Saturday, December 6, 2008

Life Gets In The Way

It's been way too long since I've posted. I have lots to share too. A couple of weeks ago, the ASG-LA went on a field trip to the LA garment district and the next day we held our Annual Meeting. There were about 20 of us who met at Michael Levines, including Barb Callahan. She was the guest speaker for the ASG-LA Annual Meeting. Our chapter is only 9 months old, so it's great that we can get such high caliber speakers with our limited budget.

You can see I did some damage while we were downtown.

Funny thing is that I can't remember buying the first fabric and now I can't even find it. I think that is definitely a sign that I need to stop buying fabric. The second fabric is a olive embroidered interlock that I paid $2/yd for. Next is a rayon/lycra jersey with a herringbone print in dk. brown on a light brown background. I paid $2/yd for it too. I thought it was very pretty. I plan to make this Burda Plus WOF faux wrap top with it.

The teal knit is very pretty and I bought it for $1/yd. It's a textured slinky and I think I bought 4 yards. I want to make another cardi/t-shirt twin set. The last fabric is a cotton double knit that I'm going to make a very low v-necked sweater vest for a friend of mine. She brought in a taped episode with Bea Arthur, or rather Maude from the Golden Girls, wearing one with a low v-neck and wide shoulders and lots of hip ease. I think purple is her favorite color. Here's an image with a similar shape. I plan to use McCall's 5536 and just leave off the sleeves. I need to do a FBA and haven't got that done yet. I'm not sure when I'll get to it. Maybe next weekend.

What sewing I have done in the last couple of weeks wasn't even for me. Son had a birthday party to attend for his oldest friend. I used to watch Michael back when he was four. He turned 14 on December 1. For the last two years he has begged me to make him a black robe. Since I don't have any $$$ left after the downtown trip, I decided to make him the robe. OMG, I just remembered what that last fabric is. It's the gabardine I bought to make the robe. Too funny that I didn't even remember that. Some days I think I'm losing my mind. Anyway, Michael really loved the robe. However, since he is into doing magic, he wants me to sew in some custom pockets inside the front and inside the sleeves. I used McCall's 2853 for my pattern. I cut open the front for an opening just the way he described the robe to me about 30 times in the last 2 years. He loved it.

I've also been working on some home dec for Michael's mom. She had some shelves installed that hang from the ceiling in her garage and wants them covered with curtains. It's been quite a challenge to make them since the roof is slanted. I have to make them hang straight so getting the upper angle has been very difficult. If you know of a way to do this, please let me know before I ruin all her fabric. To make matter's worse, the fabric is off grain by quite a bit.

And just so you don't think I've been only working, here's a shot of me at Disneyland last night. Son and I had so much fun. We got there at 3 pm and left at 9 pm which isn't very long, but we got to see how beautiful they decorate for Christmas.

I'm sure I forgot to tell lots of stuff I wanted to share, but I've got to go to sleep before I hurt myself by falling onto the keyboard. I hope I don't neglect my blog for so long again.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Another CWC Knock-off Tutorial

Before I show you the new Coldwater Creek knock-off t-shirt I thought I'd show you these. They are pillowcases I made for my co-workers daughter. We just found out she has been diagnosed with Leukemia. It's very tragic especially since she is 12, a time when the only thing you want to do is be with your friends. Since she loves pink and horses, I went to JoAnn's to find appropriate flannel fabric. I found the light pink with unicorns dancing around. They aren't horses, but I don't she'll mind. I fell in love with the flower power print in lovely spring colors. I hope it brightens her hospital room since she will be there another two weeks.

Now for the top. I found this top on the Coldwater Creek site a few weeks ago and shared it with you all along with many others I wanted to try and make. I think mine looks just like the original and I couldn't be happier with the way it turned out.

Theirs was $49.50, but is currently on sale for $23.99 in their "Outlet" section of their site:

Mine cost me nothing and fit me so much better than the original would have. I had the fabric stashed and I drafted the pattern:

Here's how I did it. First I started with a t-shirt pattern that already fit me, KS 2900. After tracing the front with a shallow sort of rounded v-neck, I sliced into the pattern and added for the gathers. I thought about taking my slices to the bottom of the pattern, but decided I just wanted the extra fabric to be at the bust level or above. I didn't want to add too many gathers so I only added in two places. I think it looks just right.

