Tuesday, June 30, 2009
For me I made V1061 . It took ALL DAY on Friday to assemble the back. I cut it out on Thursday and when when I went to start sewing on Friday I discovered that I had no matching thread. I debated waiting till I could make a dash to Spotlight without the twins, but that would have meant waiting till Saturday afternoon, so I decided to go. I swear by the time I'd got them both into coats, hats, sheepskin booties and carseats, and loaded carseats and buggy into the car I could have driven there and back and been sewing! Anyway, SL had rather bare thread racks, and after further internal debate I figured that I was already out so I might as well carry on into town and get the d***ed thread! Which I did. Got home just in time to put the twins down for their nap. Perfect! I did a few experiments to determine the best way to do the back seams and discovered that the best way to prevent them rippling when I did the zig zag topstitching was to stick on strips of Press'n'seal, pin and sew through it. (Phew - need to stop for a breath after that sentence!) That's fine, but pulling it out afterwards is a total PITA! Worth it for the nice result, but it took the rest of the day (around feeding, changing nappies, cooking meals, changing more nappies, washing said nappies.... you get the idea!) to finish all seven seams. Then all of Saturday to finish the jacket. It fits fine, but I could have gone down a size, and the bust point is about 5cm too high. Naturally I'd overlocked the darts before I discovered this. I've never had this problem before, so didn't check! There aint a Wonderbra engineered that's going to get the girls into position for THESE darts! The fabric is dark, and it isn't too obvious, so I can live with them. Next time.....
For Georgia, I made Jalie 2795 which I really like (and so does she). I love the unusual hood, and the close fit. I did at least take photos of this before the camera batteries died (note to self: GET NEW RECHARGABLES!). I also made her Jalie 2788 because she was dying for a twist top after I kept making them for me. As far as I've seen, the Jalie pattern is the only one which is available in children's sizes. I love the fact that it has a modesty panel - my nine year old does NOT need to show cleavage, thank you very much! Since it's winter I raised the back neckline and lengthened the sleeves to wrist length. She had approved the fabrics chosen from my stash (we decided on a contrasting fabric for the modesty panel) and knew I'd cut it and begun sewing, but I finished it last night after she went to bed. I left it out for her to wear today. Yes I'm Mum of the Year this week!
Next up pants for me. I'm going to make them tight because I finally decided to ditch the baby fat. I've had it for a year, and I'm sick of it. So far I'm down 4kg. I'm not going to tell my very observant husband. (He doesn't read this!) I want to see how much it takes before he notices.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Anyway, to cut this long ramble short, our computer is currently working, but the hard drive we're using is chock-full. I can't re-install the camera software, and I can't upload any photos from camera to computer till we get a new hard drive. Since I like photos with my posts, that means probably not a whole lot of posting till we're back at full capacity. On the plus side, I'm getting a fair bit of sewing done, and I'll have lots to post when I can!
Thursday, June 18, 2009
So anyway, here's my Mum and her younger sister in (I think) Swannage (no idea how to spell that, have to check with Mum) in England. Mum looks about 12-13, so it'd be about 1947/8. See all the post war revellers at the beach?
I loved this photo as soon as I saw it, because it's the only photo I've ever seen of my Mum where I thought - gosh I look like her! This could be me at the same age. I like the feeling of connection to my history.
Next time I see Mum she has more old photos, including her parents' wedding photo. Can't WAIT to see that one.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
The topstitching tends to sink into the corduroy's nap and can look distorted in places, but it is actually pretty straight. I'm kind of anal about my topstitching. If I can see slightly wonky topstitching, it comes out. And I LOOK!
No snow today. Just a soggy back yard.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
So, since my plans to do a couple of errands in town followed by a visist to my parents came to a screeching halt, I figured I could SEW! I've been working on the jean jacket draft, but I'll leave that for another post, when I've made the next toile. Meantime today I worked on a corduroy jean jacket (from the same pattern as Nicholas' one) for my nephew. I thought I'd show how I do collars to ensure that they sit nicely.
In order to sit well, the upper collar needs to be slightly bigger than the under collar. To achieve this, when pinning the two together I make sure that the edge of the under collar just peeks out. You can see the upper collar is sort of wrinkling because it's a little bigger.
Then after clipping the corners, turning and topstitching, I sew along the neck edge. To ensure room for turn-of-cloth (ie, the upper collar sitting smoothly over the undercollar) I fold the collar to create the room it needs. This edge is then pinned.
When I sew it I fold it as well, which helps keep it even.
