Thursday, April 5, 2012

New Directions/Jacket Update

Thanks for your concern about my blogging absence. I've been fine. DH is getting better everyday and is returning to his usual active life. Actually, I've been spending a lot of time thinking about my sewing skills. I was making some things that I liked, but making many garments that looked pretty bad to me. I particularly had difficulty as I moved into more fitted, tailored garments. I was working very hard and making only small improvements. At the rate that I was going, it would be fifty years before I felt like an accomplised seamstress. If I am lucky enough to live that much longer, I doubt seriously if I would even care. I was working very hard. I was guilty of doing the same thing and expecting different results. It was time to do something different. I pondered that issue for a while. My solutions seem to be working (at least for now). Here's what I did:

1. I added mirrors to my sewing room so I could see the front and back of my garments at the same time. After watching Peggy Sager's webcast on fitting, I asked for the 3 mirrors from Ikea for my birthday. Unfortunately, they no longer make them. When my sweet husband asked about alternatives, they were not very helpful (according to him, anyway). So, he went on a mission to find mirrors that he could put on hinges. Yes, he found them, but they were very heavy. I wanted to be able to move them out of the way. My sewing room is large, but not that large. I think that his solution was creative and continues to work for me. I have glass mirror doors on my sliding closet doors that hide my sewing stuff. He had mirrors cut to fit the wall next to the closet doors and the back of the entrance door to the room. When the door is half opened, I can see my front and back without twisting. It's a bit hard to see in the pictures because the mirrors reflect each other. I hope that you get the idea.

2. I bought a new iron which has made a big difference. One of my irons spit at me and one was so old that it didn't generate much steam. I did a lot of research and bought a Rowenta Expert. It was expensive, but worth every penny. I love it!!

3. I went to a fitting workshop. Trying to fit through the internet was killing my love of sewing. I don't fault the teachers. It was the process of repeatedly making changes and taking pictures. I learned a lot, but I still wasn't satisfied. It works for a lot of people, but not for me. I wanted to go to a recognized teacher and was saving my money (easy to do when I don't buy fabric!). Then, I saw that Peggy Sager was offering a 4 day workshop in Atlanta. The hotel was reasonable and I could drive! So...I was off to Atlanta for 4 intense, wonderful, memorable days. It took her 5 minutes to fit a jacket shell and another minute to fit the sleeve. The pants and jeans went just as fast. Wow! When I think of the frustrating hours that I spent, I get sad. My fitting skills still aren't perfect. A new pattern often takes some time, but it's much, much faster. I feel like I know what I'm doing (for the most part, anyway).

Here are the last jackets I made. I haven't finished my fitted, tailored jacket from the workshop because I needed to do some faster projects. My wardrobe was in bad shape!

Silhouette 211 is a loose fitting cardigan. It still has some shape. I also like the way the front slopes upward - great for my short figure. The fabric is from Coldwater Creek and was sold by Silhouette Patterns.

Silhouette 1850 has a kimono sleeve. It's not droopy like most kimono sleeves. The trim is added to the middle which gives it a more fitted look. Peggy wore hers at the workshop. I had to have it so here is my copy.Silhouette 1750 is a pre-workshop jacket. It fits, but the sleeve caps need improving. The jacket looks better when I'm wearing it. The workmanship is marginal but it's still a jacket that I will enjoy wearing.

LH 5201 cardigan is a wadder. It doesn't fit well. I think that I needed to add interfacing to the neck edge and front. I love LH designs. I've had trouble fitting them in the past. Don't ask me why I tried one of her patterns again. I don't know the answer. I will have to be a lot better at pattern work before I try one of her patterns again!
I'll post the other garments that I've finished in the next few weeks. Now, I'm off to work on my next sewing adventure - a cowl neck tee.

Happy Easter!