Friday, May 8, 2015

Double Duty

Years ago, I read that you have to make a garment three times to work out the fitting issues. Some people are lucky and their patterns fit fairly well with little or no alterations. That used to be me when I first began sewing seriously in my early 20's. It was great to cut into a piece of fabric, sew it up, try it on for hemming and wear the new outfit the next day.

But time takes its toll and some of us pick up fitting problems with each decade. The bust-waist-proportion of the pattern doesn't resemble us even closely, so many alterations are in order. And one alteration affects another area, so there can be a multiple of alterations that are required.

With that in mind, I have been sewing a couple of patterns multiple times in the past few weeks.

First up is the Oakridge Blouse from Sewaholic Patterns. I really liked this pattern when Tasia first announced it and bought it right away. Then purchased three lengths of cotton shirting from Blackbird Fabrics. I was trying to be economical and skimped on the fabric, buying 1.5 metres of each, thinking that the 60" width would accommodate the pattern. Almost, but I had to cut short sleeves which is okay because we are actually getting warm weather now and short sleeves will be perfect for the next 4-5 months.

Making a pattern up more than once and doing it right away, rather than starting another project and then returning to the first pattern, really makes you concentrate on what changes you need to make to improve the fit. I worked out a number of small issues in the first version and then promptly made a second Oakridge with some fine cotton lawn from the stash.

Pictures will be coming in the next post. I don't have any just yet.

Then I decided that I needed a new spring skirt. There is no need to shop in my world, as I have hundreds of patterns, most of which haven't even been taken out of the envelopes. Out came Kwik Sew 2788, an out-of-print pattern, just the style of skirt I was looking for.

I had some black brushed cotton twill with lycra in just the right length to cut view B. A few adjustments were necessary after the first try-on, but I got it fitting the way I want and have just cut out a second version in beige cotton twill, my favourite summer fabric.
This pattern is a gem. I used to wear skirts mid-calf but that seems to be out of fashion these days. And I am not going to go the maxi route, I am way too short to carry that off. So knee-length it is for this summer, despite the varicose veins that have popped up. When did that happen? 
This pattern has a contour waistband, definitely the most comfortable waistband other than an elastic one. I don't know why I put up with straight waistbands for so many years. Once I discovered contour bands, I was a convert. They sit just below the waist and sit on the hips, without riding either up or down. I think their great fit is because they mimic the body shape, what a novel idea!
These white legs need some sun really quick in order not to look so sickly.
I feel quite satisfied with myself for using up three pieces of fabric from the stash. I didn't even need to buy thread or zippers as I had those in the stash as well. Although I am getting low on good interfacing and that may have to be ordered online. The local fabric store doesn't carry the quality of interfacing that I got used to when I ran my fabric business. Actually I used silk organza in the waistband of the Kwik Sew skirt as I didn't have anything else suitable to interface the band.
Lots of things lined up to sew for summer. Spring and summer sewing is my favourite as I get to sew the fabrics I love most, linens and linen-cotton blends. And there are lots of those in the stash, plus many gorgeous new ones at the fabric store.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Grand-daughters in dresses

Their mom sent me a picture of the two girls all ready for church. 

Hannah just turned 12 and Sarah will turn 3 next month.
Beautiful girls!