Archive for February, 2011

Vogue 8151: The Gathered “Dart” Version

February 24th, 2011 18 comments

I made this darted tee a little while ago in an attempt to get a better fit for my full bust.  Shams commented that she generally skipped the darts, and just eases them in.  I decided to try that when I recently needed a slew of tees.  First, here’s the pattern:

And here’s the finished tee, front view, made with the “darts” eased into the side seams:

And back view:

Looks more or less OK, right?  Not so fast, folks.  Something’s a bit wonky here.

For the first tee, I eased the dart’s fullness right where the dart was placed on the shirt.  Big mistake!  Somehow, this left me with a lot of extra fabric just below my bust.  It was a weird fit failure; kind of as if I’d located the dart point three inches below the “point” of my bust.   Amusing, but  not amusing enough for an immortalizing picture.

So I re-fit the thing, and placed the ease directly across the rather broad expanse of my full bust.  This meant that I began easing the extra fullness right at the armpit.  Strange, but it worked.  Sort of:

The ease covers a pretty broad territory, and the alteration is pretty obvious, isn’t it?  But I really couldn’t have bunched this up any more –not only does this represent the true height of my bust’s fullness, but if I’d crammed this “ease” into any smaller territory, we’d be calling it “gathers”.  It’s perilously close to gathering as it is.

See how the side seam pulls to the front a little across from the bust?  You can’t see it in the picture, but it straightens out so that, at the hem, it’s exactly where it should be.  Also weird; I guess that’s the proof that I really do need this extra space in the bust and not elsewhere.  But somehow this just doesn’t seem quite right.

Because I needed a bunch of shirts in a hurry, I whipped up four of these:

Good colors, no?  But these shirts are  flawed, deeply flawed.  They’re quite comfortable to wear, but that ease is just .  .  .  strange.

This is a much nicer shirt to wear than the darted tee.  Tee shirts just don’t want to be constrained the way darts long to be; the knit fabric wants to shift around a bit too much, conforming, as knits do, to the moving body.   The easing on these versions really does make the shirt feel more like a tee, and there is enough room here for my bust, but the alteration is just wrong.

Any advice, fellow sewists?  I do have a brand new copy of the Palmer DVD for the “Full Busted”.  I probably should have waited to make these until after it arrived (ya think?!?).  I’ll be checking out the DVD before I try the next knit top; it can’t hurt!

Reminder:  My duct tape dummy is larger than I am now, for what that’s worth.  It’s really obvious if you compare the fit my the darted tee (on me) and the fit of this one (on the dummy), but is, I think, irrelevant to these alteration issues.  It’s just easier to get fast photos using the dummy, even if the bod is not exactly mine any  more.

Categories: Tops Tags:

Five More Versions of ABdPM 20013

February 18th, 2011 4 comments

I found five amazing versions of my Au Bonheurs des Petites Mains jacket while tooling around amongst French blogs.   Here’s what the pattern looks like when it arrives from ABdPM:

I’m not sure I’ve got sorted out whose coat is whose, but I’m giving it a shot here anyway.  You can see all of these on Passion Plaisir, with links to the others.  For some reason, canalblog (the French blogging site) doesn’t let me pick up perma-links, so you’ll have to scroll down on each blog to 7 December or 3 December, 2010, to see the images.

So that  you can drool in the meantime, here is a fake (I think) leather version by Danielle, of Passion Plaisir:

and a brown faux sheepskin version,  that goes to the knee (Danielle removed the center front panels for this one, as well as lengthening the coat):

Sophie, who blogs at Phisso, made this blue version, just for fun, with fake fur lining the hood, and white fleece lining the body:

Sophie also made this white version, which is really stunning:

Sophie’s blog has really detailed pictures of the white version, and quite a few of the blue one.

Danyelle, of So Girly, made a gray quilted version, long like Danielle’s faux mouton:

It looks as if she may have removed the center front panel, too, but I can’t be sure, since I can’t see most of the images on So Girly.

As a refresher, here’s mine:

I’ve got another one planned for spring, that isn’t like any of these.  What a great pattern — you can take it in any direction you might imagine!

It seems that I got the hem right, after all, as Sophie’s jackets also have the short center panels that I worried were a mis-calculation on mine.  And there’s not a bubble hem among this batch, so it’s probably safe to say that the swing-like flair of this pattern is intentional.

I loved seeing these; there’s some really interesting stuff going on out there in ABdPM-land.

The website for Au Bonheur des Petites Mains is here; click on “Modèle pour femme” and then follow the “Patrons de veste” link to find this pattern.

I wonder how many more of these I could turn up if ABdPM didn’t have such an odd numbering system?

