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.