Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I think I like these pants!

They're nice and comfy. And they're green!

 An improvement on the muslin, I think! What I did this time is:
  • shortened the pants above the crotch another half inch, bringing the total adjustment to one inch front and back--so 2 inches total from the crotch length.
  • repeated the 5/8 inch shave off the back insem from crotch to knee
  • I widened the pants legs. Don't ask me how. First I added too much, then I whittled away until they looked right.
  • since they were too big the first time, I made a 14 instead of a 16, still with the one inch removed from top to bottom on the back.
  • I took off the extra I added at the waist for the muslin and instead didn't sew the darts in the back.
  • I used happy green corduroy.
I am so emboldened, I am going to use another pants pattern for the next pair:


If they work out well, I'm going to pose that way too. Not!!

Monday, January 28, 2013

A Fixer upper

This is the tunic I made back in December from McCalls 6607. The lowness of the armholes bothered me so I never wore it. I decided to take it apart and fix it. After the cowl was removed (isn't taking zig-zag stitches out of a knit fabric fantastic fun?), I cut the shoulder seams off then retraced the front and back neck edges 4 inches lower. I half-assed resewed the shoulder seams, without redoing the hem. (If there is any other short woman out there who has not shortened a tank in this fashion, raise you hand. I didn't think so!) Then I sewed the cowl back in and Voila! Now it has normal armholes and its actually tunic length and I will actually wear it, though it is still a hazard around the stove.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Pants Purgatory

Where have I been the past two weeks? Pants Limbo--- that place between the muslin and the real pants. To the good side of the lustful, but not quite there in the vestibule, with the indecisive.

(That, and I've been really distracted by the Australian Open)

I dutifully read and studied the pants Bible. And I used a Plamer/Pletsch pattern. I can honestly say I've learned more about pants fitting in the last month than I knew in my entire life before. But what I came up with is a pair of pants I wouldn't wear to a dogfight. (Don't shoot me! Of course, I don't go to dogfights--its just an idiom my Grandma used to use.) I really didn't think they looked that bad on, but in these pictures? Oh my!!! I guess I didn't get that they were so tapered and I hate the way tapered legs look and how they fight with your shoes. Plus, they are too big and the crotch is too low. And this fabric which was smooth when I bought it washed into sandpaper. But, that's what muslins are for! The next pair are going to be in calla lily green corduroy and they are going to be beautiful!

Monday, January 14, 2013

I lived to tell about it...

I was touch and go there for quite a while, but I survived!!!  At one point I became delirious. I so regretted not getting that vaccine. Bad case of the flu?  Nooo... it was that damn app again!
You would think after my experience entering the fabric into it, I might have cut my losses, but nooo...
It took me almost the whole week to input my patterns. I only have 141--that isn't that many! Even after I lowered my expectations and contented myself with only recording the pattern company, number and 2 lousy photos, the app would crash at least twice with every pattern.  One pattern (Burda 7583) caused the program to crash an amazing 11 times!! This app even caused me to say unkind words to my iPhone and I love that beautiful, marvelous, smart, practical device!!
I marvel at my patience, or bull-headedness.  Now I know I have 141 patterns, half of which are so far unused, to go with the 74 pieces of fabric in my stash. Looks like I need more fabric! Really though, taking all the patterns out and looking at them did bring me to see things I hadn't before. That, combined with the fabric data should help find "candidates" (that's what I call patterns & fabrics that are suitable for each other) without having to rent a backhoe.
To anyone thinking about getting this app: Good Luck!  Maybe all the heartache is worth it in the end.

I did squeeze in two quick projects this weekend:
another Audrey purse and a further tweak of the pattern. I'm calling this fabric Raspberry Weimaraner.

and this necklace. Cheep glass beads but I knotted them with silk ribbon, the kind used for embroidery. The knot color really pops.

I also read and studied this book in preparation for my upcoming pants making enterprise.

