Saturday, May 29, 2010

Mock-up, oh mock me not!

Hello Fans ;)

Something new from the mock-up front.
I made another one testing the new length of the jacket. (I hope this will be the last mock-up, though.)
Btw. may I present you a perfect example of optimized management of resources?
This are the left overs from the last mock up ^^

Okay, to make it short: I made the mock-up, put it on and... well...

I need to add back what I took from the hips in the basic pattern (I guess last time I took the width away with the darts and seams, so I need it at the side seam again), the waist sits where it's supposed to be *yay* and the length in general is good. I only need to smooth out the bottom line a bit - taking about 1,5cm away from the front at the second dart and add 1,5cm in the back at the side/mid panel seam.

Now of course there has to be a catch... as always.
Today it's the area at the top of the front darts.
You might remember that I shortened the darts in the test model, because they ended too high for my liking (and my design), so I shortened them by 4,5 and 4 cm. You also might remember me mentioning those wrinkles I got above the darts then, where I thought it was because of too little pressing.
Well what can I say? They're back! Yipieh! *insert irony here*

stupid little things (and yes I'm wearing cherry pink glitter nail polish^^)

So actually I shouldn't be surprised that those wrinkles are there as they are caused by the excessive width left from the shortening, still I don't want them there! *narf*
So now I'm not sure how to properly solve this problem... 
My thoughts so far were to drag down the bust dart in the basic pattern, while it's still lying in the shoulder, to the lowered waist dart point. So when I fold out the bust dart and open the waist darts, the width around the bust point disappears and with that the wrinkles. 
Not the worst and most difficult solution. But yet I've got one concern with it: When I eliminate the width, there will also be about 1cm missing over the whole chest circumference then. Can I just add this back at the side seam??

Gah, always me and my complicated problems *lol*
But it would be too simple to do everything the easy way *muahaha* Although now I think I've got enough challenge for this model ^^.

Okay, that's it. If you got a solution for my problem, please drop me a line.

Have a good Sunday

Friday, May 28, 2010

Oh nooo!!! *argh*

Hello my dears!

Just a quick update-post.

So I spent the last three days drafting the new jacket pattern (including the lower waist). As there wasn't much on TV tonight and I see that time is running (only 4 weeks to go!!! - that devious ticker^^) and I've probably got some other appointments coming, too, I decided to get ahead a bit and finish drafting, tracing the pieces through and cutting them out.
So far everything went well and I can start on making another mock-up this weekend.
As it wasn't too late when I was done, I decided on giving the cuff drafting a go. So I happily drew the new seam and hem allowance as well as enough turn of cloth on my pattern when I noticed that my pattern looks very different from the example in the book my intern had given me last week. (That's where I saw this way of drafting the first time).
The whole hemline curving looked somewhat reversed. So out of curiosity I got my sleeve pieces out and layed them out like the book suggested and there the catastrophy started...
I had layed the pieces together on the wrong seam!! So the whole draft was twisted. (Now I btw. know why there are those wrinkles in the sleeve when it's hanging down.) I really don't know how this happened and the cuff doesn't look so bad on the sleeve, so that's probably why I didn't notice earlier.
Anyway so now I had to draft a completely new cuff. *argh*
I did and got a very different shape, which means that I also had to change the embroidery design to match the new shape. *sigh*
But this also gave me the opportunity to make the design a bit smaller and leave out a couple leaves, meaning I will probably save a few minutes for embroidering in the exam... could sum up to about half an hour, which is gooood ^^

For your better understanding here are two pics:

I tried to get the same angle at the underarm seam (the right line), so you could see how different the shape is (look at the reversed curved lower line).
The first pic is the old version, the second the new one. I tried to take over the flower design at first but when I had drawn it in, I wasn't too happy with the angle (it spread quite wide over the whole area and would wound too much to the front of the arm)), so I decided to change it.

Tell me what you think about, does the new embroidery fit or should I stick to the old one and fit it in somehow? Does it look weird with the two leaves missing?

Okay that's it for now, I gotta go to bed.

Have a great time and sleep well

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I'm done *wohoo* ...Yet there's still so much to do...

Hello my fellow readers!

So I can proudly announce that I am done with my test model *wohoo*
Yesterday I added the buttons and buttonholes and pressed the whole thing once more (still the hem is looing a bit weird).

