I have never kept a journal and have sometimes regretted it - especially when I am learning something new.
I thought it would be a good idea to record my journey on the road to learning to sew
and blogging is an ideal way to keep my thoughts organised and to remember how far I have come - hopefully :-). This is my first *real* foray into sewing and my first attempt at blogging.
Yesterday I attended our monthly sewing guild meeting and started on Busting Butterick Down. I received the pattern on Thursday so it was great timing.
Here it is - the pattern to be busted
The magnificent Velosewer very kindly offered help and believe me - it was so appreciated. To borrow her blog name - how good is that! That someone will give their valuable sewing time to help someone else. Maria - you are one very cool lady.
I really really really wanted to start with the dress - seeing as I have my TNT dress pattern and Carolyn is going to send me her sandwich instructions when I start on the dress (and I so love dresses) - however - it is freezing here in Sydney now and moving quickly into winter - so I reluctantly let logic rule and started with the jacket.
As a reminder - here are the 2 juxtaposed jackets. The me sized yuk and the soon to be me sized yum.
I am going to detail how we made the alterations. Mainly as a record as this blog is my way of recording my sewing journey.
Maria and I quickly set ourselves up in a separate room from the "sewers" so we could spread out, plot, cut and stick...... Looking at the pattern - which goes up to size 22 on the envelope but in reality an Australian size 16/18 (bust of 113cms) - we realised we would need to add quite a bit to the pattern as I would be about a AUS size 26 - 28 in RTW.
After discussions we decided the first move would be to look at the sleeves. Maria whipped out her tape measure and after careful calculations we decided that we would need to add 10cms to sleeve. We discussed ways of doing this - split and spread or adding to the sides and we measured the bottom of the sleeve and we felt that spreading the sleeve would make it too big at the bottom so we added 5cms to each side and graded down.
I find that the big 4 patterns shoulders fit me in the smaller sizes so I wanted to keep the shoulder width the same and not increase it.
This meant we needed to add 5 cms to the sides of the front and back pieces that connect to the sleeves. This added 20cms to the girth of the jacket already starting the enlargement process.
5cms added to the sides
Maria then pinned the altered top piece to me to decide how much more need to be added. After taking many more measurements it was calculated that I needed to do a FBA (which added a dart to the pattern) and put in 4cms. After more careful pinning (which was quite funny as I am 178cm tall and Maria is not) it was decided that another 2cms was needed to bring centre front to - well - my centre front. Maria had a great idea of adding these cms a little further along so that the changes are more incremental than all at once. We also then needed to move the new dart down to Bev placement.
We also had to add some length because hipster length is okay for me to go over dresses and skirts - but not to go over slacks which I want the long sleeved version to do. I will do a short sleeve version with the dress which will be shorter in length too.
Here is the altered front piece - now THIS is a pattern alteration! Not for the faint-hearted.
The back was relatively easy - just a bit of added width and length.
Ran out of paper!
Of course the collar and facings had to be changed as well.
It was a very interesting process made fun by having Maria there to help, measure, give advice and share her knowledge. From time to time sewers from the other room would wander in, have a look, give pointers and share stories of their FBAs. Amanda told of a much better way using grids and I was going to give her my email address after so she could email the directions to me but I forgot so if anyone knows how to contact Amanda - please let me know.
All were a bit shocked that I had cut into the pattern itself. Normally I do trace off my patterns first but this is an exercise in BUSTING Butterick and I thought it a great statement to actually bust the pattern open!
After all the pattern alterations were done, Maria left me to go and work on her pattern for a hoodie. She was wearing her trial and it looked fabulous. Being a great sewist with an eye to detail Maria wanted to tweak it for a better fit and she showed us the beaut fabric she has for her next version. Be sure to keep an eye on on her blog for that.
I then laid out my pattern on my trial fabric to cut. A lot was said yesterday on the process of muslins / toiles. I always like to make a toile in a fabric that I would be happy to wear but not devastated to lose. Hence the hard work can pay off and hopefully you have a wearable toile. Hence I used a rust coloured hemp/cotton blend.
Alison came in to have a chat and saved me from forgetting to cut the facings and collar on the fold. Phew - I only had scraps of fabric left over so that would have been a big problem.
I ended up with a pile ready to sew. Next job sewing.
I highly recommend joining the Australian Sewing Guild and going to a meeting near where you live (sounds like AA doesn't it???) What a great supportive bunch of ladies. It is great to look around and see all these beautiful home made outfits being worn - makes you realise with a bit of practice banning RTW can work.
I also get to see great things like Kristy's now fully lined Marni Jacket in life - very nice indeed, Velosewer wearing not only the lovely hoodie - but made by her slim leg jeans as well. She also brought in the great cover up top to show me. Come Summer I will be all over that . Dilliander was there working on her next masterpiece, Alison wearing a top she whipped up, Sharon modelling a fantastic "fractured knit" cardigan made from a workshop I have now signed up for and many more lovely ladies sharing and caring.