Wednesday, October 17

DIY Floor Replacement: Sewing Room Decorating Series

Hello all...  It is that time again.  My sewing room is, again, back in disarray.  I am focusing on the carpet, mainly, at this time.  However, in order to do the flooring, I need and must remove everything that takes up floor space.  I want you to join in once again, as I attempt to get this place the way I want.  The first in a series is up on my channel.  Carpet and Flooring: Sewing Room Decorating Series

The last sewing room tour I did was back in 2016 when I participated in a spring cleaning blog hop.  Last year, I also did another studio tour (2017) on video, showing the horrible condition of my sewing room.  It has been a long while since I shared. Maintaining that "blog look" is very difficult.  If you look at Pinterest, you could end up with "comparisitus" (my new word) and develop feelings that something is wrong with your own space.  However, when I watch youtube videos of people sharing on video their sewing room tours, it makes sense that "pinterest" is the "pretty picture" place:  "inspiration".  I'm sure my room inspires as well, because of all my fantastic organization, if I might say so myself. (-:

I become so embarrassed about my sewing room sometimes.  The only reason I share, is that I know, I have been helped many times from the sharing of others.  Any tips you may have at this point in my process, please do share.

See you on the other side of the internet!!!
Andrea




Wednesday, October 10

Fabric and Pattern Haul: Denver, CO.

Recently, I did a fabric haul on my youtube channel, about a few pieces I got while traveling.  During my trip, I couldn't think of anyone to share my escapades with other than my trusty "online and IRL" sewing community.  I was intent on taking pictures, documenting information of the locations and getting all the information on the stores I wanted to visit.   I even wanted to remember the names of the associates at each store that assisted me in my quest to explore.  My extra time spent from my family during my trip, was focused on sharing.
The problem I found with planning a travel haul, was when I got back home. I had all but forgotten everything.  I had to comb through all the sightseeing footage in my phone and camera SD cards just to find the pictures and videos from my Instagram-stories and snippets of the short videos I took while "collecting" sewing related memories for you.
Crowded Faces Cotton Lawn and Hemp/Organic Cotton yarn dyed jersey, Fancy Tiger Crafts
Hemp Denim and Cotton comic print, Colorado Fabrics, 
After I began to edit the pictures and compile a video, my list of notes were nowhere to be found.  When I set out to record my video "log", I barely could remember all the names of the fabric I had bought.  So, when you watch this video, just use this post to help you fill in some of the blanks and cover items I may have misspoke. 
Denver Fabric Haul Video
**Fabric Stores Visited:

I checked out JoAnn fabrics out of habit, and of course had to use a coupon to buy the one item I did like.  In the video I mentioned this was a printed ponte, but in reality it actually is a scuba knit.  
Scuba Knit from JoAnns, Denver, CO.

Fancy Tiger Crafts and Colorado Fabrics were the other two I was able to carve time out for on my search of "all the pretty fabric."  Fancy Tiger was surprisingly packed with nice naturals... as you see in the video, I found all manner of organic fibers, including the hemp knit, silks, soy knits, bamboos, waxed canvas, beautiful cottons and a wide selection of indie patterns.
Colorado Fabrics, was a very well stocked store.  One I would frequent because of the wide selection of fashion fabrics, including bridal, silks, knits and gorgeous linens, crepes, jacquards, and novelty prints, to mention a few.  The couple of fabrics in the fabric collage above were what I got, plus one other item that I mentioned in the video, but forgot to give the fabric information:  It was this beautiful poly stretch lace that I mentioned making a duster with flare sleeves.  I'm sorry, but I really cannot remember the contents of the pink crepe.  I do know that they both are poly blends.
Fancy Tiger Crafts was a wonderful place for the naturals to be.  I loved the selection and the fact that they are to be found online and do deliver.  I did breakdown and buy some patterns.  WHY, because, as I said in the video..."I just wanted to be like everybody else."  LOL  yep that is it.  I wanted to see what the hype was all about.  These are the ones I got: Classic Shirt by Liesl &Co, Ginger Jeans and Kelly Anorak, both by Closet Case Patterns.  LOL...Funny, but in the video I kept saying Closet Case Files... I must have been thinking about a similar TV show.  Oh well!..   

I was stoked when the store associate offered me the Papercut, Flutter Tunic as a gift!!!  How nice was that!!!  In the video I open the pattern and show all the fun and great details of the packaging and how the patterns are printed.  I now wish I hadn't bought the PDF download of the Sapporo Coat by Papercut.  I have the right mind to just buy the print version anyway.  mmmm....I know thats a waste. But it is so tempting.  That packaging!!!

