Friday, July 17, 2015

Long time – no see

Effective immediately, my sewing projects will be on view on my Another Creation Facebook page.  Feel free to take a look and comment.

Hope to see you there.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Listening to Fabric

My original plan for this fabric was to make a dress.  I searched my pattern collection and Burda index for a dress with simple styling.  I thought I found one.  The  July 2014 issue of Burda Style Magazine showed a very simple dress pattern in style 129.

But, every time I went into the sewing room I heard a small whisper: "I don't want to be a dress."  Lori, at Girls in the Garden, does an excellent job of matching fabric to the right pattern.  I asked myself, "What would Lori do?" And realistically, it was a little late in the season to sew a sleeveless dress.  So, I listened to the fabric and even though I really liked the pattern, I decided against the dress in favor of a skirt.  I went back to my pattern collection and chose an oldie but goodie, Kwik Sew 3276.

Listening to fabric has always been a problem for me.  There have been countless times when I was disappointed because my fabric/pattern match-up was wrong.  

I though it was as simple as this:

But there is more to consider:

I'm okay with the drape and weight.  It's prints that give me trouble.  Many sewers can match pattern to fabric instinctively.  I need to put deliberate thought into my fabric–pattern match-ups.  But I take heart.  It's not too late.  This is a skill that can be learned.  

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Finished: KwikSew 3586

I've sewn this pattern at least 159,375 times. If I had a nickel for every time I've made this blouse, I could buy the Bernina 710 and Horn Cabinet I'm currently coveting.  Well … maybe I'm overstating the number of time I made this blouse, but it certainly feels like 159,375 times.  However, this time is noteworthy because I may have finally learned a lesson that continues to be extremely difficult for me.  I made the correct fabric/pattern match-up!  Of course, this was a no-brainer.  Oxford cloth - oxford shirt.  But, I'm still taking credit for it.

Pattern Description
Short sleeved shirt with yoke

Pattern Sizing
1x - 4x;  The design is available in Misses size range; KwikSew 3555

Fabric Used
Oxford cloth.  This cotton oxford cloth was almost as much fun to sew as linen.  It was very easy to press.

This blouse is very easy to sew, even if you haven't sewn it 159,375 times.  The instructions contain the method for sewing a standard yoke mentioned in the previous post.

I modified the "finger felling" shirt tail hem technique demonstrated by Pam Howard.  My modification involved pinning before sewing.  I didn't have the confidence to rely totally on finger felling.  When I make this shirt for the 159,376th time, I'll try to sew the hem without pinning it first.

This short sleeved shirt is certainly more successful than the last short sleeved shirt (McCall's 6932).  I wanted to re-establish a relationship with McVoguerick.  But why should I?  I get better results with other pattern companies – without making a muslin.  I gave McVoguerick a chance and they disappointed me.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Finished: McCalls 6932

Recently, I decided to relax my "All Burda, All the time" policy and reacquaint myself with the Big Four.  Big Four offered classic designs I liked that were perhaps too boring for Burda, whose designs are more contemporary and trendy.  I came to a realization during this process.  The problem is not the Big Four patterns;  the problem is me.  I don't like fitting and I refuse to make muslins.  If I'd made a muslin, I would have known the size I selected for this blouse was too big.

Pattern Description
This is a classic camp shirt.  The pattern can be used for both men and women.

Pattern Sizing

Fabric used
I used a linen blend.  I love sewing linen and this blend behaved very much like real linen.  It was easy to press and make neat corners on the pockets.  The only thing missing was the wrinkles!

Most sewers may be familiar with the method of attaching a standard style yoke entirely by machine.  With the standard style yoke, the fronts and back of the blouse are rolled up inside the yoke and the yoke facing can be sewn  entirely by machine.  The collar is sewn on after the yokes are attached.  M6932 is a blouse type yoke.  The method is different because the collar is attached to the neck seam before attaching the front facing and yoke facing units.  The  blouse unit and inside unit are constructed separately, the collar is sandwiched between the two units; then the units are sewn together at the neckline.  The front and back are rolled up into the yoke and the shoulder and back yoke seams are sewn, much like the procedure in the standard yoke.  I found directions for the blouse type yoke in Easy Guide to Sewing Blouses  (Long, 1997), part of the Sewing Companion Library (which is a great collection of books, though out of print).  I love the result, a very neat looking inside.

