A diary of all my mad projects.

I am glad that you stopped by - welcome to my world. Its a little mad and hectic as I sew, knit, embroider and generally craft my way through life. My newest resolution is to spend more time sewing - less time dreaming about it. I love to read comments so I am looking forward to hearing from you all.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What do you when inspiration fails??

I am curious about what you do when an attack of the blahs hits and sewing is the last thing to contemplate?

During the past week, although the silk velvet dress is cut and ready to go, it was the last thing I wanted to begin.  I have cleaned the car, eradicated the mending pile, rearranged the sewing room and sorted all the fabric as well as working most days.  All because of a fear of beginning to sew this fabric????

Each night I have sat and read over my favourite blogs thrilling to each's wonderful projects hoping to kickstart my enthusiasm.

My all time favourite is Carolyn's blog Diary of a Sewing Fanatic.  Always guaranteed to interest, Carolyn's descriptions of her sewing journey are as entertaining as they are informative and I envy her access to the New York garment district and all its treasures.  It would be a treat to travel the long distance from New Zealand just to meet and spend time with her and of course her fabric collection.

Mrs Moles tales (fit for a queen) from the sewing machine of a bridal seamstress and alterations expert often have me rolling around the floor.  Her sense of humor is only exceeded by her knowledge and expertise in correcting other's messes. Having long ago decided that sewing for others for profit is not for me I can only admire her dogged persistence in fixing what really is virtually unfixable and saving the day for many a bride.  Long may she sew!!!

A recent import is Sarah's blog at Goodbye Valentino.  A resolution to quit buying RTW for a year has turned out to be an internet sensation and Sarah has gone onto blogfamdom and a spot in the Mood Sewing Network.  Her garments are eyecandy of the best sort and an inspiration for anyone who would like to create a wearable wardrobe.

A new blog both in the blogsphere and to me is Master Tailor Jim and his The Lost Art of Fine Tailoring .  A tailor of renown he resides in Savannah and is passing on his skills, teaching at his Savannah Sewing School.  Jim is amazing and can sew a pair of trousers in 90 minutes.  I would love to be able to take a class with him in tailoring as the garments he shows look so sharp.

Of course this is but a beginning of all the blogs that I read and with plans to review more, watch this space.

What do you do to restart that sewing drive?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Ottobre Tunic Part 2 - Frankenpatterns

Blue line - Burda: Red line - Ottobre

Back to the frankenpattern, here is what the pattern looks like with the Ottobre placed over the Burda.  As I had already discovered that the sleeve and armhole did not fit I kept the Burda as it was.

Next up was to make it up in calico as a trial - I only made the bodice and added the sleeves.  The fit was almost perfect except that I needed more room in the sleeves particularly at the bicep.

I use the method recommended by Palmer and Alto in Fit for Real People to draw a line across the sleeve head and a line down from the shoulder head.  Cut along the lines from the middle out to the seams leaving a little uncut then cut in from the edge as a hinge.

Carefully slide the cut edges apart letting the horizontal lines slide together as shown below.

Pin the pattern pieces in place and then either fill in the space with more tissue or as shown here draw out the new sleeve pattern.

I guesstimate the amount needed by taking my bicep measurement and comparing it to the original pattern which showed that my measurement was the same as the pattern.  This meant that there was no ease in the sleeve so I added about 2cm.

For the next muslin I used some poly crepe and my wonderful SA Curve Rulers which I ordered awhile ago from the Etsy store.  I love a gadget and these rulers make adding the seam allowance so easy.

This picture shows the true colour of the crepe - not a good one for me but I have plenty of this for muslins.

The final result was a nice fit in the chest and across the shoulders - I am not sure what those lines mean on my back but over all I thought the fit did not look too bad.  What do you think?

I am taking what Sarah Veblen in The Complete Photo Guide to Fitting says about over fitting to heart and making this up in the intended fabric.

I am so happy to have a successful (so far) project.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Ottobre Tunic

Ottobre 5/2012

With nine days to devote to sewing I have been busy fitting the tunic.  My initial muslin of this tunic was a great disappointment - I started with a size 50 and found the armhole too big and the shoulders much too wide.  I cut down to a 48 arms and sleeves but still ill fitting.  Added bicep width and did a petite adjustment above the bust but to no availl.  The bodice just did not work on me.  This was a disappointment as I was very taken with the Ottobre designs and planned to make all the items in this issue.

Back to the drawing board and started anew with Burda.  I have so many issues that I was sure that I could find something similar.  I spent a few pleasureable days searching thorough back issues but nothing remotely the same came up.  Back to the drawing board... and Burda 3/2009

The Plus section has a great selection of special occasion patterns one of which is a lace overtop with a bust dart.  Overlaying the Ottobre pattern over the Burda pattern I moved the darts and recut using the Ottobre darts front and back and Burda armhole and sleeves.

This worked better than I thought it would and completely out of my comfort zone.  I have always avoided too much mucking around with patterns - it is the sewing that I enjoy in fact cutting out a pattern has always been a detested activity of sewing.  But in the last year I have been branching out of my comfort zone looking for a better fit as well as improving my sewing skills. Go me!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Pattern Madness - Dresses

Although there are lots of works in progress I could not help taking the opportunity of some new patterns for spring while taking husband to the airport.  He is off to Brisbane for a course and I get 9 days to sew!!  A great exchange.

Butterick 5917

I was hoping to get this pattern which Sarah from Goodbye Valentino made up so well.  I loved the ruffle detail and the higher waist and thought it would suit the new Spring Plan very well.  Unfortunately we are a season behind and it is in the new Fall patterns in the US, if I want it I need to order it online.  But never fear I still managed to come away with a few new patterns - I was very restrained.

Reading other blogs is dangerous to pattern owning health! Seeing what others make and how they interpret the patterns can highlight a pattern that I just need to own. Butterick 5891 by Katherine Tilton is an example - discussion on Stitchers Guild along with the pictures of Martha's version  convinced me that I need this for the Plan.

Keeping with the theme I picked up Marcy Tilton's new dress from Vogue 8876 and think the version with the cap sleeves will look good in very fluid viscose fabric.

After the success I had with dresses last summer I am keen to sew more and fell in love with this Tracey Reese version.

Vogue 1343

Lots of things to think about sewing and I still am working on that velvet dress and hope to have it ready for unveiling by the weekend.  My plan of sewing a little each day has been thwarted recently with lots of work and child rearing demands but now with the husband away and the children at school I might get some more done!