Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Plackets - some you see, some you don't!

Now I have found my correct body blueprint, sloper, toile, call it whatever you will, it's a simple step to designing any garment.

For this shirt I chose a very silky, softly draping fabric with quite a busy design. I decided I wanted a mandarin collar rather than a full shirt type collar to make it less - well shirt like I suppose.

I cut the collar using the pattern piece for the collar stand in my previous 'negative' shirt blogged here.

This turned out to be a BIG mistake because the shirt collar is designed to reach the edge of the button bands but this meant my mandarin collar would cross over at the front and just wasn't right. Having realised my mistake only after stupidly sewing it on, including clipping into the seam allowance, I had to take it all off and start again. I'm sure we all hate undoing bits of sewing but one thing for sure is that I know I won't make the same mistake again so lesson learned.

I thought that buttons would look confusing on this fabric so I decided to build in a hidden button placket which is so easy to do with SFD instructions. As it turned out these little yellow buttons would hardly have been noticed but they're hidden away now.

I was very pleased with myself that I used my new sewing machine to make the buttonholes AND to sew on all the buttons too. They went on very well and I got quite confident doing it. It saved loads of time and did a really good job.

I also enjoy making sleeve plackets as they always seem complicated whereas in reality they are quite simple but look very effective. I didn't match up the design because to be honest it was so busy you wouldn't really notice if it was or wasn't.

I omitted the waist darts as I wanted  a top that would have a bit of movement especially if I wear it tucked into jeans or trousers.

My next sewing adventure is pretty daunting at the moment. My husband wants me to make him a pair of trousers for playing golf in. He said the fabric needed to be tough enough not to tear if his ball gets into the rough where there might be brambles. My answer was simple... don't hit the ball off the fairways in the first place. Why do men have to make things so complicated?

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

First design using new machine

I bought a new sewing machine!!! Ask me why and I couldn't really explain except that because it was there!!! I had a Janome which served me well and did an excellent job - I have no complaints about it whatsoever. But I was at a dealers' and there was this Husqvarna Ruby de Luxe Embroidery Machine which just kept calling to me. In the end I just couldn't resist so after months of deliberation I now have this beast of a machine and an empty wallet.

So I had to come up with something a bit spectacular to see what it was capable of and here is the result...
I forgot to take a photo of the back but it is all in the patterned fabric. I also haven't taken a photo of me wearing it yet as it isn't quite finished, i just need to hand stitch the inside of the cuffs - you can't see that in the photo!!!

This was made from a Sure-Fit Design body blueprint and is the best fitting shirt that I've made so far. I made a muslin first and this was a big help as I've finally figured out that I need more length across my upper chest area and NOT from underneath my arms where I had previously added length in order to get my apex in the right place.

Having made the alterations on the front and back I then needed to address the sleeve and with Glenda's help I got this right too and the fitting is great.

I made a couple of mistakes along the way but I'm not going to admit what there are, however I have learned and will do better next time.

I'm so delighted to have at last got a good fit for a top and look forward to designing and making more.

Once I'd finished the shirt, the black side seemed to be a bit too black if you know what I mean, almost looked as though I was half way through putting on a black jacket!!

 What a great time to practice a bit of embroidery? Hence the little design which I am pleased brings the two halves together nicely.

Did you also notice I put a logo at the back of the collar stand? It might look simple but working out which way up it had to be took me ages....

I did try another design element having taken a Designer Craftsy Class recently which showed a Peek-a-Boo method and I employed this on the sleeves. However it didn't really work as well as I'd imagined and doesn't 'Peek-a-Boo' as much as I thought it would.
 I've shown the sleeve before it was finished with weights to show the opening and how it's supposed to look when being worn, the trouble is it isn't in an area where the seam is under any real strain to open up, even on the elbow which I purposely left as 'open'.

The black sleeve has the pattern in the slits and below you can see the pattern sleeve with black slits held open with pins for you to see.

This shirt has a lot of designer elements and certainly pushed me out of my comfort zone in all sorts of areas but I had fun learning despite the mistakes and lots of trials and errors along the way and am looking forward to some more creativity.


I am very positive about moving forward with more ideas but I have named this shirt NEGATIVE as a tribute to comments made about me recently that I feel this garment proves I'm not.

I'll be back soon with more..., meanwhile thank you for reading.

Monday, 4 May 2015

A Dummy Dilemma

Does anyone else have an issue with their Tailor's Dummy?

I bought an adjustable one and after changing the settings to reflect my Bust, Waist and Hip measurements I then made a moulange and fitted it to the dummy. However, I have a big issue with the makers of these items who never consider the shoulder to apex measurement.

My dummy measured 21cm and even with some extra padding and shoulder pads the measurement is till only 23 cm. My measurement is 31 cm as I have a long upper body. I don't know how to make this work better.
If I pad it out any more I will lose the neck altogether and then the armholes are not in the right place. Please keep them printable but does anyone have any sensible suggestions? Do you have a similar problem?
Why don't they make these dummies more flexible for adjusting length as they are not cheap items to start with?

Sorry about the rant but I'm getting a complex and I refuse to believe I am that odd!!!

OK, I've calmed down now and showing a picture of the beautiful flowering cherry tree at the front of our house. The blossom only lasts until the first puff of wind as you see by the mountain of petals that have already fallen but for a brief moment in time it is a wonderful sight to behold.