For the collar and necktie, I had to decide how wide I wanted the neck ties and how much wider I needed for the collar fold-over. At the back neck my finished size is 3-1/2" and for the ties, mine are 2" finished. I added 1/4" seam allowances to the finished size. When I cut the pattern out, I forgot that I would need two neck ties, one was for a facing. Good thing I had plenty of extra fabric. For the t-shirt, you may notice that I used sleeves from the Woman's Ottobre Rose Top. They are gathered so I didn't have to worry (or measure) that they wouldn't fit into the armhole.

After sewing the tie to the facing, it looked like this:

The notched out edge is the part I attached to the neckline of my top after gathering the neck edge. I got lucky and made it the perfect length for my knit's stretch factor. Before I applied the neck tie, however, I had to make a slit at center front and bind it. The original had a rather large slit that would have shown much too much of me to my students. Instead, I made a very short slit, just enough to make room for my knot in the ties. You can see the excess binding for the slit in the picture below. After sewing the binding on, I clipped the binding even with the neck edge.

Here's a closeup of the gathers and the necktie. Didn't it turn out great, even if I do say so my self? It still needs to be hemmed. Then I'll take a picture of me wearing it and post it on

Here's a closeup of theirs:
Here's a close-up of mine:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My Latest Projects

I was asked to do a tutorial on making the CWC top. You can see my pattern pieces here. To make the pattern I took my TNT t-shirt pattern and drafted a new neckline. First, I divided the shoulder width in half and decided how low I wanted the neckline to be. Then using these two reference points, I made a pleasing curved neckline. I see now that I made the neckline too scooped and so for the next one I'm going to take a dinner plate and push it up against the neckline and redraw this curve. I want it to be more rounded. I haven't done the redraft yet but you can see what I intend to do in this picture. In order to keep the center of the neckline from being peaked or shaped like a V, I need to make sure that for 1/2" from center front I have a 90 degree angle. That's just good patternmaking techniques.

In order to draft the neckband. I took a piece of my fabric on the cross grain and stretched it around my pattern neckline. Then I measured this amount. I hoped it would be about the right length for my fabric's stretch amount and it was. The neckband was 1-1/4" shorter than the neckline for my fabric. Your mileage may vary. In order for the neckedge of the band to snug against my body, I angled the shoulder edge. Since I gathered the shoulder edge, I made the angle steeper than the angle of the bodice shoulder. The shortening that the gathers did also change the angle of the cut edge. I wish I had taken a picture of the neckline edge before I sewed the top together. Sorry. I will on my next version.

To make the pleats on the neckband I had to mark the pleats. Well, my fabric was so dark I had to get creative on the marking. I decided to use tape. You can see on the left side of the picture below, (you may have to click onto the photo) the tape and the markings. I left a slit between the tape for my stitches. Then I pleated the fabric up and pinned it down. I was afraid the pins would cause problems under the pressure foot (center of photo below) so I decided to put tape on the pinned area and then remove the pins. That worked perfectly except then I had to sew over tape, which was what I was trying to avoid. On the left of the photo below you can see the pleats sewn and tape removed. These pleats are covered by the tabs on the neckline. The pleats are necessary to keep the neckband scrunches in place. I decided to gather the shoulder of the neckband instead of doing the pleats. I think it was just easier and didn't make any difference, IMHO.

For my fabric I used a dark brown moire textured poly knit. It has a slight sheen to it but not shiney. We all now know I won't do shiney. I learned my lesson. The texture of the knit gives it dark and light areas in the photo, but it doesn't look like that IRL.

The tabs were made by cutting a strip of straight grain fabric and serging it using the left edge of the pressure foot as my guide. If you make a long tail of serger stitches before you put the fabric under the foot, you can take that tail, put it inside the fold as you stitch and then just pull the tail. The tube will then turn itself inside out. I cut the tabs about 1 inch shorter than twice the width of the pleated area of the neckband. Oh, I forgot to say that I also folded over the edge of the neckband and just stitched with a straight stitch. It's not going to stretch much so I wasn't worried about breaking the stitching. I pinned the tabs at center front and the other two evenly spaced from the center right over the place where my pleats on the neckband were to be stitched to the neckedge.