When I sew a Burda magazine pattern, I trace it and then I sew it.  I rarely make any pattern changes and, in most cases, I'm satisfied with the fit.  I can't follow the same procedure with McCall's, Butterick or Vogue.  Some pattern work is usually needed and I usually choose to not do it.  The resulting fit can be horrible and I don't wear the garment.  

I have decisions to make.  Do I hang on to my stubborn refusal to make muslins and end up with garments made from McVougericks that don't fit well?  I'm much happier with Burda garments that I can sew with minimal, if any alterations.  Do I resign myself to making muslins if I want to sew Big Four patterns?  Sometimes Big Four's boring classic designs are just what I want.  I have fabric for another blouse.  Do I make M6932 again in a smaller size?  Do I try another McVoguerick pattern?  Or do I return to old faithful Burda?  So many questions!  The immediate solution is not quite as bad as making a muslin. For now, I'll just have to take in the sides of this blouse.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Finished: BWOF 08-07-127 - Mom Jeans

I just about finished my Great Dress Project and I am moving on to my Great Jeans Project.  I need pants for my part-time, very casual work setting and jeans are the perfect choice.

The first challenge was finding the right pattern.  I wanted to get reacquainted with McVoguerick patterns so I chose McCall's 5894.  The fit was dreadful.  Enough said.

I went to my archives for Burda World of Fashion 08-07-127 and had better results.

Pattern Description:
Traditional 5 pocket jeans

Pattern Sizing:
European plus size range 44 - 52

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I wanted a TNT standard 5-pocket jeans pattern because I intend to make several pair for work.  I will be using this pattern again.

Fabric Used:
Cotton twill:  I wanted the look of 5-pocket jeans, but not necessarily in denim.

One thing, perhaps the only thing I liked about the McCall's jeans pattern was the fly treatments.  The fly facing was sewn on, not a cut-on extension and the finished fly looked like RTW jeans.  BWOF used the same fly treatment and I was equally happy with the results.  The usually confusing BWOF instructions were easier to understand because I was familiar with the process from the McCall's pattern,   in addition, Angela Wolf demonstrates a traditional fly in her Jeans Craftsy class.  I'm not sure Wolf's demonstration is exactly what BWOF was try to say.  Since BWOF instructions are not illustrated, Wolf's Craftsy class was indispensable.

On the waistband, I made a few changes in the order of construction.  The waist band had two separate sections: an inner waistband and an outer waistband.  I took advantage of this feature and sandwiched the belt loops between the two waistband pieces.

One of the fun things about sewing jeans is finding a design for the back pockets.  I chose a West African symbol known as Musuyidie (moo zoo EE DEE YEH).  It's a symbol that removes evil.

Although I want to expand my options and use McVogerick patterns  more,  this project reminded me why I turned away from those patterns.  For both the McCall's and BWOF patterns,  I selected the size according to my hip measurements and sewed both  patterns without alterations.  The difference in fit was astonishing.  No, the BWOF fit isn't perfect and yes,  there are wrinkles in the BWOF jeans. Purists would find much to change, but I'm satisfied. I can live with a few wrinkles.

Monday, June 16, 2014

OCD Sewer's Tip #1

I like to make pattern-fabric assignments as soon as I get the fabric in the sewing room.   But it can take many weeks, if not months, for me to get around to actually sewing the fabric.  So I had to come up with a way to remind me what pattern has been assigned to which fabric.  Enter Avery labels!

I print the pattern information and line drawing on Avery labels and stick the label to the fabric.

What could be easier!  Yes, I could stick just the pattern number on the fabric, but the technical drawing provides information and inspiration.  Two months from now, I won't remember that V8792 is a t-shirt with diagonal seams. If the picture is on the label, that won't be a problem.  I can also prioritize using the labels.  It's easier to decide what blouse I want to make by just looking at the technical drawings and fabrics together.