Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Weekend of Good Sewing & Crappy Photos

First, how disgusting sad is THIS?

Next, Crappy Photo #1.

I just cannot get the colors to photograph well. Both fabrics (yes, there are two) are chocolate brown. The collar, sleeves, and pants are solid. The torso front/back are patterned.

The pants are yet another make of my TNT. The jacket is Simplicity 5352, which I made once before, 4 years ago. I went back to and re-read my review after I had made this second version. Sewing must be like labor — you forget all the really bad pain. Or so I've heard — I had 2 C-sections myself and have never been in labor! If I had re-read the review before I started, I might not have made it again. But we had a cold snap the last couple of weeks and I had been wearing the first version a lot. Obviously, I got over whatever I didn't like about it 4 years ago. The only changes I made for this one was to add cuffs to the sleeves so I can push them up. I'm right there with you on those TNTs, Carolyn, especially now that my days are not my own anymore.

Really, this outfit is not much of a leap from my PJs, but at least it's NOT my PJs. I shouldn't admit this, but the UPS and FedEx guys come here nearly every day and guess what I'm still wearing? Yep. My PJs. Working from home is really bad that way. Especially when there is no one around to see you when you take the dogs out for a walk around the yard. Oh, this is pitiful. I must resolve to get into the shower before starting work.

Crappy Photo #2 and #3:

No, the blouse is still a wadder but I hadn't taken it off Zillie yet and it matched, so it got a little use as a prop.

The browns are a little better in these pics, but they do actually match in real life so something is still off.

All fabrics and notions from stash. But I'm running low on brown serger thread now.

* * * * *

Moving on to the next project of the weekend …

I read in the Winter issue of Sewing Today about this pattern (B5300) and its separate pattern pieces for larger busts. I was curious. So, when I renewed my Club BMV membership last week when all BMV patterns were on sale for $3.29, I bought it (and, ahem, a few others).

Yes, I know how much I've dissed Connie Crawford patterns in the past. I still have gripes for 99.99% of them. But this one? Run out and buy it NOW if you're fluffy and well-endowed in the boobage department. Buy two.

Below is the tracing on me. The only alterations I made to it were:

1. Square shoulders as I traced (always for me)
2. Blend to next size at hips as I traced (unfortunately, another always for me)
3. 1/2" tuck in the upper chest (a usual for me). I'll lower the armhole the same amount and then still use the same sleeve, which I'm pretty sure will not have to be altered. IOW, the armhole is not already too low/big.

What I did NOT alter:

1. No FBA. This pattern has separate pieces for A-B-C cup and D-DD cup (that's 2 sizes, not 5). The "mound" in the photo above is the D-DD bust cup.
2. No shoulder width reduction. The shoulder seam/sleeve cap is not hanging down my arm. I may need to slice a 1/8"-1/4" off after I see it in fabric, but that's nothing. This pattern is actually cognizant of the fact that most women's shoulders do not morph to 6-7 inches wide when they gain weight.
3. Dart height. Right on the money out of the envelope. Well, after the tuck. But even without the tuck, it was pretty darn close.

I do have a couple of complaints about this pattern but it's the instruction sheets, not the pattern itself. There is no layout that shows the mini line drawings of the pattern pieces. You know how that is usually right below the different views on the first page of the instruction sheets? Nope. That is driving me CRAZY! I love studying those drawings in bed at night.

Instead of those missing drawings, there are the same boilerplate instructions for alterations that I've seen in all CC's Butterick patterns. And most of them don't even apply to this top. The boilerplate tells you how to alter princess seams for a larger bust, but nary a word on darted tops. There is also no information to help you choose the appropriate bust cup size. Personally, I didn't need this, but I'm sure many others would. That's a huge omission IMO.

Oh, wait. There is one pattern element I will gripe about. Back neck facings for the collared views. Grrrrr. Enough said.

And the last bad thing about this pattern? I HAVE NO FABRIC ON HAND TO USE FOR IT! Arghhhhh!! My stash is full of knits, bottomweights, and solids. I want a pretty light-stretch blouse print. Maybe I can find something online (with browns) and get it here by next weekend. I'm sure a drive to Joann's would be a waste of time, although I do need more muslin. And brown serger thread.

In case you missed the obvious from this post, I'm starting to get my life back a little. I have not worked the last few weekends. I've filed all the household paperwork that was piled up on my desk, made some good headway into the to-do list that has been sorely neglected, and I've sewed.

Pretty soon I'll be back in full swing. I can't wait!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Spitting Nails

So, I finally get a weekend to sew and it's a wadder. Looks pretty good in this pic, eh?

Hah! Looks can be deceiving.

The pattern:

On me:


I did all the right things — muslin, FBA, - even taking photos along the way for the long blog entry I'd be writing. But my mistake was not making a quick second muslin. Lesson learned: one should not be too confident.

But even if this didn't have some weird boob anomalies going on, I still wouldn't wear it. The fabric, while pretty to look at, is horrible to wear. Every small move ends up with Velcro butt:

And Zillie has a very slippery cover, so there would really be no cure except to fully line whatever you make from this fabric. At least I won't be obsessing trying to save this.

That's two in a row now. Time for a TNT knit top I think. Or a cocktail.

Happy New Year Y'all!