Friday, May 31, 2013

A Hong Kong Finish

Since my denim jacket, Simplicity 2150, is unlined, I'm choosing to use a Hong Kong finish on most of the seam allowances. I love the way this plaid flannel looks, but I have a word of advice for you. If you ever feel the urge to cut bias strips of flannel to make your own bias binding...lie down until the feeling passes.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Denim Jacket

Right now I'm working on Simplicity 2150, View A, which I'm making in a wonderfully stretchy denim. Having just come back off a two-year sewing hiatus, my fitting skills were a little rusty.

I posted a question about trying to fit my suddenly much larger bust (despite having lost weight...who saw that coming) over at Pattern Review, considered the responses, then thought about it for a week before getting serious about making the required alterations.

Based on my high bust measurement (34"), I cut a size 12 at the shoulders and tapered out to what was probably about a 16 (I can't tell for sure because my pattern range ended at 14) at the waist, then back down to a 14 at the hips. The fit in the shoulders is beautiful.

Inexplicably (to me), just making the FBA solved almost all my problems and I only needed to make some very small adjustments to the seamlines to get an acceptable fit at the waist. (Note: Since I'm still in the process of losing weight, I will not be too concerned if the finished jacket is a bit snug. It will fit eventually.)

So now I have cut into the denim and actually sewn the front princess seams. I'm feeling pretty gung-ho and would like to make faster progress, but my back is thoroughly trashed and is slowing me down. I'll post photos of my altered pattern pieces hopefully later today. I need to dig through my fabric stash to find my black linen backdrop.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Adding to the Pattern Stash, Dress Edition

You can never have too many, right?

I don't work outside the home and my everyday attire is jeans and t-shirts, which suits the kinds of things I usually do, like housework and gardening. Unfortunately, this generally isn't what I want to sew. As I commented in a thread over at Pattern Review, I want to sew dresses, darn it! And so I hit the pattern sales at Hancock's and JoAnn last week.

And here are the latest additions.

Simplicity 2248
Simplicity 2886
Simplicity 1800
Simplicity 2249 (Yes, I realize this looks like a shapeless sack, even on the model, but it had a '30s farm wife vibe that I couldn't resist. I can see myself working in the garden wearing this dress.)

McCall's 6322 (Yes, I realize this looks too young even for my youngest daughter, but it's an a-line dress, for crying out loud. It's all in the fabric choice, right? RIGHT?)


The next two were impulse purchases.
Butterick 5745
Butterick 5751 (Yes, I realize now that this dress is designed for two-way stretch knits, but I didn't know that when I bought it. That's what I get for making an impulse purchase.)

I also picked up this dress; not sure why because it's 95% certain I will never make it. But...I love it so much.
McCall's 6279

So there you have it. Now let's see if anything comes of the dress fever.

And the Winner Is...

I held a (very small) random drawing and the winner of Cal Patch's Design-It-Yourself Clothes is lakaribane. Congratulations!

Keep checking back for more giveaways...the Series of Unfortunate Events that resulted in an extra copy of this book may have left me with others to give away as well.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Grand Re-Opening!

You may notice it's been a while since I blogged here, if when you say "a while," you really mean almost two years and not, say, two weeks. It's not as though I've been holding out on you; other than a very few cases of garments in dire need of repair, my sewing machine has been sitting idle the entire time.

A couple of reasons for this. First, we've acquired two big, rambunctious dogs; their crates nearly fill the floor space in my small sewing room and they have a distressing tendency to demand my undivided attention. Sometimes I feel like they are more trouble than a human infant!

I had also gained "a few" pounds, if when you say "a few," you really mean over 60 pounds and not, say, five pounds. So, yeah, I'm not posting a picture of that. I found I wouldn't sew for myself at that weight...or buy new clothes, either, for that matter, until forced by desperate necessity, like the hole in the inner thigh of my jeans was just too big to patch if I still wanted to be able to wear them in public. It was as though by sewing or buying clothes in a larger size, I was accepting that I was, indeed, a fat person and had given up all hope of ever being a normal weight again.

Now that I've lost some weight, I feel the sewing fever coming on strong!

So here I am! And, hopefully, here you are, still reading, because I'm just getting to the important part. To celebrate my grand re-opening, I'm giving away a copy of Design-It-Yourself Clothes: Patternmaking Simplified by Cal Patch. Through a long Series of Unfortunate Events, I acquired duplicate copies of this book, so I'm spreading the design love around!

There are three ways to enter:
  1. Link to this post on your blog, then come back here comment with the link to your blog post.
  2. Like my page on Facebook.
  3. Follow me on Twitter.
Isn't that easy? Why, yes.  Yes, it is. So get on it right now, because you only have until next Saturday, May 25th to enter!