Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Blouse Saga Continued

The three weeks that I designated to work on sleeve fitting turned into six weeks. In the process, I have stuck myself with pins a thousand times (got my ear once really well), used 1/2 a bolt of muslin, a roll of pattern paper, 6 rolls of tape and 2 sharpies. I kid you not - that's not much of an exageration. This weekend DH was away at a conferance so I planned a blouse fitting marathon. I almost got the 2 muslins finished after doing a detailed study of my arms. Isn't that exciting? Actually, I did do my weight lifting-toning tape once. The only incentive I need is taking a close look at me. One of the blouse muslins fit perfectly -- no wrinkles (well, maybe one or two), the sleeves were smooth and fit my arms. Sooo--I quickly went for my sharpie which was 6 inches away - wanted to mark those seams right away. The only problem was that I couldn't move. Actually, I created a pin orgie. Pins were flying everywhere as I tried to move my arms. My "Armor Blouse Fitting" was lost forever. I came to the conclusion that I fitted it too tight. Ha! I did some smart thinking there. Unfortunately, I lost so many pins that I couldn't just ease the seams looser. I was back to the drawing board. I had to zigzag more fabric on the sleeve muslin and start fitting again. By the time DH came home Sunday afternoon, I had it. There was no more working on blouse muslins. I didn't sleep well Sunday night which is unusual for me. I kept trying to figure out where I went wrong. Monday was a new day. I started by really looking at those arms of mine. I have such skinny arms that it never occured to me that I might have large biceps. I guess all those swimming laps did something. The very top of my arm is pretty big in proportion to the rest of the arm. I finished both muslins on Monday. I finally accepted that they are as good as I can get them right now. I'm sure that I'll continue to consider the sleeve/bodice fit issue for the rest of the year. We'll just see how those blouses look in real fabric. I'm tired of sewing ugly muslin fabric. Enough is enough! Actually, I did pull out a jacket pattern with a two piece sleeve. I'll be trying that in the near future, but not right away. I've started sewing one of the blouses and hope to have it finished this week.

During one of my breaks, I read Shannon's post about learning and perfecting a new skill every year. That post got me to thinking. Shannon is restudying calculus this year. I'm not going to do that - never took calculus and never wanted to take it. I do have a whole laundry list of things that I would like to learn. My sewing skills goals will remain top priority, but I'd like to do something else to add some variety. There are periods of time when I just get burned out with sewing. Right now, my choices for 2009 are learning Adobe Photoshop Elements, Knitting, and Zumba. I'll make a decision after at least one blouse is done.

This weekend I did pull out the skirt that I cut out earlier. I sewed a bit on it - just had to work with some real fabric. This fabric is sueded microfiber. I thought that it would be hard to sew, but was pleasantly surprised. Ironing is impossible because the iron leaves marks even with a press cloth and low heat. I sure am glad that I tested it first. Often, I forget that step. I have to hold the iron above the fabric, steam it and finger press. I didn't get very far but I'm happy with the way the pleats fall. They are on an angle so I had some concern about the microfiber fabric. Please ignore my sloppy tailor tacks. I can be accurate with tailor tack markings but don't have the patience to do them neatly.

Here's a picture of one of my sleeve muslins. There are a couple of things that I learned that are so helpful to me in fitting. The first I learned from Marji I mark the center and horizontal lines and, then sew over them with a basting stitch. It only takes seconds to do and I easily can see if the garment is hanging straight. The second I read in a magazine somewhere. I put a couple of round sticky dots (from office supply stores) on the wrong side of the fabric. I put more than one because sometimes the dots fall off. That way I don't have to think a lot about the right and wrong side and avoid sewing a right side to a wrong side. Ask me how I know about that possibility!

I'm off to sew some blouse seams. Yea!!

1 comment:

Corvus said...

I vote knitting for the new skill. I am, of course, horrible biased and love sucking new knitters down the rabbit hole of yarns and patterns and techniques and Ravelry, but still!