Saturday, 28 May 2011

Gingerly Making a Start!

Right! Here we go! I am late in participating in the Ginger sewalong but better late than never :)

I am going to try and record every step of the process so I have something to look back on and hopefully can learn from any (the many?) mistakes I make.

The pattern pieces are all folded, so the first thing is to roughly cut them out and iron them flat. I set the iron on the lowest setting and ironed each piece on the wrong side (just in case the print came off!) and on an old tea towel. There are a few things I notice. Firstly, the cut lines for the different sizes are very close together and I'm wondering if this will be confusing when cutting out. Secondly, ironing the pieces creates some static which I hope won't be a problem! Finally, the printing is a bit faint in a few places.

Voila! All the pieces reasonably flat.

I want to trace the pieces and use the tracings for the actual sewing. I want to do this so I can keep the original for another time plus, I'm pretty sure that my waist and hips belong to different sizes. I say 'pretty sure' as....... I haven't actually measured myself for a long time! I buy ready to wear English size 14 but I have to say that I think the current size 14 is much bigger than the size 14 I recall in (say) the 70s.

So ..... now for the tough call! My measurements!! Why is it I can quite calmly say 'I'm a size 14' but I baulk at saying my measurements? Discuss!!  :)

Anyhow ..... I'm taking these measurements in the evening of Friday 27th May, after dinner, so hopefully anything I make will fit at any time! My hips are 43 inches and my waist is 31 inches. (Shock horror ..... better keep on with the diet!!). On the sizing chart, size 12 has waist 32 inches and size 14 has hips of 44 inches. So, merging sizes 12 and 14 will give me one inch extra on both the waist and the hips. Somewhere on Sunni's blog I seem to recall her saying that Collette patterns tend to be a close fit and I have to say that I don't like tight skirts, so perhaps having an extra inch will be a good thing? Indeed, looking again at the sizing chart, the finish size for the size 12 is 32.5 inches. This is 1.5 inches of ease for my waist. To be honest, I am so used to size 14 ready to wear being mega big on me that if I wore a skirt without a certain amount of ease, I think I will be uncomfortable. So ...... I'll try making a muslin merging sizes 12 and 14 and see how it comes up. For this pattern adjustment, Sunni says you must also measure your hip length ie the distance between your waist and your hips and for me, this is 9 inches.

However, before merging the patterns, I need to trace the patterns onto tracing paper....... At the same time, I followed Sunni's instructions for merging a waist from one size to the hips of another size. I also wanted my skirt to be longer than the pattern by more than 2 inches so I will be altering the pattern to insert 2 inches in the middle of the front and back pieces and also add length to the bottom. Although I had thought that the pattern lines were close together, when it came to the crunch, tracing the pattern pieces was easier than I thought it would be.

Inserting the additional 2 inches looks a bit odd on the pattern. I think I will have to extend the line down to the bottom to make the bottom section larger. You can see this in the photos below. I must admit that Sunni suggests re-drawing the line so it ends up at the original hem point but I can't see how this will make the side seam OK. For better or worse, I will extend the line down and see how it looks on the muslin.

Having altered the pattern, I then found an old duvet cover that was going to be my 'muslin' material and cut it so I could lay it out to pin the pattern pieces to. First mistake here! I forgot that the material had to be double. I had cut out one of the waistband pieces when I noticed, so it wasn't too difficult to correct! Mind you....... I then re-read Sunni's muslin making instructions and realised I only needed one of the waistband pieces in any case!! DOH!!

Cutting out can be a bit tricky as from time to time I wasn't entirely sure I was close enough to the pattern pieces and I was left wondering if the pieces will be accurate enough. However, having cut out the pieces, I decided to break at this point! By now, it was 11.30pm on Friday evening and I thought it best to leave the sewing to another day :)

This took me much longer than I anticipated. I guess I started at around 8.30pm, give or take. Mind you ..... I was also loading and unloading four lots of washing and hanging that up as well, so it wasn't a dedicated 3 hours of time.

On Saturday, I will put together the muslin, including sewing the invisible zipper ...... which I'm a bit nervous about!!

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