Friday, January 20, 2017

Stitch By Stitch

After today, I have one more week of shadowing at the salon and then a week of holidays before starting my regular schedule. Routine works for me so I'm really looking forward to re-establishing one and to moving forward from there.





Above left is the side seam of the Burda 7062 pants I was working on last week. I sewed the facings to the front and back separately to allow for continued fitting as I lose more weight. To finish, I matched...






... the waist seam and then sewed up the side seam across the facing. On a skirt or a pair of pants, this will allow you to take in the side seam without having to do a lot of unpicking and fiddly fixing. The new side seam is then tapered into the previous one.





In the previous post, I planned to use this pant pattern as a blank canvas. NOT. Taking photos of the side and back views reminded me of my outline which hasn't altered with losing weight. A fitted pant leg - like tights - or a wider pant leg looks good on my figure but not one with limited ease because my calves protrude further outward than my behind. This pulls the fabric backward shifting the side seam and creating crease lines from the hip to back calf. This is not a fitting issue. It's my shape. Unless tucks, darts, or a princess seam was used at the back calf, it's virtually impossible to fit this shape smoothly. Which is why...





... I moved on to a skirt. Until I reach my goal weight, I'm more concerned with being clothed than with fitting issues. Burda 8213 has been a favourite skirt pattern for years. When I first returned to sewing fashions in...





... January 2010, this was one of the the first garments I sewed. My traced patterns are marked with the date and my measurements at that time so I will quickly know which pattern to use. WHAT FUN to pull this out and see that I'm back to the same weight I was then. A whole bunch of "stress weight" is gone. YES YES January 2010 is a significant date. It's when I made the decision to stop creating textile art and return to fashions. Apparently, I've had a seven year cycle of working through the impact of that decision.





This week, I reached another five pound increment and am wearing my "twenty-five pound" necklace. Because I have more weight to lose, I serged around each skirt piece individually and then sewed the sections together leaving the waist unfinished. None of the seams at the waistband are stitched across so I can take them in as needed and finish the facing when I'm ready. With a top over, no one will know my skirt isn't finished unless I tell them.





The skirt is for next Wednesday when we're having a spring themed potluck at work. I am making a top to go with. I started with the Butterick 5786 pattern from November because although I don't want that hemline, the pattern is traced and fitted and the shirt fits comfortably so it's a good starting point. 





On top, I traced the shirttail hemline from one of my favourite patterns,out of print Butterick 5678. With this pattern, the width wasn't correct but all the lengths were and transferring that useful information to a fitted pattern combined the best of both.

Tuesday was my coaching session with Diane. One of the things we talked about was when to sew. Before, when I was a hairstylist thirty years ago, I got up early to sew before work. Later, when I had children and a business, I continued that routine and have been doing it ever since which means I don't need to develop a new one now. This is especially good as by the time I get home from work in the evening I'm exhausted and the couch calls louder than the studio. I knit, read, or nap - LOL.

I've heard a lot of people say they have no time to sew. For me, it's a matter of making time and then stitch by stitch finishing a project even if it's with as little as ten or fifteen minutes a day. On Monday, I chose the skirt pattern and fabric and cut out the pieces. On Tuesday, I serge finished all the pieces and sewed the front and back sections together. On Wednesday, I inserted the invisible zipper, sewed the side seams, and finished the hem. Done. Wearable. On Thursday, I traced the front and back blouse pieces and altered the hemline and cut out the pieces. This morning, stitch and finish the center back and side seams and work and start making decisions about the sleeves and collar. It's roughly a garment a week and that - or less - is a routine that works for me especially since I don't think I've ever had 52 garments in my closet.

Speaking of routine - my intention is to post once a week on Fridays for the next while and see how that works. Hopefully good but time will tell.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - maintaining and re-establishing routine

12 comments:

  1. Hello! I was just admiring your blog and we have a lot of common interests! I'm currently in my second year of university (studying fine art) and I was just wondering if you may have a few suggestions for me. I'm very much interested in historical costume, lace, pattern and delicate embroidery - I base a lot of my work on it. I'm considering creating work using a bodice as my inspiration but my tutors wish for me to come out of my structured comfort zone and be more messy with my textiles since I've already crossed this boundary with my painting. I'm struggling to think of ways to do this aside from thread lace (I loved your post on this from 2013! Really inspired me!). I was wondering if you could help me in anyway? I'm open to suggestions!

