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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sew-N-Tell: My New Blouse!!! Vogue 8772

11 comments:
Have you ever taken pictures for Sew-N-Tell that you just didn't want to share?  This post may display a few of those pics of some really weird expressions on my face.  Half the time I didn't know what the heck I was looking at, or where I was looking.  My hand wasn't communicating with my face when I pressed the remote for the camera.  But I did remember to smile.  
Pokadot blouse
Either way, I still felt compelled to share my dotted blouse with you guys.  I have been promising a few of my friends and sewing buds that I would talk about this one for sometime now.  I made this back in July, and have worn it several times.  I guess I will call this one: #LATER-Blog, since late Instagram shots are tagged #latergram.  This internet/social media language is hilarious with all the hashtags and acronyms and such.  
  Pokadot blouse
Shirts and blouses are lacking in my closet, so lately I have been really trying to fill the gap.  This is blouse part of a series of queued items I have been working to get done.  I do love button down shirts.  They are so simple to dress up or down. 

Pokadot blouse
This one is the basic darted front top with a separate collar stand and the continuous lapped cuff with pleats.  OOH but me, with my rushing ended up putting the darn thing on backwards, oh well!!!  If you are close enough to see it, then you must sew!! Because I didn't catch it until I was wearing it the second time around.  LOL  That is so funny!!  
Pokadot blouse
The first time I wore this blouse, I had the sleeves rolled up because it was so crazy hot here.  The fabric is really cool and quite breezy, but I do live in an extremely humid climate. The pattern does run short, so if you are taller than say 5'5", you better add some inches to the hem.  I didn't add anything and I'm 5'5".  
Pokadot blouse
The back has shoulder darts, which I hate, because I always have to make them smaller.  My back is much straighter than what these patterns allow for in the upper back and shoulder areas.  I did, however, have to make a few adjustment worth mentioning:
  • Broad back adjustment of 1/2"
  • FBA of 1.5", which made for a really large dart that I have to rotate a portion of into the side seam and waist dart.
  • I extended the front and back waist darts through to the hem
  • added 2 inches at the hip
Fabric considerations call for lightweight linens, chiffon, silk types and such.  I used a Silk/Cotton Voile ETA:  My fabric is a Cotton/Linen Lawn,  I picked up in Portland this past summer.

After I got home, in my inbox was an announcement from Sew Much Fabric, called "Seeing Dots" offering a fabric with the same colors but different fiber content less the plane ticket of course!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I just want to SEW!!!!

4 comments:
...these were the sentiments of my student from my class last week.  "This is way too much work, if I want to do this many alterations on a pattern, I might as well take my ready-made to my tailor." 

Compliments of Palmer Pletsch Publishing
I felt her pain.  This is the biggest obstacle to sewing for yourself.  It is all fine, when you are with others that can help you tweak garments, whether it be a personal tailor or in a class setting, you have to invest time in the garment before you can have the fit you desire.  Fit is a process, no matter ready-to-wear or custom.
Not everybody has a personal tailor, or like me, love to tailor my own clothes.  That's why taking classes in person is so helpful.  You have the chance to experience the process first hand with a guide to lead you and answer questions along the way.  It's nice to have immediate access to the online sewing community to get your questions answered while knee deep in a project.

This is my take on the need for in-person instruction and training for better sewing.

AD



Monday, October 20, 2014

A Pencil Skirt to fall in love with.

11 comments:
Finally, the pencil skirt of my dreams.  Sassy, yet classy, that doesn't fit like a body glove.
There are so many ways to simply draft and make a pencil skirt.  Pencil skirt tutorials are all over You-Tube and the worldwide-web.  I have made plenty on my own, but what changes the game, is the one little detail that you don't think about on your own.  DARTS!!! on knit...Who would have thunk it!!!  
I guess that's why design houses have "Creative Designers", pattern cutters, and machine operators as separate job descriptions;  so that each can specialize in one thing and not have to think about all the many details that go into a garment.

