27 June 2011

Roadtrip reminder

Just a reminder I will probably not have time to post this week, as we are roadtripping up to Indiana to visit my family.  I'll be back for the weekend.

26 June 2011

More fuzzy floral embroidery test pics

Is it me or the camera?  My son says it's me ... and a quick note since I have learned some of y'all don't actually read to the bottom: I will be roadtripping this week to visit family in Indiana, and doubt I will have time to post.  Now, for more fuzzy embroidery pics:
This one down on the hem - looks sideways

A splash of orange just for fun

This one looks upside-down - just how it stitched out

All four done so far, out of ten
So I am almost halfway done stitching out the ten designs in the decorative floral design set.  I intended to do some pattern tweaking yesterday ... but the emb machine looked so happy to be still set up, and darn it but it is still cool to watch the needle bouncing up and down as it stitches out a design.  Besides, if I get all ten designs stitched out, then I can take samples up to Indiana with me to show off what my expensive toy can do ... and get sister's input on what designs she'd like up on the yoke and on the sleeves, along with color selections.

24 June 2011

Deco floral stitch-out

I finally sat down and played with the embroidery machine this morning, then I spent time trying to get a clear pic of it.  My teenage son ribbed me about fuzzy pics, but here is a mostly clear one:
Decorative floral emb test stitch-out
Believe it or not, this is only my second multi-color design ... and I have a few tips that should probably go into the Sgt. Obvious file.  The most important being that in between colors, it's a good idea to clip the bottom threads from jumps as well as the top threads.  Otherwise, it can get tangled and try to go under/into the throat plate ...

Maybe not a Sgt Obvious observation, but along with tweezers, the blunt side of a seamripper is great for getting tearaway stabilizer out of the inside parts of the design.

The little sets of dots are supposed to be different colors, but as these were the last three and I was tired of changing the thread ... I made them all that pretty pale blue.

While stitching, it occurred to me that the rayon embroidery thread (that I bought for the silk charmeuse tunic) would probably work better on this rayon challis than the polyester thread that I used on the stitch-out test.  The Sulky thread isn't on sale at Hancock until next weekend, so it doesn't look like I will get this tunic done in time to take up to Indiana on Monday.  I think I'd rather be "late" with it and make it as awesome as I can.

21 June 2011

Tunic for little sister Simplicity 2635

I actually started pattern work on this yesterday while waiting for feedback on my fitting issue.  As usual, one of my first steps is to trim the pattern tissue pieces ... and also as usual, my cats try to "help".  The crinkle of pattern tissue is as irresistible to them as the sound of a can opener on a can!  Before starting, I looked all around the room to ascertain the complete absence of the little fur monsters.  Half a minute later, as I had cut about six inches away from the piece ... I had my Cuddle Kitty on the other end of the long rectangle-shaped piece trying to pin it down to the carpet!  By the time I had the long side trimmed, I had all three gathered around me.  They don't take "No" for an answer, and didn't shoo further than five feet away.  I did manage to trim the pattern without needing to tape repairs.
S2635 and fabric - it is a bit more green than this
Third time was not a charm in my attempts to get a clearer pic of this ... meh.  I have seam allowances drawn onto the pieces, with measurement notes written on also.  I am embroidering on this tunic!  :)  Yes indeed, my embroidery machine is once again grumbling about too much time off, and my sister likes embellishment as much as I do.  I have enough room to stitch out 8 5x7 designs from this open decorative floral set.  I plan to embroider the front yoke on both sides of the keyhole slit, and above the hemline around the body.  Since sis wants the elastic-bottom sleeves, I will leave those undecorated ... maybe.  I haven't completely decided on that.  If I put a design on each sleeve, that will mean I use all ten in the set.  It's an attractive thought this morning.

But first will be a test stitch out to make sure the stabilizer and colors work.  Sis has asked for lots of spring and summer colors, and this design set has 6-8 colors per design.  Along with a nice vibrant green, I am thinking pink, yellow, white, light blue, lavender, and maybe even a cheerful orange.

