Friday, October 30, 2009

Not every body has 8 heads

Check this out - this guy says as few as 6 heads may be desired for a petite female.  Well, all righty then!

It's not hard to find more information about body proportions.  I found this interesting pic on a site called craftworks where it was posted to help doll-makers.

As far as using the information in sewing, I am considering the truism that when you put on weight, it will settle in your shortest quadrant.  We may, perhaps, seek to select silhouettes to counter that effect!

But it is more fun and positive to focus on where the opportunities are.  The longest quadrant becomes the canvas for sewing & styling efforts.

On me, my "canvas" is in the upper chest, so necklines and necklaces will be fun to play with.
I intend to use this information to focus my sewing, and how I work the jewelry.

Focus is a good thing!  It helps me drop the ideas on sewing jeans or embellished skirts.  I am better off to keep bottoms quiet and simple.  I'll be adding details and embellishment on the canvas!  I guess that makes my legs just the easel stand, eh?
*Happy Sewing!*

Sunday, October 25, 2009

More Body Proportions

OK, so what else can be said about body proportions?

Tape some paper on the wall. I used adding machine tape, which I keep on hand to use under the presser foot in sticky fabric emergencies.  Any kind of paper will be fine- you just need a place to mark your various heights.  Start with the top of your head and record the number of inches or centimeters in total. 
Then find your leg break point.  The leg point divides the body in half.  It occurs where the leg moves to bend away from the hip. When marked as a horizontal line, it will be above the crotch line. 
Mark the paper. You can take it down later and measure the distances.
Mark the mid knee and the bust point
Divide your total height by 4.  Compare those to the actual measurements of your quadrants.

In my particular example, I am not surprised to learn that I carry height in the upper chest, shoulders and neck.  My upper quadrant is 21" tall, which is quite a lot taller than Michaelangelo thought perfect (17.25").

That means the upper chest is a great place for me to add visual interest - I think of it as my blank canvas waiting for creatitivity.  Scarves, interesing necklines, necklaces - all good.
OK, blogger is acting finicky, so if the formatting is all ugly, I will come back later and fix 'er up.
Happy Sewing!

Monday, October 19, 2009

J.Stern T-shirt and BWOF pants finished!

I love this t-shirt!  I used a 4-way stretch so it was possible to use the stripe either vertically or horizontally:

And the pants are the April 2009 #118 from BurdaWorld of Fashion.

Both of these were new patterns for me, so fitting adjustments were required. 

I'll write a review at patternreview as soon as I have time.
If highly recommend this pattern for a cute alternative to a boring old t-shirt.
MAKE SURE YOU MEASURE!  This runs small.  Don't even look at the back of the envelope, look at the actual tissue pattern and compare a TNT or just pull out the tape measure and make sure it's big enough.  I ended up with a XL.  I would have been very upset if I had cut a medium and ruined the pattern.
Luckily I always have to alter the shoulders and I always compare a TNT pattern, so I could see it was running very small.
But, boy this is a FAST project and her instructions are excellent!!
Happy Monday! I gotta hit the gym, like NOW.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Leonardo da Vinci and me

So anyway, it's all about me.  Me and my relationship with Leonardo da Vinci. 
(Imogen explains it in her blog post here)
In my Style Guide from Imogen, she applied these concepts to my specific case, lol, and it is a case.

This morning, while Howie did his crossword puzzle, I played with pencil and paper to see just where I stand with Leonardo.

I like the way Imogen explained it to me.
I think I get it now.  My longest quandrant is the one where I used a green marker.  In my sewing I will make sure I place necklines where I have indicated, as these produce better proportion.

And look at the difference between the ideal on the left (I drew her a little too skinny- just ignore that- I wasn't sure Id have enough room on the page so she turned into a Ralph Lauren photoshop disaster, oops)

I can see that my proportions below my bustline are not all that weird, but above the bustline, I am just way off the charts.  No wonder nothing ever fit me - in RTW or when sewing a pattern straight out of the envelope.


Sooo... still pondering ....  this seems like a breakthrough concept for me.
What do you think ?
(and not what do you think about me :0 ...)
Do you want a closer relationship with Leonardo?
I can post more  how I figured out these heights on myself.
*Hope you are enjoying yourself, wherever you are*

Friday, October 16, 2009

ok, so I think I know what not to wear, but ...

