Saturday, July 19, 2008
Besides dsd#1 breezed through for a quick 36 hour stay, and I wanted to get at least one test garment done before cutting into the blue silk that is due here next Friday for the dress for the wedding.
Turns out, she's also in need of 3 more dresses for Sorority Rush functions next month. She managed to carve out an additional 36 hours on top of the original, and I've barely left the sewing room since she arrived Wed evening. ....not true, we had a girls night with the three of us hijacking the TV from dh and watching Project Runway.
We spent a bit of time pulling out stash fabrics and me just giving up and saying ok to whatever she wants to use.
She needs a Black and Cream formal (short dress) for Rush, a Bright or Colored formal (short), as well as several more casual looks.
The above will work as one of the required "bright/colored" dresses.
Remember the muslin I made to come up with a design that worked for the Blue silk dupioni?
I wanted to test out the bodice in silk. Katie chose a piece of cream silk shantung I had, and a remnant of a red print crepe de chine. In order to make it a different dress than the blue silk will be she decided to go "halter" on the top, and selected a straight skirt. The print placement on the skirt was determined solely by how much fabric I had. I know that the match of the pattern on the back could have been better, but, I didn't have any more fabric.
Good thing I was able to do this while she was here. Even though the bodice was all draped in muslin, the silk underlined with organza drapes differently and changes needed to be made. Anyway, you can see that it's pinned to an acceptable fit, and I just need to translate that to a pattern for the blue, before I stitch it all together.
I'm going to construct the lining with some boning in the back to eliminate that falling down, scrunchy look, and peg the skirt a bit before hemming. She's promised me finished pics after I get them mailed to her. I'll post the finished pics then.
oh, and re the pattern for the blue silk: I also started over completely, ditching the paper pattern step, and draped the skirt for the blue right on her. It's less bulky in the front and prettier. I threw the other pattern/muslin for that skirt away already.
I also draped a muslin for the "Cream and Black" dress she needs, then cut it out of the same silk shantung, mounted it on silk organza and got it basted together for first fitting. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pics of it on her. The skirt will be overlaid with a piece of black lace.
Katie is almost 22 and going through that change from young girl dresses to a bit more sophisticated older looking dresses, and it's a bit of a learning curve for both of us. She's really loving the diagonal lines right now, as they help to give the illusion of more of a nipped in waist than she has naturally. She's also never purchased or worn dresses that are this fitted, with straight skirts, as she doesn't fit one off the rack.
I give her a lot of credit that she is at least willing to listen to me and try some things, and I give myself a pat in that I'm breathing deep and just doing some of what she's asking for. The compromise seems to be yielding dresses that are pretty, and youthful, and sexy without going over the edge to slutty, and we're both happy.
I also got a muslin made up for this OOP Vogue pattern - very 40's glam, and she's tagged a great piece of black/cream chiffon that I had in stash.
I need to get these mailed by the end of July, as she needs them for Rush at the end of the first week in August.
Oh, and I have to finish up another game-day dress in red/black and white.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Now, I want to tell you, this is serious, when I start dreaming about pattern drafts.
And I couldn't go back to sleep. So I got up, and began searching for all the info I could cobble together regarding the most recent information on pant fitting.
There is a tab for Knowledge Base at the top of every Pattern Review page. Given the number of frequent "how do I?" questions on the message boards on PR, it's fairly evident that many people don't know the knowledge base tab is up there.
Admittedly, the organization of information once you're in a topic leaves a lot to be desired, but since it's just an index of the references available on PR, it's a good place to start.
I clicked on Knowledge Base, then clicked on Fitting - Pants, then started clicking on the various links to articles and message boards and expert chats.
There is some good stuff there. I referenced all the stuff that I think pertains to Me, then organized it all into a WORD doc that I can take downstairs with me to the cutting table to put into use when I make my muslin.
I'd like to share the links and references here.
My WORD doc for fitting pants:
Start with basic pattern.
Fit the hip/crotch
- Determine Posture type and Hip type – fig 1 and 2 (from this reference).... I am a "backward tilted hip" <> [diamond] shape
- Take measurements per chart- same reference.
