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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Get a Grip. Pattern Review Contest outfit planning....

I am altering patterns in ways that disappoint me (I am struggling with accepting that I need to alter that much).  So, super-timely Pattern Review has announced the plus size pattern contest.
(See how it's all lower case there?  Even the contest icon is meh...)
Plus Size Contest

So.  I signed up for the contest.   Do I want to win?  Will I brag about it?
I wish the contest was better labelled:

Curvy Couture Contest! 

Woohoo!  That's a badge I could wear with pride.
So, I am renaming the contest for my personal experience of it, and I am using my own badge!

Here are the first two rules:
1- Sew an outfit - either one piece like a dress or jumpsuit or an ensemble consisting of at least a top and bottom (skirt and blouse, pants/trousers and shirt). An additional piece, like a cardi or topper is fine, but not required.
2- For the purpose of this contest, plus size patterns are:
- Any pattern labeled as plus size or designed especially for plus size sewists, for example Simplicity, Butterick and McCalls patterns with "W" sizing, BurdaStyle plus patterns, Curvy Chick patterns.
- Or, if a pattern company does not specifically label their patterns as "plus" or "Women", but has sizes that are comparable to Big 4 Women's size charts (Simplicity or BMV), those sizes also qualify. For example Jalie size X is roughly comparable to BMV size 18W, so it would qualify (as would Y, Z...)
Okay so W sizing:

V1141 is a TNT - and it is a W pattern, so it's a no brainer.

So does the Alder Skirt make the cut? 

Whaaaaaaaat? that's craziness...  (I have already started tracing the pattern!  well - throw those out!  I'm a size 12?  You gotta know I will be using my measuring tape on those pattern pieces....)
That's  why a few of the makes I have reviewed on the web fit like this one!  I find that look a little too much like the alder skirt {for girls} - But Allie at IndieSew says:

"This a-line skirt has two adorable front pockets that sit nice and flat against your abdomen." 


"I sewed my Alder Skirt in a dark turquoise twill and modified the skirt a bit to fit my body shape. Because I’m pear shaped, I find that high-waisted skirts complement my figure more than a skirt that sits low on my waist. I decided to size down two sizes in the pattern and the fit is absolutely perfect. I was worried, though, that sizing down that much would require me to insert a zipper. But lucky me, I inadvertently chose a fabric with a ton of stretch. Enough stretch, in fact, that I can easily slide my Alder Skirt up over my hips with no problem! "
I'm sold - I will sew to my measurements.....

And the Seamwork Sydney?

Okay - I am seeing a pattern (lol!) so I am going to sew this one to fit and expect to remake it to my high bust and do a FBA (and possibly keep the dart!)
So, Yes - these are "Plus Size" patterns - so I believe they will fit the [contest] bill:  I am thinking, Sydney, V1141, and Alder Skirt - it's a cute summery outfit.

But publish photos clearly labelled with sizing?
I am often tough on myself.  I am not happy with my fitness level right now, and who wants to announce they had to alter UP a size 22?  (Especially when I worked so hard to be a RTW 12 just 6 years ago) - Maybe I should treat this contest as an opportunity to get a grip.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Stash Buster #22 (of 48) - B6061 Lady GreenJeans Shorts

Woo Hoo!  They are wearable!

I have faced some significant challenges encasing my behind since the birth of DS (the younger).  
The greatest challenge has been myself - and getting over my fear of the alteration.
Following the tome of guidance from Oblander-Zieman I did some pivot and slide work:

I heavily altered Butterick 6061 (here is the pattern review). I used the hemline as my pivot point to tilt the side out to meet my hip measurement, then the new hip point as the pivot point to come back in to my waist (did this to both the front and the back (I had to tape the pocket pieces to the front to do this. I also used the hemline to pivot the back inner thigh out to add some length to the crotch (1.5inches) and then used the hip point to pivot the back up to gain the additional 2.5 inches in back length. 

This method worked really well once I got the hang of it - the first run at the muslin was a disaster of trying to spread the "spread" over the front and back (see my earlier blog post).

