Monday, January 11th, 2010
It has been awhile, but I’m finally back! Actually, I have not really been away – just insanely busy at work and busy socially and, well, a wee bit lazy. OMG FAT STEREOTYPE.
Anyway! My wonderful parents asked me earlier in the year what I’d like for Christmas, and I replied, “A sewing machine!”
I have fond memories of being poked and prodded with pins and measuring tapes for most my childhood. My mother is an excellent seamstress, and the bulk of my clothes except for my socks, school uniforms, and some special occasion gear, were made for me until I was about eight or so. My mother made my senior formal outfit (that’s prom, for the non-Australians), medieval costumes when I was at university, the works.
Now, I wanted to be able to alter my own clothes, and begin making my own too. First I learned how to do the basics – thread the machine, fill a bobbin, and sew straight and zigzag stitches. Although I’ve never sewn before, I’ve spent years around my mother and her machine, so it wasn’t too hard. So I asked my mum to help me make a breezy summer top. This is what we did:
Made a rough mock-up using one of my tank-tops and an old bedsheet, fitted the mock up, made a pattern out of newspaper, and cut the pieces – one centre back and two centre front pieces. After putting those together at the shoulder seam and sewing the darts, we decided that it needed facings, so cut out armhole and neckline facings, ironed on interfacing paper and added that. Then mum got the bright idea that we should understitch the facings.
It pulls a little oddly on the left shoulder, but given that we drafted the pattern mostly from scratch, I wasn’t expecting a perfect fit. I’m slip-stitching all the facings down at the moment (neck done, one and a half armholes to go!), but other than that it’s finished
Apologies for the cruddy webcam headless fatty shots, but my camera was not playing nice this evening with the self-timer for some reason. Also it is wrinkled, because I had it crushed in my lap while I sewed the facings down and watched The West Wing (which is an awesome show for sewing to, by the by).
I feel inordinately proud myself, and really inspired! However, it’s clear that I need a lot more general sewing experience before I get to the stage that I want to be, which is to be able to draft my own patterns from scratch. Going by measurements, I am right at the top of the plus-size spectrum in commercial patterns, and I want to have the skill to make what I want, when I want it!
I got rather excited when I saw these two patterns from Simplicity, as I can fit (just) the 28W, and I absolutely adore 1940s vintage stylin’! I was disappointed to discover that these seemed to be limited to the US as well, though! Isn’t that just awesome – not only is the range of ready-to-wear clothing in Australia shitty, but patterns are equally difficult to find. :/ I’m in love with some of the Burda patterns I’ve found too, but of course their online store doesn’t ship to Australia. I know Burda is commercially available here; I just hope there’s a similarly awesome plus pattern availability.
There’s a happy ending though – I found both Simplicity patterns on eBay from a seller who ships worldwide, AND it was cheaper! I can’t wait to try them out, though I’ll probably start with the skirt, as it looks the least difficult. My goal is to channel Katharine Hepburn and make a fabulous pair of high-waisted, wide-legged pants. First step is to buy some calico or muslin, as I’m far from proportionate, so there’ll be adjustments, no doubt.
So tell me! Do you sew? What are some of your favourite patterns, tips and tricks? What do you find most difficult when adjusting for fatness?
(BONUS PHOTO: I had my hair dyed blonde at the beginning of December. EXCITING! I won’t apologise for this being a webcam shot, it’s from my dailybooth stream)
Thursday, October 22nd, 2009
Here’s a neat trick… If like me, you have big boobs and arms with a smaller waist, then you probably have the same issue I often do with store-bought shirts & blouses.. if you get the size that fits your arms/bust, then it is often too large around the waist..
The clever cluck over at Angry Chicken has put up a neat tutorial that shows how you can pop a bit of elastic in the back to get your waist back. Good stuff!
Hmm.. seems like the embed code isn’t working for everyone. Here’s a link to the tutorial.