duminică, 30 ianuarie 2011

Taking in the waist

As I like to extol, I don't really know how to do alterations. But, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. The back yoke on the bottom is the original. I marked an inch off the back and graded to the hipline. The diagonal purple line is the new seam line.

Because of the taper, the top of the yoke was now going to dip. So I added about a 1/4 inch to the very top. If you look at the first pattern piece, you can see in the left hand upper corner that little addition.

How do I know all this? Look at the darts in your pants and tops. You'll see that they have a little extra on top. So, between some educated guess work (and cutting out a second muslin yoke) I sorted it out.

Hope that all works out, eh?

Well, I'm Going to Ghana

I've actually known since the second week on the new job that I'm going to Ghana for work. After scheduling my yellow fever shot (ummm, yikes?) for Friday, it occurs to me that I'm leaving in four weeks and all I have to wear are a couple of wrap skirts that I bought last year.

I was told to bring one suitcase just for fabric. Something like six yards of cotton batik prints for $2. Don't have to tell me twice....

So, here's what I'm going to make for Ghana. Hopefully in the next month (I've got some busy weekends). The city shorts from July 2007 BWOF in left over green and white seersucker from the Threads maxi dress. It's going to be too hot for long pants and I need to keep my knees covered-ish.

I'm feeling inspired by Carolyn. She posted recently about how she used to make two skirts and a top in a weekend. So, I think a couple of skirts are doable before August. From a cotton pink and khaki plaid one of these skirts below. The first is an August 2005 BWOF that Leslie in Austin traced and mailed to me. The second is from the June 2007 BWOF.

I'd love to do both but (gasp) I don't have fabric for both of them. Of course, if I went through my two stuffed bins of fabric I might find something.

And, let's not forget that tomorrow starts the 50% off notions wall at Joann's. I've already written my list....

So, just in case I don't get any of this done and I'm all talk, we'll remember the saying, "The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry."

Rambling post

Why do I insist on buying Mrs. Stylebook? I don't understand how to use a sloper. I don't know how to draft one. I don't read Japanese and the thought of drafting anything scares me.

Yet, I have bought the second Mrs. Stylebook for the year at $15 a pop. I am just so inspired by it. I sleep with the mag under my pillow hoping something will seep through. I make nice with the half Japanese half Mexican gentleman who speaks Japanese and Spanish at my job because when I see him, I see Patrones on the left and Mrs. Stylebook on the right being translated in exchange for an endless supply of Starbucks.

But, I digress. I've got a windfall of sewing goodies to show!

The Neue Mode pattern is in.

Loads of things from the Joann sale. 50 percent off the notions wall! Including new McCall's Patterns (dude, #5468 is really a Hot Patterns Cosmopolitan look alike) and lots of interfacing.

These eBay presser feet came in. I was sold on the tucker but am kind of excited by all the hemmers. Have no idea how they will attach to my machine.....
I've got this skirt all cut out and ready to sew.

But, no sewing tonight. I had to do a ship thing again. This time it was a war frigate in from Norway down in Fell's Point. Very, very good champagne. And very tall, very blonde people. Very blonde. Like everyone. Over 6 ft tall. I, felt like a midget.

The champagne helped dull the pain of my hepatits A, meningitis and yellow fever shots. Son of a .... my arms feel like they are going to fall off. Six week course of malaria pills to come.

My MSB Source

Ariane and Linda L. asked where I get Mrs. Stylebook...

Mon-Fri 7am-9pm
Sat-Sun 9am-9pm
1010 Aliceanna Steet
Baltimore, MD 21202

They are an international magazine shop here in Baltimore. They don't have Patrones or Knip Mode though. She tells me it's very expensive to get it. But, maybe if enough people ask and order she will. I know my network of family and friends in NYC would be happy not to have to get Patrones for me.

They do have loads of Japanese fashion magazines. They may have craft ones too, but I'm not as familiar with their titles. They also carry French Marie Claire.

If you call, ask to speak to the owner, Christina. If they won't ship, I'm happy to pick up copies and mail to people.

And yes, I really am up at 5:30 on a Saturday. I've got company coming today (Nicegirl from the Slapdash Sewist and hopefully Narcissaqtpie from Sewl Sista) and this house is just nuclear. I had grandiose plans of cleaning all night and fell asleep on the sofa by 9:00 last night. So I've got to move the sewing implements that have found their way on to every floor back in to the sewing room and make it look like a 22 year old boy doesn't live here with his fraternity brothers.

Is that me? Seriously, that's what I look like?


Okay kids. Nicegirl/Trena drove up from WDC Saturday morning and it was a great great day. We walked to the Farmer's Market and grilled pizza outside before getting down to business: paper tape dress form.

I vamped because it felt like an 80s t-shirt dress.

I altered a t-shirt so it would fit snugly, cover my rear and go past my collar bone. I wore ready-to-be tossed panties in case they got cut coming out of the tape. I also wore my best bra from Victoria's Secret. Trena taped the back of it with clear packing tape since I had snipped her bra during the cutting out process. Whoops.

We used paper packing tape from Staples. $8 a roll. One roll covered both of us. Do this with someone who won't mind fondling you. Thank goodness Trena is a NiceGirl because she is now intimate with every bulge and curve of my body.

Why so goofy? I dunno.

