Saturday, March 30, 2013

Baby's First Wadder

First, the good: I finished the February skirt! I actually finished about a week ago, so not quite so far into March. :)

It's okay. It's a very cute pattern - I really like the scallops on the botttom. The darts don't fit entirely, but I'm sure that's easily fixed. I'm just not convinced it's the best style for me and my sizeable waist-hip ratio. I think things with actual waists look better on me. It's funny - this is the kind of thing I always buy: not fitted in the waist, sitting on the hips. Comfortable, but not actually flattering.
Look at that gap! Since I've started sewing, I'm so much more aware of fit. In fact, I think I'm too aware of fit, to the point where I often can't figure out what proper fit is. I need the pattern designer there with me, to tell me how tight or loose it's supposed to be. I looked at this skirt, and I think it's fitting the way it's intended to fit, but that fit is just not the best style for me. But maybe it just needs to be adjusted? Maybe if I make the waist smaller? There's no actual waistband, though.

In any case, the skirt is fine, if not awesome. I wore it to work, and with a shirt over instead of tucked in, it's not noticeable, although the waist ends up rolling oddly through the day. Super comfortable, though, since it doesn't come anywhere near my waist. :)

And now the bad. The March shirt, which was going swimmingly and was totally going to get finished before April (the power of long weekends and the end of the month being on a weekend!), is a wee bit disasterous. I hit a point where it was basically sewn together, so I was able to try it on properly. My bust adjustment worked perfectly to put the band where it's supposed to be - except that it's now giant and gapey in the middle of the bust. I guess this is what 3 extra inches of fabric does! So I'm thinking maybe if I take it back to the original length in the centre, give it more of a W shape. I'm frankly just making things up here. Because otherwise this is a dead shirt, and I'd be sad to lose the fabric.

In any case, to make that change I have to basically unpick the entire thing. So I think it's going to go onto the back burner for a little while, and I'll unpick it slowly and see what I can do.

Instead, I'm going to move on, start something new. April's project is calling!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Power of the Toile

Hello! I'm still finishing off February's project (just a little more handsewing of the hem to go), but I started working on March's project during all the zipper foot ridiculousness.

Here's what's happening for March:

I'm still not certain about how to pick the right size for tops. Straight up bust measurement puts me at an 18, but that's an 18 with a B cup, which I'm definitely not. So I need a full bust adjustment (FBA). But! I've read some things that say if you're going to do a FBA, you should start with your upper bust measurement, which puts me at a 16. Confusing, I tell you.

The bust part of this is gathered, not fitted, and the bottom is loose, so I thought I might be able to get away with a straight 18 and no FBA . But something like this definitely calls for a toile.

Look - it's a muslin in actual muslin! Which, by the way, was not as cheap as I would have thought. I think when this runs out I'm going to pick up some secondhand sheets or something.

Perfect fit, right? Heh.
Here's what happens when the band is where it's supposed to be. Classy. I always have this problem in RTW clothes in this style - either the underbust seam is in the wrong place, or it's cleavage central. Also, you can't really see it, but the shoulder seam is pulled about 2 inches forward.
But at least now the hem is even, not raised in the front like it was.

So, the obvious - not nearly enough room in the bust. Which I knew was going to happen. I'd originally planned to raise the upper bust line by a couple of inches when I cut out the muslin, but I forgot. And it's gaping around the armpit (although there's a bit of a seam allowance which won't be there. and I think I'm planning on doing one of the sleeves). Plus the bottom is too tight, and stops at exactly the widest part of my hips.

So new plan: cut the top in a 16 (which I think will also take care of how it's pulling so far to the back when I tie it, creating those lines around the waist), grading to a 20 in the bottom. Add 2 1/2" to the bottom of the front piece, curving down from the regular height on the sides (which fits fine - I just need the extra in the front). And cut the longer length; then I can hem it wherever it looks okay. I'm also rethinking the sleeve - I was originally going to do the little puffed sleeves in the main picture, but they'd probably not be super flattering on me. So maybe one of the fluttery sleeves? I'll have to check how much drape my fabric has.

In any case, all of this means I have to start again - retrace the pattern pieces (but now I've learned the benefit of tracing! If I'd cut the tissue pieces to the 18, I would have had to recreate the size 20 for the bottom this time around), cut them out, cut my fabric, sew it up. But it's all good. If I'd sewn this without a muslin, it would have been a waste of fabric - a complete wadder. And maybe it'll be faster this time around because I've sewn it once?

I'll be back soon with my completed February project! And probably with a vote - the skirt is super cute, but I can't decide if it's cute on me. STAY TUNED.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

February update

Well, I didn't get my February project done on time. One month this year I will, I promise! I blame February for ending on a Thursday - I need that last weekend.

Although actually what slowed me down was the zipper foot I needed for the invisible zipper. I thought the machine came with one, so I didn't think about it until I sat down to sew the zipper in. Sadly, no zipper. So eventually I found somewhere to buy one...and promptly lost in on the way home. In my defense, they're tiny!

I did buy another one. So annoying. Even more annoying when I tried to use it this weekend and it didn't fit on my machine. AUGH. I faked it with a regular zipper foot, but the results weren't spectacular.

Not exactly invisible! Also there's that bump at the bottom, but I'm pretty sure I know how to make that not happen next time. I'm going to attempt to find the correct foot for future projects.

Onward! There are technically only 2 steps left, but, as always, tons of tiny steps contained within those.