Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Fitting Post: Vogue 8469

I was glad to hear you guys comment that you enjoy posts on fitting.  They are a bit of work to put together but I think they're a good way to learn!
Get ready, cos this one is a long 'un!

I'm working on Vogue 8469.
I have made 3 muslins for this dress.  But my first was a complete dud.  I made it a little while ago, and I like to think I'm now a little wiser....
Here are the sizes I would be based off the pattern envelope:
Bust:   Size 6
Waist:  Size12-14
Hips:   Size 14

Here's my poor logic:  Okay, size six in the bust, so I'll make the bodice size 6 until the waist.  WRONG!   What was I thinking?  My shoulders and frame aren't tiny, just my bust!  This resulted in a stupidly tight top half (duhhhh)!

So that was a complete waste of time...

Next muslin I got wise and made the whole bodice the same size as my waist size, with the intention to do a small bust adjustment.
I also measured the pattern pieces and determined to make the size 10, ( 1 1/2 sizes smaller than the pattern's indicated measurement).  Again with the unnecessary ease, pattern companies!
I graded out to a size 12 at the bottom of the midriff.  I don't think this was necessary...okay get to the pics already!

(The bow peeking out below is from the yarn I had around my waist to mark it)

Issue number one:  Too long!  This bodice has an interesting feature, the horizontal seams are slanted.  It's designed for the bottom of the midriff to hit the waist at the centre back, but be higher by a few centimetres at the front.
Mine was 4 cm longer than my waist!  But I didn't want to take it all out from the lengthen/shorten line on the midriff pieces.  Why?  Because I think that would destroy the style of the dress.  The midriff would be so small it wouldn't have a good balance.  Besides, I like making things harder for myself....Here I sewed out two tucks of 2cm, one in the bodice, and one in the midriff.
Much better balance.

Issue two:  Gaping back seam at waist.  I pinned out 2cm extra on each side.  Now my back seam is rather curvy!
Originally gaping at the back at the waist.

Issue three:  Gaping underarms.  I took in the side seams at the top by 8mm each seam. You can see the gaping in the front-on picture above.

Issue four:  Wrinkles in the back armholes (and front shoulders too).  I addressed this with a sloping shoulder adjustment- this took me a while to figure out!

Can you see the drooping wrinkles at the armholes?  I made pretty arrows for you.

I remembered reading on the In-House Patterns blog that you need a 90 degree angle at the shoulder/armhole seam intersection.  (Described here.)

Here, have some pictures to explain.  Watch the armholes!

Here are the unaltered pattern pieces.
Here it is after tapering the shoulder seams for sloping shoulders.  See how the armhole is messed up?
And here is how I redrew the armholes to get 90 degree angles at the seams.  (The red line).  The blue line is where I was lowering the armhole to match the lower shoulder seam ie. the new cutting line.  Hope this makes sense!
 It turns out my armhole redrawing still needed more tweaking but we'll get to that in a bit!

Okay, Onto the next muslin- looking better!  But still a few things to fix:

 At this point, I was helped by a new fitting friend!  It was brilliant.  Emily of Calico Stretch and I met up with MrsC at The Hectic Eclectic at a regular meet up she has at her shop, Made on Marion!  (More on that to come.)

MrsC is a bit of a fitting guru.  She helped so much!
The final tweaks will be redrawing the armhole outwards in some places (I took too much out and it was looking a bit 'sporty'), adding shoulder darts (there was a bit of gaping at the back neck), and taking out some at the neckline at centre front.  That is to address the slightly loose neckline.  It's just like what Gertie did recently here, but in reverse!  Most of these issues didn't show up well in these pictures, unfortunately...

In the end I don't think I'll need to make a SBA since the gathers have more leeway than a close-fitting darted style.  I'm sooo tempted to make another muslin, but perhaps I should move onto the actual garment.  I'm in no rush though, since I don't know what I need a Summer dress for in Winter.... lol.

