Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Humble Beginnings of a Sloper

I finally have been inspired to draft a sloper.  For those of you who do not know, a sloper is a basic pattern block of 5 pieces (front bodice, back bodice, front skirt, back skirt, and sleeve) without seam allowances.  From this perfect shell of your body, you can draft ANYTHING! I love my pattern drafting class and I thought, "What better way to practice than to draft my very own sloper."  The back of my book, Patternmaking for Fashion Design (5th Edition), has a personal measurement chart to fill in with every possible measurement!

I followed the directions from the book and started by drawing CF and CB lines down a tight fitting tank top and leggings.  I added bust points and a piece of elastic around my natural waist as a guide.  I had help drawing dots and lines on my neck, back, and shoulders to complete my human dressform look.  My helper measured anything I couldn't measure myself.  39 measurement points with some having 2-4 different measurements.  It took a while, but we just finished.  I'm excited to start by drafting a basic skirt.  I've already done it for class twice and it is very quick and easy.  If I can get it to fit soon, I'm going work on drafting a high-waisted pencil skirt as my first real project! In between my classes, homework, and a possible know, when I have time...HAHAHA!

To prove that I drew on myself with an emerald green marker:

I photoshopped out the bust point X's.  It looked too pornographic for blog post.

Just a few more followers until my vintage pattern giveaway!  Yesterday we bought 2 huge boxes of older patterns (one box was a dud though) with 60's, 70's, and 80's patterns.  I'll pick some of the nice ones from there and from another stash of patterns we bought a while ago.

Maybe it will coincide with my 1st Blogoversary on April 23rd!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

My Amazing Friend's Amazing Weaving

My Craft Center friend (and first sewing teacher) made me this gorgeous wool/mercerized cotton scarf over the last several months.  Isn't it beautiful?  She dyed the wool and I think she spun it as well. (I could be mistaken about the spinning) Then she hand wove it on a horizontal loom.   Geez.... hours and hours went into this project and I feel so lucky and grateful to be the owner!  

Check out that intricate design.  She said the warp threads are mercerized cotton and the weft is wool and some mercerized cotton.  

I tried hand weaving years and years ago, but I hated it! I did not like the instructor and she forced the class to make a gamp or a "fabric that tells us what happens when different colors, weave structures, or types of thread intersect," instead of working on a real project.  Well, because the gamp took too long, I never had time to make anything cool or pretty.  

 I will probably wear it somewhat like this.  Maybe with a pretty pin:

 Here's another view of it!

Thanks V!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

New Sewing Books? Suggestions?

I received a Barnes and Noble gift card for Xmas this year and decided to finally spend it on sewing/pattern books.  I was thinking about getting these books:


I'm actually trying to decide between the Shaeffer and the Betzina books.  I know they are different and I want to get the most bang for my buck.  You know what I mean? Also, is there a better Shirtmaking book?   I'm definitely getting the Pattern Magic book though.  I've been all giddy about pattern drafting since my first class yesterday.  

Any other suggestions would be AWESOME too.  :)

And as always, a thanks to my new followers:  Shadow and Call Me Su!


Yea...we cuddle. No, she's not suffocating.

Friday, April 8, 2011

FIDM: Quarter 3 Begins

Hi Everyone! Thanks for all the lovely comments on the dress so far!  I'm definitely going to make other versions of it.

I forgot to show you this:

This is what I came home to (the Boyfriend's house) after my 7 hr drive in the pouring rain up to Northern California.  The Boyfriend set this all up before he went to work (minus the Pearl) so when I arrived I had the rose petals, the love note, a movie, the chocolate, flowers, drinks, and other snacks waiting for me.  He even bought Pearl Beggin' Strips!  I'm so lucky! 


Yesterday I had my first class of the quarter: Textile Science!  I loved it!  I feel like I'm actually back in college.  I actually had to take copious notes.   My instructor, Deborah Young, is a great lecturer and she wrote our Swatch Reference Guide book.  The book is very thorough and has helped me already identify fabrics.  There are 200 fabric swatches you have to assemble in the book, but they are all very good quality and so informative.  I highly recommend this reference guide!
Swatch Reference Guide for Fashion Fabrics

In class we also received another textbook.  I haven't really gone through it all that much, but its more scientific than the Swatch Reference:  J.J. Pizzuto's Fabric Science 9th edition

Today I had my first ever pattern drafting class. We drafted a basic skirt block from the measurements of the dressform.  I am sooo excited for prospects of pattern drafting.  Thankfully it is coming very naturally to me.  All you need in the beginning to draft slopers is to follow the directions.  We are using Patternmaking for Fashion Design (5th Edition) by Helen Joseph Armstrong.  I think the book is great, even though I found a few typos already.  Maybe older versions are better.  This book is great because it not only teaches how to draft for industry, but also for individual people (ie. YOU....and most importantly ME!)  I have these pants I designed for my final in Fashion Sketching II that I am dying to make.  I'm definitely going to draft them one of these days!  Do you want to see my sketch?

A brief summary next week on my Computer Grading, Marking, and Cutting class, and Computer Aided Fashion design.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

McCall's 5753 V-Neck Dress

While I was on vacation in Northern California, I spent 3 days at the UC Davis Craft Center. I visited with friends and worked on the dress (now OOP).  I'm so happy that I got to see friends, but it definitely slowed down the construction.  Of course I brought way too much to accomplish, and only finished the dress.  Here it is:
My styling is horrible(shoe choice).  I had a limited selection as I was on vacation.
 I'm relatively happy with the results.  (I'm such a perfectionist so when things don't line up absolutely perfectly, I get a little annoyed).  This is the first fitted dress of a woven material that I made!  I tend to make and wear knits because I have a hard time fitting wovens on my body.  The fabric is a cotton/spandex sateen ($1/yd. woohoo!) and the dress is fully lined with bemberg rayon (the instructions call for lining the bodice only).  The dress lining is a first for me as well.  I didn't use the directions, but used the Slapdash Sewist's tutorial.  I already knew the basics of lining, but needed a quick reminder on which seams to leave open.  The problem I found with this method was that it is difficult to fit.  The side seams are sewn after the lining is installed.  Even though I made a muslin that fit, for some reason, after I sewed the side seams, the dress was too big. I had to completely unpick it and take it in.  I took a total of 2 inches from the underarm seam tapering to nothing at the fullest part of my hip so I still have a "1/2inch pinch" of ease that the fullest part.   All of the other adjustments are here.
The front.

The back.
I decided to handpick the zipper (another first for me!). I didn't find it difficult, but I got lazy because I was chatting with friends and decided I didn't need to baste the zipper in first. I only pinned it.  This caused the zipper to pull a little in certain areas and you can see the zipper teeth :( No one really should notice this though because of the print and the zipper doesn't really look bad.  I also hand stitched the lining to the zipper to finish and blind catch-stitched the hem.

 On my vacation I also went skiing in Tahoe(weeee), and went to the Alameda Flea Market.  I bought NOTHING :( except a falafel and the yummiest mini donuts I've ever had in my entire life!  I saw Mena from The Sew Weekly from a distance.  I recognized her by her dress.

Also, my sewing friend made me the the most beautiful woven scarf. I'm definitely sharing pictures as soon as it dries (I just washed it to full it a little bit).

School just started back up again today and I'll have a report shortly. I love my textile science class!  I've already learned so much in just 3 hours!  I'm going to be doing a lot of blogging this weekend I think :)

Finally, THANKS to my newest followers Lindsey and Jen of Sew Frugal & Fashionable!