Monday, 12 January 2015

Three different projects

I want to take a project to sewing group tomorrow evening, I have tonight to come up with something (and not just grab my knitting).

There is a crazy fraying fabric where I tailor-tacked the skirt front cutting outline so I can overlock and cut out. I will need to match the two back pieces to this - so I guess I best do this at home and I can tell myself, with relief, that this is not a good candidate for taking along.  Good.

I cut out the paper pattern to cut out a toile fabric.  I might be able to do some marking at the meeting, but that won't take long.

I have the blue random dot circular skirt that I already hemmed and sewed two of three side seams. I could cut out the waistline - which I hadn't done because I still need to decide if I am doing a full or three quarter circle.  I can start with the higher waistline for a full circle and get the other to take a photo?  That way I can evaluate whether I actually like the fullness and the length of the skirt as is.

That's a good idea. I can also cut that waistline tonight, I already marked it on the paper piece I am using for a pattern.

My blue fabric is like the black dotted fabric in the middle (above), but in blue. Err, obviously.  I don't have a photo of any of the projects I talk about, so this photo will have to do.

I have no idea how far I got with the aqua and pink top that I really need to get done, finished, over!*  I did take it along to the last meeting but then didn't work on it.  Maybe because it's not at the right stage, that's quite possible.
*: it's going in the bin otherwise.

This is another schedule issue I want to work on this year: get some projects to the stage where I can do some hand-sewing or basting or marking - I can then take it along to group and feel that I am using my time well.

Which I didn't do over the weekend: I just lay down reading - all day.  It was very relaxing and enjoyable, but now that the weekend is over it also feels like I wasted my time. I could have done some reading and spent the rest of the time on more productive pursuits.  Damn.  Not happy about that.

Saturday, 10 January 2015


I laboriously wrote several blog posts, only to lose them with the dreaded 'wrong key' occurence.  Quite long posts they were too, so frustrating.

I would like to blog more but find it annoying trying for any kind of frequency. It is either lots in a short period of time, or nothing for ages.  Famine or feast.

So I am making a new year's blogging resolution:

I solemnly swear and resolve... err, or whatever:  that for 2015 I will schedule blog posts and see how that works out for me.  No pressure, just using this as a tool to help - not as a yardstick to beat myself over the head with. Enabling myself, not punishing.

A friend mentioned that I can line up posts and then publish them later. Genius idea!

No idea why I didn't think of that myself.  Oh well, a case of better late than never.

I am worried that I am already pulling back on this idea.  I just haven't done anything about it. I should probably just see this as a possible thing to do, and not as a 2015 resolution.  That way I will be happy when I do schedule posts, and not too disappointed when I don't.

PS: I also have a tool to introduce that I am trying to use to improve my productivity when sewing. I need to check back whether I already wrote about this (I haven't, have I?) and will definitely write about it soon.  It seems to be working, so far...

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Fitting issues

I am puzzling out my fitting issues right now.  It was very frustrating that I would use the bodice block drawn to my own measurements, make relevant adjustments, and still not end up with a bodice that fits well!

I was beginning to doubt either my sanity or my ability to translate the fitting issues into adjustments that solve them.

I always have to take a wedge out at the top of the side seams, under the arms.  A wedge of a good centimetre across and over a length of about 7cm – from both front and back piece (as far as the width is concerned).  So I took out almost an inch from the armhole edge.  It seems a lot and I didn’t understand at all why I had to do that.

I recently realised why.  This is not an issue to do with sleeveless  versus with sleeves as such (sleeveless may need a tighter armhole than a top with sleeves does: you want to be able to move your arms when there are sleeves) – it has to do with my being low-busted.  That’s the opposite of the perky, petite shape of young women – the high and small busts that are very suited to the empire line dresses of Regency England.  My cup size is much bigger than that but most of all the bust point is at a completely different height: much lower down.

I kept noticing a pronounced bagginess of bought clothes at the front, right next to the vertical armhole seam, below the shoulder.  It took me a while to realise that if I take that excess and smooth it over to the armhole, I end up taking this out of the side seam – and guess by how much?  Oh yeah exactly: by that same wedge I describe above.  Oh!

Well that explains it then, doesn't it?
I did figure out that I often need to make the bust dart deeper, because of diagonal lines radiating out from the bust point.  I have done FBAs but was perhaps underestimating the width of the bust dart.  I need to check this out again.  I was really worried about the measure of the armhole though.  Wouldn’t a deeper bust dart make the  armhole too small?

I thought this over and just decided that this doesn't have to be a problem: why don’t I measure how much my armhole should be for dresses to be comfortable?  I can experiment with whether a sleeveless top is still comfortable with a smaller armhole, and whether a sleeved dress needs a bigger armhole.  I can also experiment with the shape.

That’s another fitting issue:  I would like to make a top that is looser in the sleeves and from there towards the centre of the body.  I won't be able to just make it very loose across the bust – surely I don’t want excessive amounts of material there?  That would make a top too baggy.  But below the bust:  I should be able to go for a blouse top that gets baggy and loose from the bust area down to past the waist (ending near the hip).  I just don’t want kimono sleeves (I already have a pattern that I made so often that I now desperately need a sewing challenge. It just doesn't fit nor look well enough).  I want set-in sleeves.

Which makes me worried about the shape of the armhole which should influence the shape of the sleevehead?  But how?

I am thinking that I’ll need to do quite a few variations of sleeves and armholes to figure that out in practice.  If I only do one and then evaluate, then try and start a second version, etc... that won't take me far and I’ll be too discouraged, - I’ll think that I won’t be able to solve this.  But if I do several at the same time so I can also compare them easily and equally (as opposed to serially) then it should be easier to make a judgment about what works.  I think.  When you make a series of versions you are inclined to try and see the later versions as better, but if they don't feel better it just leads to huge disappointment and energy-sapping discouragement.  I want to get away from that.

I also need to look into swayback adjustments and decide who they work for me and whether I need to lengthen the front piece a bit to account for my big tummy measurement.

That should do it for the major adjustments to achieve a better fit.

It did feel quite overwhelming but I think I can tackle these issues one by one.  There is no point in going squint-eyed over all the different issues when you can get mull over the one issue at hand, as long as I manage to focus.