Sunday, April 20, 2014

I've been blogging but it's all been in my head!

Nothing has reached the paper as yet.

It's been an interesting month to say the least. First we had THE illness. What I thought would be a minor cold turned out to be possibly the worst cold I've ever had in my life. I was down every day with fevers and chills and achiness. It really took a lot out of me. At the same time, my doctors have begun messing with my thyroid dosage again, and that always makes for a fun time. They decided it was too high, so cut to the next lower dosage, and that dropped it so my thyroid hormone level was about 1/3 of my normal. So now we're experimenting trying to get it right again. It's take this amount for 6 weeks, get tested, take another amount for 6 weeks, get tested, etc. until they get it right.

In them meantime, I've been doing some sewing when I can. The cream silk jacket was done using the Nancy Zieman Speed Tailoring book and video. It's an OOP Simplicity, #4273, that has been altered extensively. The cream silk twill is from old stash. Have no idea where or when I bought it, so it's obviously well aged! Silk charmeuse lining fabric is from Sawyer Brooke, purchased in January of 2012 . First thing was to attach fusible tricot to all front pieces, the hems, the upper back, the collar and undercollar. Then in the roll line and the undercollar roll line, a heavier fusible interfacing was used.

I used Pam Erny's Fashion Sewing Supply Pro-Tricot Deluxe as my first layer, and Pro-Weft Supreme for my second layer. I have used her interfacings for years and years and wouldn't use anything else.

The sewing progressed as per normal, with several side steps along the way. I finally had it at almost complete around the 23rd of March. At that point in time, I tried it on and felt like I had hit disaster. The sleeves were all wrong, hung wonky, and I knew I would never wear it like that. I couldn't figure out why, and needed help.

I reached out to a wonderful blog world friend for help. I can do multiple things, but figuring out fitting problems on myself is always difficult for me. I just didn't know why it looked like this and/or how to fix it. I do have super large upper arms, a family trait that all my sibs and I deal with. As a small child my mother used to just cut the binding of puffy sleeves of my dresses at the underarm seam so I'd have enough room to move! But I had already altered the sleeves so I had enough width, and I was stumped.

My friend came through like a champ, and I heard something I'd never heard before in my life. My wonderful sewing guru indicated I needed more height in the sleeve cap. In 40+ years of sewing, I'd NEVER heard anyone say you need more sleeve cap height. So her recommendation was to slash the sleeve and put a piece of gingham into the slash, pinning until all the grainlines, both horizontal and vertical were accurate and the sleeve hung properly. She also indicated I need to take width out of the shoulder area, and several things that will be taking place in future versions of this jacket. Keeping in mind that I had barely enough fabric to cut one more sleeve, we're talking maybe an inch extra, I did as she suggested. What a surprise!

It became almost perfect! I do have other "issues" with the jacket that need to be addressed in future versions, but by adding the sleeve height, that solves the most visible and noticeable issue. Today I hope to get my sleeves installed properly and then I can move on! Before I make my next jacket, I'll follow suggestions and do a proper muslin out of gingham so all the issues that have arisen will be addressed in my next jacket.

I haven't liked to make jackets for a long time because they always look "off." The multiple suggestions I have been given for tweaks to the pattern will make such a difference in the look and the fit, you may be seeing a lot of new jackets coming from this sewing room over the next year.

A big thank you once again to my sewing guru, who can name herself if she chooses. She's awesome and generous and brilliant!

More later, hopefully more frequently, and by the way, Happy Easter to all!


  1. I hope you are feeling much better. I hear you on the thyroid scene. My medication might have to be adjusted also but I won't know until after May 10 when I have the blood work done.
    Your jacket fabric looks gorgeous and a big HURRAH for getting the sleeve fixed. I will have to look at that when I make my next jacket. It will be the vest pattern with sleeves in it. I also have large upper arms.

  2. Thanks, Ann. It's a roller coaster I've been on many times before. I have unique numbers that no one else ever does in all aspects of my health. My normal temp is down in the 95s... I hope your numbers are perfect in your coming up labs. I know your diet and exercise have to be a big boon to your health!

  3. The fix on the sleeve is hangs much more smoothly, and elongates the entire front. Very cool!

  4. Thanks Mary. How goes the move to a new location?

  5. Hi Linda, thanks so much for stopping by my blog to check in on me. I am fine but incredibly busy - I have just been given a full month's worth of training that I have to write and prep. Delivery starts on Monday so I have been flat out. So touched that you were concerned.

    Thanks also for your above post. I have the same problem with my sleeves. Now I know why. Very informative.

  6. Great. I'm glad you're doing well. I thought you had posted a while back that you were dealing with a little depression and I was worried about you. It's good to have work! Hope you enjoy your training sessions and have brilliant students!