Saturday, November 27, 2010

Before the sewing starts - Simplicity 4273

My next project is going to be the jacket from Simplicity 4273. I cannot believe that I don't have a black jacket. This jacket will match the Painter Tape Pants I just made and since I had six yards of fabric, I think I should make a matching skirt as well.

The days are over for me to simply trim a pattern and sit down and sew it. Actually those days probably never existed. I start with a size 16 pattern as I am a devout believer in the Palmer/Alto method. Fit for Real People (FFRP) is the best thing that has ever happened to my sewing skills.

The first alteration I always make on any jacket or blouse that has sleeves is to make a wide back adjustment of 1". It is a very simple alteration but one that I cannot get a good fit without. I make the alteration by marking a line the length of the pattern. Next I cut the pattern apart, spread it 1" fill in with tissue, finally taping the entire alteration. Unlike as suggested in FFRP I use 3/4" tape because it is more readily available.

After the back alteration, I make a 1" full bust adjustment (FBA). While on must princess seam jackets I make the alteration on the front side piece, on this particular jacket I made the alteration on the front piece only. This will be a first time for me making a princess seam jacket that also incorporates a bust dart. I marked the pattern piece, slicing, spreading and filling the alteration in with tissue and tape.

The red mark to the left of the center front and below the waistline represents where my waist is. To have the pattern fit as intended I marked, slice and lengthened the pattern piece 1".

The remaining pieces of the body of the jacket all had to be lengthened 1" while the facing had to be lengthed 1 3/8". Finally I measure the sleeve circumference, armhole opening and sleeve cap.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Simplicity 2501

First I have to say I am very blessed these days.  Eve over at Eve's House had a jewelry giveaway and guess who won? Righty-O, moi! Not only that, she also gave me an award.

Have I said how much I like awards? Well I do and will be adding this to my sidebar as well. If someone out there is having a giveaway that you think you'll like, by all means make sure enter. You can't win if you don't. The blogging sewing community is just fantastic. Thanks Eve, I love you girl!

I've been a lazy blogger lately but I've been sewing. Adding to my growing blouse collection is Simplicity 2501.

Pattern Description:

Misses' blouse with separate pieces for B, C, D cup
Pattern Sizing:
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like the separate pieces for the different cup sizes. For me the darts were spot on. I didn't like the back neck facing. I don't know if maybe my fabric was too heavy but the sleeves were beyond poofy! I used my upright steamer to beat them into submission. There is no way I would have worn it if I hadn't be able to tame the sleeves.
Fabric Used:
Something from JoAnn's called Silky Prints--it's polyester
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
No need to do an FBA here but I did have to make my normal wide back adjustment. I should have lengthened the bodice about one inch with an additional inch on the center front. I find that for me when the pattern has separate pieces for different cup sizes, there is enough width but not enough length on the center front. It could be due mostly to the fact that I have a very erect posture. It feels a little wierd because the band is higher than my normal waist.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I will sew this again but think I will use a sleeve from a different pattern. When I wore it to work last week my boss said I looked like a librarian...not quite the look I was going for. I didn't have these skanky stockings on; bet I don't look like a librarian now!

This pattern went together really fast. Sometimes it's nice to use a pattern that you don't have to spend more time adjusting than sewing!
Remember my Painter's Tape Pattern? I resurrected it and it's a perfect fit. Just look at that rear fit! I haven't hemmed them yet but I just couldn't resist photographing them. The red slacks are my first foray into Burda magazine patterns. More on those later. BTW I have a little survey in my right side bar. Can you take a few seconds and answer it. TIA.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


I've wanted to post about this for a while but just kept putting it off. October was breast cancer awareness month but every month should be. If you are not taking your breast health serious I implore you to do so right away. With the statistics being 1 in 8 women wil suffer from breast cancer, breast health should not be takien lightly.

It has almost been two years since my breast cancer diagnosis and I am still weathering the effects. Somehow I thought I would be back to my normal self by now but some days it is still a challenge. One side-effect of either the cancer, the radiation or the meds that I never told anyone about--not even my husband and I tell him absolutely everthing...after all he is my best friend--is not being able to read. That's right I couldn't read. Oh, I could read the words but the meaning mostly absolutely escaped me. I was fouling up at my job, at sewing, at everything. Even now I am still experiencing some short-term memory loss but that too is getting better. The great news is that about three weeks ago I realized that once again I can read and it's wonderful. I've always loved the library and the book store and I'm trying to make up for lost time. In the last two weeks I've read two books and am close to finishing a third. I've invested in a Pandigital color ereader and sewing is taking somewhat of a backseat. I'm dividing my time between sewing, reading and bowling.

I finally bit the bullet and threw out most of my wardrobe. Losing 30 lbs has some drawbacks. I'm working on a pair of slacks that I plan to blog about tomorrow so say tuned. BTW here's a burning question.

Please fill in the blank with your answer. I know I have to many______________ because I ________________. Can't wait to read the answers. My answer is....
I know I have too many pairs of shoes because I could sell half of them and still have too many!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Stick a fork in me...

as in "I'm done" not as in finished. I'm wondering how such a simple pattern (McCalls 6122) could kick the livin' crap out of me. The first time I made it, it only took about four hours.

This time it took me about two weeks to finish. Don't get me wrong I love the finished blouse--the fabric print and the style--it's the getting there that beat me up.

I refuse to have UFO's layimg around so I could not move on to another project until it was done. It should have been a breeze; I don't know what went wrong. From  the onset it wasn't good. I didn't have quite enough fabric to make the belt so I opted to cut the tie as long as I could as two separate pieces and figured I could sew them into the side seam.

That worked out good except when I tied it, it caused the back to bunch up at the waist and create a pool of fabric that was not attractive at all. Unfortunately I don't have the before picture but here's the after.

Not perfect but a lot better than it was. I'm not sure what the correct alteration would be but here's a picture of how I fixed it.

Starting a short ways from the side seam, I sewed a crescent shape from side seam to side seam along the back waist seam. Then I remembered that the pink plaid version was a little tight across the upper back! Yikes! The homespun at least was loosely woven and had some give, this fabric has none. It might be kevlar--as in bullet-proof. I think it looks good but I feel like I'm in a straight-acket. If I so much as cross my arms I am going to "Incredible Hulk" out of it. You know the feeling and I can feel you all laughing at the thought!

Next I got the facing and collar attached and let me tell ain't pretty. Once again I referred to the pink plaid and yep, there was some craziness going on there too. Why didn't I remember all of that? Was I so enarmored with the pink that I totally forgot?

Inside collar...don't ask! It won't be seen.

Too short facing was an easy fix.

As if all of that wasn't enough, I'm thanking my lucky stars I decided to make the concealed front button closure. I could not get three out of the four buttonholes to stitch out correctly. My buttonholer did not like that extra fold of fabric. I wound up having to pick the buttonholes out and do them over. That was a thankless job. It's not pretty but nobody can see it. Finally when I thought nothing else could go wrong, as I was getting ready to pose for photos I noticed this at the center front peplum.

Is that part of a shoe print?? WTH! The only consolation is that the tie will cover it. Even with all the headaches and complaining I think this blouse looks fantastic with these slacks. This is one of the few pair that I can still wear. If you look closely at the back view, you'll notice that the slacks are a little big. I  made them about 18 months ago out of the "Paper Tape Pattern" I drafted. I think my next project will be a pair of slacks from the same pattern with some minor adjustments and hopefully a better fit.

Notice the "hair"? My husband calls me "Curly Temple" whenever I wear it!