Tuesday, October 6, 2015

My new best friend

I have a new best friend and her name is Myrtle.

She came to stay yesterday and today I adjusted her measurements and checked the fit. The top was made in September 2004 and it is still one of the nicest fitting tops I have ever made.

I am very happy as I have wanted a dressmaker's model for a long time. It's only a budget model and I bought it on ebay, but I am delighted with it. An added bonus is that it comes with an adjustable stand so you can put trousers on it which might be very useful next time I tackle pants.

Now I have to sew something so I can use Myrtle.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Moving on to New Look 6407....

This proved to be quite a lengthy project and not without it's difficulties. The first problem I struck was the pattern itself. It is a multi-sized pattern but the sizes are grouped onto two separate pattern sheets. Thus, 10/14/18 on one pattern sheet and 12/16/20 on the other. I need 12/14 which involved grading between the 10/14 lines or the 12/16 lines. I did both and kept one as a spare. Using the 10/14 with the 12 drawn in I gaily cut my usual size 12 neck and shoulders angling out to 14 for the bust and waist. First mistake, this is a New Look pattern not ButMcV.

After I stitched the seams and darts I tried it on for a fitting. I couldn't get the fronts to meet in the centre. Take it off and restitch the seams at 1/4 inch and sew the vertical darts smaller front and back finishing the back ones 5cm from the hem. Try it on again, it fits now but there is a lot of gaposis at the back armhole. Unpick the shoulder seams and take a small dart in the back shoulder. Restitch from the neck leaving a small wedge of fabric dangling at the armhole where the front is wider than the back, barely 1/2 inch. Don't worry about it now, just trim it to match .

The sleeve view I chose has an upside down U shaped cut out which is bound with bias and a sleeve band with ties. Didn't fancy bows on my arms so planned to shorten the band/tie piece and stitch the band across the gap. Second mistake, the bias didn't like being forced around the U shape and by this time I was totally fed up so I closed the gap with a dart, which effectively made the bottom of the sleeve the right size and I finished it with the previously shortened band. Who needs a U-shaped cutout anyway.

Meanwhile I had been struggling with the collar. I have never had a problem with a collar before but I did with this one. No fault of the pattern. Just me. It is a separate collar stand and collar and I couldn't get everything to line up nicely but perseverance is my middle name (actually it is Cecilia, but it should be perseverance) and I got there in the end.

After all that I was really worried about the sleeves and the buttonholes but mercifully they went in without a hitch. I hemmed the bottom, sewed on the buttons and it was finished. Heave a big sigh. As a final tweak I removed the front vertical darts for slightly more ease at the front.

Why did I have so much trouble with this pattern? I don't know! I seemed to do everything wrong right from the start and I can't really blame the pattern. If I made it again  I would make a 14 to 16 as New Look doesn't seem to have the excess ease that the others have. It's a sweet little blouse but I think it needs a spell in the magic wardrobe until I have forgotten the trauma.

I didn't fall overboard

Two months ago we returned from our nice long holiday overseas. Six weeks on a ship from Fremantle to Southampton via the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean and then two weeks in England visiting my husband's family. We had a wonderful time and it took quite a while to settle down to ordinary pursuits after we got back home.

I got myself organised eventually and have made a Kirsten Kimono Tee and finished a print cotton fitted blouse - New Look 6407.

I am semi happy with the Kirsten Tee. Both Lisa and Sew Jean Margaret have made it with lovely results so I was hoping for the same. I cut size M (94 cm) and remembered to add 1 cm seam allowances. I added a centre back seam which fits my shape better and overlocked all the seams. It went together very smoothly and the neck band behaved itself. It's a little more fitted than I expected from looking at the photo, especially at the hip which should be 100 cm whilst I am 94 cm, but it looks OK so I will wear it and maybe try the pattern again with different fabric and see how it goes. Perhaps go up a size.

My sewing machine decided to behave badly just as I got to the sleeve insertion. I took my foot off the pedal to readjust the fabric on a curve and the machine kept going. What!!??? Had to switch the power off to make it stop. This happened twice so I ran screaming to my resident handyman, Mr Schu. He has fixed this problem once before so I had every confidence he would do so again. It proved a little more tricky this time. It seems the little gizmo in the foot pedal that controls the stop start thingy wasn't going right back to the stop point so the machine kept going. Clear? Hmmm, yeah! but he fixed it and that's all that counts. Bless him.

Next up is the print cotton blouse which is a whole other story......