Well, good day everyone. I'm trying to make some changes in my actions and my reactions to things, and to that end, I think a confession is in order.
I pulled a quote out of a book I'm currently reading that really struck a chord in me. It says "We must always explore the root cause of our actions--to cling to our ignorance is to return to the mud."
Yes, I'm one of those. From where I'm sitting, I can see several quotes that are pinned up to remind me of things...
#1 "If you want to achieve goals you never have before, you simply have to start doing things you've never done before." Steven Covey
#2 "Endlessly strive for what you would like to do, but also learn to love what must be done."
3. My real bugaboo... "When you don't exercise, your muscles let out a steady trickle of chemicals that tell every cell to decay day after day after day."
6. "Something wonderful is about to happen."
All of those things surround my desk every single day. And due to a lot of things, I am a 67 year old, 90 pound overweight plus size woman who WANTS to have perfectly fitting, classically elegant clothing. To that end, most of you know, I've been making almost all of my clothing for the last 15 or so years. I have the pants to the point where I am quite comfortable with the fit. My Pamela's Perfect tee shirt is pretty close to what I want, although after Jo Ann's input I will be increasing the sleeve cap a bit. Woven blouses, and jackets, not so much.
If you've been following me, you know I started a "quick tailored jacket" back around the middle of March. It was going along quite well until I put the sleeves in on March 25. At that time everything came to a screeching halt. It looked horrible and I couldn't figure out why. It was my TNT jacket pattern that I'd made a few times already. I knew the fit wasn't perfect, but I thought it was good as it could get on my current body. But now a new issue had arisen that I hadn't noticed before.
Well, I reached out to a wonderful friend for some advice. She gave me great information on that problem, and also pointed out multiple other items that needed to be changed in the jacket for the fit to be right.
Here's the list:
shoulder width by ½ to ¾”
should depth by extending the back shoulder ½” and overlapping the front
shoulder ¼” inch at neckline tapering to nothing at the sleeve cap. True
upper back adjustment
½” up from underarm seam in the armscye, true seams.
sleeve cap depth by about 1 ½ to 2”.
sure sleeve cap seam is about ½” longer on both the front and the back than the
back adjustment, additional 1”, being sure to add
back in that 1” at hem line. True seams.
1” above bust at front seam tapering to zero at side seam.
11. Add 1” at waistline front seam tapering to
zero at side seam.
underarm seam if it is too loose.
up front and back seams, trimming side seams as necessary.
Since I had the jacket basically completed except for hems, buttons and buttonholes, there was no way to go back and do all of those adjustments. In my disillusionment, I thought if I fixed the sleeves I would be okay with the jacket.
Fast forward a month. I'm still procrastinating about the sleeves. I know I need to narrow the shoulder some more, but if I do so, the sleeve cap will once again be too short. Lots more procrastination. Yesterday I finally talk myself into putting the sleeves in and finishing it off. Sleeves in. Hems in. Final press of the sleeves.
Try on again. NOT GOOD. I am totally unhappy with this jacket and KNOW that I will never wear it. I decide in all good conscience to give it to Goodwill so someone who is tiny can make a lovely silk twill something with a beautiful silk charmeuse lining.
That jacket that put a screeching halt to my SWAP is (not quite but soon) no longer on my mind, or on my radar, and is in the box for Goodwill. I am moving on.
BUT... Jo Ann also gave me some great advice on fitting. I am now measuring everything. My front half, my back half, where my boobs sit on my chest wall, how far apart the bust point is from my center front, where my waist falls, and where my hips fall. Front width at the bust, waist, hip, and Back widths at the same spots. I now know that I need to measure the pattern everywhere before I start doing anything else. And write down the measurements so I don't forget what was what and where I was in my process when I got interrupted and stopped to do something else. And to use gingham for my muslins so I can be sure not only my vertical grainlines are straight, but also that my horizontal grainlines are straight.
I knew about the gingham from a long time ago when I was working with Don McCunn of How to Make Sewing Patterns fame, but got lazy and quit doing it when my body changed again for the umpty umpt time.
For now, I will be using some commercial patterns and making adjustments, doing a gingham muslin first, making the changes to the pattern, doing a second muslin to check that out ad infinitum until I get the fit right. I'm really tired of wasting my beautiful collection of fabrics by making things that don't fit. Woven gingham is the best choice for me to use and is certainly cost effective in the long run.
So right now, I am beginning again. My first task is to come up with a sleeveless woven blouse that will work under jackets for work, and alone around the house as we get into our summer weather.
My next post will be my new Kwik Sew 3865 View B. Starting at the beginning. With comments, observations, and probably more than a few pictures!
Thanks for listening!