Sunday, January 31, 2010

Does it take 2 weeks to make 5 buttonholes?

It does when you are in the middle of inventory! At last it's done so I will have a little more time for sewing! I have posted the review over on Pattern review, just click on the icon. I was pleased with the full bust alteration on the shell and needed to add the same to the cardigan. I played a little with the placement and set the dart in the arm instead of the same as the shell.  I drew the lines from the bust point to the hem and armseye, cut and spread the pattern as before.  I pivoted the dart created into the armseye.
Here you can see the new dart I drew, again, it doesn't go to the bust point.  I also added a rounded back alteration.  I drew a horizontal line where I am the most round.  I added a line into the shoulder seam and cut
the pattern across the horizontal line leaving a hinge.  You can see it here.  I smply added a dart into the shoulder seam.  Fits quite nice!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Full Bust Alteration Easy Peesy!

Over the past couple of years I’ve been working on ways to have the clothes I spent my precious time making actually fit! The “Big Four” continually draft patterns for a lady with a “B” and I am a D+. I used to add a little here and there, no wonder I didn’t end up with professional results. This is a sleeveless shell, drafted with no darts. Had I made it as is you would see the fabric pulling from the underarm or side seam to the bust. Perhaps you have seen this on yourself or others while, dare I say it, people watching at the Mall.

Here is my tutorial on how to turn any top without darts into a top with darts and, yes, T-shirts should have darts. Start by drawing three lines on the pattern, from the arm to the bust point, the side to the BP, and BP to hem.

Cut the tissue from hem to BP, BP to arm, leaving a hinge (reinforce with tape). Cut from the side seam to the BP, leaving a hinge. Spread the cut edges apart. You can see I spread an inch. Put some extra tissue or paper underneath and glue everything down so it doesn’t move. True the bottom hem. Draw the dart. Just a word of caution, you don’t want the dart to go right to the bust point, things will be too “pointy”.

Here is the completed shell which is part of a twin set I am working on. I will show how to move the dart on the cardigan and add a rounded back alteration.
Have a very busy week coming but I will post when I can.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Another Burda World of Fashion..Yes they are worth it!!

Pattern Description:
Classic Jacket with Princess Seams
Pattern Sizing:
Plus size 46
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, aside from the contrast at the collar.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Okay instructions, changed a couple things.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
As the discription says this is a classic jacket but not overdresessed. It will look nice with Jeans, slacks or a skirt.
Fabric Used:
This is a quilted fabric with a lining fabric on the inside. It's all man-made-plenty of static!
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
When I laid the back piece on the fold I swung the pattern piece out just a little to add an extra inch to the hips. No interfacing was used because there is enough body in the fabric. I changed the sewing of the collar and band a little; I sewed the collar to the band and sewed the band to the neckline, folding the facing over the leading edge of the band. This way the neck edge that shows if the Jacket is not buttoned all the way is nicely finished. The directions called for the band to be sewn along one side and then folded in and hand stitched on the inside neck edge. This just seemed to be more trouble than it was worth with this quilted fabric. I didn't include the pockets in the princess seams, I was afraid they would gape or pull across my tummy. I also didn't do the topstitching along the seam lines or contrast at the collar, I felt the fabric had enough detail.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I think I will sew this again, there's a nice piece of chenille in a colour wash of brown and teal in the stash. I think I'll add a little length to the sleeve. We'll see if I get it done this winter.
I'm so glad I've gotten a few BWOF garments sewn, the fit is superior to the big 4 patterns, I don't have to make many changes.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Another Swap Project Done!

I know the PR Fall Wardrobe swap is long over but these pants were cut out and waiting patiently on the cutting table for me, silently pleading for love and attention! The wait is over and now they hang on a hanger in the closet, waiting for me to lose the Christmas cookies that are hanging around my hips!! A few more trips to the gym and the wait will be over agian! That said I do love the pants, they are just what I wanted out of dress pants, they hang beautifully (don't pay attention to the fabric pulling at the inner legs, the dress form has no bum or legs), and feel really nice on which has to do with the bemberg lining I used (except for the cookie problem I mentioned earlier, they will feel really nice when they are not too tight!) To prep for the Zipper I put together this tutorial, as a result of the practice the zipper went in without a hitch or glitch!

Fly Front Zipper Tutorial

The time had come to finish these crepe, bemberg-lined slacks and I wanted to practice the zipper before I went to the project. I have done zippers before and sometimes they require stitch ripping :( before you’re done. I just didn’t relish using a seam ripper on black crepe. A practice run is the solution and since I was doing it for me I thought I’d share it with you!

Here is the mock up of the pants front. You’ll notice that the fly extensions are interfaced to the seam line. Part of the crotch seam is sewn and the extension is basted.

Clip the crotch seam just below the extension and press the seam open.

Fold the pants and one extension back so that there is only one layer on the work surface. Pin the zipper facedown so that the zipper tape is against the seam. It’s always easier to use a longer zipper than called for in the pattern so that the zipper pull is well out of the way. Sew the zipper to the extension, this doesn’t have to be pretty or accurate or even straight (as you can see from my example) it will never be seen!

Next fold the zipper back and sew 1/8-1/4” from the fabric edge.

Now it’s time to sew the other side of the zipper to the other extension. Fold the pants body out of the way and sew the zipper where it lies. There’s no measuring or manipulating to do. The zipper will lay flat, just sew it where it is!

You’re almost done now! Turn the project right side up and chalk a nice line to follow. You’re the designer so put your line where it looks good to you; 1 ¼” is good for casual pants, I like dressy pants to be a little narrower. Don’t worry if you don’t sew on the zipper tape, it’s already stitched down to the extension. If you’re using contrasting thread this is where you’ll want the stitches to be perfect, (unlike this sample) and it might be fun to do a double row of stitches with a twin needle. Do a little bartack or backstitching where the seam will open, take out the basting and you are done! A Stress Free Fly Front Zipper!

Sunday, January 3, 2010


I've been reading many of your blogs and your accomplishments in 2009 blow me away! I'm not going to even try keeping up...I will try to accomplish more sewing than I did last year and I will be better about reporting on what I'm doing. I will try to get to the gym regularly and run 150 miles and more this year! I will read something that feeds my soul every day. These are my resolutions, notice I didn't say anything about eating less...that's just not going to happen when there are still cookies and treats in the house!
With all that said I have been in the sewing room today. I really wanted to make this little jacket in the fall and found a poly fabric that looks a little like a felted wool. I'll do a review tomorrow when it is finished, but to prove that I sewed today I will show you a few pics.
One of the things I took issue with was the finishing of the lower front edges. I think you can see the layers of fabric that would be at the center front right on top of my biggest part. Why would anyone want 8 layers of coating fabric on their stomach!
You can see I mitered these front edges which makes a nicer finish than folding and folding and tacking the seam down with hand stitches.
This Jacket took 10-15 minutes to cut out, 40 minutes construction on the serger, and 15 minutes basting the bands in place. Tomorrow I will do the top stitching, button hole, and final press. I'm not sure how I feel about the raw edges, (yes the bands and facings are applied with a raw edge technique) not sure how durable this poly version of wool will be. In anycase it hasn't been a huge time investment, or cash investment for that matter.
'Night all, and by the way there are 149 miles left to go as I did 1 mile on the treadmill. Did 5 miles on the excercise bike too but I'm not counting those.