Saturday, September 13, 2008

Dress, top, or shorts?

So I went to Hancock Fabrics today with the idea to look at the dress patterns. Found both of the dresses I mentioned yesterday and found another pattern with the exact jacket that I wanted. But, after much careful thought, I decided not to get any of them. Finances, really. I just spent close to $800 on my eyes (contacts, glasses, eye exam, etc.) and I need to be careful about unnecessary expenditures right now. I also want to save $$ to go to Mary Jo's Cloth store in a couple of weeks. Besides, I have so many patterns...

The other reason why I deferred the purchase of the new patterns is that I'm planning on buying a dress form at the end of the month and I want to wait until that purchase before starting on a dress. I have some serious fit issues through my shoulders/upper back and I think a dress form will really help me figure out a solution.

So I've got a nice weekend ahead of me in which I have not much planned, on purpose. I'm in a sewing mood but I'm not sure what I want to make...the dress? A mom's fabrics that she bought while she was visiting are calling out to me. Or those Bermuda shorts that I was working on before Mom came? The top will be quick and easy...very gratifying project. I think I'll do that.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Giving up the ghost, PR meetup in NC, dresses??

Okay, so since Mom came for a visit last month, my sewing has taken a turn. I have given up the ghost on the baggy-butt problem (happens every time!). This is after realizing I had the same wrinkle across my butt in my favorite pair of pants. (The Essential Trouser from Old Navy, if you must know :). If I can live with wrinkled butt in my fave pants (which happens to give me a butt!), then I deal with it in my very own hand made pants. Enough aggravation already. Until I decide to tackle the problem 2 years. I will still make the Bermuda shorts...prolly start this wekend.

There is a NC PR meetup in Gastonia...a bit SW of Charlotte...and about 5 hours from where I live. I can crash at a friend's place in Chapel Hill (she knows who she is if she's reading this...:). Can I afford this? Maybe...if I stick to a budget. Anyway, the meetup is the last Saturday this month...and since there's not going to be a PR meeting in November (boohoo), I really, really want to do this. Well...I just really want to do this! I've been wanting to go to Mary Jo's Cloth store (in Gastonia) for ages but since it's such a long way even from Chapel Hill (about 2 1/2 hours), I've never been. meet fellow sewing enthusiasts...worth it.

I recently saw a woman in my choir wear the CUTEST mock-wrap dress. And now I'm all about the mock-wrap dress. I don't usually go for any kind of a wrap dress as the bodice tends to be very low...too low to be appropriate for work wear. And I make most of my clothes for work, honestly. But since my social life is picking up (sigh, I am a bit of a hermit), and I just want a new, cute, freakin' dress...I'm going to make one. There's a cute pattern by Vogue that's doable, and another Vogue mock-wrap dress that I'm eyeing. There also happens to be a sale on Vogue patterns this weekend at Hancock Fabrics. How convenient. I may also just make something from the pattern stash...depends on how, ahem, frugal, I need to be! I'll give an update tomorrow...

Friday, August 1, 2008

WBP, part IV

Okay, last night I looked through Pants for Real People again. I noticed that when they took a vertical tuck in the back of the pants, that additional fabric was needed in the side seam, usually in the hip/waist area. So I'll try taking out a vertical tuck and see what it does to the side seam. It might even straighten out the lower side seam.

I also took a look at my crotch curve. I have a flexible ruler that I bought for an online tailoring class years ago. I don't think I ever finished the tailoring class but I kept the ruler around just in case. So I molded the ruler to my crotch (Yeah, like that. I was wearing pajamas.) and compared it to the crotch curve on the pattern. It actually matches pretty well to commercial pattern, except perhaps in the crotch curves in more than the pattern but the pattern also looks like it has a dart rotated to the center back seam.... The muslin CB seam is just a touch loose so I might just shave a bit more off of the CB in effect deepens the dart to match my curve. It's counter-intuitive.

I'll experiment in fabric tomorrow...

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Goodbye, July, and WBP Part III

July is was a good month. I started it at the beach and ended it with a blackout in my apartment. (Well, clearly the power is back on now...) I got inspiration for a shirt that I'm working on and I'm almost done with my very first quilt. We're now on the homestretch for fall...

I ripped out the inseam on my shorts muslin and re-sewed it using a larger SA for the back inseam only, just for the first 5-6 inches and then gradually trued it up to the original 5/8" SA to the hem. WBP still exist, but now in a variation...the back thighs are now too full. But only below the butt. And strangely enough, the lower side seam still swings forward. I re-sewed the lower part of the side seam with a huge SA on the back leg only, and the SA still swung forward (and yes, I still had too much fabric in the back.) Clearly, not the issue. I took that SA back out and will let it cogitate in my unconscious and see if my brain comes up with a solution.

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Project Runway Online Challenge

I lurve Project Runway, although this is the first season I've been able to watch it. I didn't have cable the first four seasons so I had to live vicariously. My favorite part of the show is watching how the designers transform their materials into! I always think, hmmm, how would I have done that.'s my chance. No, I'm not auditioning for next season's PR (I like my day job). There's an online challenge where viewers can submit outfits/sketches of their creations in response to that weeks challenge. This week is about NYC icons. I'm going to skip this week because I'm getting ready for a visit from my mom (cleaning, cleaning, cleaning!). But what would I do?

