Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Circles of completion.

Hello again, everyone. I am still sewing, but it must be fit around a myriad of other activities and so I work at a snail's pace.

Many thanks to all those who chipped in for advice about how to fix my jeans. The wedgie impression was so strong that when I took the jeans off to have a shower that night, I could still feel the abrasion lingering on my flesh. A ghost wedgie!

And indeed the solution was - as everyone said - to lower the back crotch length. Lower, not scoop.

My goal at the moment is to incorporate more "circles of completion" into my life. This is a concept that is used to de-stress the complexity of modern living. It's a very simple idea: finish what you start.

Here's a small example - when you get up in the morning, make your bed as soon as you leave it. When you have breakfast, rinse your plates and cups, put them away and wipe down the bench. In other words, every small activity has a completed cycle.

A completed sewing cycle might look like this. Choose pattern and fabric. Check Pattern Review to see how it looks on a real person. Revise plan or go ahead. Fit, sew a test garment. Wear. Adjust pattern. Sew again in final fabric. Tidy sewing room. Archive pattern. Blog about it. Write PR reveiw.

Now I have to confess that I exit many many times before that cycle of completion. My two main exits are after the test garment has been sewn and worn, and before writing a PR review. Thinking about it, I even sometimes exit before putting the pattern away and tidying the sewing room!

The main reason for my exit is that I get a new and exciting piece of fabric or sewing magazine and my focus shifts onto newer more exciting territory.

In order to complete the cycle with my jeans, I need to respond to some of the comments and share a little about what I learned.

Yes, the silver top stitching on the back was a mistake. I knew it as soon as I did it, but after unpicking those jeans twice I did not have the stamina to fix it!

The full lower abdomen adjustment can be found here. It adds width and length - room for the fabric to go up and over.

Yes anyone is welcome to use/adapt my back pocket design. I'm flattered you would consider it.

How jeans fit is a matter of taste and preference. I laughed out loud when I came across an article that said jeans should fit like bras and brows - lift and separate that butt! I shudder at the thought - living in a very humid climate, to wear jeans so close to the body would create all manner of hygiene issues.

I did come across a very interesting blog post on crotch shape. Basically the Jilly Jean has a "shallow C" - and what I need is a deep "j" or the "fish hook" - Burda fit me so well because of the deeper back crotch shape. That was good to learn. You will know the shallow "c" is wrong for you if you get diagonal drag lines pointing to the inseam. (think Elephant butt).

At any rate, no pattern company is ever going to produce a patten that fits me perfectly. I do not have an average body in any part - so I have no expectations that a pattern fit me out of the packet, although it's a nice fantasy.

At any rate, I would now like to bring the Jilly Jean pattern experiment to a close - I traced and altered my pieces on separate pieces of paper, so I have a complete unaltered pattern here if anyone would like it. It is a size 12. Hip 103 cms (40.6 inches) waist 80cms (31.5). I have to warn you that if you are bigger than those measurements it would be a lot of difficult work to make it fit. Also, it requires a reasonable amount of stretch in the denim 4% elastane or above - so if you are leary about your body in stretch denim this may not be the pattern for you. Leave a comment if you would like the pattern, and if more than one person shows an interest I'll do a draw. This pattern cost me $40 to import, so I'm happy to post anywhere - what's a few more bucks on top of that!

In the meantime, here I am mid cycle on my next project: I've finished my first test garment for La Mia Boutique pattern number 733, 2011, a cowboy shirt. It's looking very promising. I'm sorry to deprive you of weeds today, but it's raining outside.


  1. I like that concept - circles of completion.
    I must need it because I had to put a project into the Uh Oh Bag. I think it may be a wadder, mostly because the fabric I used was not a wise choice.

    I just got my Jilly jean pattern in the mail today, so I will get to see what you mean about a shallow "C" crotch shape.

    I hope your next project is much more satisfying!

  2. I too, like the concept of circles of completion. Some days I feel so distractible and unfocused, I need to remember that!

    Great insight into the crotch issue. Thank you for the link.

    Oh, and if only I wer a size 12 hip!!

  3. It's a good concept no so easy to implement. I'd love to try these jeans. Put my name into the draw.

  4. I was nodding along with your circles of completion idea...right up until the bit about making your bed when you get out of it and cleaning up the kitchen after you eat. Two things that I just can't do. When people ask me how I find time to sew, I tell them that I save time by not doing housework and I'm not kidding. I would very much like to be able to do those tasks, and can see that many aspects of life would be easier if I could, but I find that level of routine very closely linked to depression (not kidding again). I have to save those tasks for the right times of day.

    Apart from that, the circles of completion idea does sound grand indeed.

    I like your shirt. Better than the line drawing. After all these years, I still struggle to visualise a garment from the line drawing. I have taken on board your comment about pattern magazines being edgier than the pattern companies...perhaps I will have to overcome my tracing laziness and try a few more.

    I would love to try the Style arc pattern. I am curious about their patterns but have been seriously trying to curb pattern purchases. A gifted pattern is another matter entirely! I would be curious to compare the crotch shape to my Marfy pattern, which I love. My hips are 103 cm so it sounds like the right size. Of course, if anybody else desperately wants it, that's okay, because I have plenty to go on with.