- Measure crotch width and depth per first set of directions using L squares to determine body space needed (from this reference)
- measure crotch curve using curved ruler or foil per Belindas directions/ see Belinda's post below here to establish angle of CB seam. This is from Pg 221 of the Aussie's Down Under chat board on PR, and was posted by Belinda /Sew4Fun -any lightbulbs going on yet?
Date: 3/15/06 8:00 PM
I had a look at the photos of your crotch curve versus your pattern.
Now I haven't read the Threads article but I learnt how to do this a few years ago from an experienced German patternmaker. It was the best thing I ever did and I've never looked back. It's not the total answer to good fitting pants but it's a large part. It was light bulb moment for me. It is useless though unless you do it correctly.
In your photos you are not lining up the pattern pieces correctly. You must line up the first 10-15cms of the inseams in order to do this correctly. Here is what I mean -
This diagram is all very rough and not 100% accurate, but it should give you the idea. The one on the left is a flat buttocks. The one on the right is a sway back/ larger buttocks.
The distance from the your back to the straight line (CB wedge) must match the distance from the straight line to the CB seam on the pants pattern. This determines how slanted your CB seam will be. The flatter your buttocks the straighter the CB seam. The larger the CB wedge (buttocks) the larger the CB slant.
It does get more complex but this is your starting point for your basic pants block. I won't explain the next step as it will probably confuse you. The important thing to note is you must match the inseams on your pants pattern correctly. Maching just the crotch points isn't correct and it won't give you the right answer.
Belinda. Melbourne, Australia
- alter for sway back, round butt, tilted waist - my normal alterations anyway.
Fit the legs
- referring to Els diagram to alter for full front thighs, alter pants front, Els, from The Sewing Divas has a great diagram on it.
- referring to the Minott method photos, alter for diamond shape hip/saddlebags
Make a muslin
- mark grain line full length in the center of each leg front and back
- mark horizontal lines at waist, hip, thigh, knee
For fitting muslin refer to these pics for ideas.
The Kenneth King alteration that Beth at TheRustyBobbin did so well is here, scroll down to April 4
Debbie Cook's Wedge alteration
Debbie Cook's Fisheye Dart alteration
Thanks for the commiseration. Admittedly, I should probably only wear full flared pants that hang from the outside hip for pure flattery - but, I live where it's HOT, and humid. Skirts really are my best option, although they're not practical every single day. So, I need some shorts and capri length pants - Trinny and Susannah notwithstanding.
I will get a muslin made up - and go through the process - and publish it.
But today it's time to get back on track with The Great Coat Sewalong,
And, dsd#1 is due into town this afternoon and will be here for 2 days, and she's due for a fitting or two.
oh, and if anyone has diagrams or info on how to change the angle of the pant leg so that after it accounts for my bike riding quads (front thighs), they'll also not bunch up over my well developed calves, I'd really appreciate it.
(I know, wide palazzo pants.) ;)
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
I used to know exactly what alterations I needed to make to fit pants.
Then I gained weight.
I've read over and over how much everyone loves the Burda draft for pant patterns.
So, I decided to make a pair of capris using a BWOF pattern.
Using BWOF 03.2008.126 I cut a size 50 with 1" seam allowances in strategic places, thinking I could avoid a pant muslin.
D'Nile is not just a river in Egypt, as the saying goes.
What was I thinking?
Who was I trying to kid?
first round: No pics.
I stitched them together, then had to rearrange the seams for my tilted waist/sway back, and take in quite a bit from the waist. I marked them up, then took them apart, made the changes to the pattern tissue, recut the cotton/lycra blend, then reassembled.
I don't like the front pocket shaping - which is neither here nor there in terms of the fitting.
Then I assembled the pocket in the front, and stitched together the pants, minus waistband and zipper. I'd forgotten to take off the wedge from the CB, so it's sticking out in the following pics.
The closure is a side zipper, so the left side is only pinned at the top - creating that bulge.
I have issues.
I don't know why it is so difficult for me to diagnose my own fitting issues here, except that I'm in such a state of denial about my whole shape and size.
I know that I need to alter the pant legs for my well developed calves - bike riding has changed the shape of my calves forever.
