Friday, September 23, 2011

Come Visit Me!

The Brentwood campus of Suffolk Community College on Wicks Road is hosting a Home Show this weekend.  I'll be hosting in the booth I designed for John Sparrow Landscapes.  It's free and if you want to escape the rain, I'll be there this afternoon and tomorrow.   Come say hello!
Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 12, 2011

Can I Do Better Than These?

These jeans sell for $560 on Net a Porter.  Yes, they are by Chloe, but they don't fit her  very well.   See those wrinkles in the crotch? Ouch! I think I can do better than this and I am not a size 2.
To facilitate fitting the perfect pair of jeans I bought  Palmer Pletsch's new 2 disc dvd on fitting and sewing jeans.  It really covers everything you need to know about making jeans, or so I thought.

The DVD fits Marta first as well as 2 other women of different ages and shapes. It's definitely better done than some of their other dvd's and covers a lot of territory without spending 5 minutes taping the tissue. They show the usual tissue fitting and then,  instead of sewing up the pants with the zipper and details like pockets first and then pin fit,  they have you pin fit before you sew anything except for the front and back crotch.
Even though I carefully clipped the crotch for the tissue fitting so that it could be pulled up to touch my crotch the crotch depth was a good 1" too deep in the denim.  I had to really drop the back crotch and sew a deeper center back seam to straighten it out even though I already had lowered it during the tissue fitting.  I had to  pull up the center back to get rid of wrinkles below the rear end, a lot. It looked pretty good so I started sewing, putting in a zipper and doing the pockets.  I basted all the seams together and put them back on.  Hmm.  Not bad, but not really good enough.  I still had some wrinkles below the rear end and too much fabric at the lower crotch that I didn't catch in the pin fitting. This really can't be fixed once you've cut out the pants. The front pockets weren't wide enough either. Remember I copied these from a rtw pair that used to fit?  I graded them up but I didn't make the front pockets wider.  Unfortunate that, but since I had other issues I decided that these were a muslin.  Nice denim but if they weren't a great fit I wasn't going to wear them anyway. I added a cb seam for the waistband, but it was also too big in the waist so I took it in a good inch or more using small darts in several places around waist in the tissue to take care of this. I have a pretty curvy high hip to waist and this  makes it  work for me.

After cutting and  fitting these jeans I saw Peggy Sagers fitting videos on her website and gee she had one for fitting jeans that comes at it from a totally different perspective than Palmer Pletsch  does.  She recommends using denim for your jeans muslin, which I ended up doing if inadvertently.  I pinned a dart out below the zipper and another one below my rear end that took excess fabric out.  Also something she shows on the video.I also added back some fabric at the upper cb where the pants were pulling down (below the yoke as you don't want to change that size of that). Remember, I pulled it up here to get rid of wrinkles.  She does not advocate scooping out which is a big aspect of fitting rear ends for PP.  That's actually putting it mildly.  She's very opinionated about it, but she does get results.  Sagers recommends just using your muslin to cut your pants, but I find that awkward, so I transferred my changes to the pattern.  She also  suggests that instead of lining up your back pockets with the yoke seam that you line up the side of the pocket with the cb seam.  I went to Net a Porter and looked at how pockets were sewn on high end jeans and sure enough the most becoming had the pockets sewn almost parallel to the cb.  I was also looking for a treatment for those pockets and the high end jeans had very simple understated topstitching which is perfect for me. In fact, I think I'll use black topstitching to be even more understated. The back pocket needed to be a bit larger as well.  Large rear, bigger pocket looks more proportional.  I think that I am pretty close to a good fit now,  certainly  better than I can get in rtw.  
One other issue I encountered is using a contour band makes it very stretchy as the whole thing can't be cut on the straight grain, or the non stretch direction while PP only has you interface the buttonhole area on both ends, I doubt that's going to work for me.   If I don't interface I'm going to be wearing these around my ankles.  I think that I'll cut the interfacing along a different grainline so that I end up stabilizing the waistband. Did I see this on your blog Sirgrid?  It's a great idea. 
 On to cutting out my next pair, hopefully this time a totally wearable pair. 

