You all know it, you’ve all made it. But I still can’t decide if it’s a “meh” or “ye” for me… Grainline Scout Tee.
Maybe it is that I did the Full Bust Adjustment? I used the brilliant method that brilliant Susan posted on her blog moonthirty. Like Susan, I thought that having a woven tee that has no bust darts was very appealing, but now I wonder if bust darts (or lack of thereof) are a big deal at all? I feel like I have tons and tons of fabric billowing in front of my stomach, because you cannot add all that volume to the top, without adding even more to the bottom…
Or maybe it’s the fabric, a bit too matronly? Yeah, but what do ya expect young lady (snort!) when you buy 4 yards of this polyester glory for $5 for the entire piece?
And what is that weird drag line going from the shoulder to the armpit? I actually dislike the whole sleeve situation, I do not like the cap sleeve (not that I don’t like THIS sleeve, it’s just that I do not like cap sleeves at all)…
As a matter of fact, I don’t like it so much that I decided to ruin 1.5 yards of beautiful, golden coloured silk on making a dress that I hacked from this pattern. What was I smoking, I wonder?
Oh well, we’ve all done that… Let’s forgive and forget, there, there, pat-pat…
Actually, this is my muslin, the only alterations that I’ve done to the original pattern was the aforementioned FBA and I made the shoulders narrower. OK, I changed my mind: for a wearable muslin I quite like it! I actually wore it a few times already. And I YEARN to tweak this pattern to the point that it will become THE perfect piece and a go-to pattern for me. Dream big, baby, dream big!
For a long time a bad sewing mojo seemed to have been hanging over me, like a purplish-blue cloud. Oh no, that’s my hair! NOTHING was coming out right. Not even a t-shirt… My frustrations were overwhelming, until the time I reminded myself: Hey, it’s supposed to be fun! It’s supposed to be relaxing! Start from the beginning!
So I did…Enter the Perfect Pattern Parcel #3. I bought it because Oona said to buy it. I made the Bombshell swimsuit too, but I still have some major bumps to deal with (the ones in the front, namely)… In the meantime I decided to make the Staple Dress by April Rhodes, it promised to be quick and dirty, just how I like it… And it was. No darts, no closures, only 4 pattern pieces, and if you use pre-made bias tape, there are only 2 pattern pieces! Unheard of!!! I was a little bit afraid it would look too baggy if I cut XXL, and too tight in the chest if I cut XL, so I cut the front XXL and XL back, because I was too lazy to grade between the sizes. Seemed to have worked out OK. Except the neckline was gaping, so I put a little pleat in the middle.
After I put the dress together, it looked quite plain and I wanted to jazz it up a bit. I used small, rectangular studs to make a little pretend collar. I love it!
Another thing that I changed in this pattern is the sleeve. It was just a simple cap sleeve, but I cut a rounded slit on it, since a cap sleeve tends to add optically to my horizontal dimensions…
I also omitted shirring the waist. I tried, lord knows I tried… My machine has a top-loading bobbin, so there is a bit of surgery required, as two YouTube videos assured me, but supposedly one can do shirring on such a machine. Not only did I fail miserably with the shirring, but also I had a super-hard time getting the bobbin tension to where it should be for normal sewing. Must have taken me at least an hour, with this stupid tiny screwdriver, screwing the screwditty-doo. Belts, belts I tell ya!
But hey, all is well that ends well. I put the dress on at 2PM to take pictures, and I did not take it off at all until the bath time. I likeyyyyyyyy, it’s comfy and simple and polka-dotty.
So, what can you recommend to a girl to help her break through a bad spell of no sew-jo?
Been long enough, no? What have I been up to? Mostly scrubbing my hands, since two weeks ago I did this:
Manic Panic is a messy mistress, but I love me in this colour! And moving right along, I also painted the “art wall”, to a colour that totally clashes with my hair. Bad for taking blog pictures, but at least my living room looks better. And because it’s so bad for taking pictures, I will model my latest creations in front of this wall, even though the cleanup is not quite complete, and the baseboards… Sigh…
So, have you heard about “Jean-ius: Reverse Engineer Your Favorite Fit” from Craftsy (once again, I’m not being paid by Craftsy for this, maybe I should hit them up for some free courses)? Taught by Prof. Kenneth King, who is a true genius, his method of copying clothes is amazing. I need to say that the pair of jeans that I started with was not my favourite. I don’t think I ever had a fave pair of pants. Old Navy’s Diva came the closest, but when my last pair practically disintegrated from so much wear, I had to come up with something. Can’t buy any more, I am on a retail clothing fast, remember?
This is what you’re supposed to do to your pants. The idea is to mark all the necessary features of the pattern with thread, and when you’re done with taking the pattern you can pull the thread out and you can still wear your pants as if nothing happened. My pair was so dead that I got lazy and just drew on them with markers. It worked.
