Sunday, April 29, 2012

Too much ease

I apologize to those of you who would like to see the knock-off for the jacket. It’s not happening now. Thought the contest might be a good stimulus to make it in April.
After the muslin wasn’t quite right I gave up. I just have to get to terms with myself that this is not the kind of sewing I can do now.

On Friday night I pulled out a pattern for a summer dress: Vogue 1223

Recently I went to the Amsterdam market with my friend Valerie and bought some wonderful fabrics at good prices. For this dress I’m using a print that doesn’t do the design much justice. The muslin fabric I have was not a lot cheaper, so I just went to make it without making a muslin, hoping to make a “wearable muslin”.

I cut out size 16, the smallest size in the envelope I bought. My bust measurement is exactly the measurement in their size chart for the size 16, and I counted on the pleats in the skirt to give me enough space for my wider hips. That last part is OK, but the bust….. way too large.

The shoulder and side seams are basted with a large stitch. The order of construction is not making these seams until the lining is made too. Very good instructions for a sleeveless dress, but I wanted to get an idea of the fit before proceeding.

Pinned roughly and my hand is keeping the pinned out space down. Now it’s getting some shape instead of being a sack hanging down.

3 centimeters on each side, that’s a total of 12 centimeters (almost 5 inches) that have to be taken out!! That’s a lot.

I’m happy I basted the shoulder and sideseam to test the fit.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

New fabrics and book

I did make the body of the jacket muslin this weekend, but it’s not what I wanted it to be. Not sure either whether it's going to happen before the end of the month (end of contest date), too much going on in work and life. And it’s April 18 already. Too little time I guess for a too complicated project.
What's better than buying some sewing related things when you're not too happy? Browsing the internet and ending up in a great store with lingerie/swimwear fabrics and books:

I couldn’t help myself and bought some swimwear fabric and part two of the bra makers manual. Will be my bed time reading.
This is my last haul (very fast delivered too, ordered only on Thursday and arrived today.)
I always say that lingerie sewing is addictive. It certainly is for me. I’m longing to start lingerie sewing again….

Saturday, April 14, 2012

the way to a muslin

I mentioned before that I entered the RTW contest at Pattern Review. I plan to make my version of this jacket.

The neckline was what attracted me in the pattern, and Lauriana was right in her comment that it’s not very difficult to copy, as the lapel collar will be attached to the facing.

The pattern has some other nice details, as curved lines at the shoulders. I started trying to make a pattern. I made this jacket from the August 2000 issue of Burda before and it’s one of my favorites to wear. Unfortunately I had thrown away the pattern, so I have to start completely from scratch. First I read my old blog posts to see what I had altered.

FBA and taking in on the shoulders. So that’s what I did first again. Then I started to incorporate the style of the new jacket I’m planning. This was not easy. But in the end I think I’m almost there. When I made the pictures for this post and put the detail picture of the rtw jacket beside it, I already saw that the curved line isn’t the same width all along, an dI did that. Perhaps a 3rd round of pattern drawing is necessary.

I really can’t tell exactly what I did in two sessions of drafting, but as you can see in the pictures it’s a lot of drawing and re-drawing with lines crossed through, new lines. It doesn’t have to be an exact copy, but I want to come close.

To be continued.

SewingZoe: thank you for your remarks on my fitting issues and my neckline. It’s very helpful and I will check on this in future items. You do not irritate or offend me with these comments. I’m glad you shared your thoughts, it can only help me to get better fitting garments. So thank you!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

4th top – vogue 7876

The last of the 4 tops is Vogue 7876, view B with sleeves.

I made size 16 based on bust measurement and the indicated measurement on the pattern. I should have used the 14 (or even 12) in the shoulders and a fabric with more drape. This is a nice cotton and the result is nice, but could have been better. In real life it certainly needs a cami underneath for modesty.

Detail of the closure

The back feels short. And Nancy, I must try taking up the shoulder a bit (as you said in your comment on my previous blouse). Same wrinkle here.

Now there is a pair of pants waiting to be finished and I’ve entered the RTW contest on Pattern Review. Want to make a muslin of the jacket I’ve shown earlier in the coming week.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Pattern markings

In the latest Threads issue is an interview with Sandra Betzina. One of the questions is what sewing advice she can give the readers. The answer: “Transfer the pattern markings to your fabric. I see people shortutting that, and it causes problems later”.

I could relate to that, only the evening before I read this I had sewn a collar wrong because of the missing markings. I was pinning the collar to the blouse and was wondering how I could have so much excess fabric:

I hadn’t marked the notch and even had sewn the collar on the wrong side!! Topstitched and all and I hadn’t noticed. Says something of the state of mind?

