Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Sewing For Millicent

For quite a few years, I worked with Pattern Master Boutique software which requires you to input a list of measurements including upper bust, full bust, under bust, waist, hip, thigh, and bicep along with your weight. Typically, I printed out my measurement chart and tucked it in the PMB file which means I know within a reasonable doubt that X weight = Y measurements which is why...

... I'm sewing for Millicent who is currently dialed down to a size between where I am now and where I'd like to be- forty-six pounds away. It's safe to assume that I'll need clothes in different sizes on the way down and - right now - I'd rather not have more clothes in this size. It's not fun sewing. Forty-six pounds sounds like a HUGE amount of weight especially for someone like myself who has put on fifteen pounds since August and has a history of an inability to lose weight. I'm done with that, more than ready for change. I am either certifiably crazy or completely committed. Let's go with committed.

PLUS... there's something really freeing and very creative about sewing a size other than your own. This is not such a bad thing. I fell asleep last night dreaming of seam samples probably because yesterday I went looking for inspirational images for the challenge I'm doing with my friend Sheri and found the Marta Alpaca Tunic Dress - $199.00 - above at Peruvian Connection.

It reminded me of one of my favourite patterns - Katherine Tilton's Vogue 8691. This is my most sewn pattern and I have it in all sorts of variations including lengthened into a dress. The PC tunic gives me some more ideas... not for the challenge... for a different dress. I love how we can be exploring one thing and find the answer to another.

The base pattern that I'm using for the challenge is Vogue 1408. What I particularly love about it is the fitted bodice, slim waist, and flared skirt and the multiple seam lines that provide play room. My on-line exploration was about ways to highlight the seams. The stitched patch on the Whipstitched Cashmere Pullover - $198.00 - from Anthropologie is an interesting option and...

... I liked the way the seams on the Zipped Ponte Pencil Skirt - $118.00 - also from Anthropoligie - stand out. It looks as if binding has been placed over the seams to create the raised, thicker look. It's not top stitching because the seam allowance are much narrower than this band and the look is raised. I don't see raw edges but that's one option - cut narrow strips, center them over the seam, and adhere in some way. The zippered front made me think about ways to close my dress as did...

... this detail of the Cassia Scoop Neck top - $68.00 - Anthopologie. With this challenge, we are only using one fabric so I'd need to come up with a way to define the edge without using lace but I love Love LOVE those little buttons and the pleat and then again...

... there are completely different possibilities tickling my creativity with the back of the Cutwork Tee - $48.00 - Anthropolgie. I like the gracefulness of the lines and the way the binding creates an added detail.

Above is the technical drawing of the pattern I'm using. With all those seams at the back there would be ways to create a similar but not identical kind of openness to the Cutwork Tee... or... LOL... to the buttoned look.

This detail from the Anthropolgie Lace Ways Pullover - $98.00 - had my mind bubbling. I might be able to create texture with a double needle and/or thread. After my search, I have plenty of ideas and today, I want to experiment with texture and different seaming and applique possibilities.

The fabric is a fabulous quality ponte knit that I picked up ten meters of in the bargain center for $2.00 a meter. GREAT buy and lots of fabric to explore with. I'll be showing bits and pieces of my work but not the final reveal until Sheri and I are both done.... since she reads my blog... and loves surprises... and that's good.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - that along with creativity coaching, Diane is willing to help me with my healthy living goals. I'm grateful to have accountability along the journey.

The pro stands at one remove from her instrument - meaning her person, her body, her voice, her talent; the physical, mental, emotional, and psychological being she uses in her work. She does not identify with this instrument. It is simply what God gave her, what she has to work with. 
- Steven Pressfield, The War of Art


  1. The black and white top is lovely!!!

    1. Thank you. I sewed it in May and wear it a LOT. I didn't mean to indicate it was new, just show Millicent... who next time will wear one that fits her snugger.

  2. Your black and white is gorgeous! And good luck with your life-style change, Im sure you will succeed with your attitude. Do you think the Pattern Master Boutique is worth buying, or is it finicky ? I see you do use alot of the Big 4 patterns as well, so not sure? .

    1. Thanks. It took me a LONG TIME to figure out PMB in the way that I wanted it to work. In the end, I hired a seamstress to fit me to a Butterick fitting shell and then I learned how to re-create that shell in PMB. After that, it was quite useful but I also ready Lynda Maynard's book DeMystifying Fit which shows how to use a block to alter any pattern. That allowed me to achieve fit in a whole new direction. Over time, I started knowing what I'd have to change and recognizing my shapes and now I don't use either - I alter what I know needs to be altered like center back length and/or a full bust adjustment and then just sew and fit as I go. I didn't want to design clothing. I wanted it to fit. I'd HIGHLY recommend Linda's book. You can get it on PatternReview.com.


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