Since this top is for fall and summer, I decided to give it 3/4 length sleeves. I find them a bit more flexible than long or short sleeves when it comes to the weather. Not that So. California really has any weather to speak of. I'm calling this top, garment #1 of my Endless Combinations Wardrobe. It's not one of the fabrics from my basket, but I think it will go just fine with everything that is in the basket. I'm very pleased with my interpretation of this CWC top.

As for the other Coldwater Creek garments I wanted to make, I have already drafted a pattern for this black tie-neck top and hope to get it made sometime this week. It will be a long sleeved version and I hope the neckline isn't too low for my 12 - 14 yo male students.

I also wanted to share my completed twin set. I think the top came out a bit more snug than I like. I have it all pulled down, but after wearing a bit the bust starts to show some straining. I think next time I make this twin set, I will take this neckline and put it on my TNT t-shirt pattern. I should have just done that in the first place, now that I think of it.

Does anyone else think my bra is giving me a really weird bust placement or maybe it's just how I'm being shaped? This is my only Wacol bra. I don't think I'll buy any more of these. Sorry, the picture had me distracted.

The fabric is the same poly moire textured knit as the CWC neckline t-shirt and you can see the texture in this picture. I just love the red color on me.

This twin set is going to go great with my black slacks just as soon as I feel I can face that pants pattern again.

New Coldwater Creek Inspired Top

I spent some more time at the Coldwater Creek website shopping for ideas and found this wonderful t-shirt with a great neckline. I know I have a list of other CWC tops that I want to copy but this one looked so easy to do.
I created the pattern from my TNT t-shirt pattern which is KS 2900. I've used this pattern to make several new designs from since I have the fit just the way I like it. As I gain or lose weight, I just add or remove from the hips. For this last version I had to add to the hips.

I'm very pleased with the way it turned out. I may have shaped the neckline a bit too scooped and next time I'll try it with a more rounded neckline. Other than that, I really like my interpretation.

My version of the original CWC t-shirt has a more raised neckline. Since I teach middle school, I need to be a bit modest so I didn't make mine quite as low. The original t-shirt costs $49.50. I already had the pattern and spend about 1 hour redrafting. I already had the fabric, but originally think it cost $2/yd. I also already had the thread and pattern ease for the pattern. So, since I already had everything in my stash, I say it didn't cost me a thing. If I do add the cost of the fabric it was about $3 for the top.

Later today I'll write the review for this top and for the red/black twin set. DH took my pictures before I went to the first meeting of my new ASG Neighborhood Group last night. There was such a great turnout for the meeting. The store was closed when I arrived and I was very upset by the time one of the ladies found the owner's phone number and called him. He arrived and everything went great from there. We had 16 ladies including me in attendance. Everyone was very excited about learning how to fit patterns and several were very interested in learning how to redraft patterns changing the style lines for new garments without having to refit every time. Next month I'll be teaching bust alterations. It's all so very exciting.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Muslin Number Five

I'm really liking how muslin #5 turned out. I think that once I add just a smidgen to the side seams so that my large round belly isn't quite so outlined, I'm really going to love this pattern. The legs are hanging much better in the front and back.

While I know I don't have the most attractive back end, I do like my pants to fit me well there. I've now successfully removed all the extra fabric that most pants patterns have on me. The legs hang reasonably well too. Next I have to redraft the waistband and pockets and then I'll be ready to make the black pair of pants I've been promising. However, before I do that I'm going to sew me a nice TNT t-shirt just so I can feel successful. Making pants muslins has worn me out.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I Found It!

I'm so excited because I found my TNT pull-on pattern. After doing too many alterations on the OOP Simplicity pattern, I now think I could do some more tweeks on my TNT pattern and make it better. Such is the quest for the perfect pants pattern. More to come. . . .

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Reinventing the Wheel, I Mean Pants

I never did find my TNT pants pattern for the pants I want to make for my new red/black twin set. As soon as I get the pants made, I will show you my new outfit. Over the weekend, in honor of the pants fitting class I was teaching at an American Sewing Guild meeting last Monday night, I decided to pattern fit a new pattern. I won't bore you with all the horrid details here, but you can find my journey to pants that fit on a thread I posted on You will probably have to be a registered PR member to read the thread, however. The short version of this story is that I used several different alterations including the wedge alteration, the Fish-eye dart alteration and the Minott alteration that Debbie Cook discussed on her blog and wrote a tutorial for. The pattern I chose was Simplicity 4068, View C which happens to be Debbie's TNT pants pattern. It's the rust colored pants in the lower corner.

