I love you Gertie! I have boobs!

Hello there, I’m back from a little vacation, freshly baked and tan-line enriched in spite of wearing SPF 60 THE WHOLE TIME. Yes, we were camping in THAT heatwave. We were camping in a tent. It was effin hot! But pretty!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese days I seem to be playing catch-up, with almost everything in my life. To keep with this tradition, let me fill you in on this major revelation that I had maybe 2 months ago. You see, I bought Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing. I will not be reviewing it, since everyone else has already reviewed it backwards and forwards. Let me just tell you that I loved it, sooooooo so much, in so many different ways! And the patterns! Gasp! Immediately I decided to start with the Portrait Blouse. Ugh. Why does it look so good on her, and so bad on me? Then I decided that it must have been the “sleeves”, they were just too sticky-outy on me. So I decided to cut the sleeve a bit shorter, with an intention of making a few copies of the blouse, eventually turning it into a tank. Also, I did not bother with the tucks on the front and back, since I wanted a bit more room in the waist. Version #1 turned out like this:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASomething was off. Those folds just above my boobs? Yeeeeees, that’s it! But I did a nice job with the self-made bias binding around the sleeves and neckline.

Version #2 turned out like this:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMore tank-y, and I took care of the folds by pinching out the excess fabric above my bust and making darts. It helped. This print struck  me as being very feminine, so I kicked it up a notch by adding a lace trim to the hem:

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Isn’t it pretty? I love this print…

Version #3 went like this:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI made it out of a beach cover-up that my mother-in-law brought me from Thailand or Bangladesh or something like that, gazillion years ago. I was quite convinced that I washed it before, after all there must have been a beach excursion that I wore it to? So I did not  pre-wash it. It turned out nice, same bias tape technique around neck and armholes. More of a tank. I wore it, I washed it. And…

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It shrunk! So much! Awwwwwwwww…

So what’s my point here? Sure, pre-wash no matter what, bla, bla, bla… My point is that I need a full-bust adjustment! I had to put myself through the whole “reinventing the wheel” (aka pinching out the folds above my bust and making darts nonsense), just so I could be faced with a hard reality that I have boobs. Above average, whether I like it or not. There is no way around it, no use pretending that I’m a B cup. Now that I’ve settled and accepted this fact (as I mentioned before, this happened about 2 months ago), I pondered why it is that those who have them, try to ignore and deny them, or simply hate them. Those who don’t have so much of them covet the extra flesh, and often will pay big fat bucks to have the appearance of having bigger boobs. Human nature is truly boggling. It finally dawned on me that I needed to accept my body the way it is. If I want to sew fitting clothes, I need to sew for  my body the way it is, not the way I pretend it is… This realization of self-acceptance feels good: I am not angry at my body, just like I was angry when I realized I needed a swayback adjustment. I’m finding it amazing that I’m learning self-acceptance through sewing. Amazing!

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Or maybe I should just suck it in, and look confident, like it was meant to be so tight?

Care to share what sewing taught you?

PS. Off I go back to portrait blouse pattern to do the FBA, just to discover that the bust apex is not marked on the pattern… Bleh!

Pepluuuuuuuuuuuuum!

Hey, long time no see! Not for the lack of sewing, more for the lack of photographing opportunities. You see, I’ve been sewing up a storm, and even though I got some photos done today, I still have  five garments to snap. Oh snap (I just had to!)

But to the point, remember this?

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I had a bunch of this awesomely energetic zigzaggy knit left, I thought it was enough for a small skirt, but I was afraid to do something inappropriate with it.  I tossed and turned every night, thinking about what to do with it. It was calling my name all the way from the depths of my basement, and whenever I was near it, we exchanged tormented glances. At the same time, I kept thinking about what else I could do with it, but I did not want to do another top involving black panels, too much like the first top. Also, this whole entire time, I was longing for a peplum top. And finally I put two and two together aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASee? I got a peplum top! The journey that took me there was long and convoluted, but once I decided that I would make peplum out of that zigzag, I quicly drafted it and cut it out. I did not have enough fabric to cut it all out in one piece, so I did it in halves. Then I discovered that I screwed up my math or something (surprise, surprise) and it was not a circle. So I added two wedge-shaped pieces on each side, and abandoned the project for a few weeks. When I was ready to resume, I decided that I would do a panel of zigzag in the front, but I really, really did not want to sew up another boring black t-shirt from scratch. So I did not, I found a brand new men’s basic T, which was totally hideous and a bit too tight, and I would never get any wear out of it. Since you’re dying to see how fugly it was, here you go:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI know, right? I cut out the centre piece, serged it in place (with white thread, doh), cut out a V-neck, and… Abandoned it for several weeks again. Finally, I got my grove back. I attached the neckband, decided that I liked the sleeves the way they were, attached the peplum (I even reinforced the waist with an elastic) and discover that it looked like a figure-skating outfit. Doom and gloom, I was so bummed out I forgot to take a picture at that stage. And then I decided to revisit StephC’s of 3HoursPast post on peplums. As always, illuminating! You see, when it goes to getting proper technical advice on how things are done, that is the place to go. I will admit that about 65% of what I know about working with knits I know from Steph’s blog. She is an absolute treasure and a mine of priceless information. I know all that because I’ve been lurking on her blog for a long, long time. But I digress. I found what the problem was, my peplum was too long. So I cut it, did a rolled hem with the serger (no patience left for anything fancy). Ta-da.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd here’s the back:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd the best thing about it, is that it’s still a T-shirt!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI wonder how many peplum t-shirts can I cram into my wardrobe? How many peplum tops do you have? And how many would you like to have?

PS. All the remaining zigzag scraps went into the garbage. Don’t call my name no more, I need to sleep!