Saturday, August 01, 2015

Pattern Adjustments

Did you see all the lovely comments I got on my last post? I swear those bloggers are the nicest people! And of course pao and Spygirl did get home safely. Just in case you were worried.

So what have I been doing since then? Back to watering the garden. Sigh. I also made 4 pint jars of sweet and spicy bean pickles and 2 of mixed zucchini and cucumber. I love pickles! One jar of beans didn’t seal properly (aged lids probably) so I guess we’ll have to eat them soon. Awww…

The tomatoes are starting to ripen finally. When we get enough for a batch we’ll dry them in the dehydrator. They are so good in omelettes. Sweet concentrated tomato flavour. Yum. The garden is winding down now though. Early-early this year! There are 4 butternut squash and 5 spaghetti squash (one fell off but it will still be good though smaller) so far. The green cabbages are nearly ready (I already picked one!) and the purple ones finally set heads. They’re quite a bit later than the little green ones and will probably stay in the garden until we get back from vacation at the end of September. We have baby carrots growing in the former garlic patch and some Asian greens and arugula in the former lettuce bed. I plan to harvest the Japanese indigo with my Spectrum group next week. There’s not a huge amount though so we’ll supplement with regular indigo. It’s already sending up flowers! That’s a new record for earliness but it will be some time yet before seed sets. Such a weird growing season, this El Nino Summer!

In the studio I’ve been madly prepping patterns though I haven’t cut anything out yet. I was on a roll so I decided to go with it! I have at least 7 ready to go now. My technique has improved so much and I have a lot more confidence that everything will fit me the way I want. For instance this is how I fixed Katherine Tilton’s B5925 T-shirt:

B5925 View A line

I used my TNTee pattern that I’ve developed in the last couple of years as a base. It fits my narrow ski-slope shoulders and short arms perfectly. You can see the difference when I layer the front piece over the Butterick pattern, size Medium:


I try to leave the original style details intact and concentrate on fixing just the parts that need to fit my body properly. I’ve already made sure there’s enough room in the bust, waist and hips. Note that this size Medium (12/14) is still a little wider than my TNTee! It’s obviously quite loosely fitted. I left that width in as well as the original neckline but raised the underarm, scooped out the armscye and sloped the shoulder.

On the back I did the same:


Not quite as much adjustment is needed here. Then the sleeves:


I folded a tuck at the lengthen/shorten line for my usual 2” decrease in the sleeve length. (Those T-rex arms!) My perfect sleeve cap is narrow and not symmetrical front to back to accommodate my forward shoulder so I scooped that out. I did leave width at the underarm though to match the extra body width. If I don’t like it that loose later I can always take it in. But you can’t add it if it isn’t there! All the rest of the pattern pieces are the straight size Medium. And now it’s ready to cut out.

I have one last pattern to go before I start madly cutting out fabrics. I want to add a couple of inches to Katherine Tilton’s B5891 View A/B top/vest:

B5891 View B line

I love my Indigo Batik version of this but it feels a little short especially in the front, even though I left the tucks out of the peplum. It comes about 3” above my crotch level (not a particularly attractive area on this old body!) so I have to be cautious about what I wear it with. I’m excited to make a second version in the damselfly batik that I bought at the Cloth Shop. But I’m dithering over the contrast fabric (green, red or orange-red?) for the peplums and inner collar. It really all depends on whether or not the pattern pieces will fit or not!

And then there’s the knitting. I was unhappy with the Red Tide Vestigan (pattern: Low Tide by tincanknits). It was way too loose on the shoulders and too tight in the bust. Both of these things are interdependent due to the way they’re knit diagonally so I couldn’t fix the bust issue without making the shoulders even more wide. The style just wasn’t going to work for me. Sorry for the really bad selfie but maybe you can see what I mean?


The slightly puffy sleeves are a little twee for my taste too. So to the frogpond it went:

LowTide out

The tide is out! Since this photo it has all been wound into skeins and washed (again!) to remove the wrinkles which really affect my tension badly if I leave them in. They just need to be balled up again and we’re back in business. This time I’m going with another Amiga by Mags Kandis. The first one I made is in rayon slub yarn and dyed in my Japanese indigo. This one will be a warmer woolly one. I plan to make it a bit longer and with cap sleeves. That way I hope I can get the “vestigan” sweater I was going for with the last attempt. I only have about 850 yards or so and there is no more of this wool to spin.

The Periwinkle Necklace Cami also gave me trouble. I had split the hem at the sides just below my waist to make more room for my hips. It didn’t work at all. So I ripped back to about waist height again and started increasing each side every 6th round instead. I still plan to split the hem for the last 3”, much lower than I did before. Not quite there yet. I suppose this summer top will be done by…autumn?


pao said...

My you have endless energy I can see. I finally feel back to myself - only one nap a day! I put together something yesterday, sewing wise that I wore to school today. You are so smart to have figured out a template for sizing all your patterns. I have no clue and always start from scratch and then scramble to try and make it fit as I go. I have the Tilton vest, but haven't made it yet. Hasn't it been fun to see all the bloggers' accounts of the meet-up?

Shawna McComber said...

Your energy and talents are so impressive. I love textiles but dislike sewing. I would like a magic wand though to just conjure up all the ideas I have. I used to want a dye garden too, to make dyes and over-dye wool garments from the thrift shops, cut into strips and then used to make rugs. Of course I came nowhere near developing such a skill. Just a dream, one of many, about all the things I would wish to make. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. It was wonderful to meet you and you struck me as an extrovert-lol. Are you good at faking it like I am?

Louisa said...

So glad you're feeling more rested, pao dear. I used to do the fitting-on-the-fly thing too but I realised it was so much easier just to save some basic patterns that really fit and trace the important parts off them.

And thanks for dropping by Shawna! I can't help myself really. Must. Make. Things. Dyeing with plants is very fun but can be time-consuming and even with experience you never quite know what you're going to get. Gotta go with the flow, really. Hey, any time you're in Vancouver and want to have a go, just let me know and you can come play in my dye studio.

BTW, oh yes, I am definitely an introvert. But a cheerful and talkative one as you might have discovered. I felt very comfortable in that group though I only took part in some of the events. However you didn't see me spending lots of quiet time alone in my studio the next day!

Sharon in Surrey said...

You're a Busy Introvert!!! You're smart by adjusting a few patterns & making clothes that FIT. I met a woman who had a pattern - top & slacks - professionally made for her. She only wears comfortable clothes she says & had a whole wardrobe made from that one pattern. I told her it looked like pyjamas to me. She laughed. Think of button down tops & bottoms with side pockets. She has them in long & short sleeves, light & heavy fabrics, bottoms match the tops. A WHOLE wardrobe. It's easy to get dressed, she says. And always comfortable. I'm seriously thinking of adopting her method.

Louisa said...

Good for her, Sharon - comfortable and easy counts! Sounds like she's found her own style and is sticking to it. I prefer to dress a little more funky than pajamas though. I don't even wear pajamas to bed! (Just ratty old t-shirts.) It definitely helps a lot when the clothes fit properly. And I can express my own personal sense of style when I make my own. I know not everyone can sew or wants to learn but it works for me - for about the last 50 years or so!