Sunday, May 15, 2016

Projects That Almost Aren't

Note to Self: How am I supposed to become a better person when I am constantly being rewarded for procrastination and sloth?

Briefly (or not:) I bought this paisley wool challis as a bolt end over 25 years ago. I made it into a loose jacket-type shirt over 12 years ago. At one point I added a few tucks to add waist shaping but I never really liked the fit. At the beginning of April, I started working on a revision.
The top ends at the widest part of my hips.

No waist definition.
My first plan was to open up the side seams from the hem up to the bottom of the sleeves and re-cut the front and back with the shoulders attached, saving myself the hassle of redoing the neck and button band. Then I decided I shouldn't be so lazy and at least remove the sleeves, even if I did leave the shoulder seams intact.

For some reason I decide to cut the sleeve out first.

Then the pattern pieces didn't match the remaining material available unless I did not want to use the existing neck facing.

The front was worse than the back, so I reattached part of the original sleeve piece to the edge of the armscye.

Then when I overlapped the shoulder seams, the back didn't fit. I briefly considered giving up.

So the back of the sleeve was reattached to the back armscye. (Are you starting to understand how this would have been so much easier if I had just opened the side seams and cut everything out with it flat?)

I sewed the sleeves in flat, then redid the side seams.

The result is better, both in a trimmer fit and shorter length.

Plus the curved hem land where I start to curve in.

Is anyone taking bets that I won't be doing things 'properly' next time?

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Re-Made by Me May

I decided this year I would not take part in Me-Made May. I am fully aware I am a very fortunate person and to me, it seemed kind have such a display of my good fortune. I wear Me-made clothing most of the time so I thought it was time to up the ante, so to speak.

I have in my wardrobe a number of things I like but don't wear, possibly because the fit isn't quite right, or the style is wrong for the fabric. I also have some clothes I have thrifted because I liked the colour or the textile from which it was made, but the fit isn't quite there. I'm going to rework those as well.

I've tried this once already, and it worked relatively well, I've also redone a sweater, un-blogged yet, and with mixed success, but I think I can make some improvements.

Below are four items I am going to re-work, or finish re-working in the next few weeks.

A paisley wool challis top I made about 15 years ago. The fabric is lovely but they style is not the least bit flattering. I've been slowly fussing around with this for about a month now.

 An orange linen dress. The fit in the shoulders is off, the neckline is too wide, and it needs to be shortened a bit.

Thrifted green linen shirt (too big in the shoulders, to wide across the chest, and the sleeve treatment is just odd) and black linen trousers that have an elasticated back waist. I suppose that helps with fit for some, but it just gives me an odd shape in the back. I'll see what I can do to improve both.

Let's see how this goes!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Easy Needles; Learn to Sew Patterns?

I popped into ArtsJunktion a couple of weeks ago just to have a look around; one never knows what one will find.

This time I find two parts of what must have been a Learn to Sew kit.

I don't know what cards these two patterns are, but they both make reference to cards, S2, S3, S4, S6, and S7. It would be interesting to know why there isn't an S5 card and what the other clothing patterns were.

The premise seems to be having one size pattern on the card that can be adapted to other sizes after tracing out the pattern and slashing and spreading on one straight line.

I have a lovely border print I purchased at a Beacon of Hope fundraiser that I plan to use for the sleeveless top.

 It will be interesting to see if these patterns are as easy to adjust as claimed.

Has anyone else heard of these sewing cards? I cannot find any reference to them on the internet.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

The '90s are Vintage?!?! A Plaid Top and Skirt

Note to Self: Everything becomes vintage at some point.

Briefly: This is the draped skirt, without the drape, and the top I made to wear under an open necked shirt (another experiment) because sleeveless tops don't fly solo here in the winter.
practicing good posture
 The top is New Look 6393 circa 1995. I made the dress view that same year, the summer I spent working in Norway House. (I'm always amazed how things are catalogued in my brain. I had a grand time while I was there. I went up the first time in the early spring that year. When we were approaching the airport that first time, I was somewhat worried as I could see no sign of a town. The residents of Norway House used the Nelson River for most of their travel so the majority of the houses around 'Government Point' are spread out along the river.)
I first made the top last summer from an apricot-coloured double gauze with a laughing hippo print. I wore the top to my mother's 80th birthday party (as one does) but I can't find a picture right now, and it is tucked away until spring. (Marie made her beloved a pair of pyjama pants from the same fabric, if you are at all curious about what this laughing hippo double gauze looks like.)

