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.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.