Category Archives: Uncategorized

Sewing Sarah and Adeline: A Study in Proportions

I made the Sarah tunic from My Image magazine from a red ponte from Joann’s because it looked so cute on other bloggers. On me, I felt that it was meh. First of all, I could not seem to press the neckline flat enough. Secondly, the armholes were super deep on me. I thought to myself as I traced and cut, “These armscyes look pretty long compared to what I usually see,” and then I shrugged it off and continued.

Months later, I made the StyleArc Adeline with no adjustments (as I do every time I make a pattern for the first time) out of a blue rayon/linen mix from Joann’s and discovered that the amount of volume and length swamped 5’4″ me. I think it would be better shorter and one size smaller. You can see it on my Instagram here (I accidentally deleted all the photos off my device).

Honestly, I should just assume that I need to shorten every pattern and always size down one size from where any size chart tells me I need to be (except for Vogue, which seems to say exactly what they mean by those pattern measurements…as I can attest to with two too-small Vogue garments I’ve sewn).

My sewing plans include a mini-wardrobe consisting of black and white linen items (top, skirt, another top, and maybe shorts if I am being ambitious) and some pants. I also made a skirt sloper draft based on the directions of the Winifred Aldrich metric pattern cutting book (thanks, Linda, for recommending it!!) and I’m looking forward to testing that out in a muslin. I’m also on a diet now, which may slow up my sewing plans, since I don’t want to put in a ton of effort and then not be able to fit the thing I made.

We shall see! In the meantime, I love reading your blogs. Please share any interesting new sewing blogs you’ve found with me. I want more! I recently discovered Jasika’s sewing site and I absolutely love her fabric and pattern choices.

 

 

 

Style Arc Adeline (in the making)

It’s my first time trying a Style Arc pattern and I am having issues with the 1/4″ seam allowances. It’s difficult for me to stay accurate to such a small seam allowance. I feel like I’ve messed up attaching the neck facings, but we’ll see. I’ve been sewing in extremely short spurts on the weekend and not at all on weekdays–I’ve been too tired in the evenings.

I’ve been feeling inspired by Cookin’ and Craftin’s and Thornberry’s pattern choices. I also live in a warm climate and I feel like the things they make (especially the Style Arc items) would be suitable to the Charleston climate.

I really would like to blog more, but my glacial sewing speed is keeping that from happening. I am really enjoying keeping up with other sewing blogs. If you have any sewing blogs you really enjoy, please share them with me in the comments.

The Body and the Job

It turns out that starting a new job and dealing with health issues at the same time takes a lot of energy and time. Throw on top of that managing a household and you have very little sewing going on. I’ve been working on a Simplicity dress off and on for months. I cut out a Butterick shell two days ago,  intending to sew it all in one afternoon, and here we are–days later–with no progress. I get easily frustrated. I’ve gained more weight and now I’m rather lost as to adjustments, etc. I’m hoping things settle down soon so that I have time to create. In the meantime, I’ve been loving seeing what y’all have made.

Back to WordPress.com & Other Stuff

I’ve decided to bring my site on back to https://freshlysewn.wordpress.com. In the end, I decided to not add advertisements to my blog, for multiple reasons: I don’t post very often (because I sew incredibly slowly) and I also stopped working in the online market research space.

I worked at a company where I managed the affiliate marketing portion (along with other stuff) for a while, and I wanted to see what it was like on the affiliate side, as opposed to the market researcher side. The affiliates at Affiliate Summit West inspired me, I guess. I never got around to it, though, with work and traveling and all of that. I don’t work at a market research company anymore, so my interest in seeing what the affiliate side is like has waned.

I have become more interested in the loose/lagenlook/arty patterns that bloggers like Thornberry and Catherine Daze make. This morning, I ordered the Style Arc Hedy dress pattern. I’ve never sewn or worn anything like that, but I’m drawn to the interesting shape, especially since I’ve gotten so thick in the middle. I love dolman sleeves and I am enjoying dramatic silhouettes more.

I’m currently working on several things at once: another New Look top, the Sarah tunic from My Image magazine, and the vintage Simplicity dress pattern I mentioned on Instagram. I went into a frenzy of fabric cutting before Christmas and then just didn’t move forward. I’ve had pretty low sew-jo since we moved into an apartment that is always dark, like nighttime dark. I have lots of lamps in the sewing room, but to no avail.

What are you making?

 

Bootstrap fashion: more thoughts

I’ve been working on figuring out what my ideal measurements are to produce a garment that I would like and that would fit me the way that I would like using Bootstrap’s software.

The first time I put in my measurements, I got this wacky picture that looks nothing at all like a human. I don’t think I know of any humans you have a pointy stomach that points upwards. Here is my 3-D model:

Your_3D_Avatar

I sewed their three seams skirt pattern from it. It was actually too large for me; I had to take it in an inch on either side. Also, the hips on the pattern were an exaggerated womanly shape; my hips are actually relatively straight, but my bottom is the part that takes up most of the circumference of my hips measurement. Then I realized that the waistband was too short, as I cut off part of it to accommodate the revised skirt. However, I hadn’t really changed the waistline of the skirt, so now it doesn’t fit.

