Sewing classes

I finally signed up for some sewing classes.  I had made a promise to myself last year that  I  would take the plunge and take classes, lesson etc and not the online kind.  I’m at a point where I desire to do more with sewing but I don’t know how to get there so hence the need for instruction.   I am taking a session with Janet White of JM Designs and I started Tuesday February 21.  She has a great spot for lessons, a remodeled garage in the funky part of Wheatridge.  Lots of space 2 ironing boards, place for your machines and a cut out table that you don’t have to bend over to cut out your fabric.  For my first lesson I constructed my entire muslin sans one sleeve.  I was able to try it on and amazingly it fits in the bodice area!  But, I need to take it out in the waist area and, that is what I’ll do before the next session.  This is going to be great for my skills as a seamstress.  I’m going to re-learn all the basics like lay-out, marking, cutting and more.  For this pattern I’m attacking princess seams, which have always been a mess for me, using silky fabric lining, button holes, fitting and so on.  A lot of awesome sewing is going to be coming out of this.  So far I’m pleased with the way things have been turning out, ripped out a few times and kept at it.  The pattern itself is great so far.  I love the long sleeves and were, in the muslin at least easy to go in.  Very productive night for me.  I don’t think I could have gotten all that done at home.  Here is a photo of the muslin, not much to look at.

How many projects do you juggle?

Some times when I sew I feel like I have the attention span of a 3 year old.  Right now, I’m still working on the Pants Project, slowly making headway with the SBA, but today I started a completely new project of sewing skirts for work.  I have nothing to wear to this new  job.  I go to work looking like I just left a backyard bar-b-que.  Hence the need for new skirts.  This is one I’m working on now. 

 I bought the print fabric in Victoria BC a couple of years ago.  The turquoise is from several years ago from a long since closed fabric store.   Looking at how well the colors go together I’m so glad I didn’t give it away or something.

But, how quickly my thoughts move on to some other project I want to start.  I want to make a bathroom rug,  I’m thinking of the upcoming fall wardrobe and this new vintage pattern I got is crying out loud to be made NOW.  My thoughts are  running to Tenneesee Williams type  hot summer nights where the only comfortable clothing is a slip dress.  But, I don’t want to start until I at least get the pants and halter dress done.  Stay focused….

 There is a Denver Sewing Collective meeting coming up, I’d like to have made some progress on my projects that I keep dutifully keep lugging to the meetings.  How many projects do you juggle?  Do you find that works for you?  Or are you a one project at a time person.

Pants Project Continues

I have been working on my pants here and there.  I have sewn on the waistband only to rip it out and the side seams and do some fine tuning.  It’s funny but the muslin fit great and I did ( I think) everything the same on the jean fabric.  Not sure how that worked out.  The photo is my pants  on the left and the pants I’m trying to copy on the right. (The picture is not very clear, sorry)  The ones on the right are Ann Taylor cropped jeans.  My pants do not have any jean detailing, but so far everything else is quite similar to the Ann Taylors.  My pants are a little wider in the leg which I like. 

I also made a pocket pattern for the backside.  Need pockets. Instead of altering the darts which sometimes you need to do, I just placed the pocket over the lower part of the dart.  In that way no one will see if the dart puckers or not.  Which it usually does for me.   I make them a little shallower for my particular body parts.

  And, below  is a picture of my hand, drawing on the mock zipper detailing.   And you may notice how nice the front darts are.  Very nice. Very. Nice.  I am hoping to bring this project to the next Denver Sewing Collective meeting if I don’t get it done before hand.  After I’ve completed the pants I’ll post a review. 

my hand

Burst of sewing

cherry blossoms

Almost finished with the pants.  They are turning out awesome, can’t believe it. I’ll be posting on them when they are done.  Plus, I’m finishing up the vintage dress I started awhile back and getting ready to copy another vintage Vogue dress pattern and start on fine tuning the SBA(small bust adjustment).  Going to the Cherry Blossom Festival tomorrow.  This is one of my favorite festivals.  Going to be a hot one.  Oh, and the last Denver Sewing Collective meeting was great, each meeting is bringing a whole set of new women to meet and sew with.  Really enjoyable.

