Sewing Vloggers

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Vogue 1642, Let's judge the muslin!






It's time for the judgies to happen! First, my husband LOVES this although I had to once again explain the philosophy of thin fabric muslins to him. He now gets it again. He also loves the design, probably even more than me! Above you see the top all zipped up. It is just too big all over. I cut the Small 6-8 size. I have now adjusted the pattern for all to be recut in my fashion fabric in the Extra Small 4-6  size. The bust on the small is 43 inches around. On the Extra Small it is 41. I like the bigness and will probably always have a turtle underneath and it will be sweatery so the largess is OK and expected. You can see this  clearly in the model photo on the pattern envelope. But this is way too big. It also looks a bit like lines are pointing toward the bust, usually an FBA alert, but I believe that to be from the weight of the big collar and it's facings, interfacings, zip and such made up in such a thin fabric.I think in my wool it will be fine. The sleeves are cut wide on this. I believe that to be a design detail, not a fit issue so be aware of that. They were cut way down in the XS size. Haviing just one pocket also tends to pull things askew. 

Here is another view with the big collar open and the underlay. I like it that way. My underlay will be a black rayon knit ponte.  Sorry for the white background. It was so dark and dreary in the house that I thought the white would help but it really didn't despite editing. 


And here is hubby's first pic. He always takes big background in my clothing pics. I really appreciate my Mr. Liebowitz but I do need to explain that what I want a picture of is what I am making and not anything else really. Photoshop helps. In this pic above you can really see how large this is on me. The sleeves will be shortened and 1 1/4 inches length  removed.  They will also be narrowed by an inch with the new size. I also downsized the pockets a bit, too. 

So now I am ready to cut and sew!, Yay! I've cut my new smaller size pattern tissue out and made the new tissue double so I don't have to cut anything on the fold. I will do the bodice first and that will get an underlining and Honk Kong seams. You probably won't hear any more on this until I can show you the completed top.  I doubt that will be until after Christmas but you never know. 
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Thank you to all who contributed the great comments on the last post about speed sewing. What a fun convo that was. I am going to try to have some more social convos about once a month as I gather topics cruising the internet. It is wonderful to see such vibrancy in the sewing world. 

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photo courtesy christmasprojects.com

I wish you all Joy in the New Year, lots wonderful time with loved ones, and bales of fabric in your sewing future. God Bless You All!

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Have to vent!




photo courtesy teepublic.com, great stuff





Rant:

What is up with the speed demons of the Sewing World? A recent discussion on the  Pattern Review forum had the original poster ask how long it took to make a pair of pants. It wasn't until near that end of page two that someone said "why do you want to know?"

Are we sewing to meet deadlines? Is that the goal, to beat the clock? If I know I can whip out a pair of tried and true pants in 2 1/2 hours, do I save that for the last two and a half hours before I go out to an important meeting, a big date, an evening with friends? Who on earth sews with this pressure and therefore, why is it important? Over and over again I see the Speed Question. On the numerous pages I visit on FB, there is a constant bragging deluge of unpressed, poorly hemmed garments that are considered incredibly wonderful because they were whipped out in two hours. THEY LOOK like they were whipped out in two hours. Is that the goal of sewists today, how quick we can make something? Is it the measure of a great sewist to be able to make it faster than anyone else? Where are we racing to that we take something we profess to love doing and can't get it over with fast enough? This is not one reaction to a forum question. I have seen this over and over the past few months all over  sewing social media. There are requests for skirts I can make in an hour, dresses in two, pants in one flying all over the internet and getting answered.

