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Monday, 22 September 2014

...we must move foreward, not backward; upward, not forward; and always twirling, twirling towards freedom

Uh, yeah, sometimes I feel like I'm not really making progress, or I'm not sure exactly what to do next to fix a fitting issue and my head just starts going around in circles!

In this case, I'm talking about by self drafted white button up. I think I might need to adopt a numbering system like computer programs to keep track of the different versions. Let's call this shirt v 4.2

Ugh, I am such a pear!

Thanks to Imogheena at Tropicalthreads,  I added some length in the front so that it doesn't flare out from my bust and make me look pregnant. Thanks Imogheena! The alteration I did looks like this.

 You can see that I slashed right through the bust dart and added 5/8", then re-drafted the bust dart to suppress the extra length so that the side seam is the same length as it was before the alteration.

Now that I've worn the shirt a few times, though, I find that I get strange wrinkles forming diagonally from about my armpit to about my belly button. Anyone have any idea what this might indicate? It sure looks like there's a problem, but I'm not sure that it is.

See the drag lines forming chevrons pointing down the button placket?

Beyond that, there are a number of other changes I will make next time I make up this pattern. I need to:
  • lengthen the arms by 3/4"
  • shape back - maybe a swayback adjustment? I feel like maybe I have too much length in the back and it's imbalanced with the side seams, so it's pouching out above my waist.
  • extend shoulder slightly
  • lower the point of the bust dart
Is it just my imagination? Is there too much length in the back above the waist? Maybe it's just because I have my hands in my pockets here? I'm so confused!

Oh man, I'm feeling pretty discouraged!

Friday, 19 September 2014

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

It's really hard to come up with a title for a post about a white button up shirt

At least the visuals will be interesting, since I took pics while I was in Istanbul! I finished the shirt just before we left so this was my first chance to wear it.

Here I am in front of our hotel. The fit isn't perfect but I like that it's a very relaxed fit, which was what I was going for. This evolved from this muslin that I drafted.

Here I am (not looking my best - that fisheye is unflattering!) but I had to post this pic because this restaurant was wonderful! It's called Tavanarasi, which means 'in the attic' in Turkish. Located at Beyoğlu Asmalı Mescit Sk No:10, with no sign, you enter a tiny lobby with just an elevator, which you take to the top floor. The vibe of the place was amazing and there were lots of vegetarian options! We watched the sun set over the rooftops.

Uh oh! Our hotel had a crazy dessert bar every night (We only indulged once. Turkey is the land of 1000 desserts!). Here I am with half of the available desserts. Whew! Good thing I'm wearing a nice roomy shirt!

Friday, 12 September 2014

A Canadian Seamstress in Istanbul

I was in Istanbul last week!

Have you been? This was my first time.

The view from Topkapi Palace

What an amazing city!

We only had a few weeks to plan. I tried Googling to find fabric stores, but aside from the fabric section of the grand bazaar, I really wasn't sure where to go.

Me, distracted at the bazaar

Most of the fabric stores in the Grand Bazaar only seemed to carry very cheap or upholstery fabrics. I was starting to despair! And then, on my last day there, I found it.

Bagzibagli Nisantasi

(OK, I have to admit, I was too excited to take a picture while I was there, I had to find a pic on the internet.)

There were a bunch of other fabric stores in the neighbouring streets but I'm pretty sure this is the best store in the city. They had so many gorgeous fabrics, prices were flexible, the store was pristine and the staff were so helpful!

If you're ever in Istanbul, I would highly recommend visiting this store. They're just a block from Osmanbey Metro Station.

Seriously, if only we had even one store like this in Toronto!

Want to see what I bought?

 A gorgeous Valentino linen!

The linen will become a dress inspired by this Carolyn Schnurer dress that I've had on my mind for years.

This delicious silk!

The silk will be a pencil skirt like this.

But I might also make a matching blouse for this kind of look.

Oh la la!

Now all I need is a working sewing machine!

Monday, 8 September 2014

Work dress binding tutorial


Two things to start off - I just got back from a trip to Istanbul (I bought fabric!) and both of my sewing machines are acting stroppy (You'll see. The tension ugh.)

But down to business! An anonymous commenter asked about the binding on the work dress and I have the day off so I whipped up a little tutorial.

What I did was I attached the binding to one side of the seam. Directly onto the pattern piece. So the first thing you have to decide is what side of the seamline you want to binding on. I used silk on my work dress to keep the bulk down.

Add the width of your seam allowance to the width you want your binding. for mine I used 5/8" seam allowance and 1/2" for a total of 9/8".

Stitch a 2" wide piece of bias tape to the pattern piece along the 9/8" line, with right sides together, just catching a little of the bias tape.

If the pattern piece has a curved edge, you can give it a little extra ease where it curves out and pull it a little tighter where it curves in.

Iron your seam and fold the bias tape towards the edge of the pattern piece.

Baste within the seam allowance.

Trim off the excess so the bias tape is even with the edge of the pattern piece.

Now you can just treat it like a regular pattern piece. Sew it up, right sides together.