The buttons I had actually bought for the winter coat I made last year, but then had found better ones. So these buttons were bought to be black, but somehow they melt into this brownish colour that fits very well to the fashion fabric. I could have used smaller buttons also, but they are almost as big as the "real" buttons for the exam, so I took them.
"Buttonholing" took me longer than I had thought/intended, meaning that I need to practise that also before the exam.
Still when I checked my time list later it looked quite good. If everything goes somewhat smooth and nothing really bad happens I should be fine in the exam. Also it looks like I will be able to split the embroidery session on two days. This will hopefully be better for my head.
So in theory everything is great *lol*

But before I can go into the exam and prove my theory right, there are quite some things to be done and changes made.
I need to:
- lower the waistline in my jacket pattern, make it new if neccessary and time allows
- change the front piece, so the facing will be cut on fold (means: glueing them together at the front edge, so two pieces become one), do the same with the front hem facings -> this is neccessary to reduce the big bulk I got when all facings were added and then turned, so instead of crossing seams I will then only have the one at the hem
- make the front flaps smaller 1,5cm will be enough (now I had 2cm)
- cut the hem facing higher towards the central back seam, so the lining can be attached smoother (it gave me a little fit with the test model, so now I aim for a square angle, or at least close to square^^)
- make the hem allowance of the skirt lining as small as possible to prevent wrinkling because of the godets
- make the side seam a little bit longer over the hips, maybe even lower the front and back a bit (the fabric surely will shrink a bit while being interfaced)
- try to make the pocket bags a tad bigger then, to have a tissue fitting inside^^
- draft a new outer cuff, getting a bigger facing for inside the sleeve then and cut down the lining, so showing of the lining will be almost impossible then
- not to forget adding all needed turn of cloth additions *very important*
- check all seam lengths, mark positions etc.
- make all card board pattern pieces including marks, seam allowance and what not
- practice: weltpockets, embroidering, button holes

right before the exam:
- iron fashion and lining fabric with hot steam to prevent too much shrinking
- cut all allowed pieces from fashion fabric and interfacing
- interface and mark all pieces
- lay out the remaining pieces on all fabrics and interfacing, take pics to learn how to lay out the pieces (saves time in the exam)
- fill out the required time and documentary lists for the exam
- make copies of all documents needed for the exam
- pack all needed items, clean and oil sewing machine

You see that's quite a list, but not all points will take much time and many can be done in one session.

Today I already altered my basic pattern and lengthened the part above the waist by 1,5cm. I made a mock up to comfirm the fit and now the waist sits where it is supposed to be.

I also pinned the hip area as it usually ends a bit too wide in the upper part. So I flatened out the hips and added 0,5cm at the side seam at the bottom. (you see there it is quite tight).
Don't get irritated by the width around the waist, it's a jacket (although tight), so a little ease is needed.
I'm happy that I seem to have gotten the right amount of length, as there's no bunching and horizontal wrinkling in the back.

So for the exam pattern this means, that I will cut the pieces open at the waist line, squeeze 1,5cm paper inbetween and smooth out the lines. Everything else should work still.

Okay that's it for the moment.
I'm laying down a bit as I'm just getting a migraine *ugh*
Thanks for reading, have a great time

Friday, May 21, 2010

You can (almost) wear it...

Hello @ all!

It's me again with a little update on the progress of my test model.
So as the title already promises I'm almost done *wohoo*Today after work I handhemmed the skirt, so now all I have to do is the buttonholes and buttons on the jacket.But let's got back to where I stopped last time...
As I mentioned I had finished the skirt except for the hem, with the new ruffles attached it looked already really nice

The zipper looks weird at the left side, but it's only on the dolly, the hem is pinned here

Then I continued with the jacket- took care of those wrinkles in the back, set the waist 1cm lower at the side seam and attached the new sleeves. They're still a little tight around the upper arm, but much better than the other ones. I guess in jackets this tight you can't get wide sleeves without using puffed sleeves^^

The shoulder pads are pinned in place also

Next thing to do was getting the welt pockets in, I haven't done them since I'm out of fashion school, so I guess I need to practise them again a bit ;)
One got quite alright, the other a bit less, but I can wear the jacket still (not that anyone will come this close to look at them *g*)

right pocket, left pocket, inside (pocket bag - tiny but a tissue for my hayfever fits inside^^)

The next pictures show the jacket after quite a few more steps:
- the shoulderpads are sewn in place, before some wool padding for the top shaping was added
- the collar was assembled and sewn into the neckline
- the cuffs were sewn on and turned- the lining and facings were attached
- everything was thoroughly pressed

And some close ups of the embroidery on the model

Things done after the "shooting":
- the lining was losely fixed around the sleeves/armhole
- the sleeve lining was fixed near the hem, to prevent showing
- the hem facings were fixed to the body at the seam allowance
- the last opening of the lining was handsewn closed

- the skirt hem was hand sewn

Things to be done:
- 5 tailored (handsewn) buttonholes
- 5 buttons (which I need to find still^^)

So yeah, I'm good in my time plan, leaving me enough time for the remaining preparations and excercises, without getting too stressed.