    Good luck with your upcoming work!

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    1. When I think of using a bodice as inspiration, I think of it simply as the shape of the blank canvas much like a rectangle or a square would be. It's the basic structure under the details and within that structure there is a lot of freedom. What kind of balance or hemline would be less structured? How could the bodice be sewn together in non traditional ways like safety pins or rivets or ? ? ? How could adding wire and more structural and malleable components to the embroidery and lace create new movement? Could layers be used in some kind of wispy way? Does the opening need to be at center front or... ? What kind of closures would compliment the rest of the details? When I'm working on a project like this, I start with one idea that works and then allow the garment to grow from there. You may need to give your tutors more information than that but say you started with the idea of malleable elements that would create evolving movement... where could that take you? HAVE FUN!

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    2. I love that you asked open-ended questions to her as sugggestions! This is how I spark my own creativity. In asking "What If and How" questions!

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    3. LOL - that's the teacher in me coming out.

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  2. You have such a positive creative attitude. I read a lot of sewing blogs and you're at the top of my list because I always feel so encouraged to develop my creativity. I returned to clothes sewing a few years ago (after a 15 year break caused by health issues) and wanted to expand my range just a little more. In November, I signed up for a Stitchers' Lounge and now I'm learning the intricacies of crazy quilting. I can't knit (have tried that venue several times), but I do find it really relaxing to do a few rows of hand embroidery every evening. Good luck with your new job and routine. And, congratulations on your weight loss!

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    1. Happy return to sewing clothes. It's such an interesting avenue of expression and I love the bonus of wearing what I'm making. The crazy quilting idea could cross over into a pair of jeans or a skirt or a jacket working with texture or difference color schemes or monochromatic schemes and with simple details like stitching or more complicated embroidery ones. There's certainly room to play there and I think play and fun are the main ingredients to moving forward.

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  3. I agree about the sewing time, or lack thereof. I already am up at 5:30 am, and out the door to work shortly thereafter. I don't *want* to get up any earlier for sewing or exercise. I get home and my brain is tired. And in winter the sewing room is dark. And in summer, there's the garden. Weekends - too much time "wasted" on cleaning and supply run. And lets not forget the great time absorb-er called the internet. I really only feel like sewing during daylight hours for some reason. Is it the light? My mental energy? No clue. EGads! I don't mean to sound like such a whiner...

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    1. LOL - what about putting sewing first on the weekends and fitting the other stuff around it because there will always be chores. If you're like me, you need the creativity to energize those have to things. Having a developed habit gets me around any lack of energy and most "don't want to" feelings because ultimately I do want to be creative more than I want to (or even need to) do those other things.

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  4. I have this issue. My ass is flatter and lower than yours and I have managed to get a good back, and except for jeans, an almost perfect back. Not to say that it is easy, but you can work it out. The narrower the pant the harder it is to do it but it is doable. Sarah Veblen's class on Pattern Review is worth taking. She also will do a video or photo email exchange that is very reasonable. My tnt pants are pretty damn good. I do not buy pants patterns unless it is for details. I have a wider leg, a narrow leg and a ponte pant as separate drafts. That is what I use. I know that new patterns are seductive, but if you have a difficult fit it's not easy to keep using new patterns.

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    1. YES - when i'm ready to conquer pants again I'll look forward to any tips you have to share. I agree that having a few TNT patterns is a great idea especially since we can go so many places from there.

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  5. I have never commented on your blog, but so enjoy it! I am excited to go along with your new journey into employment...I turned 60 last year and have a few big plans up my sleeve so I feel slightly akin to you.
    As a (mediocre-but-love-it) seamstress, I love seeing your creations. I am trying to lose 12# that seems to want to cling to my middle for some reason (the nerve of uninvited liposity!!), so you are an inspiration in that department also...keep calm and keep sewing 8-). Della

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    1. Thanks for commenting. It's always nice to hear when someone is enjoying the blog. It encourages me to keep writing. What fun that you are moving in new directions. YES YES - enjoy.

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