It's hot out! If you don't believe me, just take a look at this sloth. Only a hot day will cause Gus to neglect his usual scheming and loaf around like a useless blob.
Anyway, this really wasn't intended to be "just another post about my cat." I made a romper and I'm excited to share it.
I'm more excited about my new favorite spot to take photos and my newfound ability to frig with the levels in iPhoto, producing good results!
This is a short romper with a button opening. It's fitted, with bust, waist and "butt" darts. I made the original pattern about two years ago and since then my muffin top has expanded. This could easily be made with front darts on the shorts to accommodate women with freshly baked muffins (fuller abdomens).
It has breezy, full legs, which isn't surprising given that most of my slopers were made with the help of a pattern making book originally printed in the 40's, when womens' pants were VERY wide legged. These could be made with elastic at the leg hems if someone wanted a real "bloomers" or night time kind of look.
Lately I've been in battle with myself regarding next steps to go with Ready Ruthie. In case it isn't painfully obvious, I'm very much influenced by early-mid 20th century fashion, particularly 30's-50's and sometimes a lil 60's/70's.
I've gotten pretty good at pattern drafting since I started to teach myself about two years ago. Sleeves, however, have continued to befuddle me. I see the ability to make a good, well fitted sleeve as a distinction between beginning and advanced pattern makers. It also opens up possibilities for the types of garments I can make and their appropriateness for womens' wardrobes. Living in Vermont, it's not fair to expect to make cute, sleeveless sundresses all year round!!
I've done some short sleeves that look fine (see above), but as you can see, they fan out a bit. That means that they don't work as extended long sleeves. They result in a comfortable yet baggy and unflattering sleeve appropriate only for cave dwellers.
I've been sweating it out with my long sleeve pattern for a long time now--I started on my vacation last September, fiddled w/ it some more in January, then said AHGHGHGHG I can't do this anymore and set my sights back to sleeveless summer designs.
Here is one of the earlier patterns. Once I got a good look at the back I realized it was sagging and drooping. It seemed that once I fixed that issue, it was too tight. And on and on and on.
Today, June 17, I think I finally got it! A combination of coffee, DBT skills and reviewing some helpful alteration books got me to "as good as it's going to get for now" with my sleeve.
Plus don't you just love the awesome brown floral I'm using for muslin? It is a sheet set I got at Salvation Army--hence why I'm not using it to make anything for sale. Please excuse my looking like an ancient troll that just climbed out from under a dirty rock. It's Sunday morning after all.
To those struggling to make a sleeve sloper or modify a commercial pattern, I wish I could offer hard and fast advice. Unfortunately what you'll need to do is entirely contingent on the shape of the wearer's arm and torso. I found The Perfect Fit
and Fit for Real People
quite helpful. Sewing books and even pattern drafting books don't offer much in the way of alteration except in a pretty basic sense.
I now have the luxury that few can dream of--not one, but two rooms dedicated to my craft. allow me to give you the tour.
The main sewing room has all the machines, books and supplies/notions. I managed to get everything off the table top and onto my peg board organizer. Having the patterns up on the wall isn't the most attractive thing in the world, but it's SO much easier and better organized. before, I had them pinned to fabric covered foam insulation with T pins, which worked fine except that they were all piled on top of one another and it was impossible to find each piece. Here, I strung picture hanging wire between two eye hooks, and hung each pattern set with clothespins or binder clips. I can move them side to size and easily take them down when I need them.
This back room is primarily a guest bedroom, but also houses my fabric. I am also using it as a cutting/drafting room, hence the very convenient fold up table. In here I can walk all the way around the table which is very helpful. Then it folds up and away if we have people stay.
Don't I look happy?