Thursday, October 31, 2013

Swap 2014 Rules

Stitcher's Guild has been going down for a little bit each day. The SWAP rules for 2014 were posted yesterday. It's very interesting this year.

We'll be following Blue Mooney's "Algebra SWAP" formula:
3 "3 packs" + 2 "wild cards" = 11 garments. 
Each three pack will be:
2 tops + 1 bottom or1 top + 1 bottom + 1 outer layer or 1 dress + 1 top + 1 bottom
The "wild card" options can be just about anything you like, but they must be "garments" not accessories (hats, bags, blankets, etc.)
This sounds like Christine Jonson's Travel Trio's would work really well for this swap. My only concern is what they would look like on this somewhat chubby figure.

Travel Trio 1

Travel Trio Two

Travel Trio Three:

All patterns from
I can see myself in some of these but I would need more pants rather than skirts. I do love the wrap skirt. I would love to make the wrap skirt and jacket reversible. That would add to the mix! also has a nice color of rayon/lycra named merlot: 

Love this color!
And this color:

It is different than any neutral scheme I've considered before. I usually go with black but I'm ready for something different. 

Next: Fitting Simplicity 2860 Amazing Fit Pants Pattern

This pattern only received one negative review on Pattern Review. Some others were surprised at the width of the legs. They are wider than they appear on the pattern front according to the pictures I saw of the reviews. I bought this pattern because the legs weren't so wide. I can see I'll have to cut down a size or two in the legs to get the shape I like.
They do not appear wide legged, do they? Misleading.

This pattern has you measure your waist, hips, crotch length and back crotch length. The pattern back has slim, average and curvy back pieces. It's no surprise that I need the curvy. I almost have a shelf butt and I'll have to do a sway back adjustment. Good thing I have Pants for Real People as a fitting aid! I do hear this pattern has wonderful fitting directions though.

I had an idea of the size I would need but I am shocked. Intellectually I know sewing patterns are sized differently than RTW but still. Six months ago I wore clothes in the single digits. Not any longer. It's enough to make me want to diet however, I don't want to wait to have well fitting clothes. After all, being in the single digits again may not happen.

Stay tuned...

Introducing my new machine - a vintage White 1525

I wanted a vintage machine that was a little more sturdy than my Singer Stylist 7258. It makes a noise when I begin to sew a seam and I don't care for it. It seems to work ok but I haven't sewn anything of significance either in almost a year.

I can't find much information on the White. I found the manual online but haven't found anyone who actually is sewing on one. I'm not sure if they are in business any longer but parts seem to be readily available. I can't wait to clean, oil then sew on it!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sewing patterns for my kind of casual wear

I've never checked out this pattern but I instantly fell in love with it! I'm at my grandchildren's games frequently and these would be a welcome addition to my wardrobe: M6614

and the illustrations:

I could see the top as a dressy version with the right fabric choice. This pattern is versatile and could be used for a variety of tops.

M4261 would be versatile for casual wear as well. I can see pajamas made out of this and the bottoms made out of fleece, linen, and a variety of knits. 

Introducing my new apple body shape!

I've graduated from a rectangle to an apple body shape. I hope it's temporary but in the meantime, I have to learn how to dress it. I hope to shorten my learning curve while sewing if I do a little research now. What will look good on me now that I'm rounder in the middle? How I wish for the 8 shape I once was! Those days are long over and the sooner I accept it, the better.

I have a few basic ideas. I've always liked dressing in threes: bottom, underlayer and overlayer. Now I feel it's essential for not only my body type but also for the season we're coming into. It'll soon be winter in this hemisphere. I want to be warm but also to cover this tummy! No, I am not pregnant. Just temporarily rounder in the belly than I should be!

It's essential that I sew a few clothes as I have few that fit me. I need casual clothes to run errands in, clothes to wear to church and clothes to lounge in. Sounds like three different wardrobes. Maybe I can combine the two, skirts for church and pants for errands with the same top layers for both. Sounds like the beginning of a plan.


V8777 offers an up to date version of a vest that I could see myself wearing. That's one overlayer!

I would lengthen this vest to hit me at the bottom of my stomach. I suspect it might be an inch or so too short which means it would accent my round shape. I especially like the embellished dark grey version.

Overlayer #2 that I'm considering is this waterfall cardi by Vogue. It resembles my favorite cardi that I wear every day around the house.

I wear it fastened with a scarf pin and not belted. Belted wouldn't be a good look for me.

While V8804 is not particularly suited for an apple shape, I think it could be made to work. I've worn a Chanel type jacket before with "okay" results and besides, I just want to make my own.

I'm not sure about those pockets but I figure I can always take them off if they don't work!


For a basic blouse, I don't think I can beat V8747. I have a blouse similiar that I actually wear but I wear more knit tops than I do actual blouses. I think however, this one will look fantastic with the vest above.

I own a few Style Arc patterns:

The Ann T Top and:

The Adele Top.

As I look back over these, most would require careful fitting for an apple shape. I'll let you know how that goes!

Monday, October 21, 2013

New patterns, slopers or TNT"s?

I was surfing tonight and came across posts on Fashion Incubator about sleeves and ended up on A Fashionable Stitch regarding pattern fitting.

It's so easy to forget with all the choices sewing offers! I was feeling overwhelmed about the patterns, fabrics, style and colors. Prints or plaids? Geometrics or paisleys? Knit or woven? Natural or synthetic fibers? Big 3 or Indie pattern makers? Work from slopers or patterns? Do I have the right sewing machine? The right notions for making good buttonholes? The zipper insertion foot? Will I even be able to make buttonholes?


Then I was reading A Fashionable Stitch tonight and something clicked. She suggested we work from patterns. She doesn't use the term "TNT" but her explanation sure fits.

Develop a basic range of styles that fit you and use them over and over again.” 
In all honesty, her series of articles goes into much more detail but it's enough to motivate me. My body has changed in the last few months and it's not easy to fit clothes as it was even last year. I've developed a real apple shape this past six months.

She also links to a tip on Pattern Review by ryansmumaria. She says to measure the back shoulder area and she's right that I've hardly seen it addressed in fitting books.

Food for thought as I once again consider sewing for myself.