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Monthly Archives: February 2013

  • Silk & Oprah Progress

    Using the French Curve to get an accurate armseye Using the French Curve to get an accurate armseye

    Straight edge for the center front Straight edge for the center front

    I basted along the interfacing on the wrong side. The line is clearly visible on the right side. I basted along the interfacing on the wrong side. The line is clearly visible on the right side.

    Full-Bust Adjustment Full-Bust Adjustment

    I continue to make progress on the book club Oprah shirts. Mamie came and got hers. She loves it (darn!). Terry came over for a final fitting and button placement. I love her Liberty of London cotton lawn. We will have group pictures when the shirts are complete.

    Meanwhile, I made some baby steps toward the silk shirt/jacket. I cut out duplicate, but opposite pattern pieces. I used all my tools to assure they were accurate:  

    I highly recommend Linda Lee’s, “Sewing with Silks” course on  Craftsy. Her lessons pertain to much more than silk. For instance, when you’re topstitching on the right side of the fabric, how do you know if you’re catching the fabric on the wrong side? And, what if you need to topstitch along interfacing, but you can’t see it on the right side of the fabric? Linda suggests basting with silk thread (yum!) from the wrong side, smoothing out the line with chalk, and then topstitching from the right side. I made a grey wool crepe sheath dress over the weekend, and used Linda’s basting method of topstitch marking:

    The grey sheath dress is a McCall’s 5716, which is a great dress, pants and jacket from Palmer/Pletsch. Lovely Vanna from Brisbane, Australia, altered the dress to fit me during teacher training in Portland. 

  • My serger was threaded with black thread, so I...

    Carefully measuring both pieces Carefully measuring both pieces

    See the pins on the edge? They make matching easy. See the pins on the edge? They make matching easy.

    A better fit A better fit

    Amy Top Amy Top

    Version 1 of Slip on Suzie in a leopard print. Treehouse Photography Photo. Version 1 of Slip on Suzie in a leopard print. Treehouse Photography Photo.

    Couldn’t resist making a couple of things for myself. After I made the leopard print Slip On Suzie dress, I emailed Chloe at Style Arc Patterns and asked for some pattern-altering ideas. She sent me three hand-drawn options within a few hours. I love independent pattern designers! I would never have received that kind of response from the Big Four.

    I opted to slice and spread the front pieces one inch. You can kind of see in the photo that I was careful to line up the pattern pieces and spread them the exact same amount at the exact same spot. After you alter, don’t forget to test your pattern pieces to assure they still match up.

    I cool trick I learned watching Jennifer Stern’s “Fit to a T” video was to mark notches on knits with pins protruding perpendicular to the edge. Especially with the usual ¼” seam allowance, it is easy to clip the notches too far into the seam allowance. Here is a pic on my new Slip on Suzie dress.

    And, here is Suzie:

    I think I will try more of a basic full-bust-adjustment next time I make a Suzie.

    I also decided to whip up an Amy Top from Style Arc (the black thread in the serger just kept calling to me!). I bought some yoga-pant fabric in Portland, and used a little of it for this simple top. There is still plenty of fabric to make pants for my daughters! I think I will lengthen the top next time I make it. Looking at the photo on the pattern envelope, I realize it is supposed to be longish. Since I am 6-feet tall, I should not be surprised that I need to lengthen…

    Version 2 of Slip on Suzie, with full-bust alterations. Photo by Treehouse Photography Version 2 of Slip on Suzie, with full-bust alterations. Photo by Treehouse Photography

    Style Arc Swing Top with jeans. Photo by Treehouse Photography Style Arc Swing Top with jeans. Photo by Treehouse Photography

  • The oprah shirt project continues

    Mamie + Heidi Mamie + Heidi

    Heidi's button Heidi's button

    Mamie's shirt on Moi Mamie's shirt on Moi

    Mamie's shirt with buttons Mamie's shirt with buttons

    My book club friend Heidi came over to my house during the week so I could decide on optimal button placement for her Oprah Shirt. The secret to avoiding ‘gaposis’ is to place a button at the bust apex (no giggling!), and positioning all the other buttons in relation to the first one.

    Heidi selected beautiful buttons that subtly coordinate with her shirt.

    I am also almost done with Mamie’s shirt. Mamie and I are the exact same shape, which made sewing for her a breeze. Don’t I look great in Mamie’s shirt? Would wearing the shirt to work just once be wrong? Probably….

    When I was at Jo-Ann’s this morning, taking advantage of a sale, plus a 20%-off-the-entire-purchase coupon to buy buttons for the shirts and other basics, I ran into my friend Nadia. She was a great help selecting buttons to match Mamie’s shirt. Of course, Nadia knows Mamie, and knew which buttons would draw out her eye color. I love living in a small town!

     

     

    Hey Mamie, if you don't like your shirt, I know someone who does! Hey Mamie, if you don't like your shirt, I know someone who does!

     

  • The Book Club Oprah Shirt Project

    Heidi & Susan's embroidered fabric Heidi & Susan's embroidered fabric

    Terry & Candida's Liberty of London Floral Terry & Candida's Liberty of London Floral

    Mamie's Floral Mamie's Floral

    Heidi's shirt is almost done Heidi's shirt is almost done

    As I embarked on this journey to create a wardrobe that fits body and soul, I wanted to involve others in mutually fun and beneficial ways. So, I asked the members of my book club if they would each like me to create an Oprah Shirt (McCall’s 6076) for them. I was a little embarrassed to ask. I worried they would find talk of full bust adjustments and high round backs weird. Let’s just say my worries were unfounded.

    We were at Bobbi’s house the night I asked them to be my guinea pigs. They all said, “YES!” and jumped up from their chairs, removing sweaters so I could measure them – even though Bobbi lives at her Bed and Breakfast and she had guests that night.

    At each monthly book club gathering, I make a little progress on fitting everyone. Our sizes range from a perfect 8 to a 22 with adjustments. Yes, there have been some jokes about moving bust apexes, but otherwise, my nine book-club friends have been good sports.

    Everyone ordered their own fabric from Fabric.com. Susan and Heidi ordered embroidered lawn in white and off-white. Terry and Candida both ordered green floral Liberty of London. Jane ordered a deep blue, and Mamie an off-white floral. I will keep you posted on the progress!

     

    I figured out how to take a good picture of the silk I figured out how to take a good picture of the silk

     

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