Sunday, July 31, 2011

Is there such a thing as SADD--Sewing Attention Deficiency Disorder?

     I think I have it.  I become so involved in my thoughts about what I am sewing or planning to sew that I lose my materials (instruction sheets.)  I also have difficulty working on one project at a time.
     No luck so far on finding the directions for the Muse dress pattern.  The only answer I can come up with other than that I threw them away, is that I slid them into another patter envelope.  I will begin that search soon.  Unfortunately,  I have several patterns.
      In the mean-time, when I am not working on my pants-sloper class, I started a fantastic online class with Gertie.  I love it!  I learned about the class through Oonaballoona who made an adorable bombshell dress.  The class is half price through Oonaballoona's blog.  I am sorry if this gets confusing, but here it goes.  The class is actually through  It requires a free membership and offers fantastic knitting, crocheting, craft, and sewing courses online.  I am amazed at how easy this class is to follow and how much fun I am having.
     This is the first time I have used a PDF pattern.  So far, it has been really easy.  I look forward to using more of this type of pattern.  For those of you, like me, who haven't tried it, you have to print it out on your computer and tape it together.  I felt like I was putting a very simple puzzle together and enjoyed the process.  Gertie suggests folding the edges which is easy enough, but I have a paper cutter and sliced the left-side and bottom of each page before taping them together.  It didn't take long to put it together at all.
     The first sheet shows the layout, so you will know if you have done it correctly.  When I finished, I began tracing the pattern size that I will use rather than cut it from the paper.  Optimistically, I am doing this because of the weight I will soon be loosing.  I will be needing  a smaller size the next time I make this dress.
     My grandmother gave me some of this wonderful patter-making or tracing material before she died.  It is not woven and comes on about a 45" wide role.  Since then, I found a big box of it at a garage sale and scooped it up.  It is really easy to pin on fabric and allows you to see through it.
     Now, here is my question.  Promise me that you will be honest in your answer.  I have the perfect amount of a cotton print in my stash.  Cotton is what is recommended for this somewhat vintage looking pattern.  Take a good look at it and tell me if you think it would be interesting or hideous.  I don't want to make a dress that I either won't wear, or other people are questioning when I am not looking because I have convinced myself to reduce my stash.  The print is of coleus leaves.  I love them in gardens and beneath shrubbery.  It reminds me a bit of some vintage prints that I have seen, but I am not quite sure.  My other choice would be plain black cotton.  This is the pattern provided with the class.  I will be adding a thick halter-style strap to the dress--and will probably wear a little cardigan with it.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Assymetrical Body = Two Pattern Pieces

   As I mentioned before, I am taking a class to make a sloper for a pair of pants. I have dreamed of taking this class for years.  When I am done, I will have a hip-block and a muslin that should fit me perfectly. It will have a waist band at my actual waist (where I bend.) However, I will draft a pattern from the muslin with a waist below my belly-button because I can't stand any pressure at all on my stomach area. I can also add other details to my pants. The hip-block will allow me to draft or alter store-bought pataerns to fit very easily.
      Pattern-making requires tough skin when it comes to fitting yourself.  It is a very honest look in the mirror.  You can't hide or disguise anything or it won't fit correctly. No spanx!
     I have had to face the fact that I am a full-diamond and extremely assymetrical in the front.   You begin by analyzing your body shape from several examples.  Average is what I would like to be, but instead I am an extreme.  A diamond is full in the hips (like a pear shape), and a round diamond also has some of the characteristics of a heart shape.  The heart shape is full in the high-hip and abdomen area without much of a bottom or hip.  The strange symmetry of my body only complicates matters more.
    I will always be cutting two different pieces for the right and left side of the front of my pants.  I am sorry the light is not better in these pictures.  I took them during my class.
     I had to slash and remove about 2 inches from the front left side of my muslin.  The side seam is at the top and the waist is to the left. 

     Then I slit up the middle and removed only about an inch from the right side.  The original plan was to use two darts because of the vast difference in my waist and hip measurement.  Unfortunately, that left quite a pucker in the front.  I now only have one dart in the front that had to be completely reshaped.  The science of all of this is fascinating, but the reality of my body is frightening. 
Have a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sloper Class

The search for the dress instructions is coming along slowly.  Had to pack up eleven years worth of accumulation in my classroom to move to another school.  I used 120 labels on boxes and bags in addition to some things I marked in other ways. In addition, I am taking a class to learn to make a sloper for pants.  I've got to keep up with the class and put the dress on hold. 
I get so excited about the class, I can't sleep the night before.  Then I am so tired during the class I have difficulty following the instructor.  Guess I know how my students feel. 
Just finished cutting the first muslin.  I will find out tomorrow if I have made any mistakes.  I have a very odd shape compared to the average figure and pattern, unfortunately asymmetrical.  Will try to post pictures tomorrow.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Never as Perfect the Second Time

     Well I haven't be sewing for a while.  I had a wonderful time with my relatives from New York when they came to stay.  Unfortunately, rather than getting back to normal when they left, life got complicated.  My car broke down in the college town where my daughter lives on a Saturday night.  Had to wait till Monday to get it fixed.  Then I got the chance to assist a friend who has a little too much on her plate.  You can't complain when life gets in the way because you are always blessed to have one.
     Now, I am attempting to fix the opening in my dress so that I will like it better.  Unfortunately,  I probably should have listened to the advice of my aunt who is a wonderful seamstress.  She took a look at the opening and said I should leave it because it was perfect.  She suggested that I just spread it a bit when I attached the binding.  Guess I should have listened.  The new keyhole is not perfect.  I don't know if anyone but I will notice, but I know it.  The procedure I used worked pretty well, however it is always difficult to work on something partially complete.

