Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Fun & Frustrating

When I was at Fabricland yesterday, I learned that - after a certain date that I can't remember - they won't be carrying Simplicity and New Look patterns anymore. Other than a BMV that I need right now, those are the only patterns I buy there and while I'm not their only customer, I imagine I'm somewhat typical so that doesn't seem like the best of decisions. Oh well. No one asked me. I did buy a few yesterday though.




My daughter has very particular taste so I'm trying not to assume that she'll like something while at the same time, I'm trying to encourage her in directions I know will flatter because I've sewn that pattern and it works for our body type. She's still learning to see beyond the pattern envelope to the possibilities found in the line drawing and to realize that you can take just the parts you want and mix and match them like a Mr. Potato Man.




Yesterday was both fun and frustrating. For a while, I was drowning in pattern tissue but - thankfully - that's improved. I wanted to start with a basic t-shirt and build from there but it took me most of the day to realize that a PRINCESS seamed t-shirt would be best as she has a 5" difference between her upper and full bust. Now that I've made that decision, things are moving along more quickly.




Naturally, I made that decision after I'd bought a bunch of patterns without princess seams so I'm starting with the two Katherine Tilton patterns mentioned yesterday - both views of Vogue 8817 and Vogue 8691 without the ruffle. Jessica is having to trust me on these. She's not sure 8817 will work and doesn't think the 8691 pattern envelope looks at all attractive. I'd have to agree with her but I know from experience that it looks fabulous on.




Last night, while I wasn't sleeping, I was thinking about full bust adjustments and how to go about making them for the different patterns and it occurred to me that I may have traced the wrong size. Somehow, I deducted an inch from her upper bust measurement so either I wrote it down wrong or she actually has a 6" difference which would be more in line with her bra size. Luckily, I haven't cut out or adjusted any of the tracings so it's an easy fix... right after a phone call to confirm the number. I have two appointments today but hopefully - LOL - by tonight I'm actually cutting out fabric.




I'm reading Bobbie Thomas' book The Power of Style. Since I rarely watch television or buy a magazine, I had no idea who this woman was but reading the cover, I agreed with her blend of psychology with style so I bought it and it's been really interesting. She talks about style from a marketing perspective - are you giving out the message you want to give out. On page 25, she writes...




So when I talk about style, I'm talking about an image that feels real to you and resonates as genuine to others. When there is incongruence, you may find you are not saying what you want, which can result in your not getting what you want from life..... So if the mirrors in your life are showing you a person who isn't who you think you are or who you want to be, there's a good chance you're projecting a style that isn't your own, or at least not your most desired.





Though I work in the fashion industry, for me style does not equal the latest trends or flashiest brands. Style is so much more powerful and personal. The definition of style is self-expression, so fashion and beauty are simply two of the many tools that help you communicate, through a common visual language, what you're all about - what you see in your ideal mirror. Being stylish is not about having a certain body type or bank account; it's about embracing your individuality and radiating that spirit in your work, relationships, and everywhere else.





I'm always intrigued when I meet someone who thinks clothes don't matter especially as there is often an element of pain resting just below their words as if they are trying to convince themselves that this is truth. Considering how difficult it can be to dress ourselves, I can see why someone would want to feel that way however, at the most basic level, we all get dressed every morning so why not wear something we enjoy that flatters us because how we look has a lot to do with how we feel. It takes work and I'm so glad I sew because that makes it somewhat easier, which is good because beyond the basics, we all - every single one of us - make judgments about other people based on what they are wearing so it makes sense that they in return are making judgments about us based on what we're wearing. As much as possible, I want others to come to the correct conclusions about me although - LOL - it's a bit like fitting a moving target as we age and mature and evolve through life.




It was interesting to start on the adjustments for Jessica's t-shirts. As I suspected, I am making virtually the same changes I make for myself. She's taller than me and often the center back length is correct but she has the same upper bodice adjustments as me with a narrower chest, wider bicep, and higher sleeve cap. It is WONDERFUL to recognize and make these adjustments with a degree of confidence. It's radically different from the work I went through years ago trying to create a computer generated pattern for both our bodies. That was frustrating and NOT fun. Although these t-shirts may need tweaking, I'm quite sure they will be better than RTW and hopefully an encouragement for her.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - the decision to change to princess seams

16 comments:

  1. How nice of you to fit patterns for your daughter. These activities can be frustrating, as you mentioned. For what it's worth, I like having an armhole princess and a shoulder princess option. The shoulder princess tshirt I like is http://voguepatterns.mccall.com/v8323-products-5643.php?page_id=260. Best luck!

