Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Made Up Pledge completed; blouse update; dart question

I've decided to be less hard on myself. I actually do quite a lot - it's just not sewing!

In the last 2 weeks, I've attended 2 funerals, 1 95th birthday celebration, 3 bridge sessions, 1 committee meeting as secretary so minutes etc, played in 4 golf matches, including one of our county biggies, in my secretary capacity, organised the info envelopes for our AGM, meaning that I had to print them etc, done just a little housework and gardening, shopping etc. I think there were a few other things, like contact with family, sleeping and eating - oh and sewing!  I managed to update my blocks and in the last week complete my PR blouse entry. I also made a pencil skirt with vent for my daughter - I'll post about that at a later date.  I'm way behind with reading the blogs I follow and don't mention the housework or garden! Just as well DH is, on the whole, understanding and supportive.

I was golfing during the day yesterday, our last Vets' competition of the season. We had a lovely warm sunny day.  We were playing Greensomes which is a relatively quick format and the field was fairly small as there were a couple of other clashing events taking people away from it. This meant the competition and prize giving (no I didn't get a prize but did win a bottle of wine in the raffle) were over by 3pm and I was able to get home a lot earlier than I had thought. As secretary, I'm usually there from beginning to end doing committee duties, as well as playing.

Just as well I got home early!

I found an email saying I had a private message on PR. In fact there were 4! All saying my competition entry for round one of the sewing bee on PR had been incorrectly entered, so it would be disqualified if not fixed; my photo was not showing up in the gallery and therefore could not be judged. In the end, I made a new entry, entered it correctly and deleted the old entry as had been suggested. Unfortunately this meant I lost some lovely comments and the number of views I had already had.  Then I found I had two pictures in the gallery - I'd been told it wasn't there and I think the relinking put it up. This photo linked to a now non-existent review.

I was able to contact a contest committee member who deleted the duplicate and I thought all was well. Later there was some criticism from the contest contact who felt that no-one should do anything unless contacted by her as she could sort, but that was too late for me. By this time I had lost the original which could presumably have been relabelled or somesuch. However, that contact had left a message on my original entry, commending it, but didn't mention any problem - and how can I ignore four private messages? Anyway, now that the contest entry period is over, it seems that there are a few people with problematic entries.

It was just as well I needed to put in my entry 24 hours before the end of the contest. I expected to be out all day at the golf comp and I had a new sewing bee in the evening, coming too late to offer any constructive help for the contest, unfortunately. I wasn't expecting any problem with the entry itself.

Oh, by the way, I asked for votes to see if that could get me through to the second round but there is no public voting - the contest committee decides on this occasion. There is a first prize and a random prize. I genuinely feel that I've got no chance of making it through to the next round when I see the other fabulous entries - but I'm hoping for the random prize!!

Last night, I went to the new sewing bee which will run on a Monday night. This is a new class run by one of my previous tutors at college. I mentioned previously the mess made of the courses last year and D has decided she isn't working there any more. Her hours had been cut so dramatically and the work load increased so much that it was no longer a viable option. She is instead running a few extra sewing bees in her studio which is much closer to home than the college. She already had one on a Tuesday evening which I can't attend as I have a bridge commitment and she also has one on a Wednesday afternoon which starts too early for me as I have a golfing commitment which runs into the afternoon. Unfortunately, golf games take a long time!

Last night, I took along the fitted blouse to get advice on how to improve its fit. R, my pattern cutting tutor, was there too, undertaking another project. Both D and R thought it was fine. However, they suggested increasing the dart suppression at the back waist and reducing the downward length of the dart and taking in some extra at the side waist.
They could both see that the blouse was tight across my derrière, which is obvious in the photo of the back. Extra space was gained from shortening the rear darts - that's further shortening as in the original pattern they were right down to the hem. My shape of rear with a large difference between waist and hip and a (faux) sway back would actually have benefited from a more extensive modification but I was looking to improve the blouse as was to make it more wearable.

I pinned and tacked the new darts and immediately saw an improvement.
I asked R if I needed to add more hip width but she said no, pointing out that I had excess at the sides and could actually afford to take in a little. My shape requires the extra at the rear. I had a kind of Eureka moment!

Today I was busy in the morning and at a clinic appointment in the afternoon. Tonight I was at bridge. In the period in between, I sewed the darts and increased waist shaping. There is a big improvement but I can't show you as I washed the blouse afterwards as it had got a bit grubby. It's still wet. I don't plan to tumble dry.

I read a post on CSC suggesting that humongous bust darts could be split in two, making the dart size more manageable and attractive. My back darts are very big - the amount of suppression in the centre of each is over 5 cms. I remember previously that a tutor had suggested I needed to clip such a dart in the centre, and I can see that would help it lie nicely - but could I do a double dart in the place of each single dart?

The other thing I did before I went to bridge tonight was to email Karen at didyoumakethat to say that my Made Up pledge was completed. The initiative has been very successful. I've finished my bodice, skirt and trouser block and transferred to card. Honestly, though, I think the trouser block will need more tweaking. Hopefully I can do some of that at the next sewing bee - there is one next Monday, before my class at college starts again. It's quite difficult doing this on your own.

