Sunday, 18 March 2012

The Evolution of Babs (and other things)

Before we get onto the subject of Babs I would like to say a huge thanks to those who voted for my red dress. I was surprised and thrilled to received 13 votes - I wasn't expecting one vote seeing as how there were so many beautiful dresses. I entered to challenge myself and am humbled to receive votes.

I have taken some photos of the evolution of Babs to show my family so I thought I would post the pics to show you as well. I haven't finished but she has already proved to be so helpful in pattern fitting, seeing how things go together and in showing how things will look.

This is her fresh out of the box.

As posted earlier I split her ribs to make her the largest size. On that topic let me say that I came across a comment when researching what dress form to go for. One person had said to buy a dress form where the smallest size of the form is closest to your size as you can not pin in the cracks at centre back and centre front once open. I ordered my dress form from "For Frocks Sake" and the lovely lady there told me to go for one smaller than my size as you can always pad up but if you lose weight the form would be useless.. So I took her advice and am very pleased I did. As for pinning in the cracks - even if you don't pad the form you can easily put a cheap t-shirt on it and that will allow you to put in pins.

I used both Wadding (2 packs - eek) purchased at Spotlight and padding I purchased in the Fabulous Fit System (FFS) and I am sorry to say - she is "starting to look a lot like....... me" :-(
Good for fitting - bad for self esteem - well at least I can't lie to myself!!

The first step I took was to wrap one layer of wadding around her and pull on the first of 2 covers that came with the FFS. Can I say that was a TIGHT fit. The XXL FFS goes to size 20 "up" but they couldn't tell me how far up the up went.... Anyway it went on and I smoothed out the wadding underneath then pulled the front up to replicate my tummy ....hmmmmm ... Phew - first layer..

I then rolled on the second cover (with the princess seams) and carefully put pads in all the right places.. even able to replicate the hump on the top of my back :-) :-( Happy I could do it - sad that I had to..... I added yet more wadding - more padding under arms, on sides, and top of stomach and then put on one of my old bras... ALL of the remaining padding and yet more wadding went into the bra and voila...

Here she is helping me with the lay of  Butterick Connie Crawford's 5430 . She was invaluable in helping me to work out how to put the yoke on the dress and seeing the fit.

By the way - you can see that I pinned one seam on the outside and one on the inside... didn't think much of it as I was only pinning to see the fit ....... but ....... I thought - hey it's pinned - I may as well sew - and of course sewed one side in and one side out - using the overlocker at that - spent quite some time with the unpicker!

There are big ripples showing on the back...

I don't know whether this needs to be adjusted on the pattern or on Babs - maybe she needs padding on the back. I have tried it on myself and the ripples are there on one side but not as bad. I ask myself - and anyone out there who knows - does Babs need more padding in the back or is it because I have arms that hold the dress up more? Any advice?.

The almost twins - I can see Babs is a bit taller than me and will adjust accordingly - this will bring her bust line down too.. Although the measurements are correct - it also looks like she may need a bit more padding too!

I still want to add another feature. I purchased some stretchy silky material used to make slips (not sure what it is called) I want to make another cover that shows the princess seams (the FFS seams are so tightly stretched they are not in the right place - and are covered by the industrial strength bra...) This will also enable the garments to slip on and off easier. I will also put where arm holes and necklines should be on this cover. I also purchased some ribbon tape with cm increments that I am going to sew onto the front and back centre seams and around the middle so that any pattern adjustments needed will be easy to measure... That is all for another day.

This weekend I am hoping to finish the Butterick 5430, hem another version of the Pamela's Patterns Magic not so pencil skirt to see how that goes and maybe even finish another skirt that I have cut - A Simplicity Khalia Ali pattern.

BTW - can anyone tell me why I am having problems with my blind hemming? The foot seems to work okay but leaves this pulling - the stitches seem to be a little too far into the hem?? Any advice? I am going to have to unpick and do by hand.

Next time I will have pics of the finished dress and skirt.

Until next time.....

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Word Verification

A huge shout out THANK YOU to Sew-4-Fun for alerting me to the fact that you can have word verification on your blog and not know that it is turned on. I thought mine was turned off until I read sew-4-fun's post that you have to log out of google to test it.

So.... hopefully it is off now - please let me know if it turns back on. It is such a pain in the ....