So that's my journey so far!  I am slowly gaining understanding....I hope! :)  And I hope this helps someone else out there!

Friday, 27 July 2012

Gelatin Your Chiffon: A Tutorial

So, chiffon.  Famed for being untameably slippery and hard to cut!  So of course, as a beginner, I chose to make a bias-cut top out of it.  I have problems biting off more than I can chew...

I did my research however and rounded up some tips that would hopefully make my project a success.
These included cutting out over a layer of newspaper and using tissue paper under seams while sewing.  You can read about how that went (hint- not flawlessly) in my Taffy post here.

I happened across a new tip on Pattern Review where you actually use gelatin to make the chiffon more manageable.  So I gave it a go, and decided to do a little tutorial and give my thoughts on the experience!

Full credit goes to Lena Merrin of the Sewing Space for putting the tip out there in the first place.  I'm no maverick genius, I'm just using her smarts!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

I'm a Winner!

I've been given The Versatile Blogger Award and the One Lovely Blog Award.  Yay, thank you to Alexandra of In-House Patterns and Marrie of Purls and Pleats!

Fortunately I have to say 7 things about myself for both awards so I can sneakily combine the two :)

Seven things about me:
-I am a bit of a grammar/punctuation pedant!  It drives me nuts how often its/it's and your/you're are misused! 

-As I mention in my profile, and well, the name of my blog, I have only just gotten well after ten years!  Most of the time, all I could do when I was ill was sit on the couch watching tv or playing games, and spend time on the internet.  Now I can do things, and it rules!  I'm so grateful!

-I met my husband through the internet!  I spent a lot of time on the internet when I was ill, and we met on a message board about video games (surprised?  Yes, I am a nerd!).  He is the most wonderful man!

-I have just recently worked the first day in my life at 25 years old!  Previously I had been too ill to work.  Unfortunately...the more I work, the less time I have to make stuff! The blog will be a bit quieter for now...

-I think too hard about things and go into far too much detail.  When I was in school we made windsocks.  Mine was so weighed down with extra details it wouldn't fly, lol!  I guess that sort of sums me up, lol!

-I don't don't how to do hair and makeup to save my life... lol!  I keep thinking "I should really learn how to be a girl someday..."

-I can't watch horror movies.. I'm far too much of a wimp!

Alright, alright, enough waffling on about myself.  Time to nominate some blogs!
Here are some blogs I heartily recommend.  I think I'm supposed to nominate 15 but honestly, I don't follow enough blogs, lol! 

Marie at A Sewing Odyssey
Kristen at K-Line
Gail at Today's Agenda
Sue at Sewing Steady
Katy at Denim Skirts and Other Stuff 
Neeno at Sew Me Love

And I've won one more thing.... some yarn from The Hectic Eclectic!  Yay!  I was so excited!  I'm going to make my husband a scarf with it... Thanks so much!!

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Finished Miette, you heard me right!

Yay, I'm so happy!!  I made it!
I think this is the best thing I've done this year, you guys.  It's one of those "I climbed a mountain" moments.  And if the cardigan is a mountain, my trusty sherpa is definitely Gail.  (lol!)
Thanks a million to you Gail!  You're a gem!

 Since my last blog post, I weaved in all the ends, did the buttons (thanks for all your suggestions, I loved them!), and blocked.  For blocking, I laid it on my ironing board, and hovered the iron above it, steaming it while moving the iron around the garment.  Then I flipped it over and did the same again.
I was pretty scared of blocking, but it was pretty easy after all.  You just have to figure out what method you want to use!  Apparently steaming is good for cotton.  You don't want to soak it since it might stretch out.
I took some before and after shots since I was keen to see how the blocking changed it.  I could see that the stitches were more uniform and it opened up the lace.  Cool!

Left- blocked, right- unblocked
My added stitches and stretchy bind off at the waist meant it was not too pinchy, what a relief!

