We have upped, moved and landed in the NT, the land of year-long summer sewing.
best reason ever for sewing stylishly comfortable clothes. I am sad to see that Mary Nanna has closed up shop. She was one of my most favourite bloggers ever, and I am keeping her on my blog roll because I am secretly hoping that she will change her mind. Amy, over at Cloth Habit, has released her first pattern, and I confess, the very first thing I did when I got the internet on was to download the pattern and make it up (well, it did take a long time for that month's worth of emails to download and her pattern is such a jiffy little number). My version turned out fabulous, if I do say so myself, and I will share it with you sometime in the next few blog posts. Kbenco is sewing up a storm for her daughter's formal dress and Little Betty is still churning out the garments, though personally, I am coveting her recovered chair.
My sewing machine (and other household items) arrived here sooner than I expected, so I have something to show you. It arrived long before my car, when I was walking everywhere, even in the middle of the day. I desperately needed more clothes that covered my shoulders and decollete, so that I wouldn't burn to a crisp with all that walking, so I started with a shirt.
The pattern was inspired by one out of a Patrones magazine. I didn't used the Patrones pattern because I wanted to develop my own shirt block and make the pattern from that block.
Last year, I went to a workshop at Spotlight with Connie Crawford, to promote her patterns. We tried on one of her shirts. I wish I had taken a photo of me wearing her shirt, so I could see how well it fit once I got home. The shirts were made out of a heavy crepe, which is a forgiving fabric, fit wise. She told me that all I needed to do was raise the shoulder by half an inch and I could use any of her patterns. I was a bit confused, because I thought she put me in the size bigger than my bust size, and even I could see that the seams wouldn't close at the hips. Anyway, I bought the pattern and decided to make a muslin, starting with the pattern as-is, except for raising the shoulder. I had just bought The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting by Sarah Veblen, which is very good, but I found fitting myself to be an immensely frustrating process.
For starters, the bust point appeared to be too low (which I don't remember from the fitting), so I moved that, which wasn't too hard. Then I thought it needed to come in in the upper torso and out for the hips and there were a few other wrinkles and pulls happening. 3 muslins in and I thought I was getting close. There was funny stuff happening at the shoulder so I made a slash there, just to see what would happen, and my whole shoulder burst through. So then I gave up and draped myself a block on my body double. The final version doesn't look too far off the Connie Crawford pattern, but I think I did need changes at the shoulder line which should have been made before all the other changes. There is a little too much ease in the shoulder cap, which is okay for this fabric and style, but I will need to work on that for my next version. I can swing my arms forward with no binding what-so-ever, which I am happy about.
The shirring on the front neck is just a pretty feature and doesn't incorporate any darting or design features. I added some width in across the back and shirred it too, just to match in with the front. This does make the shirt a little too billowy at the back and I am wondering if I should add another group of shirring at the small of my back.
The fabric is a beautiful cotton that I picked up in Japan on holidays 2 years ago. Cotton fabrics there were very well priced, if you don't take the airfare into account!
I'm glad to be back in blogland, and whilst I have read much of what you have all written, I will only start commenting from this point forward...the absence of my comments does not mean that I don't think that you all are sewing fabulous stuff! xx