Happy July, everybody! Am I the only one who can't believe it's already July?
Working on Susan's muslins, I realized that I lacked a truly comprehensive book on fit (I ownan old edition of Fit For Real People and just couldn't get into the fitting-the-tissue-pattern-on-oneself thing.). A few people recommended Sarah Veblen's The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting so I picked up a used copy you-know-where.
It looks like it's going to be an enormous help with my current and future projects, particularly those for women. One of the things I like most about the Veblen book, having read most of it over the last two days, is the tone: she makes it clear that fitting is as much an art as a science, and there are lots of ways to achieve similar results (though some methods are unnecessarily time-consuming). She also emphasizes that you may not get it quite right on the first, second, or even the third muslin, and that the more you practice fitting, the better you'll get. This relieved some of the pressure I'd been putting on myself off. Creating well-fitting slopers for Susan -- or for anyone -- may take more sessions that I'd anticipated.
One of the best tips I've picked up so far for Veblen's book is to draw horizontal balance lines on my muslins, which I can then use as visual guideposts to see if I'm distorting the balance of the garment as I'm fitting it (and then to compensate for that). Balance lines aren't something mentioned in Dorothy Moore's Pattern drafing book (whose section on fitting is a little weak, frankly).
A few more pics from Veblen's book:
Of course, reading about fitting is a bit like reading about sculpting: you can only learn so much without getting in
there and giving it a try yourself. But it's great to own what feels
like a clearly written, encyclopedic guidebook. Are you familiar
I also picked up Connie Long's Easy Guide to Sewing Blouses, and Marcy Tilton's Easy Guide to Sewing Skirts, both from the Sewing Companion Library series. I like both: they're straightforward and well laid-out, with lots of color photos. I probably already have most of the same information in other sewing books I own, but I like when a book has a single focus and I know I'll find what I'm looking for in it.
So many used sewing books can be found online so cheaply, I generally give myself permission to sample anything that sounds promising. There are a few titles -- not necessarily old ones -- that are priced sky-high (Bridal Couture, anyone?), but they're few and far between.
In other news, yesterday I did the (almost) unthinkable: I purchased a vintage sewing machine on eBay. It's a model I've been curious about for a long time and -- cross your fingers -- it should be a pleasure to sew with. Which model, you ask? I'll say only that it's Swiss. More about it when it arrives (in one piece, I hope) next week. I can't remember the last time I blogged about a sewing machine, can you? I miss those posts!
And that's it. Somehow it hasn't quite sunk in that summer is here even though I'm cavorting around in sandals and shorts these days. I think I need a trip to Coney Island.
I'm a native New Yorker and sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using vintage sewing machines and vintage patterns, in addition to sewing for private clients. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!