Start with under the bust and above the bust. Use diagonal strips for the curvy parts. Do two two layers for sturdiness. Clip into the paper tape to get it to conform more. Use a sponge or spray bottle to moisten the paper. We both sprayed down with water when we were done to smooth things out.

Here I am on the left. And it's me from the bust to the waist. It's so bizarre to see your body like this! I even tried to suck in a little when Trena was taping my belly and she made a tooth sucking sound heard round the world.

We had to stop early and power nap because I had a work event to attend that night. After work function, we had tapas at Pazo. The beautiful pink necklace is a gift from Trena. I saw it on her Etsy site and she brought it up for me! We were supposed to go dancing at Sky Lounge after Pazo, but I claimed exhaustion. It was already 11:20 p.m. and I was pooped. Remember, up since 5:30 cleaning!


The forms dried over night. We started our morning with mango (me) and pear (Trena) bellinis at my favorite place for brekky over in Patterson Park. Then to Joann's, Hope Depot and the Walters for the Gee's Bend exhibit.

We came back to finish up the forms. The biggest problem with mine is that it was too big everywhere but my saggy bust. So I overlapped to get the waist correct and need to pad out the hips by three inches. I'm also going to recut some PVC to make it a little taller. I still have to make a snug knit top for it.

Note the nifty base we designed. Trena's gonna blog about that and how to fill out the dress form over at the Slapdash Sewist. Don't let her fool you either. There was nothing slapdash about the schematic she drew up for the base. I will tell you, we made it so it can be free form [hanging from the top for pants] or set up with the pole coming from the bottom.

I had a great time with Nicegirl and can't wait to do it again. You know you like someone if you can spend two days with them and they don't tap dance on your last nerve.

Bustin' Out All Over

I left for work yesterday very proud of my dressform. Trena and I had filled our forms with about four cans of expanding can insulation the day before. My dressform was solid and smooth and honestly better than what I could have found in the store. When I came home last night, it was clear that she had put on some weight. She was busting out all over. Look at the lower back.

The Plumber (ex) was over because he asked to see my 'doll'. He started laughing uncontrollably as he told me can insulation continues to grow for TWO DAYS. I call Nicegirl. "Does your dressform have goiters?" I shreak. An affirmative reply.

We lament. There is still laughing from The Plumber who offers to take a knife to her bulges and perform 'plastic surgery'.

I point out that the dressform will now not stand up straight and keeps falling down because she bulged from the bottom. He finds some similarity to what I'm like when I've had more than one glass of wine.

I ask if he will take her in to the shop and use the table saw to trim the bottom. He conveniently loses his hearing and sense of humor.

I decide to just peel off the paper tape. If she's going to be saved it needed to come off anyway. While the waist is now two inches too big, the rest of my measurements are pretty close. So, she may be saved. But, we may do it again and leave 24 hours between each can of foam.


Schematics on how to make our convertible dressform stand are up on the Slapdash Sewist.

Parka fabric suggestions, a roundup

Thanks to everyone who weighed in on the BWOF August parka. I am 100 percent in love with this design. I must qoute Erica B. She said, "I'd pray for rain just to wear that."

Here's a list of the fabric suggestions:

Nylon tech fabric -- Suzie
Ripstop -- Suzie
Wrinkled taffeta -- Tany
Poplin -- Madhatter
Ripstop Cotton -- Julie
Tafetta or firm satin -- Patisjean
Parachute -- Vonnevo
Tech fabric -- Toby

I have to say I had never heard of ripstop. But, it sounds like what my parachcute pants from the mid 80s were made from. I think mine were blue. With many zippers. I really don't know what I was thinking... Trena and I saw a pair this weekend for sale. Styles are already recycling.

Thanks for the fabric suggestions. I was really at a loss for what to look for! These are all on my NYC fall fabric shopping list.

And the preview of the parka is up on BWOF page.

Linky Link

Yeah, I'm still not sewing. No time and I leave for the beach tomorrow after work. I've fitted and staystitched the waist of BWOF 6-2007-123 but that's it.

My lack of sewing hasn't stopped me from browsing though. This showed up on the Domino blog yesterday. It's from BuyFabrics.com.

Familiar? It reminded me of Gorgeous Things' coral chainlink.

Feeling a wee bit like a teacher's pet, I emailed it to Ann and she asked what I wanted to make with it.

It's from the May 2007 BWOF. I really saw this in denim originally, but this would be very very cute. And not in denim I could wear it to work.

I'm not saying I'm getting the fabric, but I'm definitely thinking about it.

The Beach! The Beach!

How come when I was 21 years old with a perfectly flat stomach I ran around the beach with an oversized t-shirt on? I also thought a tattoo was a good idea. Live and learn.

I was in Ocean City this weekend with my bookclub. I consumed: burgers and fries from Five Guys, french fries from Thrashers (3x), crepes for brekky, an actual gallon of Fishers caramel corn, half a dozen donuts from the Fractured Prune, funnel cake, about a bottle of champagne (someone's getting married) and a 32 oz Mountain Dew for the drive home.

Luckily, Tums is sold everywhere. Apparently I can't eat like a 21 year old any more either.

I uh, ahem. I may have done a little shopping at the outlets too.

And, we did talk about the book. For about 10 minutes over dinner.