Monday, May 31, 2010


Obsessing -- over fit -- over measurements -- over a quarter of inch here, quarter of an inch there ....

I've been working on some summer items for my wardrobe and feel  very, very happy when I look at items in the mirror.  Then I take a pic ... and instead of that being short for "picture" I think it is short for "picky, picky, picky!"  

I have very comfortable pants and know that without my being a mannequin who has perfect measurements, perfect muscle (?) tone, and perfect posture ... I am not going to have a fit that appears "perfect."  Heck, even the mannequins use clips and pins in some probably very uncomfortable places.   My head knows that  but still I keep trying to improve.

So for now I think I really am definitely at a "good enough to be seen in public" stage.  And better than most that seem to be ahead of me in line at the grocery and other places where I have time to check out others' fit.

Those are pics of my test pair of capris -- the fabric is a bit lighter weight than I would normally choose but good enough for around the house.   They are pretty much at default from my TCC software.

Here is a fun summer skirt (just a little straight skirt) that I made from some printed denim.  I read that patterned (esp floral prints) are in for pants this summer.  I wasn't quite ready for that so decided to start with a little straight skirt and work my way to pants.

(I'm trying to get the next two pics to appear side by side ... )

The cool thing about the software is that if my measurements do change, I can change my measurement chart and print out a new pattern.  The skirt is great because my floor to waist measurements are taken at the back, side, and front -- so the skirt pattern is printed to be longer in the back, shorter in the front and then my hem is automatically level. You can also see that the back pattern better accommodates my, uh "assets."

So that's it for today.  Happy Memorial Day --  with a Thank You to everyone who has served in the military (my dad was a WWII Army vet, wounded in the Battle of the Bulge) or is currently serving.  God bless you!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Spring Sewing

The calendar can't have already moved into May--my last post was in March!

The expo in Puyallup was great fun and time since then has been spent with spring yardwork -- WHERE do these weeds come from?  I get the flower bed all cleaned up and after the next rain there is a whole new crop!  To be fair, many are volunteer morning glory plants that I have decided not to cultivate this year so they are being pulled out.

In April I traveled to the Chicago area for a TCC User Workshop and that was another fun week.  We worked on pants for a variety of body types and a blouse challenge using the software to design different elements of a yoked blouse to add personal touches.

Other than test garment sewing, I've only made one "out of the house" garment -- a Shoulder Princess Surplice top.  I had the fabric in my stash from a Hancock's sale -- the only reason I bought it was the print included faux writing so it would seem more like a RTW than some of the other t-shirt knits that are available.

It's out of my normal spring palette (turquoise/green/yellow/coral/brown) but is perfect with jeans.  And I just happened to have the PERFECT orange to use as trim to make the front "pop."  The problems started when I went to lay out the pattern.  Even though it is a t-shirt knit, it didn't play nicely when folded -- I couldn't get it to lie smoothly on the table.  I even prewashed it twice and used fabric softener in the second wash.  (I know we're advised against fabric softener until after the garment is sewn, but I was trying everything.)

That worried me -- if it wanted fight itself on the cutting table, what would it do in the garment?  But you see,  I had already been seduced by the perfect color match and just HAD to have it to go with my jeans.  I decided I would line just the front panels with something smooth and found some flesh tone lining in the stash.   Yes, I knew I was living dangerously by pairing a woven lining with a knit garment -- but hey, just the front panel, right?

I'm not totatlly satisfied with the result, but all in all, it makes a good casual top.  I have the full length sleeves pushed up in the pic because that is what I do with them anyway!  I didn't know if I would want long sleeves since Chicago in April is not as warm as Cincinnati in April.

I will use this pattern again, without the lining, and with short sleeves for summer.

Oh -- I didn't tell you where I got the orange fabric for trim -- a purchased t-shirt when they were sale at Michael's  2/$5.   I buy the XXL size and cut them down for regular tees, but using with my TCC pattern that has an appropriate  bust dart.  That way I have matching ribbing and fabric, all for $2.50.  Of course the quality of that knit isn't the greatest but it gets the job done.  This ribbing for teh surplice was just strips of fabric cut off the bottom of the shirt.  Since I don't see myself in an all orange shirt, I have lots of trim to harvest for other garments.

So I'm doing my part to sew green ... er, orange .... you know what I mean!   Reuse, recycle, repurpose!