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: