Thursday, September 15, 2011

boobie baby

I just had kind-of a funny thought:
I'm taking the bust adjustment class from Pattern Review, and It occurred to me that you could make adjustments to tops to make them maternity by using the full bust adjustment on the belly area as if it was one big boob. This may seem obvious to most of you, but it felt like an epiphany to me (or maybe it's because I just woke up).

Not that I'll need this info for a couple of years, but I imagine that's how long it will take me to figure out pregnancy alterations!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

It's a win-win situation

I had an EXTREMELY good night sewing yesterday. I came home from my workout to find that my new vogue pattern had arrived in the mail. After that SOB pattern on the weekend, I really needed a win, and I'm pleased to say that I got it with Vogue 1209.

I opened the envelope and started reading the measurements and became very worried. My measurements are quite a bit off from the pattern envelope, but I held my breath and cut out a 10 which is my usual size in the top and sometimes bottom. It turns out Vogue lies, or the dress is very forgiving because I only have to make a few adjustments!!

1. As you may be able to tell, I'm taking in the front 5/8" from either side which will keep it on my shoulders, and I think is essentially my small bust adjustment.

2. I'm adding to the length about 2.5" plus hem allowance.

3. Adding to the peblum length about 1 1/2". I'm not sure about this one. I want it to stay in proportion, but I'll see when it's together. I should be able to chop it off if I need to fairly easily.

4. letting out the side seams about a 1/4 " on both sides. It was a tad snug, and I'd like to be able to eat in it.

I'm making it up in a great red with a slight textured tiny stripey weave. Not even sure what to call it, but it had the right drape, I can wash it, and I liked the colour. The lining is slightly brighter and more pinky.
I'm looking forward to accessorizing this one because the neck is so plain, and it's in a solid colour. I'm thinking statement necklace – which I've never done before, so I'm going to look at LeChateau to see what I can find. I'd love to find something vintage, but the goal here is to wear it at a wedding the first weekend of October (Canadian Thanksgiving), and I've got a lot on my plate before that.

Anyway, I'm going to try to make the adjustments to the pattern tonight, and possibly cut out my material if there's time.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

SBA's and the Devil's pattern

I lost my shit last night after to many hours of fiddling with the devil's pattern:

If you have a small bust, DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS PATTERN. Three hours after my first muslin, I had a completely different dress. I think my first mistake was picking a pattern that wasn't going to work with my body type. I'm not particularly curvy with a small bust and more of a gymnist-type frame. I find more fitted-structured styles look better on me. ARG! I have this great crinkly type material that would have looked great as version B, but those giant pleats just weren't working. If you have a giant rack that can fill out those pleats, or don't mind the pleats not staying closed, you can have this pattern. I will give it to you and wish you well. In the end, I gave up and chose this pattern (the version on the model):
and also these two, because there was a sale, and I've had my eye on 2057 (pretty much all those views, but especially the green version), and tan version of Simplicity 2256. 

The only thing that worries me about New Look 6067 are the pleats. How the hell does a small bust adjustment work there?? So, I signed up for a bust adjustment class. I kind of understand the concepts behind adjustments, but I really just want to solidify those ideas in my head so I don't have to spend so much time spinning my wheels every time I attempt a new pattern. 
I just read the first lesson, which was an introduction and I'm ready for more!! 

Also, you may notice that the model is wearing a belt. I'm just going to try it to see how it feels!!
I've got a wedding to go to on thanksgiving weekend. I'm hoping I can get it done by then. Fingers crossed.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Honeymoon Shirt a.k.a. "Tiger, Tiger"

On our honeymoon in Hawaii, we stopped at a fabric store, and bought this fantastic cotton print:

eggplant purple with cream tigers (Blake picked it out with the express purpose of me turning it into a hawaiian shirt). We picked out Simplicity 4760, mostly because I liked the front yoke, and it looked like it would generally do the trick.

For the first mock up, I cut a medium (based on B's measurements, and the pattern envelope). I don't know if the pattern drafter had Paul Bunyan in mind with this one, but it was massively huge. I was defeated at this point because I have a history of wadders, but the next day, I recut the first mockup down to a small, and I didn't feel so bad because I didn't waste any more fabric. This version was much better, just a few small tweaks. 

I've learned a lot from trying to fit myself in regards to wide back adjustments, and using vintage patterns that I've had to size down. This helped me immensely in understanding what I had to do next. Plus, I had his original Hawaiian shirt to measure off of. This was also extremely helpful in knowing what to do next. 

Pattern adjustments: 
1. I cut the back down to a size small, except I graded up to the medium from the waist to the armpit. B's got a broad upper back and I usually do the 'L' shaped pivot out method I learned from the Slapdash Sewist's blog, but this ended up working just as well. 

2. The front was still very wide on the second mockup, so I took a 1/4 inch tuck (is that right, or is it 1/4 inch overlap that ends up being 1/2 tuck?). This helped a lot, but when I compared my pattern piece to the original Hawaiian shirt, there was still some width in the front that didn't need to be there. 

3. Comparing the flat pattern to the original shirt, it looked like there could be another pivot adjustment going on. I cut the front piece in the style of the broad back adjustment (L shaped cut up to the seam allowance at the top), and overlapped instead of spread. It's like a small chest adjustment. I adjusted the yoke piece accordingly; easy, because it's just an overlay.

I added special topstitching and piping details to contrast with the busy pattern on the centre front and left pocket, and a little inside detailing. 

Here is the finished shirt:

Things I will change if I make it again:

1. The pocket placement was weird. The right pocket ended up way too close to the CF. I'd move them both out about an inch. 

2. I'd add about 1/2 inch to the length so I can make the hem at the bottom the same as the sleeve. The original pattern piece had a really large hem. I can't remember how much I hacked off, but adding 1/2 inch will allow for a 1/4 inch fold over with a 6/8 inch hem – same as the sleeve.

3. Although B proclaims the fit to be superior, I think the shoulders need to be taken in about a 1/2 inch. I could leave it, but it's an easy adjustment in this pattern.

In the end, will he wear it?? It's a pretty unique material. I tried to "bowling-shirt-it-up" with the piping detail. I like it. I think B is planning on wearing it to his niece and nephew's birthday party in a couple of weeks, and we're having people over for supper tonight, so he might wear it today even. 
In any case, I've got a great, workable pattern that sews up very easily.