On other news I have received the fabulous fit system and have spent some time padding up Babs to be my not sew evil twin. It is looking good - actually not really looking good - even more confronting than looking in the mirror! I still need to purchase a bit of wadding for the girls (sad that the girls were too big for the fabulous fit system!!) and will post a picture when finished.

I am looking forward to Bab's assistance in sewing many a garment!

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Pamela's Patterns "not so" magic skirt

To be fair - the skirt is magic in the way it goes together and the ease and simplicity of it... however being so top heavy - I need a bit of balance below and think I will stick to A-line or slightly straighter (ie - not tapering) skirt / dresses.

Now - before I embarrass myself by posting these pictures let me preface it by saying I used a fabric I was not wild about as a trial (and I am glad I did) and one that I had no tops to match so I have just thrown on any top.

I just wanted to post the pictures to show that top heavy people like me may need to think about this pattern. I am glad I have it and have sewn it as I can modify it now that it fits.

I really need to stop having photos taken in wind

Bring on the fake tan!!!!

With a cardi jacket to see how that looks
Now these pictures don't look too bad - that because I cut out the really bad bit - the girls! Unfair I know to doctor the pictures so much - but believe me - it wasn't pretty! It looked like I was going to topple over at any moment!

I thought about making the skirt a little longer (I already added an inch and half) - but I really don't think the style works for me. Thanks Pamela for a great simple and easy skirt - but the magic didn't work for me.

I am not going to post a review - I think it is a great skirt with lots of different great reviews so I will just put it aside and ponder.

What I learnt :

1. How to do a really easy elastic waist - Thanks Pamela - YEAH!
2. I need balance in my life (or at least my top to bottom wardrobe choices) - DOH!
3. That my blind hem foot works a treat when the hem is straight and not A-lined - YEAH!
4. That the blades in the overlocker (serger) cuts into fabric when you stop it and turn the fabric for a corner - gonna have to be careful - DOH
5. That although I wasn't in love with the pattern on the fabric I have found that I do like moleskin fabric - YEAH!

and finally - and this is a biggie

6. Trust the math. In my previous post about planning for this I mentioned that I had to add 5 inches to the pattern and did the whole 5 inches on the one pattern piece - which meant that I had actually added 20 inches as the pattern piece is one quarter of the skirt. Before I adjusted the pattern and cut the fabric I held the traced pattern piece up against me and lo and behold - it fit - from my middle front to side - perfect fit - couldn't work out why that would be but trusted the pattern fitting instead of the math. Cut the fabric (thinking - wow I knew I was big BUT...) and then sewed it up and tried it on - and guess what - about 15inches too big... What the ...???

Now let me tell you - I come from a mathematical family - my Grandfather was an inventor, my mother a tax consultant, my niece an accountant and my sister has been a financial controller of an organisation and now runs her own office management / bookkeeping and financial training business... I DID NOT get the math brain. I can do math (simple) run my business (business training NOT finance) and do my own tax - but that is where it ends.

It took a member of my mathematical family to point out that I am not only top heavy but front heavy too (in the kindest possible way!!) Hence my back is MUCH MUCH smaller than my front so while the pattern piece fit at front - not so much the back - DOH!

You live and learn (or sew and learn). I am enjoying the journey.

Until next time.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Alison - you are my new bestest friend!

THANK YOU Alison for your comment left on my last blog... I made me search and learn more and find out that I can add blogs that don't have "join" feature to my list of blogs to read. Sooo much better. I just have to work out how to get Google Reader to preview them like my blog reader.

To join OR to subscribe - that is the question - A Begging Plea

This is a short begging plea to all bloggers out there... it would be really great if you give options to join (and hence get updates from blogs in your blogger reader) or subscribe (and get your updates through email).

I have a love / hate relationship with email. I have 12 email addresses! That is because I run 2 businesses and on top of that one of the business is a sub-contracting business and they give me email addresses to communicate with their clients.

Most days I have an avalanche of emails from students emailing me assignments and evidence for recognition of skills and I don't want any more emails than I need - HOWEVER - I LOVE reading blogs with my morning cup of tea and find out what has been happening in the sewing world whilst I've slept. I have found some wonderful blogs recently that only allow you to subscribe via email and therefore I am missing out on all of their wonderful info.

Just a small favour - PLEASE put an option to JOIN on your site.

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