20 June 2011

WHAT is this fit problem?

So, today is a DD cup day for me (yes, it does fluctuate) and I pulled the floral tunic back out to try on with the different bra.  Still has fitting issues around the bust.  Still should have FBAed it.  So, I then grabbed the black-white dotted blouse from January where I felt happy with the FBA ... and discovered it has the same problem as my tunic.  Then, I pulled out my rayon challis tunic from last summer - which I was happy with at the time - and this one has the same problem as well!

Since I don't know if this fitting problem has a name, I went into GIMP and spent a good half hour marking up on of the pics from yesterday that shows the problem pretty clearly.
Fitting issue that FBA doesn't fix - What is this?
Be sure to click through to the larger version.  In blue are the seams: dart, side seam, and armscye.  In red are those annoying wrinkles.  In yellow is the main issue: I don't have enough fabric between my bust apex and the armscye.  In purple are my questions: are the wrinkles below the dart related?  What is this problem called?  And most important, how can this be fixed on anything other than a shoulder princess seam??

I am quite stumped ... and not even knowing if there is a specific term for this problem makes it pretty impossible to go searching for answers.  Help!?!

I'm going to start a thread for this in the fitting section over at PR's message board ... but if those of y'all who have more readers (or even a different set of readers) who might know, I would be extremely grateful if you could send them this way.  You even have my explicit permission to post this picture (unaltered) on your own blogs if it might help.  (Edit: Here's the thread.)

If I am ever going to get a good fitting top, I need to get this issue resolved.

19 June 2011

I should have FBAed

Hubby just snapped some new pics, this time without bright sunlight.  Even though as I sit here I can pull plenty of room in the bust of this tunic out in front of me ... the pics can't be lying.  It isn't hanging right over my bust.
B4856 front pic 1 ... not so obvious

B4856 front pic 2 ... now it's obvious I need an FBA

B4856 side pic ... the sideseam slit and definitely need an FBA
*Loud audible sigh*  While I know some women pay a lot of money to have a DD/DDD bust ... it really is a nuisance to fit properly!  I'd much rather go back to being a C cup.

18 June 2011

Finally finished B4856 tunic

Finally!  I am wearing it!  Even more amazing, the sun finally came out today ... and evening sunlight is not exactly conducive to good photos, but I am not waiting.  Here's the brightly-lit proof:
Sunlit Butter4856 tunic

B4856 tunic back view
Yes indeedy, it does cover the real estate in back!  LOL  And the rayon crepon does wrinkle.  It feels a smidge too big, so *IF* I make this pattern again, I'll use the medium and do a small FBA on it.  I may need to grab a hand needle and bring the keyhole slit up a smidge.  (Hat tip to PittyPat over at PatternReview message boards for mentioning that gem of a trick the other week.)  Just an offbeat note: flannel pajama shorts are a bad choice for trying on a drapey rayon long tunic top ...

Now, for a fun pic.  Here are the pieces of that large limb that fell on our power line to the house the other week ... and somehow managed to stay balanced for over a week as I anxiously waited for the power company's tree trimmers to come out and cut it off the power line.  They then proceeded to cut off twice as much branches and limbs from the trees to make sure they don't need to come back out this year.  They chipped and removed the green stuff ... but left us this as a souvenir:
Future bonfire

16 June 2011

Alive and kicking and planning

It's official: I have rejoined the land of the living, and have been spending this week getting caught up on things around the house.  I've been getting estimates on having our trees trimmed back more after the power company finally got that large limb off the power line and trimmed any limb or branch that could fall onto our lines.  Yesterday I had the plumber out to replace both commodes, which should help with the water bill over the long term as the old ones were made in 1984!  Today I made an appointment for the fat fluffy cat to get bathed and shaved, and did a major stock-up grocery trip.  I even did laundry in between all these.  To top it off ... I have begun to car-shop for the first time since 2002.  My oldest vehicle is now old enough to legally move out on its own.

