Monthly Archives: March 2014
I have had a difficult 2 months at work, so during this month's photo shoot with Andrea Jones, I pulled out some pre-blog makes. I found myself falling in love all over again with Colette Patterns' Sencha and Beignet.
The Colette Sewing Handbook helped me take up garment sewing again. Sarai's description of simple pattern alterations was a revelation for me. Now, many books and classes later, I still refer to The Colette Sewing Handbook and feel thankful to Sarai for bringing home sewing to the hipster world (because I'm such a cool hipster! Hah!).
I also love Colette Patterns' detailed and clear instructions. They made me feel like a pro when I was just re-entering the sewing world. You can't see it, but the Beignet skirt has the most pro-looking lining, and Sarai walks the sewer through easy steps to make it.
AND....One more wonderful thing about Colette patterns -- they are drafted almost exactly to my shape. Despite Sarai's wonderful alteration teachings, I don't have to alter her patterns at all.
I recently stitched a McCall's 2818 princess-seamed top in a princess-y pink fabric. It's the top I wanted to teach as a class, but no one signed up. I carefully altered and fitted the tissue:
....And matched the pattern. I find cutting out in a single layer the best way to match a pattern perfectly.
I have a beautifully matched pattern, but the top turned out too big. Easy to fix by deepening the side seams, but, whoops! Although I did try the top on repeatedly during the sewing process, I had trouble gauging the fit because the top closed in the back. Next time, I will ask Fred to pin the back closed each time I check the fit. The fabric has some stretch to it.
McCall's 2818 is a Palmer/Pletsch pattern, and I could tell Pati Palmer worked hard on the drafting and the instructions. The process felt more like sewing up a Colette Pattern than sewing up a Big 4 pattern. In other words, everything fit together perfectly, and the sewing order and "Pro Tips" made me feel like a star seamstress. I definitely recommend this pattern. You will see more versions if springtime ever comes to the Rockies.
I was honored to be a Project Selvedge judge last night. Project Selvedge is a live version of Project Runway hosted by Selvedge Studio in Missoula, Montana. Last night's challenge (created by moi) was to make a garment that emulated the contestant's style icon.
I also taught a Sewing Essentials class to three of the six contestants last week. The class was free, and we covered different fabrics, pressing, and altering paper patterns.
The two looks above were created by two of the contestants who took my class. I felt proud of them, and proud of myself, as a beginning teacher. The zipper insertion, stripe matching, and hem of the skirt was a step up from last week. The precision of the cutting and pressing of the bias silk dress were four steps up from last week. Thankfully, no one was sent home. I lived through my judging experience with no tears from me or the contestants.
I am working with the folks at Selvedge Studio in Missoula, Montana, on this year's Project Selvedge, a live version of Project Runway. The first week was amazing! Each contestant received four yards of white cotton/linen blend to make whatever they wanted.
None of the contestants was eliminated this week. Phew! The day after the fashion show, I taught a Sewing Essentials class to the contestants and a few members of the audience who want to learn to make clothes. Next week, the contestants will be asked to meet "my" challenge of sewing in the mode of their fashion icon. They will be judged on how well they can emulate their icons, and how well their garments fit their models. I will be one of the judges!
I hate to buy clothes, and I rarely do any more. But, I really need new pants, and every pair I tried to make in the past few weeks has been a complete fail! So, this morning I went online and ordered two new pairs from J Crew. They are "Talls" and on sale, but still, I feel defeated.
Here is my tale of woe: I was finishing up some gorgeous black wool crepe pants this morning....almost done...they fit great....just serging the edges....and, I accidentally swerved and serged diagonally through one leg. Don't ask me how I did it. I don't know. But, I can admit defeat. I am not going to try to make any of the pants in my queue for awhile. Must take a break!
While I recovered from my serger fiasco, I perused the blog posts I "hearted" last week. One was from Madalynne, called Grain Perfection. She tells the story of Edna Bishop, a famous sewing figure of the 1950's, requiring her students to "cut out" a garment by only ripping the fabric to make sure it was on-grain. This gorgeous quilting cotton with a William Morris-type print was a perfect candidate for the ripping method of "grain perfection." After a few purposeful rips, I felt much better, and I had "cut out" six napkins. I hemmed the edges, mitered the corners, and felt my sewing mojo return. Phew.