Sunday, December 30, 2012

A bad blogger attempts to bring you up to date

Wow, I've been MIA for the entire month of December!  Some of this is due to necessarily secretive pre-Christmas sewing.  Which really wouldn't excite you anyway, consisting mainly of pajamas.  One example at right.  I did well in my annual quest for unusual/loud/surprising prints with this urban scene.  Notice the contrast piping on the collar.  It's repeated on the pocket and cuffs.

I have also been knitting. I'm making yet another pair of socks, and this cardigan.  Mine will be black and I'm pretty sure that it will have full length sleeves since a wool cardigan with 3/4 length sleeves sort of misses the mark in the climate I live in.

Why yes, that is a kid-sized Chicago
Blackhawks hockey jersey ...
I also  sewed up a top and cardigan for myself, but my computer decided to freeze up on me as I was attempting to cut and paste all the photos.  The forced restart resulted in some interesting visual effects, as you can see.

I'll take some more pics soon, maybe even with the skirt they are supposed to coordinate with.  When it is more than a muslin, that is.

In the meantime, here is the back of the top.  For some reason, this is the only picture that survived unscathed.

If you're a very dedicated follower of patterns, you may be able to tell that this is Jalie 2682.  The fabric is an extremely stretchy wool and lycra jersey purchased many years ago at a knitting mill in downtown Hamilton Ontario.  A friend knew about weekly sales of seconds, and I snapped this up for (if memory serves) about $2 per 1.5 metre piece.  Two pieces made the sleeveless top and a coordinating waterfall cardigan.  The atmosphere of the place was positively Dickensian and I wonder if it could possibly have survived.  If anyone knows, leave me a comment.

I didn't have enough fabric to double the front, so I finished the neck edge and armscyes with the world-famous Jalie no-elastic trim finish.   This time I put the binding on the inside, like a facing, and topstitched it.  Looks just great, and as always it produces a firm and beautifully finished edge.

The delightful skirt I'm wearing with my new top is the second muslin of Vogue 1324.  For fun I thought I'd show you how the first muslin compares.
To the left is my first muslin.  It's unaltered, except that I sewed the front darts lower in an unsuccessful effort to get rid of the unattractive pooching.  

There are not too many reviews of this pattern as made up, but every one I've seen has had this tell-tale pooching at approximately crotch level in the front.  It's not a great look, IMHO.  

While the skirt is overall too tight, the main problem in the front is that there is too much length from waist to hip level in the CF piece, and there is too much width caught in the darts, which release just where the pooching is at its max, making it all so much worse.  I showed you the fix in this post.

The post-alteration front is smoother through the tummy.  I think once it's made up in my cashmere fabric (yummy) it will lie smooth and flat.  Or maybe I'm self-deluding.

The original side view shows that the skirt is too tight.  See how it cups in under my butt? I'm too old for that, and anyway I don't think such a tight skirt would be at all comfortable.

The arrow on the other side is pointing to the folds caused by too much length in front.

My adjustments add width through the thigh, making the skirt more wearable.  However, now that the skirt can fall from the waistband, other problems appear.  The back is also too long.  See how it's pulling diagonally at the upper side, drooping under my seat, and hitting the back of my knees at the hem?  If I scoop about 1.5cm off the waist seam at CB, tapering to the original point where the side seam would be, it should take care of these problems.

So I hear you thinking that I've taken all the interesting bits out of this and turned it into a ho-hum pencil skirt that looks like every other pencil skirt in the universe.  I assure you, it's still slim fitting and plenty interesting with those curved seams.  I've just altered it into the wearability range, for The Sewing Lawyer.  Besides, it will be orange cashmere when I've finished.


  1. Hey, well back! Love what you have been up to, secretively in December.
    Happy New Year and hope to see the orange cashmere skirt finished soon - it definitely won't be ho-hum...J

  2. Pajamas are great, the last refuge of loud prints these days :-). And I'm really looking forward to the orange cashmere, the best thing possible, especially in the depths of winter.

  3. Love your muslin makes you wonder who exactly ever fits in patterns right out of the one! Happy New Year!

  4. Oooh, this will be so beautiful in orange cashmere. Thanks for showing the steps it takes to get your terrific fit. Your hard work pays off and is so inspiring as well.
    Happy New Year!

  5. Busy bee Kay ! I am realy curious to see this orange cashmere. For the PJ this is too cool ! Lucky Don.

  6. Ooh, orange cashmere will be delightful. The curved seams look so neat on that skirt pattern. Happy New Year!

  7. You're not a bad blogger, you just need a "little" break!

  8. I learn so much from your fittings! Thank you so much. I am attempting to learn how to read the drag lines on a muslin, so I'm soaking up as much information as possible.

    It will not be a boring pencil skirt. It's got such interesting seam lines. It will be subtly chic.

    You've given me impetus to forge ahead with my own dress muslin.

  9. And might that "orange" cashmere be the what I would call "coral" from Darrell Thomas Textiles???!!!
    Love how you've persisted in the muslin and resolving the lines/pooching!


  10. I'm thankful that you draw the arrows, lines, and circles on the photos. You see details that I wouldn't understand without such help. Thank you! And, that cardigan is really pretty, very classy.

  11. I just wanted to say that I think you are doing a wonderful job. I read your blog often and you do some really great work. My two cents is that I don't think the back looked bad before the alteration, the curve in there was actually flattering. You are not too old for that. One of the reasons that we sew is so that we have a flattering fit. Please don't succumb to the idea that you have to dress a certain way for a certain age. As long as you look classy embrace your femininity and love your curves. You look spectacular for any age!

  12. Love how you fixed the poochiness on that skirt, and I cannot imagine something lovelier than orange cashmere!