Saturday, November 19, 2011

A sigh of relief.

So, turns out my wrist fail wasn't Carpal Tunnel after all, but a good old wrist sprain.

I'm doing much better now. I have to take it easy and take sewing breaks, but overall, I'm good. My days of marathon sewing are over now. That's a good thing because I was clearly over-doing it. I had become overwhelmed by all the projects that I felt I had to complete AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. At one point, I was sewing at least 7 or 8 garments (or bags) a month. Of course, I still haven't posted most of these projects. I will do it eventually. I promise

To get me back in the swing of things, I'm working on a simple dress. I was quite inspired by the Bon Voyage dress from Shabby Apple:


I love Shabby Apple designs but the prices are just a bit much. I refuse to pay $78 for a cotton poplin dress. Especially since I can make it myself.

I decided to use the combination of Kwik Sew pattern 3023 (view C) along with a pleated hem. I'm still working on it at the moment. Tomorrow I will work on the pleated skirt as the rest of the dress is complete. I'm using some espresso colored stretch poplin that I bought from Fabric Mart's poplin blow-out sale.

The poplin is good for $1.99 a yard. Anything more than that and I would be a wee bit pissed. It's thin and attracts lint and dog fur. My dress is currently covered in dog fur despite the fact that my dog hasn't been anywhere near me for hours (he's sleeping on his favorite blanket). The colors are great though. I ordered three different colors: red violet, espresso, and claret red.

I should have lined my dress but I was lazy. That's what slips are for ;)

Anyway, I also bought a new pattern that I'm genuinely excited about: the Darling Ranges dress pattern from Megan Nielsen. I saw the version by paunnet and I fell.in.love. I have the pattern in my possession (shipping was super fast) and now begins my search for fabric.

I like this one and this one. I'm leaning towards the second one because it's a U.S. seller and I won't have to wait a month (or pay $30 for faster shipping) for my fabric. I really like both.

Next week, I'll start work on my muslin and mull over more fabric ideas.

I'm so excited :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Ease on down the road.

Looks like my wrist fail is more of a stress injury rather than Carpel Tunnel. We'll see next week when I have my second visit with the physical therapist. I'm not in nearly as much pain but I'm far from 100%.

It's annoying. All I want to do is sew. I have a million projects dancing around in my head right now because my creative energy has no where to go. I've even pondered projects for the inevitable Spring Palette Challenge (2012!).

Crazy, right?

Also, I've read an alarming amount of reviews on Pattern Review. One of the biggest complaints amongst sewists (I actually prefer seamstress even if it seems a bit antiquated), is the amount of ease in the Big Four patterns. Ease also seems to be the cause of most fitting issues, especially if the finished garment isn't fitted.

But what I don't understand is, doesn't anyone just read the finished garment measurements on the back of the pattern envelope? They seem to be the only accurate measurements.

Depending on the pattern, I choose my size based on the finished garment measurements. I usually choose pattern sizes based on my upper bust measurement, which is 40 inches. I am one of those broad shoulder people. My measurements usually put me between a size 18 and 20 on the Big Four measurement charts.

I've found that with some styles, if I made them according to my measurements, I would be swimming in an ocean of ease. So, I look to the finished measurements for size guidance. Since I'm using my upper bust measurement of 40, I know that any finished bust measurement that exceeds 4 inches (again, depending on the style) may be too large. I won't choose that size even though it may correspond with my measurements on the size chart.

For example, the finished bust measurements of let's say, Simplicity 2059 view A, are 45 1/2 inches. The dress is loose-fitting and 5 1/2 inches is plenty of wiggle room for me (again 40 bust). According to the chart that would put me at a size 16, so I will make a muslin of a size 16 (maybe even 14) and go from there. If I went according to my measurements (falling between size 18 and 20), I would end up making a garment with almost 9 1/2 inches of ease!

Now this method isn't fool-proof or without its faults. I've been successful so far by choosing my size this way. If anything, it's a good starting point, especially if you're confused as to how to choose a size. It works best for shirts (not taking bust adjustments into consideration) or loose-fitting dresses.

Anywho, those are my thoughts. I wish I were sewing.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Happy and Sad.

Happy.

I got my Colette Sewing Handbook a couple of days ago! I'm so thrilled to finally have it in my possession. I was initially drawn to the Licorice dress, but after seeing the Meringue skirt styled with a shirt very similar to the Violet blouse, I was sold.

Too bad I won't be able to sew for a while.

Sad.

My poor left hand has been cursed by dreaded Carpal Tunnel. Steroids are being consumed and physical therapy starts Monday for the next month. Hopefully, the physical therapy will work and I can avoid surgery. But until the dust settles on all this---no sewing.

I have so many projects that I'm just dying to start work on and I can only read the pattern envelopes and hope for the future.

In the meantime, I can catch up on some blog posts and pattern reviews. I have so many dresses that I haven't even photographed. So, all won't be lost.

To keep me from feeling terribly depressed, I packed up my sewing stuff (I don't have a room, just a dining table and a few plastic bins). I got tired of my sewing machine mocking me every time I walked in the living room.

Sigh.

There are worst things. So I'll keep my whining to a minimum.
 
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