Monday, July 21, 2014

Sewing Summer Break, Sewing Planning, and Projectifying


Over the last couple of years, my sewing/knitting/working changed up dramatically. 

I had to stop knitting for hand issues, I started a 40+ hour/week summer job, and I decided to pay attention to sewing/pattern making/blogging as a job rather than a hobby.
I WILL be brought back from the dead!

Between the three events, I make sure my machines go away to get tuned up over the summer. I can knit one object, unless I have a really heavy data entry day. And regular posts and tutorials are out.

I have to consider what projects I want to focus on for my sewing work, and balance those with the sewing needs of my family (I'm talking about you, cosplay kid!) and friends (yes, you cosplay pals!). That and the alterations are turning into their own job.
And there's a pattern or two in the hopper to go out to Craftsy pretty soon.


I have more Polkabots and Deceptidots  fabrics at Spoonflower.


Plus an enormous cloud print, to go with the enormous water print that should be up for sale soon.



So summer is for working,  planning, working, dreaming, and reading. And working. Because now my office job is vacation time from sewing (and my kids - shhh!).  Last September I came back with more energy and more ideas than I'd ever had before.


I WILL buy more movie star buttons!


Friday, July 11, 2014

Online Linky Love on a hot Friday evening

Dammit, I am just too warm to edit and rewrite notes. My sewing machine is going back to the shop, because it did not get fixed, so nothing to see there.

So it's linky love Friday, with fitting fun from Threads and SewNews


First, there is pattern news.

The big news is McCalls is looking for vintage reprint ideas. Really.  Go to LauraMae's page on that link and start reading. I'll be here all week, but do that now.

Colette Patterns has a new dress pattern coming soon. I will have much to say about it when the veil is lifted next week.
Grainline has a new dress pattern out now, the Alder. It's a shirtwaist with gathers and without.
Neither one has sleeves. Which is good for summer. 

I will have a new pattern coming out in August. It's for culottes. Without sleeves.
Yes, I know how to make other things besides culottes, but this is more interesting to me than dresses.

I have this annoying tick. I'm staring out the window, sitting in a coffee shop, doing tech drawings and pattern piece breakdown of the hep jacket the woman over there is wearing. It's a fun mental exercise, but taking it further is....uh....stealing.
I want to do something NEW...

 http://moldesedicasmoda.blogspot.com/ does something like this (more of 'what do you do with a sloper/block?'). It's kind of a guilty pleasure for me; I also really enjoy http://pokroyka.ru/ which will take you to http://issuu.com
Which is my new "oh, is it time to get up to go to work in the morning now?" clickhole.

Just don't. It's really a bad idea. Intellectual property is not a bad idea (except if you take it past the life of the creator). It's almost all japanese crochet books anyway. And I don't even crochet.

Sew News has a PDF extra with Sarah Veblen on five patternmaker skills to master. Mostly about using rulers and smoothing out lines, but she does the usual great job with photography illustrating what she's talking about. A decent explanation of walking the pattern. 

My mother always said it was tacky to wear high heels with pants. I'm not a truly judgmental person, but this photo just makes me think that hemming these pants was not done on these models.


Well, yes. It's not exhaustive, but it gives a good overview of how it works. I'd go find  Sarah Veblen's Complete Photo Guide to Fitting if you really want to dial down on the matter. Her photographs are really good; clear, concise, cogent. I think it's a keeper.



http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/25087/how-to-enlarge-a-pattern

I have my issues with how Threads approaches grading patterns, but I always find scaling up explanations deeply deeply funny. By the time you are done drawing all those lines, you will have a total webby mess on your hands. May I suggest using a grid?

A search on the internet that begins with "how to enlarge" is always entertaining, but this site, Art is Fun, gets to the point about halfway through. Forget the exact proportions of your framing grid; the source and the target just need to have squares. And it's a lot easier to do with a pattern piece to draw, vs a cartoon character or a bowl of fruit. When it gets less hot, I promise I'll put up a decent tutorial on this.

Let's end with a suggested alternation from the pants article:

adding width for my enormous calves?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Spoonflower, Knits Wovens and Free Shipping

I had to screenshot this to show you

 Spoonflower has another fabric in the hopper? Ottoman rib is up on the Flickr page and made into the Burda moto jacket! Another heavier, washer safe textile, hot on the heels of Faux Suede


Faux suede, like the other poly family members, has real blacks and great detail pop in high contrast. This design of mine is Byzantine/Dandelion, The fabric does have a nap, it's shinier than I'm showing in this photo, and it will need a teflon or walking foot as it has a little stickiness to it, like most faux suedes.


The swatches come in fast and furious.

ArtGarage's Tesla Wardenclyffe print in cotton knit.
 The organic cotton did me a favor and only crocked on the edges. This medium cotton knit has had a revision or two, and seems a lot heavier now.
Pee Wee Approved!


And here it is all sewn up into a t (selfmade pattern, traced from a tshirt that fits)

Shameless self promotion for  Polkabots

Okay. This is performance pique. That is two inches unstretched.

Action shots!

I think I pressed the camera button with my nose

After stretching, it's grown a bit.

And this is performance knit. Not a good choice for self labels

An inch and a half before

Yes, I did use my nose to press the shutter button.
 It will almost go to three inches. But not quite. It recovers nicely. So, not as stretchy but snaps back.
You make the call.
I went for the pique. I think a fat quarter will make up most of the XYT workout top from Fehr Trade (a bit of piecing will make up the length - and I am pretty short torso'd). At 28 by 18, that's a hefty and honest quarter.



One thing that baffles me is that the swatch for this is in focus, but the image on the webpage goes out of focus when it loads. You kids and your modern webpages today.....

Waiting on my modern jersey swatch; they keep running out of it and I couldn't wait for there to be enough for free swatch day. Kids, if you are working on designs and can't afford to buy the swatches to get the stuff up for sale, load your designs into the system and wait for the free swatch days. You can select your own unproofed stuff and boom! You're golden! After the pique and the poly knit, I was super curious as to how lightweight the modern jersey could be.


Modern Jersey swatch got lost in the post office (apologies from my lovely mail man) and is quite light and drapey. Probably the nicest 'hand' of all the Spoonflower family after the cotton sateen, takes ink well as it's poly. I'm not a big poly fan (I am a warm 50's ladyperson - hint hint, knowhatimean) but this is pretty close in drape to my beloved rayon challis, so I may have to make an accomodation.

I have so wanted somewhere I could make my own prints. And reproduce fabric prints I love. I don't have to make them public, and I wouldn't, but for my own use, hell YEAH! I've just been waiting for the right textile. And this may work for some of them.


Let's see how far this stuff stretches



Pretty far. And it grows translucent the more you stretch it. 

Underwear weight? Stay away from too much negative ease, I guess.