September 29, 2011

Why I'm fixing hockey gear instead of sewing for me...

      So I’d like it known that generally, I am a selfish sewer.  Nothing on the level of the true Selfish Seamstress, of course, but generally cranky about sewing for other people.  The BF gets things when he does all the cutting and pressing for me, and my two year old niece gets things because she’s too darn cute, and her clothes take no time.  Things like hemming pants for the BF or even myself, in a reasonable amount of time?  Forget it.  There are new shiny things to be made instead.  And then there’s Brett.  Brett is the BF’s best friend from college, and I am currently mending his hockey gear, and doing it gladly.  Brett is my go-to guy for just about anything, from my computer to my car, and he’s a good old fashioned friend, in that I know if either of us ever needed him, he would be there in a second.  Not only this, but the last few years for Brett have not been kind.  At 25, he’s a cancer survivor, has found out his stepdad stole $150,000 from his trust established from the malpractice suit of his dad, who died due to improper anesthesia during surgery,  has had his identity stolen and his bank accounts emptied, and has had his car totaled (never his fault) at least twice.  If I can help him out by sewing on some buckles or mending a pair of pants, it gets done.  He deserves it.   
           The stinky hockey gear is almost done, and I have gotten a muslin of my first pants done.  However, the back view is improper for the general internet, because there is not nearly enough fabric back there!  My mom always takes opportunities like this to comment that she doesn’t know how I managed to get a J.Lo. butt, and it’s true.  All the women in my family have basically non-existent rear ends, and have the opposite problem of never filling out pants.  Genetics is a funny thing.  Hopefully soon there will be a postable muslin (after a Protruding Seat Adjustment to the pattern), as well as the Kwik Sew 3338 I’ve got in the works.   Hope everyone’s having fun thinking about Fall sewing!

September 24, 2011

Size 44 for the Win!

As I previously mentioned, I have caved after hearing so much about Burda Style and bought the September and October issues off the internet.  Of course I had to admire all the things in the magazine via the German website, when it occurred to me to check my size.  I had not done so yet because I had a sneaking suspicion I would actually be a plus size according to their numbers.  Checking my measurements, my bust and waist are a solid size 44 (my hips are way outta whack so I accommodate them separately).  Looking at the archive previews, I have discovered that for most of the pieces, the size 44 is the biggest size for most regular pattern, and the smallest pattern for most of the plus patterns.  Take that, arbitrary size distinctions!

September 23, 2011

Wallpaper + 80's = Wearable?

       Since the semester has started up again, my already marginal sewing time has taken another hit, but I’ve managed to finish a simple skirt.  It’s made from a quite crisp cotton fabric from the stash.  The print kind of makes me think of doctor’s office wallpaper, honestly. 

  I originally wanted to make a full skirt, but was just short on fabric, even with a single layer layout.  Since I already had the fabric ready to go, I pulled out Simplicity 6359, a pattern I got at the thrift store for a dime.   

Not sure how there's corners here; promise it doesn't hang this way normally...
It’s technically vintage, being from 1983 (before I was born), but one doesn’t generally look to the 80’s for fashionable garments.  The pattern was one size too small for me, and the previous owner had taped down some small tucks taken out of the back pattern piece.  But I just went with it, adding an extra inch and a half split over the seams of all four pieces.  It really was easy to put together, and even with my slapdash fit adjustments, it worked.  I knew the waist was high, and I'll never wear anything tucked into it, but DANG.  It must just be because I'm not used to it, but I feel so weird having a waistband up on my ribcage (which is why you're getting dress form pictures).  This skirt works the way it is, but may get a redo if I just can't get used to the waist on this bad boy.   I think with the right shirt it will be fine. And it definitely was a confidence booster, getting something done.

Back view: you can see the waistband still needs a hook and eye...
           The lovely confidence boost let me tackle my next project, a muslin for my first ever pair of pants.  I'm looking on this more as an experiment in fit than something I'm going to get a real product out of anytime soon.  I'm making the first muslin without any pattern adjustments at all, to learn what I need to go from out-of-the-envelope to fitting for me.  Probably between pants muslins there will be some more easy projects, and I do have khaki twill bought and prewashed to hopefully get a real pair of pants out at the end...In other news, I finally gave in and bought both the September and October issues of Burda Style off the internet, though I admit the September issue I bought mostly to use some of the folk stuff for costume pieces.  So there may be some of those in the near future!  Hope everyone's enjoying lovely fall weather!