Thanks for reading, have a nice weekend

Friday, May 14, 2010

I see flowers bloom...

Hey you!

As promised pictures will follow.
First the pics from the weekend and this early week:
the very sad excuse of ruffles I mentioned Wednesday/Thursday night

laying out the pattern pieces to check the fabric left for new ruffles

the new ruffle patterns

the sassy red lining - isn't it gorgeous?
(but a nightmare to work with...)

the new ruffles, nice frilly and fluffy... very victorian ^^

So yesterday I really spent the whole day embroidering the collar and cuffs... it took me around 9 hours... I was rewarded with a nice migraine today for it *gnah*

The cuff embroidery transfered with an artist's chalk pen (I remembered to have this left from fashion school and it's not as hard as the white pencil and nail whitener pencil and not as soft as the white kajal)

about two hours later - the first cuff is done
The second cuff was just like the first, only with a mirrored motiv

the first half of the collar embroidery ready to get started

about two and a half hours later - done

another (excact) two hours later - the collar is also done *yay*

Yesterday's "daywork" on full display

it's nowhere near perfect and quite asymmetrical, but I still like it... it looks like real handwork

What I learned:
- I need to practise embroidering (this was my first embroidered "picture" using this technique at all and I can't remember of having done such a big embroidery before)
- I need to get cleaner and evener stitches
- I need to develop some kind of "system" for the elements of the motiv, so they'll become more symmetrical
- I need to get faster...much faster (I really shouldn't need more than 7-8 hours in the end)
- I need to use quality thread (For this test piece I used some old embroidery thread from my granny that always tended to troddle open and mock me ^^)
- if possible split embroidering in the exam on two days
- me fingers ouch ( I need to get a finger protector for my left middle finger to avoid stitching into the skin when I push up the fabric)
- the day after: me head ouch
and last but not least
- I really enjoyed embroidering =) as long as I'm not under time pressure and can stop anytime I want I will do it again and maybe also test new stitches and techniques

Okay I need to rest my head a little (and now my neighbours just start to drill in their walls *argh*)
Thanks for watching, comments and critique are as always very welcome.

Have a nice weekend

Thursday, May 13, 2010

It's going on...

Hey @ all!

Just a little update on my test model... pictures will follow over the weekend I hope.

So as I already wrote in my last post, I planned on getting the skirt done last weekend. It would have worked, if the ruffles had behaved like I had wanted them to... but they didn't and I ended up with a really sad excuse of ruffles.
So Saturday night I thought about leaving it like that and just go on as planned but after sleeping it over one night, I decided to give it another try if the fabric would allow. So I spend the whole Sunday morning and noon with tracing through all missing pattern pieces and cutting the fashion fabric, so I'd see if there was enough for new ruffles. And it worked *yay*
I even have some fabric to spare... now I also can be sure that my 3m will be enough for the exam.
However I then undid the old ruffles - picking the serging was a nightmare- and did the new version. This time I also decided to line them instead of doing a rolled hem on them. This just didn't work out as nicely as I had hoped, but the now very sassy red lining will be a nice feature.
Also the new version turned out so much better... nice frilly, fluffy ruffles... now we're talking victorian again *lol*

So this change of plan left me with the lining etc to do these last three days. But it was alright, it doesn't really matter what I get done first, it's not like I wasted time.
So now the skirt is almost done, I only need to handsew the hem.
I also made the final design for the embroidery on collar and cuffs and made a stencil for both just this evening. Cutting those little pieces out took forever and was really tiring for my hands and head.
I'll have to try out what method will work best to get the lines on the fabric then, for this piece I guess I'll try "powdering" means dusting chalk powder over it and rub it a little into the slits of the stencil, then trace the lines with a white pencil if neccessary. I tried using a white kajal pencil, but it's too soft and creamy... maybe the nail whitener pencil is harder... I need to test it.
Any advice on this matter is highly appreciated. Using carbon paper just doesn't work at all...
So everything is ready for my embroidering day tomorrow. I'm happy that I can stick to my plan with this. I really really hope that I somehow manage to get the embroidery done in six hours max, as I shouldn't spend more time on it in the exam, too... 40 hours for the whole thing isn't that much.
I hope my (now) ex-intern can get some information out of the other trainee from the theatre about how many examinees we will be and how many machines we have to share.

