Friday, December 17, 2010

Crepe Sew Along, Week 2: Sewing the Muslin

Sorry I haven't posted this week.  It isn't because I have done nothing or have nothing to show -- I just haven't taken the time to post.

One thing I did this week was to sew the muslin for the Crepe.

Here it is:

Crepe muslin

Crepe muslin

Crepe muslin

As you can see, the fit needs a bit of work.  I can actually tighten it a bit more if I let it ride up a bit:

Crepe muslin pulled tight

I think that helps show just how much extra fabric there really is beneath the bust.  I haven't gotten to altering it, though.  I waited a while for the post about sewing it and this week I have been swamped with shopping.  Bleh.

There is extra fabric above and below the bust, the darts are a bit high.  I can actually move the bust area to the right spot, but then the shoulder seams are too far forward.  I may want to go down a size and add a full bust adjustment rather than simply changing the position and shape of the darts, but I fear that the sleeve will be restrictive if I do.  I fear there will be several more runs of muslin making in the next week or so.  I think I need some assistance in pinning things out first, though.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A few articles

There are some online articles that I have found recently that I would like to share with you.

1.  Last week, a friend shared this article from Scheneier on Security about why we should close the Washington Monument.  I think this is a very good article reminding us of the objectives of terrorism and the politics of security and fear.  Let us contrast the words of FDR in his 1933 inaugural address, "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself," with all of the current political statements.  Somehow, as the average American has become less and less in danger every day, we have become more fearful, or at least more willing to give in to our fears than our forefathers were.

2.  Certainly, I am not immune to unreasonable fears.  One of the articles I wanted to share is an article from about procrastination.  This article cuts to the quick of what procrastination is about for me, and offeres some suggestions for overcoming it that I think are things that I could implement.  I have been procrastinating about my job applications and also about my plans for setting up a creative side business and even just personal creative projects that would be more fulfilling than some of the things I have been doing lately.  Somehow, many of these things are overwhelming for me.  I don't know where to start, I fear failure, and I think "just a few minutes more" of whatever I am doing for instant gratification -- usually surfing the internet.

3.  Emily of The Family Tree Project wrote a lovely article about the things that have been stopping her from working on her design project.  I can definitely sympathise with how her expectations for her work are actually getting in the way of her doing the things she wants to do.  She found a way to get past the deer-in-the-headlights feeling that thoughts of not meeting certain levels of financial success provokes.  You would think I would jump out of bed every day thinking, "I can work on whatever I want today!" but I don't.  I have too many "shoulds" getting in the way.

4.  I realize that I am just a step away from all of these things falling into place.  I can really use some prompting, though.  I found The Happiness Project, which seems to have some inspiring ideas.

I guess a lot of this comes down to taking charge of your own actions and not giving into fears, whether those fears are large or small.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

After the jump...

A number of my posts are rather long and image heavy, like the previous post about the Detroit Urban Craft Fair, and I realize that not everyone who follows my blog will be interested in all of them, so I have just gone through my old posts and added "jumps" to the particularly large ones.

I realize that a few of you who have told me that you are reading my blog are not so internet savvy, so I wanted to alert you to this change.  Any time you read my blog, you may see a link that says "Read more".  Click on the link and it will take you to the rest of my post.  You will know that it is a link because the color will be different from the rest of the text.

Try it:

Detroit Urban Craft Fair

On Sunday, Scott and I met up with a girl I met at Spinner's Flock and went to the Detroit Urban Craft Fair, which was held at the Fillmore in downtown Detroit. It's a beautiful theatre with painted freezes, and the vendors were spread out throughout, wherever there was space for a table.

Flower fascinator from DUCF

We only purchased a few things: some fun buttons, a mustache hand mirror, and a fabric flower fascinator, but I did what I typically do and picked up a number of cards for things I thought were worth noting, before I decided what to buy.

Information on those vendors after the jump.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Crepe Sew Along, Day 1: Cutting Out the Muslin

Colette Pattern

Today was the first day of the Crepe Sew Along, and I jumped off the starting line. My pattern had arrived from Colette Patterns on Saturday, and the pattern itself is very nice.

Colette Patten

The pattern envelope is more like a booklet with a back pocket for the pattern itself. It also contains a full set of instructions and a glossary, plus a spot to write personal notes. The pattern also included sizes 0-18, and the sizes are pretty close to ready-to-wear sizes, rather than typical pattern sizing. I don't like to cut into my patterns any more, especially expensive ones; I prefer to trace the size I want onto some spare artist's tracing paper I have and then use that pattern on the fabric itself. One reason I do this is because I sometimes make mistakes about which size I should cut out. Also, a lot of fitting techniques involve cutting up your pattern, and I believe I will feel much more comfortable doing this on a traced part than the original. Plus, I can't loose the small pieces.