Why is the fastest completion possible the goal for a sewist? Why does it supersede a quality, flattering construction? Someone tell me. I just don't know and don't understand. There was a time, way back in my teens, where I might have been unexpectedly invited out on a date with nothing to wear. I would "cram sew" to have something decent and pretty for the date. My mom knew I had a limited wardrobe and would kick in and help me. I was proud that I could sew a much needed something or other in time enough to look good for my evening out.  I didn't particularly enjoy the "cram sewing" but did it because I had to. It was not a common occurrence. I just didn't prefer to sew that way. What I am currently seeing is not like that. It is definitely more of a brag in who can make the quickest leggings. I guess I am just missing something. I love sewing. Sewing calms me. It gives me peace. It lets me express my self creatively. It's something I want to do well. I don't want to do it fast.........glad I got that out of my system. Thanks, dear readers......Bunny

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Vogue 1642, Part One


I fell in love with Vogue 1642 the minute I saw it. It had that casual but stylish vibe that I am constantly searching for lately. Active wear just isn't my thing unless I am being active. My  current lifestyle is such that I want really nice casual in really nice fabrics, but still casual. After taking class with Claire Shaeffer and making a couple of Chanel inspired pieces I was always on the lookout for more wool boucle. I found the above at Fabric Place Basement a few years back and eventually decided I loved it but did not want to make a Chanel jacket with it. I wanted something more sweatery and cozy. The pullover top on Vogue 1642 fit that bill. While the fabric gives off a bit of a commercial carpet vibe in the pic it is really soft and cozy and should work perfectly for this project. Here's my plan. 

I am going after a soft, slouchy  sweatery look.  The pattern description is "very loose fitting" and I had to keep that in mind as I made my muslin. There is a lot of ease here, 43 inches for the size small bust but it seems to all work out. 

I definitely wanted a Bemberg rayon lining and this is the best color I could find. This fabric will never show and will be used to underline the garment. I will use Hong Kong seams  and a Nancy Zieman lining method that I love for the sleeves. The facings of that big neckline, which will show, will be a lighter weight rayon ponte in black, the better to not have the wool be scratchy on my neck. I hope to treat the hems with wiggan. I want to go all out on technique with this to do justice the price tag of that boucle. This also meant that a muslin was critical. 


This is the start of my muslin making with the hem loosely tucked up and just laying on the dress form to make a point. I found the markings on this pattern a bit confusing. In a couple areas the dots, and there are a variety being used, were glommed together with very close seamlines and it was not easy to distinguish exactly where they went. I did my best but in the end found that if I just marked my seam lines on the muslin with a mechanical pencil I could more accurately match up the seams. You can see how nothing matched with the dots so maybe I cut the pattern wrong, which wouldn't surprise me as I did find it difficult to distinguish what went where. This also made me realize that any marking on the real garment will be with thread tracing and tailor's tacks. Do you see this heading in the "epic" direction here? I did get things to match perfectly with my pencil method. 



 Making the neckline had me reading the directions several times over but it all fell into place. Do you see the problem with the above? There are lots of bias edges here and I just sewed away on my underlay. When I pressed it I realized it really looked cockeyed and you can see how it stretched out in the above pic after being sewn. Because the fit is critical amongs the pieces on the collar it's important to remeasure against the pattern pieces as you go along and before stitching those seamlines. I recut where necessary to bring it back into line. 

 I found the width the zipper is sewn from the seamline in the collar is critical to getting the inset to fit perfectly into the bodice so watch that.  


Here the collar unit is just layed on top of the bodice for you to see what's happening, not sewn in yet. I made a decision, not in the pattern, to make my collar more slouchy, not the upright version you see here. This will be a matter of light interfacing and facing and a lighter zipper.


I have a long, thin neck and narrow shoulders and just thought it would look better on me. I also just like that softer collar look with the boucle  fabric. I think I am going to veer from the pattern with the collar installation and not sew the faced unit in as one piece. Instead I will leave the facing free and treat the edges differently, probably a Hong Kong seam. We'll see. 

The sleeves on this pattern are raglan and darted at the shoulder. They are way too long for me and really the only adjustment I needed to do size wise, that is, other than my "always" petiting of the pattern. I had to make sure I "petited" the whole neck unit as I did the bodice so it would all match up. Almost forgot! 