First, which icon would I pick..Broadway of course! I love, love, LOVE musicals. (Have I discussed that here yet? I should.) Of course, how does that get translated into a garment? I would make a dress. Dresses make statements. And what concepts what I pick...(okay, I SAW you roll your eyes. Don't deny it. :) Broadway is all about drama and fantasy. So prolly a dress with volume...and color. I'm thinking a ballroom gown as a jumpstart but nothing quite so...predictable. A peacock green that is irridescent and somehow incorporate accents of color...blues, a touch of gold/yellow, dark greens, light greens. Hell yeah. Oh, and figure out a way to incorporate an unusual trim...not feathers (not with peacock green, too predictable)...rhinestones would work, possibly sequins? I just had a mental picture of the Scarlet in her "drapery dress." It was a beautiful dress but I can't evoke that...too trite. Maybe stay away from the peacock green :) Oh, how I wish I could draw! I would totally do a fashion sketch. It would be so much fun to enter!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Wrinkly Butt Problem (WBP), Part Two

(For some reason, I usually get the bug to update my blog late at night...what's up with that?)

So to continue, I got the bright idea to let out the entire inseam by 5/8" and see if I just can't take a vertical tuck down the entire back length of the shorts. The crazy theory here is to remove the back waist darts. Well, did that...and not only did it not really work, it threw off the lower end of the side seam...made it swing forward. This means that there's too much fabric in the calf. The other reason why it didn't work..and I could have thought of this before I went whole hog on this that the shorts fit perfectly over the fullest part of my rear. If I make a full length vertical tuck, the pants would be too tight over my bum. Oh well, it was worth a shot. So tomorrow I rip out the inseam up to the knee (not a big deal as it was only basted anyway) and re-sew using the original seam allowance. I'll figure out a way to get those darn darts out of the picture....

One last thought before I say good night...I'll probably need to take about an inch off the length. Even with a two inch hem (which is what the pattern says to use), the shorts will come to the top of my knee. This is what's shown in the pattern picture but I think I want them slightly above the knee. I think that will be more flattering for my leg length, and plus, it takes some emphasis off of my knees...I think they look a little "knobby."


Sunday, July 27, 2008

I'm back!

I've been away from the blog but I have been sewing! I whipped up McCall's 5425 super quick for a beach's perfect for a coverup. I made it in a swirly blue knit I bought in NYC last fall...made me think of the water. Perfect! I don't have a picture of the dress...I may or may not snap one and write up a review on've already moved on to my next project. Which is...fixing the darn wrinkle that I see under my bottom when I wear pants.

Now, every other year or so, I get all determined to fix this issue. I usually work on it for about a week, throw up my hands and say, "good enough." So the bug is back. I'm currently using Simplicity 4135 as my guinea pig pattern, since I pretty much destroyed the Vogue pants pattern I had been using. The Simplicity pattern is a Threads pattern...and honestly, I don't know how this particular pattern is so special or even different from the regular Simplicity patterns. There are no special notes, no pearls of sewing wisdom, and the pattern isn't even graded any differently from other Simplicity patterns. I have the same gripe about other Simplicity-Threads patterns that I've made. I think it's mostly a marketing gimmick. But back to the topic. So I'm making a muslin of view C, the city shorts. I got a yen for some long shorts when I went to visit my sister in beautiful San Francisco. I saw how cute they were on her and then I wanted a pair for myself! I always come to these fashion parties late...I didn't get into capris until they had been "in" for a couple of years. Yes, I know..and you know as well...I hate muslins. So I must be really, really serious about fixing these wrinkles if I'm willing to spend time and fabric on a muslin. Wellllll...I initially thought I could get away with just fiddling around with a few pairs of pants that were already done. I didn't wear these pants anyway for that same wrinkly-butt issue (the pants, not my actual skin :) ). Since they were just sitting around collecting dust, I figured I might as well mess them up as much I wanted to. And I did. And no matter what I did...the wrinkly butt problem remained. I abbreviate it WBP, since I'm all about short cuts! Anyway, after raising the back waistline, lowering it again, shortening the crotch depth, lengthening the crotch curve, letting out the front and back inseams...nothing!! How frustrating.

So with a great sigh, I decided to do the muslin. It was the only way. I had the freedom to fiddle with unfinished seam allowances (the other pants had serged seam allowances. Have you ever taken out a seam allowance that has been serged? 'Nuff said.) I had the perfect leftover fabric too...a coral linen that was just screaming muslin. I had made a cute, cute tank top and skirt from it. And afterwards, I vowed never to make or purchase linen clothing ever again. It's a total pain to iron. So I didn't care how much I messed with this fabric...I wasn't going to wear it. I prepped the fabric and the pattern. And then I went to my trusty "Pants for Real People." If you don't own this series, buy it. It should be a part of every sewer's fitting arsenal. (I also have Fitting Finesse and Power Fitting. Power fitting is mostly for older figures. Not much help now, but I will eventually have an older figure. My mom is living proof. Good thing she doesn't read this!!) Originally, I assumed that my problem was a swayback and a flat bottom. But this time, I looked at the pictures with an open mind. Hey...that real woman has the same WBP that I do...her problem is "full inner thighs." !! I have full inner thighs?! Nooooo...oh wait....yes. I'm skinny but my inner thighs do in fact touch. Ahhhhh. So I let out the, a whole lot. By a full 5/8". WBP practically GONE. Whoa. A revelation has a occurred...and a small victory dance. (Imagine me, prancing around in a pair of half-finished shorts. Bless my little heart.) I also noticed that I now had some loose vertical wrinkles in the back thigh area. Lightbulb...what if I un-sewed the back darts and just take a long vertical tuck down the back of the pants? brilliant! Stunning conclusion tomorrow night!