Wednesday, February 18, 2015

#2 Working on my embroidery blank with pattern sewing and drafting...

Still working on my embroidery blank!

I'm in week 4 out of 10 in a pattern making class in Atlanta.  Each week, we (classmates) show up, have fittings made to each of our basic pattern revisions, and stitch up a new and improved version.  Learned some faster sewing tricks from the instructor, and enjoying the camaraderie of those who love sewing.

This is number #2. Before stitching up #3 that has a much needed front view adjustments, and I am backing into rooms at this point. I am scrutinizing the back though it passes class inspection. The left side and right side are not hanging correctly.  The darts are off, there are wings at the lower hips, the sleeve material is greater than the armhole space, seam lines are off.  Center back seam is okay.  Fisheye darts and side seams need help.

Can't really judge the upper back fully as the sleeves are part of the rippling.  The upper back curve is correct from a side view. That was achieved by slashing the pattern - very good lesson! Better to learn it in person than in a book.

I asked for outside opinions and thank you to those who shared their expertise with me. I remeasured the arm holes and adjusted the seam under the sleeves pattern for #3 pattern. I asked the instructor for her thoughts on extending the fish eye darts straight down instead of a curve outward. I also requested wing removal at the sides, last night. She really understood that I do not want fake curves and I wouldn't pick out a blouse with that look either.  Looks great on people who have those curves, but I don't. It's a personal preference.  I will put up #3 this week, while I stitch #4.

I spent the weekend watching two very good classes on pattern making and sewing. See previous post. I stitched up pattern #3 after asking friends to chime in based on their own experience. Adjusted the sleeves and I went to class. Discussed the concerns of #3, wings etc.

This pattern quest started because I switched to a Mac computer and I couldn't run my original Wild Ginger PMB software.  Latest version of Wild Ginger will run in bootcamp on a Mac with Windows 7/8.  I still want to understand how all the adjustments come to fruition. But I am hopping over to get the latest PMB. My body double is staring at me with doubts. Need hubby to take photos.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Researching the project before you begin...the moulage

Happy Valentine's Day!

Enabler Alert:  Craftsy Classes are up to 50% off this weekend!

The project that went astray continues... "THE REDEMPTION!"

Invaluable! Clear and concise. 
After beginning my moulage, and embracing that the teacher, (Deanne Smith), knows best for the first one, I decided to research all different approaches.  I learned that basic measurements are approximately taken in the same manner. Great discoveries made while taking Pattern Making Basics. Several instructors define the moulage as a second skin which molds to your body.  Once perfected, you would add ease for the sloper.  The sloper would become your basic pattern.  I thought it was interesting that there is variation into the approach of where to stand when measuring someone (to keep the person at ease). Some suggest  standing to the side of the person you are measuring. Other professionals feel that standing to the back is best. Nearly all experienced tailors say to keep talking when measuring, as a distraction.   At the end of the day, this is my walk away learning tip:  do what works best for you in the moment.

I went ahead and created the second one (ouch) with a zipper and sleeves inserted.  Sleeves, thanks to the armholes, really do take up excess fabric in front.  It is good to put a zipper closure on the center line to prevent any distortion. Forget that the pattern has cutaway darts, leave the fabric there. The teacher is right, the teacher is right, the teacher is right...   Remove them when it is all perfected!

Step by step stitching assembly!
So now my third one (ouch, ouch) requires a slight bust dart adjustment.  That is what I was told to do.  I am doing it.
I learned how to slash the back of my pattern. I followed the instructions to the letter. Thank you Deanne Smith! I can now back my way into any room with a perfect fitting moulage.  As long as I don't turn around, I am golden! So that is the goal of #3: fix those bust darts. I will ask hubby to take a photo of me backing into a room for the next post! You'd know that back anywhere!

Here's my tip for self preservation in challenging stitching moments:  it is nice to take a break and sew a mini project in-between large "units" of a more challenging project.  (I learned about units in the Classic Tailored Shirt and it has helped). At ASG this week, I had a chance to make origami fabric flowers.  Lots of fun, and it was amazing how Lucretia and Lisa kept us on task.  Yes, I did it step by step per their instructions. 17 of us, and they turned out nicely!  Now I am going to spend Sunday, working on my moulage.

My true goal:  I want an artful blank that fits well to embellish with machine embroidery.

Happy Valentine's Day,

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Let's catch up and perhaps you have been here: sewing, crafting and embroidery projects that go astray...

I took five weeks off from blogging to do related business tasks: paperwork, store project samples, a business revamp and to prepare for a fashion design class I am currently taking called "Moulage". I have been adding free Valentine machine embroidery designs on Facebook during this "post-less period" so check it out if you haven't collected any of them. It's on the Free Designs link tab.

Here's how my moulage first attempt went:
Impressive right?  This is not a reflection of the instructor who is teaching the class.  It does show how important it is to follow instructions step by step according to your teacher when doing the first of any new project.  
  • Forget what other skills you have used in the past.  
  • Forget what other experts have told you. 
  • Forget the shortcuts you know.  There REALLY is a good reason to do DARTS her way.  There may REALLY be a DIFFERENT way to mark sewing lines plus a more PRACTICAL seam line for adjustments later on.  
I know that one should follow the steps in the same order of the presenter until completing the first project. I know that I can change things up later to shorten steps, if desired.

