Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Muse Natalie dress & Burda 9755

Burda 9755.  Don't make it.  My first experience with Burda and it was appalling.  The instructions were terrible and I ended up making my own up.  The fit in the upper chest isn't fantastic but I won't be changing it and doing another version.  This is Brighid after we went to see Cinderella at the movies, where Cinderella herself wore a similar colour blue for most of the film.  She does have two feet, but is practising curtseying in this photo.  It's a win because Brighid likes it, and chose the fabric and pattern herself when we went to Blenheim last summer.  If I made another pattern with a band/ribbon around the waist for a child, I would pipe it or make it in contrast fabric so it stood out better than this.

 The Natalie Dress by Muse Patterns.  I cut a 40 at the neck and shoulders, a 42 for the sleeves and a 44 everywhere else.  I like the dress, but I need to work out how to do a FBA on this and also to use my CSBCC tonic tee shape which I've been working on to put a centre back seam in which takes the sway back wrinkles out and puts some more width in over my bum.  The sleeve length is also wrong on me - I think I shortened it too much.  I might also go to a 44 sleeve for the next version, to be sure I can comfortably fit a thin winter layer underneath.  Given that it will always have leggings underneath it, I'm thinking the next version will be one centimetre shorte in length.


Of course, some blogs (most) have fabulous photos and the models style their hair before the photo shoot.  The photo shoots for such blogs don't involve an eight year old taking some pics on her ipod after kung fu and before the merry-go-round called bedtime begins.

Mine doesn't.  It does document my sewing journey, and it's my small testament to myself that I can do more than just work and work and work and parent all night and day.  I'm still sewing, I'm still learning and this is my small contribution to curvy sewing confidence.  I'm also not doing that thing where you make yourself look skinny in your pose for every camera shot.  The feminist implications of learnning always to take up less space are crap.

Grey is okay.  It is very drab compared to my usual colour choices.  I have a mint green and black print ready for the next dress version and a red stripe for a top version.  I also bought some hot pink merino on sale and it will either be a Natalie Dress or a McCalls 6408 cardigan.

I've also got some slips to make.  Shop bought slips are either very short or very long.  Those nice stretchy ones with no lace are also only made for skinnier persons than myself, which is a bit outrageous.  So slip making is high on the agenda.

Friday, April 10, 2015

sewing still, blogging once more

April, and the first post of 2015.   Hmmmmm.

Still, I have been sewing, and hopefully this school holidays I will photograph and post the Muse Patterns Gillian dress, Natalie dress and two Jenna cardigans I have made.  I've pleased with both dresses.  The cardigans fit, but I'm not sure they are the cardigan shape I really want to wear.  Sounds like last year's McCalls 6844, a pattern that I was the only person in the online sewing world not to be successful with.  The cardigan project continues.

I'm just back from a trip to Christchurch where they have fabric shops.  Real ones.  I got some fabric at Fabric Vision, and some at The Fabric Shop and some at my latest and greatest shop find - Bolt of Cloth.  Bolt of Cloth is heaven for those of us who like bold colour.

I also bought Butterick 6031, so that I can make slips that fit me.  The best fitting slip ever, a blue one I found for 50 cents at the Sallies at least five years ago, gave up the ghost just as soon as I bought the pattern.  I could only find beige tricot (seriously) at Fabric Vision, but then I went to Lincraft on my last day in the middle sized smoke and found some swirly bright green fabric to make a slip with.

No pictures today, but I have prewashed almost all of my new fabric.  I believe the final purchase total was about 18 metres.  I'm posting now and hoping to follow up with pictures very soon.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Gillian dress by Muse Patterns




Gillian Dress by Muse Patterns.

I have found sewing nirvana!  I cut a size 40 for the yoke and a size 44 for everywhere else and no other alterations and it fits me!!  !!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I'm going to make the dress version in a blue polka dot fabric next, and then I have a grey fabric and black contrast to make a winter version after that.

This is my first ever pdf pattern, and I took the plunge because I loved the pattern AND I found that Kat, the designer was a New Zealander and wanted to support her.  The instructions were great and I was really happy with the finish I achieved (I speak as someone who has done quite a bit of basic sewing, but is not an advanced or highly skilled sewist).  It did take absolutely ages to tape and cut the pattern pieces, so I'm thrilled that I have a good result from my efforts and will use the pattern again soon.  I do have my eye on the other Muse patterns - the Jenna cardigan and the Natalie dress.

It doesn't gape when I bend over, but I am going to put a hook and eye in at the crossover point to be sure that I have secure cleavage coverage for work.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

sewing dreaming

I made the peplum cardigan work in the end, by cutting the seams off and re-sewing.  I'd cut it too big first time round, so that worked.  Pictures to follow once I have gotten someone to take them.

