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.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Summer is Over

I can't believe it's been almost a month since I've blogged. It doesn't seem like it. The last two weeks were a blur and the week before that was crazy too with Sister coming home. Needless to say, I still haven't done any sewing. I feel like a great big loser for not finishing yet again another contest. I did get the second pair of pants almost finished and I messed up the ivory knit and had to buy some new fabric. It got cut but that's as far as I got. The jacket didn't get touched. I'm still going to finish everything, I just don't know when I'll get to it. Soon, I hope.

My seven week summer vacation flew by and next year it's going to be even shorter. Roving classrooms is a big Pain. Angie, you're right. Teachers are very territorial. I don't have enough bookshelf space, no board space and I feel like I can't even accidentally leave anything in the classrooms. I need desk space somewhere, but I don't know where. I'm thinking a table in the lunch/work room is going to become mine. However, my teacher materials are all over the place, not where I need it. Anyway, I could go on and on, but I'll stop.

I have been dreaming about the pattern stash contest on There are several patterns I want to try out but I think this contest is too short to have to muslin and alter several patterns. Maybe I'll just sew with my accessories patterns. I do want to make some slippers, a purse, a sewing machine, serger, and coverlock machine cover. Maybe I'll make baby clothes for great niece. Or, here's an idea. How about I finish the mini-wardrobe? Yea, that's probably what I'll do. But first, I think I'll clean house. You know how it is, once you start sewing, nothing else gets done for a while.