Thursday, April 30, 2015

Spoonflower Ultra Lawn Looking Goooooooood

Got my swatch set from Spoonflower yesterday, and the swatches are washed and ready for the verdict.

So far the ultra process has been good; little to no crocking, deep dark colors. I'd show you the photos from the poplin test BUT THE PUTER ATE THEM.

So this is the Cotton Lawn.

Top is unwashed, bottom under rip is machine washed and dried

The bottom on the Dalek print is wrinkled and perfect.
Did you see that?

This may just work yet.

It remains to be seen how far off grain these print up. The swatches are off by 1.5" from side to side (I rip to test), but I don't hold them to grain for the swatches. Yardage is where it counts. 
And that's after the next paycheck. Hobby's gotta pay for itself.

But right now, I'm happy.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Seating for one

Apparently I will do anything to avoid finishing the Bristol top from Sewing Workshop. It has more to do with the fabric I'm using as a test muslin than the pattern itself.

And since the file on my computer that stores the billions of photos I use on this blog is 


I'm going to share a new product I have found.

Now I am all about beating a pattern into the ground. How many ways can I make that shirt? Oh, about five. How many uses for old pantyhose? You get the idea.

And here is an old friend, Seat Sack

And it's grown up version

This is the Executive size!

God bless 'em. Comes with a filing cabinet buddy! 

I do applaud making the 'to be filed' container something to be attached to the file drawer, encouraging nonfiling and yet keeping the nonfiled kinda near the cabinet. Just in case. 

You've worked there. You know.

For reasons I don't understand, our former elementary school had the Another Brand Of Seat Sack on the back of every chair that was designed to fall over backwards when a Seat Sack was added to it. The molded chair on the left; that works because the legs are farther apart, and the extra weight is distributed over them. The wooden upright chair in the center: no, falls right over. No fault of Seat Sack. This didn't stop anyone from getting me to sew up knockoffs that  had the same problem, but were made out of cheaper, donated materials that ripped when overloaded. Double the odds, double your fun; when will it fail? And how?

No knocks on Seat Sack/Office Pack. They make a solid product, albeit one you could knock off in about a minute. I'll wager their materials are pretty good, better than mine, and costing that out, makes their product a better deal.

I do worry that the filing cabinet buddy is going to stick when you close the drawer, but I give them solid marks for recycling.

And people that don't sew need this stuff.  Just remember: Seat Sack does not defy gravity cause it's the LAW.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Pride and Prejudicial Hats

Hats. I'm on the hats for this one. I'm still hip deep in it, but I gotta get back to work, so here's a photo story about....hats.

Mrs Bennett's mob cap, early days of pleating

Gather? Yes? No.
Mrs Bennett's hat needs more shiny
Much more shiny....

Also on Vest Patrol: Mr Darcy's future vest, versions one and two 

This bonnet owes it's life to Lynn McMasters and the Oregon Regency Society

Come to think of it, the whole show does.

Later, it gets feathers. And a bird.

The feathers read okay from here. But you can't see the bird...
This is the all upholstery production.

Which sorta goes without saying

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Miyake 1664 shirt wax print edition

I was kinda neutral on the whole wax print phenomenon generally*.
Until I saw this one.

This is printed crossgrain, like they all are, and the 'fray' on the rope is about eleven inches wide. Six yards of 44" wide is a lot of anything. Still, it was too strong a print for me to pass up.

Most of these seem to be printed so cleanly that they read perfectly well on both sides (which makes print layout easier and assembling a nightmare). I had no dye loss on washing. It's a smooth poplin, a little stiffer than you'd want for a regular shirt.

They also have very very gluey labels (I've made curtains out of another piece, so I have this part down). I recommend ripping/rubbing off as much as possible, and then massaging/scraping off the remaining gum with GooGone, or some other orange oil based goo solvent (my fave scraper is a plastic gift card). Left the colors and fabric quite fine. 

I hung it from the laundry line to stare at it for awhile. It needed a big canvas.
I can't think of bigger than 80s Miyake Vogues.

I have made the jacket,  three times in the 80's, size 8, still fits my size 14 backside. Everytime I put it on, I remember how much making this taught me about structure, weight and finishing. It hangs like a dream, the reverse lapel just looks so damn sharp. I should make it in wool at some point.

One version in grey denim is part of the Dalek suit.

 Remember when Vogue always made single size patterns?

Never made the shirt before. Two piece sleeves, non-dropped shoulders, I left off the pockets. The pockets are well planned and would hang really well (the ones in the jacket are amazing) but it just seemed out of place with this print.

I traced it out - still wide enough. I did bring the shoulders in about 1/4", and shortened it about two inches (I'm 5'2", I should mention that in the title of this blog "She Had To Shorten Everything And That's Why She Sews"), Nevertheless, I did not alter the width, proving that these 80's Miyakes are truly oversized.

I think the shirt is bigger than the jacket. 

I couldn't find buttons that I liked on this, so I made one big covered one and put snaps on the inside to close.  Like it's brother jacket, this shirt would stay closed without fasteners - it's that balanced.

I should do a series on my Miyakes. The plaid shirt of 1257 is a staple of my wardrobe. The pants were my only venture into leather and the jacket...was a mistake I should revisit. Maybe in another wax print.....

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Unspoken Piece; My friend the gusset.

This whole article from Threads online has got me thinking.

It's this line: "In the earliest commercial patterns, very little instruction was included because it was assumed that the majority of women knew how to sew most any garment."

Now I know that, like I know where the milk is in the grocery store. I've DONE my vintage sewing, I am doing it. Right now I'm in the 50s with a serious batwing sleeve thing going.

But I was reading this article anyway, even though I Know It All (you can see where this is going, right?) and when I got to this set of photos, it hit me.

Threads Magazine, my screenshot
There is probably no gusset piece included in the pattern set.

There isn't one in this pattern

And I cannot move my arms in it.

It probably gets sewn with an underarm gusset in it, because as a seamstress in that time, I would have KNOWN to add one. 

Yakking at Made Sewing Studios with Carissa, local genius, recently about this gusset matter. As far as she knows, they were also made to be removed so you could wash the gusset and not the whole shirt. Or replace it, much like dress shields.

Which begs to ask: what else do I not know to add that I would have known about?

From the past ages of the internet, a nifty tutorial on Gussets

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Emerald City Comic Con 2015: The butterfly dress edition

I have a lot to say about cosplay, but I need you to see this costume before I've sorted all that out.

She made it from individually applied faux wings, and had no idea of it's origins.

You and I may know it from Alexander McQueen's Spring 2011 collection (this one by Sarah Burton)

She only knows it from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. 

No photos of me there.
I had a prominent zipper blowout and had to sew myself into my pants to get home. 

Partially finished Dalek bowler hat

Once I get this other costume (Regency bonnets!) job done, I'll do a proper photo blog, but in the meantime, let's look at that again!

I am sorry I do not have her name. When I do, I will edit this to suit. I do have her permission, btw. That seems to be the point of cosplay at the con.