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Friday, 24 May 2013

Shirt, Finally!

Since I don't like to have multiple projects on the go, I was determined to finish my shirt this past weekend.

The fabric is a blue, white and green cotton that I got second hand. I did the buttonholes is a coordinating kelly green for some pop.
I think this shirt is the closest I've come to being happy in terms of fit but there are still some things that are driving me crazy. Is it just me or does photographing clothes bring out the worst in them?

I made this pattern from the shirt I took apart, and then I added my own collar and stand, widened through the hips and added a yoke. As with my last shirt, I used techniques from David Page Coffin's Shirtmaking book and I'm really happy with how the collar turned out. I think I'm really getting the hang of it. I'm also kind of in love with flat-felled seams. They're so tidy!

Do you have a staple shirt pattern you love? I had so much trouble finding one that I liked because it seems like the only sewing patterns I could find were not drafted to be used with the more traditional shirtmaking techniques. 

Because of that, I want to make this pattern available online. But I've never really done that before so I have a few questions:
  1. Since I based this pattern off of a RTW shirt, is it even legal for me to make this pattern available? I did change several design elements and it would be free.
  2. What is the best way to make a PDF pattern from a paper pattern? I've checked out a few tutorials. Can you recommend a good tutorial on how to do this?
  3. Uhhh...grading? I was thinking about trying to offer small-medium-large. Am I biting off more than I can chew?
  4. Would you find a shirt pattern like this useful? It's drafted to be able to use with the techniques in DPC's Shirtmaking (sleeves are constructed flat, seam allowances are different for seams that are flat-felled, etc). Would that be useful?
In other news, I have to show you this sweater I bought!

I think it's so cute! It has happy little whales all over it! (On a side note, I'm wearing it with my linen trousers that I made from a pattern based on some RTW pants that I copied.)

It was $100 and I love it but I'm not sure if I should keep it. It is in colours that I wear a lot, and it would be a great layering piece. And I love those freaking whales. It would definitely help to bump up my polished weekend wardrobe and I could wear it to the office on more casual days in the summer. What do you think, should I keep it? I'm not sure what's holding me back from deciding to keep it.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Long Weekend Fabric Binge!

Thanks to my awesome work schedule, I got to start the long weekend early with Friday off. Four day weekend!

I kicked things off right with a major fabric binge.

I usually like to work on only one project at a time (I've only just started my Cutter and Tailor skirt and I'm in the middle of my reverse engineered shirt) but we've been in our house for over a year and we still have a bedsheet over our bedroom window! So I've finally taken the plunge to decorate. I've even enlisted the help of a professional decorator to help me actually make progress and yesterday we went shopping at Designer Fabric Outlet to get materials needed for curtains, toss cushions drapes and a headboard. Including the hardware and cushion inserts, it came to about $1000!!! Good thing I've been saving for about a year. And good thing I can sew, otherwise I would have to pay someone to do the sewing on top of that.

Do you do your own interior decor sewing?

What to see what I bought?

Nice, right? In the top right corner is the lantern that I plan to make into a pendant lamp. All the light fixtures that I was lusting after were $300-$500 and then I saw this at Winners for $25. Homemade electrical fixtures are a good idea, right? Right.

Also, this week I saw this totally bitchen' Red Tailed Hawk IN MY BACKYARD!

And now I'm out to enjoy this gorgeous weather!

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Pattern Appreciation Post: Sacrifice to the Sewing Gods

I've been in a bit of a sewing doldrums lately. I've been trying to really take my time and learn how to make my Cutter and Tailor skirt right but I'm also really bummed that I haven't gotten my button up shirt pattern sorted out.

I haven't made a garment in ages! It's springtime and I want new clothes!

So I decided to try to give myself a little kick by reverse engineering a pattern from an RTW shirt that fit me pretty well but was a little worse for wear.

I didn't take a pic before cutting it up but it had a couple of little stains and the some seams were coming apart.

There were a few things that were really interesting.

Here's a pic of the front shoulder and neckline area and you can see the front shoulder has a gentle curve. The back shoulder line is straight.

 I was really surprised by the shape of the neckline seam. It's no where near as curved as the burda style shirt. Here's that pattern (with the yoke) so you can see the contrast.

You can see that the RTW shirt pattern neckline is more of a rounded angle than a real curve. Weird! Do most home sewing patterns have the curved or angular neckline on collared shirts?

I'm sorry that this is such a crummy photo but I wanted to show how pretty this sleeve pattern is. Check out how curvy the seamline is, especially right at the, like, corner.

Yeah, that bit. Nice, right?

I'm also surprised that the sleeve head is almost exactly symmetrical, because it seems like changing it to accommodate a forward shoulder is a really popular adjustment.

I wonder if there's any correlation between a good-looking pattern and a good-looking garment?

Part of why I'm focusing on making a shirt again is because I bought 4 yards of blue and green shirting fabric for $4 and the thrift store, which is all I've spent on clothes so far in May, I think.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

"How to replace your ENTIRE summer wardrobe!" ...wait, what?

Seriously, that was the subject line of an email in my inbox this morning from Refinery 29 (I don't even know how I ended up on their mailing list). It's basically a list of "must-buy" wardrobe pieces with links to the websites, totaling $1000.

So can we talk about this for a minute? There are a lot of things that I find strange about this slideshow that they were promoting. Like, is it just me or does this stink of unchecked consumerism? Are we expected to throw out our clothes every season? Are we expected to have to replace our clothes every season? Are we failing at something if we don't spend a certain amount of money on clothes?

It seems like they're framing it to imply that $1000 is the absolute lowest end of the spectrum that you should be spending on clothes this season.

I feel like there is this mounting cultural expectation to wear a new outfit everyday (celebrities are called out if they wear the same thing twice, fashion bloggers posting new outfits every day...) and it seems to me that this encourages us even more to buy more clothes and of course, most of us have a limited budget so we have to buy cheaper clothes to have these huge, seemingly inexhaustible closets.

Do you feel pressure to wear a new outfit every day? I would say that I have about two weeks worth of work outfits each for fall/winter and spring/summer. How many outfits do you regularly wear?

And at the risk of sounding trite, isn't part of the point of clothes to express your individuality? Who would want a paint-by-numbers wardrobe?