Four muslins, yes! four muslins, and many, many alterations later I got this:

That's my TNT jeans pattern under my altered slacks pattern. They are almost identical! I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Of course they were identical, they were made to fit the exactly same body. The only difference is the waist treatment. My jeans have a back yoke and the slacks have a contoured yoke/waistband. For the last alteration, I moved the back dart to sit on my high hip fluff and straightened out the waistband. Before I cut them from my fashion fabric, I'm going to make one more muslin to see if the pattern is as perfect as I think it is. I just want to be sure. OK, it would be alright if I ruined by fashion fabric since it only cost $1.50/yd but I really like it and I have a stashed lining that will work perfectly. And, I'm pretty good at sewing pant muslins now. Later tonight or tomorrow I'll cut and sew muslin #5 and if it's good to go, I'l get started on my pants.

My next several projects will be part of the Endless Combinations Contest on patternreview. I've chosen several fabrics from my stash with colors that work great for fall including black, brown, olive, and a splash of teal. You have to click on the photo to see all the fabrics, the whole basket isn't showing on the blog.

I have in my mind to make three twin sets, 6 knit tops, two blouses, two jackets, and 6 pants. Between now and New Year's Even when the contest is over I have 17 workdays off and all my weekends and evenings to sew. I might be able to also squeeze in house cleaning and cooking and some time for Thanksgiving and Christmas with my family. In reality, I don't know what I'll really get done, but I'm going to try.

Before I stop, I just wanted to say how thrilled and honored I am that Barrack Obama was elected to serve as my president for the next four years. It is time for a change and I'm very excited that hope won. I truly feel hope for my country which I haven't felt for a very long time.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Must Get Organized!

I'm in a panic. I can't find my TNT pull-on pants pattern. I've looked everywhere. What I did find was a Dr's order for my mammogram which I got back in July with the along referral form to the plastic surgeon to have the tiny eyelashes that grow inside my eyes cauterized. I still haven't made an appointment with these two drs. I also discovered several pattern tissue pieces with no envelope. I think they are for other TNT patterns that I haven't re-made yet. Now I have to find the envelopes and put the tissue all away so I don't have to search for them when I want them. Other things I did find was a missing earring, a borrowed book that I thought I had already returned, the credit card bill I couldn't find last week that is now past due, a favorite picture of my mother that I lost after buying the frame to put it in, and lots of other stuff I wasn't currently looking for. I really need to get organized so that my beloved patterns have a save place to live. How does everyone else keep orgainzed?

I finished the twin set, but haven't looked pretty enough to take pictures. I also don't have the pants done yet, as you've probably figured out. I found some really nice poly crepe that was fairly heavy with a nice drape at JoAnn's yesterday. It was on the $3 sale rack and then it was I think 50% off from that. Anyway, my pants will cost less than $4 total, that is if I can find a pattern to get them made. What I might wind up doing is trying out a new pattern if I can't find the TNT. I'm considering Simplicity 3805, which is the pattern I used to make my favorite dress from. It's just a simple pull-on pant which I should get done quickly. However, since I've never made it up, I don't know how it will fit my legs and butt. Maybe I need to search for my TNT some more.

In other news, I got my issue of Knip XL in the mail yesterday. I spent a lot of time with the magazine and a translator program. The best one was It made the most sense anyway. If you haven't seen this pattern magazine, you really have to get a copy. My first impression is how wonderful that the armholes aren't giant and the shoulder seams are very short. This is my biggest gripe about plus-size patterns and the places where I always have to cut down on garments. I think I'll start with a tunic top #11C.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Back on Track

I finally feel like a success at sewing. I have put aside the jacket pattern for now until I get over my frustration with fit and find the right fabric. That last project, while it did fit, left me with a bad taste, so to speak. I needed to make an easy fit project because I was feeling discouraged with my sewing. Since this is the first time making NL 6735, I used a fabric that, while I do really like it, I wouldn't mind too much if it didn't turn out wearable.

In this first picture, I have the front band on the cardigan pinned the way the pattern indicates with an overlap. While it may look ok on the dress form, it doesn't look as good on me. It's closer fitting than I'm comfortable with.