I threw that wisdom out the window as I embarked on a fashion sewing adventure:

I destroyed the first pattern by not paying attention to my teacher's instructions which was to appliqué in the darts that I had cut out (that's a story in itself - I will skip that here).  

My Rowenta Professional iron quit in total disgust and it put me in time out.  I am smiling while typing the words "time out". My dear friend, Carol, saw the  photo and innocently asked if I gave the iron time out?  No, it gave me time out.  Clearly, I needed to be humbled and be more compliant with the sewing universe.

Tips for the Seamstress, Embroiderer and Crafter when your project goes astray:
  • Laugh when everything feels out of sync including your mind! 
  • Stop what you are doing and take a break to do something else.  

This is my something else:  I am laughing at myself while posting to the blog and perhaps this will save you from making a mess of a new project. If you need help with using sewing feet be sure to check out my videos at YouTube/cookiesews

I am officially back to posting... however, now I am going back to the sewing studio with a second pattern to be drafted according to the instructions by my teacher!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Be happy in the land of stitches this 2015!

Check out free designs on Facebook
Create a jar to collect little notes you write to capture moments of happiness throughout the year.

The one pictured here is a mason jar but any type of jar would work.  I chose this style because it is done with embroidery. Or if you need a gift, put a petite notepad and pencil inside or use last year's suggestion and fill it with candy or hot chocolate mix.

Start the embroidery machine and stitch the design which is sized for the mason jar lid.

Stretch the elastic band around "something" giving you four sides and easy access as shown below to tie plum fabric strips to each of the sides.

I'm using the Serger Thread Palette Tool to stretch the elastic around.  I purchased this years ago and it gave me a big smile to use it again in a new way.

Look around the sewing room and you will some gizmo that will work or check out your kitchen drawer!

Create strips: use pinking shears for fabric strips or rip the strips and let the raw edges add a fun look.  Fill in-between the plum strips of fabric with red or pink organza strips or ribbons.  I used this same type of jar filled with hot chocolate for Christmas, hence the red and green ribbons and organza shown to the right.

Want to digitize your own design? Create a circle in your software in the size you need and get creative within the confines of the circle. If you don't know how, join me on Craftsy and save 50%!

For the lid, you can add an extra layer of felt or a batting to add additional "poof". The featured sample uses two layers of felt glued to the lid. The lid in this sample design measures 2.75 inches in diameter sized for the mason jar disc.

It's okay to cut out on the line itself as it will be tucked under the mason jar lid.  Sample was cut with pinking shears. Love Aileen's glue for flexibility, adherence to so many "bases" and strength. Use any glue that will adhere fabric to metal that is handy in your home!

Tip: if you don't have the right adhesive or glue, go quietly into your significant other's Home Depot stash!  Mine flies remote control planes so I have every glue known to man at my secret disposal. I love the supplies used in his hobby!

Tie a ribbon around the lid with a bow finish and glue it in place.  Be sure to keep the glue just on the lid edge. Here is the one I did for Christmas adding an additional Tag of Joy that I digitized last year.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Part 10, Tag you are it for the holidays!

A personalized ornament or gift tag with someone you love "sketched in thread".

Supplies: Sketch portrait design, two pieced of fabric (sample uses ultra suede), red 40 wt. embroidery thread on top and in bobbin, 12 inches of ribbon, one piece of stabilizer either tear away or sticky depending on which finished look you prefer. If you use sticky paper, then the back side will be plain and if you use tear away then the backside will be the portrait in reverse.

Take your favorite photo or drawing and with  digitizing software, and duplicate it in stitches.

It is one of the easiest gifts you make. Another suggestion is to trace a photo of a friend's home  with digitizing software as a welcome blanket design and use the closing date as the "founding date".

To do this portrait tag, create the stitch portrait of your subject.  Create an oval around the portrait. Apply a fancy motif stitch to it. Create two circles as "eyelets" less than 1/4" big and apply satin stitch to each of the "eyelets".

For this tag ornament, two scraps of ultra-suede were used.  Use any fabric that won't fray including felt.  Hoop sticky paper and apply one piece of fabric to the top.  Thread the upper and lower bobbin thread with the same color of embroidery thread for the eyelets to be red on top and bottom.  Stitch out the "subject".  Slide the other piece of fabric under the hoop and stitch out the  motif oval and eyelets. Remove the sticky paper along the motif border. Trim fabric to 1/8" wide from the motif outside edge. Use an eyelet hole punch to remove the inner fabric areas from the eyelets.  Add your ribbon through the eyelets and you are finished!  The other option is to hoop tear away with the upper layer of fabric and again use matching upper and lower embroidery thread. Float backing fabric underneath the hoop.  Stitch the entire project, remove and trim away excess fabric and stabilizer and now you have the design in reverse on the other side.

Two layers of fabric are suggested for either method for stability of tag/ornament.

If you do not know how to create a portrait in stitches, check out
Artistic Digitizing; from Inspiration to Stitch on Craftsy and save with this discounted link.
See some of my student's first projects here