Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Springtime Already?

So it turns out that a 16 hour semester and about 42  hours of work per week between two jobs is quite a lot to handle...who knew, right? Unfortunately, my sewing has suffered because I spend most of my free time sleeping, and the rest of it trying to spend time with my boyfriend. Just to make things even more hectic, my boyfriend has a work schedule almost exactly opposite of mine, so we usually spend time together late at night, after most restaurants and dateworthy places are closed. Taco Bell and Denny's are our dinner date spots, you can usually catch us around midnight, though the Taco Bell lobby is closed by then so we dine in the car like true classy folk.

Onto my sewing...I really liked that post I did about my fall sewing plans. Did I get around to any of it? Nope. Well actually I did start on one of the dresses, but it's still in many, many pieces. There's a main fabric plus underlining plus lining, and I've got to summon the willpower to baste 8 million pleats before I can start sandwiching the layers >.< Other than that dress (it's going to be a beauty once I get around to tackling it, I swear!) I've recently made a faux chenille quilt for my cousin's 3 month old, and replaced a broken zipper and button on a pair of boyfriend's jeans. I'm actually kind of proud of myself about that--I'm not normally one to get into the guts of RTW. AND replacing the button meant I got to hammer the new one in! PLUS the button came in a 5 pack SO jeans may happen!

Even though I don't have any pictures of those projects, I wanted to make  post about a book I found the other day. The title is Design-It-Yourself Clothes: Patternmaking Simplified by Cal Patch, and the technique by which I came across it was to pull every promising looking sewing book off the craft shelf in Barnes and Noble, plop down at a table by the caf√©, and skim 'em. I had a pile which included The Patternmaking Primer and one of Burdastyle's books, both of which I'd heard of from le interwebs, but in the end I went home with only Cal's book. After skimming and over looking some Amazon reviews, I was sold on it.
It's goal is to teach readers the basics of pattern drafting, and it does so in a very user-friendly, hand holding way. It's got 3 parts:

1)Before You Begin: lots of info on all sorts of measurements, as well as an overview of tools. I LOVE how she says that all you really need to start is paper, a pencil, and a ruler; you can get the fancyshmancy tools later

2)Making the Patterns: So this is where you get to start making the patterns (duh)! Cal walks you through making patterns for an A line skirt, Tshirt, button down shirt, basic dress, and pants. These are super basic styles, and after showing you the basics for each block, she shows you a few modifications for each piece. For example, she shows you how to make a yoke for the skirt and Tshirt, and a pintucked bib to the button down.

3) Customizing, Fitting, and Grading: This part shows you more ways to make the patterns your own. It also briefly talks about grading, which I found really interesting, as I haven't seen info about that before. It stresses the importance of making a muslin when you're making your own patterns, and addresses what to pay attention to when fitting your garments. Then there's info on how to make patterns from existing garments. Usually I see this as a topic for an entire book, so I'm interested in whether or not I can understand the basics of the technique from only this one section.

Now, I'm definitely not going to make every variation of every pattern the book describes. But I still think every variation is useful because it demonstrates a different way to mix a pattern up. I think Cal Patch does a great job of showing just how different one basic pattern can turn out once you start varying factors, and empowers readers to get creative and go beyond the patterns that she has given us.

 I just got the book on Sunday, and I'm excited to try out the instructions--I'll probably start out with the skirt block; one can never have too many skirts in the springtime. Or anytime.

While I'm here writing for once, look at this crepe I found at Joann's! I actually found it on Sunday, but the cutting line was sooo long. I waited half an hour and then my impatience overtook me and I left. And when I came back for it yesterday I STILL had to wait 20 minutes to get my yardage! Seriously, why the hell is a cutting line that long at 12:30 on a Tuesday?! I was going to be early for work, and my persistence to get this fabric made me 10 minutes late but LOOK AT IT. Also it was on sale so yay! I'm thinking summer romper. Thoughts?

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