Sewing and lifestyle blog of a wannabe "full-time vixen"

Yearly Archives: 2012

Slow progress…and cookies!

I’ve been making slow progress on my jacket but I’m proud that I’m making any progress at all. I should get into a habit of doing little bits of a project whenever I have a spare moment — I’m sure I’d be surprised at how much can get accomplished over the course of a week like that! Here are the most recent photos of the jacket…

Installing these buttons were a bit of a hassle what with needing to use a hammer and all but I’m satisfied with how they turned out.

If you’ve noticed, this blog post is late! But that’s okay, I made sure that I made this was a priority today once I got off work. Sometimes “Life” and my haphazard work schedule really gets to me. But someone awesome helped cheer me up last night!

I baked cookies yesterday evening too, they’re peanut butter chocolate chip. So tasty!

I’m bringing them into the ol’ laboratory, my former workplace, tomorrow morning. I’m also curling my hair vintage style so I can take awesome photos tomorrow…in the lab with a white lab coat and such! I’ve always wanted to take vintage science-y photos and indulge in those two parts of my life — the vintage pin-up and the nerdy science gal. Can’t wait to have photos from this shoot to put up!

In other news, I’m also getting ready to do a mini revamp of my life after reading The Happiness Project…I’m hoping I can increase productivity and quit some of my bad habits and start good ones! I just have to think of some resolutions I’ll want to work on over the next few months. I’m thinking my Happiness Project might only be 4 months or so instead of a whole year since I’m already pretty happy already!

Did you say single welt pocket?

I’ve been working on a jacket for the last two months or so. It really shouldn’t have taken me this long to work on it but I’ve had a month long sewing slump during that time (when I was and still am obsessed with knitting)…Yesterday I finally got around to sewing in the single welt pockets that I designed and drafted last Monday. I’ve been so busy with work and my social life that I’ve only had time to sew on Mondays. I’m hoping that will change next week but knowing me…it probably won’t. Heh…

This jacket pattern doesn’t include pockets like these so I drafted them myself!

Isn’t it pretty! I’ll be adding a silver button-snap on each welt and it will go well with the zipper I picked out for this jacket.  The fabric is a this super pretty chambray with faded white flowers. I found it at Dressew! Speaking of which, I better visit it sometime soon and cross my fingers the heart chambray fabric I spotted months ago is still there.

Pattern pieces!

Those are the instructions I’d been given in my pattern drafting course. This is only the second time I’ve ever sewn a single welt pocket, let alone drafting my own. But I picked it up well and my first welt pocket that I did for class was perfect! And these pockets are perfect too! I love welt pockets. Welt pockets aren’t particularly too much harder than other pockets…other than the super precise precision that you need to sew them! Your markings and sewing better be exactly perfect!

If you’re curious about the jacket pattern, it’s the Minoru Jacket by Sewaholic – she’s a local pattern designer that I really adore. Her patterns are quite well drafted and I only ever need to make small adjustments to the patterns. I own all her patterns! She doesn’t have too many yet but she’s working every day to add more to her pattern line.

Resurrecting this blog from the grave…with draping!

I haven’t posted in this blog since the very end of August! So that’s 8 months! 8 months! A lot of things have gone on in my life since then. Some months were very overwhelming, December and January come to mind because of the passing of a beloved and very close family member. Work and night school has also been distracting.

But I really want to start this up again and keep it simple – one post per week. That’s it. I’m not here to be an internet star but I’m here to keep my curious friends and family up-to-date on what I do in the sewing (and now knitting!) part of my life.

I’m going to begin with a post on what I’m doing in my current class which is a fashion draping class! Here, I’ll just show you. We start off with a large piece of fabric, do a few easy preparatory steps like ironing down the selvedge one inch…

Then drape it on our mannequin or dress form!

I am draping the front of a very basic bodice with one bust dart. You start with the basic patterns to build slopers or blocks that you can then design from for all other designs. Basically, you want to get a basic pattern that will fit YOU, and then you can add pleats or peplums without worrying too much about the basic fit.

In the previous photo, I had not yet formed the bust dart. In the photo below, I have pinned it! Isn’t it a lovely dart?

Now we are going to add ease around the armhole. I have marked the original sideseam but we make a mark half an inch towards the back, redraw the sideseam and repin it. Now you can see there is some space around the armhole!

I am having quite a lot of fun in this class. I have never draped before! This is all very new to me, at least the very action of manipulating fabric on a mannequin or dress form. In the sewing profession, we will call mannequins dress forms because the two serve different functions for us. You would put clothes on mannequins and then use them in displays. But you would use a dress form to actually help sew clothes and dress forms are more complex and generally built better. However, in this class we’re actually using mannequins as real dress forms are too expensive for the program. We had to prepare the mannequins with a ton of draping tape (all those lines you see!) to establish where the waist, hips, shoulders, etc, are. A draping dress form would have many of these significant design lines established already and you would just have to add a few more. Also our mannequins are very, very imperfect (mine doesn’t even have a stand!) and not symmetrical. I know humans actually aren’t symmetrical either but putting on the draping tape was a bit of a challenge.

I hope I do well in the class, so far I am! I am finding this quite easy, probably because I have pattern drafting experience. We will be doing cowls, ruching, shirring, and pleating later on. Woohoo!

P.S. If you thought this blog post would be about Mad Men’s Don Draper…well you’re awesome.

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