Monday, June 27, 2011

Top Draftalong # 21 - Moving the Dart

Ok so let's get all the sniggers out of the way from the start...today we are going to be talking about nipples...(or to give them their technical name...bust points). No sniggers?? So it's just me that still giggles at words like "bum" then??! Oh...ok then...I'll grow up shall I  ?! Back of the class Lawrie...stand in the corner and think about what you've done...(gotta love a catholic school upbringing...makes everything seem a little bit naughty...and by definition that much more fun...)


Anyhow, I digress, as usual! Back to the job in hand. Namely moving the dart. This is what the book has to say on the subject:  "(Bust Darts) must lie exactly at bust level in order to throw the extra fullness exactly where it is needed. If you have a lower than average bustline, the extra fullness will form folds above your bust, but if yours is a high bustline the excess fullness will fall below. Mark the position of your bust point on the toile; then, on the paper pattern, trace the original bust dart and re-draw it in it's required position keeping it parallel with the original dart. Re-shape the side seam" See also the image on the left. taken from the book.


OK, great. That makes sense. But I wanted to test the effect this alteration would have on the fit of my toile and assess it's effect on the other alterations I had planned; skipping straight to altering the paper pattern would not tell me this, so I decided to move the dart on my toile first. Here's what I did...

The first stage is to establish exactly where your bust point is. So whilst wearing it, I marked on my toile where my bust point actually was....

then unpicked all seams,including darts.....

and pressed thoroughly...

I measured the difference between the old dart point and the newly marked bust point...

marked a new base point that exact distance away from the old base point and joined it to the new bust point. Notice how the angle of the new line (green) mirrors the angle of the original one?

I did the same for the top line of the  dart.  Measured down from the old one...

Marked on the new one....

and joined the two together...

I now had pretty much an exact replica of the original dart, just lower...

Once I'd sewn up the new dart I was left with the inevitable "jutty out" bit.....

I pinned the front and back pieces together using the original stitching line as a guide to line them up....

then  trimmed off the excess so I hnow had a clean even side seam to guide my sewing...

Then I sewed the whole lot back together again to see how the alteration had affected the fit...more on that next...
Px

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Barefoot Sewist....

Some time ago, when I whipped out my sewing machine at college, I also whipped off my shoes. There ensued a variety of  comments ranging from references to Sandy Shaw, making myself at home, and "someone open a window..!" This came as somewhat of a surprise to me. I didn't realise I had foot odour. I thought everyone sewed barefoot. I remember when I first used a sewing machine, trying to find  and maintain the right pressure on the machine foot was not easy. Sometimes I'd be too scared to apply proper pessure and the machine would either not sew at all or at a rate of about two stitches a minute. Other times,when I was feeling bolder, I'd inadvertently floor it and almost get pulled through the machine along with the fabric. (Puts me in mind of my attempts to impress my sporty Kiwi boyfriend of the time by having a go at water skiing and being repeatedly yanked off my feet, plunging face first into Lake Taupo time and time again...yep..that's how cool I am..! Needless to say I didn't pass the "future wife" selection process)
Going barefoot at my sewing  machine gave me more control over the pressure I applied because I could feel it more. I remembered all of this when I sat down to sew yesterday and realised I still had shoes on. Meh! Off they came and away I went. But it got me thinking....am I weird? Does anyone else sew barefoot? What sewing "quirks" and sewing preferences do you have? A pot of coffee, a glass of wine? Music,background noise or complete silence?
What are your sewing rituals? I have a little routine once Elliott goes down for his nap. I prepare myself a cafetiere, take myself off to my summerhouse, pop on my ipod or Radio, plug in my sewing machine and iron, and slip off my shoes....
(BTW, wouldn't The Barefoot Sewist make a fab blog name?!)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Just one Sorbetto........

...or two....or three, la la la la la, la la la leeeeee! (Anyone remember the tune to this advert? Then you'll know what I'm ranting on about!)
Anyhow! I'm sure this free pattern download from the generous Colette Patterns will not have escaped your attention. Versions of this are popping up all over the blogosphere, and for good reason...It is official. I have my first pattern crush. What's more, it could potentially match even Karen's Pendrell infatuation (although I believe she is in recovery now) or Tilly's Beignet devotion
That's right. I've made 3 in as many days and had to have a really serious chat with myself to stop and do other sewing projects before it got really desperate. I'm not the only one of course. Marie has a similar affliction and you need only look at the Colette Patterns Flickr pool to realise it's a phenomenon that's spreading fast!
Sarai is an angel for including accurate finished garment measurements with the pattern. (So few patterns seem to do this) I used these as a guide for deciding which size to cut. Essentially I went for the size that had a finished bust measurment around 1.5inches larger than my actual bust measurement to allow a bit of  movement ease; and because of the style of the top it naturally followed that the waist and hips would have plenty of room for me to.

This was my first toile. Made from a vintage flat sheet I thrifted ages ago; I top stitched the placket all the way down on this one and added some old bakelite buttons for a vintage feel. Toying with the idea of matching pyjama bottoms for this one....what do you think?
My second was made from some shirting material. I loved Casey's inverted pleat idea, but liked the button placket too. So I created an extra piece to look like a placket and sewed it on top of the CF seam after forming the inverted pleat. Add another vintage button and another one down...
I had the tip/point of the placket hit just where the pleat started to flare out...
and I just adore this button....
.
I still need to play with the bust dart  and tweak the pattern a little as I had to carry out this adjustment on all 3 of my Sorbettos.. Essentially adding a small dart at the armhole to take up excess fabric that was bunching there. My gut instinct is to add this into the bust dart. Since the pattern is apparently drafted for a C cup and as I am a D cup, widening the bust dart  would seem to make sense. I'm having a crisis of confidence over this though. Can anyone tell me...is my thinking correct?? I shall have to research this and maybe phone my tutor to double check...so if anyone has any advice it would be gratefully received!
My third is made using material from a skirt I thrifted. It's really lightweight and flowy fabric so is super cool and comfy to wear but was a little tricky to work with. With hindsight I should have interfaced the placket to avoid the bodged bit where it meets the neckline bias...still learning!