In this picture I have the band meeting where I'll sew on a decorative hook and eye. It makes it just skim my figure, instead of hug it. If I ever manage to lose weight, I may want to go back and add button and buttonholes, but I'm not holding my breath for that to happen.

As you can see in the pictures, the front band is too short and puckers up, shortening the center front. I've decided that I like this version well enough to take the front band off from bust level all the way down and reattach. This will eliminate the drag lines at center front. I'm also going to hem it up about 3 1/2 inches. To make it look pulled together, I will cut the sleeves a bit shorter and add a black band at the sleeve hem.

Today I'm going to finish this cardigan set and then I need to make a new pair of black pants to wear with it. I was reading Cecelia Podolak's Easy Guide to Sewing Jackets. You know, to help me get over my tailored jacket fear, and she advises to make sure you have something to wear with your new jacket because you'll want to start wearing it right away. I need a new pair of black pants, so since they don't take very long, I should be able to finish some TNT pull-on pants tomorrow easily. Then I can wear my new outfit for Parent Conferences on Thursday night. Everything will be from the stash. It'll be free and I'll look like a million bucks.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I've Lost That Loving Feeling

I've decided to give up on the ivory blouse for now. I just don't think I want to spend any more time on it. I don't feel like reworking the pattern any more and I'm not liking the fabrics I picked out for this blouse. I may change my mind at a later date, though. I am feeling better now. Thank you to my friends who wished me well. I was sick for almost two weeks. I went back to work too soon and wound up in bed again. This time I got some antibiotics and I think I'm back to healthy now. So, now that I've scrubbed the bathroom and picked up the sewing room, I can start sewing.

During one of my days at home I decided to trace out this jacket:

The jacket is a petite plus size jacket from Fall 07 Burda Plus issue. I traced a size 24 which corresponds to a size 48 in misses sizes. Today I think I'll cut the muslin and try it on. Since it is already a petite size, I'm going to cut it out without any alterations. I'll probably have to increase the waist and maybe the bust some, but the princess seams will make those alterations easy. I'm hoping that I won't have to do any more to it.

I also did pattern alterations to New Look 6735.

The pattern has a full bust already designed in the pattern draft. The front is almost a full inch longer which is eased into the side seams for the t-shirt and about 1/2 inch fullness is added for the cardigan. I want to make this from some red poly slinky knit from my stash. To add some interest I'm going to make the front band on the cardigan black and I'll bind the neckline on the t-shirt with the same black knit. Looks like I'm going to have to make some new black pants to go with it.

Since I just can't seem to finish wardrobes, I'm going to try to resist entering SWAP style contests. Instead you'll be seeing me make tops and bottoms to match. Sort of like the endless combinations type wardrobes you've seen done on I haven't decided what fabric I'm going to use for my tailored jacket. I do know it won't be wool. The last tailored jacket I made was wool and even before I finished it, it had moth holes in it. The moths live in my house and I don't know how to get rid of them. Instead I avoid buying wool or any wool blend. I love wool so much, but I know what will happen. It was a hard lesson to learn. Later I'll post pictures of my jacket. It is so cute and it fits so well. I'm still a bit heartbroken about it.

I'll stop now so I can get to the cutting board. Later I'll post pictures of my jacket muslin.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

I'm Sick

I want to thank everyone who chimed in with comments on my frumpy blouse. Everyone was so nice. I asked for brutal honesty because that's what I needed. Many of you made great comments that makes perfect sense now. I think Debbie hit the nail on the head when she said, "Poly jacquard screams 1980s and/or drapes to me." I've probably had this fabric around since the 80's. I knew not to use it, but it was the exact color I wanted and it was already paid for. This was a real learning process for me. Others mentioned that it was an OK blouse, just not in that fabric. So, I've decided to give it one more go-around with the following changes: shorten the sleeves and make the sleeve puffy at the sleevehead and hem. I will also make the pleats over the bust change their direction, opening from the center instead of the side. I like the idea of piping. That too will depend on the chosen fabric. Since I'm shopping my stash these days, I'm sort of leaning toward these fabrics:

The top one and the lower left are poly crepe blouse weight fabrics. The red one on the right is a rayon challis which has some weight to it but I may not have enough. The black one will fit best into my current wardrobe and is the one I'm leaning towards. The rust matches my new jeans perfectly.

