Thursday, March 31, 2011

Jacket Update

First muslin of my jacket and I was ready to trash it and look for something else.  Claire Kennedy  to the rescue.  She made some suggestions and I altered the pattern to eliminate both the welt pocket and the fact that the lower side is not attached and stands away from the body and is just not flattering or practical.  I altered the jacket to one, enable me to attach the curves to the jacket side and only leave an opening for a small pocket in the front curved seam.  Good for a lipstick or tissue or just interest.  I have actually never made a pocket like this in a seam so I have to look for some instructions, though I think I know what to do. I loved how the front fit, so it made it worth doing more alterations to the jacket and I am ready to make another muslin.

I love the fabric I bought and I am waiting for some 4 ply silk crepe samples for the pants.  Not making the pattern pants, but I am going to take my tnt pattern and widen the legs a lot to give a full pant.  For those of you who have forgotten what I am sewing, after all it's been awhile, here it is again.  I like the width of these pants, but not the pleated front.  Maybe I'll make them a little narrower because I cannot wear much of a heel.

I found this really nice silk and metallic fabric from Marcy Tilton for the jacket.  I like the face of the fabric on the left, though either is probably ok.  The picture on the right has some silk charmeuse of the color I am looking for in 4 ply silk crepe.  In real life both fabrics are cooler. 

By the way, I ordered my samples from Mood's online site and guess what?  They have finally fixed it and it no longer acts like you are using dial up instead of the very nice fast dsl line that I use.   I can now recommend their site; especially for dyed to match silks in all types and lots of
colors.  They should be here today.  or tomorrow.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Living With Pain

Lots of people live with pain for a variety of reasons.  When your doctors can't figure out why you are in pain it's even worse.  Right before my plantar fasciatis got bad I went to my doctor complaining about lower abdominal pain severe enough to finally come in.  This was last June.  She sent me to a gastroenterologist who proceeded to perform numerous tests and found nothing.  He sent me to my gynecologist who looked at all my tests and she said,  you're post menopausal so it's not gynecological.  Lose weight.  Well, yeah I want to lose weight  but I was more interested finding out why I was in pain, by then it had been months.  Good news, you don't have cancer, but we don't know what's wrong with you.  I left depressed and  angry with her attitude.  At this point I decided to go back to my primary care physician and asked her to look globally at my pain and  lack of other  symptoms and see if she could look beyond what the specialists had looked at.  My pain is very close to the surface when palpated.  She thought about it and decided to send me to a woman who specializes in woman's urology  at Stony Brook Hospital.  It took several months to get an appointment with her but it turned out that she actually had a diagnosis and a treatment. She sees lots of women with this problem.  That was in December.  She was wonderful, one of those doctors who actually listen and pay attention to what you are saying.  I don't know that there is a medical name but she said that I have what's known as pelvic pain and  mine is muscular.  There are several other causes.

But, getting treatment turned out not to be so easy.  The two very specialized physical therapists she refers  did not take my insurance.  I could only find someone who could do external pt and the low dose valium I was taking  which was  working turned out to turn me into a zombie.  I couldn't focus and couldn't stay awake in the evening and had trouble waking up.  I didn't feel safe driving so I stopped taking it and called the office.  She prescribed  a larger dose to be taken internally once a day.  I won't go into details, but the generic form wouldn't dissolve.  The insurance company wouldn't pay for the brand name which does dissolve.  $100 for a drug that's been around for how long?  I am still waiting for their decision on whether they will  cover it.  Oh, and by the way during this we changed insurance companies and the recommended therapist takes the new insurance.   So for the last 2 weeks I've been finally doing the therapy my doctor recommended.  It's painful and exhausting and time consuming especially since the office is 30 minutes away.  Hopefully it will also work.

I decided to write about this because there must be other women who have the same problem and haven't found a diagnosis either.   My physical therapist said that her boss is working with a doctor doing research on this.  It's not rare, but the doctors I went to weren't aware of it.  There are medical centers where all your doctors are in one place and actually talk to each other.  If that had been my experience I doubt it would have taken 6 months to get a diagnosis. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Moulage a la Kenneth King

Yesterday was the third and last session of my moulage class with Kenneth King.   It was a success; I now have a moulage and a set of slopers to work with to fit garments for myself.  Beyond that it was a pleasure to take a class with him.  He is a wonderful teacher and generous with his knowledge and a great raconteur.  Those extra little details on sewing and fit that I got from him were invaluable to my future sewing.  I wish that Alex was around so that I could make a moulage for her.

We were 10 women and we paired up for taking measurements. Both my partner and I must have done a good job measuring because her muslin needed no adjustments and mine needed adjustment for my low shoulder, we had measured my high side,  and a little taking in at my high hip which has been a challenge to fit over the years.  He was very hands on in this class, going around to each of us with infinite patience so that we got it right and answering any questions we had.  He took our muslins and marked the changes and transferred  them to  our moulage patterns.  Some women needed their side seams straightened out as they were pulling to the back or front  Very much like Claire Kennedy did for me when I was fitting my pants.  That side seam needs to be straight and perpendicular to the floor, not just for fit, but for a flattering fit.  I was thrilled and sort of amazed at how close the fit really was for me; my body is certainly no where near that perfect fitting model size.  It was also  interesting to see all the variations in our patterns.  No wonder it's so hard to get rtw to fit!

Today I sewed the right shoulder lower, and adjusted the high hip on my muslin so that I could put it on my dress form and adjust it to the moulage. I have one of those duct tape dress forms. I needed to pad out the shoulders a bit and I have to do some surgery on the arms.  They are causing some wrinkling on the back, but other wise it fits pretty well.  My next project is to draft sleeves for my moulage from KK's basic sleeve book.  We took the necessary measurements to draft sleeves to fit our moulage's in class.  Pattern review has all his cd's and if you are a member you get a 10% discount. They also have Linda Maynard's Demystifying Fit cd that he recommends for using with  your slopers to fit commercial patterns.  I ordered it this morning. 

 You can see the wrinkles on the back right shoulder where I need to do some surgery on my form.  Other than that I might  actually be able to  drape garments and pin fit to my shape with less time and   trouble. You can also see that my dress form narrows at the bottom.  My moulage also looked like that , but Kenneth suggested I straighten it out for a more flattering fit, which is why the muslin looks big at the bottom.   Trust your common sense and your instincts when it comes to fitting.
KK says that he can measure and draft a moulage and set of slopers in about an hour!

If you have the opportunity to  take a class with Kenneth, by all means do so.  It was worth every penny and while it was hard work, it was also fun and rewarding.

I haven't been doing any sewing since I finished my coat.  Lots of things going on.  But taking Kenneth's class has certainly inspired me to get back to the sewing room so I look forward to some good clothing coming out of that room!  Now that I've taken the class I will be making a muslin of the Miyake jacket and then, if I like it I'll be taking a trip into the city to look for fabric.
Happy sewing.