Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Almost Like Winning The Lottery

What fun to get all that feedback yesterday on the skirts. THANK YOU so much. It's definitely given me a lot to think about. It's true that I feel much better in clothing that is closer to the body and it would seem that's because I actually look better in clothing that is closer to the body. Good to know. Must have something to do with all those curves and flowing around them instead of jumping curve to curve and creating more bulk. LOL - I think.

Some projects seem to come together quickly and others take forever. I'm working on the M6286 blouse. It has a cap sleeve with a raglan configuration, an unusual center front panel, a wide lapel collar, and a split opening at center front which really means it has a lot going on.

I had to re-cut the sleeve because I'd traced the dart at the shoulder incorrectly and didn't have enough fabric to shape it properly. After reading the reviews, I decided an FBA was really important, did one, started sewing, decided I'd done it in the wrong place, unpicked the pieces, re-drafted the FBA, re-cut and re-stitched the pieces and have now decided an FBA was most likely not even needed. This is the really slow version of slow sewing.

I asked Howard if he thought I'd lost some weight and he said a bit. Just a bit? In the last few weeks, I've lost almost ten pounds which is strange. Why so suddenly with not much effort but - that aside - it's always interesting to me how I proportion weight and how I lose and gain it. Typically my weight goes on my hips first and my bust last but comes off my bust first and my hips last however, unlike the typical ten pounds per size, I have to gain or lose twenty pounds to change sizes... except my bust... and I think that's what's happened here.

I think all of those pounds have come off my bust line. The measuring tape is telling me that a FBA was most likely not needed. I'll finish this top, see what I think, and decide if I'm sewing the pattern again. If so, I want to take a careful look at the darts in the back. They come right up to the underarm level and create a puffy back. I'd want to change that.  Unless it looks horrible on, I think I will sew it again. The pattern comes together nicely and it seems to be quite flattering.

I watched a few more episodes of the Craftsy course Fast Track Fitting and had to quit. It was starting to frustrate me especially when a key measurement like the center back length was not even taken. The how-to is very vague. The adjustment demonstrations are not based on real measurements. With some of her advice, there was a high potential for creating other issues such as with the armhole. The adjustment for the shoulder to bust point length was made not below the armhole but through the armhole which increases the length of the armhole and would then cause adjustments to the sleeve and potential disproportion between the front and back armhole. Just because you have a low bust does not mean you have a huge armhole.

Although there are plenty of "this is the best course ever" type comments, I wouldn't recommend it, especially not for a beginner who doesn't already have an understanding of pattern alteration. The reason I mention the course is that I have a lot of learning and experience with altering patterns and my success levels have been steadily increasing. I may not like a style on me but it's increasingly rare for a garment not to fit. That wasn't true at one point.

I highly recommend Lynda Maynard's book Demystifying Fit and her method of altering patterns based on a fitting shell. It is SO worth the work and has made such a positive impact on my sewing. It's not an easy book to read with its case studies but the information - pure gold - and combined with a fitting shell - almost like winning the lottery.

With the M6286 style of blouse, I wasn't sure how to use my usual altering methods because some of the reference points were substantially different. I made my best choices and now I'm making what is essentially a muslin. It may not fit me in the bust but it will fit me everywhere else and it will fit someone else. Good enough. It's been good learning to think the alterations through from a new perspective and - at the same time - reinforces how valuable all the learning I've done has been and how important my fitting shell has become to my sewing.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - feedback


  1. Thanks for your comments on the Craftsy Class. I find the "reviews" at the site to be worthless. Nearly all are "glowing" without mentioning real content or particular insight. I've read that Craftsy regularly deletes any unflattering reviews. I've taken 2 classes so far and am not pleased with their 'professional' presentations. In truth, I've learned more from a single Threads article than either class. Thanks for steering me away

    1. You're welcome. I think it's really important to get honest feedback. I've only taken two workshops - this one and Lynda Maynard's and while I enjoyed Lynda's, her book was FAR more informative and I thought she made the process harder than it needed to be by not utilizing the multi-sized pattern. I guess in the end we all need to find out what works for us.

  2. I treated myself to a day of reading fiction (as I gear up for the school year) so didn't get back to my computer until later last night. I agree with most of the comments about your skirt, but remember as Kristin of K.Line says, it's about what makes you happy, not necessarily what is flattering (I'm paraphrasing here). One thing I did notice (and a few mentioned) is that you often wear interesting jewellery that draws the eye to your face, which you didn't have for the camera session yesterday. While it wouldn't necessarily make anything more flattering, it would likely be less noticeable.
    Interesting about what you say about the Craftsy courses. And the comment above as well. I've never taken one, and honestly find a book or magazine reference more help (old school, I guess). I'll have to try one sometime, though to see what I think.
    I love the top and will be excited to see it on you. It's not something that would work on me as the combo of my narrow shoulders and it's wide neckline are disaster.

    Well, it's sort of a work day for me today. I want to get to it so I can enjoy some "free" time later this afternoon,

    1. I'm glad you had a lazy day. So important with school about to start again soon. The pictures weren't styled at all. My goal was to compare what the skirts did to my hips. It was informative. I do agree that jewelry is a key factor in my look.

      I'm a self directed learner, predominately through books. I find most magazine articles far too simplistic. For me it's about connecting the dots - a bit of info here plus a bit there suddenly makes X (whatever I'm trying to figure out) make sense. Good thing I enjoy puzzles.

      I think this top could work well for you if you did the work of adjusting it to your narrow shoulders because the neckline would give them width. It'd be the narrow back and narrow chest adjustments we talked about.

      Enjoy your afternoon.

  3. I have been working on the Craftsy fitting course taught be Lynda Maynard. It is excellent if you have someone to help with the fitting. I was lucky enough to meet up with others in the Seattle area and had a fitting session. I had considered the Fast Track Fitting course, but now I'm glad I didn't take it. Craftsy will only post the good reviews, so it is hard to get a good assessment of some of the courses. I have to say Lynda's class is great.

    1. Lynda's is the only other Craftsy course I've taken. I enjoyed it and I thought she did a good job of explaining but I also thought she made the task far more complicated than it needed to be by not utilizing the multiple sizes on the pattern. Her book - though case studies - then shows how to use that fitted shell to adjust patterns. The two together are fabulous.

      I didn't realize Craftsy manipulated the reviews and of course I don't know for sure but either way, that's not a good reputation to have. It makes one doubt the value of the product. I feel that way when there are only good reviews about something because it doesn't make sense. Not everything will appeal to every person and someone somewhere will have learning to add to the content and some input for improvement is more the norm.

  4. Very interesting about the Fast-track fitting class. I've done Lynda Maynard's class but I'd read the Joi McMahon's was indeed a 'fast-track' and had it on my wishlist. As I do need to increase vertical length between shoulder and apex, maybe this won't be as helpful as I'd thought - perhaps I'd be better off bungling through on my own as usual (I know, I'm being lazy and hoping that someone will present me with the magic formula for a great fit for me).

    1. You'd need to decide for yourself but typically dropping the bust point means adding length between the underarm and the bust point as opposed to through the armhole.... Unless you have really long armholes.


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