Related: See all my Au Bonheur des Petites Mains posts by clicking here or on the ABdPM category in the right-hand column on this page.

Categories: ABdPM, Jackets Tags:

Vogue 8712: Move over, sweats, there’s a new kid in town!

February 14th, 2011 4 comments

After seeing Sham’s Vogue 8712 pants, I knew I had to have a pair!  They looked perfect for a week in the desert — my least favorite environment ever — and I figured that they were simple enough that I could whip them up fast before a sudden, unexpected, trip to the Sonoran desert of our own west.  (It’s winter in our deserts now, so shorts were not on the agenda.)  Front view:

Like Shams, I eliminated the zipper.  A zipper front fly on knit pants?  It boggles the mind.  Not to mention that it’s completely unnecessary for fit. Back view:

Vogue said that I should cut a size 14, so, naturally, I cut a 10.  It fit perfectly out of the envelope — although I did shorten the legs by three-eighths of an inch.  (Don’t ask.)  These pants are just past ankle-length on me; I’m five foot two inches tall.

I made these out of a ponte I bought from Kashi at Metro.  This was the first time I’d gone near a fabric like this in a long, long time, but, under Sham’s tutelage, I figured  I should give it a shot.  This is NOT the synthetic knit of yore!  The fabric was a dream to sew,  and even dreamier to wear.

My next version will be in a cotton knit, for actual summer here on the east coast.  These pants offer all the comfort of sweatpants, but without the slob factor, and they come out of a suitcase as if they’ve just been pressed.  They whip up very quickly, and they have pockets!   I’m planning to live in these every day.

By the way, see the shoes?

They’re Rockports, and machine-washable.  The liners come out and rinse and dry quickly.  I pack these as a second pair of shoes when I’ll be in warm weather.  They’re great as “slippers”, too, if you’ve been walking in more substantial shoes all day.

On a trip like this one, when I went from 16 degrees to 75, I wear my Keen sandals with wool socks to get through the snow (works a treat!), and then wear these or my Keens, sans socks, for the serious walking once at the warm-weather destination.  Although I didn’t happen to wear them on this trip, these little flats would have been fine for any day I’d wanted less clunky foot gear, and they’re great with skirts and dresses, too.  I love having them along as an option.

Categories: Pants Tags:

Packing Cube ID

February 3rd, 2011 2 comments

I’ve been using packing cubes forever; I love the way they organize my traveling life, even though I often forget what I’ve packed in each cube.  Since I generally wear black while I travel, everything looks the same inside a packing cube.  This is a bit inefficient.

I’ve now solved this vexing problem by sewing Demeritwear badges onto my packing cubes.  Here’s the badge I’ve sewed to the shoe cube (there’s a high-heel patch for those  who are less utilitarian than I):

This one’s for the “tops and bottoms” cube:

This for the outerwear cube (hoodie, jacket — stuff for in the environment, hence the “earthy” patch):

This sporty one is for specialty gear (workout clothes; bathing suit; silk  longies for winter):

And this badge is for  the “dainties” cube (Demeritwear calls this a “tanning” patch, I think, but it gets the point across):

(Got a shadow across the bottom of the “tanning” patch.  I’ll try to post a better image when I get a chance.)

It doesn’t hurt a bit that these patches make me grin every time I see them.  Sometimes a weary traveler just needs a bit of whimsy along the way.

Note:  I think all Demeritwear badges can be ironed-on now, but I always prefer to sew.

Disclosure:  Please read it a the bottom of the Case Mod post. It doesn’t amount to much, but I want to keep the FTC happy.  That’s our job as citizens, don’t you think?  Keeping the government happy?

Categories: Adventure/Travel, Fun Tags:

Tinted Bobbins

February 2nd, 2011 2 comments

I found these at a fabric store I was in recently:

They’re tinted bobbins for my Pfaff.  At first glance, I thought they were a dumb idea, but then I remembered how many times I’ve reached for a bobbin filled with topstitching thread when I really wanted standard weight.  I’m using these now, and I really like catching the error before I get the bobbin into the machine.  It’s not a critical time-and-frustration saver, but it’s still pretty nice!

I’m not sewing much with silk or rayon thread these days, but having a second (or third) bobbin color would be useful for “tagging” those threads, too.

Pfaff also makes them in yellow.  Beware, though, that they come in at least two sizes, so make sure that you get the ones that are right for your machine.  Here’s the UPC code for mine, which is an older machine, a 27-year-old Pfaff  Synchrotronic 1229:

If you’re looking for them, this might come in handy, as there’s no useful name on the package.   Maybe somebody at Pfaff has been spending too much time at IKEA lately.

Categories: Tools Tags: