Sunday, June 24, 2012

Project Update #2: Hot Patterns Biker Babe Jacket

The Biker Babe Jacket is fitted and ready to be cut out! I call it Franken-pattern now.

Check out that sleeve!

I've never ever ever done this much preparatory work for a pattern, but I really want a good fit on this thing. I foresee wearing it nearly everyday and I want to be happy about it nearly everyday.

I ran into a problem yesterday while doing the final fitting. When is the garment fitted 'enough'? When does the armsycle look exactly right? Does the back and length look right? I hope that in the future, doing more of this, I'll have experience. Despite everything that my aunt taught me about sewing, I didn't learn how to fit (mainly because I didn't want to be in various stages of undress for some fitting processes), so its pretty much all self taught from the internet and all the other totally awesome bloggers out there. I gotta saw though, my Amazing Boyfriend really helps out, he wants to me to be happy and he knows a jacket that fits will make me happy.

Making the hard decisions.

Changes made to this pattern:
1. Raise the armhole by 1". Still not sure if it should go up higher or if there is too much fabric in the sleeve opening.

2. Broadened the back by 3/4" on both sides. This fits AMAZING through the back now, why have I never done this?

Tush shot.
To fit the back, first I sliced a gash about 1.5" from the armhole and then measured how wide the gash spread when I put my arms forward. All widening was done below the yoke (I think that's the correct vocab word) because the upper back fit well.

3. Lengthened the sleeves and body by 2" (damn its a short jacket!) through the waist. Or I'm long-waisted. (above pics do not show this)
4. Decreased the flair at the bottom of the body. Cause it looked stupid.

I'm going to cut this jacket out the softest, most amazing (and expensive) baby camel hair ever shaved from a baby camel. I'm assuming it was summer and the baby camel was sweltering. I got it from Gorgeous Fabrics a looooong time ago so they are expectantly out of the fabric. As a side note, can I just say was fricking amazing selection, sales, and customer service that GF has? I think if I ever met Ann I'd go fangirl on her.

Main garment fabric from Gorgeous Fabrics. The lining is also from GF and still available here.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Some home dec

I've been working on a few of super easy peasy home dec projects.

1. The shower curtain

 About four years ago now, I made a shower curtain for my bathroom back at my amazing parent's amazing house. I believed this shower curtain would change the world, or at least the aura around my shower. And you know what?! It did! It made my bathroom look amazing! Even my dad, who may not fully appreciate pink fabric with flowers, and birds, and a giant ruffle at the bottom, was super impressed. I made a plan to do the same with my apartment's shower. Here's the result.

The print is from Hart's Fabric, the green solid Joann's.

What do you think? I originally wanted the fabric placed horizontally, but that didn't fly with the print so vertically it went. I love the colors and design, its just so happy. Its also appropriate for a bathroom that a man shares. Manly. Grunt. No giant ruffle. Double grunt. Mommy and baby woodland animals. Awwwwwwwww.

Cause I know you wanted to see the shower curtain that changed the world.

2. Wall hanging

Fabric from Hart's Fabric.

I can barely call this a sewing project, more like an ironing project.

But I can call it wonderful. I'm a born and bred Californian and since I don't live there at the moment, my California pride is especially aggressive. Sure Cali has its problems, philandering ex-governors, the Lakers, no water, but it rocks baby! This is a reproduction vintage tablecloth that got trimmed down a bit to fit on the dowel, sewed in some casings, and hung up. Easy peasy! Great decoration for our guest/cat room.

Some places that I've lived and worked are on here!

3. Pillows

Wood fabric from Hart's Fabric no longer available but this one's cute! The grey tweed is from Gorgeous Fabrics, but its not available anymore. The circle pillow fabric is from Hart's Fabric as well. The stripe fabric is also an Alexander Henry, but I got that one from

I've made all these pillows. My pride and joy is the log pillow. My Amazing Boyfriend got a free neck roll/bolster pillow with his mattress when he bought it months before he met me and never, as men usually do, got around to beautifying it. Waiting for me I guess. I found the perfect wood grain fabric, sewed it up, and thought I was the most cleverest person in the world. Then I googled 'log pillow'. Damn.

The gray pillow is a silk tweed leftover from a skirt I made 3 years ago, the star pillow is inspired by Domiknitrix and my first (high successful I might add) shot at intarsia, I loved the colors for the fabric on the striped pillow so I threw that together one day, and I loved the colors and print on the round pillow, but was tired of square pillows and a major lack of ruffles in my life (see above).

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

New McCalls Patterns: Fall 2012

On a whim I checked the McCalls website for new patterns and there they were! They've probably been there for a while, oops!

As usual, lets start with the good!

My favorite of the bunch! A good jacket can instantly finish and improve an outfit, in other words, a jacket makes it seem like you know what you are doing when in reality, you just threw on a jacket. I love the drapey lapels.

Now let's talk McCalls/Fashion Star vs. Simplicity/Project Runway, just the patterns, I don't want to get into how terrible Fashion Star is or how terrible Project Runway is starting to get. McCalls is doing the SAME thing to the Fashion Star patterns as Simplicity did to the Project Runway patterns. There's endless quirks and additions you can add to the design to make is completely 'you', blah, blah, blah, fashion drawings, blah, blah, blah. Its just so blatant. I haven't had the opportunity to see in person a Fashion Star pattern, but if they have paper dolls, my brain might explode.

Back to the jacket. I can see this casual or dressy, heavy or light. The peplum is very on trend, but its not an in-your-face peplum so the jacket can last beyond the trends. Brava!

Simple dress, not very innovative, but I like the idea of playing with different fabrics in the panels. For the picture that used to sell the pattern though, that dress looks sloppy made and badly fit. Confidential to the model: LIGHTEN UP!

