Monthly Archives: March 2012

A REVELATION

It might be a bit much to say – but this past week-end’s class on tissue-fitting as per the PalmerPletch system (Fitting For Real People) has really opened my eyes.

I have known about the principles for tissue fitting for years and have been using them to fit trousers. But I never could get me head around the choosing top size based on your upper bust – not full bust thing.

{Celia - the instructor - is teaching. She is awesome!}

First of all, I thought. I do not have a full bust. Second of all – the designers surely incorporate a bust in their patterns. They do, of course, but they don’t necessarily incorporate my ribcage size compared to my back and shoulders.

When I draft patterns for myself, I use my own personal measurements, but still, when using patterns from companies, I have been using my bust measurement only. When I was at the fitting class it suddenly clicked for me. When looking at a sizing chart with detailed measurements, I always compare to size 36 in shoulders, neck and back width, but to a size 40 in bust and waist. And when I realised this, it suddenly made very good sense to use my upper bust measurements (which compare to a size 36 full bust measurement) to chose my size in commercial patterns as well.

I don’t know why it would take me that many years to realise that, but when it clicked it felt like a revelation! Or maybe I do. It seems like a lot of work to alter for a full bust – and I figured I couldn’t possible need to.

{Everybody is working on getting a better fit}

So – a revelation it is, and I’ve been spending all week altering patterns (and especially figuring out how to alter for patterns for knit fabric) to fit me.

The week-end was great. The instructor - Celia Banks from Warrington, England – was very inspiring (and I did an interview with her, which you will soon be able to hear on the Twin  Needle Podcast). We met up at around 3 pm and immediately began altering patterns. I started out fitting a fitting pattern (a sloper with minimal ease included).

We worked until 9 pm (but had a break for a quick pizza-dinner) – then all of us from far away went to the rooms we had rented and relaxed and talked and knitted a bit before bed.

{The first tissue fitting of the Sorbetto top}

Saturday we were at the school very early and worked all day until 6 pm – only with a small fabric shopping/lunch break – same thing Sunday, and by then we were all completely knackered.

After the fitting pattern, I did the Sorbetto top (to try the principles on a very simple bust darted garment) and then finished of by tissue fitting ONION 2015 shirt dress – a princess seamed dress, which makes the FBA (the Full Bust Alteration) a little more complicated.

With the Sorbetto top I used a fabric that might have been too stiff. And I ended up making it quite fitted. Another girl from the class made the top as well. I started with a size 2, but she did a 4 and her fabric is much more drapey. I had to add some back darts to shape the stiff fabric and i ended up having to add a zipper as well – or I wouldn’t have been able to get it on.

{Pics, taken from afar, unfortnately, of both Sorbettoes. I'm on the right}

In the end, my top really doesn’t look like the sorbetto. I will have to try to make it again – less fitted in a more drapey fabric.

Anyway. As you can tell – this week-end meant a lot to me. I got to meet a lot of wonderful people who enjoy sewing as much as I do, and I learned a lot!

 

 

SPEAKING OF SPRING

I accidently happened upon a fabric store while on the computer between meetings at work this week.

I present to you: Spring Fabric

 

{Lovely viscose jersey - 1 natural white, then blue, pink and red w polka dots. I need to stop this obsession. Now}

 

I think I might need to stop with the polka dots for now… The fabric is in the washer – and then I’ll cut t-shirts like mad all week (I hope!) Next week-end I’ll be attending a fitting seminar in Århus. There’ll be lots of hands on excersizes and I can’t wait. One week-end completely filled with sewing!

Oh, BTW. The lounge pants from last week-end:

{Soft and very comfortable knit ounge pants. I still need to work out the negative ease part a bit better. But they'll do!}

No sewing this week. Work and a cute new pink computer (with all the file transferring and re-installing of programs that requires) took all of my spare time..

FO: FRONT DRAPE SHIRT

I spend last week-end sewing. A lot. And pattern drafting and altering and sewing some more.

Then spring came on Sunday and since then, I have been using this sign a lot:

{The sign says: We are in the garden}

 

And have not really been concerned about taking pics of my FOs…

I am taking some patternmaking classes and have been practicing. But that is not what I am going to show you (yet..).

I am going to show you my ONION 5035 - A knit drape front shirt i made from a french lycra knit fabric I bought at the same time as the fabric for my 60′s dress.

{ONION 5035 drape frot knit shirt}

I cut it some time ago, and sewed it up just in time to wear it a little bit before summer really strikes. I made a small/medium and did a round back and a forward shoulder alteration. I think I might have forwarded the shoulder just a tiny bit too much.. Anyway, I like the fabric for autumn/winter (it’s a dark brown with teal-ish dots), and think I am mostly going to wear it with blue jeans and maybe a jacket over it.

The pattern is ONION 5035 – a knit shirt pattern with four styles: kimono sleeved v-neck t-shirt, drape front t-shirt and a style with  ties at the neckline. And then there are the different sleeve styles as well. The shirts are close fitting (and that’s why I did a S at the shoulders and a M at the waist – I love multisized patterns).

{The pattern with many styles}

So what did I do all week?

{The kitchen garden all ready for spring}

I cleared some of the kitchen garden beds (but I am keeping some leeks and the last cabbage for a few weeks more) spread lots of compost on the beds and covered the bed for early potatoes with plastic to warm up the soil. I also spend a lot of time just sitting in the sunny greenhouse, drinking tea and reading…

FABRIC

The other day Anne commented on my sewing room, asking me where I kept my stash(es). I answered that I don’t have a big fabric stash and that the little I have is in an upstairs closet.

It got me thinking, though, and I began to feel the need for a little fabric shopping.

