Sunday, March 30, 2014

Busy behind the scenes and the 1800 minute challenge

I have been sewing and not just sitting on my ass since the last post – though I did burn through all three seasons of Veronica Mars and watched the new movie twice, but I was mostly lying down for that. Ha.

I've been pattern testing!! Always wanted to do this and really enjoyed the experience. One for Deepika (Pattern Review) and one for Kati over at kate-and-rose. I have to wait to post about both, but will do so when they give me the go ahead. My date in the blog roll for Deepika's pattern is April 5th so check back. I don't know how many details I can give away on this one so I won't give any ;-P

I have a few more unselfish sewing projects that are going to monopolize my time for the next little while. The first two are pillows for my cousin and my mom which I should be able to knock off today and then a couple of costume dresses for the next Summer Players production: H.M.S. Pinafore.

B and I are taking a break from performing this year so I offered to sew. I got to see all of the costume sketches and they are all lovely. I'll check to see if I can share the two I'm sewing with you since some of you may be interested in period costumes... updates on these might be the motivation I need to keep working on them when I have a million other selfish sewing projects running through my head.

Another reason that B and I aren't partaking in the production this year is that we are both going to play slow pitch again. I can't even express to you how much I love playing. I realize that it's slow pitch, but I   seriously cannot stop thinking about running around that field. It's mostly due to the fact that the weather keeps teasing us with a few warm days when the snow melts and then snaps back into -20°C and a small snow storm just to keep us it's bitch.

Dreaming about outdoor physical activity brings me to the 1800 minute challenge.

I already work out pretty regularly and have completed/tried a few BeachBody programs (Chalene Extreme, Turbofire, Turbojam, P90X, T25, Insanity etc... yes, I'm a workout dvd whore and no, I didn't finish Insanity. It's insane.). Now I mix and match what I feel like doing that day/week which puts me in the perfect spot to participate in this new challenge put on by these lovely ladies: 
Erin from Living in Yellow,  Emily from The Freckled FoxAlissa from Alissa Circle, and Alycia from Crowley Party  

Here's the jist from Erin's blog: 
Starting April 1st through May 31st I am committing myself to being physically active for 1800 minutes total. If you do the math that rounds out to nearly 30 minutes a day. I love this idea because it allows me the freedom to do whatever I want, whenever I want. It doesn't mean I have to do 30 minutes everyday, but rather 45 minutes one day, zero the next, perhaps 27 the day after, and so on. Also, being physically active doesn't mean I have to kill myself but rather I can choose to take an afternoon walk, get a quick workout DVD in, lift weights, run on the treadmill, and so on. As long as I reach my 1800 minutes, I don't care how it happens.

Here's what you need to know: 

1. You will want to sign up to be a part of the challenge just so we know who is joining in on the fun (and so that you have a chance to win the amazing grand prize at the end of the sixty days). You can register here

2. Starting April 1st, you will be responsible for tracking your own progress. Don't worry, I've gotcha covered. After signing up for the challenge, you will receive a spreadsheet via email from me which will allow you to quickly track and total your minutes! 

3. Throughout the challenge use #1800MinuteChallenge on Instagram or Twitter so that those of us also participating can follow along and cheer you on. Make sure to follow @livinginyellow@alissamcircle,@thefreckledfox and @alyciagrayce for occasional workout ideas, our favorite playlists, and extra tips + tricks on how to get your 1800 minutes in! 

4. At the end of the challenge (May 31st) those of you who have completed all 1800 minutes will email me your spreadsheet []. On Monday, June 9th one winner will be drawn to receive the #1800MinuteChallenge grand prize. It's still a secret on what you will be receiving but don't worry, we will fill you in on the details as time goes on. Keep in mind that the best prize of all will be how great you feel and look at the end of the challenge. Our prizes will just be the cherry on top ;) 

Who's ready to do this thing?! 

At the moment I'm ready to bust out some pillow covers and perhaps watch the Veronica Mars movie again while I do so because god help me I have a little crush on that Logan fellow... and Piz... and a lady crush on Veronica. 
I need help.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Vogue 8747: PR Fit Challenge

Vogue 8747 has been in my cue for about a year, so when the PR fitted shirt contest came around I no I finally decided to make it up. The fitted shirt has been a challenge for me what with my broad upper back and smaller chesticles (think sba in the front and fba in the back – ha!). Using my TNT shirt pattern made fitting this a lot easier. While it's still not perfect, I learned a lot.

I used a purple cotton chambray that must have had some spandex in it, a little contrasting topstitching/button holes, and purple buttons from my stash that I didn't even know I had. I had originally wanted to make a classic white shirt using this pattern, but for this challenge, I thought it would be easier to photograph a colour.

I need a haircut in the worst way.

There's quite a lot of fabric at the upper back, but I really need this for
comfortable arm movement. Plus, the dude from "The Great British Sewing Bee"
says that's okay. But really,  could I carve a bit of excess from the
armscye and still be comfortable? What do you think?

My Alterations: 

Green: Additions; Red: Subtractions

I cut a size 12 for muslin #1.  My arm movement ended up being quite restricted but I wasn't convinced that it was because of my broad upper back (usual cause). The arm holes were quite low and I thought that might have something to do with it, so after comparing to my TNT pattern I made the following revisions:

1. Raise armhole by 5/8" (front, back and sleeve)

2. One the side seam of the FRONT, I cut a size 8 at the arm hole and blended to a size 12 at the waist, so it would match my TNT.

3. I noticed that the neck dart from my TNT pattern had been rotated into the arm hole on V8747. There seemed to be excess fabric there, so I shaved off the width of the dart at the shoulder seam (5/8" at the shoulder seam blending to nothing at the neck.

4. I added 1 3/8" in length matching my TNT pattern in length and hem shape.

5. The sleeves for my TNT and V8747 were almost the same, but since I was familiar with my TNT sleeve and it's fit, I used the top of that (matching at the bicep line) and merged it with the bottom of the Vogue (size 8 on the front of the sleeve and a 10 on the back of the sleeve – to match with what I did in point #2). This lowered the sleeve cap 1/4". I referenced a very timely blog post by ikat bag about sleeves here.

6. cut a size 10 cuff.

Muslin #2 looked a lot better—a closer fitting arm hole and better arm mobility, but I kept pulling the shirt down when assessing the fit in the mirror. At first I thought that I might have to raise the waist, but then tried taking a tuck across the upper chest. Suddenly, the bust gathers and the waist fell in a much better spot.
The sleeves were showing vertical twisting wrinkles towards my wrist. After some online investigation (on PR) I figured that I would have to add back in that 1/4" at the sleeve cap. Here are my final alterations:

1. Took 1/4" tuck across the front and back at the upper chest level.

2. Added 1/4" back on to the sleeve cap.

3. Added 1/4" broad upper back adjustment.

4. Raised the bust gathers 1/4" (I just moved the notches up).

5. Added plackets to the sleeves (see green penis-shapes on my diagram) and had to add another pleat to make the cuff size work.

Things to change for next time: 

1. Shorten the sleeve a little, though I think I need the length to cover arm extension.
2. narrow the sleeve a little, especially near the bottom at the cuff, and use a size smaller cuff.

Sleeves come to wrists when arms out straight, though I could
probably get away with 3/4" less of sleeve length.
See what I mean about needing the room for forward arm movement?

That's pretty much it. I love how the back fits and I think after tweaking the sleeve a little I might have another TNT.