I first traced a couple keyholes using the pattern piece as my guide.  When I got it the desired size, I cut it out.  
Next, I taped the opening together with transparent tape.  Then I layed my template on the taped cutline and traced.
Finally, I stitched around the marked line, clipped, and understitched the opening.  This is the result.
     I like the opening better, but I wish it was done as well as it was the first time I did it
     New complication--I have now misplace the instructions.  I may have accidentally placed them in another pattern envelope.  I hope my next post will be about this dress, but I'm in the mood to sew, not hunt for misplaced papers.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Changed My Mind

I had planned to work on the orange paisley fabric with the new Vogue pattern next.  Then a phone call came that sent me into a tailspin.  I couldn't be more excited that relatives were coming to visit from New York.  However, I had to get my house in order -- a monumental task.  In the process, I found the pattern I have been looking for, for over a year now. I can now finish a Suzie Chin dress that I started two years ago.  I stopped when I became dissappointed in the result and knew I didn't have enough time to fix, finish, and find shoes before the wedding we were to attend.  This is the problem:
The pattern does not look like the picture.
The opening in the front of the bodice does not show.  The problem may have occured when I enlarged the bust slightly.  I know that the obvious answer is to make the opening larger, but it became a bit more complicated when I lost the pattern.   I am not sure about how to go about it.  I think I will make a muslin first rather than take any chances.  My thought is to make the slit which is truly only a straight line at this point into a tear drop shape.  Any suggestions?  I would love to see this dress finished on someone else.

Monday, July 11, 2011

They're Back!

I don't know if it was the message I left in a two-year-old forum or something else.  After leaving my last post, I turned off the computer.  When I turned it back on, the followers were back.  I guess I can stop fooling with the computer and get some sewing done. 
Because I am so glad to have you back, I am making sure that you are all listed on my bloglist.  Thanks for following!

Where are my "Followers?"

Is anyone else having a problem with their followers not showing up on the screen?  I have been trying to figure this out for a couple days now.  I am fairly new to blogging, so I have not found the answer.  If you can help pleeeeeeeeeease comment.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday is Great Day for Thrifting!

I started last Friday when my friend Laura asked me to go to an estate sale being taped for a TV show with someone named Carie.  We didn't get on TV (thank goodness,) but we did meet Carie.  I bought a great snow globe.  Then we hit a wonderful garage sale.  I love this kind of find!
The ruler is the best part.  I used it to mark the pintucks on my last blouse and plan to use it to create a scalloped hem skirt. I have yet to try out the mini-sewers.

Today was exciting because I found something I have been searching for a long time now.

I received this book for my wedding shower almost 26 years ago in paperback and used it religously until the pages fell out.  This one is hardcover and spiral bound.
I also found a canopener that my kindergarten students can use when we "cook."  
The next find was a steal.  Garnet and sterling silver for $9.00.  My computer is undoing everything  I do right now, so I hope you don't mind if I don't rotate.

Not only do I enjoy the sales and finds, I love using this bag I made. Again, sorry about the rotation.
It folds up to fit in your purse.
It is really quick and easy to make.  The pattern called for 1/2 inch double fold bias tape.  I made several bags and preferred the 1/4 inch double fold tape.

The handles slide right on to the bag holders at the store.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

New Patterns, Old Fabric

I have promised myself that I would devote this summer to using up a big chunk of my stash and getting rid of the pieces I know I won't use.  I cheated with that last blouse, but I am back to being commited.  Fortunately, Jo Ann's ran a sale over the weekend on Vogue patterns.  They are usually my favorite. 

This is a piece I picked up in a clearance rack at Jo Ann's in 2007 after admiring it for quite some time full price.  I bought this pattern to make the sleeveless wrap dress.

I am afraid that I bought the pattern because the colors were so similar, but I never felt the paisley print fit the style of the dress.  I looked for something a bit more peasant-like, yet never found anything I liked.  Then, I came across this newer Vogue and fell in love with it.  I think the combination will be unique, so I am going to give it a try.
It is definitely a far cry from peasent-like.  But, I have to have it!

You may not see the reveal for a while.  Unfortunately, I have some drapes that need to be finished.
Until then, happy sewing!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Most comfortable top ever!

I truly love this blouse and the pattern.  I know it does not show off my best area, my waist.  However, it fits well in the bust area and feels very cool on a hot day like today.   Please comment and tell me if you think I should shorten this blouse.  I am afraid it may look a little like a maternity top.  I haven't been pregnant for more that 21 years, so I don't want to start any crazy rumors or embarass people making the wrong assumption.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

I've been without my computer!

It was difficult to give my computer up for repairs this week.  However, due to new kindergarten math curriculmn, I haven't had as much time to sew as I would have liked.  This is where I am with my blouse.
I truly love this pattern and will use it again.  The front is roomy, yet the details keep it from looking sloppy.  I used my blind hem foot to get really uniform looking pin-tucks on the top.

I hope to finish today but need to make a run to JoAnn's for interfacing.  I am looking for a black, woven, fusible interface.
Have a lovely weekend!