Monday, December 31, 2018

One Last Sprout Dress

It's a little weird to be writing about this project after it's ended.
It started out with great ambitions, and
I've been participating for awhile now

January 2015 email

Check out all that white space! I used a dalek robot  pattern for a cosplay I was cooking up.

Eventually, Sprout Patterns was born, and they added patterns from independent pattern companies such as
Betz White and the SideKick bag.
October 2015 email
This bag remains mostly sewn together and unfinished. The ecocanvas was too heavy to be used for the exterior and the lining of the bag, and the grommets were a mess. Nobody's at fault, sometimes things just don't work out. Self-lined bags are not my jam.

You've seen a few posts from me about how Sprout stuff doesn't work.

Theoretically, using a combination of layout software, pattern software and digital art should produce the future of sewing. Or a direction it can go in (nothing replaces me, the fabric, altering the pattern on the fly to fit the fabric, adjusting the layout). With enough coding savvy and bandwidth, it should be possible to match fabric pattern and design so that the plaid or the design matches across seam lines.

Another example is 'Bags of Love' products.
They couldn't do it (you have to line them up yourself as well)
And I think Spoonflower is closer than they think, given the amount of offset repeats and variations on DPI they can handle now.
There are, however, too many variables at play at one time. Pattern repeats, pattern pieces, different sizes of pattern pieces and repeats - it's a ton of data to manipulate and code for.
It will happen. Just not today.

So, with the discount they tossed onto the pile, I finally ordered one of the projects in my queue.

That's three yards kids. And the design is flipped sideways for the skirt panels.

This is where the design areas around the pieces turns.

Pieces are labeled in the margins. The seam allowance is baked into the piece, so you'd trim at the edge of the print (cutting off the words 'front bodice' in this illustration). I wanted a wider seam allowance for a little manipulation ability and size flexibility.

Yeah, I put clear elastic in the waistband for stretch recovery. I probably sewed over the pins, too.
The Turner dress has a complete front and back set of bodices, plus duplicates for a fully self-lined bodice. In a light fabric like the Modern Jersey shown here, it's genius. Cashmerette, you're a smarty!
In a heavier fabric, it would be insanity!

I cannot remember if I had an option for a princess neckline, or just the v-neck. I was trying to do two things at the same time AGAIN. 
I didn't want the v-neck, and IF I HAD BEEN THINKING I could have cut the bodice pieces differently to make my own neckline choice (could have used the v-neck printed pieces as the interior facing pieces).

But.... I cut one of the v-necks before I thought about this, and then it was too late.

One of the goals for 2019 is to create a selfie set-up for photos.
And yes, I am wearing a v neck t-shirt under this. The dress fits very nicely without modifications, but I am just not comfortable with a v-neck dress.

This is where being able to make small modifications in the pattern is key: my ideal neckline is a little narrower than this (my bra straps are always going to show with this). The fabric is very smooth around my hips, so adding pockets at the side seams is going to be .... lumpy. Lumperiffic? 
As my middle expands, maybe I do want to add saddlebags at the sides now, to create the illusion of a waist.

I could wear it backwards.....

I'm not in the habit of doing end of the year round-ups, as the end of the year is always a scramble of family fun and bookkeeping and work. I'm editing this from work right now.
I wish all of you the best. I really do appreciate the conversations I've had with you, and hope to have many more.
And at least one will be posted remotely from Disneyland this year.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Padded winter vest from the stash

Yes, this all came out of the stash.
I already had enough of the Seattle Fabrics quilted nylon puff.

I had traced a pattern from a vest I wear all the time, and made an allowance for the thickness.

And now I'm just auditioning fabrics.

I love this cowboy print

 I love this handpainted muslin more.
I had yards and yards for years; this is all I have left.

There was lots of trimming the fluff out of the seams, not the facing for it. Keeps it from pulling away from the seams as much as it will want to.

The collar is a elongated ellipse
And a super easy draft.
Cut out one piece on the bias (green is the grainline, red is the fold). One outside edge is the measure of the collar opening. plus overlaps for the snaps.
Fold it over on the red line.

You can draft that front curve from the curve of the neckline. Don't fuss over the back neck line, it will resolve itself.
It doesn't have to be precise (too long is better, you can trim it down to fit at the end).
And it flexes and snugs up to your neck; without a seam there, it doesn't chafe.

My neck is chafe free. It's my holiday wish for yours as well.

