Monday, 24 February 2014

Two wearable muslins AKA reverse vanity sizing

Well. I've made two wearable muslins for KS2627 for my Make a Garmant a Month plan.

On one hand, I can't believe how much time I have already invested in what should be a very simple make. On the other hand, the fact that it is a simple make should make it a great choice to showcase so many of my fabulous fabrics. I also can't quite believe how happy I have been to invest so much time in it. (Although I am expecting a significant return on investment)

So, first I checked the finished garment measurements. (see I am learning) The bust for a size L is exactly my bust measurement so I decided to cut an L through the shoulders tapered out to XL from the bust down in the front only. That is the back is a straight L.

And I've just spent ages looking for pics of this first wearable muslin and they are nowhere to be found. My laptop did have a catastrophic system failure last week resulting in it going in for repairs. I presume that somewhere in this I 'lost' the pics. Oh well....

Anyway the fact is that the first muslin was too big. So then I cut a size L everywhere. And it was still too big. So then I cut (the already cut pieces) to a size M through the shoulders and an L from the bust down. This is how it turned out.

And now it also seems that I can't find all the pics of this top. So I really should leave this and take some more. But of course I'm not going to because this post has been brewing for days already. We'll just go with what we have. 

EDIT I have now found some pics. yeah

So as you can see I used navy bias binding for the neckline.

And on the sleeves. Of course this was after first just machine stitching with white thread. And then doing it again with navy thread. I told you I spent a lot of time faffing about.

I also played around with the darts a bit to minimise stripe distortion.

I just machine hemmed it with navy thread. I did think about using bias binding again but decided it would make the hem too stiff and sticky-outy (now there's a technical term).

You'll just have to trust me that the finished item looks pretty good! I have already worn it with jeans for beer and pizza and got several compliments. Although it seems that I have unconsciously made a Geelong supporters top. Not necessarily a good thing when I'm a Saints supporter. (For all the non-AFL people out there just ignore that bit)

But you know what I found most frustrating about all this? The fact that no matter how many times I looked at the finished garment measurements and even after the first wearable muslin, I still couldn't just cut the size M. And do you know why? Because I am not a size M. Really it is ridiculous. If this pattern had been sized smaller I would have had no hesitation going from an XL to an L. But an M just seemed wrong. I am beginning to really appreciate why many indie pattern companies (particularly) are using completely different 'labels' for their sizing. I'm sure that I wouldn't have found it so difficult to cut the correct size if it was going down to an C not a D or from a size 3 to a 4. (Although I do recognise that these are 'normal' sizing in some markets but I'm Australian so they don't mean that to me.)

By the way you can get this pattern here. And it's free!

And it's also navy so it fits with the sewcialist #bluefebruary theme.

So do any of you have trouble cutting the right size because you can't get your head around being that 'small' or that 'big'? Or is it just me? I'd really like to know I'm not alone in this so please leave your thoughts in the comments.

EDIT No.2 I knew that I had read something on one of the many sewing blogs I read about exactly this. The lovely onedabbles reminded me that it was Karen. She coined the term Reverse Vanity Sizing and I think that's perfect!

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

My first man's shirt

Well I did it and it was actually not only quite easy but lots of fun. Here it is

I used Lekala pattern no. 6207 (I think) supposedly to Mr H's measurements but then took 3cm off each shoulder. I also made the collar smaller although this was purely a design decision. Next time (and there will be several more of these) I will make the collar stand smaller as well.

Probably the only other thing worth noting about the pattern is that I had chosen to have seam allowances added but they are only 1cm. Not a big problem unless you want to flat fell the seams - that gets tricky. Fortunately there was enough extra ease to just use 2cm seam allowances instead.

Like many of use, I also had a little help from my friends. Well actually they aren't my friends they've never even heard of me but still... I used the truly excellent alternative method to attach a collar from four square walls. You can find that here. I found this so much easier than what I remember even if it has been 30 years since I last made a proper collar.

The fabulous Peter Lappin is also generously sharing tips from his class at FIT and had a great tip to use your zipper foot for edgestitching. You can find that and more here.

If you don't already follow Andrea or Peter  then you really should have a look.

As I said this all went together rather well. I was a little concerned about making buttonholes (again for the first time in a looong time) but my little Janome did a great job.

This fabric wasn't actually the easiest for a first attempt as it is a loose weave and tends to grow a bit. So I am really looking forward to making one in a nice, crisp, cotton. You can find out more about the fabric in my previous post here.

And another pic just because I can. But no, none with Mr H (who looked aghast when I said I was going to photograph his shirt since he thought I wanted him to be wearing it).

So do you make men's shirts? Or have you done any other selfless sewing lately?

Monday, 10 February 2014

Make a Garment a Month February Plans

Well I've finally made a decision... I think. I mean really, I have no idea why I have been dithering so much about this. I have changed my mind and then changed it back again, several times. Which is really silly considering I hope to make 2 or 3 garments this month anyway. I'm going for something simple since I also hope to be doing some selfless sewing this month as well. (More on that later)

I'm using Kwik Sew 2627, which is a free pattern for a simple woven dress. I'm making view C - the short version - out of this navy cotton. (Yes, it's another Thai cotton) It has a really nice self stripe and then a great silver border around the bottom. I think the simple design will work to show off the fabric.

And of course, it's navy and the sewcialists theme this month is blue February so that works out well too.

I noticed a few of us were a bit delayed with our garment decisions this month. Maybe it's something in the air...

How are you going? Made your plans? Started your garment? Finished your garment? (What already???)

Saturday, 1 February 2014

And the winner is

Today is the day to draw the 

So thanks to

The winner is Miss Caracrafts. Congratulations!

Please email me at gaye.proctorATgmailDOTcom so that I can send them on their way.