Monday, November 30, 2009

The Pocket Stylist

Thanksgiving has come and gone -- lots of good food and a great visit with my daughter. Seems like I just posted here and instead I see that it's been almost a month!

Didn't do much sewing but we did make a little coat for her new puppy, Louis (pronounced Louie).  He's only 5.5 pounds at 12 weeks so we didn't do much fitting and the fit is '"generous" since I know he will grow in the next 3 weeks until he comes back for a Christmas visit.

We used fleece and iron-on vinyl so that it would be somewhat weatherproof.  The pattern was a test from the TCC pet line and the "baby doll" measurement chart.  I guess the next one we attempt will have a hood ... we'll see ...

I have another book from the library, The Pocket Stylist by Kendall Farr.  She says several things that are so on target that I have to share.

"Fashion Misconception: Read-to-wear actually is ready to wear. In fact, an affordable perfect fit right off the rack is as impossible to find as a Hermes Birkin bag on sale."  

She also talks about "optical illusion versus delusion" -- boy do I like that phrase!

And this is why I like to use pattern-drafting software to generate my custom-fit patterns -- "What distinguishes good fit for any body at any size?  Clothing that skims the outline of your shape.  Nothing clings or pulls, nor is anything so oversized that it hides your body's natural outline." 

This is a good little book that goes on to talk about different body silhouettes and the design lines that look best on them.  The goal is to create an unbroken line -- and those lines "break" when you have poor fit -- eg pulling, bunching, sagging.

I'm starting to plan my sewing for a Puyallup expo wardrobe.  A few target patterns have been tentatively chosen but I still have to select the fabrics and decide on style lines and embellishments that will enhance rather than detract from the garment.  So more to come as I begin to shop the stash!

NAYY -- but here's a link for more on that book ...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Preparing Fabrics, Cutting, and Marking

These topics are covered extensively in Chapters 4 & 5 of the Bishop textbook.

I know that it seems like the goal today is to do things better & faster ... but sometimes faster is not better if you skip these steps.

In fact, I think I take more time preparing my fabrics (prewashing, making sure the fabric is not pulling off the straight of grain), laying out the pattern (really watching that grainline!), and marking the pieces.

It really does cut down the construction time at the machine (not having to go back and look at the pattern for match marks) and affects the overall hang and fit of the garment.

Even when you have a pattern that fits, you can still do a lot to mess that up in the final result!

ok -- off that soapbox for now

anecdote -- I remember a time when I was a part of a group of 4 girls who needed matching dresses ... and we chose a pattern that would be floor length ... and fabric that was 1" gingham checks. Two of us were making our own dresses and two had a local seamstress do the sewing.

When I was laying out the pattern, my mom stopped me just before I cut the pieces and said that I needed to line up the rows of checks with the matching notch. I tried to argue with her that since it was checks it really didn't make any difference. HAH! You know I was wrong. She won and I unpinned and repinned, matched the notch, and then cut.

I was the only one who had beautifully matched chevrons at the side and front seams ... another lesson learned and remembered.

I've looked for a picture but can't find one -- and the dress has long ago gone to the Salvation Army donation bin.