Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Instant Weight Loss!

Here's an easy way to lose 10 lbs! Just alter your pants to fit LOL. I've been working on the alterations for DD#2 and check out the left and right side of the pic below with the excess fabric pinched out. The pinched out side makes her look 10 lbs. thinner. Now all I have to do is transfer that alteration to the flat pattern and we're good to go with another pair. Her alterations are basically the same as mine too. She'll wear these pants once I finish, however, the butt alteration can't be done on this pair. Not to worry I told her. I've seen a worse fit on some of the kids at her school. Next pair should look darn good.

It's absolutely amazing what a good fit will do for the rear view, isn't it?!?!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Half Done

So far so good. But sewing for the boys is easy. DS#1's jeans are okay. It's his first wearable muslin with the new alterations for growth, and the denim is not my fave. It's stiff and straight from the Walmart $1 table. However, now that the muslin basically fits, I'm going ahead and using some nice fabric for his second and third pair with minor tweaking of the side seams. DS#2's third pair are great and made from a nice, soft, medium-weight denim from a local fabric store.

DD#2 is on her third fitting as of tonight. At this point I'm tweaking the upper/mid thigh so the side seams hang perfectly straight and are a little looser. I got a little over zealous taking out some fabric and need to adjust as necessary. She really hates fitting. Getter her to stand still for five minutes while I do some measurements is pushing it and that is very annoying to me. She'll bother me to make them, but then doesn't want to the the absolute minimal effort of simply standing still for several minutes every couple of days to get a decent fit. And let's face it. She probably will make some excuse about how she doesn't like the feel anyway once they're done. However, I probably should be grateful. Getting the boys to stand still even for a second to take a pic is almost too much for them! But I'm working on that Kodak moment.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

What Not To Wear!

Teenagers! (said with rolled eyes) The things they will do and think it's okay. I admit to not being fully alert in the morning when my girls leave at 6:30 to get on the bus in the morning. Yesterday DD#1 left with a jacket on and what I thought were loose blue shorts. For some reason I didn't even notice her shoes.

She comes home, arrives at the front door, and I ask her, "Where did you get *THAT* outfit???" (She was wearing a royal blue, thigh high dress with a black belt and black heels.) It did look very nice. She replied, "It's yours!" It turns out she took a dress that has a matching black and royal blue jacket, a belt from my black/white suit, put them together and got the look she wanted to for Spirit Week at school. However, the dress was mid thigh, and I know my dress is knee length. So I ask her, "Why is my dress so short?" She proudly (yes, I did say proudly) turns back the hemline to the reverse side which reveals clear plastic packing tape holding the entire hem in place. Yikes! How tacky. IMO, that's bad as stapling your hem in place. I told her that someone had to see it. Geez, didn't it crinkle when she sat down? Maybe they even heard it. Guess I should be happy she didn't get some insane idea and cut my hem.

She was promptly sent to her room to remove the packing tape from my dry-clean only dress, checky for dirt and oil spots, and put my belt back on my black/white suit. IMO, that is definitely a fashion faux pas. Taping a partial hem in an emergency is okay. Taping the entire hem on someone else's dress is not.

Anyway...DD#2's jeans are going fine. She had her first fitting yesterday, and I pinched out some vertical darts where some fabric needs to be removed. The crotch area (at this point) looks fabulous. I was so pleased. Currently the legs are being redesigned with some flare as per her preference. So far so good. DS#1 and DS#2's jeans are cut and ready to be stitched. Mine still have to be cut, but all the alterations have been transferred to the pattern. The only thing I want to double check is the front crotch area.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Body Core and Body Space

What does going to the gym and sewing have in common? Well, it hit me today. It's that darn body core! Everybody is always working to get a good, strong body core at the gym. We sewers are always trying to get a good fit in pants and in struck me today that body space in the the body core is likely a crucial component for proper fit, especially for people like me that have less than perfect torsos.

