Sunday, March 20, 2011

SWAP 2011 - Week 12 of 17

You've probably thought by now I've given up on the SWAP contest, but I haven't.  I've gotten a bit distracted but also have been working on enlarging McCall's 7883.  It's five easy pieces. 

People sew for a number of different reasons.  One of my many reasons is fit.  My shoulders and collars of my tops, dresses, and jackets pull toward my back.  The round neckline of this pattern pushes on my throat giving me a chocking sensation.  This unbalanced problem causes the blouse to look a bit maternity.  The front hem ends up being shorter than the back and poofs out.  I've seen this look on men also.  I found the solution for this in this alterations book from 1976. 

The author, Kerstin Martensson, made the first pattern produced by KWIK-SEW.  The illustrations are fantastic. 

I sliced both the front and back pattern pieces from a point halfway between the shoulder and the bottom of the arm opening all the way across each piece.  I overlapped the back decreasing the pattern by one inch and separated the front pattern by increasing it by one inch. 

I haven't cut the sleeves yet, but I will need to change the shoulder mark.

This blouse is cut from gold silk charmeuse.   I'm using french enclosed seams; a technique I don't use often.   The smaller the seams, the stiffer the seams are.  To keep the drape soft, I started the first seam by placing wrong sides together and stitching 1/8 inch away from the edge. 

I sewed a second seam with the right sides together stitching 1/2 inch away from the previous pressed edge.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

MPB Shirt Sew Along ~ Muslin Preparation

My DH is traveling a lot, so his making of a shirt is going to be a slow process because of that and the learning curve.  We did make some progress this weekend.  I started with instructing him about straight of grain, crossgrain, and the bias of fabric.  I had him tear his muslin fabric to get a straight edge and pin the torn edge and the salvage edge.  The fabric looks a mess.  You can see it needs a good pressing, but you can also see how it is twisted, out of shape.

He steamed and pressed the fabric and got it looking straight again.  I explained that if he doesn't take the time to do this, by the end of a day, his shirt will end up twisting no matter how much he has the cleaners press the shirt.  It's ready to put the pattern pieces on. 

My DH spent considerable time cutting out the pattern.  I had him use weights and a rotary cutter.  I forgot to warn him about the dangers of a rotary cutter.  My thoughts were that as a wookworker he would know, since he uses razor blades all the time.  He tried to guide the cutter with his finger and managed to take a tiny, tiny bit of skin off.  Ouch!  I believe people learn from their own mistakes.  He did.  I had to show him the safety button even though his drill has the same kind of thing.  Association is not always evident. 
He did an awesome job with the pieces ~ took his time and did the process with accuracy. 

I am not going to have him make a complete shirt out of the muslin, but I am going to have him do the sleeve placket completely for practice.  It's intimidating looking, but they do go together quite nicely.