Sunday, July 27, 2008

My first real alteration

Sherril graciously volunteered to help me with the fit of my Burda top. In the meantime, I decided to start on a project I've been putting off for a while.
As you may know, I've been exercising and watching what I eat for a number of months now. This has resulted in some weight loss. It has also meant that my work pants now sit lower on my waist/hip area.

Since I wasn't sure if the alterations should be made at the side seams, back seam, or if I needed to increase dart sizes, I began to search for information online. I didn't find what I was looking for, but I did find many references to the book pictured here.

I decided that the alteration on page 51 - "Removing the Waistband and Taking in the Sides" - most suited what I was looking for. I did have to add an extra step, since my waistand has a back center seam. This ended up making the alteration easier in the long run because I did not have to move the closures in the front.

The steps for me were:
1. Remove the waistband from the pants, keeping the seams intact at both front closure ends.
2. Resew the side seams at the desired with, tapering to the existing side seam at hip-level.
3. Remove the same width from the waistband's center back seam.
4. Pin waistband back on and try the pants on.
5. If satisfied, cut off excess fabric and refinish seams.
6. Reconnect the waistband to the pants.

Y la voila! Pants that fit better than ever. I really like the resulting fit. The pants are closer to my waist and very comfortable.

I took some (pretty lousy -I miss my old camera!) pictures to illustrate the difference between my other pair of unaltered pants, and my newly altered pants. Here they are. First the unaltered, then the altered. I'm very happy with the results!

Front view

and Side View

Friday, July 18, 2008

Burda 8360 Muslin

I absolutely love the style of this shirt. The collar and the center front seam caught my eye. I also love that the center front seam gives you options for closures. I made a muslin of the third view (View C) without any closure, and short sleeves.
(Picture compiled from pattern pictures on

My muslin, however, leaves a lot to be desired. I'm not sure which wrinkles/lines are acceptable and which ones are not. I think that I might have sloping shoulders, and thus have to lower the shoulders, but I'm not exactly sure. I also think I need to increase the size of the armhole, shorten the sleeve cap, and make the sleeve a little wider. And maybe I need to do (I'm dreading this) a Full bust adjustment? Again, I'm not completely certain. Part of me just wants to make this as-is and live with the imperfections, but I know if I can get the fit down, I will have a FABULOUS pattern that I can use over and over. I've taken a number of pictures, anyone have suggestions please?

Why cant I do this?

So, I went for a wedding on my husband's side of the family last weekend. I didn't have anything "American" to wear, and even after hours shopping for a dress, couldn't find anything that fit properly.

Last resort, I pulled out some of the clothes my Mom brought for me on her last visit here. This one fit perfectly, so it's what I ended up wearing to the wedding.
When I inspect it, it seems like a relatively easy garment to put together (though it's fully lined). The skirt is simple - it actually has a drawstring waist, so there is some gathered fabric at my waist, but the top?! HOW IN THE WORLD can I just send my bust and waist measurements and a tailor makes something that fits my body EXACTLY from thousands of miles away?

There are two waist darts in the front up to the bust point, and two darts in the back. Also notice that the back darts take in just enough fabric and then leave enough to fit around my behind. The zipper is in the back, and the sleeves are actually raglan. This makes me want to cry, because I know I can do the SEWING, I just am having problems with FIT. Why can't I make clothes that fit me like this?

Oh yah, I know, I look silly with my arm on my tummy like that, wasn't sure what to do with it while the picture was being taken.
Deep sigh...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Response to comment from hautemany

Yes, I'm laying low. I haven't finished the muslin for my Burda 8360, so I'm in hiding until I have something to show.
However, I received a question from a commenter, hautemany, that I wanted to answer before I forgot.
hautemany said "...The classes you took sound so interesting- "patternmaking by draping", etc.- where did you go- PCC or LA Trade Tech?"
I took my classes at PCC. As it turns out, the teacher I had for draping also teaches draping classes at LA Trade Tech. She wouldn't tell us which of the Fashion programs was better, however (conflict of interest and all that), but just based on the schedules, I think Trade Tech might give you more class time to perfect your skills. That's just my opinion though! I'd like to try a class at Trade Tech but work during the day, and am unwilling to give up most of my Saturday for a class, so... I'll just have to make do with what I've got. Hope that answers your question. If you need any more details, feel free to email me - sewshy - yahoo. I don't check that mail very often though...

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


I found it! Very much after the fact, but I finally found the part that is missing from my 925D serger. This part (or lack of the part, rather) gave me much angst when I discovered it was missing from my ebay purchase.
I was just browsing the website reviews on, and came across a review for the site I clicked the link without reading the review, and scrolled down the page. Then, on a whim, I decided to search the sewing parts - selecting the "loopers" category. Lo and behold - on the last page - the item that has evaded me for months - with a picture even!! The Brother guide calls it a "stitch finger". This site calls it a "stitch tongue". Doesn't matter - never have I been so happy to see a machine PART!
Okay, just wanted to say that. I'll be ordering it. Just too lazy to get up and go find my purse right now...
STOP! DON'T GO TO THAT SITE! I JUST READ THE REVIEWS, AND THEY ARE MOSTLY NEGATIVE! Hmmm, who knew my laziness would pay off? I think I'll hold off on ordering the part rather than give up my credit card info and possibly have fraud issues to deal with later. So, in spite of the fact that the reviews are negative, PatternReview has proven to be a useful source again! Whew!