I add the pockets after the body, because I want the pocket to go where my hand wants to find it.
So I need to put the vest on to use my hand to determine that.

Here's where my pocket should be: where my hand hits the front expecting there to be a pocket.
Note that I marked where my lower wrist hits on the front with a safety pin.

And here's my diagram of how this pattern should work.
Those extra rectangles are the fat upper self-welt, that folds over to fill the gaping hole my hand goes into.
You can use the fashion fabric to cover that part, so it all matches, but I wanted the black slashy contrast, to work with the collar.

I have noticed I tend to forget what the pattern piece is supposed to do after I draft it. So I've taken to writing the instructions on the piece.
I can read it, that's good enough.

Tracing and correcting

Marking where the hole is going to be.

This piece of lining was scavenged from a miniskirt I thrifted for it's fabric. That fabric made into a hat, the zipper went in a purse, the hook into the stash, but the lining filtered down into the box.
And today, that skirt is all used up.

One pocket done before I thought to take photos.

Trust me, there's a pocket sewn on there. Not my best finish job, but my handsewing game needs work.

The red computer-drawn lines are where the stitching lines go. I don't stitch the ends of the rectangle shut,  I don't need to.

Top stitch the hole before I flip the pocket in and sew that.

I blew through this, no time for photos.
It's really chilly in this house, and I needed this vest pronto.
I blew through the snap insertion part, too.

The best punch is still the one on the left, from Closet Case Patterns' Kelly anorak snap set kit.
The one on the far right is from Tandy, and it doesn't like fabric. The shorty in the middle is from the Dritz set I used, and it doesn't like anything.

2019 will improve my hand sewing and my photography. 
There will be a bit more posted before we close this year out.

Unless I eat too much chocolate.
Or drink too many lattes.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

It's A Wonderful Life. Or Sometimes I Had To Work On Christmas

A million years ago, I worked at a little movie theater in Seattle called the Grand Illusion Cinema.
And every Christmas, to make the end of the year come out alright financially, we ran "It's a Wonderful Life".

It's a fine Christmas movie. Jimmy Stewart's George Bailey yells
"Hello, Movie House"
to the theater as he runs through his snowy town.
(the GI was originally called the Movie House under Randy Finlay's ownership)
But there's a better reason why this is a holiday staple.
Liberty Films,
(the 1945 company that Frank Capra launched with his film "It's a Wonderful Life")
didn't do well, and the company went under.
The film went without distribution or proper ownership.
It fell between the cracks,
and anyone could show it without getting charged for fees 
(see footnotes for some clarification).

So, if you checked a 16mm copy out of the library, (and we did)
you could run it for absolutely free and end the year in the black, with Momma Dollar and Poppa Dollar, hot dog!

For several years, that person running it was me.
Being the only employee who didn't have family in another city,
I ran it all week. 
With no other staff.
Twice, three times a day.
That's a hard week on 16mm film, which is not designed for that many showings.
Inevitably, the splices in the film would snap, and I'd be 
 running off the reel through the projector into a garbage can so I could manage the mess
(garbage bags are static'y, but cleaner than the floor)
between shows, frantically re-glueing the bits back together in order. 

It was a long week, in a tiny projection booth.

No one I knew came by; they all went home for the holidays. I would comp (give a free ticket) to anyone I knew, or barely knew, who came in.
I had few takers.

One delightful year, I got to watch this after I came home from work at the theater.
where Uncle Billy remembers what he did with the money
Phil Hartman, you are missed.

Recently, my brother in law ran across this video, 
Harvey Danger's "Sometimes You Have To Work On Christmas"

That's my damn movie theater. That's my damn Christmas. 

This is from 1998: how come I am only hearing about this now? 
There was never a rave in the auditorium, though.

I no longer have to work on Christmas.
And the Grand Illusion is still playing "It's a Wonderful Life" at Christmas.
But in 35mm.
Like a REAL movie theater.

Merry Christmas, Movie House

Monday, December 17, 2018

Atatac one piece jeans

They call theirs 3D jeans, but you know what this really is.
A Free Jeans Pattern.
With funky pockets.
As a one piece pattern.

I've droned on about the one piece pants pattern.
Once you get it traced and graded, it's

The new features on their pattern:
Isn't it pretty!
And yes, you could slice it up to take advantage of selvage denim.
It comes in several different format configurations, in size 3.
You can alter it from there. It's shareware, baby.
Might I suggest a small donation to them?
It's pretty swell work.