Friday, September 30, 2011

A New Adventure

Every sewing day is a new adventure. When I started again this morning, I compared back and front yokes.  They are different, with the neck swooping lower in the front. So I did have the yokes right on the first shirt. What I had wrong was the gathers, but that didn't really cause any issues.
That was the good news.
Now for the bad news.  Last night I cut out the fabric for the second shirt. This morning as I was marking details on each piece, I realized I had only cut out one sleeve yesterday.  The sleeves are huge and cut on the fold.  So I had 2 layers of fabric and a brain fart. Two layers does not equal two sleeves.  Last night we had to go get another yard of fabric for the yokes. I insisted that was all I needed to cut out 2 yokes.  So when I found out I needed a whole sleeve still, I didn't have enough fabric. Again. And my boyfriend was on his way far away to a friend's house for the day. He said he'd have to get another yard on his way home.

Being short on time, I was able to continue on with other parts. I gathered up the top edge of the sleeves and lower front and back. It kept getting bound up so it took me forever. Thank goodness I'd run 2 parallel rows of stitching because one broke under the pressure. It was actually easier to gather it with just one thread.
I applied all the iron on interfacing.  I got the cuffs ready.  I got the collar and neck facings ready. So I'm really hoping I get the shirt done tomorrow.  That gives him a day to dye both shirts. And then I won't feel like I'm under so much pressure. Sewing sure goes a lot faster when you don't make mistakes.

I'm taking the rest of the night off and I got to enjoy a great California sunset.

When my boyfriend got home around 7 PM I knew the fabric store closed at 7.  So I said, "Yay, you made it to the fabric store just in time".  He was taking bags out of the truck. He said, "Oops, forgot all about it."  He'd gone to the grocery store, not the fabric store! We'll have to go tomorrow. I left the iron and ironing board and pattern board and other stuff out on the patio so I can cut the last piece out tomorrow.  My window is right by the patio.  All of a sudden I hear raindrops. So up I get again, and had just got everything inside the house, when it started to pour.  Close one.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

First Shirt is Done But...

I just sewed the last button on the last cuff of the shirt. It is done.  But, I just realized I made another error.  This must be the record number of mistakes I ever made on one sewing project.

This shirt has a front yoke and a back yoke.  On the front yoke because of the neck slot, you leave an ungathered section about 4" wide. But when I sewed the placket on I thought, "Wow, there sure are a lot of gathers here." Then just now when my boyfriend put the shirt on, I could see this flat 4" gap on the back. Jeebus, I put the front of the shirt in the back.  Holy cow. The shirt looks fine.  I think the only difference in the front and back yoke is that flat spot.  I guess I'll find out when I sew the second shirt in the next few days. I'm lucky this shirt is useable at all. I feel like such a dunce. But you can bet your bottom dollar I'm going to scroll on the wrong side of each piece tomorrow 'front yoke', 'front side', 'back yoke', 'back side', and so one.

Now you may ask yourself why I would admit in public that I make sewing mistakes.  I do it so all of you who sew can see that everyone makes mistakes, and you just have to be persistent and keep moving forward. It's not always fun, it's not always a leisurely stroll from beginning to end, but it gives you the freedom to make things you wouldn't otherwise get a chance to own.

Pattern Piece

Me with the missing piece wearing the shirt.
I just went outside to get a photo of the shirt I'm making. I started thinking of where else I might have had my pattern pieces. I had cut the pattern out on the front porch.  I remembered one piece blowing off and landing under a rose bush and my boyfriend had picked it up on his way in the door. So I looked in that direction.  I mean I'd looked everywhere else right? And there it was, nestled behind the jade plant, under the window. It's been out there for days but it was still in good condition. Now I'm thankful that the automatic sprinklers under that bush are broken and it hasn't rained or anything. Whew. I was wearing the shirt with the cuffs still unfinished. And I snagged myself but good on the rosebush when I bent over to rescue the pattern piece.  Trapped! I slowly and carefully untangled myself. I wasn't worried about scratching myself...I was worried about ripping the shirt that's 90% done! 

The Sewing Saga Continues

Today I cut out the second shirt. I wasn't sure I'd have enough fabric, especially since I decided to make this shirt 6" longer all around.   Just when I was patting myself on the back I found another piece I needed to cut.  It was for the back yoke.  Oh *@#). That means I hadn't cut out the front yoke either. So I will need another yard of fabric. All the scraps I have left from the first shirt are too narrow.  Even worse, I can't find the pattern piece for the front yoke. I've already looked through the pattern, the bag, the scraps, and around all my work areas. I'm guessing the ceiling fan gave it a lift somewhere, but for right now, I'm taking a break.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sewing For Someone Else

After yesterday's wedding I'm pretty tired. But I still have an Oct. 3 deadline to make 2 peasant shirts for my boyfriend. So I'm working away trying to sew the gathered yoke to the shirt front and back.  Seeing how badly the fabric is already raveling I decided to serge that seam to stabilize it. That worked out fine so I decided to serge some other raw edges.  But I snagged the fabric on something and the knife on the serger cut too deeply on the seam line. Ack!  I think I can save it by making the seam there a wee bit wider. Glad it wasn't any worse, but I decided it was a good time to take a break. Gads.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sewing a Man's Peasant Shirt

My boyfriend had great plans to sew not one but two shirts for the upcoming SCA event dubbed the Great Western War. I don't even get to go. As the date looms closer he had one of those, 'I don't even know how to sew clothes' moments. And before you can say jumping jack flash I found myself the new owner of two shirt projects. He sews bow cases, pavilion sidewalls, and all kinds of utilitarian things, but never got around to how to make garments.

The pattern calls for 4 yards of 45" wide fabric, and he got 8 yards of linen. Normally it wouldn't matter, but this pattern needs exactly 45" of width for the shirt front and back if I cut them the way the pattern shows (folded selvage to selvage). The fabric has already been pre-washed so maybe it shrank, and when I measured it,  it's only 42" wide so it won't work the narrow way.  I had to refold it the broad way to get the width I needed.  After cutting out one shirt, I only have 3 yards left for the second one, but I can use the narrow strips left from the first one for the cuffs, the collar, and other small pieces. I think I can squeak it out. If not, it's back to the store for another yard.

I could have saved time by cutting out both shirts, but I want to make sure he likes the fit of the first shirt so I can modify it if necessary. It's a very full shirt. He plans to dye at least one of them.

I have to wonder about my sanity when I don't even so my own clothes because it's too cluttered to turn around in here, but now I'm sewing his. Maybe I don't love myself enough.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Staying Home to Sew

I have so much sewing to do! And I'm staying home all day tomorrow to do some of it. I usually go to a cycling event with my boyfriend, but it takes up an entire day.  He has fun running the snack table at the Amtrak 100, but I just sit and draw or work on crafts all day so it's not the best use of my time.  He hardly knows I'm there he's so super busy.  So this year I opted out.  I'm sitting at home and making my sewing machine my best friend.

The color scheme of my fall wardrobe are red, pink and gray.