Friday, June 26, 2009

Life Without Direction

Not having a job to go to every day has left me somewhat unfocused. I'm spending way too much time in front of my computer, not accomplishing anything. However, I have finished watching every season of Numb3rs on Netflix and all of the Stargate Episodes that Hulu has to offer.

I think my body is beginning to morph into something I don't recognize. Last week I went to the Dr. because my body forgot it was in menopause after 16 months and I've been experiencing severe pelvic pain. She sent me in for blood work and an ultrasound and a routine mamogram. I won't find out until Wednesday about the results of my tests. I truly hope they find something and can take care of it easily because I hate the way I've been feeling.

I've been trying to do something with sewing everyday. Last week I made a pair of pants, but I'm not completely thrilled with them. The pattern is KS 2720 and while they fit nicely through the hips and butt, the legs are just too wide for my short and wide body. I still haven't finished the waistband or hemming. I also did a muslin for Butterick 53oo again.

Here's my first muslin using the 1X in Women's sizes and the D-cup. It's way too big all over.

For my second muslin I used the Misses sizes cutting the XL and adding 5/8" to the side seams. Now it's too tight and needs lots of ease, but I think the misses fits much, much better. I've added several inches of ease to the top, leaving the neck and shoulders alone, but haven't made a muslin from my altered pattern yet. I'll do that later today.

My intention for the Butterick pattern is that once I get it to fit, I'll redraft it to look similiar to this Burda WOF pattern. With the help of the Plus-Size Sew-Along on Patternreview, I've decided to lose the bows and the drawstring. Then I'll take the neckline binding all the way down center front and use colorful snaps. I really like the pockets, I just hope they work on my apple shape. Even if they don't, I may want to keep them, they're so cute.

Here's the fabric I'll use for the blouse and some capris to go with it. The capris will be my TNT capris pattern, Simplicity 5013, which is a Jr. Size pattern and now OOP.

I also had some bad luck with Butterick 5356. It fits, but looks so awful that I just threw the pattern and the muslin in the garbage. There are much better looking blouses for my round shape out there. However, I'm not sure this blouse would look good on any figure type. If you were considering it, do yourself a favor, and don't!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

I've Discovered Reading

No sewing for me this week. I think sewing the last five garments in one week gave me burn-out. Unfortunately, I didn't work but two days this week so it would have been a great time to get some sewing done. Instead, I read. I haven't been doing much reading in the last two years (that'll be no reading). I have about 8 books on my shelf waiting for me to get back to reading. I used to devour books but I stopped reading because I couldn't see to read with my contact lenses on. My far sightedness has gotten bad, but my nearsightedness had improved. To help me, the eye dr. prescribed me mono vision lenses. That's where one eye is for far away and one eye is for close up. That completely ruined reading for me.

In honor of my age, which will be 48 in exactly one month, I've given up on contact lenses and have taken to wearing eye glasses. I can see perfectly close up without them, but if you want me to recognize you from 5 feet way, I'll need to wear my glasses. Anyway, without the contacts on, I can read! I forgot how much fun it is. I finished two books in four days. The first one was The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, and the second one was Time Bomb by Johnathan Kellerman. I'm pretty sure I've read Time bomb before, but the book was brand new so I must have given my other copy away. I really enjoyed reading this week. I can see doing much more of it this summer, sitting out in the sun while DS is playing at the local pool with his friends.

Changing the subject, I was awarded the One Lovely Blog Award by Julia from Julia's Sew Sweet and Special Occasion Clothing for Children. Julia makes the cutest kids clothes. She inspires me to sew for my Great Niece. That's something else on my plate for summer. I was also awared the same award by Diana at djStoreRoom who uses her blogs to highlight other sewing and craft blogs. The intention of this award is to pass it on to 5 or more blogs you have recently started following. You should then comment on their post to let them know they are awarded and then link to their blogs from yours. Here's my nominations:

1. Lindsay T Sews - Not only is Lindsay a great sewist, she shares her skills with her blog readers and is now teaching to young people. She has also used her blog as a forum for other sewists to communicate with JoAnn's. Thank you Lindsay.

2. Sew Much Fabric, Sew Little Time - Christy is a woman I can relate to. On her blog she shares her love of fabric and patterns. I've learned a lot about foreign pattern magazines from her.

3. Sewing by the Seat of My Pants - While I didn't newly discover her, Karen has a wonderful sewing blog. She shares her plans of what she is going to sew, and then actually sews it. I admire her for that. I was lucky enough to get to meet her in person when I visited New York. She took me to all the right places for great fabric. Thanks Karen.

4. Sew-Ann's Stitchery - Ann is the mother of two wonderful special needs kids, just like me. (OK, I only have one) Also she is a plus sized woman with a style all her own. I love that about her. Check out her blog to see what she is doing in her sewing room for her and her kids.

5. Adventures in the Art of Sewing - Claudine has some serious skills in the sewing room. Not only does she sew for herself, making the most wonderful creations, she also makes beautiful garments for her little girls. I aspire to be like Claudine. Unfortunately, I don't have the need for such wonderful clothes.

Now to answer a few questions:

A couple have mentioned Connie Crawford patterns to me since I'm plus sized and she drafts for plus sized women. I really don't care for her draft. She has a tendency to rotate some or all of the dart as an underbust dart and then leave it unstitched. I think that is very unflattering to most figures. If you like her patterns, then by all means, use them. I just happen not to like them. I've tried them, but haven't gotten good results.

Elaray asked, "When you get the muslin you like, do you transfer the changes to the paper pattern, or do you use the muslin as a pattern?" I always go back and change my paper pattern. Muslin has a tendency to stretch out of shape so it doesn't work for a pattern, IMHO.

Ruth C. asked, "What pattern is the dress? It is lovely and I think the white collar solved your problems with it." The pattern is Simplicity 3773. However, I cheated and took a very similar TNT dress and traced the armhole and collar treatment to it.

Windsong asked, "Do you buy a plus-size pattern? Do you find you have to do a full bust adjustment even on a t-shirt pattern?" I do buy plus-sized patterns, and I do usually have to do a FBA. I have a TNT t-shirt pattern that I use almost exclusively and it is KS 2900. I've tweeked it a bit until it fit the way I like but didn't do a FBA. I've redrafted it many, many times to recreate things I've seen in RTW. If I sew a T-shirt type top, I've almost always redrafted KS 2900. When I don't I regret it every time.

Thank you to everyone who encouraged me to make red jeans. These are some red jeans I made in the past, but I've gained quite a bit of weight since then and can't fit into them any longer. I'm definitely going to get a new pair made up in a few days. I hope you all have a great week.