slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
So yeah, I haven't been using my computer much recently. My ass has been untangling yarn, winding it into neat balls, putting the balls in boxes and (zomg) labeling them with lists of their contents so I will actually (gasp!) know where the hell things are.

You guys, I have found so many sets of needles I had lost.

I think by Monday I will be done with the yarn portion of the craft closet and can get started on the fabric portion. Then I can go through the piles in the rest of the room, and those won't take nearly as long, maybe a day for each.

Meanwhile, I have done a little bit of shopping. Taking the time, on the days I have the car, to scour Goodwill has paid off with two dark knee-length skirts, one pair of black trousers, one pair of beige linen trousers, three sleeveless shells (black, red and turquoise), a green silk long-sleeved blouse and a black-and-camel tartan short-sleeved blouse. Still no sign of a decent-fitting black blazer. I will probably have to break down and make one myself, which will mean taking that tailoring book back out of the library. I also have to put some shaping into the green blouse and take the waists in on the skirts and trousers.

I also need to alter three or four button-downs that I have, remove the pleats from the charcoal wool trousers I have for my Hogwarts uniform, and find another white button-down that doesn't have that split V-neck thing going on that women's button-downs always seem to have, because you can't wear a tie with one of those things and my old Hogwarts uniform shirt has been donated. It was a medium. It is to laugh. Also I should suck it up, frog my mostly-completed Hogwarts jumper, and reknit it in a 42" chest. When I started it, 40" had some ease. It doesn't anymore.

And I need to find a half slip to wear with the unlined skirt. And probably also find a summery printed type of skirt and make a light-colored blazer I can wear with that and the linen trousers. And maybe take the pleats out of the front of the linen trousers because seriously, pleats do no one's gut any favors.

Also I need new hose. Whether they will be stockings or pantyhose I have not yet determined but I need new ones; the old ones are too little, except the fishnet stockings which are remarkably elastic. And if I do stockings then I need a beige garter belt. I have a little white one, but it is really too small and makes a strange dent in the sides of my hips.

Also: shoes. I almost spent $35 on a pair of taupe leather almond-toe mid-heel pumps at T.J. Maxx today. They were so classic and sophisticated. But I just cannot spend that much on a pair of shoes until I get a job. I do have a pair of low black pumps but the toes are slightly damaged and they really don't fit well enough to be worth repairing. They will work for interviews for the time being.

And I need to get four links taken out of my watch. Did I mention my wrists are still 5 1/2" around? Yeah.

Anyway, I am also trying to find a couple pairs of shorts, because the last time I bought a pair I was a size 10 so those are gone. And I should probably get a belt and a couple pieces of cheap jewellery.

Anyway, all of this stuff has to be put off until I have the craft stuff organized. There is no point in trying to figure out my sewing machine if I can't actually get to the chair to sit down at it. So tonight I will be in front of the TV some more, untangling and rewinding some more yarn.

Heh

Nov. 5th, 2009 01:44 pm
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
Last night I dreamt my sister had got hold of my uncut muslin and was chopping it up into little pieces to make some kind of Christmas-related things to put on her dining table or something for when she was going to have people over. I was shouting and waving my arms but it was too late to stop her and I was going to be unable to make what I had planned to make out of it.

I don't know what that is yet. I have half-decided to take the embroidery book out of the library again and make some smocked nightgowns, but I'm not sure. The practical thing to do would be to save it for the toiles I'll be making after [livejournal.com profile] aprilmayinjune comes and wraps me in duct tape.

Opinions

Jul. 25th, 2009 06:21 pm
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
I'm trying to decide, when I make my slips, whether I should use charmeuse or habotai. Thoughts?

A First

Jul. 23rd, 2009 07:30 pm
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
I am currently assembling my first piece of modern (by which I mean contemporary; not historical) clothing from a pattern I drafted myself. It is a green poly satin camisole, and is actually going a lot easier than I had thought; but then, I haven't got a sewing table yet, so I'm doing it by hand, and we all know I have a lot more luck with that than with trying to wrangle a machine.

I cut out my fabric this morning. It was interesting there for a while as I tried to figure out how the heck I was going to transfer my pattern onto my satin without it sliding all over the place and becoming a pain. What I wound up doing was pinning the fabric out onto a bunch of sheets of lextramax that I had left over from that graphic design degree I didn't finish, and tracing around my pattern with a pencil.