Muslin cut out - Crepe Sew Along

For my muslin, I used an old pink gingham sheet that was used for padding when I moved. This was my first time using dressmakers' tracing paper and a tracing wheel, which is pretty neat. I have always been reluctant to transfer markings, because I wasn't really sure what I was supposed to be doing. On my last project, I marked with thread, which worked well, but this was so much quicker.

Thread traced muslin - Crepe Sew Along

Once the pattern was cut out and the markings were transferred, I did as Gertie directed and stitched along the seam lines so that I will be able to see where things will end when I do my fitting. In retrospect, I probably didn't need to stitch along the darts, but I just read wrong. Also, we are only making a muslin of the bodice, since the skirt is flared.

I'm all ready for step 2!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Crepe Sew Along

Crepe Sew Along Fabric

Yesterday, the fabric arrived for the Crepe dress that I will be sewing as part of the sew along on Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing, which I mentioned back in mid November. I did complete both of my in-progress sewing projects and the next one I had planned to sew before the end of the month, thus meeting my self-proscribed prerequisites for joining the sew-along. I made a silk sash, refashioned a t-shirt, and made a steampunk bustle, finishing the third project on Monday.

Tuesday, I went to Haberman Fabrics in Royal Oak, which I had heard has a reputation for good garment fabric selection. Boy do they ever! I have never been in such a nice store for garment sewing, with a huge selection of natural fibers and some of the fabric made specifically for high end ready-to-wear. Unfortunately, since it is cold weather here in Michigan, they had put away or not re-ordered much of their selection of cotton prints. Plus, I had really set my sights on several that I found at Aunt Bea's Fabric, thanks to the sew-along promotion, and anything I bought locally needed to match up to those gorgeous Japanese prints. I had narrowed it down to three, and I ended up ordering one from there. I am very pleased with the fabric, though the background is not as purple as I thought from the on-screen preview image. Now I just need to get the lining and notions.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Concept Boards - Taking Note

Early last month, there was a post on the Collete Patterns blog about concept boards. I really like the idea of having a visual collection of the things I like and being able to see them together to get an overall feel of what I am going for, but I am loath to tear up magazines or books that I like, and I don't have easy access to copying or scanning them. I also find a lot of inspiration on the internet, which I then feel the need note so that I can return to it. I often have multiple tags open in my browser, and I have been dumping some of those ideas here so that I won't lose them. Of course, it doesn't seem to be very interesting to you, my readers, given that I never get any comments on these posts.

Thanks to The Snug Bug and Ysolda Teague, I have found the solution to this dilemma, which is a website called Pinterest. When I come across something on the web that I particularly like, something that inspires me in some way, I just hit a button on my bookmark tool bar and "pin it" to one of my boards. I can also see what other people have pinned and follow them, repin, etc. It really helps me to get a cohesive vision. If you like the random images that I post, then you can follow me there.


Happy belated Thanksgiving!

I am thankful for the ability to spend my days with the man I love, and for all of my wonderful, supportive family and friends.

Sadly, the above picture is not from the Thanksgiving dinner we attended at Scott's aunt's house, it is from BraveTart's blog post about a heritage Thanksgiving. Her post is a beautiful post about creating a locavore feast that truly celebrates the harvest bounty of her area. Her recipes look amazing, too, so check it out. I have a fair amount of sage in the front yard, since it is the only herb Scott planted last year that is perennial here, so I definitely want to try the Sweet Potatoes with Brown Butter Sage Marshmallows.

Thanksgiving here was fairly standard and typically traditional. I hear that things were a bit more exciting at my aunt's house, with people trying new recipes, and sneaking The Pioneer Woman's sweet rolls.

I bought a turkey at the grocery store after Thanksgiving to get some extra savings, and since we didn't bring home any leftovers. Plus, I like to make broth from the carcass every year. I cook it down so that it is concentrated and freeze it in ice cube treys which I then empty into a plastic bag in the freezer. I use these cubes like bullion cubes any time I make a recipe with broth all year long, and it gives me real broth that isn't full of salt. Plus it's really easy, since the broth can bubble away mostly unattended.

I guess I'll be making a second, more low key Thanksgiving. Maybe we'll invite some friends. I can experiment with sides. Any suggestions?