Tuesday, 29 January 2008

I Heart Patterns

I rushed down to the fabric store on pay day last week to get some black cotton I'd been eyeing off for days and dreaming about the finished product, and I've spent the interval wrestling with 2 patterns and 5 toiles. I think I'm beginning to understand what sewing is all about; frustration and tears. How does anyone ever end up with a finished product they're happy with?? Even though I was aware from the beginning that the pattern industry had a set standard for body measurements and I was no where near conforming to them, as of 5 days ago I was still convinced making a shirt would be easy. What a poor happy fool I was!

Needless to say, all of my toiles came out tight on top and loose on the bottom. A few clumsy alterations later, I have a useless pile of calico that's no good for anything. The two patterns I tried are the shirt pattern from the 'Sew U' book and a free pattern from Burda (sans the delightful ruffles). The Burda shirt was actually really nice, notwithstanding the fitting issues, and I think that will be the one I'll work on first.

Now all that's left to do is a trip to the library to find some books on fitting, I'm not sure I'm confidant enough to follow written instructions from a message board. Or maybe I'll just move on to an easier pattern..

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Attack of the n00b

After a little late night measurement as a cure for insomnia, I've discovered the magic of "ease of fit". I previously reported that I didn't fit the patterns from the "Sew U" book. However I revisted them again today and I compared the pattern of the shorts that fit me to the pants in the book and they are the exact same size. Hurray! I don't think I'm supposed to fit any of them but the shirt and the pants have a larger ease meant for slimmer people that I will just have to fill out. The skirt still doesn't fit but I'm considering adding a seam allowance to the pattern because the toile fits unsewn.

Expect more idiotic, unfounded complaints as soon as I start any one of these projects.

Monday, 21 January 2008

George Hat

Just a quick note to mention that me and Ruth went out wool shopping today for the most perfect hat in the universe, pictured right (found here).

We got caught in the Bermuda Triangle of craft stores in Subiaco. I found some reasonably cheap cotton that I don't hate for $8 p/m, destined for my next project, and Ruth pored over the wool until I made her leave. The wool we ended up getting was 'Alpaca Kid Lustre' by Jo Sharp, which is sleek enough yet also furry enough for a cat hat. I can't wait to own it.

It's alive!

I have returned after my long and suspiscous absence, hurrah! As anyone could have guessed, my fresh faced enthusiasm for a complicated hobby I hadn't started yet soon waned. It wasn't any ordinary loss of morale, however, because I had chosen shorts as my first ever sewing project (I don't think starting a pillow class in home ec class counts). After two torturous days of sewing I had completed them, only to discover they were two sizes too small and had to go out and buy the fatty version of the pattern. Several more days of sewing later, I realised they were a poor fit for my body, not being aware that it is usually a very good idea to make a mock up first to evaluate the fit and adjust it. I'd already put the waistband on by then, so I did what any normal human would do and threw them in to a dark corner in despair.

I ended up getting Wendy Mullins book "Sew U" for Christmas (the same author as the shorts pattern) and I read it about 6 times back to back. Sadly, the patterns included are too small for me (except the shirt) but it's still a brilliant book. I even took her best tip and got some pretty ribbon and kept thread snipping scissors on it around my neck; greatest idea ever and I don't know how I managed without it. When I got back from my Christmas holidays I felt completely refreshed and finally finished the shorts. If I wear it with a belt no one can tell it's got a bit of a daggy gap at the back.

So here they are! Finally! I made them out of the croffy drill Spotlight has and cut them on the crosswise instead of the lengthwise grain because I didn't read any instructions. I only just learnt how to reverse the stitch direction today, so hopefully my nanna won't examine the seams too closely. In the picture below I'm wearing them with a pair of leggings I made today, from some blue lycra I got at Good Sammys, $1.50 for 3 metres. It's even bluer than the pictures show and I can't think what I'll wear them with but I love them so much! So blue!

I think they illustrate my first blog lesson: don't take pictures that you are going to put on the internet in front of the messiest part of your house. For the curious, the shorts are Simplicity 3850 and the leggings are McCalls 5394 (they're actually fashion leggings, unlike the grandma sports leggings the other pattern companies had).

Now please enjoy some pictures of my favourite aquistions of the last few months.

Some shoes with owls on them and a wookie t-shirt!

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