This weekend I made alterations to the pattern pieces of my Style Arc Issy top.  I'd no chance of altering them until I'd sewn it once (which I've done - pictures will be forthcoming of that too).  Next step is making it in a narrow red and white stripe fabric.

I've found a new pattern to fall in love with:  McCalls 6898.
That's the pattern photo.  Even more gorgeous is this one.I think I could make it up in a stretch cotton.  There are some gorgeous ones around.  The pattern rating is "easy" and it comes with a,b,c & d cup sizes.  Princess seams, which will be a new challenge.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

fitting clothes again

So now I have a better fitting cardigan, the McCalls 6844 which everyone else seems to whizz up in five minutes with no fitting issues.  It is still not a great fitting cardigan though, and when I ran some elastic through the back to bring the back waist in, I didn't spread it evenly (even though I tried) which has made the cardigan look rather home made which I'm not so happy about given I paid $90 for the fabric (really lovely merino).

I either have the narrowest shoulders in the whole entire world or I am doing something else wrong.  After taking the shoulders in by 4cm already (each) and still having the garment hanging off my shoulders by another centimetre, I've had the brainwave that maybe I have cut a size too big around the neck.

Wow wee.  Imagine getting that clever after 85 hours of alterations to the pattern, one wadder and now one that is wearable but not great.

I also have very short arms.

Still no pictures.  Beyond bed time already.

First world problems for certain.

Friday, July 25, 2014

fitting notes

Blimey what a project.  I only want a cardigan/soft jacket which fits me well. 

I've been working on McCalls 6844 for a long time and tonight I sewed the jacket neck band on, so although there is pressing, top stitching and hemming to go, I do have a completed shape.

It's all baggy under the arms.  Also, I don't think I have quite the line at the waist (there is a peplum falling from the waist) which I want.  I can see I did need to do an FBA, but possibly a length only one.

I might be able to alter it at the sides a bit - I'll try that over the next few days.

Also, it would appear that I have extremely short arms and narrow shoulders.  I took 2.5cm off the shoulders and need to take 2-3cm more off.  I took 9cm off the sleeves and need to take 4-5cm more off.

No photos.  Just notes as I think through what happens next.  This was the wearable muslin, out of marked down fabric (yet to find out just why merino was marked down from $24/metre to $8/metre.  I have some heavy-ish weight black merino for the next rendition.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

McCalls 6915, books & rain




This is the fabric and pattern Brighid and I chose in Christchurch a few weeks ago, while the boys soughed it out at a kung fu tournament.  It's black velvet, and really beautiful fabric.  The pattern is McCalls 6915, and while it is easy to put together, the actual pattern is ridiculous.  I had read that the pattern comes up large on Pattern Review, but the reality was quite stark.  The top is loose enough to be made in a woven (the pattern specifies moderate stretch) and the skirt is unhemmed and falls above her knees.  I favour loose dresses on Brighid, but this is just bad pattern making I think.  It is entirely my fault that I ignored the band and folded the neckline over and stretched it out really badly.  So I made some tucks in the front and then added the neckband after all.  The next step in fulfilling Brighid's specs for this dress is that she wants pointy bits around the hem and arms...

She added some socks and gumboots and a hoodie and off we went to see Tinkerbell and the Pirate Fairy at the movies.  Appalling gender constructions, but I tried to leave that at the door and I did really love seeing Brighid's pleasure in the film.

Recent reading:
1. A Girl is a Half Formed Thing by Eimear McBride.  I think it is worth the prizes and acclaim it has won.  Not happy reading, but more worth it than I had feared given I had read some plot info already.  This White Review interview with McBride is thoughtful and much better than most interviews with authors (or perhaps I usually read in the wrong places).
2. The Cleaner of Chartres by Salley Vickers.  Vickers once again manages to win reasonable literary acclaim at the same time as writing a deeply satisfying curling up in bed restorative story.
3. I've just started The Collected Works of A J Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin.  Fabulous so far.

In the garden, everything is wet.  Soaked to the core and out to the rims again.  I think my tulips have all rotted in it.  Shame, given that this is the year when I splashed out on more than ever before.  The daffodils and irises are obviously made of tougher stuff, and the snowdrops are looking lovely out the front already.  I do still have coriander in the garden, and lots of kale, spinach, silverbeet, mesclun, some rocket and masses of miners lettuce.  Not bad for the middle of winter.

The main triumph is that the illness which laid us up for eight days has finally departed.  Good bye and good riddance to that series of gastro disasters.