Showing posts from 2017


Sometimes future sewing is more gripping than current sewing.  Like today, when I'm up to the collar stage on McCalls 6898 but windowshopping on the net instead.

I started with seeing this, Chocolat's Staple Skirt:
I like it a lot.  Two problems:
1. I would get tomato sauce on that colour before the first day of wear was over.
2. $327 is a lot of money.

So I go looking for patterns to make my own,  I have nothing to wear with this, and no fabric that is suitable.  But that should not always be an impediment.
 I look at Vogue 8499 and Vogue 8975 and I see this version of V8975 and it seems I could be back in dress land again:
I'm not sure I can make the dress in fabric as soft as the Chocolat one appears.  Maybe I have to chop it off at the waist and put a wide elastic band in.

McCalls 7288 & altered Style Arc Barb pants

Black never photographs that well, but it's pretty useful otherwise.  I need to wear the jacket a few more times, but at the moment, it clearly needs a narrow shoulder adjustment, and that will also bring the armscye upwards.  It's a little too big from the waist down as well.  So the cuddly jacket is working for this one, but I might make the shorter version.  I had been thinking of the pleated back again, but maybe I will go classic, after seeing some beautiful online versions.  I didn't get the button placement right for the collar to sit flat, and now that I've lost my jacket-sewing virginity, I decided I was ready for Jackets for Real People to teach me how.  Book Depository really is like a late night addiction for nerds, and just to make things efficient, I ordered Elsa Morante's History as well.
The trousers are my first foray into sewing pleather.  The walking foot handled it beautifully.  I started with Style Arc Barb pants and kept on trying them on and…

Glimpses of sewing projects

Sewn, worn and partly photographed.  The glimpse of dress is the Cashmerette Appleton.  It's my second version, and I like it and will make it again.
The jacket is McCalls 7288.  It's better worn over jeans or trousers, but I was keen to give it a test drive.  The shoulders need narrowing next time, and that will lift the armscye.  I like the shawl collar, but haven't quite put the buttons in the right place for the collar to sit right.  I need to wear it a few more times to decide whether I will take the front seams from the waist down.  This version is like a cuddly coat, but the next fabric is thinner and I was thinking more tailored jacket than coat for that one.
I've ordered Jackets for Real People - I think I'm ready to learn some jacket making craft.  I have the fabric to make a red version of M7288 - it will be the shorter style that still has the back pleat.  I've seen some beautiful versions of the short and non-pleated version online so might make t…

Armscye shapes & A Love Story

This weekend I managed to sew up some beautiful princess seams on McCalls 7288.  Shame that I sewed them inside out.  So now the inside of the fabric is the outside.  I wasn't redoing those seams, particularly as I suspected that undoing them would cause problematic stretching of the fabric.  Progress has continued apace, though just now, as I assessed whether I had anything that would photograph usefully (All that black half sewn fabric?  No.), it occurred to me that it might look like  dressing gown.  I'm currently wearing my other black jacket/cardigan which has been compared to a dressing gown before.

Still,  Something I learned.  The Curvy Sewing Collective has a facebook group and the discussion on there is often useful.  Today someone posted this comment (It is a group with 14 000 members and I took out the identifying details, so I think I'm okay to post):
This potentially explains a lot.  I've mucked around with FBAs until I dream of them, but not made progres…

on parabolae

I started out the weekend thinking about parabolas.  I've (almost) finished the weekend looking at parabolas with my very patient husband.  According to google, the most common plural form of a parabola is 'parabolas.'  However, as I have been thinking about maths until my head drops sideways, I think the older and less common term 'parabolae' is a better fit, because it sounds a bit like a disease.

I present to you the following images:

1. Where the weekend started.  If I'd heard of a parabola before, I didn't remember.  My first kind & patient maths teacher told me it was like a breast, so I could visualise the shape I was then invited to consider lines skimming along and gradients being calculated.  I made some progress, and then it stuck in my head, the equivalent of poorly digested food (that's the fault of my brain, no one else's).
2. I didn't have paper when I tortured my second kind and patient maths teacher at some ungodly hour of S…

Princess seams & jackets

I've spent at least one entire winter's worth of sewing on jackets or cardigans which still don't work on me after three iterations.  I never want to see McCalls 6844 again in my life, and I'm over the Muse Patterns Jenna cardigan as well.  But winter is always cold, and so the project is reincarnated.  Last year I had a go at McCalls 6898 (below right).  It is a blouse with princess seams and cup sizes.  The first version was unwearable, but I did learn useful things, like how short my arms really are and that I can need a full bust adjustment AND something new to me called a hollow chest adjustment on the same body.  The same neighbouring parts of the body, no less.  The next version is the white one below left, and that was quite successful and has been worn.  I did buy some beautiful liberty fabric on sale to make another version and then cut into it for a short-cut dress that I'm not so sure fits.  Cut in haste, repent at leisure...

From that pattern, I learn…

Sewing, maths & feminism

For many years, I thought I would return to playing the violin.  As a teen learning the violin, several adults revealed that they had also played when my age, but had never gone back to it.  I was not going to be like them.  I would serenely fit violin playing into my successful adult life.  I would not spend my thirties wishing I could go to the toilet by myself.

I did not anticipate returning to maths.

The maths I liked when I was at school had satisfying procedures.  I liked long division and I liked all those layers of multiplying long numbers with each other.  I liked algebra.  Geometry was not so exciting.  The later stages are a bit blurry and then I quit.  I was going to be a journalist and maths had gotten a bit hard and I fobbed my parents off with geography and accounting.  I also dropped chemistry, because even though I liked it, it was quite difficult and my arrogance knew few bounds.  If I couldn't get good grades easily, why bother.  Why anyone believed that I would…

Will I post again?

It's a funny thing, blogging.  I didn't mind blogging for the whole world to see, but once my out-in-the-ether-blog collided with my people-I-look-at-many-days world, that's when I got too self conscious.

Then Facebook came along and changed the landscape.  I could do short posts and it was easy to post photos of my sewing without many words.  The original reason I'd been blogging (space of my own while I was raising small children) has passed now I'm at work lots and the kids are bigger.

This morning, surfing the net instead of sleeping, I wondered about blogging again.  I've gone back and read the writing I'd stored on a private blog.  Some of the writing is okay, but what really struck me is that I had a record of some very specific experiences, and they are precious now.  I've written the story of each child being born, and I have an unfinished piece I really like about visiting Cousin Mary's house and the stories I learnt about each object.  I …