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    1. I have that pattern and I love it. Thanks for reminding me of it. Might see if I can get that one drafted up as well.

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    2. Brenda, I like and use that Vogue pattern too. For a narrower chest, I find the shoulder princess is easier to alter.

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  2. I'll add a second vote for V8323! It's my TNT t-shirt pattern.

    I've mostly quit buying patterns from Fabricland (here in Ontario). A couple of years ago I was told that they wouldn't be doing pattern sales anymore since "where else are you going to go?" I did send an email to explain that if I'm not going in to buy patterns, I'll be in less often - and will be buying less fabric from them. Never did get a reply... :)

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    1. LOL - as I told Brenda, I have the pattern. Not sure why I didn't think of it but now that my memory has been prompted....

      I'm always intrigued by Fabricland's culture and their approach to customer service and marketing. Different choices would create an entirely different store.

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    2. I was told that even though it is a national chain, regional managers have a lot of say over the way the stores in their area operate. Here in Ontario, there are a few 'independent' Fabriclands - they have different sales, pattern pricing, etc.

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    3. Some stores are franchises. They have to carry a large portion of the same product and then can bring in some of their own choice. It's interesting how they are treated. When I worked at our local Fabricland, I was only allowed to direct customers to a store 2 1/2 hours away although they are two closer ones both 1 1/4 hours away. The closer ones are franchises. I was not allowed to mention them and if we brought a product in from another store, it was not ordered from a franchise. I found that an interesting way to do business.

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  3. Great quotes about dress and style as communication! She puts it very clearly and powerfully.

    What a loving gift for your daughter, your counsel and support as she eases into sewing for herself and recreating her wardrobe!

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    1. The book is very interesting.

      Right now, I'm concentrating on her having something to wear but I do hope that it will also encourage her to sew.

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  4. hi Myrna! first, i have to say i always get a kick out of reading your posts, even if it's something i'm not 'officially' interested in ...... your writing is so effervescent and immediate, like we're just having a coffee and filling each other in on our latest enthusiasms. Really fun and very engaging, it's rare when a person's personality comes across so strong!! :)

    DD is a lucky lady, to have you do a lot of the 'grunt' work so she gets to do more of the 'fun' and have a much better chance of success. hhmmm, i am thinking maybe she can google the pattern numbers and look under the 'image' tab to get a better idea for just how much variety you can get out of some of these patterns - it may give her more confidence going in, not to mention inspiration and ideas to flat out steal ;) and if she really gets into making some tees, maybe the craftsy 'ultimate tee' class would be a welcome b-day or holiday gift. (i always have terrific trouble thinking of gifts for people at the appropriate time, so i love it when i come up with an idea ahead of time!)

    Keep on having a great day and, as always, looking forward to your next post! :) steph

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    1. LOL - thanks for the compliments on my writing style. I'm glad it comes across as friendly and engaging. If you met me in person - and perhaps someone who has will comment - you'd find I have a really dry sense of humour that doesn't come across so easily, even more personality.

      DD is lucky. She'll either run with it or not but at least she'll have all her "fishing gear".

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    2. You are friendly, engaging AND have a hilariously dry sense of humor.:)

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    3. LOL - and you have met me. Too funny. Thanks.

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  5. What a coincidence. I am large busted and I see both those Vogue patterns as a little "out there" for me. I just decided that September is going to be my step out of the comfort zone month for sewing and I have chosen V8691 for me to sew because - a) the version I am sewing will have a zip which I haven't tackled before and b) it is a more trendy style than I would have normally chosen. I am very eager to see how it works for your DD.

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    1. I've sewn that pattern a few times for myself and it's really flattering. I think you'll enjoy it and it's great for stepping outside of your box. The princess seams make it much easier to adjust for the FBA. Do you have Fit For Real People? Patti describes it really well and talks about the weird shape you may get at the armhole and how it'll be okay. May I recommend a version without the zip first? I think that might help with fine tuning fit as the finished garment will flow over the bust much better than with a zipper.

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    2. Thanks Myrna. Yes I have Fit for Real People and will definitely check it out. I think you are right about trying without the zip first to get the fit right. I will take your advice on that and do a trial without zip.

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Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.