Monday, September 20, 2010

plugging along

I've made a few grown up things in the last several weeks.  After a long time of making kids' clothes, I yearn to sew something that I can handle with my whole hand and that I can turn right side out without using a tool.

 This was made off the cuff starting with a tank top pattern I drafted from a tank top I had in my dresser drawer.  I was in the process of updating the pattern a bit since I had made some of the openings a little weird, and then I got to thinking, and ended up with the dress.  I shortened the tank top a bit and then took the rest of the flowered fabric I had, thinking of making a dress from it.  The thing is, I don't like short dresses.  I'm self-conscious about my size anyway, and prefer longer dresses for that reason as long as for modesty's sake.  I dug around in my stash and finally found this fuchsia interlock hiding in with the bamboo jersey in my other other stash site.  It happened to match the flowers in the pattern on the green fabric just perfectly, and I had just enough of it to fit in the space I wanted to feel.  There was enough of the flowered fabric left for the pockets and just a snip more.

The upper skirt portion is twice the width of the bottom of the tank top section.  Before sewing anything to the tank top or to the bottom of the upper skirt portion, I sewed transparent elastic to the cut edge of the fabric using a nice, sharp needle and a longer than normal stitch.  NOTE:  If the needle isn't sharp and the stitch isn't long enough, the combination of the two will just gather the mess out of the elastic and you'll end up wanting to chuck the whole combo in the garbage can.  I found that even for a medium weight interlock like the flowered fabric, the transparent elastic went on best with a 10BP (ballpoint) needle and a length of 3 instead of my normal setting of 2.25 to 2.5.

I have a book I got from, sew what? Skirts, and it has some neat patterns in it.  More precisely, it shows you how to take your measurements and make your own patterns based on your own size.  In all, you can make patterns for 16 skirts.  Some of them are based on others - for instance, the A-line skirt is the basis for a few others - but it is great to have access to a resource where I can figure out how to make patterns for skirts to fit my oddly-shaped body instead of making skirts that don't fit or fit poorly. 

This skirt is made from the A-line pattern I drafted based on the instructions in the book.  It was really easy to make.  I had this fabric sitting around for a while and couldn't decide what to do with it until I looked at the pattern I had in front of me. 

The vest is made from McCall's 8285.  This pattern is pretty easy for a vest pattern, though I believe I tweaked it a bit like I do most of my other patterns.  Part of the problem is that for plus sized petite people, having the tie belt things in the back just isn't good because there isn't enough room under them to stick out from beneath the belt.  I tried snaps and the two-piece D ring setup and neither one looked too hot so I'm just going to get rid of them and put some elastic shirring in the center back section right where the belt would go if I were taller and not so round.  This way I'll have the effect I wanted without the annoyance of the clank clank clank when I don't use the D rings, and I won't be constantly fighting to get the fabric underneath the belt instead of having it slide up and over, making it look all weird.  So anyhow, this is a comfy little getup with the skirt and vest looking almost like a dress without the waist issues or chest issues that someone with a round body and small chest is going to encounter with either ready-made clothes or non-altered patterns.  I like this pattern set.  I may use it again.

I made this skirt for my oldest daughter from another pattern in the same book as above.  It's similar to the A-line pattern but you add width to each layer, though you don't double the width each time unless you want an insanely gathered bottom row with up to a few hundred inches in total width.

The skirt was going to be mine, but I made the layers too short and, again, it was not long enough for my liking.  Not that Abby minded - in fact, she loves it!  Her friend in Alabama wants one too.  Maybe I'll make her one for Christmas.  She'd love me forever if I did.  She kind of adopted me during Abby's senior year in high school, hanging out here as much as she could get away with and calling me "Mommy" to distinguish me from her other mother.  She still calls me Mommy, and she still calls me if she needs something from advice to support.  She's incredibly jealous that Abby has a sewing mom and she doesn't. 

So, three new garments, and three new patterns.....not bad, not bad at all.

God bless and keep you all close to His heart, under the shadow of His wings.


Michelle-ozark crafter said...

I would say not bad at all! Hope you guys are doing good.

daisymarie said...

The last skirt is really cute and I like the skirt and vest a lot. I could see me wearing both.