Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Inspire Me- Anthropologie Pants

Take a look at these pants:

I really want to figure out how to add these stripes to my clovers. I think they may be layered next to the side seam line to jazz up these regular looking black denim jeans. These jeans are an online exclusive that cost a whopping $187. If you want a closer look, go here. I have already pre-washed my black denim stretch fabric.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Virtually NOT Hubby-Approved

I finished my muslin for the clover pants. Seek a peek:
                         Front View                                                  Back View

I did major fitting adjustments following the tips posted here. I also had to fix the "U" shaped crotch curve.  I grabbed a tape measure and started making a little chart of the measurements from my favorite pair of jeans with good fit versus the Clover pants pattern on paper.  Here's a look at the chart:


The difference in measurements from my favorite jeans to clover pattern gets distributed accordingly on the paper pattern. I also changed the length of my waistband. For whatever reason, a wider waistband seems to support my curves better than a thinner waistband. Now that I'm pleased with the fit of my clover pants, my hubby voiced his opinion about my virtual clover pants using the loud black and white fabric. Technically, I could pair up my virtual clover pants with solid black, gray, or white tops. He claims that the denim fabric would look better on a jacket. Nonetheless, I have to find some fabric for my clover pants or go for the bold.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Virtual Clover Pants


This is my black and white denim fabric for my clover pants. I had been contemplating buying this pattern for a while, but was worried it would not compliment my curv-aaa-cious toosh. Also, this denim fabric beams with loudness..lol. So, I needed to convince myself to partner my bold denim fabric with this simple pants pattern. I resorted to the following post here using GIMP. Check out my future pants:

The image isn't perfect but for my second time around, this really solidified my choice of fabric and pattern. Of course, I could not have done this post without the clear directions from the blog that I mentioned earlier. 


Monday, November 26, 2012

Simplicity 2556 Vest: Second Muslin with Alterations

After pondering what a vest should look like on me, I made some pattern alterations near the armhole area. The pattern pieces that were affected by this change (added more fabric under armpit area) were the side back and side front pieces. In order for me to feel that I'm making gradual progress, I like to change my muslin fabric. Strange, but true. It's the change in color that convinces me to continue reaching my goal, one step at a time. Is the color of my vest going to be blue? Nope. I have purchased some black fabric on sale from the local big chain business near my city.

Whoops! I almost forgot to mention another alteration that I had to make on my simplicity vest. It's gonna get it's own paragraph. I tried on my first muslin, but noticed that the center front pieces were not meeting at my center front...hahaha. Fear not because what I have learned in my tailoring class is coming in handy for this correction. Here's what I did.  I brought out my tape measure, measured the amount of space needed to make the center front piece be in its rightful place (at my center front), and divided the amount by the total number of seam lines. Once I figured out the precise measurement, I added that exact amount to each stitch line. This method was taught to me by my sewing teacher when she helps us during our fitting sessions. So, here it is, my second muslin with alterations.  

Good night.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Visual Chart for "Figure Flaws" (Set 1 of 4)

So, I recently purchased this book on Ebay: McCall's Step-By-Step Sewing Book REVISED Guide to Smart Sewing (1967). Here check the front cover:

The book was highly recommended by my sewing teacher in my tailoring class for extra credit. The first chapter called "Fashion an Image" carefully explains the importance of making certain fabrics happily co-exist with design elements to give the illusion of looking taller, shorter, and just looking fabulous in our unique "body idiosyncrasies". McCall's book refers to it more bluntly as "Figure Flaws", but I refuse to perceive my natural curves as a flaw. Nope! Wrong-o! Now, in there defense, the book was published in the late 60's. So, you are forgiven McCall.

The chart that has intrigued me clearly outlines possible solutions and what to avoid for our "figure-ly shapes." Pictures are worth a thousand words, so I will incorporate visual images strictly based on McCall's Chart for (ugh!) "Figure Flaws".

If you are Hip Heavy, McCall's book suggest these solutions:
"Create interest at neck and shoulder line. Broaden shoulder line."
and AVOID the following: "Hip revealing skirts, jackets, overblouses, peplums, and cuffs that are on hipline."

If you have a SMALL BUST, McCall's book suggest these SOLUTIONS:
"Softly draped bodices, collars, decorative bodice details."

and AVOID the following: "Very high or low necklines, plain bodice."


If you have a LARGE BUST, these are the suggested solutions: " Softly draping, simple necklines, surplice closings, long or 3/4 sleeves."


and according to McCall's book, you should AVOID the following: "Low necklines, deep V-necklines, and plain bodice."


Friday, November 16, 2012

Muslin Portrait Blouse

I have been working on the Portrait Blouse from Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing by Gretchen Hirsch. She recommends using lightweight fabrics such as silk charmeuse. However, I decided to use cotton fabric to test out the fitting, length, and general appearance of the blouse.

Here take a look at the front:


Now, check out the back of my portrait blouse:


I feel like the fit might need some fixing at the side seams. That big fold of extra fabric hanging from left to right means that there is excess fabric. It needs to be pinched out. However, I'm wondering how the portrait blouse will look on the recommended fabric- Charmeuse. Hmmmm...there's a thought. Can it be, that just maybe, these alterations will not be necessary if I take the plunge and cut my delicate fabric? Even with the discounts from the local fabric store, this fabric was pricey. But these folds of extra fabric indicate that there is too much fabric hanging from my waistline. So, I will be making some type of adjustment back there.
Overall, I am very pleased with the pattern. I was amazed at the cleverness of placing a zipper upside down. I can't wait to start the Charmeuse Portrait Blouse.

