Friday, August 16, 2013

2 Out Of Five = 40%

Let's clarify. Just in case. Although the last three garments haven't worked out, I'm okay. They are beautifully sewn garments and I enjoyed that process. I just didn't like how they looked on me. Good. Enough.

This set of six was an experiment and I am - as Nancy and others pointed out - trying new silhouettes and learning new things. It's fun. I can see myself picking another six patterns and trying it again which only makes sense. Those patterns are in my drawer for some reason. There's some thing about them that attracted me and is worth exploring.

The take-away on the McCall's blouse from yesterday was how beautifully it fit through the waist and hips with that angled opening at the front. As Pearl suggested, I can transfer that shaping to another style with a more traditional sleeve - when I get the pattern back - I sent it to Caroline too. She already has it but this way she can trace the alterations I made to her own copy.

The side drape on Sandra Betzina's Vogue 1297 dress is a big huge rectangle. It's the exactly identical rectangle in all sizes which seemed disproportionate to me. Someone smaller will be dwarfed and someone larger might require more drape. While I was tracing the shape, the thought occurred to me that I typically prefer patterns with many small pieces as opposed to large pieces. More seams. More opportunities to fit. More built in shape. Usually more success.

And now, I'm thinking that it depends on where the big shapes are going because this looks pretty good. The center portion is fitted - although - for full disclosure - I took an inch in on each side seam. My fabric had more stretch than recommended. Next time, I'd use Peggy Sager's trick for deciding on your size which is to wrap the fabric around you to a comfortable fit. Mark where the edges meet. Measure the distance between. And sew that size. In this case - with this fabric - I'd have gone down several sizes. With another fabric, the size I traced may have been perfect.

When I took the side seams in, I started stitching on the drape, went further into the body, up and over the underarm, and merged with the original seam part way down the sleeve nearer the hem. That was a mistake. I should have taken the sleeve out, adjusted the side, and set the sleeve back in especially as...

... I was working with extremely limited amounts of fabric and only just barely squeaked two sleeves out by piecing one - which is a discussion I'm saving until next week to tell you about - because there will be little sewing. Two of my favourite people are coming for the week and I'll be chatting with my daughter and snuggling my grandson however...

... although my daughter was willing to go to the Fabriclands near her home and try to find me more of this fabric because both of them had it last time I was there, I popped out to ours hoping to find a remnant. And I did. And right after this picture was taken, I took the sleeves out and inserted new ones with a bit more bicep width and now, I really LOVE THIS DRESS which is fitted from shoulder to hip with details mainly at the hem. Hmm... where have we heard that before?

So this ups my average. 2 out of 5 = 40%. I'm not sure the Lynn Mizono jacket is going to improve this ratio but I am going to give it a try next.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - my son is resigning from his job today and looking for a starting position toward becoming a parts person in the Commercial Transport and Mining & Forestry industry. It's time and a good decision but still change. I would be grateful for any prayers that this would be a smooth and quick transition. Howard has put some feelers out and there has been both a positive response to the possibility of hiring his son and to the fact that Kyle has management training at McDonalds which is - after all these years - still a good reference.


  1. When looking at the line drawings yesterday, I guessed that this pattern would be a good one for you, based on the silhouette. The colors and shapes and scale of the print is also excellent for your style, in my opinion...

    Thank you for sharing the Peggy Sagers tip on how to judge size-to-sew/knit-fabric. Some Kwik-sew patterns formerly had a gauge on the back of the pattern to show how much stretch a knit fabric "should" have to get similar results to the drawing on the front, which helped a little bit, but I like the "stretch to fit as desired" idea a lot.

    1. Because I'd tried on that brown RTW dress I showed in a posting last week (I think) I was fairly confident this would work. I'm glad it did.

      I've used Peggy's tip a few times and it really does work and when I don't use it, I wish I had. You have to trust that you're actually going to be okay cutting that size.

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you. I wore it out for coffee this morning and I'm still in love. This is good.

  3. I like the photo of you holding out the side drapes like wings. Made me smile.

    1. LOL - just in case Mr. Photographer missed the points.

  4. Really really truly fantastic dress for ***Myrna*** Hooray!

    I love the way it all comes together, fabric, pattern, and personality. Nothing jarring, nothing excess. Pure Beautiful! it makes me even more excited to see you try V1234 at some point (hint hint).

