24 October 2010

The Sound of Music?

I like to visit other people's blogs. In fact, one of the primary purposes for keeping a blog (for me) is to keep track of blogs I like to visit. I also like to click "next blog" on blogspot blogs, which usually drops me into craft and sewing blogs I've never seen before. What I don't like is my laptop bursting into song when I don't ask it to, particularly when I am in public (or worse, at work), but really any time at all. It would be one thing if I were surfing blogs looking for my favorite musicians, but why should I expect a sewing blog to start warbling at me? Annoying.

Anyway, not much sewing here. Can't complain--when DD visits from graduate school she lights up my life but takes up my sewing space. Did manage to stitch and serge up a slip cover for my workroom couch. IMG_1995.JPG
That involved about a half-mile of straight serging along the raw edge. I feel much more comfortable with my serger now. The wine helped.

My able assistant William is also becoming more comfortable with the serger. (I don't offer music, but I'm not above throwing in a picture of my cat when I've nothing to say.)

09 October 2010

Beginning Again

I used to sew pretty well. There have been times in my life when I made my own clothes because I couldn't find the look I wanted in stores, or to save money, or for the sheer satisfaction of creating something. I don't remember finding sewing or fitting to be particularly difficult--I just picked a size, cut it, and followed the directions. No muslins, and no wadders.

These days, however, sewing scares me. Partly, I think, because it is more difficult to fit a lumpy "petite large" than a trim 7 or 8, and partly because thanks to so many wonderful sewing blogs I now know how much I don't know. But the only thing to do to overcome my fear of failure is to dive in and fail, and learn from my mistakes. Which are many.

Here is Opus 1: Very Easy Vogue 8587 in a silky polyester print from JoAnn.
Things I learned making this top:
1. Consider the compatibility of fabric and pattern: A large print may not be the best choice for a garment with a seam down the center front.
2. Understand the garment before stitching it all together (if necessary, read the instructions). At one point in this process the top turned into a Möbius strip--no matter what I did it was always inside-out, and sometimes the neck opening disappeared into another dimension altogether.
3. Look in the mirror once in a while. This top is nice and comfortable, but DS, in whose eyes I can do no wrong, remarked that it made me look pregnant. Not that pregnant is a bad look ...

Opus 2: Butterick 3030 in cotton T-shirt jersey from JoAnn.
Things I learned making this top (which I just finished this morning):
1. Make a note of the length, width and composition of a piece of fabric before stashing it. Yes, I could just measure it to see how much there was, and I sort of did, but I seem to have missed it by a foot. I wanted to make a tunic but only had enough for a short top. The old adage, "Measure twice, cut once" only applies if both measurements come out the same--if they don't, measure a few more times, I guess.
2. Pay attention when people say the high bust measurement is the most important number for choosing a pattern size. I made a Large to make sure the top would fit around my upper arms and tummy, and wound up with a neckline wider than my shoulders! Maybe it also stretched out while I was working on it?
I made this top with the facing called for in the instructions but I guess this was unnecessary for the knit I used. Maybe I can remove the facing and put a couple of darts in the neckline to keep it from sliding to my elbows?
3. I enjoy working with this knit fabric.

Off to try again.