I tried one of those blue fabric marking pencils. Possibly because it was a cheap one from Walmart, it did not leave a mark and also kind of distorted the weave of my fabric. So I wound up using a regular No.2 pencil. I am confident this will come out in the wash, as it always did when I was a kid and wrote on my jeans.

Anyway. I don't put seam allowance on my patterns--I always write this on the pieces so I'll remember, but I find it easier to have my tracing lines be the lines I'm actually going to sew along, partially because, doing everything by hand, I don't have the little guide on the sewing machine to help me find 3/8". It's much easier for me to trace out my actual seam lines, then cut a little generously around them and trim everything up later.

So I traced out my pattern, and then I basted along all the lines so I would have them on both sides and also so that my bias edges (read: pretty much all of them) wouldn't stretch out of shape.

I cut everything out, basted in my darts, and pressed them. Then I backstitched the top back to the bottom back--this thing has an empire waist, and is based on the construction of the camisole I was ripping apart a week or so ago. (That didn't go well. It turned out there just wasn't enough fabric across the front bust for me to make it fit me. I wound up drafting this one from scratch.) Now I am trimming the seam allowance between those two pieces so I can self-bind the seam--something I plan to do to all these seams as I go along, because this stuff frays like hell--and then I will sew the darts for reals and put the front together. Then I will do the side seams, hem the thing, and at last tackle making bias tape for the neckline and straps.

I have never made my own bias tape before. It will be an Adventure.

I have no idea where or how I'm going to wear this thing, by the way. If I had a bit more fabric I would make a matching pair of tap pants and use it as a set of summer pajamas, but I don't. It is mostly a test of the pattern so I can be sure it's going to work for the actual nice lingerie I'm going to make later. (If I'm right about this pattern, I'm going to be able to lengthen it and turn it into a full slip.)
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
Cut out the muslins today to check my bodice and skirt slopers for fit. I have the bodice one put together and am wearing it right now and--omg--it doesn't need any adjustments.

Is it me, or am I awesome?

I'm just going to take a pen and doodle princess seams on it so I can go ahead and take that apart and trace it out. And then I'm going to take the original sloper and chop it up to give it an empire waist with vertical bust darts, and use that to make camisoles and full slips.

I have some satin with an Asian-inspired jacquard design in this nice green color left over from when I made my bridesmaids' purses, and I'm going to make a test camisole out of that. Cutting on the bias is something I haven't done before, so definitely a dry run before I start ordering silk. And oh yes, my slips and camisoles will be silk. I cannot be having with polyester; it doesn't breathe. I can get silk charmeuse from Fashion Fabrics Club for something like $9 a yard, so: win.

I need to get me a table for my sewing machine or this all is going to take about ten times longer than it has to. And I need to get me some silk pins, but I'm sure I can pick those up at Hobby Lobby.

Meanwhile I still have to put my skirt muslin together. I'll probably try it by itself and then attach it to the bodice to make sure my waist is where I'm fairly sure it is.

Anywho I had better get going on this seamline-drawing thing; sitting up straight in this thing is starting to hurt my back, because all my bras that fit are starting to fall apart. I have no support and my tits want to pull my shoulders forward.
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
So apparently if you are trying to measure yourself for pattern-drafting purposes it can be helpful to mark various points on your body, so that you're not guessing where you measured from before and winding up with all the wrong stuff.

Which was what I did before--the guessing. It didn't work very well.

So now I'm walking around the apartment until shower time with little blue eyeliner Xes all over me. I'm almost hoping I will forget about them and Nigel will ask me what the fuck happened when it is bedtime.

Anywho, I have all new measurements and am ready to draft all new slopers. This time in front of the TV so I don't kill myself with boredom.
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
So once in a while I'll post about some garb I'm making or something ongoing I'm working on but the thing is, there are a lot of other little projects I work on that you, the readers, never get to hear about.

Today I finished a work of cross-stitch bearing the legend "EAT COLD STEEL PIGDOG". The Discworld fans in the house will probably know what that's all about.

Additionally, I've been drafting slopers for myself--it's a strange and frustrating process, because with my enormous breasts, my tiny waist, and my short torso (not 7" armpit to waist as I had originally thought, but six and a half omfg), the angles are just not at all something the available instructions anticipate. For instance, it's pretty much impossible for me to make a sloper that's going to fit with only one dart in it. I need to have the waist dart--wider than is generally standard--and then I need about a 3-4" underarm dart. Most likely I will just change it to a princess-seam sloper because I'm pretty much just going to put them in everything; I think they look better than the waist-and-underarm dart combination. One with standard princess seams, one with shoulder ones, maybe? Hmm.