Case in point: my daughter's pants I'm working on. I matched up the front and back jeans pattern pieces at the crotch point seamline and made sure the grainlines were perfectly parallel. The result? A very narrow body space that maybe Barbie could fit into. When I put her crotch curve/body space overlay on top it was a Wow! moment. There was no way her body was going to fit into these pants. Something has to be done with the body space issue. I looked for an old Threads issue that had an article specifically about this (the 12/05-1/06 issue, pp. 40/41) and soaked up the info like a dry sponge.

Tomorrow I'll edit to add pics for an illustration of what I'm working on. Right now, I'm going to sleep on this fitting dilemna before proceeding with her pants alterations.

Pics now included :) ...

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Hissy Fit!

DD#2 is having one. She says she doesn't have any pants to wear to school! What's a mom to do? The easy thing to do is to take her shopping. The hard part is that it takes forever for her to find something to wear. She is not a fashion diva type of girl. Not by a long shot. She's 13 and dress very "sporty"--t-shirts, sport pants, sport shorts, sweatshirts. That's the extent of her school wardrobe. It's a stark contrast to her 15-year old sister who enjoys her "fashion-conscious" clothes. Anyway, the hissy fit started two nights ago when she made the announcement, "I don't have any pants to wear to school." She claims the ones I bought for her two months ago for back to school are now too short. (That may be true since she's growing like a weed.) So Thursday night I'm seam ripping the serged hem on her sweatpants so she can wear them to school the next day. Then I get the comment that breaks me down--"What about those jeans you said you were going to make for me two months ago???"

So here I am. Typing about it while taking a break from drafting a pants pattern for her. DS#2's 3rd pair are cut out. The alterations have been transferred and/or completed on DS#1's and my pair. Now I'm working on hers. Here's to hoping the draft will be complete tonight to cut out a muslin tomorrow.

This is when sewing sometimes doesn't pay off. DD#2 hates virtually all jeans. In fact, I'm sitting in a pair she asked for last Christmas. We wear the same size and they fit me like a dream. Fit her like a dream too (IMO)! Why doesn't she like them? She doesn't like the feel. It's too snug, cuts into her here or there, so what makes me think mine will be any different? I don't. Plain and simple. This is a labor of love because she'll probably say she doesn't like the ones I make either. There is one thing in my favor. The jeans will have an elastic waist and mock zipper stitching on the front. Maybe, just maybe, the tide will turn.

Here's to hoping, but I'm not holding my breath. Stay tuned...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

It's a Wrap!

Just finished S4076, the wrap version. Don't know why, but I've never owned, nor worn, a wrap top before. But this version is definitely to my liking! The fabric I used was an embroidered, black Slinky--LOVE IT!

I'm definitely in love with Slinky fabric. In fact, this morning I bought 1 1/2 yards of this beautiful teal Slinky over at EOS to make another wrap top, maybe for PR Weekend in a few weeks. And I had to take a peek over at Gorgeous Things and ordered a black/white/gray art deco print, maybe for the Christine Jonson Wrap top. Once it got down to 7 yards left, the decision had to be made.

I was cautioned by a recent review of the wrap version over at PatternReview. A reviewer mentioned that her wrap version (in the flat pattern stage, I think) definitely did not have the same finished measurements as it should in the bust. Guess Simplicity chalked this up to an error, but there were no fit issues for me by simply grading from a 10 at the shoulders to a 14 mid armhole down. Those darn full high hips of mine needed a little more on the back piece from the waist down, so I added a 1/2" extra in the seam allowance starting at the hem on the back piece only, tapering to 0 at the waist. This is a constant bugaboo for me--broad shoulders, very small back, and full high hips. It makes for a very curvy back which necessitates either A: back darts or princess seams or B: Make the back more boxy and loose. I opted for B on this top, although if made again I think the back piece wil be redrafted for a shoulder princess seam so the small of the back can curve in and mold the body better.

Here is a pic of me wearing the top:

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There were lots of alterations for me as usual. They are found in my review of this top at Patternreview (well, when I get to write it :) ). I think the style is flattering, although I added 2" of length below the waist and probably shouldn't have with the Slinky. The 4-way stretch tends to pull down and add length anyway. Right now the top hits me right at my widest point, but that isn't a deal breaker because I simply like the fit and feel of the top. The top is tacked closed at the v by stitching in the ditch of the neckband.