Another remarkably simple dress, but I like short dresses with long sleeves so there you go. The wide neckline is nice and ugly-ass blue waistband hits her at just the right spot. Unfortunately, the leopard fabric obliterates the lines of the dress, why don't pattern companies make the samples in a solid fabric so we can see what's going on!?!?!?

The ok patterns.

Front of the dress is a standard sheath, the back looks like this. Tuxedo back. Super for cute for those with little lady lumps. Not for this lady.

I tried a shirt on at a store two months ago that looks JUST. LIKE. THIS. And it looked terrible on me, yet I still want to like it! Hey, the model is happy! You go girlfriend!

This style of shirt is very trendy right now where the collar and button placket are a different color than the rest of the shirt (sometimes the cuff is a different color too). Obviously though this can be done with many button up, collared shirt patterns, you don't have to use this one. Hate the tunic length, but I have an irrational hate of tunics as they are usually, or usually should, be paired with leggings and I really hate leggings.

Hey, another pattern that's great for walking up invisible stairs. These stairs are only a little bit high though. As with all the pictures for this pattern, the design is obliterated by the model's pose, the fabric, or both. Its a shirtdress, can't be that bad right?

Big flowy skirts are in. This big flowy skirt has a zipper. In my recently completely and highly scientific poll, men dislike a woman is a big flowy skirt and women love wearing big flowy skirts. Well I hate men in sandals, so there.

Ok, I'm putting this in the 'ok' group despite that velvet color area and crappy print. I like bows around the neckline, but that collar really makes me tense.

What a model does when the photographer tells her to 'squat and make love to the camera.'

Attack of the pastel leg army! Pants look fine and normal.

Seemingly good for boho types. I am not a boho type. Needs to be longer though, its way too short on her.

Now for the bad.

Ever played that game, would you rather? Like who you rather have hair like a chia pet or arms made of Legos? (Chia pet for me)

Well, would you rather



Thursday, June 14, 2012

New Simplicity Patterns: Fall 2012

Simplicity is rolling out patterns like they are going out of style! Hmmm, maybe they are...

Let's start with the good.

Those pants are perfection. Perfection pants. The skirt looks quite nice too, harder to tell from a painting. Love a long sleeved shirt and this looks so wearable and wonderful. Cynthia Rowley makes the most interesting, trendy, yet classic patterns and was Simplicity's best decision. Never let this one go Simplicity!!!!!!

Well that was it for the good. Let's go to the eh, ok.

Bit boring. I like the rounded square neckline, hate an exposed zipper, unsure about those front pockets, they look very infantile. The fit on the models doesn't even look good. A usable starting point for something more interesting if you're up to it.

I'm not one for vintage pattern, but this one isn't bad. Still not for me, but its sweet. I like how the model is in the same pose for each picture, its all she's got. Like the higher necked version.

As I've said, I'm a sucker for a good bow-necked top. This one's ok, bow's a little weak, but I like how its buttoned!

And the bad....

The 'design' here is that there is ripply, rumply stuff going on your belly. Honestly, I spent 1 hour jumping and squatting around on Tuesday and can't really move my legs, abs, arm, or back in order to remove and keep away all ripply, rumply stuff on my belly. Why, just why?

That's some 80's red suit jacket there. Needs shoulder pads. Like three of them.

I think Gwyneth Paltrow wore that top shrug in Emma. A movie from 1996 if you have no idea what I'm talking about. That bottom one...howdy Holly Hobby!

The ubiquitous two rectangle skirt that every pattern company comes out with every season. This one has a slit! Everyone, together now, "OOOOOOOOOOHHHH"

Sexy sexy librarian wear. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Away from the sewing machine

When you go to places like this, you can't bring your sewing machine.

A few years ago, ugh many years ago now, I went to a magical and odd place known as college. I went to a hard college, let's call it Richard Dirt College. Dirt as we Dirters like to call it, is a challenging school. Most Dirters cry at least once a month, those who don't cry punch walls, some Dirters do both. I knew about Dirt's reputation before I went there and that combined with the general size of dorm rooms meant I was not going to be able to bring my beloved sewing machine and all of my sewing accoutrements with me. I knew I would need some sort of distraction when I wasn't studying something Dirty (hahahahaha!), so I decided to pick up a new skill. I choose knitting. Totally portable and compact. I had tried crochet, my mom, Wonderful Mom (WM) from here on out, was a wonderful crocheter in her time, but I tried it and it didn't click with my hands. I picked up Stitch and Bitch and gave it a go. It clicked.

I really do like knitting, its very different from sewing and sometimes I just want to sit and knit instead of sit and sew and stand and iron and crouch and cut and stand and iron and sit and sew and repeat. Knits and wovens also go together on the body so well, they really bring out the best in the other. Like two peas in a pod. I think knitting helps the sewing and sewing helps the knitter.

I decided to make a knitting plan for the year so here it is:

  • A present for my ****** for *******. (Number of *'s does not accurately reflect length of words, stop trying to figure it out)
  • A present for my ****** for *******. (Number of *'s does not accurately reflect length of words)
  • A wedding present for Amazing Boyfriend's brother and future wife: a blanket in their favorite colors, coral and blue, preferably wool as I hear they are moving to Minnesota, brrrrr. Wedding's in early August, better get on it.
  • A Christmas present for my grandma: a hat, she ordered one from me a long time and after not finding a suitable pattern gave up, but I really need to get on it because she's really a top notch grandma.
It's the year of knitting for other people, yes, but since I sew pretty much exclusively for myself, they deserve a little love. I'll blog about Grandma's present and the wedding gift, but you'll have to wait until after ******* to see the rest.

Happy Creating!