Tuesday, April 30, 2013

What's a girl to do.....

When her bestie is worn out, and out for service?
Well, I like to be productive, so reading blog after blog just kept inspiring me to be... productive.  So I thought.... When I read others blogs, I usually pick up something, some little detail that I had not previously tried and I squirrel it away to add to my repitiore of things to try.
So I decided to kill two birds.... I would be productive, trace out my next project... a spring skirt, and document how I trace out a pattern, just in case someone comes along, who has not tried tracing.
New Project, New Look 6189, view C, the skirt.

I like to use Easy Patterns tracing cloth from JoAnns.  I wait until I have a 50% off coupon, then I buy the whole bolt.  It is see through, yet thick enough to pin and not have to handle too delicately.

First, I locate the pattern sheets that have the pieces I need for my project.  Then I iron it.  It is much easier, and more accurate, to trace on smooth patterns.

Then I spread my tracing paper over the pieces I need, I tack it in place with a few pins in the outer corners, and then I trace all the pieces.  I trace all notches, darts, and information supplied, ie, pattern name, number, size I cut, date I cut them out, etc, anything I think will be useful the next time I pull this out to make a skirt.

Once I get all the pieces traced, I mark the seam allowances.  Using little dashed lines,  5/8" inside the outside edges of the pieces, as below.  This makes pinning, while tissue fitting, a breeze, no guessing where the 5/8" seam allowance is.  Makes for more accurate fitting.

Then I cut out all of the traced pieces and get ready to assemble them.

I lay the cooresponding edges together, ie, side front to side back, matching all notches.  Then I pin along the seam lines that I marked previously.

Here is the front half assembled.

Here is the back and front pieces all pinned together, so now I have a 3 dimensional pattern to fit with.
I pin them to KG2 ( my duct tape double) matching waist markings and center front and center back markings.
I suspected that the curvature of the waist band would be too much of a curve for me, as I am not very curvy.  and I was right. Below you can see that while the side seam of the skirt pretty much is in alignment with KG2 side seam, the waistband is not, it is pulling towards the front.

This issue is much more pronounced in the back,  The center back of the waistband is NOT in alignment at all, with KG2 center back, even the skirt center back is a bit shy of reaching center back.

To fix this, I will remove some of the curvature of the waistband.  I do this by making slits along the top of the waistband, just past half way down, it lets the skirt lay more evenly around my waist.

You can see, the side seam of waistband AND skirt are now in alignment.

The center back waistband is also now in alignment, but the skirt center back does not hang straight up and down, you can see that by my lower hip area (at about bottom of tan shirt) that the skirt is a bit shy of perfectly meeting my center back.  I will fix this by letting out the seam allowance along my lower hip about 3/8" tapering back to nothing as it clears my derierre.
Here is a close up of the clippings to release some of the curve of the waist bands
  and front....
To make these clippings permanent, I take a piece of scotch tape and tuck it down the inside of the clipping and then fold it up over the top.  That way I can capture the amount of the curvature release while it is still on KG2.
And that, is how I trace and fit a new pattern.  I find it well worth the work, (which I actually find enjoyable to do) and it gives you more confidence when moving forward to work with your fabric.  
Stay Happy
Keep Sewing
and if you can't sew
Enjoy doing what you can do!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Red Jeans, crotch revisited

See previous post as to why I am revisiting my Red Jeans crotch.....

Using tips from Fashion Incubator, http://fashion-incubator.com/archive/anatomy_of_a_camel_toe_pt2/ 

I went with the theory that there was too much fabric in my front and rear crotch.  In other words, I needed to scoop out more fabric.  The changes I could make were limited, since my jeans were completed, no adding fabric to the sides if scooping out rear makes them too tight, so I just had to go with it.   I unfastened the middle back belt loops from the yoke.  I removed all top stitching down the center of the rear.  I scooped out more depth in the crotch curve, so it more resembled a backwards J vs a gentle slide.  I then stitched them and wore them all day.  Fixing the BW definitely made them more comfortable, but it did not completely fix the CT.  I would say the are 95% improved.  So these will be wearing around jeans, not sitting all day jeans. 

Pre BW fix
Post BW fix and wearing all day
Post BW fix and wearing all day

I did not do anything to fix the CT, as I did not want to remove the zip and redo the front.  I was hoping that the scooping in the back curve, would lend some wiggle room all around and thus lessen the CT.  I think it did lessen it quite a bit, but they still are not as comfortable as needed for sitting all day.

I still love them.  Just more from a standing, than sitting position. 
Next pair will definitely have more wiggle room in front and rear crotch.
Now, as for my remake of 1247 (see 2 posts ago)   I also wore my yellow muslin all day.  By end of day, decided, nah, not going to sacrifice my good fabric, just really don't like the shirt all that well.  So instead, I went with Simplicity 2599.  Sorry, can't seem to rotate the image.  I went with the yellow view, with 3 ruffles. 

I really like it.  I am glad I did not make the 1247. 

