Monday, August 29, 2011

Sewing mishap!

This pattern doesn't look interesting, but I feel the lines may yield something rather pretty. This fabric is a stretch from the thrift.

If you have been sewing for very long, you know there are wonderful sewing days and hard, frustrating days. Even with the best intentions, a project can quickly turn to disaster in one misstep!  That's what has happened here. Sometimes I struggle with interpreting a patterns instructions, mostly because I am a self taught seamstress.  I have learned to mull over a pattern's instruction before jumping in, but still can be caught off guard by an arrow or dot.  Today was one of those days. I had to laugh at this little bump that was created by my mistake in sewing up the seams. Somebody find me a seam ripper please!  So it's time for a little laugh and a restart button. Take heart if you have had a sewing day like this. It can happen to anyone and the "fix" most times is a seam ripper and a good read of the instructions one more time.  

Have a wonderful vintage day!


Monday, August 22, 2011

Green Ginger

I've been jumping back into the sewing scene this week with the ginger by Colette patterns. This skirt makes me smile. Colette makes a lovely pattern that is easy to use. I've so enjoyed seeing different versions of this skirt on the web, you all are so creative. There is something about it's shape and lines that have bewitched me. The skirt is made with fabric from the thrift, I am thinking it's a broadcloth.  I am not pairing it with this blouse, I just needed a way to show the belt area a little better and this solid peach blouse did the trick. I can't tell you how good it feels to sew again. I really love it so much. I would give up my T.V. any day for my sewing machine and my iron! Can't sew without them!

If you had to, what would you give up for your sewing machine? Just wondering.

Have a great vintage day!


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Body weight and sewing

Weight is a touchy issue for most people. I know it can be for me. Right now I am struggling with mine and it's effecting my desire to sew. Keeping my weight in check through our home remodeling has been challenging. I am not into looking paper thin or anything, but I like to maintain my weight. Fast food has been my "friend" over these last few months and the expected pounds came on. So now there is a choice to be made, do I sew for my bigger size or squeeze into my current clothing? Everything within me says "don't make the next size up". The hours that I have invested in making "tailored" clothing were happy hours and I don't want to leave those beautiful garments behind for a plate of fast food. So, today I am starting to look more closely at what I am eating, with the hope of losing the extra pounds.  Along with that, I had a revelation during me made June that is changing how I sew.  During June, my weight was still okay, but I realized that I was avoiding wearing some of my handmade garments because they were so fitted.  Looking back, I was sewing with the idea that I was going to lose a little more weight.  Lesson learned, stop over-fitting sewing projects and build into place a level of comfort for a healthy weight. I know my weight will have it's up and downs in the future, but my reality is this, there is a number range that my body likes to stay in. My dream size is in my mind, but my body says we are staying  here. So I am making peace with that and will be sewing for a more "normal" weight in the future.

Here are a few tips for making weight friendly garments.

1. Adding EASE!  Ease is defined as those extra inches in a finished garment that one can pull away from the body. I am finding that I really like having lots of ease in my lower hips and legs. When clothing is tight, it's uncomfortable. In Fit for real people , Pati Palmer suggests having a certain amount of ease for different garments. Here are her guidelines. You can easily add ease with a french ruler by drawing in a line outside the cutting line. Check out this book for more details. It's wonderful!

As I look at this chart I see that most of my skirts have about 1/2 inch of ease in the waistline. I will be adding a bit to that for comfort.

2. Considering the design/lines of a garment before sewing will tell you a lot about how your shape will fit into that design. This can be helpful in decisions of making a fitted skirt or an A line, or a boxy jacket verses a fitted one? Remember if you gain weight a boxy jacket may still fit when a fitted one get snug. A wide variety of styles in your closet can be a saving grace when the scale is moving upward.

3. Fabric selection is so important. Fabrics with a small amount of stretch go a long way for shoulders, bust-line and hips. As I use some of my non-stretch vintage fabrics, I will be adding more ease to the pattern at the lower hip-line for comfort. This will ensure freedom in movement.

4. I have given this tip before, it's worth repeating. Adding one inch seams instead of the standard 5/8 to the outer seams of a garment can be very helpful. If you need them the extra fabric is already there and can be let out pretty easily.

5. Resist over-fitting a garment. When fitting your garments. Baste the seams together. Now sit in your car. Can you reach everything easily? I say this because if I can sit in my car and be comfortable, then I know I have enough ease. Or stand in your kitchen and make a simple meal, can you reach the top shelf without splitting a seam? Test drive your garments before truly sewing up the final seams. Anyone can stand in front of a mirror and hold their breath in for a fitting, but can you pick up the baby and carry her around the house while wearing the garment, that's the question.

6. Consider adding a little elastic in the back of pants or skirts for those monthly times where the scale is going upward.

Sewing a wardrobe has become a way of life for many people, and let's face it weight loss or gain can  happen a long the way. Considering weight changes is good insurance of great fitting clothing for the future.

Have a wonderful vintage day!


Monday, August 8, 2011

old patterns

These are some of my oldest patterns,  I think they are from the 20's.  I am in love with the details of these wonderful dresses. It's so funny how times have changed. If you look for instructions to make these beauties, you will find them printed on the pattern itself. For example, on McCall 6471, it simply states join the underarm seam to the bodice of the dress. Yes, we have come a long way with instructions for sure. I bought these patterns years ago before vintage sewing was in. So they were priced pretty reasonable.
This past week I found these Colette patterns waiting for me in my mailbox. I am so excited to get cracking with them. I love the ginger skirt and have been wanting to make it for awhile. Finally, remodeling in our home is almost done, things are returning to a new normal, hooray!  It's time to sew again!

Have a wonderful vintage day!