Yesterday, I remeasured myself. For the under cost measurement, I put the same as my waist measurement. I figured having a dramatically different under bust measurement from the waist measurement the first time around is what produced the exaggerated stomach shape. I also included a full bust adjustment, since I felt that the dress that I made the first time around was too tight in the back and smooshed my boobs. Now, the avatar looks more like me:

Your_3D_Avatar

I’m going to reprint the pattern and make the skirt and the dress again with these new measurements. We’ll see how they turn out.

Coming Up Soon: Experimenting with Bootstrap and Lekala Patterns

My experience with the free Bootstrap A-line dress pattern will not discourage me from trying again! I really like the idea of a pattern more closely aligning with my measurements.

I re-measured myself and made a few adjustments to my measurements on the website. I included the belly + hip measurement as well–this measurement takes the belly protuberance into account, in relation to the full hip measurement.

I’m going to try this vintage-inspired sheath dress, which has a keyhole in the back and a collar, along with a waist inset. I have not done any of those things before (I am not counting the collar on the New Look shift because it is in knit and isn’t a “traditional” collar). I am excited for the challenge and the skill development. I need to buy some “suiting with spandex” (their words) for this pattern. I saw that Fashion Fabrics Club is having a crazy cheap sale right now, including suitings, so I think I’ll nab some there for my practice run.

I’m also going to try the free three-seam skirt pattern. I have seen this skirt recommended to sewists new to Lekala/Bootstrap’s patterns. Earlier this year, I spent a weekend trying to fit a straight skirt pattern (a McCall’s) that had worked fine for me several pounds ago. I made what I thought was a successful skirt, having tried it on throughout the process and having made an adjusted pattern. When I put it on, it wouldn’t stay up at the waist/stomach! I’m hoping this customized skirt pattern will do the trick.

I printed those patterns out yesterday and they are waiting for my attention. Right now, I’m working on another iteration of Simplicity 1609 in a light cotton that I need to line because it is see-through. This is my first time lining this pattern, but I think it should be fairly straightforward! I will use The Slapdash Sewist’s method. (I miss her posts!!) Also, I will be sure to use Kathleen Fasanella’s method of sewing in a zipper. For whatever reason, when I am in the throes of zipper sewing, I forget about all her methods and end up with it looking crappy at the top, where the facing is.

I’m looking forward to the weekend, when I can do some marathon sewing!

 

Bootstrap Fashion 8000: Short-sleeved Dress with Belt

I decided to try a Bootstrap Fashion pattern because I am particularly hard to fit right now. I tried the free pattern, 8000, the short sleeved dress.

I had a bit of a mishap trying to put in a lining. I’m not sure what I did wrong, but it was a twisted mess. I cut it out just so I could see how the dress would fit.

I put in the invisible zipper so perfectly. The waist lined up in the back. The armscyes turned out to be too small and I had limited range of motion. There is also wrinkling where I sewed the armscye facings on. The curves there are extreme. I did clip the curves. That didn’t do much.

I had enough room for my stomach, my bust, and my hips, although there was extra room on the sides of the skirt and it has a strange, exaggerated hip curve. I probably put in inaccurate measurements.

I will try Bootstrap Fashion patterns again, after I remeasure myself and put in the new measurements.

IMG_20160414_074104

What Happened in 2015

I had goals for 2015. I said that I would sew one garment a month. I didn’t do that. I did, however, start at least one garment per month, then gave up because the fit was bad or lost interest at the zipper or hemming stage.

Towards the end of the year, I also had little sewing time. I moved, traveled overseas, got married, and traveled to three more places. There hasn’t been one month that I’ve been totally at home.

(An aside: I ended up wearing the Trashy Diva Honey dress in white for my wedding dress. It had lovely folds in the front. A little girl stared at me in the marriage license office, probably thinking I was either a princess or a kook!)

This year, I want to work on developing fitting skills. I also am working on losing weight. This is chiefly for my health, but I also know I will like how I look in what I make when I am smaller.

I signed up for a pants fitting class at one of the local fabric shops. It starts in a couple of weeks. While searching for a plus size pants pattern, I’m noticing that there aren’t many, and what exists is stretchy or has an elastic waistband. For the purposes of this class, I need a regular waistband and woven fabric. I found one See and Sew pattern that covers my size at JoAnn… And it looks like a fuddy duddy pattern. 😦 I thought about buying a Burda Plus pattern, but I’d have to print it somewhere, tape it, and add seam allowances. I could grade any pattern up, but I don’t really want to do that. I just want to make the muslin I need to have before the first class!

I’ve also been doing water aerobics for the past couple of weeks. I like it. I’m also focusing on making better food choices, which I really need to focus on when I’m traveling!

What are your goals for this year?