Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Contests contests everywhere

If you are stalking the Plus Sized Pattern Pyramid - it is now over with Two Toast from the Spotty Dog Social Club....

And don't forget you only have a few days left to enter my competition to win a "surprise package".

See the end of the post at this link for details (you will need to scroll to the end of the post).

Good luck in both competitions.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Busting Butterick Item 1 - Part 1

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.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

"And I say thee NAY! Buttericks" and the Versatile Blogger Award and Prize.

Wow - first let me say thank you to all who chimed in your thoughts - either for or against the Buttericks plus sized wardrobe in my last post. I can see that most are as insulted as I am.

There were some great thoughts and I am certainly appreciative of them all.

Many of you talked of a sloper and adjusting the pattern - and of course I thought yes - I am a proud sewcialist - I can use my skills for good!!

I believe I have a sloper for the dress with my TNT McCalls 2401 that I have been working on - I am sewing it with a non stretch woven at the moment.

I will definitely be taking a page out of the queen of the TNT tamperers, Carolyn's book with using this TNT to make patterns work for me.

Hence I have ordered the second wardrobe pattern that goes up to size 22 and will be stalking Carolyn's blog for her "sandwich" technique. That particular wardrobe has a jacket that is very reminiscent of a lovely short sleeved jacket I wore when younger and I would like to recreate that as well as the dress and the pants look great too.

So I am paraphrasing my all time favourite show (The West Wing) and I say thee NAY Buttericks, I will not purchase your plus sized crap. And I say thee NAY any other pattern company that tries to dress me in a sack.

Stay tuned for my self imposed Busting Butterick challenge when I receive the ordered regular sized pattern.

Over the course of this year I am going to sew each of those items in the wardrobe and adjust them to my size... So Butterick can go eat their poo!

Now that I have that off my chest.... the lovely JuliN has awarded me the Versatile Blogger Award. Some people don't like awards - I am not one of them!!!! I still get a spurt of pleasure when I see people have taken the time to read my blog let alone comment on it and then to award me something that says that they enjoy reading it.... who am I to turn up my nose at that - I - like a love starved puppy - am wagging my tail and wiggling my butt all over the place. So thank you JuliN. You can catch her at her great blog The Happy Homemaker.


If you are nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger award.

  •  Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
  •  Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it.
  •  Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly. ( I would add, pick blogs or bloggers that are excellent!)
  •  Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this site.
  •  Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself

15 Bloggers that you have recently discovered, follow regularly or are excellent.

Now a lot of discussion has been going on about whether people like awards, whether they want them or not. The first time I sent awards to bloggers I painstakenly went through to see if they had received awards before - this time I say - if you have already recieved it or you don't want it or don't want to do the associated work then PLEASE JUST ACCEPT IT IN THE SPIRIT IT WAS GIVEN (with hugs and kisses) and then don't do anything else. No pressure here. I will honour any blog that has the "don't want award" symbol.

First lot goes in the "can't live without" category. These sites give me inspiration, laughs, and always an interesting read. I am sure the following blogs have had awards coming out of their eyeballs and probably don't want anymore - but hey - you don't have to do anything - you don't even have to acknowledge it. I just want to say thank you.

No need to say check these out - I am sure everyone is very very familiar with them. In no particular order
Diary of a sewing fanatic
Handmade by Carolyn
Pretty Grievances
How good is that
Petite and Sewing
Suzy Bee Sews

The next lot goes to those blogs I have either recently found or are just blogs I would LOVE to share:

A little of what you fancy Sam is making some lovely clothes. Check it out.
The Green Violet - Megan has made me want to buy the Washi Dress Pattern
Satin Bird Designs - Andrea is making some cool clothes
The Engineer's other life - Kat has introduced me to a great looking princess seamed top that I must have!
Kelly's sewing when she is not running - check out her fab red jeans - even if the crotch is a little tight - in her opinion.
My Sewcial World - Annika is making some great clothes and participating in MMM13
GMarie Sews - Love checking out her dresses
Sewing with Cats - Alison has made some very enviable tops - and the blog name says it all. Anyone who sews with cats is a winner in my eyes!
Special mention to a bloggless Dilliander - who doesn't have a blog (that I can tell anyway) wish she would her sewing is spectacular!!

I would have loved to nominate everyone on my blog roll. To those I have nominated PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't feel obliged to do anything unless you want to.

Now for the next bit.

I decided that everyone knows enough about me that you probably don't need to read anymore SO - I thought I would do something different and make a contest out of it.

I often play true true false with my students as an icebreaker and so I shall with you too.

The rules are I have to tell you 7 things about myself - which I will do - HOWEVER one of them will be a lie.

Spot my lie and reply in comments by the end of the month and anyone who gets it right will be in the running  to be pulled out of the pot for a "surprise package" posted with love from me to you (where ever you are in our world).

If no one guesses correctly then everyone will go into the pot to be drawn out.

Here are my six facts and one fiction...

1. I have para-glided off the beach in Corfu Greece
2. I have written 2 crime novels
3. I used to lie in confession
4. I hung out with Biker gangs when I was younger
5. I have a small tattoo of a Rose on my shoulder in honour of my Grandmother Rose Evelyn Scifleet
6. I have been attacked by a Serval and have a scar on my hand from the attack
7. I have shot guns and rifles

The contest is open for anyone to enter. Only one guess per person.

Good luck.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Calling all curvy sewing fashionistas - warning - rant ahead

THIS MAKES MY BLOOD BOIL - does it make yours boil too? Or am I wanting too much?

Now I lurve a pattern that has a "Lifestyle Wardrobe" attached. One purchase - many coordinating looks.

Here is what Buttericks have brought out for us plus sized ladies - behold the plus sized Lifestyle Wardrobe .... drum roll please

Apologies for the last 2 blurry pics - apparently Buttericks  don't even want to give us good pictures - that is the best I can do.

I can't apologise for the appalling shapeless sack-like clothes - that is all on Buttericks.  Is it just me? Or does that look like it would look good on..... well .... nothing.

These go up to my size but I would rather wear a bed sheet!

Here is what they have for their regular sizes in the Lifestyle Wardrobe.

Sassy and smart.

Why oh why can't they just make these in the larger sizes? This goes up to size 22 - much too small for me - but jeeze I can see myself in these. Yes I would make the dress, skirt and jacket a tad longer but I love this look.

I know I am trying to get fit right but when they start off giving you patterns with NO waist at all - well poo to them!

My curvy sisters - is it just me???? And what can we do about it? Can we start an online petition - anyone know how to do that - and would it matter.

Sorry - my nose is severely out of joint! And what infuriates me even more is that - in my opinion - very few people will actually purchase the atrocious plus sized wardrobe so Buttericks will no doubt not blame their pattern but believe that there is not much of a market for up to size 32.

I am sorry if you actually like the plus sized wardrobe - and PLEASE let me know if you do - that will teach me not to assume - I am really interested in your thoughts.

On the positive side - the lovely JuliN has awarded me a versatile blogger award which I am thrilled to receive (can't help it - I am a sucker for an award) and I will post more when my blood stops boiling about this.