Stay Happy
Keep Sewing
and if you can't sew
Enjoy doing what you can do!
Parting shot of pure happiness.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Red Jeans, revisited

Have you ever finished a project and did your happy dance, only to have it come back and bite you in the...  well, in this case, crotch?   I love these red pants.  They look so awesome while I am prancing about doing my happy dance.  BUT, sit in them for 8 hours a day, as I do at work while crunching numbers.  OUCH.  Looking back at the pictures, I should have known.  I should have suspected.  In hindsight, there appears to be a bit of a CT. (camel toe)
 and a BW. (butt wedgie) Egads. Double trouble. 

Well I decided to tackle that today, so that I can love my jeans physically as well as visually.
Good bye beautiful top stiching on my hind end.

Using tips from http://fashion-incubator.com/archive/anatomy_of_a_camel_toe_pt2/, I removed the excess fabric along crotch line that was creating the offending BW.  I could do nothing about the front crotch curve, as I was NOT willing to take out the zip and redo the front.  I did pick out all the top stitching in back, unattached the belt loops and scooped the crotch curve out more deeply.  I am now wearing said jeans.  I plan on wearing them all day, with much sitting involved, before I am ready to declare a victory, or redo all the topstitching. 
Stay Happy
Keep Sewing
and if you can't sew
enjoy doing what you can do!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Vogue 1247, the shirt..... second attempt

I am not sure what keeps drawing me to this shirt. I made it once, it looks okay, kind of baggy and shapeless.  Then I tried again, it was so bad, I threw it out half way through, didn't want the UFO haunting me, so I don't even count it as an attempt .  But for some reason, the pattern keeps calling me.
I keep thinking if I fold out some of the fullness.... perhaps it will look better on me.   So alas, I did some tissue fitting on KG2 and then folded out some fullness. 

I folded out 1 1/4" on the front.

  I cut the back on fold and folded the center back in 1 1/4"  I also folded out a long dart from shoulder almost to the hem.  I did not sew this dart in the fabric, merely folded it out on the pattern. 

Then I made a muslin. 

I do not look like the girl on the pattern cover when wearing the shirt, but then again, I guess that is not the shirt's fault.  I like it more than the first one I made.  So I decided to move forward with the fashion fabric.  A slinky, satiny, polyester fabric.  In the photos below, the pattern alterations are a little easier to see while it is laying atop the fashion fabric.  Wish me luck. 

Stay Happy
Keep Sewing,
and if you can't sew,
Enjoy doing what you can do!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Great British Sewing Bee!!!

Thank you Ann!!  I just watched the first episode thanks to Ann @


I loved it!  It is so real.  So simple.  So about SEWING and REAL people.  Not sensationalized and about drama.

I can't wait to watch the 2nd episode, which Ann has also posted!!!

Thanks Ann!!!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Red Jeans. Done. Love em.

WIP is now Finished Goods.

My red jeans (rouge red bull denim from Fabric.com) continued.... These are part Jalie 2908 and part RTW VS Hipster jeans.

I cut the waistband to be 2 3/4" wide and quite a bit longer than the pattern piece, as I like to have room for adjustments.  I wrapped the outer waistband around to the inside before attaching to the waistband lining, makes for a nice clean finish and minimal bulk where you will be attaching buttons and sewing buttonholes.  I reinforced both sides with some medium weight interfacing.

Not sure where I picked up this tip, but it was on a collar post originally.  I do NOT trim the corner when turning the waistband right side out.  I fold over the seam allowance nice and tight, and then holding it in place, I turn the waistband right side out.
 Makes a nice corner and an level upper edge for topstitching later.
 I trim the waistband bulk around the zipper, only on the inner layers, not on the layer that will be up against the out waistband, again, makes a level area for topstitching later.

 This picture is to prove the importance of back pockets.  This picture screams ''look at those huge drooping butt cheeks!!"
 Whereas, this picture says " Hey, nice pockets."    Proof, pockets are necessary rear real estate camouflage.
 Time to add the belt loops!

Rivets.  Yes, I got brave.  I don't recall where I bought them.  It was a place recommended during the big Jean challenge on Pattern Review.com in 2008.  I have only used them once before, not very successfully. The nail heads protruded through the front of the rivet almost 3/8"!
So, this time....... I used an awl to make a hole where I wanted to place a rivet.  Then inserted the nail head looking portion through the hole, from the back.  I  used a pair of nippers (pliers that can cut heavy metal) and cut the nail head so that it stuck up only 1/8" above the front fabric.  Then used the pliers to reshape the now flattened and much shorter nail head to be round again.  Placed the front of the rivet on the nail head and used the handy dandy plastic tool in the picture below to seat the nail head in one side and the rivet in the other, and then wacked it with the hammer.  It worked.  Amazing. 

This is how I will be styling my jeans tomorrow.  I am in love.  Now don't get me wrong, they are not perfect.  They are a bit tight in some places and a bit loose in others, but even so, I love them.  I have wanted red jeans for so long. 
I would like to thank my crew.  I couldn't have done it without them.
Old Singer 550 for beautiful topstitching. (inherited from Grandma)

My Brother serger for neatly trimming and containing all my loose edges.  (birthday present a decade ago)

And my Pfaff Creative 1471.  It is from 1974.  It sews through 8 - 10 layers of denim like it was butter.  I love this machine.  (best $74 I ever spent at a yard sale, can't recall how many years ago....)

 I just love, love, love my pocket design.  I found it on
Stay Happy,
Keep Sewing,
and if you can't Sew
Enjoy doing what you can do.