Monday, September 21, 2015

Birthday shirt in a day

Almost one year exactly, just after the raging success of his plaid shirt and vest, I took my son to District Fabric to pick out material for his next shirt.

photo from

He picked a rayon knit.
This one.

I'M BLIND!!!!!!!!!!!

As it was his 16th birthday today, it seemed time to make good on the promise.

A promise that needed a knit stitch that worked.

Now I really don't have any one brand of sewing machine that I love or hate anymore than another. My Bernina bugs me, but it is paid for, and I have a billion dollars tied up in those presser feet. And I thought about that when I bought the walking foot for it (on Ebay) last spring.

I did borrow a Brother when the Bernina was in the shop, and I disliked it immediately
for the lightning stretch stitch.
photo from

I could not borrow one, so I bought a rebuilt one on the sale rack. This one has one hundred stitches (if you include the buttonholes), about 98 of which I will never use except to make a blog post. Still debating taking it back this week. It is a really nice stitch.
That was yesterday.
So now I need a pattern that fits him. 

The male members of the family do not share my fitting issues: they all need stuff that is small and they like it more fitted than most menswear patterns.

So I worked from clothing I knew the fit of already.

It's tracing and connecting the dots from here, onto tracing paper.

Truing up the lines

A little transfer paper and a wheel for the curves

Truing the side up  (matching the collar seam mark the marker is pointing to) and then folding in half

A front and back collar line

I cut one side out for the front, and the other for the back.

The sleeve head came from this shirt, the sleeve body from another knit shirt. Handy that I'm drafting at a table right next to the laundry, many models to choose from.

Preshrunk and ready (well, it would not lay out properly, so I had to cut the pieces on a single layout. We're skipping the sweary parts)(and the part where laying out the fabric made my eyes hurt)

first thing you see when you open the box

and just in case you missed it before.

If you love your Brother sewing machine, don't read the next paragraph.

There's no speedy work on this machine, and the needles they provide make a horrid clunking sound going through fabric. The drop in bobbin does not like to be threaded in, and it is deeply picky about tension and how it's wound. The stitch 'cycle' sometimes will not clear the thread over the bobbin at the end. You can't adjust the bobbin tension. I guess I am a front loader bobbin person. And no, I don't like the on-machine threader. Or the needle always ending in the down position. But that stitch....
Dreamy # 03!

what is with the kids and the beanies these days?
A little like the end result. We are discussing making these 3/4 sleeved, and he wants more of these shirts.
He has promised not to make any sudden movements while wearing this.

Happy birthday, Blondini!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Off License; Commercial costume patterns I love

With a little editorializing....

Sailor Moon is published in this country by Kodansha Publishing

Dr Who is a BBC production, which controls it's licensing worldwide

Hey, Harley Quinn! Poison Ivy! uh.. Joker Girl?
DC Comics uses Butterick for it's costume patterns 

I own this one. Not ready yet to commit, but a decent fat suit pattern is always good

And then again, sometimes we do have a deal
With Disney

McCalls however, is going in like Flynn

and rockin' versions of the dresses in question

McCalls 6817 soo much better than

As exercised about trademark as I can get, more is better.

Especially this one

McCalls 7217. Yaya Han scares me a little, but that's good. 

Well made pattern, nice lines.

May rival Kwik Sew's 3052
Oh My God: in a world of their own.....

Damn, I BOUGHT this one

Sexy Munchkin?

McCalls 6074. Troma!

Simplicity 9965: Unrelated but it could scale up...

But this is still my favorite of them all
Because we are off to see the Wizard, we gotta get him a suit!

Monday, September 7, 2015

The Refashioners part two

Ah, the multiple collar effect

It can be done

I dunno

The collar is overwhelming. And unstable. It needs a facing for structural support (those collar stands make one heavy heavy lump). And the shirt is too big, and I'm tired of shirts by now.

I am sure I will return to this. But not soon.
A noble experiment. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

(So, yes, I do post the fails.)

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Spoonplay with Cosflower

I've been yapping on and on about Spoonflower potential for cosplay fabrics.
Since today is Free Swatch Day (for Poly crepe), it's another good opportunity for you to dip in  and try this out for yourself.

Obviously I got something to shill for myself

too dark, I know. Lighting hard.

But other folks have lots of good stuff for you to work with as well.

See what they're doing with this? Isn't that a detail you'd love to get with your makes?

Do a key word search of 'cosplay' or whatever thing you're into, and stuff shows up.

And speaking of stuff, I've been slow in doing a test drive on the Sport Lycra that came out a few weeks ago.

Like all the polys, it takes a print like a dream. Photos look good. Details are crisp.

But how it does it stretch?

It's a midweight fabric  8.4 oz per square yard

At the 10" mark, it starts to break, which for a weight you could use for leggings is okay (you don't want to overstretch and distort the print, you will do some fitting on side seams)

Scarier issue is the white mark where a pin snagged the fabric and the white broken threads came forward with a pretty noticiable mark. Keep those pins out of the main fabric, kids.

It's a medium shine, not a matte, not a gloss. This will show less on lighter prints.

It's got potential for faux textured 'armor' or skins. Anything that would have a low texture could be nicely faked with this.

Like this maybe

I made this just with the PicMonkey feature - dots and textures and some color shifting.
And because I made it, I can buy it on Spoonflower with the designer's discount of 10%.  Yes, it's spendy, but it's custom and that's worth it for the detail you can get with this.

(the poly will give you a good idea of the level of detail you can get on their poly fabrics)