Ok now, focus on the current project! (Apparently I don't do 'briefly'.) The front of the skirt is still partially on the bias.

 The plaids match in places, (rather amazing since I just cut down the draped front to a straight skirt,)

and at least merge slightly on the other side.

The pullover shirt the sleeveless top was made to go with.

 It looks better in this photo. (That's the difference between taking photos before rushing off to work and on a Saturday morning.)

It's more 'edgy' and 'structured' when you make a top from a felted wool instead of the recommended knit. And that is soooo important, because your know, I am am all about wearing clothes that are 'edgy'. :P I've used the top from this pattern a number of times. The skirt, not so much, as I don't do ruffles, and I have yet to try the faux wrapped front.

Here is a rather bad selfie of another version, with long sleeves.
yes, that is an oar hanging in the background.
Apparently, unbeknownst to me, this look is becoming quite trendy. Hot Patterns has just released a pattern along these lines. Go have a look and see what a I mean. I'm un-accustomed to being on the bleeding edge of anything. Tho' come to think of it, the Geek and I were way ahead of the super-short-haired trend too.

There are a great number of asides in this post and very little actual information. I thank you for your patience.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Draped Skirt Experiment

Note to Self: This experimenting thing is fun. I don't know why I always avoid it.

Briefly: A few months ago (in November to be exact) Kate from Fabricated posted pictures of her draped skirt projects. She draped some on the stand and then posted instructions about how to make a draped skirt from a skirt block. I was intrigued.

So I  used my TNT straight skirt pattern to make this ...
The Geek was quite perplexed as to what this might possibly be.
In my stash I some nice wool (but not so nice that I was reluctant to use it on an experiment) in the recommended plaid so I gave it a whirl.

While it wasn't a total success as I used french seam (my serger thinks I shouldn't air our dirty linen in public and is acting up again) resulting in a overall seam allowance of 3/4 of an inch rather than 1/2 an inch. I agree this doesn't sound like much but I lost a crucial half inch of ease in the process and  have gone from a slim skirt to a snug skirt.

Snugness aside, the larger draped section sits right the widest part of my hips. When I try this again, I will move it, likely down, a few inches.

I didn't get as far as ironing the side seams as I knew this wasn't going to work as-is.

Despite the front being cut on the bias, I am somewhat tickled about how the plaid pattern is working along the side seam. It isn't quite matched but adds some interesting detail, especially on the draped side.

I'm going to try to rescue this skirt but taking it apart to try cutting the front on-grain from the current bias-cut front. It would be a shame to let that pattern matching across the back go to waste.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Bridging Old to New; Unintentionally Slow Sewing

Note to Self: if you plan on steaming wool for extended periods, use your steamer and you won't cook your iron.

Briefly: This suit was supposed to be ready in early December 2015 to wear with this mask to a Mardi Gras Christmas party. But it wasn't finished. And then some Christmas sewing happened (but I will do another post of un-blogged items).
Then I was going to wear it to a Japanese New Years Party. But only the skirt was done, so wore something else. A good thing as, surprisingly, our host's house was hot (close to 80 people will do that).
I finally finished the jacket Thursday morning (yes, January 21, 2016), just in time to wear to a co-workers retirement party.

Looking slightly wilted -it was after 2200 hours and I am usually asleep at 2030.

Goodness! I can't even stand up straight.
I bought the suiting about 10 years ago with the intentions of making a cape. It wasn't until I took it outside the shop that I realized it had metallic threads.

I'm not a sparkly person so it was buried in the deepest stash and only dragged it out when I found this pattern at a thrift store.

And then way back in November, just before I cut the fabric, my serger had a temper tantrum and would not stay threaded. So I threw the rather loosely-woven fabric in the washing machine with some jeans, and then in the dryer to felt it. (After our last falling out I've learned the fastest way to 'fix' my capricious machine is to show it I can manage without it.) Now that the suit is now finished, the serger is working again. But I've gotten ahead of myself

The jacket is OOP Vogue 8123. I made a size 10 even tho' my measurements had me at a size 14.

The skirt is my usual straight skirt pattern.

Since the felted wool is so thick, I top-stitched all the darts and seams to help them stay flat. That and hours of steam -hence the dead iron.

The metallic thread is not as obvious as I thought it be.

The jacket will be great in my chilly office.

Normally this suit would have been done in a weekend so I am not thrilled it took me close to two months, especially since nothing but the little bit of Christmas sewing jumped the queue. I did sign up for SWAP and I am planning mostly TNT patterns, so we'll have to see if I can manage to get my next few projects done more quickly.