Now that my to-do list is significantly shorter ... maybe I can finally get that rayon floral tunic finished.  The poor thing has been waiting for sleeves and hems.  After that I will start on a by-request tunic for my sister.  When she visited back in October, she literally went through all of my modern-style (non-costume) patterns and selected Simplicity 2635 view C, in a green.  I asked her over the phone if she wanted floral embroidery along the bottom, and she loves that idea.  She originally wanted it made from this fabric:
Green tunic S2371
I made this tunic last year ... before I realized I needed an FBA (much less how to do one!).  Since my little sis is a standard B cup ... I will give her this one and use a rayon challis in a different shade of green for her special request (pic when I dig it out of the fabric tub).  Another shirt I will give sis:
S2705 sleeveless blouse
Yup, another non-FBA top I should not really wear, this time S2705 and also made last summer.  My sister is making out like a bandit on last year's sewing, as I gave her my "pirate" coat last June because it fit her perfectly when she asked to try it on:
S3677 pirate coat
Sister has stated (and Mom has confirmed) that she wore this a lot this past fall and winter, as the heavy drapery fabric I used is a great windbreak.  This is in addition to her special-request hooded fleece vest I sent up in December, which she wears with a sweatshirt.

I'm actually enjoying sewing for my sister.  While she is very specific about what she wants (and has never been shy about stating that either!) she also appreciates it a lot.  On top of that, sis will be letting hubby and I "couch surf" and crash at her house when we go up there at the end of the month.  It sounds like a fair trade-off to me.

13 June 2011

Floral tunic progress and still alive

After much debate ... it appears I am still alive.  I haven't completely kicked this sinus crud, but am feeling better enough to sew again.  Before the drainage stage hit, I had cut out that lovely rayon floral Maggie sent me into Butterick 4856 tunic and managed to get the funky keyhole neck placket in yesterday.  Here's a pic hot off the memory card:
B 4856 neck placket
The placket was a pain in the (*donkey*) to get in right - and I didn't succeed at one corner - which required hand-basting before sewing.  The rayon wasn't exactly cooperative, but it wasn't all the fabric's fault.  I've decided I will only reuse this pattern if I am doing a contrast keyhole placket.

Now, a note for all bloggers out there: Apparently, a large pattern company conglomerate has been using unmarked photos on their FaceBook pages without asking first (thread here) ... so I am now watermarking all of my pics.  If you have a blog, I recommend not only watermarking your pics, but posting about this to let others in the sewing blogs community know about it, because this is at the bare minimum a violation of long-established Netiquette.  You just don't jack someone's personal pics without asking ... if you don't get permission, you link to it.  I do not have a FB account and haven't looked at it myself ... but there are some big blogging names in the list of jacked photos.

02 June 2011

S2621 bodies bound, still need eyelets

I meant to post this pic yesterday when I snapped it, but forgot as my head is still fuzzy from this miserable sinus crud.  I finished up the binding on the corset tops and bottoms the other night, but still haven't felt up to hammering in my eyelets yet.  However, this is a milestone for me - the first time I am showing a pic of the lining inside!
S2621 corset bound
It may not be beautiful on the inside quite yet, but this is definitely the best looking one I've done to date.  One of my stated purposes of doing mockups to to practice techniques, and this one has fit the bill on trying to make decent looking linings.

I used retail-bought bias tape for the binding, mostly because I wasn't feeling up to making my own since the jacquard stripes would show if I wasn't perfectly on the bias.  I already had a headache for the past week ... why add to it and risk frustration?  Meh, maybe I am just trying to justify a bit of laziness here.

Either way, it is still waiting on eyelets.  I think I'll use the "antiqued brass" colored ones instead of the shiny goldtone ones.  In the meantime, I do have things cut out that I can sew together - rayon floral tunic, light colored denim mid-Victorian ... plus I need to remove cat hair from the core layers of the mid-Victorian.  My shed monsters struck again.