September 16, 2011

Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades...

...and that's where everything I'm working on stands.  I got the shrunken skirt fixed, except that it needs an invisible zipper I don't have yet.  A set of hockey gear I'm fixing for a friend just needs one more buckle.  I ran out of interfacing to finish the project I'm currently working on (first time using a vintage pattern!). None of these things will get done this weekend, because I found out yesterday we will be having unexpected houseguests for the weekend.  Sigh.  However,  there is one tiny glimmer of hope that I am still able to finish something sewing related, even if it's not clothing.

I made a sewing machine cover out of this fabric for a swap on Craftster, and have been hoarding the little scrap of it left, and the perfect project hit me!  I'm horrible about my pincushion being all over the place by the time I actually go to sew, and this way I always have one handy!  Plus it's awfully cute, if I say so myself.  A quick little project that let me use up scraps, as well as an orphan button, and serves a useful sewing purpose.  I'm calling it a win.  Hopefully my next post will be full of completed items and not full of whining. 

September 8, 2011

I'm Still Here...

So I have been sewing, just nothing to show for it yet.  I made a muslin of Simplicity 2594 and just wasn't in love with it.  Instead of looking blousy, it just looked like a sack on me.  I will need to make some adjustments, and find a drapier fabric, as the one I wanted to use will definitely not work.  So I've put it aside for now and will come back to it soon.  At the moment, I am looking at Butterick 5285,  an easy skirt with pockets.  Hopefully another one that can do double duty for me.

In addition, a lot of my time has been spent working on a locker hooked rug for my mom for her birthday.  Google locker hooking and there are tons of videos on what it is.  It's a great way to use up even some of the smallest scraps, and I love when other people want them because I have too many rugs already.  Basically I get to give my scraps away and someone else gets a present out of it.  Win-win.

The other news is a little sad.  My lovely BF decided to do the laundry and threw my wrap skirt in with a hot wash.  You can see where this is going.  Luckily, I lost mostly length and not a ton of width.  I think I can save it by putting in a zipper and making the ties just decorative, which might actually be a better setup for work anyway.  So you'll probably (hopefully) see that rework soon.

I'm planning a pretty intense JoAnn's run on Saturday.  The BF and I have been "earning" spending money through working out, so I've got a limited budget, but am armed with lots of coupons and some pretty awesome sales are going on.  Just have to make it through the first week of teaching to get there. :)

September 5, 2011

Yard Sale Wrap Skirt

So I finished my wrap skirt a few days ago, just in time for a few days in the 90’s here.  This was a really easy, but the hand sewn rolled hem took several hours (about 4 episodes worth of Star Trek).   As far as pattern issues, I did end up taking about an inch off the top of the panels before I sewed on the waistband, because otherwise the wrap would have fit me at about rib cage level.  Yes, I am of the generation that doesn’t wear anything at our natural waist, but trust me, it would have been really high.  Also not sure how it was supposed to fit a 31-44 waist this way, when I’m on the very low end of that measurement and don’t get much wrap overlap.  I even safety pinned it in place at work, just to make sure there were no wardrobe malfunctions.

This is how I wore it to school; there are hunter green converse cut off in that picture. I tried to get a waistband shot to prove it's actually a wrap skirt and not just a dirdnl, but the fabric basically matches my skin and none of them looked good, so just trust me on that, okay?

I also can’t wait to wear it in winter, with one of my favorite tops of all time, and sweater tights I have been trying to find a way to wear for a couple of years now. I was really excited that this looked good; I was expecting the fabric to make it look very granola-y, but it actually works alright.

This pattern seems like it would lend itself well to lots of incarnations, but I'm not sure if I'll be trying any of them soon.  A large portion of that is because there's no good way to put pockets in this style of skirt, and I carry everything in my pockets at work.  But, it's a functional, cute skirt that passed the all-day wear test, so no regrets about this one. 

Next up, I’m in the process of making a test garment of Simplicity 2594, View B.

I have a really cool flannel-esque plaid I’d like to do it in, but I’m not sure how the style will work out on me, so I’m just going to try it out.  Practicing pleats before I do the real thing probably won’t hurt either…