Sunday, May 21, 2017

A Fitting Tail...

 Hello Everyone,

I have to admit that at the moment I have limited time for blogging and social media, due to the annoying disruptions of that thing called Real Life.  Still, this happens to all hobby sewing bloggers, so I just fit in what I can when I can.  I think I've kept up to date with most of your blogs.

This week I just wanted to share pictures of my tail.  And tell you a fitting tale, in extremely brief form.

The above picture is a quick muslin of a Burda tapered pant pattern.  It is designed to sit lower on the mid section than the waist. I can't wear that sort of style - that sort of style just falls down on me.

I also nowhere near fit the measurements of any commercial pattern.  A 28 inch waist, to 34 hip, and 34 high hip just is not going to be easy to adapt from any pattern.  Plus I also get a saggy backside and something not quite right about the crotch area.

Tracing and making pattern modifications took about 3 hours.

But, look at this:

Yes, that's my bottom again, in another pattern.  Perfect!

So how did I get to this stage.  Frustration. Frustration with spending hours altering patterns to still get a poor fit.  The front of the Burda pants is not great either.

So, when Craftsy sent a marketing email saying that they had a special, all classes US$20, I decided to enrol in a Pants Drafting Course by Suzy Furrer.

Now, as it so happens, this was not a good week to do this class.  I put Thursday aside for a whole day session so I could concentrate, but that was the day a few problems appeared, that also needed attention over the weekend.

So I quickly rushed through, a bit here, and bit there inbetween interruptions (not a good way to learn anything new).  And quickly stitched up the result.

I am very pleased with the back of this self draft. The front has problems, but I can easily sort those out as they are easy  and deal with when self fitting.

And, I think I made a few mistakes with the draft in any case, due to my lack of dedicated attention time.

Still, the self draft concept is going to work.  For now, I am satisfied with what I have achieved.

When life settles down, I will go back to this class, check my draft is correct.  If not, I will alter.  If it is, I just have to modify this toile and then learn how to adapt for different styles.

What I did learn though was that the crotch shape of commercial patterns is completely the wrong shape for my measurements.

As for Me Made May, I'm afraid I have had little time to participate.  I have decided to abandon Me Made May this year, as it is a stressor for me at the moment, not fun.

But I have had fun in finishing a handknit, which I shall share with you next week.  That will be a fitting end to May.

See you next week,

Sarah Liz

Saturday, May 6, 2017

A New Top for Sew Merry May, Simplicity 8216.

I've been having a strange life over the last few months and it has affected my sewing time quite a bit.  But on Thursday, I decided to just have a day to myself to sew.  And I worked on my May garment for the Make a Garment a Month project.  Our theme this month is Sew Merry May, and I thought this lovely cheerful fabric was Merry enough. The fabric also reminded me of the sort of fabrics I liked years ago as a teenager.  And the flowing style was also reminiscent of teenage memories.

The sewing of this top, though, was anything but Merry.  The fabric is a slippery rayon twill like fabric, and it misbehaved the whole way through.  Plus my attention was not good - if I have had things in real life that are draining, I find that it takes me a while to fire up my sewing brain again.

But, with lots of sighing and unpicking and what not, I got there!

The pattern I used was Simplicity 8216:

I had previously done a quick toile of this top.  I usually use size 8 around the arm, neck and shoulder area, and then go out to a 12.  I haven't made many Simplicity garments, and found this approach to size was wrong as the 8 was far too small. So I cut out a size 12 in all areas.  I think Simplicity paterns are going to fit me well with little alteration.

I measure the top ( I made version C) and found it very long - more tunic length, although the picture shows it to finish at hip/crotch height.  I am 5'4", or about 162 cms, so not over short.  I shortened the top by about 3 inches /10 cm.

As I knew the fabric I was working with was going to be a little difficult, I decided to omit the cuff and use an elastic casing instead at the bottom of the sleeve.  Sleeves are usually far to long on me, so I thought that by doing this I would have the sleeve finishing at about the right point.  I made the casing too deep, so edged it, which I think looks good. Then my elastic wouldn't fit, so I found another which happened to be softer which is just perfect for this sleeve finish:

I also added an inside yoke - the pattern just uses a single piece so seams are exposed. The pattern had a facing for the back neck but I thought that I would get annoyed at seeing the exposed seams with a facing above it.  I wanted a nice, neat, finish, plus I thought the double yoke would help to brace this drapey blouse- more body at the shoulder for it to hang from.  I interfaced the lining yoke at the neck edge.

I don't use the Burrito method as I find that a bit tedious - all the rolling, when with a yoke this deep you can just get right in there and sew by going through an armhole.   Much simpler.

I used the front facing and sewed that into the yoke - and realised later, that I had made a mistake - the pattern had the tie coming right down the front.  But when I thought about it, I prefered my version as it comes straight from the neck /facing join and that is already low enough for me.  So if I make this again, I am going to repeat my mistake.

The hem was just a standard 5/8 inch /1.5 cm turn twice and stitch sort of hem:

Disaster nearly struck as I was finishing this garment - I was very careful overlocking the armhole seam, flipping the sleeve neatly out of the way, or so I thought.  I was just threading my ends through, when I notice - I had just caught the sleeve into the overlocking.  It didn't look as though I had cut the sleeve, so I carefully unpicked the overlocking - and this fabric is dreadful to unpick, if you catch a thread it pulls dreadfully.  I got back to the caught bit, and released that.  I had pulled and torn/cut a thread, but as it was right under the armhole, I knew it would not be noticed. I blobbed some clear nail polish on the thread and area under it - just a small blob.  That will stop any further damage.

Of course, then I was upset, so I had to give myself a good talking too, and the top and I had to make friends with each other again.  Today, all is forgiven, and I am very Merry about this top.

And it even works nicely with my serious looking glasses, which I wear on serious sorts of occasions:

Oh, and I do plan to wear this over a black t-shirt.  I have some with a lower neckline, which I will wear under this - I am wearing a high neck one today and notice that it doesn't quite work.  I do need a layer under this, because the key hole is just a bit low for my liking.  I also get very cold, so need the extra layers.  

That's it for now, and if any of you want to join our group, do email me, stylishsarah251@gmail to join the Facebook group (you need a Facebook account) or if you are on Instagram and want to take part on Instagram, you will find me here .

Bye for now, and wishing you the best of sewing luck this week.

Sarah Liz