Overall, I'll get a lot of wear out of this top. It's comfy and can be dressed up or down.

The next few days I'll be taking a break from tops and working on jeans. Cutting out mine because I'm finished (well, at least I *think* I am) with muslin alterations, cutting out DD's for her muslin, finishing DS#2's third pair, and starting DS#1's first pair! Better make sure there are enough good denim needles in my stash!

Here's to hoping my muslin alterations will pan out!!!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Birthday Wishes!

What a great way to spend one's birthday by taking a little time out for sewing activities! Can't say that I really want, nor need, anything. DH is a charmer and always says if you want it, buy it. (Good thing I'm not a shop-a-holic!) And he really is very good about because he sometimes gets neglected due to sewing activities. Hmm...I think from his aspect it might be a little more than "sometimes". So really, I must get working on something for him too.

Aside from this aspect, I did get to put the final alterations on my first wrap version of (yeah, it's my fave again!) Simplicity 4076. Perhaps there will be a chance to cut it out today from the embroidered Slinky fabric. I finished up DD#2's second pair of jeans too. He's thrilled with the side pockets, but next time will make the opening a little longer for him. Tomorrow his third pair will definitely get cut out. I'm going to take a little ease out of the waistband of his master pattern because the gathering at the waist, IMO, is a bit much.

Off to cutting.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Boys' Jeans

There are few things more frustrating than promising something specific in a garment and forgetting to do it when sewing it, which is exactly what I did. I making jeans for my boys. They hate RTW jeans. DS#2 specifically asked for side seam pockets, and I yes'd him but remembered AFTER sewing up and finishing the side seams. Yuck! Rip, rip, rip!!! I just drafted a side seam pocket last night and, hopefully, will get to putting them in today. After that, a simple elastic waistband finish will finish the jeans. He desparately needs three new pairs and this is number two. Maybe I will even get a chance to cut out number 3 today but that might be pushing it.

Once those jeans are done, DS#1 needs 3 new pairs of jeans too. As I start his, I will *finally* work on cutting out a casual, close-fitting trouser pattern that I've been perfecting the last three months. The alterations just need to be transferred to the pattern and it will be good to go. DD#2's jeans pattern needs to be drafted as well but at least that is half done. So...I'll be working on pants/jeans for three people over the next two-three weeks--myself, DS#2, and DD#2.

Busy, busy, busy!!!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Finished Projects

Last week I devoted a good chunk of time to cutting fabric--my most hated chore! So I set up a few projects to cut at once. So it took me a few days but was able to manage to finish two of my three projects, a twisted knot top and a tank dress. The twisted knot top is Simplicity 4076 which is one of my FAVE patterns in my stash. Geez! It must be the 8th top made from that pattern so far, and this week I'll be making my first wrap top from it too. The pattern has already been altered and is ready to go. The fabric used was a black lycra (think swimsuit fabric). To dress it up a little I added some black hot-fix crystals at the neckline and near the front twist. It's supposed to be worn with a skirt (still in the planning stages on that one), but for now will wear it with jeans for a casual look.

Here are the current pics:

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As for the "matching skirt", it will be a straight skirt made from some fruity fabric with black godets. Check this out--

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I can't wait to see how it turns out, although DH will probably not want to be seen with me when I'm wearing it LOL!

My second completed project this week was my Pamela Tank Top converted into a tank dress. I've morphed this pattern into a bunch of different styles and love the summer dress version. It's so hot in NE Pennsylvania today that I'm wearing it out. Probably the last day to wear summer clothes since it's supposed to get a bit cooler later this week. Even had enough fabric to make another tee (yep, S-4076 again :) ). The fabric was a pretty knit found at a local fabric store.

Here's the front and back:

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More later...

A New Day!

Well, I finally did it!!! After reading so many blogs about (what else!) sewing, I took the plunge. Stay tuned for some of my new projects that I've either finished, almost finished, still a work in progress, or on the cutting table.