These buttons arrived as a surprise in the post (more on that later) whilst I was in the middle of making this top. Could they be any more perfect for it?!!! Kismet, serendipity, call it what you will. Some makes are just meant to be; and despite the bodged bit at the neckline, this is my favourite Sorbetto so far...

There are lot's of things I like about this pattern.
  • It's super quick to make. Start to finish it takes a couple of hours or so. So I can pretty much run one of these up every time Elliott has a nap!
  • It's super versatile, lending itself well to different fabrics, contrasting trims/embellishments and variations of design detail along the central pleat....my mind keeps wandering to drafting collar variations for it too. In fact if I hadn't already started fitting the toile for my block/sloper for the top draftalong...this pattern could make a perfect alternative with the pleat removed...there's even a quick and simple tutorial available on the Colette blog to do this ...gah!!!
  • It's really simple to make and is perfect for most levels of sewing skill (regardless of experience! Wink, wink Tilly ;) The instructions are clear and easy to follow and are supported by online tutorials.
  • It is a total wardrobe basic for the summer on it's own and for the winter layered up under cardigans, jumpers and jackets.
  • It's totally FREEEEEEEE!!!
So I think it's fair to say, that I will probably find any excuse to make as many of these as time and inspiration will allow me. Sorbetto...lo salutiamo!!
Px

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Snap Happy....

This was Elliott and his pal Noddy first thing this morning. Just after I took this photo Elliott decided....

He'd take one of himself....

Then some of George the Giraffe, Mummy, his thumb, the carpet, the sofa,the ceiling...you get the idea..100+ photos. You gotta love digital for that.  What got me giggling was how he kept staging little photos. "Sit there George..say cheeeeeeeese"...
I have to confess, I found it pretty cool that my 2 year old can use a camera already..so I thought I'd share my son's first photos with you...so in years to come when you see his work on the pages of National Geographic, you can say you saw it here first....(No pressure Elliott!! ;)
Px

Top Draftalong # 20 - Extending the CB Seam...

Right, I'm back on the case with the draftalong. Just before I went AWOL on you I'd identified the following alterations as being necessary:
  • Extending the centre back seam allowance
  • Letting out the side seams a little
  • Moving the dart down a bit
  • Carrying out an FBA (Full Bust Adjustment)
While little man was napping today I sorted out the  centre back seam on my toile. It was a touch too small to do up so I cut 2 identical strips of calico...

Attatched them either side of the centre back opening...

Then added a zip so I could do it up. An idea I have shamelessly pinched from Abby because, well, because it's a great idea if you have no-one to pin you up!

I think perhaps I'll need to pinch out some excess fabric at the neck either side of the CB. I can't reduce the amount I've added in as it's snug at the hips; but it's now too baggy at the neck. Hmmmm. A classic example of each adjustment throwing up another one elsewhere! But that's ok, I can fix that in a jiffy tomorrow. I just wanted to double check those fit issues with the toile done up properly....there's that fabric bunching at my lower back...meh!
I'm happy that the adjustments I initially identified are still appropriate, and yes, probably a sway back too. So next up tomorrow, lowering the bust dart then see how that affects the degree of the fba required...adding to the CB seam has addressed some of the flattening at the bust but not all of it...
Px

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My first ickle quilt.....

Hello!!!  I finally finished up the quilted baby matt I mentioned recently....

This is where we left off in the last post....

You may recall that I had everything bagged up, in order, (sad!) ready for each of us at college to sew a strip and therefore all have a hand in making the gift...

Here it is pieced together and basted to a fleece inner and yummy Egyptian cotton backing. (Basting quilt sandwiches is a beast!!)...

I saw this trick ages ago on Martha Stewart's site and thought it was super clever. You run a strip of masking tape from corner to corner.....

Sew either side of it (I loooooove this walking foot!! Borrowed it from college. Really helps stop the layers moving about).....

Peel away the tape and hey presto...straighter and more even quilting lines than I could ever hope to achieve by eyeballing it....

Then lay a strip of tape along each of your newly stitched lines and repeat the process....

Keep repeating this step working your from the middle outwards.....

I then repeated the whole process crossways as well....

Trimmed the piece....

Quick shot of the back....erm...

Ooops! This quilting malarkey is trickier than it looks!

I used some of my thrifted bias binding for the edging...
along with some gorgeous toggles I found recently, and created loop ties from bias tape...

So that it can be rolled up.....

and fastened, ready to pop into baby's bag!!

Overall I'm really pleased with the end product and really like this colour palette. There are a few little wobbles here and there that I have resolved (after reading this)  NOT to keep pointing out, and focus instead on what I like about it, and the fact that for a first try, it's not bad!!
As an interesting observation..it's funny that 6 people using the same machine and working to the same seam allowance, can sew so differently! I suppose it's a bit like asking 6 different people to knit one garment. You'll get very slight ariances in tension. Perhaps it's the same with sewing seams...but this was tricky to line up when piecing everything together because each strip had been sewn by a different person. Weird huh??
Anyway, I have another of these to make for my cousin. If it turns out like this one, or better, than I shall be a very happy bunny indeed
What have you been up to? Elliott isnow napping soI am away to dosome work on the draftalong.....finally!
Px
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