So next I put the waistband on, then put the zipper in, and released the side seam on the left leg, just to see how it would hang. I can't change the angle of the leg enough to get rid of all those XX in the back. The front fits ok. It's the back.
I know that what I really need to do is make a muslin - with all those black lines drawn - vertical and horizontal, and then grab a fitting partner here and get a pair of pants fit that I can make over and over again.
This is just pure ridiculousness.
Do you think if I just started with a skirt pattern that fit and then used the latest Threads pant article to draft my own I'd have better luck?
I've got Joyce Murphy's articles open here next to me, from Threads 121 and 119, and honestly, I did use the flexible ruler, and measure the crotch curve, and match it to the curve on the BWOF pattern, and it truly wasn't that much different.
What's going on here?
Should I just go back to skirts?
my parting shot (Summerset, you really do need to lay claim to the concept)
Stuffed summer squash.
halve the squash, then scoop out the flesh - I used a melon baller.
For best results parboil the squash boats for a minute or two.
chop the squash then combine with 1/2 c diced onion and 2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced.
Toss in some fresh herbs. I went out back and cut some thyme and used it.
Sautee the mixture til onion and squash are tender.
Add diced tomato - I used a handful of cherry tomatoes since that's what I had.
Continue to saute for another 2 or 3 minutes.
Add 1/2 c seasoned Italian bread crumbs, S&P, and then fill waiting squash boats.
Top with a bit of grated parmesan, back for 12-15 minutes at 350.
Monday, July 14, 2008
What do you know, another Finished item to show.
Gaylen, Michellers, and a few of you know why it's so hard for me to finish this and put this pic up right now. (and that's not to mention the fact that my bra strap was falling down when dh took the pic, sigh).
Pattern New Look 6799
looks as if this one is sold out again, as it's showing unavailable on the website. I bought the pattern at a local Hancocks about 2 months ago.
I made dress View C
Pattern Sizing: regular size 8-18. I had to do a bit of pattern alteration to make the skirt fit.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love the fact that with some really basic pattern alteration (adding to the skirt seam allowances, small sway back adj, and an FBA), this pattern fit without a lot of maneuvering. Lately I've encountered some really wonky patterns, so it was nice to just make the basics and have it fit.
sailboat print is a fairly hefty woven cotton/lycra blend.
I used a large waffle pique for the contrast bands, and then a small pique in black for the piping in the skirt princess seams.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I might make this again. I only had a bit of each pique, but I have enough of each left over to make another, and I have enough of the red/black and white print that I made Katie's game day dress out of, and since it appears that I'm going to need a casual work wardrobe coming soon, I might just whip another one up. The construction on this is straightforward and the dress makes up fast.
Thank you to all who left comments here, sent emails or sent e-cards (wow, what fun to get a slew of those in my mailbox) and who called to wish me a Happy Birthday.
I had an excellent day.
And today I went for my annual physical. My doc has suggested a program called Take Shape for Life, that features MediFast meals. It's a doc supervised program, at least out of her office.
I'm looking into it. She's got her office staff on it, and she's recommending it for her patients who need to lose weight. If I choose to go on it, I'll be monitored by her office. And she's in agreement that I need to lose weight.
And finally, on the comments. Thank you all for stopping by and leaving a note that you've been here - all of us bloggers of course love comments.
Truly, I wasn't trying to put myself up for sainthood by documenting the draping process - as I wrote - it was fun, and we were both happy with the results (mostly).
I'd like to welcome some new commenters, Rae, Kristine, Denise and Spunsilver (see you Thurs night) I'd like to thank you for stopping by and leaving a message.
Rae, I'll be back up and on the Bay in 3 weeks. Is Jennifer still at the mag? Denise, thank you for posting the link to your s-in-law's Klimt needlepoint pillows. They're gorgeous!
Friday, July 11, 2008
Laurens dress - test for the silk chiffon to be worn in her uncle's wedding Labor Day Weekend.
I'm entering this into the contest on PR for MyPattern. This is still the WIP, and if I can get the silk in time, I'll get the real dress made and entered.
The right way to drape a dress is outlined and illustrated on the blog of DomesticHaven, here.