I have to do a lot of fudging and retracing and so I start with tracing paper. I'm not going to put anything on the more durable paper I have until I've fitted some muslins and know it's right.

So after about five, six hours' work last night, I have a preliminary front bodice sloper. The back is going to go a lot more quickly, but I just cannot face spreading all my crap out on the floor again to get started.

When I do a skirt sloper that will also probably be easier; while I do have a tiny waist and enormous hips and ass, the nature of the darts and whatnot in skirts is such that it's not going to be as weird. Although I did realize something the other day.

[livejournal.com profile] bloodchan gave me a bunch of clothes she didn't want anymore, fairly recently, that are cute and happened to fit me. I took a grey plaid pleated skirt that is a little big in the waist on the basis that it was going to be easy to take it in.

Well, easy, yes, just a bit of sewing, anyone can do it.

The trouble is, when I pin the waist to where it needs to be, and unzip the zipper, I can't get the skirt down over my hips. That's how big the difference between my waist and hips is. That's how much of an hourglass I am. I am such an hourglass that when I make skirts and trousers that will fit me, I'm going to have to use a longer zipper than standard.

Maybe I can do a standard zipper in the normal place, and also insert a hidden zipper into the side seam on one side. Things that already take hidden side zippers--well, I can put another one on the other side, or I can use a longer zipper. It needs thinking about.

Anyway. My plan is to make two wool suits (jacket, skirt and trousers) and two linen ones; some other pairs of trousers; some other skirts; a couple day dresses; a bunch of shirts and blouses; a bunch of camisoles; a black silk dress for Little Black Dress purposes and a matching jacket in case of funerals; three full and two half slips; and a bunch of sweaters for various purposes. I'm going to make all this stuff as classic and basic as I can, but make it all fit incredibly well, put extra room in the seams in case I gain more weight, and take really good care of it. I will be set for any possible job interview, most special occasions, and any job I manage to get (unless it provides a uniform in which case I would be set anyway).

Then I will buy some good neutral shoes in classic styles and a good-quality purse that I can carry year-round that will look professional and also be at least twice the size of the one I have all my crap crammed into now. And every season or so, I will change my accessories.

I have a color palette. My fall/winter suits are going to be black and charcoal, the summer ones will be white and navy, and I have a list of six or seven colors that everything else will be that I can then wear with any of those pieces. I have it written down somewhere. What I need to do next, really, and as soon as possible, to really get this project rolling, is drive over to Jackson and get fitted for some new bras. I know my 30Fs aren't fitting right anymore. I've been estimating that I wear a 30FF now, but I have never actually been fitted, and I should do that, and buy some bras I can try on first instead of ordering them online. Then I can make sure everything fits over, you know, properly fitting undergarments.

Then I have to buy all my fabric for each suit at once, and preferably for all four at once, but I'm going to leave the jackets until last to make because I'm going to have to disappear into a couple of tailoring books before I get started or they will turn out like something out of the Simplicity catalog. (Do not stiffen your suit jacket collars with fusible interfacing. And please, please do not bag line them. Just: no.)

But so okay, here's the other thing. I have these two poly satin camisoles that I picked up from Sears a year or so ago because they were on sale for $5. They don't fit right, obviously. I am currently sitting with one of them on my lap with a couple dozen pins in it, having determined what kinds of darts and tucks I need to take in it to make it fit. And I am basting them in to check the fit, and then I am going to dismantle it and put it back together again--properly--and when it fits and is happy I will then take it apart again and trace out a pattern from it. Because? It is probably the best way to figure out what shapes I need if I'm cutting something on the bias.

It is empire-waisted. Taking bigger bust darts and moving things around makes it a lot lower cut than it was probably intended to be, but not indecently so, and there is enough fabric there to cover my tits all the way to the bottom, which was a pleasant surprise. Plus I can build whatever underarm dart I need into the underbust seam. I am probably going to base my full slip pattern on this as well, just flare it out over the hips.

Also, I have cut out my burgundy linen and my black linen to make two more basic early period tunics. The black one is going to be knee-length (I had not quite three yards of 55" fabric) but the burgundy one will go all the way to the floor. When I have those constructed, and have finished the blue wool one, I'm going to cut out my green wool twill and make another floor-length one. Four tunics, no waiting. I can layer them in different ways for temperature control. Eventually I'm going to need several more, but it's not a bad start.

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slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
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