Any way, I wanted that classy look that doesn't "cup" under in the back like a body glove.  Classy yet still just a bit of sassy. 

Pattern credit goes to Pamela's Patterns:  "The Magic Pencil Skirt" is for women with "real figures" it says on her site.  So, I guess that's everyone.  Includes a choice for a 1 1/2"-2" elastic waist or the 1".  DARTS!!, did I say Darts in a stretch woven or medium to heavy knit.  No need for a split.

It's a simple straight forward multi-sized pattern, that is extremely easy to grade if you need more than the 53" hip measurement.    

Alterations:  NONE!!! Well except for lowering the front at the waist, my common change on nearly every waisted skirt or pant pattern.  

Highly recommended!! 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Meet Issy, and 3 reasons not to trust the mirror.

4 comments:
Meet Issy, a StyleArc pattern, straight in from Austrailia.  When I first saw the description and artist rendering for this top, I wanted it right away, knowing that I would feel great wearing such a stylish top.  The drape and shaping on the model revealed such easy flowing drape around the front of the waist, and the cowl neckline hung slimmingly past the bust, creating such a beautiful asymmetric fall from the shoulders.  
I was in love with this top, and was sure I would stand in the same pose and walk with the same swag exhibited in the pattern illustration.

Initially when I began cutting and sewing this lovely top, I concluded during the first fitting, that this may very well not be a match made in sewing heaven.  What went wrong?  Was it my shape, was it the fabric, was the design wrong for me?  Since I couldn’t come to a conclusion as to the problem, I stored this beauty away in the UFO pile/box.

That was three months ago!!  Now, after clearing, cleaning, and organizing, I revisited the Issy Knit Top by StyleArc.  Should this be considered the age ole:  “I just needed some space.” sort of relationship?  Because now, I am in love again.  I don’t know about you, but maybe it was the time we spent away from each other, because now I can honestly say I am very happy with this top. 
So, I guess the answers to my prior questions three months ago, would be: The design is terrific for your body type, the fabric is a good choice, especially for this Houston weather, and no, nothing went wrong!  “It was your mood missy, Issy is just right for you!”
With that being said, I have personally come to the conclusion to now follow a few simple precepts when I have reached the breaking point in my workroom while dealing with a difficult issue regarding my sewing projects. 
This is an old pic, the shelves are filled now.
First, do not trash the project completely, because whatever you are wrestling with currently regarding your fashion image, may not hold true after a little quiet time, or personal space away from your situation.  Secondly, DO NOT trust your mirror, IT LIES, use the camera instead!!  Pictures are worth the effort..

What is it about the camera lens in helping us to see things for what truly shows through, where the mirror fails? Third, trust your prior RTW (ready-to-wear) purchases, they are a good indicator of what you love about your personal fashion sense and style. 
After all this drama, I will be adding this top to my closet finally, and placing the pattern high in my pattern rotation.  Next will be the long sleeve for the winter, and a sleeveless to wear with jackets. 


The softness of the cotton jersey is cozy, one of many great fabric pieces I bought while in Austin at the PR Weekend back in May.  (BTW, that was the best sewing trip for me in years!!) 

Based on the StyleArc sizing chart I made a size 14, and it fit like this straight out of the package.  WOW!!! Now, that is terrific.  Design exceptions include:
  • 3/4” swayback adjustment before cutting,
  • pleats instead of gathers for the front ruching

Personally, I did not like the amount of ease created at the waist from the ruching/gathers, so instead I pleated my fronts in those areas.  this pattern is spot on for my frame.  The shoulder seams are right on point. 

I have a problem with the shape of the back hem, and I know it falls like that on the back because I should have added some width around the hip.  (Next time.)  I am really happy with this top because it may very well take the place of my more common t-shirts, that I wear often.

Tell me something, just between you and me.  Have you ever tossed out a project after the first fitting because you didn't think it would work for you??  Or, am I the only one?