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Feb 1, 2010

Sewing goals for the week

As I did last Monday, I'd like start the week by outlining my sewing goals.  I accomplished a few of last week's goals but never got to others.

1) My big success was completing Vogue 7739, my metallic copper one-piece dress.  I love it, though it might have benefitted from an underlining in front and back; it's a little light-weight and highly reflective, leaving little to the imagination, which can be dangerous for a shapely girl like Cathy.

The weather has been so darned cold, and when it gets this way I feel like I can't function normally.  I wanted to photograph Cathy in the dress this weekend, but we both would have freezed our asses off, so it got delayed.  The forecast is for slightly milder weather (mid-30s -- balmy, no?) so I'm hoping to get this done in the next day or so.

It's hard for me to begin a new sewing project until I feel like I have fully completed the previous one. And for Vogue 7739, that means a session with Cathy and a Pattern Review posting.  It's also great fun: just the kind of creative challenge I love. 

2) My living room is still in disarray -- this time from the Vogue dress project.  I feel like I'm living in Ann Margret's old dressing room: hats, shoes, earrings, wigs, all over the place.  It's hard to dress for two when one of us is a clothes horse.

3) I used my Brother 1034D serger a bit for my Vogue dress, but still haven't put in the new thread I purchased, so I'm still serging with four different colors.  Must. Re-thread. Serger.

4) I finished "Make Your Own Dress Patterns" by Adele Margolis and loved it.  Her approach is so down-to-earth and de-mystifying; she makes designing your own clothes sound like No Big Deal.  Now I'd like to figure out how I apply it to my work.

One of the vintage Vogue patterns I found at the flea market a few weeks ago is a Size 12 sloper.  I cut it and did a pattern fitting but it was too small -- I'd normally need a 14.  So what I think I'd like to do is experiment with pattern grading as described in Margolis' book, using the sloper and see how I do.  The "shift method" of grading really appeals to me, though I'm open to the "split method" as well, and I have pattern paper and all the necessary measuring tools.  If I can learn to upsize a pattern without too much trouble, that would be fantastic.

5) I still have the Donald Mcunn book, "How to Make Sewing Patterns" to read -- that's next.  I'm excited to see how they're different/similar.  Like prospective projects, sewing books can really pile up, only adding to the physical (and mental) clutter.

6) Now that the Vogue dress is behind me, I'd like to sew some mens clothes for a change, before I forget how.  Michael is really due a shirt (I've really only sewn him one).  On Sunday, when I saw my mother (see pic below), I took her measurements as well.  She said she could really use a robe, which is something I could even enter in the PR lingerie contest, arguably.  I already have a vintage pattern I think would work very well, which I bought specifically with that contest in mind.  There I go, slipping back to womenswear!

I hate feeling like my stash is growing but fabric shopping is one of my favorite activities.  I like to buy fabric and use it, though, if not immediately, then soon.  My stash isn't huge -- maybe I have three yards of five or six different fabrics -- but it irritates me.  I really want to use my python print vinyl for something outrageous but I'm not sure what. 

The weather is getting to me this winter, for some reason.  For the first time ever, I feel like the cold is cramping my style.  Today is February, which means we're nearly at March, which means spring is just around the corner.

I think I can make it till then.


  1. I am really tiring of this weather too. I just can't make myself go outside to do anything. I haven't taken a decent picture in two months and I feel like I'm withering.

  2. I'm new to your blog and I love it! What a talent you are. I too started sewing recently (October 28, 2009) and I am addicted. Always a lover of fashion, I never knew how passionate I would be about making things. It's nice to know I'm not alone in the universe...

  3. This weather has been awful. I don't even want to go outside to bring the mail in. High 30s will feel lovely this week!

    I finished the McCunn book and will definitely be keeping it, for one reason -- it's the only fitting/pattern book I've read so far that seriously addresses men's measurements and patterns! Other than that, I didn't find it astoundingly useful compared to the Margolis book.

    Speaking of Adele (after reading 4 of her chatty books I feel I can call her Adele!), you really ought to track down her other books! There is a bit of overlap, but each has a lot of extra info on its special subject -- the fitting book is fantastic.

  4. I'm having the winter blues too. Sigh....Spring is just around the corner. I recently just bought my first vintage pattern and had to grade down a size. This frightened me to no end. Oh dear. Really. I used the split method, and only had directions from the internet. I felt I didn't know which way was up and I hate that, but I'm willing to try it again. I have the McCunn book too, but am too excited to hear of this Margolis book. I will most definitely be getting that next!

  5. Peter, did you have a certain process as you learned to sew that helped you progress? My impatience really thwarts me and then I make things that I have to give away or throw out. Did you make things that didn't work out?
    For instance, I have to do a FBA on everything and then I forget I have to add 2-1/2 inches to the waist (I am long waisted). This is after I have cut out a muslin. sigh. Some things I make do work out great and I get a lot of compliments but the wadders are frustrating.

  6. "#3. Must. Re-Thread. Serger."

    You do know about tying on and pulling it through, right?? Get your mind out of the gutter. I'm talking about serger threads. ;-)

  7. Debbie, I'll pull through, I'll pull though!

    Lozzen, this week I'll be posting an entry about how I learned to sew. Stay tuned!

    Of course, fitting a man is easier as our clothes tend to be less fitted and we have fewer curves. No FBA's required.

  8. Welcome K.line, Cupcake Goddess, et al. Great to know you're reading and enjoying yourselves.


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