Friday, May 29, 2009

Miracle Worker with knits?

an email from my loving husband:

Hi Honey
Happy Friday to you too. When I was getting that Birth Certificate at the Pikesville Plaza the other day I noticed this shop window that had a good pair of pants that you might want to sew, now that you can do miracles with knits. What do you think?

Ummm, we'll see.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Twist Top - It worked! and other news...

Howie cooked TWO amazing meals this weekend. He cooks and I clean. I get the better end of the deal because he cleans as he goes :) Here are his awesome kids Daniel and Kelly. We had such a nice visit! (boo hoo, Laura, miss you!)
Here is my muse, my inspiration- the amazing Archie!! I want to be black and white just like her!
And guess what - I like wearing a skirt. Who knew? Very comfortable 8 gore skirt (sewn for the little sew-along that RuthieK started) I fiddled with the contrast to make the details show up on the black.

woo hoo! Thank goodness Jalie patterns have such excellent directions!
I really should compare my self-drafted version to the pattern in the envelope, just to see what the fitting changes would have been. Yes, I beleive that will be the subject of a post some time.
Perhaps that will teach me how to use Jalie patterns more easily in the future.
Oh by the way, I did not sew the attached camisole. I am just wearing a black camisole I own already.
All right - to all of our men and women in service, I give you my hearty thanks, love, respect and gratitude for your service.
(families, too!!)
Happy Stitching, my friends.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

TNT Tee => Twist Top! (part 2)

Thanks for coming along with me as I seek to unlock the mysteries of the universe.
How will I construct this darn thing! I think I know.
Hubby asked me, "So are you going to sew a muslim now?"
(Don't try to tell him it's a muslin, it won't stick)
Me: No, are you kidding? I am going to cut into the good stuff and see what happens!
I will post pics later to let you know how it turns out.
Twist top styles are available from several different pattern-making companies. I happen to own more than one and this is a bit of a franken-pattern, relying heavily on Jalie 2788.
I have now finally realized that NO pattern company is sized to fit me. So I have to learn how to fit myself. And really, I am not that freakily mis-shapen!! It's just that we are all different. Like snowflakes, hee hee hee hee.
Wish me luck.

TNT Tee => Twist Top!

I am going to try another version of my tried 'n' true (TNT) Tee Shirt pattern, a twist top.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

T-shirt with Gathered Neckline

Wow, this was really easy! I put little tucks into the neckline, turned it over and stitched with the coverhem machine. Now I see how a cowl neckline is done- this is it! Without the tucks it was a cowl neckline! How cool. I am going to see what else I can do with this pattern ...Happy Memorial Day.
My heartfelt thanks and love to all who serve.
You are not forgotten.

OK get out there and fire up those grills!
Happy Stitching!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

a thank you!

The mailman brings me interesting things all the time. For example, I order stuff from - oh yes! I get toilet paper in the mail. Well, I am a little lazy, what can I say.

But, I got a REALLY FUN box in the mail because I had no idea it was coming and there was no note inside or anything. Of course, I knew it was from Marji!
Who else would be downsizing and looking for a new home for books about Home Dec. sewing? And she included a couple of historical novels! It has been a while since I read one, but somewhere along the way I mentioned I enjoy reading novels about Queen Elizabeth.
Seriously, sewists are an incredibly generous bunch. And I have already made good use of the box; it's on its way to another sewist with something special inside.
Happy Sewing!!
And thank you Marji!! Happy Sailing to you, too :) Congratulations on launching your new adventure!

sewing a wardrobe in a week

I agree, a wardobe in a week is a crazy idea. But I am sewing along.
Ruthie came up with it. And yes, I work a full time job and I have housework, chores and errands. And a husband. And a social life. But I am not involved in day-to-day child-rearing anymore, so I can attempt wild ideas.

Here is my fabric: 2 knits for tops and 2 wovens for pants:
I will sew 2 t-shirts with ROTATED DARTS (!) now that I have unlocked the mystery of dart rotation. The necklines will gathered, and scooped a little (not much) lower. They are cut and ready to sew (the official week for sewing starts tomorrow).

The pants.... still need to be cut! I sewed THREE muslins last weekend. And I could stand to sew a fourth. But I learned a lot about making alterations for a change in weight.
Crotch curve: this is the most important part of the pattern and when you have the right one, your pants will fit. Whether you gain or lose weight, the shape of your crotch curve will not change. Knowing that would have saved me sewing 2 of those muslins last week.
Girths: If you use Bernina My Label- just update the girths. Don't put yourself through the extra work of taking all eleventy gazillion measurements again!!
In the end- all the changed was the side seams and the inner thigh seam on the back piece only. So, in this case, the person who relies on paper, pencil and knowledge would have figured this out a lot faster than I did!!
No complaints.... I like playing with BML, and sometimes I learn the hard way, but that's Ok ,too.
Wish me luck - that is a lot of sewing next week!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I HAD to sew this fabric!

