April 19, 2012

Dancing the Fitting Dance and A Dangerous Addiction...

       So after the disaster (okay, as Seraphinalina pointed out, not really a full-on disaster; more of a disappointment) that was Lesson Learned #2, I knew that I needed to get the BF to retake my measurements and get a really nice set so that I could do some actual flat pattern measuring instead of just blindly sewing everything.  I had known I needed to do this for a while, and yet I didn’t do it.  And didn’t do it.  I’m not one of those people that are scared of the numbers on a tape measure.  I am a curvy girl and have made my peace with that.  What on earth was holding me back?  Expectations.  Somewhere in my mind, I had associated taking measurements with actually knowing how to fit.  As if knowing all those numbers magically meant the sewing community at large would suddenly start hounding me if I had bad fit. (Crazy, I know, but just the way my brain works.)

       I know in a general sense where my fitting problems are:  I’m 5’8”, but have the same length legs as my 5’4” sister; all my length is in my torso.  Additionally, I wear a F cup bra.  A little ways off from the standard B cup, to say the least. (No, I won’t complain about it. I just thank my lucky stars that they aren’t any bigger.  My great grandma was very petite but had I cups. Yeah.)  Once I buckled down and did it, I learned a few things I really had never thought about.  For instance, one of my legs is a solid inch longer than the other, and there is all sorts of good information in the method Fabulous Fit for Every Body uses, where you measure the front and back (say, of your hip measurement) separately.  I have this lovely new set of measurements, and what do I do with my newest project?  Make a muslin instead.  Some days my mind is just not up to translating flat patterns into 3D.  But I’ve gotten the info off my muslin (of which there will be no picture because the bust area of course needed much more fabric than was present, making it not suitable for the internet) and am planning to cut into my real fabric this weekend. I'll be even more motivated to do so because it's actually supposed to start warming up here again.

      In other news, I'm beginning to think I have a dangerous addiction to acquiring (I prefer the term "rescuing" sewing machines.  The latest one to walk home with me is MJ (short for Mary Jane):
 As far as I can tell from internet searching, She's a Model E made for Montgomery Wards.  The sources I've found say it's from about the 1920's but there's very little information about these guys.  She has the long shuttle bobbin and is a straight stitch only machine. Unfortunately, you can see the bobbin directly because she is missing some sort of plate on the bottom.
However, she sews beautifully and is in great condition other than that plate.  She is a tank, and built to run until doomsday.  And someone just gave her away. *tear*  My number of sewing machines (3 plus a serger) is now starting to worry my boyfriend slightly.  Clearly I'll have to demonstrate just how amazing these machines are and why I should continue saving them from the scrap yard.  If this means learning how to do all the cleaning and maintenance stuff myself, so be it.  I'm not particularly mechanically inclined, but for these babies, it'll be worth it.  Just to prove my point (though I'm probably preachin' to the choir here) more gratuitous pics:
The Montgomery Ward badge    

Girl is packing some junk in her trunk!  Check out that motor! 
Alright, I think that's enough rambling from me for one day.  Hopefully maxi dress pictures are coming soon! 


  1. I completely understand the 2D/3D issues. Sometimes I find that things will just suddenly click hours after working on a project. Like my pants, StephC told me what to do but I was doing it because she said so not because I understood. Just as I was falling asleep I could visualize what it changed. It's all a learning experience.

    Did you have any indication that your legs were different lengths? Had you noticed on your pant legs at all?

  2. It's funny because as an organic chemist, I have to spend a lot of time visualizing what molecules do in 3D, but it mostly hasn't clicked for me yet with sewing.

    I really never had noticed on my pants because in RTW pants, I am that awkward height where regular length are just slightly too short, but long lengths are just too long. When I made a first attempt at pants, I changed so many things that it must have gotten lost in the shuffle. I had an inkling because of the way I walk (I favor the longer leg pretty heavily) but never realized it was quite that big of a difference.

  3. I am no fitting expert , having someone help you with fitting yourself is always and is always less stressful! look around for a dressmaker . Fitting books are helpful, But hands on instruction is SO much better! And they are not that exspensive. Hope this helps!