Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Well, the pattern for the jacket was NOT good...but at least I figured out WHY. I was suspicious about it from the start...the style changes as well as the basic block I started with!

Re: the style changes...duh...I (wrongly) started out with a pattern that has 2 waist darts per pattern piece instead of just one. Since there was an extra dart, I (wrongly) moved it to the new style line (wrong, since that is the place to put the waist reduction!). Anyway, I figured it out and did a new pattern!

Also, the basic block I started with was an experiment in itself. I used the Casual Silhouette with a lot of dart override, putting quite a bit of the front dart into the front armhole, in an attempt to loosen up the fit (to make it more casual). Well, this creates a vertical mismatch of the front and back armholes. Overall, I probably could have worn it, but I wouldn't love it. So I didn't make it! I started over, with the knowledge that I cannot use that much dart override (I should have known that anyway!).

Pinning the paper pattern together to try on was extremely helpful! I could readily see when things were not good. I did this for the NEW pattern, too...tried on the paper pattern. It was quite evident that I had NOT added enough hip and waist ease! Reprinted and tried on again. I cut this one in fabric. It was pretty good...had to extend the bust darts all the way to the BP, though (this is a waist dart)...but so far, that is the only 'alteration' that was needed.

Here's the pattern:
I have yet to set the sleeves, though. I will evaluate the back neck depth once the sleeves are in.

I also changed the placement of the split in the back of the sleeve to correspond with the back panel seam...I hope it doesn't turn out to be too low on the arm! Oh, I also curved the sleeve seams (after printing) like I did on the previous pattern.

The side panel is slightly wider now at underarm and much wider at the hem area...I added .5" bust ease and LOTS more hip ease! Zbust=3, Zwaist=4, Zhip=5. I made this one slightly LONGER than the previous one, but I suspect I will want the shorter length. Now I have options!

I am afraid I have widened the front shoulder measurement too much, and subsequently, narrowed the front neck just a little too much. The front neck width matches the back neck width now, but I think I need to go back to having the back neck width just slightly wider than the front neck. I have decided this depends on the placement of the shoulder seam: when the SS at neck point is placed more forward on the body (as I have it now), the back neck (on the pattern) can be slightly wider than the front neck width (on the pattern). I think.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I have been working on an 'art' project this week...and I use that term loosely! I volunteered to decorate a resin is 'carved feathers', so basically, it is a pair of 'wings' that form the shape of a heart. I was given this to decorate, and it will be on display in the gallery, then later sold at auction to benefit Wings Cancer Foundation, the charity/support organization of West Cancer Clinic.

Here is the gallery:

This has been difficult for me. I come up with thousands of ideas, then dismiss them as 'stupid' or 'depressing' or impossible! So my end result will be mediocre, I am sure! >g< So far, I have spent the past week painting it. At first it was painted a pale green, then antique-washed with a darker green...then I put a clear coat on it. Then I 'antiqued' it again with a thin wash of brown. Then some gold/silver/dark green....then a slight wash of teal on only SOME of the feathers. More clear sealer. It actually looks halfway decent now, but is totally boring. I have done nothing to it except paint it. It needs more...something to make it 'special'. I was going to wrap copper wires around it, but it just looks silly. I'd like to use beads. I really just want to drill several holes in it and insert arrows! ;)

I have also been working on a pattern for a jacket I wish to make. I started with a basic block and rotated darts here and there...this is what I have printed (today) to try test in a muslin:

I am a bit concerned about the shape of the panel. As you can see, there is a gap between front and back waist and hips, as my bust is the largest measurement, plus I added more ease there (also not sure if that was a good idea!). I am unsure if I should change to the PINK lines, to compensate for the waist/hip excess, or if that will make it too curvy. I have printed and will test.
Oh, and there are no seam allowances at the neck, hem and front edges...this will have binding.
Oh, phooey! I just realized that the sleeve seam and the back panel seam will NOT meet up at the AH...I'll have to address that!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Well, the blouse was just not salvageable! Even though I could solve the fit issues---convert those gathers back to darts or pleats, and raise the Empire waistline to put it closer to my underbust area---the horizontal lines of the fabric's print and the curved shapes of the pattern did NOT make for a nice finished product. The print just didn't work on this pattern shape. And I knew I was taking a chance when I cut it...but I wanted to try!
Look at the way the 'stripe' of leopard spots meets at the sideseams. Awful! Just NOT worth any more of my time! So I am moving on...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Well, the blouse was awful!!! When I said I had "finalized the pattern", I suppose that was wishful thinking! seems that EVERY decision I made was the wrong one!

I forgot to lower the back neck depth, which is vital to the correct fit! Plus, as this is an Empire style, I was a bit uncertain as to HOW HIGH to make that Empire waist I erred on the low side. I had also chosen to convert the bust dart to gathers instead of sewing it as a dart. Plus, I decided I had created too much overlap of the bodice area (crossover above the Empire seam), so at the last minute before printing the pattern, I had lessened the amount of crossover. ..which resulted in 'over exposure' in the cleavage area.

Can you visualize this?
  • Because the back neck wasn't cut low enough, the whole front was 'pushed' more forward on my body than designed to be.
  • The Empire waist seam was lower than it should have been, resulting in-
  • 'poofs' of gathers on each side of my lower front rib cage.
  • and lots of skin showing in the too-low Vneck!

It was NOT a pretty site! (there are NO pictures of that mess! )

So I spent part of last weekend ripping this blouse apart. Yep, the whole thing...topstitched, sewn and serged...all out! I now have the individual pieces again laying on the cutting table and have 'corrected' the pattern, so will recut them to raise the waist and lower the back neck. What a pain!

Why not just toss it into the garbage? you might ask. I am too attached to the outcome...I have already SEEN the blouse in my head and would like to have it! I am a Taurus...stubborn, ya know.

But this week has been spent on other pursuits and the pieces are still waiting for my attention!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Today I venture into the world of blogging. Don't get too excited...I'm new at this! But hopefully I'll get the hang of it soon!

Today, I will finalize a pattern I am making to sew up another quick top. In the last several months, I have been tweaking measurements again, to 'force' a draft with mirrored sideseams. I have accomplished that now, and I think I am ready to make REAL clothes again! Yea!!!

I have an animal print crinkle rayon that Mom gave me, and I think I'll use that for this next top. I currently have it draped on my dress form, and it looks halfway is a picture. I just hope the top I end up with looks half as nice!
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