Wednesday, December 4, 2013

From 2D to 3D

My sister joined me for a few days last week for Thanksgiving. The weather was quite awful in the area before turkey day (it was just the two of us this year so we actually made a Peruvian chicken) but I took the forced indoor time to draft a bodice and skirt sloper for J. 

I then transferred the drafted pattern onto muslin, added 2" seam allowances and then pin-fit the pieces to her body. I don't think my bodice draft was too far off of her actual body shape, but my draft for her sleeve and skirt were too long. 

I had the hardest time pinning the sleeves onto the bodice. In class last night we started fitting sleeves. I also had my bodice fitted last night, and apparently I did not do as great of a drafting job as I did for my sister's pattern. I barely had enough fabric in a couple of areas and will need to make some adjustments before my sleeve is fit next week. 

Unfortunately my sister is now back in Illinois and I can't do any more physical tweaking of the sloper on her body. Overall I think I did a decent job given my lack of experience in pin fitting- I've only watched it being done up until last week. 

Here's J all muslined up. I worked on pin fitting her left side. I still see some issues with the bust, neckline, back sleeve/bodice, and center front (although I think this problem was due to poor pinning for the picture), all of which I'll have to judiciously adjust on the flat pattern. Maybe next time she's in town I'll make a duct tape dummy. She'll just *love* that...  

It was really satisfying taking a flat pattern and adjusting it on a live body. I wish I had a custom dress form to be able to do that for myself. 

The next step is transferring the adjustments back onto a master paper pattern.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Trying a new sewing schedule

I was thinking about enhancing the efficiency of my time in the sewing room and came up with a simple schedule. It's based on activities to perform for each day of the week:

Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays: Sewing/Making up my projects

Tuesday and Thursdays: Trace, cut, alter, plan patterns/projects

Wednesdays: Writing and reading sewing blogs, tutorials, forums, books; organize sewing room

Fridays: Finishing projects

It's a very rudimentary system but hopefully it'll keep me focused.

I am taking a pattern drafting course at the local fabric store, we drafted front and back bodices yesterday. The instructor uses Connie Crawford's pattern drafting book, and took my measurements to demonstrate the process for drafting the front. I kept her draft (mine ended up pretty close) and re-drafted another bodice front and back using Helen Armstrong's book.

Armstrong's pattern is on the left, Crawford on the right, drafted by the instructor:

Here's my Armstrong back bodice: 

I was quite surprised at the squareness of my front shoulders, there was a very small slope with the Crawford pattern, none at all with Armstrong's instructions. 

The Crawford back bodice didn't have a shoulder dart. I need to re-draft that one because the waist measurements do not add up to what it needs to be. 

For class next week we're doing a review of drafting the front and back, and then working on a sleeve.

After we have all three patterns we will be sewing the patterns in muslin fabric and adjusting it on my body. 

At this point the front and back don't look like it'll come together (look at the shoulder differences!) but we've been assured it'll all work itself out when we pin and fit to the torso. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Winter 2013 6 PAC

Before 2013 comes to an end, I thought I'd make at least one blog post. I've been busy studying for my CPA exams, my first one is in 17 days! I do try to get some sewing related time in each day, even if it's just to plan or trace patterns. 

Speaking of planning, I just finished putting together my first SWAP project. I am participating in the 6 piece winter collection thread over at Stitcher's Guild. Hopefully between the winter holidays, exams, and my fun classes (I finally got into the pointed pen calligraphy class this fall!), this board will become a reality over the next few months.

I'll be making some wearable muslins for the patterns I have not made before, those are the brown and purple fabrics (the purple one is a cotton pique). The rest will be made out of either cotton or wool knits. 

The patterns:
Jalie 2795, a hoodie (in the beige sweatshirting)
Jalie 2806, long sleeve t-shirt with a gathered neckline (teal cotton knit)
Kwik Sew 1084, raglan sweater (purple ribbed wool knit)
Vogue 2759, gathered long sleeve top (the same purple wool knit? The wearable muslin will be the black cotton knit)
Kwik Sew 3988 and Silhouette Patterns 3400, yoga pants (brown wool knit)

I'm excited to have some new clothes for my wardrobe. This one is meant to be a pretty casual collection to keep me warm and comfortable during those long study sessions.