistakes that were exed out, so just redid that knowing I had to change a few things. On the back, I just made the adjustment at the underarm and I am good to go.
So as of about 7:30 pm tonight, I have a bodice and sleeve draft ready to start cutting out. I'm using a gingham for the muslin so I can be sure grain lines are right, and that's going to get cut out this week, and sewn together. I'm hoping there will only be minor tweaks, but who knows.

I've been taking a few pictures as I go along, so I'll try to get them uploaded in the next few days.

More later!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Just a few minutes today to write. I'm SO EXCITED! I purchased the Sure Fit Designs dress, shirt, and then subseqently the trouser kit, the video, and the jeans video. The dress and shirt kits came late last week, so they are next in the queue.
I do have a pretty good fitting trouser pattern, but since I also signed up for the retreat in October, I needed to get Glenda's trouser kit too, so that was ordered Saturday.
Working very long hours, but have traced off the bodice front to give myself a little thrill. Back will be next, then sleeves. Not too concerned about the "skirt" part of the dress, but I do want to have the top fitted and soon. Can't wait to actually have a well fitting sloper.
I'll also be doing a shirt for Dale, so he will be happy to have something for him too I expect.

I will keep you posted on progress as it happens!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Things getting more or less back to normal around here. As usual, I’m working way too many hours. Dale is getting back on his feet and has even begun painting again, which is a really good thing. We’re having an on and off again argument about him going back to work. I keep telling him he’s retired, and he keeps saying he needs to feel he’s contributing. I come back with his new job is now to take care of me. He’s not real up on the househusband thing. :P}}

I am finally getting ready to return to my sewing. Thank goodness. Have been piddling here and there with a few things, but no productive sewing has been coming out of my studio to speak of. Did get a new aqua Margarita top done for the hot weather we’re having, but between relearning about sick husbands, high school graduations, parties, and work, I haven’t had a lot of time.

I do read Stitcher’s Guild pretty regularly and keep in touch with what’s going on via my favorite blogs. On occasion, I do veer off into new blog territory when I find something interesting on one of the blog favs or Stitcher’s Guild that happens to resonate with me.

I have continued to struggle with the weight issues and the fitting issues. I have been trying various things recommended by everyone from the trainer at my gym, (who is obviously into wanting people to “bulk up”), to the Internist, to the Acupuncturist, to an attempt to do a gluten free Weight Watchers, and finally threw in the towel and went to a Nutritionist at my HMO. I perhaps see light at the end of the tunnel. I got some good information from her, and some suggestions for “chair exercises” that I can do that won’t further damage my knee.

With the hopes that I will be finally going steadily downward to my goal weight, I have been contemplating how I can continue to stay relatively well clothed while continuing with making TNT patterns, and I'm hoping I can continue to adapt the TNT to my new size as the weight disappears.

I watch and learn from others with the patterns they are using, and have found a few new pattern companies I adore. I already loved Hot Patterns, Pamela's Perfect Tee and others, and have been pleased with Petite Plus Patterns. But finding Style Arc has been a real boon. I love their fresh ideas and styles!

All of a sudden, out of the blue, I have been hearing a lot about Sure Fit Designs. Although they’ve been around forever, all of a sudden, it seems to be the rage, and most everyone using them has been raving about their fabulous results using the system. I read a four page thread on SG about them, and then went to the website and started reading and watching videos.
To make a long story slightly shorter, I purchased the dress and shirt kits, and have signed up for a retreat in October. I’m very excited about the retreat. I expect I’ll have my body blueprint done long before October, but at least I can go and get additional help with fit and styling. Even though I have a good self-drafted pants pattern, I want to do the jeans too, and I’m hopeful that I will be down 25 or so pounds by then, (hoping for 2 a week, which is probably a bit optimistic, but that’s 17 weeks from today, so who knows!)

I’m working through the weekend, but hope to be caught up by Wednesday, and then I’ll be starting with the body blueprint. (In my group, we call it a sloper, and I believe in other areas it’s called a toile~ Glenda Sparling, owner of Sure Fit calls it a body blueprint.)
I’ll try to record my journey here between the new eating plan and the new pattern progress.
More later!