This week is insane work wise, with meetings almost every afternoon and evening, so no time for sewing. But today I had a few hours off and drove to meet my friend Karen at a big fabric store that also has a cafe inside. We had lunch, shopped for fabric, had coffee, and drove home (or in my case – back to work).

I was looking for swimsuit fabric, but they didn’t have any I liked (I don’t see my self wearing neon green to the pool this summer). I did get some other stuff though:

  • Knit Velour (purple-ish) for a pair of lounge pants
  • Chambray for a shirt dress or shirt (I think dress, though)
  • Polka dotted navy cotton for a dress (it seems impossible to locate red polka dotted fabric…)
  • Grey viscose (rayon) jersey for t-shirts.
  • Lovely red polka dotted buttons. I’m thinking for the chambray dress. Will it be over the top?  I wish I could find fabric like these.
  • Measuring tapes.I got four. I get four all the time, but I still quite often find myself searching for one.
  • Elastic and an Iron-on Patch with silver sequinses. It’s a peace sign. I don’t know how I’ll use it – but it was shiny!

 

Picture of the lot:

{Shiny new fabric, buttons and measuring tapes.}

Hopefully more sewing related news in the week-end!

E-READER COVER. A HOW-TO..

I’ve showed you the cover before. Remember how I got an e-reader just before Christmas? I had to make a cover for it, so I sort of winged it. I did manage to take a few pictures, so let’s call it a tutorial

How to make a cover for your e-reader:

(Click on pictures to enlarge)

{My e-book reader with cover. I'll show you how I made it}

A. First I decided what fabric I wanted to use. I think it was a week-end I made it, and I had to use what was in stash. I used some skirt weight linen. You want to use woven fabric. You’ll interface it, so the weight is not that important. I am considering doing a second version in denim – I might not interface that…

B. Then I began making the pattern. I traced around the e-reader on a piece of paper (mine is a Sony. But you’d do the same with a Kindle).

{Tracing around the e-reader}

C. I decided that the size of printer paper (A4 in my case, but it could be letter sized as well) would be perfect for the finished size of the cover. I folded it in half, and then measured 1 cm on each side of the centre line to create the spine of the cover. I also drew a slanted pocket on the inside of the cover.

{Drawing the spine and the pocket}

D. Then I cut up that piece of paper to create pattern pieces (with out seam allowances). I already had another sheet of A4 paper to be the pattern for the inner/outer cover. Here are the final pieces (Click image to enlarge):

{The pattern pieces}

  1. Inner/outer cover (the second paper sheet). Add 1 cm seam allowance. Cut 2 in fabric + 2 in interfacing.
  2. Pocket (drawn from side to spine). Add 1 cm seam allowance. Cut 1 from fabric, 1 from intercaing.
  3. E-reader tracing. Add 1.5 cm seam allowance. Cut 1 in fabric (and if your fabric is thin, you might want to cut 1 in interfacing as well)
  4. Cardboard template. Cut 2 from cardboard

E. Now I cut the fabric (remember the seam allowances!) and interfaced it. I also marked the spine on the  inner cover.

{Adding seam allowances!}

{Marking the spine at the inner cover}

F. I began working with piece 3. I had cut it out with 1.5 cm seam allowance and I folded 1 cm seam allowance to the wrong side and pressed. Then I unfolded the seam allowance again and placed the pattern piece on top, to decide the placement of the elastic.

{The 1 cm seam allowance has been pressed to the wrong side}

G. I used 2.5 cm (1″) wide elastic and placed the four pieces over the corners – pinning them in place along the pressed line. I tried the piece on my e-reader, then stitched the elastic in place.

 

{Trying on for size}

H. I pressed the seam allowance in place again and trimmed the elastic. Then I pinned and sewed the finshed piece 3 to the inner cover.

{Sewing piece 3 to the inner cover}

I. Next, I prepared the pocket. I folded and pressed the seam allowances at the top and the short side to the wrong side. Then I stiched them down before I sewed the pocket to the inner cover.

{Pocket}

J. Now it was time to combine the pieces. I placed the inner and the outer cover together, right sides together.  At the side with the elastic pieces, I placed a 15 cm (6″) long piece of 1 cm wide elastic inbetween the layers (actually I used a piece of FoldOver Elastic, that I folded and stitched closed) letting the ends of the piece of elastic extend the seam allowances and the loop of the elastic being inside the cover.

I pinned and stitched, but left an opening at the bottom of the pocket side, to turn through, and to be able to insert the cardboard pieces.

{The ends of the button loop extending the seam allowances}

K. I turned the cover to the right side and pressed. Then I sewed a big button to the front of the cover to match the button loop. I only sewed through the outer layer (or else I wouldn’t be able to insert the cardboard later).

L. Now for the cardboard. I inserted the first piece of cardboard. (I had to trimit a bit to make it fit). Then I stitched the first spine line just outside the cardboard. Then I stitched the second spine line paralel to the first and about 2 cm from it. Next I inserted the second piece of cardboard.

{The spine lines}

M. The final step was to close the opening at the bottom of the pocket side (I actually think that next time, I will make the opening at the top of the pocket side instead. That will be fewer fabric layers to stitch closed. I closed the opening the fast way, by simply pressing the seam allowances in place and edge stitching 2 mm from the edge, but you could also handsew the opening closed, and that would be almost invisible.

 

{Done. }

N. Then it was done. I inserted my e-reader and started reading:-)

That’s it. It didn’t take long – and I’ll admit I could have made an effort to be more accurate and close the opening by hand etc. I’ve used it so much. And it’s getting a little dirty (white might not have been a wise choice..) so I’m thinking I’ll make another one soon!

What do you think. Does the how-to make any sense?

Parting chick-pic:

{It's spring weather now here. And today I had my coffee in the garden!}