    I'm curious what it is you like about the Lynn Mizuno jacket particularly - it's such an elegant design, very simple yet far from boring so i can see overall why anyone would want to make it! At the same time, those cut on sleeves are going to provide even more of what you didn't love about the raglan sleeves on the blouse, and the whole thing is cut pretty far away from the body. So i'm wondering can you use your last few experiences to help create a garment ***for Myrna*** out of this one?

    A couple of things that occur to me are: choose a lighter weight fabric that drapes really nicely, thereby eliminating a lot of that 'bunched up under the arm' stuff and draping nicely over your shoulders. I'd also measure, tissue fit, and pin fit the center back/neckline area very carefully so that it's as small as you can get it so it's not constantly falling off. And i'd be super anal about where i place the hem - too close to the armpit and - gross - plus weird fabric bunching, too close to the hip and you could get 'cut across' in a weird place and experience weird fabric bunching lower down.

    It's, as always, only my two cents :) I just look at sewing from this perspective because i've never really been in a position to do a lot of sewing that didn't work for me (even sewing at my glacial pace is more productive time-wise than shopping RTW or thrift). And i've always been fascinated by how the most unlikely looking designs can be made to be tremendously flattering thru tweaking various 'little things' and paying attention to how all of the various factors work/don't work towards creating a flattering garment. It's one of my favorite puzzles ever! Please feel free to tell me to (pound sand) if i work your nerves, tho - it's your blog :)

    Man, that dress just rocks. Do us a favor and take a picture sometime when you're all gussied up in it - yowza!!! You look this great standing on the lawn, it'll knock us over with a feather in a fancy architectural setting and you with earrings on ;) and number three picture, with you looking over your shoulder and weight on one hip, is a great pose. Steal it! take care and have fun, steph

    1. Thanks. I do think it's very me. LOL - yes, 1234 is on my mind.

      What I like about the Lynn Mizono jacket is the challenge. Other than the architectural details which I love, it has so many things that wrong that I wonder if I could make it work. I can't surrender the waist as you said, so the one side needs to be high enough to make my waist visible and the other should be no longer than my best jacket length. There is definitely way too much fabric under the arm and we can see how she has one arm extended and the other tucked tight. That's definitely a hint. Soft does seem like a good idea. I wonder if it could be more blouse-like than jacket-like. The line drawing doesn't show the garment falling forward on the shoulder like the model does. That's interesting too. I like the model's version better because it highlights the architecture but I hope it's not simply uncomfortable.

      Your two cents is very welcome. I appreciate the feedback. I can see why this is one of your favourite puzzles. I find it equally fascinating. I can only "afford" to do this kind of sewing if I'm really careful about my buying. Yardage recycled or bought in the bargain center substantially reduced takes more time to sew up than reading a book which is my other favourite pastime and more expensive. I'm ahead of the library.

      I'll try to remember to get a gussied up picture. Not sure if I'll wear this one to the wedding in a few weeks or make another version. I'd definitely sew it again. I can see it as a warm winter dress.

    2. Hi Myrna! "I wonder if it could be more blouse-like than jacket-like." i think this could be key. You could choose a drapier, more lightweight fabric and then interface the key points you'd like to emphasize to create a bit more of the architectural line you like. You could also emphasize those lines thru fabric/pattern layout, topsticthing, etc.

      "The line drawing doesn't show the garment falling forward on the shoulder like the model does." i don't have the pattern art in front of me, so i'm flyin' blind, but the body needs more fabric at the back of the shoulder in order to accomodate it's movement - even more for linebacker types (like me!). It could be that the pattern drafter wanted the pattern to 'look' a certain way without really thinking about how it would look on the body...but after all your fitting experience you have a better idea of how a shoulder that will work for you should look and you can take that into account.

      oh, i have to run. thank you so much for your nice words! have a fun friday and a great weekend!!!! steph

  5. A definite big YES to the dress. It shows off your curves in your upper body , draws the eye past your hips , elongates your body and the fabric is gorgeous and suits you perfectly. Perfect.

    1. VBG - after that compliment, I definitely want another one. Thanks.

  6. I had a crazy day yesterday (Liam and 4 teenage friends) so so much for concentration, thinking...just feeding them! Your dress looks beautiful. The colours work so well and the fit (closer to your hips) and then cascades past. Just awesome!
    I'll have my fingers crossed for Kyle!


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