Good night for now.  

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Simplicity 2556 Vest

My most recent sewing project involves a vest. I would like to make a vest that really wraps around my natural curves to compliment them. So, I have decided to use Simplicity 2556 version C:

What's interesting about these project runway patterns is that you feel more design control about what  style features you want to create. They have added a nifty croquis kit that simulates a sketch pad. Here take a gander:

If you do not know how to draw people besides using stick figures, you can use this Croquis Kit to help you create your desired look. Simplicity got it right with this additional creative control feature. Here are my pattern pieces:
This is my first time trying to sew a vest, so it was great looking at a small amount of pattern pieces. Then, I started getting ready to transfer the pattern pieces to my muslin. Check it:

In order to start transfer the pattern pieces to my muslin, I used a tracing wheel and
Saral Tracing Paper Roll in Red. The muslin is sandwiched between the pattern paper and chalky side up of tracing paper.

To be Continued...

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Rainy Weather

I was determined to go to class, but I decided to nap before I left. Then, I heard the rain. I could not get myself to go to class. Thus, tonight I have no excuse for my absence. I'm just going to enjoy my night off.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Images of women wearing vests

I am on my second muslin on my vest (pictures of that later) and I was stuck on how women wear their vest. So I decided to do an image search on Bing to check out how versatile a vest can be. Look what I found:

Amazing! An asymmetrical vest with a cute little bow. This vest rocks the night club. Check out the vest for more daytime casual: 


I like the style and how it hugs the curves. It seems like there are four pleats on each side along with double welt pockets. On to the next ones:

The more I capture images of different women wearing vest, the more I pay attention to the silhouette. This is how I hope I vest will hug my body. Though, I would add more fabric to the hem to make it longer.
This vest has a unique buckle at the center front which gives the vest more punk pizzaz. Well, that's it for now.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Tackling the Portrait Blouse

This sewing book came with several sewing patterns: a pencil skirt, the portrait blouse, the sultry sheath, the scalloped-waist skirt, a bow-tied blouse, the sweetheart sundress, the wiggle dress, the shirtwaist dress, the suit jacket, and the coat dress. Let me also mention that she includes variations on her patterns to create additional wardrobe essentials. Genius!! So, I have had the book for several weeks and finally decided to reach for the envelope that holds all these sewing patterns. Here is when I became a sewing geek because there was so much thrill from unfolding the portrait blouse sewing pattern.


In order to transfer the sewing pattern on to butcher paper with accuracy, I use a needlepoint stiletto tracing wheel, cardboard grid, circle weights (officially called "flat washers" from Home Depot) and a pencil. I took my measurements based on the sizing from the book and decided to use the size 12 above the waist and size 16 below the waist. I used my styling design ruler that can be used for armhole and hip curve grading to change the seam line. After I finished "transfering" the center front markings, I used a marker to trace over the pencil markings. This is what I ended up with:



Saturday, October 20, 2012

Exploring Mail Order Vintage Sewing Patterns

I found some great mail order vintage sewing patterns on my size through Ebay. I wanted to find vintage patterns on my size to eliminate any kind of grading or slash and spread stuff to match the fitting to my curves. I need more practice on that, but not today. So here is what I won. Peep this:
I knew nothing about mail order sewing patterns, but I knew I wanted them because they were in my size. So, I started digging through the internet for information about Anne Adams mail order sewing patterns. 

The best resource I found is here--> http://vintagepatterns.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Mail_Order 

Now, the patterns that I received all have their envelopes minus one and all came with the factory folds. Here is a closer look at the pattern I will explore:
 There were several things I noticed that are different than the current sewing patterns. First of all, the paper used to print the patterns was less flimsy. It had more sustainability which made it easier to pin to fabric. I noticed that the pattern laying on the fabric did not slide or get wrinkles. These were all bonus points for the mail order sewing pattern. Secondly, the ink was bolder, easier to use and clearly leads the eye to the cutting lines. Look closely:
[pocket pattern, front/back facing]

As you can see, anyone new to sewing could easily notice the difference in amount of ink used to  distinguish seam allowance and cutting lines.  Lastly, the sewing pattern gives the directions along with explanations and diagrams about certain details about completing the sewing pattern successfully. 

By far, the best usage of print!! In order to complete my dress, the pattern company provided various diagrams about what to do first, before you start to cut, how to mark the fabric with a tracing wheel, how to join the seam, direction of stitching seams, how to press seams, how to add finishing details, how to complete hems, how to set sleeves, how to mark bound buttonholes, how to do bias finishes, and how to complete a faced belt with carrier.

These sewing hints are a genuine treasure that are worth exploring for any home sewer at any level.      


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Endeavour's Last Journey 10-13-12

We decided to get up early this morning to witness history. The shuttle Endeavour will settle at the California Science Center by October 30th. The local news mentioned that the shuttle will rest at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, CA sometime in the morning. The shuttle got to its resting point earlier than expected, which was great for us. Here you go:

The caption for this picture: Endeavour Under The Morning Sun. The shuttle takes a break. Check it out:

It was exhilarating, amazing and will remain a lifetime memory. I turned to my hubby and saw the reflection of the shuttle on his sunglasses. I ran with it, took the pic, and added some pop art. Take a hard look:
I gave myself some bonus points for creativity on this one..lol. Hubby suggested the caption on this one: Reflections of Endeavour.

Enjoy your Saturday!!!