I am using a size 3 zip metallic nylon coil zip, love those, in rose gold for the neck unit which I got on Etsy. I thought the size 5 zip would be too chunky and might interfere witht he slouchyness of the collar. Above is a size three zip but most jacket zips are five. 

I made one pocket on the muslin but will have two as the pattern specs. They will be scaled down a tad for "petite-ness" as I always do. 

I am a down and dirty half hour muslin maker, but not on this one. I wanted to work out every detail, not just the size so made the design up pretty much exactly as spec'd. It was a great lesson and now I am confident and ready to go on the "good stuff".  I can't remember when I've made a muslin all detailed out like this one but it was the right thing for this project. Usually my muslin making simply involves checking fit issues but I wanted to make sure fit, scale and skills were all in order before putting shears to boucle. Stay tuned...........Bunny

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Flower Power Denims!


The Age of Aquarius has dawned with this bit of clothing fun! I am not sure what to call it. Is it overalls, culottes, a jumper, a culotte jumper? You tell me. I'll stick with a Flower Power Denim for now!  It started out as a  mashup of two patterns, and ended up like this:



Then I went back to just one of the patterns and redesigned it to work for what I had in mind.  A  light bulb moment then reminded me I had a perfectly fitting wide strap bodice on another pattern and I dug that one out for the top of the garment.


I had to really lighten the above photo so you could see the topstitched seams  and detail. Hubby and I both agreed it looked better with the sash. I tried a leather belt, no belt, and a self sash. I like the sash as well. 


I cut these pant legs extra wide and long and love them. They skim above the floor a bare half inch. I know  the trend is for a cropped version and I wanted that to work but several who I asked for opinions told me straight out NO and to go long and I agreed. The proportions were just off with my shortness and shape. Picture the above about 6-9 inches off the ground. I don't think so and you get it. The pants are VERY comfortable with all their space and I may make more just in a pants version, no top. Here are more details. 

Pattern:

In the end I used Burda style 6408, a spaghetti strapped, no waistline divided pant dress and New Look 6866 (the Dandelion Dress) was used for the bodice. I did the scooped neck bodice. I relocated the dart to the neckline and gathered it. Don't you love rotating darts? It is just one of the best sewing tools you can have in your tool box and offers so much creativity.  You can see the closed dart and the open pleats on the tissue below. 


I also ended up adding to the sides seams and inseams to get more width into the legs. I did later alter the top of the side seam.  I brought it in an inch and moved it out gradually to meet the waistline. The muslin looked much better with that adjustment. In the pic above you can see wide straight neckline put in with tissue. I ended up taking this out as well and going with the scoop. Here was the final pattern, committed to oak tag as I will make this again. 


Something else I did, after cutting, was to further lower the armscye.  This gave it a more casual look.  I also did not add the back waistline darts. I wanted this pretty loosey goosey. 

Fabric:

For this project I used a midweight 100% cotton denim, washed twice. The front bodice and some of the hip and leg were stenciled with a simple floral design in various colors. I was going to use the same flower repeatedly but found the various sized flowers much more interesting. I experimented before I put any thing on the denim. I've washed my samples and the paint is in there solid as a rock. I used simple acrylic craft paint, whichever brand had the right color and traditional stencil brushes. There are no facings, or interfacings used here.  You can find more info on the fabric painting here. 



Construction:

Getting the actual pattern made required playing with three different patterns,  two muslins and lots of experimenting with paints and technique. Now I have a really simple pattern that I can use again without much thinking. 

All seams were stitched on the machine, then serged together with a 4 thread. They were pressed to the side and topstitched with the triple stitch, the one people foolishly  call a stretch stitch. It is basically a mock flat fell  jeans seam. My topstitch length was 3.5. 

