Monday, April 08, 2013

Flattened By A Freight Train

Actually more like Grandbeasties, but the train metaphor is quite apt. A whole weekend’s worth of the two bigger ones and yesterday a large dash of the smaller one too. They had a blast: eating pizza and chocolate (not necessarily at the same time), watching Shaun the Sheep and Doctor Who, and running rampant around the house and at the playground. Blood was only shed once but no tears or major arguments. We’re exhausted. Parenting is a muscle that you have to keep in shape. Obviously one loses some of one’s stamina as a grandparent. Either that or it’s just age-related. We’re only 40 years older than we were when we had the first batch. Perhaps that could be the reason? Dunno, but it was fun! Once in awhile…

Amazingly the Thundering Hordes still managed to let me cut out the fabric for a vest version of Marcy Tilton’s Vogue 8709 View B. I lowered the bust darts an inch and lengthened the peplum skirt part by 3”. I didn’t quite like where it fell in front right at the crotch line, at least on the envelope model (who’s probably 5” taller than me). I need my tops a little longer than that anyway. I won’t hem it though until I try it on and see where it actually falls. I can’t really tell by measuring.

This vest is another one of my wearable muslins. I only had 2 yards of the fabric that I wanted to use: a narrow (41”) linen/cotton blend in a soft indigo blue. It’s been in my stash so long that it has slight fading on the folds and the store where I bought it no longer exists. Ahem. Anyway, I was proud of myself for managing to get all the pattern pieces on this narrow width including the ginormous peplum piece – except for sleeves – so it’s going to be a vest version. If I like it enough I’ll make another jacket version.

I’ve done absolutely no fiddling with the neck and shoulders areas except to cut them out in a size 12 and from the underarm down in a size 14. I may need to adjust the shoulder slope and width but I plan to baste and try it on first before I mess with that. This was such an asymmetrical design with lots of odd pattern shapes that the adjustments I did to the bust dart and the hem were plenty for me to bend my head around. For the first time I used instructions in the new book I recently got, Fitting & Pattern Alteration: A Multi-Method Approach. I like that they explain 3 different approaches to each alteration: seam manipulation, pivot and slide, and slash. I’ve used the slash and spread or lap method before but the pivot/slide one doesn’t resonate in my brain very well. So of course this time I tried the seam method and I quite liked it. It’s a little fiddly since you have to carefully shave off the seam allowance and cut up the dart legs, move the little pieces around and stick them back down. I tried tape first. Hate it! Then on the other front piece (there are separate left and right front pattern pieces) I tried my usual glue stick which although not repositionable (better get it in the right spot the first time!) and a little sticky if you’re not really careful where you paste, gives a nice flat result that you can press with an iron without it wrinkling and curling. Just my personal opinion though. Even the professionals seem to use tape.

I’m still working my way through the beginning chapters of this thick textbook. It’s more than you would ever want to know but so full of good stuff amongst the obvious! I need to do a more formal review one of these days. Oh, and somebody mentioned somewhere that the binding doesn’t hold up well, which is unacceptable especially in a book that costs in excess of $100. They are correct unfortunately. There are several pages in the first chapter that are working their way loose already. Bad binding. It’s called “perfect” in the printing trade but if it’s not done right it sucks! I may have to re-bind it at some point. I know how and I have the proper PVC glue. It’s just a lot of work that I Shouldn’t Have To Do! Grumble…

And speaking of fitting, well-known knit designer Norah Gaughan had a great post today on making sweaters that fit and flatter. The information also works with sewn garments as well as knitted ones. Although she is a few inches shorter than me, her observations about what looks good on her work as well for my body shape. I need some shoulder definition and not too much fullness in the sleeves especially at the top. Like Norah, I also love 3/4 length sleeves. I also need the skimming effect of a few inches of ease at waist and hip. The length of tops, cardigans, jackets and vests have to be just right and a lot depends on the width of the hem as well. So complicated! Yet I love having the freedom to choose all these options for myself. Yeah, sometimes I push the bounds of fashion…OK, always! Allow me my aged eccentricities, alright?

Off to do a little transplanting of baby plants and then up to the studio to sew. Apologies for a picture-free post. It was either that or no post at all. You get what I voted for.


pao said...

oh, I have that pattern too, but haven't made it yet. Can't wait to see how yours turns out. Glad to hear you survived the youngsters!

Jean at said...

I want to see the pattern!! I also can't wait to see your version. Grandbeasties? I have but one, dear thing, who's a charming handful but he lives on the other side of the country, unfortunately. I agree it's important to stay in practice!! Sometimes I'll borrow a few little ones from younger friends just so I don't forget. :-)