She's done a beautiful job of documenting the process and of creating a beautiful dress.
Alas, I don't have a dress form to fit my dsd, and since I found out when I got home Tuesday that she needed this dress to wear to a wedding in Chicago for which she was leaving this (Friday) AM, I didn't have the time to perform all the steps and do it as well as Domestic Haven has done. And, I had the added issue of having to drape right on the body of a kid who's schedule includes working daily and seeing the boyfriend evenings.
Real bodies fidget, dress forms do not.
Real bodies often voice opinions during the process, Dress forms give you the patience of Job and silence in which to contemplate that design line that you may or may not like.
Nevertheless, it was a fun process, and we're both pleased with the dress.
The inspiration: The bodice from the white dress, the skirt from the blue - no midriff.
Note that in translating this to a cotton/lycra blend, much of the ruching and gathering was done away with.
When translating this to the silk chiffon all that gathering and ruching will be restored.
I began by tearing squares of the cotton/lycra. The fabric was 52" wide. I first tore 2 27" lengths for the skirt.
Then I tore 2 18" lengths for the bodice. I then tore one of the 18" lengths in half so that I'd have a right and left front piece to work with.
I began by wrapping a length of grosgrain ribbon around L at the empire waistline - I needed something to pin to.
There is a discussion I won't go into in depth, but Miss L prefers not to wear a bra. In order to bypass the histrionics, I agreed to drape the bodice while she was wearing one of her stretch cami's if she would agree to try it on, at first fitting, both with and without a bra. .... In the eventuality, she's wearing a bra with the dress, but it necessitated re-fitting the bodice completely. In any event, the pics that I have of the draping process are while she's wearing the stretch cami.
Wednesday evening: Beginning with a square of fabric for a front, I placed the grainline on true bias over the full part of the bust, folded under a facing for the neck edge, and began pinning in pleats.
Once I had the bones of the bodice in place, I carefully removed it from her, still attached to the grosgrain ribbon, and then took it to my cutting table.
I marked all the lines and pinned pleats with my erasable pen, then disassembled the whole thing, and traced out a pattern onto tissue.
I compared the two sides, left and right front, adjusted some lines using an average of the two sides, trued up some lines, then used the tissue to cut both fronts from the fabric used to drape the bodice, making both sides identical.
note that I cut off the selvage edge from the front facing - this picture was taken before that happened.
I then constructed a gathered skirt by seaming together two rectangles, 36" wide by 27" long, couching on a gathering thread, and then attaching it to the sewn together bodice.
At this point I attached the length of grosgrain ribbon to the right side empirewaist seam allowance, having a feeling it might come in handy.
Thursday Evening: (sorry, no pics)
First fitting - after it was decided that the dress greatly benefited from the addition of a bra as undergarment, the entire pleated front of the dress needed to come apart.
Because she is used to wearing a cami with a shelf bra that hugs the ribcage, and/or knit dresses that also hug the ribcage, she wanted this dress to fit that closely under the bust.
The dress was also too full in the front, so I removed 4" of width from the front of the skirt. I left the back as is. So yes, it's unbalanced.
I decided to use the grosgrain ribbon as waistline belt stay, and actually stitched the gathered skirt to it in the front only. I left the back ribbon free. I used a notions dept bra hook closure stitched to the ribbon to act as closure.
While I inserted a zipper in the left side seam, then ripped apart the bodice, L went shopping for a bra. (Yes, believe it, she only had one and it was black).
When she returned, wearing the appropriate undergarments, we put the dress, currently in tatters, back on her, (no pics even possible to preserve the sense of modesty), and I pleated the bodice anew, and changed the neckline. L decided she wanted a more off-the-shoulder look than it was currently sporting. I, unfortunately, didn't leave enough seam allowance at the shoulderline to allow for the change in angle. However, for this dress, it's working ok (bless the addition of lycra to the woven cotton.
After the pinning, it was time to sleep.
Friday AM (today): I got up and stitched the new pleats and then re-attached the bodice to the skirt along the front.
Then I bound the armscye and the back neck edge with self fabric bias strips, and hemmed the dress.
I then pressed it, and coerced the recipient into some Very Quick photos before she headed out to drive to Chicago.
