About Me

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Los Olivos, California, United States
You can reach me at fool4fabric (at) gmail (dot) com

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Shirt

I finished a new shirt yesterday, B5526
I made View D, with the princess seams, but used a straight back. I added 2" to the length, and made the long sleeves and lowered the pockets by an inch or two. Yet another try in my search for more body-conscious clothing.

The fabric is a black, pin-striped cotton from F&S Fabrics (one of my finds on my recent trip to Los Angeles.) It has no stretch, and is 100% cotton, so it does wrinkle. I am getting used to a little stretch in my cottons and missed it in this shirt.

I used the instructions in this pdf for the special interfacing, which makes the collar stand up without drooping; I tried using the instructions for the collar band as well, but wound up having to recut the band; it didn't work for me. I made an under collar pattern and cut it on the opposing bias, which makes it lie on the neck very well.
Here is the back...sorry about the moire effect...

I had fun playing with the bias; it's on the cuffs, too...I'm pleased with this pattern; next time I'll try the princess seams in the back, too. I learned to make 
classic shirts when I was 16, and made matching shirts (ackkkkk) for my boyfriend and me!
Not such a good picture of the shirt, but the roses are glorious!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Dealing with the "F" Word

I'm speaking here of failure ...in the last few weeks, I've had a few SPECTACULAR fails. It's not that it never happens to me, oh yes, it does...but to have three-in-a-row involving beloved fabrics has been a little daunting.

First, I sewed this pattern KS3764,
in this fabric
a heart-quickening red ponte from Emma One Sock, with more of my beloved
black and white striped zippers .
Should've been a piece of cake, right?  Wrong. Due to years of sewing over-sized clothing for myself, I added 4 inches to the length...DUH! Motorcycle jackets are SUPPOSED to be short...it looked terrible, and due to the construction methods called for, I didn't see it on myself till it was almost finished. I was heartbroken.

But, I had enough fabric to recut the fronts, I could take the 4 inches off the back, and the sleeves were good to go. Then I had an awful time putting the zippers in. The pattern called for a woven, and I was using a very slippery, stretchy knit. I tried it THREE times, used a ton of Wonder Tape, and finally GAVE UP.

Then...I have a couple of cherished pieces of hand-woven ikat I bought in Thailand several years ago, from the weaver herself.
Isn't it beautiful? Well, in trying to knock off this jacket from Yasuko Kurisaka

I foolishly did NOT make a muslin and cut into my beautiful fabric. FAIL....
So I bundled both projects into a bag and put them out of my sight in detention.
Very shaky for the self-confidence...

I soothed myself by going through my closet and getting rid of all the things that don't fit me...I gave about 40 tee shirts to my housekeeper, and four large garden bags full of goodies, which I took down to my daughter when I went to visit her for the weekend. She was pleased, I was pleased, win-win!

And of course, a trip to the big city (Los Angeles) would not be complete without a little fabric therapy...

From F&S Fabrics, which was my local fabric store in the 60's and 70's, I came home with these:

a red and white cotton ikat, a black with white pinstripe cotton, a crushed nylon taffeta, and a stretch cotton polka dot.

Then, a new find for me, 3 blocks away from my daughter's house, Fabric Planet
(they also have a large warehouse/store in downtown LA), great fabrics and spectacular trims.
a wonderful quality rayon, reversible from dark to light, MORE polka dots, this time a knit, a knit which looks almost like an ikat, also good on both sides, and a silver/black brocade that had my name on it.

Black, white, red and silver...what a surprise!

Goldilocks and the Three Tees

Once upon a time...

My decision, earlier this year, to dress in more body-conscious clothing has had an interesting effect on my sewing; after at  least twenty years of making looser, more "floaty" items, I am having to learn all over again how to fit my clothing. I thought it might just involve using a smaller size, or taking bigger seams, or putting in more darts. It has turned out to be a little more complicated. For instance, in making a simple tee, I used to choose a pattern whose measurements corresponded pretty much to mine; my biggest concern was if I needed to add a little in the hips, otherwise the tee was simple, straight and easy-to-sew. Last week I set out to make a more fitted tee, and my results
reminded me of Goldilocks...

The first tee, from KS2740, I made from a pretty tie-dyed knit I got on eBay. It's

either cotton or modal, with very little stretch. I made View C, but with long sleeves.

It's OK...I would have been happy with this in the past, and I will wear this. But,
for my current purposes, it's TOO BIG.

So then I tried another pattern, KS3338, which I've had and used for a long time.
I made this up yesterday in a black/white striped jersey, I'm not sure of the fabric, either cotton or rayon with a substantial amount of stretch. I really liked it until I tried it on....TOO SMALL!

So today, I was determined to find the one that was JUST RIGHT...and I think I did

I retraced the pattern, going for about halfway between sizes, and I think it worked.

I like the looks of the black and white stripe so much, and it is so perfect in my wardrobe, that I ordered more fabric to make another, better fitting one. After messing up the neckband on tee #1, following the pattern directions, I used the very popular Sarah Veblen tutorial for making knit neckbands, and the rest all came out perfectly.

Besides the tee project, I made Vogue 8793, Katherine Tilton's "zipper neck" tee

in a whimsical rayon knit from Emma One Sock. Here's my version:

Here are more pictures of the Goldilocks tees:

Stay tuned for pictures from my fabric shopping in Los Angeles last weekend!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Katherine, Koos and Me

It's been a productive week chez moi...after my burst of Utility Sewing last week, I made the Katherine Tilton vest, Vogue 8777, in the wonderful rayon dot fabric
which I saw on Koos van den Akker's FaceBook page some time ago.

I'm fairly pleased with it, although it is a little on the skimpy side, size-wize. I made a small without doing a muslin, and it would look better a little larger, I think. I bound the edges with black bias tape, as the fabric frays terribly.

Then I made another Adele top in a wonderful snaky cotton/lycra knit from Marcy Tilton
This is a wonderful quality fabric, and reminded me how much I love a good cotton knit.

Then, I made another of Katherine's patterns, Vogue 8691, view D, in a pretty rayon/lycra knit from Emma One Sock.

This is a wonderfully-fitted princess seamed top; I'm not sure about the ruffles...I feel a little like an aging ballerina...
...but I'm pleased with my output! Next up, I think, is a morphing of two tees to come up with one that fits better...

Happy April Fool's Day!