We can all agree that the fit to start with was not so great, but it was not catastrophic. And here’s what I came out with following King’s precise and crystal-clear instructions:
There were several snags, such as awfully butchered zipper installation (the top flap did not cover the zipper, gaaaaaah!). And also, I managed to hit a gnarly combo of marking my grain line wrong on the pattern (I was off by a couple of degrees). This got amplified by the fact that the original was not cut perfectly on grain, apparently cheap clothing manufacturers do that to save on fabric costs. My being totally off the grain can be seen in the inner leg seam veering to the front (middle picture, above). But in overall I liked this pair, I wore it a lot. It had just the right amount of stretch… and… what did the prof say? That he absolutely refuses to work with stretch jeans for this technique? Even if you start with a stretch fabric, the amount of stretch you have in the “copy” fabric might not be the same, therefore the fit will be different. Makes sense, but I immediately had to venture into the non-stretch territory. I was thinking that I would make the seam allowances smaller and all should workout. Bahahaha!
Looking vaguely triumphant, these pants look slimming! But it’s probably because they are KINDA tight in some areas… like the stomach… and the upper bum…
Even though I messed up the zipper insertion again, I totally fixed the grain line problem, yes! And the extra wrinkles all around the bum come from the fact that they are simply too tight in those areas.
And now you may ask why do I keep blogging about all those sewing disasters that I call “clothes”? Ummm, to document my sewing journey? To give hope to those who, like me, keep messing up and yet they go on to create another “failure”, but eventually they end up with a proper pair of pants. Or not. Because a failure is a failure only when you give up! And I know that one day soon I will have a proper, well-fitting pair of pants.
So fight on, dear sewists!
Oh yeah, I would have forgotten: I recommend this course to anybody having even a remote interest in making pants. The amount of cool techniques that one can learn from this teacher is amazing! How to make a contoured waist band with your iron? Sure! What are pocket stays and what are benefits of such? Yes, installed them in both pairs and love them!
But in the meantime, brace yourselves, I am churning out another dress for
Yes, yes, yes!
The post is due by April 1st (my birthday), and this time I’m going with a 50s bored housewife dress. Vaguely inspired by early Betty, since I have no idea what’s been going on for the last 2 seasons because Netflix doesn’t have those seasons! But anyhoo, see you soon, and keep on keeping on!
“Haaaaaaai, I made my dress!” I wanted to tell everybody at the party that I attended 2 days ago. But I didn’t. But I wanted to, soooooooo badly! This dress must be one of the best makes of mine so far, and I am just so happy about how it turned out. Well, IT did not turn out, I crafted it for two weeks until it fit so well that if I tweaked it any more I would ruin it. The way it hugs my curves in all the right places makes me feel like a middle-aged glamazon (here’s an appropriate pose for that statement:)
The fabric, which is a brocade-y black/metallic mystery blend, was originally purchased for a bad-ass pair of jeans. I lined it with some black acetate which I found deep in the bowels of my stash. The pattern is Vogue 8849, view B. I chose to work with it because it was one of those “custom fit” patterns, where they give you the pattern pieces for bust cups A-D. And “shorten” lines for petite, which I took full advantage of. I was feeling quite apprehensive when I started, since I had never worked with princess seams before. So I measured myself to establish that indeed, I am a cup D, or maybe even more. Then I made a muslin, and to my greatest surprise had to take in the sides of the bodice. It was still baggy… So I took in the princess seams. It was still baggy. So I decided (after two days of obsessing about it) to make a C-cup bodice and see what happens. It kinda worked, much better fit across the bust, but still had to take in the sides a lot. Boo-hoo. But I tweaked and tweaked, and it worked.
Just before puttting in the lining, I decided to read the instructions, just to see if I was missing anything. Sure enough, boning! Again, boning is something I’d never worked with before, and there it was, staring me in the face. So I decided to meet it half-way: I put in the boning in the side seams, but not in the princess seams. It worked out! And the best thing, the dress survived all the dancing, eating and drinking, chasing after the offspring, and all that party stuff. Actually, I dressed it down with a cardi and pair of boots for the party, but to show it off for you, dear readers, I wanted to kick it up a notch. Kick it up in those shoes that are impossible to walk in, although I kid myself that I can. Well, at least I can wear them to take pictures.
Look, no back cleavage! No bra-band overflow! And even though the side view is not my most flattering angle, I think it looks reasonable! Oh yes, I made the straps much wider than what the instructions call for, and also the dip in the middle dips much deeper.
So if you excuse me, I have to go now to pat myself on the back some more, I can’t type with one hand… But seriously, I enjoyed working with that pattern, I really would like to make one of the peplum versions. But before that, I have to make more PJs, more leggings, and more work tops. And some badass jeans. Until next time!