When I was in London, I went to William Gee to buy some supplies but the shop closes on Saturdays. I therefore ordered my card on-line and it got delivered very quickly; there is no way I could have carried it in any case - I had intended to get it delivered. I also bought a few other supplies. I had earlier completely run out of my tracing paper, so bought a further roll of that. I already had the other pattern making supplies I needed including awl and punch.

I'm not going to post a picture of my blocks, though I'm sure they will be in evidence during the next year as I work through the next section of my pattern cutting course.
I had suggested I might also make the Victoria blazer from By Hand London but after reading some reviews of it, I decided that it wasn't perhaps the jacket for me. I'm still looking for a suitable pattern.

It's getting late and I really only switched on the computer to find an image of an eryngium to send to my daughter...


  1. Maybe the jackets Claire Shaeffer designed for Vogue are a good option? I recently bought a few of them to make this autumn or winter. Very thoughtful designs, lot of fitting options and the instructions are very comprehensive!

    1. Thank you. I do have a couple of these patterns. I'm not sure that my skills are up to them yet. I'm looking for a casual yet smart jacket and I thought these might be a bit too smart - I'll revisit them though.

  2. Hello! Gosh I am exhausted just reading all of that! Where do you get the energy?
    The sewing bee thingy sounds really complicated - don't think I could be bothered to tell the truth....hope it works out well for you.
    Take care.

    1. Thanks, Joyce. I'm very keen to get my skills up so a lot of my energy is going into that. It's very unlikely I'll get through to next round - I don't mind, though obviously I'd be delighted to make it! Time wise, it would be much easier to be eliminated...

  3. I am glad you are participating in the sewing bee on PR...despite the hiccups it is a fun way to motivate oneself. oh, not that you need that as you are incredibly busy! You always do lovely work.

    1. Thank you, Mary. In a few hours I'll find out if I've got another mad week ahead of me!

  4. Hello Anne, thank you for your thoughts about jet lag - which is not too bad, but I did catch a chest bug, but DH started work on that before the flight - I suspect he did not want pneumonia at 37,000 feet!

    I have been reading all your posts - and yes, only sew what you want. I am sure some people sew more for their blogs - as you know, I don't, with all my practical pollyanna garments on proud display.

    I'm sorry you had headaches posting your blouse on PR -lets hope all works out well and you do have a mad sewing week.

    1. Thank you, Sarah Liz. Welcome back!
      My blouse didn't make it into the second round - I didn't expect it to but there is still a bit of me that's disappointed! I've improved its fit since but it's far too utilitarian for the competition. I knew that, of course, before I put it in. The challenge for me was messing the deadline with a wearable blouse. I managed that. I don't know what the next round is - chances are that it's a remake, going by last year, and not something I'd have wanted to do.
      This week I need to stick to redoing the toiles for two of my daughters coming on Friday so it's really just as well. I have modified the patterns, but not cut out yet, for one sleeveless bodice and skirt, one sleeved bodice and skirt and the waistcoat for H's fiance. Also, I have a month to make a dress for myself for their engagement party. I'll have to see if that fits in with MAGAM - I'm afraid to say I haven't been looking there. If I'd made it through to round 2, I was hoping for a fitted dress suitable for an occasion.

    2. Sorry you didn't make the next round Anne but at least it freed you up for your toiles etc.
      Have had a busy time myself - our second son - the Alnwick guy - came over to see us for 4 days and I must be getting really old as I am bushed to say the least...family all together again except for DIL who had to care for the horses - meals aplenty and lots of food for a rather large 6 footer who likes his food very much!! Was really so glad to see him as we didn't get across to your neck of the woods this year.
      We drove to Coleraine on Wednesday and took the scenic route by train to Londonderry passing 2 golf courses (links) en route - it was a great day and the courses were busy.
      All the best for your next sewing endeavours.

    3. Thanks, Joyce.
      I managed to get my toiles done and as the family is here this weekend, got/will get them tried on, except for DD2 - she isn't coming this weekend so I didn't do hers as I had so little time - I was sewing up until after 1am today (picking DD3 and partner up from station at 2am!)
      I'm going to Alnwick next week - our Northern Championship, which rotates location every six years among the counties, is being held there next year. I know what you mean about exhaustion after a visit, whether we go there or they come here! Just waiting for DD1 and family to arrive - they're stuck in roadworks on the A1(M). Tomorrow is our annual family golfing event and weather looks hopeful!
      Hopefully you'll manage to get across next year.
      Best wishes Anne

  5. Sorry for all this disappointment, but you have completed your toiles so that is just great. Well done.

    1. I didn't mean to post about disappointment - I don't feel disappointed! Yes I completed the blocks for class and the wedding related toiles and tried them on when the family visited last weekend; they were pretty good, requiring just a few tweaks, so that was very pleasing.


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