Last weekend, this gorgeous red print hollared at me, "Sew me! Sew me!" I bought this a couple years ago at G Street when my ability to sew a well-fitting garment was not yet reliable.
I think I avoided cutting this because it would have broken my heart to ruin it.

But now I have a killer TNT shirt pattern and that's what I used to whip this up. The fabric is a woven with a lot of lycra in it, so it's got a stiff hand. Also, it does not ease well. So, I was smart to wait until I had the chops for it. It was a little too bulky to use on the collar, collar stand and cuffs, so I stole a little bit of white muslin from my quilt project.

And hey guess what?! If you press and steam the fusible interfacing for a really long time, it adheres well!! Ha! I have read that so many times and I yet my impatience persists. Until this time, that is. Finally, no bubbles on my facings. An old dog can learn a new trick.

I used the coverhem to hem this- just because it was set up and I love that machine so much.
And for the cuffs, I cut them smaller and set them in as you can see - no need for a buttonhole this way. yummy. I love this fabric!
Happy Sewing!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Satisfactory is the new Perfect

It's not perfect, but I can say my t-shirt pattern is SATISFACTORY.
And this fabric (on sale at G Street this weekend) is amazing.
Isn't it hard to buy something as plain as a white knit? Maybe the white was inspired by the wedding gown in a recent post! I got enough to make 3 t-shirts.
It is a 4-way stretch cotton knit with lots of loopiness on the wrong side; like a terry. It's beefy & lofty & light. I don't know about you, but I need fabric with some body to it. It is hard to wear a jersey knit (too clingy for my taste). Jersey is not fun to sew either, now that I think about it. But this fabric was pure pleasure to work with.
The darts- maybe could be a little higher and shorter next time.
Here are the changes I made to the pattern (in this post)
The front did not change much- I just straightened the side seam a little bit. It no longer curves in.
In the back, the shirt was too wide at my armpits, and the armscy was too high. I dropped it by about an inch and removed about inch from the side seam. I re-drafted the entire side seam to match the front with a gentler curve.
The center back seam was curvier before, too. I re-drafted it to be straighter.
The sleeve! That's where I needed to add width to make up for what I removed on the bodice. I widened the pattern across the horizontal balance line at the armscye and I added height to the sleeve cap.
The fitting adjustment to the sleeve and the armscye were epiphany-ish.
I have had that problem on so many garments! I finally see the relationship between the armscye and the sleeve for my particular body. I need quite a bit more width in the sleeve in the armpit area, and a much smaller armcye than what comes straight out of the envelope.
Oh it feels good to figure that out!
I hope I am making sense. If I get the chance I will take a pattern-drafting class some day. I bet it all of this would make a lot more sense.
Nevertheless, I have a good t-shirt pattern now.
This means I can branch out and make some cute knit tops and dresses this summer!
That is a happy thought!
I hope you had a nice weekend-
Thanks for stopping by and letting me share my sewing adventures with you.
cheers ~

Friday, May 1, 2009

This isn't asking too much, is it?

Can my shoulders look like this?

The photo above appears in a post on a blog called Made by Hand - the great sartorial debate.
The post The Myth of Mobility goes into wonderful detail on sleeve fitting, especially as it relates to the placement of the sleeve on the bodice.

While I was reading, I saw the term "rope shoulder" which I had never heard before. So I looked in google images for a rope shoulder and here's what I found:

Hey, I likeee!!! Can I have shoulders like that? This photo comes from an article at the website. You can see more examples by searching google images on "roped shoulder".

I know, I know, I am just making a t-shirt. Perhaps I would enjoy a tailoring project? Oh yes! Maybe there will be time for that after I have sewn some simple basics for summer.

And thanks for all the congratulations on the weight loss. I hardly feel deserving of credit- since I wasn't even trying to lose weight. All I wanted was to be free of pain. I was a little worried about why the pain continued even a year after surgery. Changing my diet was so easy compared to not knowing what was going on.

No pills to take, no surgical procedures, just change my diet. Being pain-free is all the motivation I need to steer clear of wheat /gluten.

Happy Friday and Happy Sewing!