August 17, 2010

I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay...

I can't help it. I see plaid, I get that Monty Python song stuck in my head. But I think my shirt looks way better than his. And since the fabric was called "Ayden", I'm going to go with that for the sidebar, because I'd much rather go with the boys' name than my "lumberjack shirt". (Besides, I like the way they spelled it.) So here's my extremely laid-back pattern review for Burda #110 of the May 2009 issue.

It's not perfect. If I was going to do it again, I think I'd have done some things differently. Like I think I'd make the back a bit wider, because it's a little snug across the shoulders despite my having let the back pleat out quite a bit for the same reason. And I'd take it in a bit more at the waist....I may still do that if I'm feeling up to it, actually. Depends on how self-conscious I end up feeling about it. I'd definitely make the buttonholes a little bigger, because some of the buttons are reaaaaaally hard to button, but I was having some issues with that anyway (more on that later). And I ended up taking something like 6" off the hem, because when I did the test version, I knew that with the plaid, it was going to hit in a really awful spot on my hips. I think maybe I took a little too much off. Maybe.



But I do think I did well with other things. I took a little of the fullness out of the sleeves, and they're perfectly non-gathered just like I wanted--and I added the right length, too! And I still like the way the pleats turned out! I like the double-buttoned cuffs even though I don't think the pattern called for that. (I have to admit that once I got to the buttonholes yesterday afternoon, I kind of ignored the magazine's instructions altogether and just stuck them where they'd look good. And no collar button that I'm never, ever going to use!) I think I did a pretty good job of matching up the stripes, too, at least to the extent that I could given the pattern. I'm still proud of myself for picking this fabric, because it's not in my color comfort zone at all-- no blue, green, black or brown anywhere, and I still like it.

I do like the pattern overall, and I think with a couple of tweaks to fix those fitting issues, I'd use it again.

So that issue I'm having with buttonholes... I think I may have broken the buttonhole foot on my machine. :-( I have this bad habit of setting it on the edge of the table--earlier this year or late last year I found a travel toiletry case at Goodwill and I've been using that as my "sewing box", which has worked really well, and had been keeping it in there. Which worked much better. Except that apparently I forgot to do that one time recently, and it got knocked onto the floor and into two pieces. It's back together now, but it doesn't quite slide around as well as it should, and still comes apart sometimes. I'm also not entirely convinced that because of that, it doesn't affect the length the buttonholes actually end up being in relation to each other--my machine has the ability to make one buttonhole and then go on auto to remember the length, but if the foot's not starting in the right place, I think it may be shortening a few of them. I'm not sure if I'll be able to replace it either, since I have an older model machine. :-( Guess I'll have to start checking eBay.



I also did a minor refashion recently, which I finished up on Friday night. I got this tank top awhile back because I liked the color and the length and overall shape of it. What I did not like was this embellishment. I was ok with the sequins, but those clusters of fake pearls were just nasty. Especially since I'm not a pearl fan anyway--too grandmotherly for my taste. So I took those off, as well as the sequins since they were coming off anyway. I wanted to take the lace off too, but I took a couple of stitches out and found that it was leaving visible holes in the fabric, so it had to stay. It was too plain with just the lace, so I ended up sewing beads on there.

Much better. (Except for the photo coloring.)

A couple of updates on previously mentioned things:
#1: I've decided for certain that I will be doing Self-Stitched September. My pledge is to wear at least one handmade or reconstructed article of clothing and/or accessory each day for the month. (Good thing I have my jewelry stash.)
#2: You remember that jeans muslin? The one that was just refusing to work? The class instructor did get it in the mail. (And is actually using it as an example in the jeans-fitting class she's teaching at a fashion school there, eep! I guess it's a good example of what not to do....or how many fitting issues one girl can have...) The nice thing is that she's going to make a pattern from the muslin (hopefully after fixing the crotch issues) and send that back to me. So that saves me a step, and then I don't have to worry about remembering the ridiculous amount of changes I ended up making. So maybe, just maybe, there is hope that someday I will be able to make a pair of jeans that really fit! (And don't fall apart after 3 wearings. Yes, I'm still a little bitter about that one.)

Next on the agenda: a new bag for fall. I broke down and bought a purse last fall because I didn't have time to sew one, and ended up hating it. At least, hating the straps, which had a tendency to constantly fall off my shoulder when I had to wear a coat. Especially this one, which is quite bulky due to all of the layers...stuff like that makes me wish I could wear wool.  (Also, for a pricey leather bag, which thankfully was on sale, it was kind of poorly constructed-- I had a tear in it before 2 months had passed!) So this year I'm going back to my funky printed cotton bag. And using up some stash to boot! Hoping to cut that out tonight, since I have reduced teaching and will be home earlier than usual. Ah, end of summer/beginning of marching band season.

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