Saturday, May 27, 2017

Hand Knit Time.

Hello Everyone,

The smile on my face is not quite how I feel at the moment.  My husband and I have a very distracting problem at the moment, and I have to admit to two very sleepless nights this week wondering how to solve it.  I will tell you more about this when the problem has resolved, which it will, either in days, weeks or potential months.  

Because I am busy in real life, I really do not have time to reply to your weekly comments. They have all been read and appreciated though.  Many of you were interested in last weeks post about drafting trousers.   Some of you have expressed interest in knowing more, and I will enjoy sharing that with you one day, but for the moment I have put this class aside as I do not have the time and energy to dedicate to it. For now I must do Tried and True techniques and plan Simple Sewing projects.  For the same reason, learning about Bra making is also on hold. 

I have pulled out some knitting though, because that is simple to do and relaxes me in the evening.

I usually have knitting on the go, but I take a long time to finish a garment because I only do a few rows at night.  Recently I finished the burgundy top that is shown above.  I used a Patons pattern - I can't remember where I found it:

I loved the relaxed boxy look of the jumper. The yarn recommended was Paton's Souffle, a mohair/acrylic mix, 8 ply.  I wanted a plain colour though, not stripes, and settled for a lovely rich burgundy colour.  I also wanted longer sleeves. When I checked the instructions for the boat neckline, I realised it was not going to work - the garment was cast off straight through the shoulder and neck, and then sewn up at quite a wide interval.  I knew that this sort of neck would fall off my shoulders.  I also thought it might sit too high up on my neck and irritate me. So I modified the neckline to a little square neckline at the front.  I don't think I quite got the shaping correct and the front is a bit saggy, but it works, and on a handknit it really doesn't matter.  It still looks lovely, or so I think.  

I took these pictures in a hurry, and am wearing a pair of RTW jeggings.  I do not look good in jeggings, and also you can see what happens when I wear RTW pants of any sort.  I just don't have enough bulk in my legs to fill these out, so they are a mass of wrinkles.  Still, I am just in the house today, doing chores, so it doesn't matter.  I thought about putting different pants on and taking the photos again, but that seemed a little excessive.  I mean, we are all sewers here, and are all interested in fit, so I thought I would just go ahead with these.

I think this little Hand Knit is going to be a useful addition to my wardrobe - a dress up or dress down top, and warmth without weight.  And just in Time for our cooler days and nights.

That's it for today. I'm not sure what I will sew next given my pre-occupation with our personal personal affairs  So I may have to take a break from blogging.  Hopefully not sewing, but at least I have my next knitting project organised. That at least will help me destress.

Bye for now,

Sarah Liz. 

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