Monday, November 9, 2009

October Review: Muslin Month

Yikes! November is well underway. I think that it is about time to finish with October. I had another two garment month. I've already worn both tops numerous times though. I completed KS 3338 knit top (definitely a TNT). The other top was S2922. This one was planned as a wearable muslin for some nice fabric sewing in the future.

If I included muslins in my totals I would have had a very productive October. Actually, I did a lot of focused sewing. I made 4 versions of the pencil skirt muslin before I got one that fit well enough for me. Yippee!! I finally can make a pencil skirt!!! The strange thing is I love making skirts and can fit most styles with a bit of tweaking. Now I have a poster board sloper which makes pattern adjusting for any skirt go so much faster. Well, at least it was faster with the one skirt pattern I've used so far. (Actually, I'm trying not to think a lot about that skirt because I have several projects that I want to finish first. I'm actually showing a bit of discipline!) I made a muslin of the J Stern Tee which will be wearable with some finishing touches. I need purple thread to do topstitching and hemming. Of course, I thought I had some but apparently not. I'm pretty good at keeping thread organized. I must have 200 spools of thread but not a one that's purple! I also made a muslin of the Jalie Jeans. With the waist and hips fitted with the skirt sloper, I only had to do some minor tweaking for my skinny legs. I made the muslin with denim that was cheap because it had some flaws. Fortunately, I was able to cut around the flaws. I love it when that happens!!! The denim looks great and the muslin had large seam allowances. That muslin will be taken apart and made into a wearable pair of jeans in the near future. Let's see. Counting the muslins, I have 8 garments for the month. I have been working!

I have been thinking of things that help my turtle sewing pace pick up a bit. These are some things that I'm finding helpful for me. They may not be new or particularly helpful for everyone.
1. Using a clapper more often on seams, not just the bulky ones. In other words, I press less and clap more. It seems like garments are going together more easily.

2. Checking the fit as I go along. This is one of the things that takes time to save time. Even with a TNT pattern, the fabrics seem to fit a little differently. If I do something wrong, the sooner that I find the mistake, the less time it takes overall.

3. I sew at my most productive time which is early morning. I can seldom just sew all day (love it when I can!!!). I've been in the habit of doing the stuff I have to do first to get them out of the way (errands, laundry, dishes, basically any chore that is not sewing). I just have to force myself to stop sewing and do the adult responsible things.

4. When cutting, I need to remember to check the second layer of fabric to be sure that I clipped the notches. I had a tendancy to not cut the bottom layer and it's a pain to have to go back and check for notches later.

5. I now measure the geometric pieces like straight waistbands and belt loops and cut them with a ruler and rotary cutter. (tip from Shannon Gifford). Burda usually does this anyway in their patterns. For some unknown reason, the big 4 even give a pattern for elastic rather than giving measurements. I don't know why I never thought about this big time saver.

Well, I'm off the audition pocket sizes for my jeans! They are beginning to look like actual jeans. I can hardly wait to finish them.

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