I wore this with my New Look 6872 skirt (my first blogged project!).  I think this cardigan would be perfect with a summery dress underneath.  Ooh wouldn't it be nice with broderie anglaise?  The eyelets in the fabric and cardigan would complement each other perfectly!

 Getting sick of photos in my back yard?  Yeah, me too lol!

I was thinking of stabilising the button bands with ribbon underneath, but I was too lazy to.   I think maybe this is more necessary for ladies who are curvier up top!  They don't seem to gape too badly.  I'll keep an eye on them though!

 The neckline at the back seems a bit uneven, slipping lower on my left shoulder.  I don't know if that's uneven shoulders or my dodgy knitting.  No big deal though!  I cleverly picked a shot that didn't show it very well.  lol!

I think there could probably be some fitting improvements if I made it again (are the raglan lines supposed to point more towards my armpits?  They seem a little wide.  And also, my neckline is quite wide too), but overall I'm really happy with it!

Gail is posting about her today as well so check her out!  Thanks again Gail for all your help!

Isn't her cardigan lovely?

So, yup, I seem to have caught the knitting bug!  As you saw previously, I have already started my Francis Revisited.
And I have loads of future knitting inspiration too.  My favourites queue on Ravelry is chock full!  I have bought yarn for Peabody, Milena, and Agatha (I couldn't help it, it was on sale!).  Which to start first?! 

 p.s OMG guys I only just found out that when you queue paid patterns on Ravelry, you can put them in your wishlist for people to gift them to you!  How neat is that?  It comes up as a little tab you can select in your queue.
Have any of you used this feature before?  It seems like the perfect way to give a knitter in your life a lovely surprise :)
So friends, get to wishlisting!! :)  And add me on Ravelry here :)

Happily ever after with Miettes :)

Thursday, 5 July 2012

I hope you like talking about fitting!

Alright.  I finally did it, I finished New Look 6808.  (Blog post here.)
Time to take another look at the fitting process.

Last time, I was struggling with the back.  I wanted it fitted enough to skim the curves of my back as I think the baggy back wasn't very flattering on me!  I wondered if I had a sway back, but pinning horizontally didn't seem to work out.
In the end I decided to make two extra back darts (rather a huge reduction in the back- each dart was 2.5cm wide).

Sort of like this.

This followed the curve of my back much better.
Was this the "right" way to do it?  I don't know!  Do I have a sway back?  I still don't know, lol!  These answers may come in time....

I also fussed with the front a bit too.  I did another small SBA, and then thought I was really smart by moving the bust dart up, since on my muslin the dart was too low.  But I wasn't smart, lol!  I found out while constructing the final top that when you do a SBA, that naturally moves the bust apex up.... so I had to move the dart back down again. 

Then when trying it on, I found excess fabric at centre front at the waist. 

Spot the wrinkle?
I increased the front vertical darts a bit to take it in.  Again, not sure if that was the right thing to do, lol.  At that point though, I just didn't care.  You're not the boss of me, fabric!
Yeah, then I had wrinkles under the boobs.  But a good pressing sorted them.  Not the boss of me!

Pre-pressing- Not perfect, but better.

Things I have learned through this process:
  • This top wasn't as easy to fit as I expected!  I suspect a princess seamed top like the Pendrell would have been easier to start with!  More seams= more control.
  • I realise that my desire to have things fit my body very snugly may not be quite compatible with this pattern, lol.  I'm not used to wearing wovens- my usual is a body-hugging knit top!  The good news is that I can *just* get this top on and off.  lol!
  • People on the internet are so helpful and I appreciate every word of advice and encouragement.  Thanks guys!

Thoughts for next time:
  • I will have to figure out how to reduce the sleeve cap ease, to eliminate the unwanted gathering effect.
  • I think I may have to redraw the armhole inwards.  See how it seems to be creating a vertical fold near the armholes?  I think there is too much width there.  That's my theory, anyhow.
So that's that.... for now.  I will revisit this top again.  And each time it shall be better than before!  You'd better believe it!  :)