I need more help to know what to wear.  And I don't think Stacy and Clinton are coming to my house any time soon.  And let's face it, they do make people cry.

There are lots of books out there- the only problem being I would need to buy them and study them and apply the concepts to myself.  That equates to time and money that I am not willing to part with.

It is bad enough to shop for clothes and feel overwhelmed with choices.  Wouldn't you think it should be easier if I can sew whatever I want?  I thought so, but .. factor in how many fabrics are available and whether or not I can find appropriate notion and it becomes daunting.  After all, it takes at least 5 hours just for a simple garment.  We won't discuss what I have spent on machines, fabrics, notions and gadgets. (those were necessary)
I found a wonderful solution to my style dilemma (and I bow down to those of you who style yourselves so well; there are a LOT of you out there!)

Having avidly followed Imogen Lamport's blog since the first time I saw it, the light bulb came on when I saw her post with this style board for a capsule contest.  I sent her an email asking, "can I pay you a consulting fee to make a style board for me?  Planning what to sew is making my head hurt!"

The answer was yes, and the dear lady did not just give me a fish, so to speak, she sent me a 14 page Style Guide on How to Fish  :) !
I didn't just get a style board, I got personalized advice on everything from eyeglasses to fabric choices to advice on balancing body proportions.  It was reasonably priced and worth every penny.

You know what this means, don't you?  More crafty fun!  I need necklaces and scarves at my neck & chest area.  I want to learn how to knit!  Cute fringy scarves!  And I already have lots of beads and tools, so I can make necklaces!!

... all the knitting classes seem to be on Sundays ... meh... unless Howie wants to knit, that's out.  Sundays are for couple time... I am rambling now..... 
Maybe a weeknight visit to mom is in order.  She can do anything.  I think I better learn needlepoint, too.
OK,  I'll stop now.  That's enough about me. 
So, what do you think of me?

Have a great crafty weekend.  It's raining here, so fortunately we have plans to hit a restaurant and hubster is on the hunt for a new car for me.  You don't need good weather to test drive cars!
*make it crafty!*

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sewing Expo!

On Saturday, we headed down to Virginia to the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly. I wanted to stop by and meet Jennifer Stern because I admire her work. And I want to sew her jeans pattern.
Here we are!
I wish I had taken more pictures!! There was this amazing jean skirt that had all kinds of gorgeous embroidery all over it and lots of neat details, like a leather binding at the waist and godets with little tucks in them. Just beautiful. And she also had a pair of jeans made out of Amy Butler fabric that had been FMQ'd to denim - wow. It was the coolest thing. I think I'd like to make a jacket like that.
I did not buy too much. Just a few odds & ends. And a super piece of faux shearling wool. I truly loved all the styles in the September BWOF, and those designs were not my usual fare. It must have been a nostalgia thing for me. I had a vest like that when I was a teenager. I think those Bohemian, folksy things remind me of carefree youth. But now that I work in a casual environment, heck I can wear whatever I want!

It was a memorable, lovely weekend.
*Happy Sewing*

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Christine Jonson Jacket - finished.

I wore a white t-shirt and white pants just as a backdrop for the cardigan. And, no I don't feel inclined to wash the car :)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Christine Johnson Travel Trio One Jacket: shoulder alteration

Here is how I did it. The white pattern is a simple bodice that fits me. I printed it out from Bernina My Label pattern-making software. You could use Wild Ginger Boutique, or take an online class at or find someone locally to create a basic bodice pattern for you. The black lines on the white paper are the stitching lines. The tissue pattern was cut without any seam allowance. The edge of the tissue pattern is the stitching line.
It is important to locate the grainline and a horizontal line. My horizontal line intersects the bottom of the armscye. I only altered the tissue pattern to match the white pattern throughout the armscye, neckline and shoulders.
In addition to altering the bodice, I re-shaped the sleeve cap to be a little taller and more forward. Since I KNOW this white pattern fits me, I just moved ahead without sewing a muslin first. I had a gorgeous piece of wool jersey knit in purple. I finished the jacket today and I love it.
I'll post more when I have photos.
Super great fun day today. GORGEOUS weather. Howie took me down to the Sewing Expo where I met Jennifer Stern. She had a whole lot of sample garments, and I was quite inspired by her work. More to come! I only wish I had taken more photos. I'll post what I have soon.
Happy Weekend!!
Questions? Ask away!