Tuesday, 27 February 2018

February Fails!

Camellia flowering in snowy branches (it was thawing earlier)
I'm not now entering the PR wardrobe contest. No real surprise there! I thought that to make 1 topper, 2 bottoms and 3 tops that coordinate was both achievable and desirable, that is it fitted in well with my plans. I had time to test fit before the start of the real sewing, TNT patterns were of course allowed, and there was/is six weeks after the start of the actual sewing (the end date is 15 March). So not too difficult! Yeah, right.

I thought I'd start with the bottoms. As mentioned elsewhere, I'm doing a PR Sarah Veblen pant class, have her book and read her article in Threads last month. In the PR class, Sarah does post some replies to your queries but is clear that she will not give individualised or personalised answers. She does provide this via her personal platform but of course you have to pay extra for that.  I haven't achieved a suitable fit yet. David is helping me, which isn’t ideal as he really doesn’t understand/agree with the process. I'm sure I'll get there. I hope. I'm not going to rush for an artificial deadline.

I did not want to substitute skirts.

I also made a top from what I thought was a TNT pattern but it didn't work. I think I’ve mentioned this elsewhere, probably with a photo on IG as it didn’t merit a blog post - briefly, it was too tight as the fabric I was using had much less give and drape and I have put on weight. I modified the pattern and tops are on my (near?) horizon.
I'm in the middle of a Paprika Patterns Jasper sweatshirt. I messed up the welt pockets and was forced to redo.

I cut into the welt in the totally wrong direction and couldn't salvage it, though I tried.
The pencil is pointing to a raw end and hole through to the inside of the sweatshirt

Overall view didn't look awful but wasn't right - I would have left but for the hole, above
They look great now but I'm not going to finish in my timescale as there are too many other things going on.

Poor photo on my phone tonight - take my word for it the welts are much better!

I was due back at class tomorrow after midterm holiday, but I can't go as I'm in Scotland with my mother. (I was as I wrote that, last week) Anyway, the sweatshirt would be better with jeans. I have RTW jeans that it will work with - but of course that's no good for the PR contest! Until I get my pant block right, jeans are not on my horizon.

I bought some nice but rather heavy double cloth wool in navy/grey for the topper part, which I've shown before, again on IG, though I also have a Blackwood cardigan ready to cut out. I thought in the end that the cardigan would be better for the wardrobe contest (read speedier!) but the wool would be great in a reversible version of Butterick 6244 to showcase the double cloth nature of it - when I noticed that there was a PR reversible garment contest coming up on 15 March, I thought okay I'd enter. I thought I'd make a toile, though, to get a bit ahead (this is permissible) partly to get the right size and eventually to practice on the fabric to work on the reversible seams before working on the real thing. I thought that getting it truly reversible could be tricky. 

Butterick 6244. A nice pattern, great reviews but just not my style and the fabric was just too heavy, too

Anyway, I modified the pattern for larger hips and larger biceps, cut out from calico and sewed up the toile - and hated the result! I'm not showing you a photo! I did learn a few things from sewing it up - don't forget any of the notches for one thing!! Another thing I learned was to trust my first judgement. I hadn't been at all sure about the pattern for me, or for the fabric, but couldn't find anything more suitable. When I said this to Rory and showed her me wearing the toile, she said she had hoped to find some redeeming feature to mention but couldn’t! She said there was nothing flattering about it for me. She sees me as someone who suits more tailored garments (that’s true) and that normally we’re pulled towards things we suit, particularly as we get older and we know what suits us. Things outside our usual, with a few exceptions (she’s not advocating in the rut thinking) are generally not for us. I also thought this was going to be an easy pattern, but I didn't find it so. I have abandoned this idea. There is nothing whatsoever wrong with the pattern, which came together nicely once I had marked the notches correctly.

At least I still have all the lovely fabric left, unharmed! As I started preparing this post in Scotland, the sun had quite a lot of warmth in it, so I reckoned I'm really thinking about next winter before I use the fabric. Today we have thick snow with more forecast all this week because of the ‘Beast from the East’. It’s chilly outside too so more sewing forecast!

I did get to Sew Club last night (Monday), before the snow proper hit.

I bought some jersey fabric and decided to make a Blackwood cardigan from Helen's Closet, among other things (my originally planned fabric probably wasn't going to work as it had less stretch than the pattern suggested). I planned a matching tank and cardigan. I know matchy matchy isn't ideal these days, but I thought the style wouldn't look like the old style twin set so would work okay.

The fabric was pre-washed and dried. Did I do this incorrectly I wonder?

I sorted out the Blackwood cardigan pattern. I did a small FBA following the excellent instructions given on the sew-a-long. Although I'm tall, I didn't think I needed to lengthen arms or body as it seemed long enough as it is designed super long. I cut out the pattern paper ready to apply to fabric and cut out proper.

I took the fabric to Sew Club as there is a bigger cutting table there.

I found the printed pattern on the fabric is WAY off. As the pattern will be lying horizontally on my body, this is important. 

Yes, it's that far off!

Trying to fold the fabric using patterns as guide - well, you can see the twisted folded edge.
To fold with a nice fold created very off ends

Rory showed me how to try to try to get the fabric on grain (block square and steam). This improved the small piece we were able to do (space, time) and Rory felt it was workable with. She advised cutting out pieces larger than each pattern piece and blocking the pieces individually.

I think I can do that at home as I think I have a cardboard cutting board somewhere. I normally use a cutting mat and rotary cutter but Rory advised against this in this instance. I found that the piece from class had sprung back to the wrong shape.

I wish I had just returned the fabric. This is a lot of effort. I have emailed the company I bought it from to complain, but as the fabric is washed and dried and now has a chunk cut off, I won’t get anywhere. Still, I didn’t want to just let it go. It’s a lot of money even if bought in a sale.

I can't say anything about the Blackwood cardigan as this fabric is a long way from being ready for it! Lots of good reviews so I'm hopeful. Good instructions. I might see if another fabric I have would work - the first I looked at had insufficient stretch. I’ve gone off this fabric big style!!

Current plans

  • Complete pant fitting process - then there's no limit! I wanted to make some winter weight pants but by the time this is finished, I'll need to use lighter weight fabrics so those fabrics will get stored away too. I had planned to use navy and burgundy wools. (On that note, Fabworks online has some fabulous wools in a snap sale lasting until next week I think. I don't need any so have resisted the temptation. There are some great buys though)
  • Complete Jasper sweatshirt - I’ll post separately about that.
  • Make a Blackwood cardigan (plus or minus tank, depending on fabric chosen)
  • I do have need, not urgent, for a workout top to go with my workout trousers. The top I tried to wear last time is no use.
Then, who knows? I'd still like to complete the wardrobe contest garments but in my own time.

I've had a few things I've abandoned this year so far for one reason or another (they don't fit the FLF description - Fit; Like; Flatter) but I don't feel bad about them (though I do feel bad about that off-grain fabric - and I have a coordinating piece from the same range which I finally dared to check and it’s off too!).

I'll have to re-look at what I want to do.

Update and Continuing with Machine Embroidery Course

I haven’t been sewing anything recently. I’ve managed a few alterations and repairs and a little bit of machine embroidery - though I’ve f...