I have one question for you readers, if I am not going to tuck my shirt in or wear a belt with them, do I need to use the belt loops? 

Friday, September 9, 2011

And The Winner Is!

The last time I won something?  Well I can't remember, that is until today when I opened my Hot Patterns e mail.  It is their 6th anniversary and if you buy a pattern during the month of September you  will be entered  in the  weekly drawing running during the month of September  to get that pattern free.  Unless there's another Nancy K from New York, I won the first drawing!  I bought the motorcycle jacket pattern to use with my leather from Fabric Marts half price sale.  

 I was going to use a Burda pattern with an off set zipper and collar, but I think that  this will be an easier wear and easier to sew.  There is also a Mannequim jacket that looks like a Rick Owens knockoff but talk about difficult, just finding it on the pattern map was a challenge. There are a lot of pattern pieces and I don't have that much experience sewing leather.  I want to get this done to wear this fall, not next spring!  This has good lines for me, semi fitted, but not too tight and the length is good for wearing over other pieces.
Thank you Hot Patterns, it was a nice start to my day.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

It's Been Awhile

 We've had a busy summer:  a wedding in California, visiting family, meaning Jakob of course, and having computer issues, all of which pushed blogging to the bottom of the list.  I did do a little sewing after the wedding outfit and spent a lot of time cleaning up the sewing room, moving summer fabrics into the closet, moving  fall fabrics out and planning my fall sewing. 
I made the ubiquitous Vogue 1250 like so many others.  The biggest issue I encountered with this was getting it enlarged to fit my hips and then getting it to fit on the fabric.  I ended up cutting it on the cross grain.  If I make this again I think I'll resort to creating a side seam.
To refresh your memory, this is what it looks like on the tall, skinny model,

This is what it looks like on me.  That's Lily by the way wanting in on the picture taking. We adopted her in June from Arf or the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons.  I highly recommend them if you are looking for a dog on Long Island. 

Anyway, back to sewing.  I won't do a review of this; there are lots of reviews out there already, but I will show you what I did to make it fit my hips.  Even thinner people complained that it ran snug in the hips so I was cautious.  First I made an fba adding a dart, which I think that you can just make out.  Then I copied the side hip dart and put it aside.  After slitting the side seam and adding the room I needed I taped it  in place positioning the point of the dart with the center of my addition.  It worked and I have enough room for it to fit nicely.  It did however no longer fit the width of my fabric, so I cut it on the cross grain.  The fabric is a rayon knit from Emmaonesock that while thin was very easy to work with.  It didn't roll at all.  Nice quality as always from EOS.

The second piece I worked on was this top from Hot Patterns Riviera Cote D'Azur knit dress, tunic and top.  I made the top.  I love it.  I wish I'd made it earlier in the season because the dress would have been the perfect summer piece.

Description: V neck knit top with center front and back seams. The cf is gathered to a facing piece at the bust and then sewn together.  I didn't make an fba on this.

Fabric: A rayon knit from Mood that was printed and then overprinted(the black) to make a border print along one edge.  I again resorted to cutting it on the crossgrain.  I did not buy enough to put the print at the top as I originally planned, but this worked out well.

Instructions: Minimal, but this is so easy they are fine.
Pattern alterations: all I did was to shorten this a bit.

This   is an easy top and comfortable to wear.  The neckline is a bit low, but my bust is low so there's not a lot of cleavage showing.  I am comfortable with this, but if your bust is higher or you don't like low necklines, I'd consider raising it a bit.
If you live in the southern hemisphere, I'd really think about making not only the top but the dress.  Perfect pattern for hot summers.

What am I working on now?  Jeans, finally.  I have a pair of rtw jeans that are too tight but when they fit, they fit well.  When I took KK's moulage class he suggested that I copy  and grade them up.  I've done that and  I am fitting them now, but I'll leave that for my next post.  I will however leave you with a picture of Jakob.