The facings were serged and simply turned in and topstitched. I banged them with a hammer where layers made bulk before attempting to topstitch.  That really helped a lot. The denim had enough body that the lack of facings did no harm. The hem was serged and turned an inch and 1/2 and topstitched as well, all really simple sewing. I used a neon pink for my topstitching.  The back of the garment has an invisible zipper and a v neck, very easy to get in and out of. 


If you take away the fussy topstitching, the fabric painting and the mashup attempts with three different patterns, this is really a simple easy pattern. I am talking the original Burda Style 6408 here. 


I keep thinking of making this up in a chambray for the summer with the more drapey flowy look that you see in the pattern. Love these wide legs! Highly recommend. Just look how flowy and drapey this is in the khaki color.  It is a really simple construction. I've had really good luck with New Look patterns lately!

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My husband and I will be going to the Azores this summer, a celebration of our milestone anniversary and a gift from our children who asked where we would like to go. Right now I am studying climate and what we will be doing and needing. Do the words "vacation wardrobe" ring a bell?  If you've been to the Azores in late July early August please let me now about clothing needs or anything else, thanks so much.............................Bunny

Sunday, December 1, 2019

The Feminine Pad Making Tute, Part Two


Welcome back to part two of this pad making tutorial. We will get into the sewing and the closures and then you will be able to give this a try! 

If you look closely at the picture above you will find each pad a bit different from the other. Let's look at the lavender pads first starting on the left. You can click the pic to see it larger and closer. In the first pad you will notice the edges are pinked. I thought this would be quick to just sew wrong sides together on the stitching line and pink the edge and be done with it. I then did a zigzag on the edges as well. It's a bit rough but made it through the wash OK.  I did not like the look.  Lavender pad number 2 from the left has the separate pad on top and is double stitched all around. The pad is double stitched as well. It had the Warm and Natural in the pad. All of this made a very nice pad but a little more bulk than needed. The all pink pad in the center has pinked edges and one line of stitching. There are several channels stitched into the pad to attach it to the base. Lavender pad second from the right is double topstitched and the pad is triple zigzagged to the base. The first pad on the right is one line of topstitching and the same as it's neighbor on the left. The difference with the purple pads is that one is triple zigzagged for topstitching. I didn't like that. The following construction  has the features I liked best from all the experiments above.  It is what I felt gave the smoothest finish on the pad to go against the body with the least amount of bulk and effort. Let's Sew!

Sewing




We'll make the Base first. If you look at Pad#1 again---it is overkill and took too much time. I found 90 % of the instructions out there have you sew the Base right sides together leaving a section of the seam open to turn the Base. Then you stitch the Base closed.  You do the same with the Pad and stitch it on top. Too much time.  Also, all that extra row of topstitching adds bulk. My goal was to make this easy and quick so steps have been changed and/or eliminated. You have lots of leeway in making your own so again, do what feels right for you and experiment. 

Place your two Base pieces right sides together.  With all the curves on this critter, I found it wise to use a few pins to secure the pieces from stretching. Stitch your Base pieces together right on the stitching line you drew from your template. This is where those big awkward seam allowances come in handy. Hold on to them and STITCH ALL AROUND THE BASE. Give it a press. Trim the edges down with your pinking shears or scissors to a little over an eighth of an inch. Give one or two clips into the inside curves as well. Be careful snipping there. Now, grabbing your center of the base, separate the two sections from each other. Pull them apart in the middle.  Pinch the center of one side and fold the Base there. Give it a little clip vertically. Be careful to ONLY CUT ONE SIDE. Lay it down and go into your little slit with your scissors and cut about a 4 inch slit  down the center of the Base and use this to turn the base right side out.  This slit has to be small enough to hide under the Pad. 





Stick your fingers in the turned Base and push out the edges. I find rolling them helps. Press them nice and flat. Your Pad will cover the slit nicely if you kept it centered. Once neatly pressed you will return to the machine and topstitch once around the base between an eighth and a quarter of an inch from the edge, just one row. Press again. 




