Sunday, January 13, 2013

Real Sewing Returns

I am finally starting some real sewing, after this hiatus I am ready to roar. The remodel is finally complete. The holidays came and went and the nasty,nasty flu is but a memory. I even got the final leg of my sewing room re-org complete today. The "fabric closet" which joins the studio with the back "fabric room" got a thourough going through this morning and a total scrub down as well. What to begin with?

So many things have been backed up in the queue but it made logical sense to me to do my dress form re-do. I am sure you have seen Kenneth King's custom dress form in Threads recently. There have been more than a few successful outcomes out there in blog land of this technique. Oh, you remember the duct tape form my BFF and I did? In late August I think the heat and humidity just did it in and all sort of sagged in the most awful way. At first I thought it was just continuing to mimic my ever changing and aging shape but truth be told, It just died. So a different "mini-me" has been on my mind ever since. To get started I picked out my Vogue Sloper pattern, Vogue 1004. It's been around for years. I never have quite gotten the sloper thing, at least the part where you make it work on a different pattern, so I never took this out of the envelope till today.

 I folded the skirt pieces under to just give me the hip length needed to cover my current dress form. At this point all pieces have been cut out, marked, and are ready to sew. I did NO alterations to this pattern as tempted as I was. This is a size 8 and upon reading the finer print I realize they are nowhere near my own measurements. A disadvantage of this pattern is that it comes in one size, the one you decide will work. Since I usually use a Vogue size 8 and then do my usual alterations, I went with an 8. I followed the initial instructions for measuring and quickly realized I probably have the wrong size but I know if I had the "right" size it would be swimming on me. Anyway, you can see the very generous seam allowances so I think in the end I will be fine. Also, the pattern does provide pieces for different bust cup sizes. According to the measurements on the directions I needed the D front. When I alter a pattern it is always to a C cup and that's been fine so we will see how this turns out.

Here you can see the horizontal balance and grain lines marked in with marker. You can't see all the other lines, every single one of them, which are marked with waxed transfer paper and a serrated wheel. Love that technique!
I will say, this sloper pattern has LOTS of information inside, six pages both sides, on how to do all sorts of alterations. It's a great reference. But remember, they are teaching you to make a bodice sloper, something you can use to later fit patterns. I am going for a skin tight facsimile of my personal body space so it will be a tad more snug. I am going to sew everything up with big stitches right where they want me to. Then I will do further adjustments. I will probably wait for my BFF to come over for that next weekend. Then it will be Stuff the Dummy time, yahoo! Cross those fingers.

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I am still languishing over the pattern for my winter coat. I will probably be sewing it over Fourth of July! Some years back I tried on a 3000.00 swing coat at a store in Boston, can't remember which. It was the most beautiful thing I think I have ever tried on. It was simple and exquisite black wool. It took everything I had to not hand over the plastic. Ever since that day I have been craving me a gorgeous swing coat. I have seen on PR a few iterations and the upper part of the current patterns seems to have a lot of volume. The sleeves are huge as well, which I do understand is a nod to it's retro roots. But all that fabric would be overwhelming on me. I want a narrow upper chest and a wide triangle at the bottom. Today while looking for this sloper pattern, which required that I go through every pattern box I own, I found this forgotten swing coat pattern that may be the one.
It's from 1995. I like the collar a lot as it fits the need to keep the neck extra warm in this climate. Other patterns and their collars have never been just right. This one is. The sleeves also don't seem to be as voluminous as other patterns currently available and I like that. Given that the date of the pattern is 1995, around the time when I tried on the 3000.00 coat, those shoulders shouldn't be as wide as those of the eighties but a muslin will prove that out.  I also like that this coat has long sleeves. Every other SC pattern I have seen has 3/4 sleeves and that won't work up here. I also like the version shown with the tie belt. So this may be the one. It's McCalls 7947. But first  I have to get my "mini-me" put together!....Bunny

15 comments:

  1. Have fun making your mini-me. It sounds pretty straightforward, but it will be interesting to see how it goes for you.
    A $3000 coat - no wonder you didn't purchase it. It must have been heavenly! The pattern you found looks like it could fit the bill. I have melton for a coat I thought I would make this winter, but I suspect the winter will go by without getting it done. I've looked over the pattern and the Singer Reference Library Tailoring book, and it all seems a bit overwhelming. It would definitely be one of those projects to work at here and there, rather than all at once. At least, that approach fits me best. I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

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    1. The Singer Tailoring book is a great reference, actually, all those Singer books are.

      I think I tried that coat on at Filene's in downtown boston many moons ago. Isn't it something how certain things just stick in your mind, you know, "the one that got away"..?

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  2. Glad you're back and roaring. Your projects look exciting.

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  3. Looking forward to your mini me and coat projects! I always think I ought to do a sloper, and somehow never get to it...

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  4. Slopers are always great to have, I know I use mine a heck of a lot! Serious tidying up is high on my priority list also. I really like the coat pattern, the tan version is my favourite. What will you make it out of, I didn't see you mention any possibilities?

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    1. I have a gorgeous black cashmere/wool blend, Italian, that I picked up at Fabric Place Basement outside of Boston. That is a fabulous place, by the way! It is not as heavy as a melton and therefore should have a pretty drape. I think I will underline it with flannel and use a Kasha lining. I've used that combo before and it is very warm for our cold climate here.

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  5. Having a BFF to help with sewing projects must be great! Looking forward to both projects and so happy you have conquered the flu despite having flu shots.

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  6. If you're still considering your options, Burda has a beautiful swing coat pattern. I made it for my daughter. It's stunning and went together nicely.

    Mind you, I like the pattern you have.

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    1. I will check that out. I looked at Burda but somehow missed that one.

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  7. I can't wait to see your mini me. I used that pattern to work on slopers and gave up on it in the end. I am planning to draft some slopers from scratch and maybe I could make them up as a dress form too. So will be interested to see how yours goes. Good luck.

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  8. I am so glad to hear that the flu is but a memory. And your blog looks gorgeous with all the rich red and the header featuring smocking & embroidery. really delicious!!
    I like the looks of that long coat.

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  9. Your planned coat sounds lucious! Sometimes those older patterns have just the style details we are looking for. At least that is how I justify my purchases of OOP patterns at Etsy and vintage pattern sites.

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  10. I'm just getting back into sewing for myself after many years of smocking and sewing children's clothes and practical home dec items for the house. I'm finding that measurements on the pattern do not match the reality of my measurements. If I made the size that my measurements suggest, I could fit two of me in them! I think I've settled on a starting pattern size that I am using regardless of the pattern measurement and tissue fitting/muslining and adjusting from there. I really am frustrated that the pattern measurements are so far off,though. I'm actually glad to hear that others are finding this too.

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  11. Did a tremendous amount of fabric purging. Fabrics not suitable to wear in public. Also pattern purging-body size changed. Some nice TNT patterns were too tight!

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