Sunday, October 31, 2010

Introduction to Pattern Making (Skirt)

Hello Readers!!  Happy Hallow's Eve:)

On Saturday, I finally took the first class in a series of 3 classes of Introduction to Pattern-Making.  I'm taking the class at Sew LA from owner, Shaerie.

The first three weeks are really, making a sloper for a skirt.  This sloper will function as a flat pattern that will "free me from the confines of commercial patterns."  And, will assist with fitting all future garments - Sounds Great!!

I haven't signed up for the bodice part, and now I  believe it's sold out! Oh Boo!  I may have to wait until next offering or procure private lessons.

Here's what I have learned from the class - I have measured myself completely incorrectly.  I measure myself as Waist 33", Hips 38" - when in reality my waist is 30" and hips 40" (I have been eating a bunch of chocolate:)).  Also, I've learned my hips are 9" from my waist - the standard measurement in commercial patterns - yeah!

We are using a Butterick 5746 (as shown below) basic skirt and working on our muslins now.  As soon as we are done I'll go on a skirt making binge - right now I'm on a dress-making binge (still).

Here's what I have learned about my sewing:

(1)  I am rushing literally everything - I need to slow down and take my time.

(2)  I really need to pay much more detailed attention to grainlines.

(3)  Ok, I do need to make muslins for the majority of my projects.  (As a result of my sewing mojo being jump-started by this class, I made a muslin for Vogue 8667, which I will explain in detail on tomorrow's blog!)

(4)  I really need to trace sewing lines instead of eyeballing them by hand (especially for high value projects).  Yes!  It does make a difference (and modifying these lines requires, dare I say it?, MATH!).

(5)  Ah, the wonders of the two inch clear ruler.  I really need to use my clear flexible ruler in everyday measurements - wow!  I've really been missing out.

(6)  I'm so glad I took that couture hand sewing class in preparation for this class - it's made hand-basting a breeze!

Summary - Great class so far and this is the first in person class I've taken where it was more than a beginning level garment sewing class.  This is an advanced class and everyone has experience garment making - I'm holding my own though - all my self-study, the couture hand-sewing class, and practice has definitely helped.  I have quite a bit to learn!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Vogue Pattern Bounty

Dear readers,

After work today, I jumped on down to Joann Fabric for their 3.99 pattern sale (Vogue patterns only) going on.   I needed 2 yards of muslin since I am taking a very promising Introduction to Pattern-Making class on Saturday morning in that hipster enclave of Los Angeles, Silver Lake (where I do buy quite a bit of Japanese fabric).

Here is my bounty:

Vogue 8146:

I didn't mean to purchase this - I ran across this while browsing for missing patterns in the drawers (as usual!) - I found this by mistake - I love sheath dresses - and loved the jacket on this one. . .

Vogue 8333:

A Claire Shaeffer pattern that I love!  Since I saw Erika B make a wonderful Claire Shaeffer jacket - I couldn't wait to pick this up - I want to eventually put my newly acquired couture skills to work!

Vogue 8667:

A very easy vogue pattern that I saw favorable reviewed on PR - can't wait to sew this up - plus it favors my aesthetic of perhaps vintage, yet modern. . 

Vogue 1206:

I loved the sleeves and neckline on this dress - it looks pretty easy and I've seen positive reviews on PR and my bloglist - Jonathan loves the fabric shown on the model but I certainly cannot see myself in this print!

Vogue 8688:
I like the version on the right, in yellow! I can make this quickly - and I already love a few RTW cashmere sweaters I own in this design!  I really wanted a couple of different knit patterns to be honest but they were out of stock!

In a related note:  Have you seen the option on McCall's webpage for "Printable Patterns."  Has anyone tried this option and if so, what was the result?

I can't wait for tomorrow's class!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hand Couture Stitching Class

Hello Readers,

I've just completed my first sewing class online! Of all things, it was the couture methods involving handstitching - which, paradoxically I signed up for less than a mere week after acquiring my wonderful vintage serger.

Susan Khalje (Susan's Website), a wonderful couture designer, hosted the online class on Pattern Review - and guess what, I kinda really like hand stitching now.  It has a certain look, and when done well, is gorgeous.  And, I think, the most important aspect is the amount of control it gives you when stitching (zippers, lining, and gathering can be very easy!).

Here are some stitches that I really liked best:

The Prick Stitch (an easy variation of the back stitch) - here is my practice zipper (first try!):

The catch stitch (for adhering fabric have linings or lace)

The fell stitch (the go-to stitch for security). I have it pictured below attaching two lace pieces.  But in reality it is THE stitch used, for example, to put in linings by hand because of its strength.

We are also learning hand-overcasting, the slipstitch, the basting stitch, the backstitch, the blanket stitch, buttonhole stitch (using buttonhole twist thread), and the invisible hem stitch.  We also learned how and when to use beeswax!

There were some other techniques and stitches taught as well!  One that I didn't master was the thread chain.  This particular decorative stitch is used to attach the lining to the skirt or for belts, for example.

We also learned about threads and needles (size 9 sharps are best for hand-sewing; cotton, polyester, mix of cotton polyester or silk finish cotton threads are all used frequently (she recommends high quality imported threads, like Guterman or Mettler).

Unexpectedly fun class!

I also stated I was going to post on my serger class - I've since decided not too - I read over my post and it was too defensive and a bit snarky.  I wish this blog to be a positive sewing blog!

Hopefully, now I'll actually sew something:)