The dress, as it is, works in part because there is lycra in the cotton, which provides a bit of forgiveness.
What I'm happy with: It's darling on her, the neck edge is snug and not falling away from the body, and the way I ended up working the empire seam was a bit of inspired fabulousness.
The dress hugs the ribcage beautifully, yet stands away in the back and has that princess quality in the back. The pics are really pretty dismal, but it is a silhouette that is particularly flattering on L.
What needs work: I don't like the shoulder or the back neck.
It doesn't fit particularly well through the upper back, and there are pull lines at the armscye, in part because the shoulder angle is wrong and there isn't enough fabric up there.
Before I make this up in silk chiffon and crepe de chine I'm going to redo the back bodice and shoulder entirely.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Ya know, I'm almost afraid to ask, but here goes: Does anyone out there in blogland do needlepoint?
It's not as if I don't have enough to do.
It's not as if I need another thing.
But lately (since my knitting is so drastically curtailed with my wrist still feeling the injury), (and since ds#2 has asked for me to make his fiance a Christmas Stocking), I've been feeling the urge.
I just received, in the mail from one of my favorite needlepoint stores, The Bristly Thistle, in Petoskey Michigan, the above painted canvas, to make Ashlee her Angel, per my son's request.
Two of my earlier projects:
for more click here
What I'm really wanting to pull out and work on, especially before I start on Ashlee's angel, is this
I started this as a bench cover. It's going to end up on the boat though, as a back pillow. It's really long. It's probably my longest running Work-In-Progress.
Over the weekend I was privileged to visit a friend of my step-mom's, Linda, who is an accomplished knitter with a beautiful beach home on Lake Michigan. She was interested in making the double knit ski hat that I've made several of, and just wanted a quick demonstration on knitting the double knit fabric of the hat.
Her home is one of The Most Gorgeous beach homes I've ever been in. Aside from the entire wall of glass looking out over the lake (they're on a bluff), the interior was inviting, comfortable, and beautiful. And she had needlepoint pillows scattered all over. Made me want to come home and drag out all the needlepoint.
And in doing some internet looking, I discovered Ehrman Tapestries. Jaw dropping gorgeousness.
and right now (on sale too), they have a whole series of canvases that are reminiscent of Klimt paintings.
I want them all (almost all).....sigh.
And Now, catching up on the memes which I've been lax on doing.
Mardel tagged me for this awhile back, and well, I just haven’t blogged my answers yet.
- What was I doing ten years ago? I was living and working and raising kids in
. I was driving ds#1 out to Interlochen every day, I’d just left the non-profit I’d been working for and started working in a real estate office. I was sailing Wed night buoy races and some weekend Regattas and skiing on ski patrol in the winter and I was single and not dating anyone. Traverse City, MI
2. What are five things on my to-do list today? Laundry, finish Lauren’s dress, photograph it and write a blog post about it, swim ½ mile, buy something at market to make for dinner.
3. Snacks I enjoy. Dk cherries, dried fruit, pretzels and cheeze-its, popcorn
4. Things I would do if I were a billioniare? Buy a house (in Northern MI) that I could store my furniture and sewing stuff in while we go sailing, and build a sewing studio upstairs where there is sunlight. Set up trust funds for each of the kids so that they can also each buy a house some-day. Set up annuities that would provide ongoing support for children’s mental health organizations in several communities that I have interest in. Do the same to support several youth sports organizations that are at-risk of losing their funding. Get my dh to retire now! Set up some blind/anon trust funds so that several of my hard-working deserving friends could realize their dreams of owning a home/ opening a business / send their kids to school.
5. Places I have lived?
6. Peeps I want to know more about. Is there anyone anywhere that hasn’t already done this? KarenBenco? Jae, Kim (KnitinBrit), ?
and another meme, via TeaLeaves
Rules: You must answer the questions using only one word. Then tag four others.