My pants project continues with a muslin

frontHere is my muslin of my pants front side.  These pictures are not very good.   Thus, one of the problems with sewing by oneself; bad self portraits.  But, the muslin is a good fit.  The waist band for the pattern was standard, so I thought I would try a contoured waist band from another pattern (which was a Vogue) I didn’t think it would work but it worked great.  Interesting.  These pants have no pockets either so I’m making a little pattern for those as well.  I feel the muslin is a good fit, on to sewing with the fabric of choice: denim.

Making costumes

Spent all of today making costumes and props for a local elementary school’s Greek (yes, Greek) play.  Mainly painting armor, swords and headgear and there will be lots of togas too. I said I would never make children’s costumes (hey, a girl’s got a draw the line somewhere…) but never say never.   Tomorrow is a dress rehearsal, I’ll take pics.

Alles Gute Zum Muttertag!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Last week I actually got out a few resumes. Yesterday I went back to the JoAnn’s on Colorado Blvd and, yes, bought more patterns.  At a buck a pop who could resist.  Certainly not I whose backbone turns to jello upon entering a fabric store.  Here’s what I got, and really I think I’m set for jacket patterns.  Found one from Simplicity #2446 that actually has pattern pieces for A B and C cups.  I think this pattern might become my ‘go-to’ for jacket patterns.

Pants project

butterick 4998This pant project is in direct response to the lack of 100% cotton jeans available.  Here is Rant 1

So, I’ve been living in a thrifty reality for far too long.  I buy thrift store jeans.  Have for years.  They are worn in, (yes, I wash before wearing), perfectly good and cheap.  I’ve found Guess, 7 for Humanity, Banana Republic, J Crew and so on.  So for some insane reason I thought I’d go and buy a pair of new jeans.  Oh, the ugly humanity of it all!  I went to Nordstroms, Macy’s Dillard’s, Gap, Old Navy, Nordstroms Rack, J Crew and then I thinked I black out and can’t remember any more.  I was sad, and I felt old like I can’t keep up with the trends.  Just put me in some double knit pants with the elastic waist and shove me in the back seat. 

What was the problem?  Well, for starters since when do  designers consider lyrca or spandex in jeans a good thing?  If anyone has worn jeans with stretch sure they look good for the first 5 minutes you wear them but then they start to sag a little and you are constantly pulling up your pants especially if your butt is flat like mine.   Cotton just holds you in better, drapes nicely and preforms better. And let me tell you that even though you are buying a size 4 you really are just stuffing a size 8 or 10 ass into a denim  sasuage casing.  And that they keep messing with the sizes doesn’t help.  On my quest I went into J Crew where now they have – a size 00.  A SIZE 00!  I am a woman, I have curves I have a little fat roll, I am not a size 00 or a 0.  I’m not a 2 or a 4. In reality I am at least a 6 or maybe an 8.  I think I was a size 00 when I was in junior high, maybe high school but I don’t even think that size existed back then.   It’s just kind of insulting. 

There are so many choices of jeans that there are no choices. I think Gap had 11 different types of women’s jeans, yet they all looked like crap.  All of them had the low rise even the mid rise was really low like 2 or 2 1/2 inches( I didn’t have my measuring tape) below the navel.  So when you sit with a low rise jean and if you are a woman that does not exercise like Sarah Jessica Parker or Madonna you will have this little inner tube of fat going around your mid-section. So picture if you will, a woman with her inner tube of fat, bending down to pick up her book that she dropped and now you see Plumber Jane’s Crack, which really is just as ugly as Plumber Joe’s crack.  Now, if you were wearing 100% cotton jeans with a decent, not-high-waisted granny rise, but decent rise you would not experience this horrible vision.

None of the stores listed had 100% Cotton jeans, except in the men’s area.  And to make matters worse so many stores are sizing their jeans with the waist size like they do men’s.  What the….?  But, they don’t size the waist at the true waist line.  Because my God, who wears jeans at the natural waist line? (I love you Jessica Simpson) So where do they get the waist line measurement?  It all seems a little nebulous and kooky.   For a Gap pair I tried on my waist size which is 27 but I was swimming in them. 

Where does this leave me and my quest for 100% cotton jeans?  It leaves me at the sewing table where I have cut out a pair of pants custom fit to my butt, my rise, mine mine mine.  We’ll see how they turn out.