Are haul videos or post really that helpful? Let me know, because, I almost don't see the point.  LOL  Either way, if I don't continue doing them, I still hope you will continue watching and checking out my youtube channel.  I have a great time creating all the tutorial videos and always welcome suggestions or feedback in the comments section of each video, or here on the blog.  I also know that some of you hate videos, and some of you hate blogs just as much.  I also know, that all of you appreciate the work I put into each.  I try to keep a balance on both platforms, but when somethings gets overlooked, its nice to hear from you to let me know what I missed.   

Thanks again for reading and watching.  "Until next time.....see you on the other side of the internet.!!"



Wednesday, October 3

Fitting Thoughts: Grading Patterns & Fitting the Unicorn

The aim with most of us in the sewing community is to work every day to get that perfect fit and to cross back and forth from one pattern company's patterns to another searching for a well fitted pattern. Would it be politically correct to say, in my opinion, that your search has been misdirected and ill-informed?
YouTube Video: Grading -vs- Fit Which comes First?

Searching for a perfect solution in a pre-drafted "pattern" which was based on a set of measurements, not your own, is always going to be problematic, thereby, creating never-ending obstacles for the average seamster.   

Yes, you read that right, Andrea, the tissue fitting, pattern measuring, "sometimes" muslin making, paper slashing/spreading pattern geek just admitted the God's honest truth.

Fit is not just checking for symptoms to determine a "fix" for each separate pattern.  Fit is an intuitive process that is understood only when a connection is made between the flat pattern and the numbers used to draft said pattern.


An understanding of the flat pattern is required before you can truly understand and overcome fit as a nemesis, and regard it as a welcoming step in the customizing process that comes only after the flat pattern making is complete.  Otherwise, you will be chasing after and falling for the latest and greatest fitting solution.  Thereby, pin-holing yourself  into a simplistic dependence of "handholding" with no true understanding of the concepts.  This hand-holding will limit your full ability to think critically and keep the process from becoming an intuitive extension of your thought process, where pattern drafting and fit become one.

My advice is to take the time to learn and understand that formulas are the problem and that you can not get around them as part of the fitting algorithm.  Patterns are drafted based on "numbers" which are plugged into an algebraic expression. (i.e. "X+Y=Z") This tells you how to geometrically guide your pencil to the end result of line drawing and connecting dots.  The process if exactly the same when numbers are plugged into a custom pattern drafting software.  Behind the scenes, there is always an orchestrator guiding the points of the digital pencil. 

Thus, when you accept a "fit prescription" without fully understanding the foundation of the pattern drafting process, and how these numbers relate to the garment on your body, you become dependent. That is Handholding.  You wouldn't blindly accept a doctors prescription medication without understanding the source of your illness and the affects it or the medication has on your body, now would you?

I challenge you to take time to learn and understand how these formulas and their affect on the shapes of patterns and the end result of how these lines relate to the different areas of your body. With the understanding of these fundamental concepts, your work with patterns and fitting will come naturally and you will develop a repertoire of fitting solutions.  You will begin to apply intuitively the needed adjustments to any situation without dependence and limitation to one form or type of adjustment. i.e. the proverbial FBA.
YouTube Video: Grading a Multi-Size Pattern
I speak often on pattern grading and how fit relates to the flat pattern, mainly, because they are intricately related when working to customize the flat pattern.  Grading is done, than fit is modified with essentially the same movements of the flat pattern as used during pattern grading.   To use only one process or remedy for an "adjustment" is to look through a pin hole, which limits the freedom of seeing the big picture.  I suppose you could call that: "Not seeing the forest for the trees."  Thats how I see it when I see folks resorting to one form of pattern customization, because that was the "prescription" they received from the doctor. 

What I believe, is that the absolute only way to get a perfect fit is to understand pattern making and fit in relation to the concept of grading.  I believe that unless the understanding is reached, then fit will always be as elusive as the Unicorn. 

 I am forced to keep all things in perspective as I read the words of one of my facebook acquaintances.  

"It looks like you have made grading and fitting and sewing so unnecessarily hard, a monotonous un-fun drudgery, that it's no wonder the whole industry does not quit in frustrating disgust.  There must be other ways that do not involve becoming a pattern scientist just to sew a few nice garments.  I can see all the sewing machines flying off bridges and out the windows of tall buildings as they scream....NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!"  (FB follower)
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