Friday, April 18, 2014

Wearable? T-shirt Muslin

In the early 90s I made most of my clothes.  Many of them came from the same go-to patterns McCalls 3064 and Butterick 5384.  Not sure why I kept them.
Wow!  Has the t shirt style ever changed.  No fitting issues there.  The shoulder pads and loose style was so simple.  I put velcro on the shoulder seams and used one pair of covered shoulder pads.
This is my favorite t shirt now -- very fitted.
I have a lot of t shirts that just don't fit as well or do not look age appropriate, so I wanted to copy this style.  I started by modifying Angela Wolf's ruched T.  I raised the neckline, eliminated the ruching, and tried to use the same measurements.  The plan was to use the ivory fabric I bought last week at B&J Fabrics in New York.  

This is muslin #1.  I like the sleeve length better than the original, but there are several problems.  It is too tight across the chest, I sewed the sleeves on wrong side out, and I am not thrilled with the fit under the arms.  My photography leaves much to be desired.  I reacquainted myself with the self timer on my camera.  The fit over my hips is not as bad as it looks.  I will be tucking it in. 
I learned a few things.  Knits differ in the amount of stretch.  This brown knit has a fabric content of 95 percent cotton.  The cotton has less stretch than the ivory fabric which is more of a ribbed knit.  This pattern may be perfect for a more stretchy knit.  
I love the way my coverstitch machine finished the collar.  Since I raised the neckline, I couldn't use the pattern piece from the ruched T.  Threads has a fantastic video tutorial for t shirt collars.  It worked like a dream.  I highly recommend this video for anyone learning to sew with knits.  The video clearly explains how to stretch the collar more in the proper places to make it lay correctly.  
Looking at the RTW t-shirt, I saw that they had used an extra layer of fabric in the shoulder.  I used Emma Seabrooke's fusible knit stay tape instead.  
 It took a bit of practice to start and stop the hems in the round.  This one looks rough because of the change in thickness.
The other side looks better because I took a snip at the fold of the hem and folded the seam allowance the other way eliminating some of the bulk.

I can wear it like this, so it isn't a total fail.  I needed a shirt to wear with this flannel.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Shopping in the Garment District

I ventured out on my own to shop the garment district last week without my guide daughter.  LOL! It sounds like I have a disability, but the description is not too far from the truth when you see her leading me along through the hustle and bustle by the hand.  It feels like it wasn't too long ago that the roles were reversed!  Well, anyway, I mapped out my day with the help of a great blog called Shop the Garment District and made my way into Manhatten on the subway alone.
First stop Pacific Trimming
I really wish that I had taken some pictures of the inside of Pacific Trimming.  It is too incredible to describe.    Thousands of zippers, walls and walls of buttons, isles and isles of trim and fasteners made me giddy at first and a bit overwhelmed after a while.  Luckily, I had a list.  The buckle and slides are for my next fanny-pack, though I couldn't find the navy blue slide I was looking for to finish the one I made for my mother-in-law other mom.  I also found these great buttons for the shirt I have been working on for quite a while.
Oval button made from shell -- 35 cents each
And this set for the Archer I plan to attempt soon. 

Next stop B&J Fabrics

This is what you see when exiting the elevators.

The store is well organized and the staff is incredibly nice.  I found a beautiful selection of shirting fabrics right away and texted a pic to my daughter of my fave.  Thinking it was too soon to make a choice, I decided I should look some more before making a purchase.  Ultimately, I regretted that decision and raced back in a time crunch to get it because it stuck with me.
Can't wait to make the Archer
From there I peeked in numerous stores that had mostly synthetics and fabric for pageant or prom dresses on my way to Paron Fabrics where I found this beautiful ivory knit and lightweight, fusible interfacing.

Of course, I couldn't miss Mood after getting stuck on the subway and getting to spend only 15 minutes there before they closed in August. If you have never been there before, this is all that you see.  There is no sign, and it looks like you are in the wrong place.  But, get on the elevator, and the attendant might ask you if you are going to Mood.
Get off the elevator and this is what you will see.
My 15 minute trip to Mood
They had a nice selection of shirtings, but I couldn't find anything I liked as much as my first find at B&J Fabrics.  By that time, I realized that I was too exhausted and overwhelmed to shop anymore.  Could that be?!!! IN A FABRIC STORE?!!! I walked down the stairs to discover that it was pouring rain, and I had forgotten to bring an umbrella with me.  Wanting dry hair much more than dignity, I pulled out my Paron Fabrics bag an put it on my head.  To my horror surprise, Helen Castillo from season 12 of Project Runway giggled at my ridiculous rain hat and held the door open for me.  Like a tactless fool, I uttered something silly like, "I know you,  I loved you on Project Runway."  She was very sweet and said, "Nice to meet you."  Poor girl can't even go to Mood without fools like me saying dumb things.  She was absolutely beautiful in person.  I have seen at least one celebrity every time I visited New York.  
photo via:
Final Tally: 2 pieces of fabric, one piece of interfacing, 22 buttons, one buckle, 3 slides, one piece of webbing, one pattern, 100 lace pins, and one needle threader.  
Fitting it all in my carry-on luggage kept me from getting more, but I have plenty in my stash to keep me busy until next time.
Thought I would leave you with a picture of the hail storm we had last night.  Looks like snow, but more like 1cm pieces of hail that chipped the paint off my garage door and left many without power.  Weird weather again?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Shopping NYC

Just back from my favorite place to shop for fabric!  I have to appreciate my daughter's new home for the shopping opportunities in spite of the break in my heart.  She is happier than ever -- what more could a mom wish for?
Waiting for the bus to take us to The Brooklyn General Store
She helped me navigate the bus routes to find The Brooklyn General Store where they sell Colette patterns among many other goodies.  I highly recommend this little gem if you are ever in Brooklyn.
They sure pack a lot into this space.
I would love to have joined in on the class going on in the back, so I lingered for quite a while looking at books and listening in.  
Great selection of books bloggers love.
The staff was incredibly nice and never let on that the store had closed fifteen minutes before I left, but the class was still going on in the back.  What a contrast to the night I decided to stop shopping at JoAnn Fabrics (but that is a story for another day.)
The Colette Negroni, lace pins, and a needle threader
I controlled myself this time because I knew I would be back in June.  They have a wonderful selection of Liberty of London fabrics including fabric intended for bathing suits on the rolls hanging from the wall. How fun would that be in a Bombshell bathing suit! 
Liberty of London
One of the dress forms in the windows sported the Jasmine blouse and Ginger skirt by Colette.  The other one looked like the Ceylon dress.  I may have to make that skirt.

How funny, I just now realized that there was a huge picture of what I assume is an alpaca hanging on the wall where I spent so much time looking at notions!  I have an irrational fear of llamas and alpacas after being chased by a few as a child.  If my daughter is reading this, she is cracking up.

 Can't wait to shop here again.  

Next stop -- The Garment District!