1. Where is your cell phone? countertop
2. Your significant other? Jeff
3. Your hair? messy.
4. Your mother? busy
5. Your father? happy
6. Your favorite thing? textile
7. Your dream last night? noisy
8 Your favorite drink? wine
9. Your dream/goal? sailing
10. The room you’re in? kitchen
11. Your hobby? needlework
12. Your fear? alligators
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? boat
14. What you’re not? quiet
15. Muffins? Pumpkin.
6. One of your wish list items? Klimt-canvas
17. Where you grew up? NY
18. The last thing you did? coffee
19. What are you wearing? shorts
20. Favorite gadget? Ipod
21. Your pets? none
22. Your computer? Toshiba
23. Your mood? Chatty – (sorry, but this is HARD, how’m I supposed to answer all these paragraph questions with ONE word???)
24. Missing someone? Someones
25. Your car? SUV
26. Something you’re not wearing? suit
27. Favorite store? internet
28. Like someone? everyone
29. Your favorite color? Red
30. When is the last time you laughed? yesterday
31. Last time you cried? Hmmm?
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
I stayed up North longer than I'd originally planned. Stuff kept coming up, and I'd call home, and dh kept saying "well, stay up there and come home the next day."
I could have gone on all summer like that. But, I'm home.
And I came home to a clothing emergency. Dsd#2 has a wedding to go to this weekend, and nothing appropriate to wear. She went shopping and couldn't find anything she wanted, so today I'm downstairs coming up with something. I'll post it tomorrow.
Meanwhile, I have some long overdue thanks to express for some lovely gifts that have come in the mail from bloggers everywhere.
From my lovely friend across the world, Laura. What a wonderful surprise, and gratefully received. Already I'm using the Tailoring reference for TGCSA. As soon as my wrist heals a bit more I hope to be able to knit again... I will, it's just seeming like forever... and I've got plans to use some of the lovely embellishments in Nicky Epsteins book. If you're a knitter you need to check out her books on edgings. IMO they're a must have for a complete knitting library.
And I'm so happy to see that Laura has posted on her blog again. I know she's been unbelievably busy, and I'm happy that she's among us again.
From Elizabeth, who is a great thrift store devotee, some vintage patterns she came across that she thought I'd like. She's written an article that I think is well worth visiting - on our consumerist tendencies. Read it here.
From Karen at KBenco, some fun snacks from her side of the world, down-under. When I did my fabric giveaway awhile ago, I was pretty adamant about not getting anything back that I'd need to make up or store, so she sent me these wonderful snacks that are consumable along with a note that she hoped I'd be ok with it. Yup, willingly and happily received and consumed! (note that there were more, but they disappeared before I could even get the camera out. Wasabi covered macadamia nuts - yum!)
I was lucky enough to be the recipient of one of Patty's soap sacks filled with a fabulous handmade soap cake, and a lovely bar of gardenia soap from PattiF.
And upon returning from my trip, I opened mail that included 2 KnipMode mag's from Melissa.
Thank you so much. I flipped through them last night, and already there are some things I'm anxious to trace out.
I'm hoping by now that Melissa has received the silk twill she purchased from FFC that I picked up and mailed to her. For reasons unfathomable in todays world, FFC won't ship internationally.
Also, not pictured, is a piece of linen shot with silver that was tempting me mightily from one of the online vendors. Carolyn, dear friend that she is, prevented me from buying it by sending me 1/2 the piece that she'd already succumbed to. It has a different hand than either of us anticipated, but I think it's going to find its way into one of the Knip-Mode designs I looked at last night.
And to satiate my mitten knitting obsession I received in the mail from AnneM on Ravelry this recently reprinted book. It's not available in the USA, and AnneM is graciously acting as the purchasing and shipping agent for a number of US residents who're lusting after the designs. Some are basic, some are really different from everything out there. Also on my agenda today is to finish up the dpn needle case that I promised AnneM in return for this.
I also got some patterns while I was gone - ebay wins - ONE that I've been trying to win for a long long time - and the pattern for my Mother of the Groom dress from EvaDress. I'll post about those later in the week.
And finally, I'll leave you with another pics from my lovely vacay Up North, this from the GTYC Hound Dog Regatta. I was on the race committee boat for this event. What fun!
oh, just an aside: my bloglines tells me I have over 850 blog entries to catch up on. I'm not sure I can catch up on all those - I may just start reading where we are now. If there is something dire I need to know, email me, someone, ok?