Sunday, March 29, 2009

My Visit to NYC

I had some experienced shoppers helping me buy fabric on my visit to New York City. Karen brought Elizabeth (she's taking the picture), and we met up with Terri and Carolyn at Metro Textiles. It was a small group and good thing too. Metro Textiles is tiny. Who knew? With all the fab fabric coming out of this store, you'd think it was at least as big as a JoAnn's. Of course I did some damage, but had Kashi send it to me. As it was, I had to check a second bag on the plane for $25 because I didn't have the strength to tote it around the airport or lift it up to the luggage compartment.

These two pictures are of the fabric I bought at Stretch World. All of them except the printed lace is cotton lycra knit. However, the quality is fantastic. I'm sure I'd never find such great stuff with the price tag of $6/yd. I could find it at Mood in Los Angeles, but at $14/yd.

The day before the official shopping trip, I had a couple of hours alone while my friend Stephanie rested. I was in NYC, I figured I could rest later. While wandering around the city, I found Paron's. It has a lovely 50% off side of the store with all kinds of goodies. The black wavy design is a Diane Von Furstenburg jersey knit. I got all 3 1/2 yards for $16. The middle fabric is a nude silk organza that I paid $18 for all that was left on the roll -- a total of 2 1/2 yards! The white is a wonderful quality rayon/cotton/lycra mix. Of that I got 3 yards. I can't remember how much it cost. The pattern is a plus size Burda jeans pattern that may be OOP. They were selling it for $2 but they threw it in for free.

I don't remember what the store's name was where I picked up this beautiful pink/brown poly/lycra mesh knit. It's rather opaque for a mesh. I won't have to underline it at all to wear it. The store was somewhere on 5th Street. We did visit Mood, but all I could afford was some $2 fusi-knit interfacing in Ivory. I had been searching for this color for another jacket I want to make for spring. More about the jacket later, though.

Just so you don't think all I did was fabric shopping, here a picture of my friend, Stephanie and I on our carriage ride through Central Park. Please notice the jacket. I stayed plenty warm in it. Everywhere around the park they had bulb flowers just starting to spring from the ground. I love bulb flowers, but it doesn't get cold enough here in California for them to do very well. Too bad they weren't quite ready to bloom.

However, the Macy's window displays were blooming. On our last day in the City, they were changing out the windows. Isn't it beautiful? All those flowers are made from paper. I'm ready for spring sewing and I see dresses in my very near future.

This picture was taken on the morning we left. It was sort of a goodby to this fabulous city. I never once experienced anything remotely unsafe while we were there. I'd go back again in a heartbeat if I only had the $$$ to do so.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I'm Baaack!

I didn't fall off the planet, honest. I've just been very busy getting ready for my New York City trip. Now I'm back from my trip and I'm a few Blog entries behind. First I want to share how B5219 turned out.

You can't really tell in this photo, but the neck is a bit too wide and the armholes are way too short. I didn't change a thing in the pattern. NOTHING! So, to be honest, it doesn't look that bad. If I make it again, I'll do a FBA, lengthen it, and lower the armhole--a first for me. I decided to make my muslin a pajama top because I needed some PJs for my NYC trip. The fabric had been stashed for way too long. It's very comfy and turned out cute, if I do say so myself.

I've been neglecting to mention those who nominated me for the Sisterhood Award. Thank you so much Mary, Omega, Louella, Linda, and Sue. I think I'm too late to find a sister who hasn't been nominated, but I must admit, I feel anyone who sews belongs to the sisterhood. I'm honored to be nominated and thank you to everyone who visits my blog. I may not say it, but I'm thrilled when anyone stops to read my blog and even more so if you take your time to leave a comment. I read them all, usually several times. I learn so much from them.

I still need to photograph the fabric I bought in NYC and go through all the pictures I took while I was gone. I hope to post about it tomorrow.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Not A Perfect Fit

One thing is for sure, I'm not a D cup. I'm only a C cup. I saw the problem when I compared my moulage, but I decided that more ease is a good thing, right? Wrong.

Like Debbie, I needed to take a tuck to shorten the upper bodice. I also need to figure out how to do a SBA. Something I have absolutely no experience with. If I continue with this pattern, what I'll have to do is to use the ABC cup front tissue and do a FBA, because that I KNOW how to do. For now, however, I've decided to put this aside and work on something else.

I think this pattern could be a great spring top. In fact, I am going to use it for my One Patter, Many Looks entry. I can see it with all three length sleeves, lengthening it to a dress, and trying different embellishments on the yoke. Tomorrow I'm going to trace it, add my FBA and searching my stash for the perfect fabric. But first, of course, I'll have to make a muslin.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

New Project for Spring

My next project is going to be Butterick 5300 which is one of Connie Crawford's patterns. This pattern is special in that it has the FBA already built in. The pattern comes sized for the ABC cup and the D-DD cup. I've met Connie Crawford in person. She is very talented and has done so much to fit the plus sized woman. She hasn't always hit the mark, but at least she is trying to make patterns for this much neglected market. When I say she hasn't always hit the mark, what I mean is that she tends to rotate out some of the dart to an under bust dart and then leave it unsewn. This leaves fabric hanging from the bust like maternity wear. Granted, if your belly is bigger than your bust, like pregnant bellies are, than this would work perfectly fine for you. It doesn't work on me, however.

Debbie Cook just made this top using View B with the peter pan collar and it fit her quite nicely. With her recommendation, I decided to give it a try. I first bought the smaller set of sizes because that's what I do, then alter up so the shoulders would fit, but Debbie said that the shoulders were small in the larger sizes so I went out and bought it again in the larger sizes.

I decided that I would make View A, with the pointed collar and collar band with short sleeves. After studying the size chart and Debbie's review, I decided to go with a straight 1x. I cut out the pattern and then compared it to my block I made using Kenneth King's Moulage.

The comparison was amazing. This pattern looks like it was drafted just for me. Even the shoulder slope and shoulder width is exactly the same. Well maybe a little smaller since my block only has 1/2" seam allowances. The only change I see that I'll need to make is to move the underbust dart up and possibly shorten the top half of it or else the waist shaping will be in the wrong place. It needs to be moved up about 1-3/4 inches which is a lot, but since I'm quite short waisted, that makes sense. The extra length above the back shoulder has me worried, but we'll see after the muslin.

I'm very tempted to just omit the muslin altogether, but I won't. How cool would it be if I could sew this pattern just as is right from the envelope? If I can, then I'm also going to go buy me a fist full of lotto tickets, because it'll be my lucky day.

When I sew the final up I'm going to change out the front facing for a button band and I've shortened the sleeves by 2". Again, this was Debbie Cook's recommendation and I have to agree with her that the longer sleeves tend to look frumpy.

I'm off to sew up the muslin. I'll let you know how it works. Keep your fingers crossed for me.