I will scan and post my pocket draft for sharing  (I will update here when the link is ready)

There was a fair amount of topstitching for these pants - here's what was left when I was done:

Friday, May 22, 2015

Trials and Tribulations of my Expanded Lap....

Oh, Motherhood.
I know I should be able to drop the baby weight: get back at sweaty exercise and continue to eat right. But, getting back to sweaty exercise has been a challenge.... Everyday, I don't get on the elliptical, I do haul my buns the 4,000 steps to daycare and back, but I barely break a sweat!

So - here I stand (okay, sit) typing and not sweating.

So - I am faced with trying to create a summer wardrobe that fits - and my pants patterns are challenging me.
[whiney whine]
 this month I have been trying to get my buns into a pair of shorts.  Muslin 2 nearly crushed my spirit:

The little 2 inch waistband was not finishing these off
(hey, like how I maintain my sense of decency by waving the shorts around in that .gif?)

That muslin was the result of following Nancy Zieman's Fitting Finesse step by step.
Okay - step by step, 20 minutes at a time with the baby calling out for me from the main floor.

I strongly suspect I swapped my front and back adjustments... the crotch is just weird.
I suspect  that the hip curve calculation was reversed too - maybe I was supposed to add an inch instead of subtract....[LOL]

So - I started over, and used the Oblander and Zieman pivot and slide technique again - only, I went by intuition and 
and I am basting the back and side today....  fingers crossed!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

People Watching - Developments! The teens I see every morning are blossoming!

I. Love. Spring!

Most days the stroller makes its way across my geographical footprint to daycare.  It's a great walk of 4000 steps according to my pedometer and the route varies only slightly from time to time.
(My vicious Beast of Hell, Eddie the Dog accompanies me, so don't get any stalker ideas, dear reader)

En route, I say good morning to every face - whether eye contact is made or not.  Teens will sometimes walk along the road to avoid the interaction.  One particularly sullen girl, who walks with a steady pace that approaches Monty Python heights has been a little project of mine - and I have NOT event cracked the shell in 6 months.

She is the perfect combination of apathy and angst - frozen gaze, firm lips, dead eyes and hair falling in her face, held back only slightly by her earbuds and cords.

Last week, my mind exploded when she had her hair in a pony-tail (I'm not kidding - I actually veered off the sidewalk gawking at her).
Then, earlier this week she was walking with a boy.
Today:  She said "Good Morning" To. My. Face!!!!!

Holy Marshmallow on a branch!  There's hope!

I. Love. Spring!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

I have no voice - so I can't blog? What's been happening in my troll house.

I have a wonderful sewing space in my unfinished basement - a big space with the water heater in one corner, a lonely laundry tub (Iron refilling station!) and the household deep-freeze in another corner.  It has a window (9 feet up) and a geothermic cooling system (concrete floor).  I adopted a rug (that saw a vacuum when it landed and not since) and my dress forms (my wish I was size and my recent Value Village addition of a plus size Diana) wear my ragged sewing sweaters.

I love this space.  I call it my Troll House - mostly because I hunker down and mumble back to people when they dare invade my mommy time (lips pressed together over the latest pin, usually).  My Dad put up the walls for me a year ago, and my DH and DS (the elder) worked hard to put up shelves for me for Christmas.

I have had a WICKED COLD (via the snotty DS (the younger) and his blessed day-care buddies) and in my line of paid occupation (work from home telephone support to accounting software users) that's a curse - though I get a lot of sympathy from my clients as I squeak my way through their accounting nightmares and solve their conundrums - more compassion than I ever got from my live-in-person colleagues when I came to work sick in the past.

I suddenly realized today that I haven't blogged the whole time I have been sick - no voice means no blog?

I have been sewing baby clothes this month - and now it is time for me to move on to clothes for me... it's getting desperate and it IS the time to do it - Me Made may and all.

Plans?  They are laughably fluid - but I have an Alder Skirt up first, and then I am thinking of doing a SeamWork collection.... I am in love with the Sydney.  I need some shorts too - and I am tempted to make another pair of pjs from the Hudson Pant and Bronte Top (I love my set made in January).

okay more to come: but first, tylenol.