Take your Pad sections, two layers plus a PUL layer at the bottom if you are using it, and center them on the Base. Your really need the three pins as this will want to shift, even with a walking foot. You will sew the channels first on the Pads to secure it down and give it body. 


The way this pad is sewn to the base became my favorite. It makes a totally smooth transition on the edge and feels very comfortable with no sense of feeling an edge of any kind. The cross channeling helps it hold up in the wash as well. Stitch your channels with a basic straight stitch. I draw the cross on with a Frixion pen. I do the straight channels half an inch from the edge. I sew them first and the cross last. Then I go around the Pad with a triple zigzag 5.5 wide and .7 long.  Once that is done on all your pads, give them a press, clean up any stray threads and get ready for the closure. 

The Closure

I have chosen to close my pads with Kam Snaps. I did a review of this product two posts back but you can click here to see it again. There are many ways to close your pad. You can use snaps. They will require machine or hand sewing them on. You can use little flat buttons, also requireing more sewing. One tutorial I saw suggested safety pins  but the thought of that gave me the shivers and that was totally out. The Kam Snaps require buying the tool and snaps, about 20.00 on Amazon with loads of snaps, and it is easy to use. 


Your KamSnap kit will come with a sharp awl as you see above. Turn your pad, outside facing up. Overlap your two wings and about a half inch or so in push your awl through the two wings completely. Be careful not to go through the pad itself. I then rub the awl back and forth to make a big hole. Take it out. 


Install the snaps per the directions remembering there are male and female snaps and that you are overlapping. If you did it right, looking at the bottom of the pad, it should look like this above  to function. That is a female stud on the right. Here is what it looks like on the right side, the side that touches your body. That shows a male stud on the left. 


Those wings wrap around the crotch  and then snap. I have found that I do not feel them AT ALL. Once installed the snaps are quite thin.  I have also found that the pad does not move around. This may be a feature of the flannel being more grabby. I don't know. 


It you put your snaps in wrong, no problem. I did two wrong. You just cover them with a piece of fabric and give them a bang with a hammer. They will fall apart and you can pick them right off and try again, in the same whole, an advantage over metal type snaps installed the same way.  Other than that, they are really in your pad or garment tightly. They are going nowhere!

If you are looking for really deep info on all the options available for fabric in making your own pads, including heavy period pads, as well as other insights and links, here is one link I have found the most informative: Cloth Pads 101. I thank Danielle for all the knowledge she has shared.  Let me know how your journey goes and if you have any questions. 

Care

I have worn and washed and dried my pads. The flannel was well preshrunk. It did not shrink further as a pad and measured exactly the same as the ones I had not washed yet. Of course, flannels can vary, so protect your self and prewash  your fabrics 2 or 3 times. The pads do come out of the dryer wrinkly, like any cotton. I just stretched them a bit and they were fine. I am going to just let my next batch line dry and bet they are a lot less wrinkly. This did not effect their comfort or function at all. 

ETA: I worn and washed these a fair amount at this point. I've gotten the best results washing on WARM, not HOT.  I then take them out of the wash and stretch them out and smooth them and either hang them on a hanger with clips or just flatten them out on the top of the dryer and let them dry flat. They come out quite nice this way. I've had one pad shrink but it went into a hot wash and dry and with other pads that didn't shrink at all so it is specific I think t the flannel. These were all well washed before making, two or three times. 

In conclusion

I am really glad I took this journey. Thanks to all the women who have told me they have been making and using their own pads for years. Who knew? My opinion is this is easy, inexpensive sewing that more than pays for any effort involved. It helps save the planet, save a few dollars, and just feels so much nicer than the alternative. Happy Padmaking!............Bunny

Petited and De-Volumized Picasso Pants , #3

  Pardon the weird shadows. I have just finished my third pair of Picasso pants. Yes, I do love them that much. I did a lot of messing aroun...