The error could be corrected, I had a bit of fabric left and cut a new collar. The pattern is from the Ottobre 2/2006, pattern number 4. This is a wearable muslin. I used a remnant piece of fabric from another blouse I made. Next time I will make the shoulders a bit smaller. There’s also too much space in the front armhole. A problem I have often with sleeveless garments. On the sorbetto top I changed there as well.

Those strange wrinkles in the back, also seen more often on my blouses. Think that making the shoulder less wide might solve a bit.

It’s a nice pattern for a summer blouse. It sews up quickly (if you don’t have to sew a collar twice), so I might try it again with another fabric.

Neckline on my t-shirts

Trena asked for pictures of the inside of the neckline of my t-shirts. Here they are. You can see the serged edge and the stitching line.


And in the back the point where the seam of the neckband is.


Baking soda asked for instructions on how I did this. As I basically followed the instructions from the book (with only a difference in when attaching the end of the neckband together) I will not write a tutorial here, as I’m afraid that will violate copyright.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

2 Ottobre t-shirts

A rant to start with: why can't some things stay basically the same when a system is updated. First my BlackBerry phone completely changed after an update with different layout, ringtones, menu items etc. And today I opened Picasa to upload my pictures, it updated automatically and the Upload button had disappeared!!! Now I can share in Google??? I just want to upload my pictures as I've done for a few years now, is that too much to ask? Well, after searching for a while  I uploaded from the web album itself. Just takes too much time when I wanted to write a simple, quick post. Rant over.

Some weeks ago I cut out 4 tops, that all required white thread. Though it’s taken me a bit longer to finish them, they were easy projects. First I made 2 Ottobre t-shirts. Not the most creative work ;)

I’ve used the pattern before and I like it.  Using fabric with circle patterns is always a bit tricky, I couln’t but end up with one at center bust point. There are so many circles that it doesn’t really matter.

The only thing I changed was the binding of the neckline: for this I used the method described in Linda Maynard’s book Couture sewing techniques. I’ve used it before and it really is very nice.

The neckline on both tops. I didn’t make a picture of the white top, it’s what it is, just a white t-shirt.

For the neckband a strip of fabric is serged on one side. My serger didn’t do a good job on the knits and I just couldn’t get it right. It worked fine on a more stable fabric, but when I serged the knit fabric it went wrong. At that point I thought about stabilizing with water soluble tape. That did the tric and serging went smoothly. Below the roll of water soluble tape I bought at Beauty vof when going there with Els in September. It’s 2.5 cm wide (1 inch). I also used it for hemming. Serged it first and after that folded and topstitched with my coverstitch machine. Great combination and will do it like that most of the time now.

Of course you can cut your own strips when you have a water soluble piece of material. The roll is just very handy and for the neckline strip I even cut it in half, just needed it for stabilizing the edge, not the whole neckband.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


I’ve done a little bit of easy sewing projects in the past weeks. I didn’t have energy to do anything complicated. Hope to show some finished pictures of 4 (!) spring tops this week, pictures still have to be taken.  The energy is returning a bit, at least I’m inspired to sew the jacket with the neckline I’ve shown you in the Pattern Review RTW contest that’s running this month. Would be nice to be able to do that.

I’d like to thank Lori for giving me the Versatile blogger award. I’ve been an irregular blogger in the past year and don’t read/comment as much on other blogs as I used to do. I’m honored but hope you don’t mind if I don’t tell 7 things you don’t know about me and don’t pass it along right now.

Back to sewing: think I mentioned I made the Jenny blouse (StyleArc) again and did some pattern alterations. The white version I made in November does not have perfect fit, but I’ve worn it very, very often already, mainly under jackets or cardigans. It’s a great basic.

The pictures were taken after a day of wearing, excuse the wrinkles and the strange popping out of my trousers. My son doesn’t have an eye for such a detail ;)

I did an FBA at the front and made the back a bit higher at the center (see below for pictures of the pattern pieces). Also the front dart was lowered, it was ending right at the bust point, not so good a view in my opinion. The dark spot on the blouse must be in the picture, it was not on the blouse itself (lucky me).

This time no placket at the sleeve, but the slit as described in this post.

Here you see the main changes to the front. The red lines show where the pattern is wider now, the bluelines are where the pieces overlap a bit.

At center back I heightened the  pattern 1 cm. Not much but it does make a change.

And something quite different: Do you like the color-blocking trend? I was browsing my magazines (for a jacket) and came across these pictures from Burda (BWOF) November 2003!! Black and white at the time, but easily to be changed to different colors. The last jacket is my favorite, but whether I’ll get as far as making it????