Sunday, March 24, 2013

DIY Stash app

A while back I bitched and moaned about my horrible experience with a sewing stash app called Sewing Kit HD.  I had finally got all my patterns and fabric inputted when I bought 3 new patterns. One afternoon, I had some free time while sitting in a waiting room so I thought I'd put in the new patterns. You've heard Einstein's definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results? Well, that SOB app crashed over and over and over and I never even got one more pattern done. In a sudden moment of clarity, I deleted the whole shooting match. And it felt good.

Instead I did this:
I took a photo of the front and back of every pattern I own:

I put them all in one album together, where they are easy to see at a glance:

And you can easily zoom in on any image:

Then to catalogue my fabrics, I started by getting this app that allows you to add text to your images. I got the free version. I'm sure there are others similar app out there:

Then I took photos of all my fabric and added a brief text description. Since I am intimately familiar with my stash, I only recorded a name and the width and yardage.

Again, the thumbnails in the album.

All this took a mere fraction of the time that I spent on that other app. And no foul language!

Now I can easily browse through my stash whenever the spirit moves me and add to it when necessary.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Joan of Arc

That's the name my husband gave this jacket: Burda 113, Illusion Jacket.

I didn't quite get it finished this weekend as hoped, mainly due to my over-eagerness to get it finished! I had it all hemmed before I discovered the darts had somehow moved up an inch too high- elves must have been working on it while I slept! I had to undo the lining at the hem, open up the princess seams and the darts and re-sew the darts.
Other than the Odyssey of downloading, printing and preparing the pattern, and the dart setback, the pattern went together quickly and easily, except that I couldn't make heads or tails out of  Burda's instructions for attaching the sleeves even after reading them repeatedly. The little cap sleeves are lined to the edge of the sleeve hem, and the knit sleeves go inside them. What I did was baste the lining and jacket edges together at the armhole and then also basted the finished, lined cap and long sleeves together,  then set both sleeves in together and serged the raw edge. Not very pretty but I could not fathom any other way to do it. 
This pattern has other versions: a sleeveless vest and a vest with just the cap sleeves. I think perhaps the addition of the long knit sleeves was an after though and that may be why the directions for them was not fully figured out. 
I made this in the vest length as the jacket would have been below my knees.  I ended up making a size 38 with a 2" FBA and its a bit roomy.
I did wear it today even though it was only 28 degrees out and I was freezing my behind!  

Friday, March 15, 2013

Slow sewing

Last week, Peter of Male Pattern Boldness mused about slowing down  the sewing process. I guess he, like me, is usually a pedal-to-the-metal speed demon sewer! My sewing room compares to a sweatshop in productivity. Personally, I've had no desire to slow down, but lately I have been forced to by two forces. The first being work and family obligations and the second: Burda downloads!!

I decided to make this jacket:

Its model #113 and called the Illusion Jacket. It looks like a vest worn over a long tee, but the long sleeves are actually attached. The body and cap sleeves are made from a wool suiting and the long sleeves are made in ponte.
I downloaded the pattern, and since I own a 42 inch wide printer, I was able to print out the pattern pieces on one long sheet instead of tiling and taping a million smaller sheets together like mere mortal sewers.
After consulting Burda's size chart and measuring the pattern (there are no finished garments measurements), I chose a size, added an FBA and shortened the jacket and sleeves. Then I added the seam allowances-- What a pain!!!

A tangled mess
I cut and sewed a muslin, which was too big. I also decided to use the shorter version.

I figured it would be easier reprint the pattern rather than remark the already cut up and taped up pattern. Then I thought "I've got a brain, why not use it?" I opened the pdf file in Adobe Illustrator, traced my size, shortened it, did the FBA and slope shoulder adjustment all on the computer. And with one simple command added the seams allowances! And the best part? I could do all this sitting on my ass!!!

Doesn't this look a lot more orderly?!
So after a week, I finally cut the main fabric out last night. I still need the lining and ponte. Hopefully, if nobody bothers me, I might be able to power through this project this weekend.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A TNT pattern

In addition to the crazy pants from yesterday, this is the other thing I finished over the weekend. It's my TNT knit top pattern from Kwilsew. Number 3658.

The black top I was wearing with the crazy pants is from the same pattern. And these pants are from the same pattern as the crazy pants (Vogue 1294). In fact, I was wearing the pants when I finished the top and for a brief period I had on both at the same time which was too crazy!!
Madness recreated in Photoshop!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Irrational Exuberance!

My pants are crazy and I love them! This is Vogue 1294 again. This pair is made from a regular (non stretch) woven and they are as comfortable as the stretch ones. Being able to make pants that fit me and that feel good wearing is going to set my whole wardrobe on it ear. I might become the crazy pants lady!!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Hem it or heave it?

I'm leaning toward heave it. It's Simplicity 2181, view D. I think it over emphasizes what needs no emphasis at all.

This was one of those projects I was sick of before I even finished it. I started by doing an elaborate FBA on four separate pattern pieces: the front, the front facing, the left overlay and the right overlay.

Then I cut out the fabric, which mostly had to be done on a single layer. I hate that! Then I started sewing. Tedious, fiddly sewing, stretched out over four days and nights. And at no point can you tell what this thing is going to look like until it's almost completely finished.
I saw it hanging there as soon as I woke up this morning. I made up my mind: I don't like it. It has problems. This is a pretty thin knit, which is good because there are 3 layers on the left side, but the one layer of this thin knit looks terrible in the back. The V neck is wonky. I think it actually looks better in the photos than in person. In person, you see only one thing (make that two things!!) It might make a nice Tshirt without the overlay, though.

Since this is my second failure in a row and I need bolstering right about now, I have cut out a proven winner for my next project.