None of this is going to happen this week. I'm sick with a very sore throat and a cough. I'm trying to stay in bed most of today, but I was tired of being in bed. Tomorrow I'm scheduled to attend an ASG neighborhood group to teach pants alterations. I hope I feel better by then. Last month I taught bodice alterations including the FBA to the same group. They got real excited about sewing for themselves. It was so encouraging to see so many women want to sew for themselves. I hope some of them tried to do alterations and bring in what they made. I'd love to see what they accomplished. Teaching people stuff they actually want to learn was so much fun compared to teaching English to 8th graders who would rather be doing anything else than learning about literature and grammar. I think I've truly found my calling. I just wish teaching sewing could pay as much as teaching middle school English.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Could It Be More Frumpy?

I think this top turned out perfectly. It turned out just like I imagined it would. It's pretty and it fits beautifully. However, I'm hoping that a few weeks in the magic wardrobe will make me love it because right now I'm not feeling the love. This picture makes it look pretty good, right?

It even looks great on the hanger. In fact, it looks better on the hanger. It is weird how the pleats I put in the sleeves shortened them so much, though. I don't think it looks weird while I'm wearing it, but it looks strange on the hanger. I tried to get a close up of the sleeve pleats, but I only got a washed out white image, no detailed showed at all. They do look great from the side of the sleeve though. You'll have to take my word for it.

My problem is that when I look in the mirror, all I see is the problems that are very obvious in this picture.

Boobs! They look enormous. While I'm not small busted by any means, I only wear a C-cup. I think that maybe it's the shiny fabric, or the way it swags between my breasts, or I added too much fullness/ease. I don't know. I never wear shiny fabric. I think it adds inches to fat girls. I asked some ladies at work, but they only gushed about how great it is that I can sew. They loved this top on me. Maybe it's the pleats that puff out right at bust level giving me more visual width. Maybe it's the color, which I don't think is very flattering on me. I look better in jewel or bright colors. Debbie cook made a pattern similar but in a dress and her muslin turned out looking very much like a nightgown. Maybe I'm visualizing that image while wearing this top. I don't know why, but I really don't like this top on me so into the magic wardrobe it goes. I'll revisit it again when the temperatures drop into the low 80s. It's a poly silky I think I got at JoAnn's about 10 years ago and raises my temperature 10 degrees every time I put it on. It's going to be perfect for the fall. Maybe I should make a jacket to go over it. What do you think about my new top? Brutal honesty is what I'm looking for here. All comments appreciated.

Besides finishing this top, I got my rust jeans completed. They turned out great--love those TNT patterns! Of course something had to go wrong. It's the fabric. I washed them before taking the photo and they came out of the washing machine very wrinkled. Interesting that the yardage had some wrinkles, but no where near the amount the finished garment got. These might not get much wear if they have to be ironed before wearing. Just look at the wrinkles I got from bending over to pick up my shoes. Terrible.

It's too bad the fabric, which I got at JoAnn's, is so bad. They are the perfect color for my 3-3-4 Wardrobe. My favorite thing about the pants is the pocket. I did a great job decorating them. I'm trying to get more comfortable with my embroidery machine. I've had it for about 6 years and haven't used it much at all. It's now obsolete but since I don't use it much, I'm certainly not going to replace it.

Here's a close-up. I forgot to rotate the picture, sorry about that.

Maybe I'll have more success on my next garment. I traced out the new Ottobre raglan t-shirt pattern. I'll try it in muslin first, of course. I'm happy to hear that many of you appreciate the fit I get because of muslins. I really think they are the greatest fitting invention ever!

To close, I just wanted to thank Mary Beth for the award. I'm very honored that you thought of me and my blog. It surprises me every day that people want to read what I have to say about fit. I'm very glad that others can benefit from my less than perfect shape and the alterations I have to do to fit it. I'll follow the rules regarding the award later in the week. It will take time to think of what I want to say to fulfill the rules.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Another Muslin

I redrafted my pattern making the bodice full length in both front and back. I also widened the sleeve, contoured the neckline, and added more fullness at the hips. Here's the new muslin.

