Thursday, April 2, 2009

Better to receive than to give

My scissors are off being sharpened and won't be back till next Thursday. I haven't been idle though, oh no not me.

I have been busy acquiring things. First off, a real grown-ups sewing machine. I've been meaning to upgrade my ole faithful Janome for some time now. It was a good little workhorse, but it couldn't manage heavy fabrics, and it didn't always feed fabric that well. So here's my little made in Switerland Bernina. Aah. The Activa 240, middle of the Bernina range of sewers - a little embroidery, a little quilting, but a heavy duty feed-dog. Bite where it counts. And on special this week till Saturday, $400 off ! Wa hoo! How my inner tight-wad rejoiced!

So me and my little friend will acquaint ourselves this week. In the mean time, I hacked out a muslin with my paper scissors, using whatever scraps of 2 way stretch I had in my scrap bin.

I am making another BWOF pattern, this time 01-2009-110. As I was tracing I swear I could hear Cindy in my head, "the secret to BWOF patterns is to only make patterns with 6 or fewer pieces." Cindy you are SO right.

I have been experimenting with bust alterations in stretch. There are 2 schools of thought on this one - some people say you don't need to do this with fabrics with negative ease. But I am not one of them. Here's why. If you take a strechy fabric and make a fist and pull that fabric tighter and tighter over your clenched fist what happens? The fabric molds itself to every dip and curve in you hand. Apply that to a breast and ladies and gentleman I rest my case. Not flattering. Not in any way. Not even to Dolly Parton, who makes her living from this kind of attention.

Because this style has two different front pieces I experimented with 2 different dart manipulations. First, I decided to put the extra ease into the rouching on the left front and for the other side, I decided to leave the dart unsewn, but to gather gently on the right side and ease into the side seam.

I decided to use Palmer/Pletsch's very full bust alteration using the shoulder as the point of introducing the extra fullness, and it does provide a much better fit. (otherwise you get this enormous Madonna conical boob type dart ... you see, I really DO love Palmer/Pletsch.)

Looking good I am not worried about how low the front it, I am making this top out of Merino wool and I will always have a cami top underneath. And people you would be so proud of me. I went to Global fabrics and bought exactly the fabric I wanted even though they had some Merino wool on special (half price) I paid FULL PRICE to get exactly what I wanted.

Now I have received some other lovely things this week. An award from the very lovely Iris,

and some gifts from the very lovely Christy (a page from the vintage sewing book she sent me - happy matchy matchy tartan couple!).

And lots of lovely comments on my pants from my blogging friends. Thank you all!


  1. Congratulations on the new Bernina! It looks like the two of you are bonding.

    I mean this from the bottom of my heart: I can't wait to see your knit top made up in the full-priced Merino Wool.

  2. I agree with you on stretch fabric not accomplishing miracles in fitting. Not only does it mould too tightly around lumps,it can also change colour pointing out where things are too tight in flashing neon, so to speak. Not that I would know.

    Have fun with the new machine.

  3. Hooray! I liked that photo of the tartan couple too!

  4. Ah, a new machine... she is a beauty. I'd say I wish I could get one but it must not be time as I have no yearning. Guess my little Kenmore is still AOK for my projects. :)

    Your shirt is coming along well. Asymmetry brings a specific set of challenges in pattern alterations, but you no doubt have made some great choices. Your muslin is looking good!

  5. Wait- that's the muslin? I love that print!

    Seeing that sewing machine makes me feel happy. I think the two of you make a charming couple.

    My week is going very crappily. Hurrumph.

  6. that's a great looking machine. Have to admit that I love that print on your muslin, looking forward to seeing your merino top. Happy sewing!

  7. Yay for new toys!

    I think the top is going to come out great - the proportions are really nice.

    You'll be most impressed with me...I've already cut out and finished something from the stash additions I bought at Global the other day. I think your approach must be rubbing off ;-)

    Have a good weekend,


  8. Nice machine! We have the 230s at school and every now and then I get to have a wee play on one.

  9. The Activas look like such nice machines! I've never used one but have heard great things about them so I'm sure you'll love it!