Okay, I'm going to bed now. I need to have working eyes and hands tomorrow ;)
Cross your fingers my hot water is running again... it had some problems this evening after there were some repairings done in the morning... It wouldn't be a good thing to have no warm water with a holiday ahead...*ugh*

Good night and have a nice time

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

You can see something...

Hello my fellow readers!

It's time for another update on my progress.

So last Thursday and Friday I cut out all needed pieces for a first fitting, including their interfacing and used the free weekend *yay for May Bank holiday* to sew everything together.

pieces laid out on the woolfabric

The fabric is a wool mix with a bit stretch in dark brown with red pinstripes. I got it some years ago from the Hugo Boss fabric outlet. I always planned on using it for either business wear or something late victorian... now it's both in one... sorta *lol*

Saturday I got all pieces together, so I could start the Sunday with ironing all seams and have a first fitting. (I actually had wanted to get some more done, but after a spontanaeious clubbing session Friday night I only got up around 11am ^^)

First fitting impressions:
Please excuse the bad pictures. I had to take them without flash because of the mirror and brighten them alot.

it's fitting quite well and I only took out a centimeter at the very top of the waistband

jacket (without sleeves first)

I already pinned the alterations on my left side

the right side without alterations

the back

You can see the general fit is alright, but I had to shorten the darts in the front as they were ending right on top of the bust. Also there was too much width at the second dart from the waist to the hem. Also the back down the waist was quite wide, so I took out the prior added width in the central back seam as well as about one centimeter at the hem of each seam and 6mm at the waist per seam
The alterations are done here. It still looks a bit weird around the bust, but after ironing a couple times over it again, it's much better now. I had also taken a centimeter away from the side seam waist down, but after the dart was sewn I added it back.

This second fitting of the jacket was also the first time I recognized that the waist of the jacket is quite high... too high. I also noticed that, when I wore it with the skirt, the hemline hardly covers the joining seam of skirt and waistband (even including the 1cm seam allowance). But I had drafted a 3cm coverage (without seam allowance). Even pulling the skirt a little higher didn't help much.
Yet I decided to wait for the sleeves until I made a final conclusion about this.

So Monday morning I got the sleeves sewn in and fitted again, the shoulder pads are also pinned in place.

Again the general fit is alright, but it's a little tight around the upper arm, so I'm gonna make a new pattern for it and arrange the width better. I also will cut the armhole a little bit lower at the side seam (1cm) for more comfort. And maaaybe add a little length at the underarm seam for more free moving of the arm.

And a full pic using the timer on my cam.

Three side view on the dummy ( I need to take care of those stupid wrinkles in the back before going on, I already changed in the paper pattern)

So yesterday and today morning I put on the jacket again and came to the conclusion that I need to lower the waistline... it's about 1,5cm too high for my natural waist.
I really don't know how this could happen, as my basic pattern was well fitted by my sewing teacher about four years ago. And I'm not growing anymore (I checked tonight, same 1,62m as back then^^).
I compared the side seam length with the measurements I took for my corsetry patternblock late last year and they also indicate that my waistline has to be lowered by 1,5-2cm in my pattern.
Maybe gravity pulled my pelvis bones down *lol*

However I'm gonna make the lining pieces etc. matching for the test model first, so I can complete it. I only make a new sleeve if the fabric allows.
I lowered the waist by a centimeter in the model pattern already, but if I've got enough time left before the exam I'm gonna draft a new jacket pattern with the right waistline and make another mock-up from muslin. Just the fashion layer to confirm the fit and then transfer the right pattern pieces onto the cardboard for the exam.

I hope to get the test model done by Whitsun latest, this should leave me enough time for the new jacket pattern.
Also I hope to get the skirt finished this weekend. I only have to draft one additional piece for the lining as the others are just the same as the fashion fabric, except for the hem allowance.
I'm gonna draft all additional pieces tomorrow morning, so I can cut them on Saturday after work.

Next week I want to trace through all additional pieces for the jacket and make up the final design for the embroidery for the collar and cuffs.
As it's Ascension Day next Thursday and I'm free from work I want to use the whole day for embroidering. I hope the time will be enough... it has to be, as I shouldn't need more time in the exam, too.

If everything goes as planned (somewhat at least) I should be able to complete the model within the 10 remaining days till Whitsun...

Okay so, now you know what happened so far and what's the plan for the next weeks.
Thanks for reading, comments and critique are very welcome.
Have a great time and see you soon