The finished collar looks like this. You can just make out that it appears to have a wrinkle along it's length. When sewn to the jacket it will fold over nicely and sit flat against the jacket rather than have points which stick up.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
After adding back the length lost by this method, I had version #2 of the sleeve. This pic shows the toile with versions #1 and #2. #2 is a considerable improvement, but still not quite there.
So I repeated the process once more to get version #3, which is almost perfect.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
And here's the sleeve. It has a very high looking sleeve cap, and the curve still looks a bit pointy, but that's what toiles are for! Next stop is to make a quick toile to see how this block works. I compared the pieces to the pattern I used for Nicholas' jean jacket and was pleased with the comparison. Just not sure about that very high sleeve cap.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
The reason I'm so keen to get hold of it is that I've had a number of comments on some of the clothes I've made the babies, and suggestions that I make some to sell. (DH's employer's wife even talked to the people at an up-market shop which does carry some locally made children's clothes about me!) I find that a very appealing proposition. However, if I'm going to sell clothes, they need to be my patterns. I have a good set of measurements, which I was given as part of a research paper I did for a final year clothing paper for my degree (a phd student at the University was doing a study on children's sizes, and I was able to use her data!) All I need are the block-drafting instructions. The library book starts at size two, so I might need to do some fudging for baby sizes. The new edition starts at birth. I so want it!
Pretty much everything I make starts with a commercial pattern because it's so much quicker than drafting from scratch. I am dying to draft a jean jacket! I love the one I made Nicholas, but it has way more ease than he needs, and even his cousin (who is more regular sized) had loads of room in it. I could never be bothered altering it, but now it's going to be my first attempt - a jean jacket to fit Nicholas (well, a jean jacket to fit someone his age - it'll still be big on him!)
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Keely, if you do want to borrow the pattern I really really really want to watch you figure out the front princess seam/pocket/binding. How's the studying going? If you're reading this you're obviously not doing any!
Friday, June 5, 2009
Turning it into a finished garment did require a fair amount of head scratching. I had to think very carefully just how to sew the binding so that it was along the outside of the pocket edge, and incorporated into the princess seam. It was easy enough to execute, once I'd worked out where to clip and turn. Which isn't to say that I didn't do the exact same head scratching when it came to doing the second one!
Then I sewed the raglan seams as bound seams. I think they may be called strapped seams, but I'm not sure. I am quite willing to be corrected :-) First I lined up the pieces wrong sides together and pinned them, then I added the velour binding/strapping and pinned that. I pinned the seam first to be sure I didn't distort it by adding binding.
Lastly I just folded the binding/strapping under the sewn seam and topstitched it down.
Here are the pieces I started with.
Now I just have to finish the sweatshirt. If Georgia sees it half made when she gets home from school today she'll bug me for the rest of the weekend to get it done! I realised years ago that when sewing for kids you have to pack away the project after each session. If it's out on the desk I'm supposed to be working on it ;-)
This was a fun exercise. I really like the mental challenge of recreating something I've only seen as a picture. I find that if I have too much easy sewing I get bored. If I have too much challenging sewing I get burnt out. I need to have a bunch of projects lined up so that I can just pick whatever takes my fancy when the sewing machine calls.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Apart from today, when I am glumly contemplating the fact that no matter which way I squint my eyes and rack my brains the fabric I desperately want to turn into pants will Not Look Good as pants. It's a stretch woven (so far so good) in a lovely sagey green with the teeniest subtle pink pin stripe. Where it falls down for pants is that it has a stretchy design element woven into it which gives it lovely texture and dimension, but I have a sinking feeling that pants made out of it will look like pyjamas. And not in a good way. Before I pre-shrunk it it was flat. I worried that washing would release the stretch, and sure enough, this is how it ended up:
So what do I do with it? Pants are out. It is telling me that it wants to be a jacket, but I don't currently need a jacket. So, it will sit while I re-think the pants. (Still ignoring the housework though.)
Monday, June 1, 2009
They're stretch corduroy with dark brown backing and beige nap, which is an interesting look. The pattern is from BWOF 04/07, #120. I made a 42, but added to the side seams to make it more like a 44. With the stretch I could have left off the extra, and if and when I lose some pounds, I'll take them in.
I also made them nice and long, just in case they shrink in the wash, even though I pre-shrunk the fabric before I began.
I got the idea of making a menswear style waistband after tossing my son's school pants in the wash - makes alterations much easier! From the outside it looks like this:From the inside it looks like this: