Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thankful Fairies

Thanksgiving girly craft - Thankful Fairies

My sewing "sweeties" were back for a Thanksgiving craft.  We made our own version of Forest Fairies to use for Thanksgiving.  Craft supplies were purchased at Hobby Lobby.  

Fun Stitch Studio has published a few kid's sewing and craft books in the last year.  
We used Forest Fairy Crafts by Lenka Vodicka-Parades to inspire us to make these Thankful Fairies.  

If you have a 8 - 12 year old girl to enjoy, these books make a wonderful afternoon of crafting and sewing.  

Forest Fairies as Thankful Fairies
1st Thankful Fairy

2nd Thankful Fairy

Glueing on the head!

3rd Thankful Fairy

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Comfy Tunic, Simplicity 1543

Simplicity 1543

Simplicity 1543, a Patty Reed Design tunic.

Organic cotton jersey that is soft as butter.  

The one item that makes this tunic stand out is the beautiful topstitching around the neckline and at the pockets.  Topstitching cotton jersey isn't for the easily discouraged.  After a few trials, I found the best solution was iron-on stay tape stabilizer on the underside of the fabric and a topstitching needle in the machine.  After solving those issues, everything is smooth sailing.

This top was made after I spent time making my own sloper.  BUT, I figured that since it was so loose, who needed to match up my sloper.  WRONG THOUGHTS!  If you look at the above picture, you can see wads of fabric around my shoulders and underarms.  When I pin this extra fabric out, it slims the tunic and I look great.  

Lesson learned:  I am not a rectangle.  

The last picture is where my sloper is laid under the tunic pieces to check fit.  I need to take out a SERIOUS chunk in the shoulder seam.  I feel very challenged to make another tunic and master the fit on this great top!

I did find a great article on Threads about pattern selection.  Love it!  The article's first point is about patterns that have many straight seams.  
We do not have straight body parts, so why would I think it would fit!

Sleeves on Simplicity 1543

Drawstring sleeves.

The pattern piece overlap is where my shoulder seam should go.  I regret not making this drastic change to the pattern.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Diary of a Fit Fanatic, Sew Serendipity Dress

After going to the trouble of making my own sloper, I promised myself to not let anything into my wardrobe that didn't fit.  I am tired of tugging and pulling on my shirts and dresses to get them arranged correctly on my body all day long.  Easy promise to say, but hard to implement.  

This is Sew Serendipity's Dress from Kay Whitt's book, Sew Serendipity.  I did have a head start on this dress, I had made it before.  It fit well, but I had some shoulder and back issues with it.  (I have sloping, uneven, and forward rotated shoulders.)  The first dress ended up having about 1 1/2" of elastic gathering the whole sleeve at the neckline and a gapping front at the bottom of the bodice gathers.

Sew Serendipity Dress

Amy Butler "Love" fabric

Back view
1st Sew Serendipity dress

So, I started with the original pattern and added a full bust adjustment and adjusted the shoulder point forward in the sleeve.  

1st Muslin

Second muslin, took out some of the fullness in the bodice.

2nd Muslin

Third muslin, Took out fullness in the shoulder area and back.

3rd Muslin

3rd Muslin

Fourth muslin, took a dart in the armseye and and added length to the sleeve cap.

4th Muslin

Fifth muslin, seemed pretty good!  Bust points are in the correct location, shoulder points match and all the grain lines were straight.

Add caption

Sew Serendipity dress from the book, Sew Serendipity. 
(Great pattern, don't be scared by my need for perfection.)

Amy Butler "Love" print from my favorite "fabric eye candy" stash.  I kept thinking something would turn up to add as an additional print for this dress to break up the print, but could not find anything that looked good with the plum.  So, I used the print by itself.  It looks a little plain, but a string of pearls added a little distraction.

After five muslins, I could sew this dress in my sleep.

I was excited after the fifth muslin, I had a good fit.  I cut out the dress and sewed it up to the point I could try it on and IT WAS WAY TOO BIG in the bodice and skirt.  So, I debated and sulked and then took out the front bodice (mind you there is a side zipper.)  Cut a new front bodice (Number 6, if you are counting).  Put it back together.  STILL TOO BIG.  So then I added a bust dart to the arms eye and called it done.  In the end, I think it was the fabric that kept stretching as it was sewn.  (Lessons learned.)

I wore the dress today and I never once tugged or pulled on it.  It fits well and never moves out of place.  SUCCESS!

I have a better feel for what a raglan sleeve pattern piece looks like for a person with sloping, uneven, and forward rotated shoulders.

I have returned to Joann's to buy another bolt of muslin.  

One might say I am patient or stubborn depending on how much you appreciate this fitting exercise.

I changed the pattern pieces dramatically.  You can see the changes below:

My pattern back compared to the real pattern.

My pattern front compared to the original.  It has been redone so many times the tissue is totally reinforced by tape.

My sleeve compared to the real pattern piece.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Raglan Sleeve Fitting Nightmares.....Simplicity 1615

Simplicity 1615

Simplicity 1615, View B
There is not a thing wrong with this pattern, except it fit me horribly.   I could tweak a muslin to fit me, but just could not transfer the correct changes to the pattern to make this work. 

 I am glad I  hit a road block.  It sent me on a fit journey that will in the end make me much happier.  

As a note, this pattern runs large.  I did go down one whole size to start the fitting process.  I thought I had the fit perfected, but after construction found that it is still too large across the shoulders, which also makes it too large across everywhere else.  If I didn't have a stack of projects waiting, I would remake this top with my new fitting and drafting knowledge and it would fit.

Turquoise voile by Free Spirit Fabrics.  
My one regret of making this top is the sacrifice of this wonderful fabric.  
Feels like a silk, but it's cotton.

Conventions and Classes, Oh My!

My head is bursting with wonderful ideas for garments after a week of SAGA Convention, International Quilt Festival, and a Lyn Weeks class.  (All in less than 2 weeks!)  I was horrible at taking pictures of what I learned or made.  The most fun was meeting all those blog friends I have made over the last few years!   I did get a few pictures, so here goes:

SAGA Convention held in Frisco, TX

Vaune Pierce attempted to teach me to smock sideways.

I almost finished a pillowcase in Carol Ahles' class.
Judith Adams and myself

My smocked cupcake towel with Judith Adams.

Gail Doane after a long day of teaching us about collars.
A Texas style "Ding Dong"
Lyn Weeks and my completed hanger.
At SAGA and IQF, I bought some lovely fabric……like Japanese pique, chambray, and yarn dyed fabrics.  Vogue Fabrics sucked me into their booth and I could hardly carry the fabric around the convention center.  Sew It Up has some new lacy fabrics that aren't on their website yet.  After a summer of work, I had carved out a small hole in my sewing room.  
In two weeks, I have managed to fill it! 

Off to work I go!