I think it still needs more bust room so I've already done a tiny FBA to add one more pleat in the front nearest the armhole. I don't think I'm going to bother with another muslin. So, my next step is to cut out my fabric. I hope it turns out as cute as I think it will.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Pattern Drafting Trials

I've been a bit MIA but I have been working on projects. My wardrobe jeans are very, very close to being done. However, I learned an important lesson. The hard way, of course. Did you know that jeans pockets aren't parallel to the center back seam? I didn't either! However, when I sewed the pockets exactly 3" away from the CB seam, they looked off. So now I have to unsew the pockets, you know, with all the pretty top stitching, and resew them. Then add a button and buttonhole and the hem and they're done.

I'm anxious to get started on the Coldwater Creek idea garments and I want to use one of them in my Wardrobe. Apparently an ivory knit top isn't going to happen. However, I do have a lovely silky fabric in my stash in ivory that would work for the white blouse from my last post. To make the pattern, I used Simplicity 2896. I changed the neckline, lowering it by two inches and redrafted the shape of the yoke, eliminating the roundness at the armhole in the front and back. This caused the neckline to gape so I took a contour tuck and now it lies nicely. I changed the gathers above the bust into four 3/8" tucks. I think the tucks look nicer than the gathers. Then I cut the front on the fold, eliminating the button placket. I cut the front and back bodice at the waist and added a lower front and back bodice with one large box pleat. I think this is a good idea in theory, but didn't like it on the muslin. I sewed the box pleat inside out on the back by accident, which you'll notice if you look carefully.

The back muslin showed me that I need a sway back alteration. Other changes that still need to be made are to eliminate the seaming at the waist. It looks good on the idea garment, but not so good on me. For the sleeves, I think a fuller sleeve, maybe slightly puffed with some slight gathering into a band for the hem would look nice. The top also needs to be shorter.

I've got all the alterations/changes drafted. All I need to do is cut the fashion fabric. I'm totally taking a risk not making a new muslin, but I think it'll work out just fine. Wish me luck!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Garment Ideas

I like to snoop shop on-line and one of my favorite places to look is Their stuff is perfect for my lifestyle where I have to look nice but also have to be able to kneel at student's desks or climb on chairs or crawl under tables, etc. Here are a few garments that I think I'll be able to clone.

For this one I think that KS 2900 should do the trick. I'll have to make a facing for the long v-neckline and then make an attached dickey. I like the longer length with the side slits, but that might not be best for my figure. Luckily the Kwik Sew pattern is a TNT.

For this one I think I can use Ottobre magazine's Puffed sleeve t-shirt. It's a TNT pattern also. Instead of the binding, I'll mae a tie, but I think I'll skip the v-neckline under the tie. Too much potential to show too much of me to my middle school boys, KWIM?

For this one I may need to draft my pattern from my sloper. It won't be hard to do. I'll draft the yoke then rotate the darts to under the yoke and leave my back darts off. Just add some pleats at the waist seam and it's done. The sleeve head looks fitted and then the sleeve flairs out to be gathered into a band. I even like the color of this one and have some poly silky jacquard that would look nice.

This one looks like the KS 2900 pattern would work for it as well. I just have to redraft the front to have a lined yoke that overlaps at center front. Easy peasy.

However, before I begin these new season garments, I want to finish my mini-wardrobe. I had to re-buy the orange fabric for the pants because the linen had too much lycra stretch in it and the pants never fit or looked good. I didn't even finish the hem on them. I bought a more brown colored orange bottomweight fabric to remake these pants. I think I'll just use the jeans pattern again. I also tried to make my ivory t-shirt for the second time. The first time I used the Jalie Sweetheart top pattern and my ivory slinky was just too thick for all the binding and didn't look good. The second try, which is pictured below, turned out even worse. I used a thick rib knit and it doesn't look good on me at all. I especially don't like how the stiff ribs in the fabric aren't smooth over the bustline at the sides. It looks like it needs to be altered, and this is a great fitting TNT pattern with other fabrics. So, I've decided to use a woven tone on tone ivory striped shirting and make an ivory blouse to go with the mini-wardrobe. I hope to get some progress done this weekend. The pants fabric is all ready to cut but I still have to wash the blouse fabric. The jacket is still only cut out waiting for interfacing to be cut and the other brown pants are done.

In case you've already forgotten what my mini-swap should look like, here's the storyboard.