Hey, if I can make Sewing Kit HD work I'm sure I can make a damn pair of pants!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The app from HELL

Do you like your apps sluggish? How about apps that crash 25% of the time? If you do, this app's for you!!!
Seriously, it took me the better part of two evenings to enter all my fabric into this thing what with all the crashing. One has to be very patient with this thing, which I am or I wouldn't be a sewer would I?

It seems what causes most of the crashing is taking the photos of the fabric using the app itself. The workround is to use the phone's camera and import them to the program. This will bring down the crashes down to only 12%.

Some other strange features include:

  1. See the 60 there. That's the width. Wouldn't you like to know the length at a glance, too?
  2. Yardage measurement field is metric with 6 places after the decimal to backspace over before you can enter your yardage.
  3. The cursor settles back to the amount field even when you've scrolled well past it.
  4. Oh, and whats up with that category field in the fabric details? You mean we're supposed to know what we're going to make with the fabric ahead of time?
  5. The navigation and help are simply atrocious!
The one thing I did enjoy was using the voice recognition software whenever I could. Sometimes, its funny to see what it thinks you mean, but overall it was better than my typing. 

So after a long struggle, I got all my fabric entered in. I have 74 pieces in my stash. At the rate I sewed last year, I should be able to use it all up by Thanksgiving. Ha ha!!! 

I already started putting my patterns in and can see already how much fun that's going to be. Arghhh!!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Meet Audrey

My newest purse design.

Here she is holding tickets to the Faberge exihibit


Hanging out with the Old Masters

Resting after a busy day, enjoying a concert

Friday, January 4, 2013

2012 The year in review

Last January, three months before I started this blog, I bought a notebook and started making notes about my sewing projects. I was interested in seeing just how many things I made over the course of a year. Soon I realized the benefit of having photos so I started this web log (nobody says that anymore, do they?) Looking back over this past year, the first thing I looked to was the first page of that notebook.

2012 Goals

I think I did pretty well:
1. Pair of jeans: No, although I am currently working on this
2. Draft my own patterns:  I read a pattern drafting book, took a lot of measurements and drafted a sloper that was not quite right. But I did use the knowledge from that book to modify many a pattern this year.  I did draft 2 new purse patterns this year.
3. Bound buttonholes. Did that, plus welt pockets, too!
4.  Use up all my fabric (haha):  That one's still funny!!!!
5.  Intersperse other crafts: Yes, mostly jewelry. I taught myself something I had wanted to learn for a long time: how to knot pearls:

What I made before I started this blog
Since the notebook had only pattern numbers, I had no recollection what some things were until I looked up the pattern numbers.
7 Blouses, 2 Jackets, 2 Sweaters, 1 Negligee, 2 Vests, 1 Coat

What I made after I started this blog
Wow! I cannot believe this:
5 Jackets, 5 T-shirts, 14 Skirts, 15 Tops, 1 Smoking jacket, 6 Purses, 5 Dresses, 4 Pillows, 2 Kimonos,
3 Fascinators, 1 Men's shirt, 3 Vests, 3 Pants, 1 Tunic

That's a lot of sewing!!! 
My favorites:

Of course, there were a few failures too, mainly do to poor fabric selection. I'm not going to dredge up any of that unpleasantness!


My 2013 Goals

1. Again: pants
2. Again: pattern making. I would like to get a truly accurate sets of measurements and make a truly accurate sloper
3. More dresses
4. A warm winter coat
5. Market my purse designs
6. Use the sewing kit app on my phone
7. Take more interesting photos for this blog

Happy New Sewing Year!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Burda 7203- the Redemption

I took another whack at this Burda 7203 pattern with this cool 80s clown fabric. I do kinda like it but I think I would only make it again in a sheer fabric to wear over a tank. Since I usually avoid dolman sleeves I didn't realize how weird this top feels on. Or is that just me?

I did end up making this a size smaller than the last one (this is the 14) and did an small FBA on it as well. I also shorted it above the bust through the sleeves which also made the sleeves narrower, which I like.

 The darts on the back make it look like it has a yoke.
I'm putting the pattern in the drawer, not the garbage.  But I'm still not sure if I want to commit my beautiful chiffon to this pattern.