    A cool cotton shirt like yours would be perfect for our very hot weather here at the moment. I am praying for rain to give us a little reprieve.

  5. I think you're spot-on about the completion thing.

    I'm definitely not ready to sew jeans yet so not entering for the pattern, just wanted to say thanks for sharing all the information about fitting. Fascinating!

  6. Made the bed, check! Fed the kids and loaded the dishwasher, check! I think this way too!
    I need to break sewing down into more phases to get a circle of completion. Phase one, choose pattern, check out pattern reviews, buy fabric and prewash.
    Phase two, trace out pattern and cut out fabric and bond any interfacing. Get out sewing machine and ironing board. Wind up a few bobbins.
    Phase three, sew!
    Thanks for the links to different crotch curves. I haven't met anyone yet who fits a pattern straight out of the envelop. This must make Style Arc patterns even tougher since you don't have all the sizes nested together to merge as needed.
    Your shirt looks very good. Fresh and nice, with some good, but subtle waist definition. Nice to move onto a more promising pattern.

  7. The shirt is so cute!!! That's a TEST garment?!

    May follow your lead on this circles of completion vis a vis sewing... I am definitely guilty of getting enthused for a new fabric shopping trip or mag purchase and forgetting about the half-cut-out garment sting in my sewing room..

  8. I've only just recently purchased a Burda jeans pattern after having success with a Burda pants pattern so I think I'll stick with those for now.

    When it comes to sewing, I really struggle to stay on one task. I always have a number of projects I'm working on simultaneously in addition to a few cast-a-sides. Even while working on a project, I already have three or four more swirling around in my head. It's craziness really but somehow seems to keep me motivated and interested. I mostly finish everything I start in a reasonable time frame with the exception of things that have become too hard, too boring or too dodgy. I decided last week to spend the week completing all unfinished projects. Instead, I sewed a pair of shorts, a new top and washed the fabric and bought the notions for an additional pair of shorts, skirt and top all the while dreaming about whether I should sew a new dress to wear out this weekend on ladies night. Mine are more wibbly, wobbly wavy lines that eventually join rather than neat, consistent circles.

  9. I'm glad to hear your views on the Jilly curve. I am better able to resist new pattern temptation knowing that it is a rotten shape for me.
    Your blouse is looking very nice. Do you subscribe to the magazine or do you have a fabulous, capital city type newsagent who stocks it?
    The circle of completition idea sounds terrific. I ran it by the family at dinner, and unfortunately, there was no ah-ha moment, they all still claimed to believe in the dishwasher fairy. Completing other people's circles does tend to distract from sewing.
    I am not very reliable or enthused about the PR review section of the sewing circle lately, which is pretty bad, as I really like to read reviews before I sew any anything.

  10. shhhyeah.... not so good at the completing of circles. But I do try.

    However, your cowgirl shirt is AWESOME. I love it. In fact, I want one.

    In an ideal world, the circle of completion would be that you make me one... um. Right?

  11. I like your circles of completion thought. I think I am trying to incorporate it into my life but would not worry if patterns are not reviewed or blogged about. To me the circle is complete when you have a successful garment. Whether you choose to share it with others is just icing the cake.
    Pants fitting and lowering not scooping still confuses me, but I think I just need to dive in and do it, to follow the concepts. Thank you for sharing the details of your jeans, but maybe the ghost wedgie was more than I needed to know!

  12. Interesting circle of completion thoughts. Will you re-visit the topic a year from now?
    I do complete tasks but in a round-about manner. My completed circle might be a little larger than what you are describing.
    Love the cowboy shirt fabric.
    Lookin' good.

  13. Do you know, I had never thought of activities in that way before, you know, as a circle of completion. This new way of thinking could revolutionise my sewing box, if I actually follow it.

  14. The circle of completion concept is similar to one that someone told me at a work place many years ago - only touch the paper once - put it away when you have finished. I like the concept but can't seem to follow it. I do however make my bed (most days) when I get up or else it doesn't get done and before I get into it I make it up anyway!
    I like Katherine h's comments re not doing housework but more so I like that she actually says it out loud.

    I'd love to try the jeans pattern but I start uni next week and wouldn't have time until July - someone else should have it. Thanks anyway.

  15. What a lovely blouse! I agree, I have my own rule that I must finish something completely before I am allowed to start something else. At the moment I am lagging on photographing and blogging too!
    Thank you for the nice comment about the fabric I used for my blouse.

  16. And I am curious about the remark, heading over to PR to see the garment on a real person. Is the model on the pattern cover not a real person?

  17. Great post on circles of completion... I never heard it called that, but I do try to do it... I find I run into grief when someone else's unfinished circles overlap with mine (that is- the husband makes a sandwich ON THE COUNTER and then leaves all the mess there, right after I've wiped it clean...)...

    I like your new shirt!

  18. do semi-circles of completion count ? At least when it comes to sewing I complete the circles - no starting a new project until the pattern pieces are folded and put away in the envelope but as for everything else - well the thought sometimes counts. I am interested in your Jilly Jean post as I just bought a stylearc pants pattern.

  19. I totally agree with you about the circle of completion. In my mind, that's what a "finished" project looks like, too. Although I'm of the same mind as katherine h - I sometimes find the time to sew by ignoring all the other things that need to - or rather, should - be done before I hit the sewing room!

  20. I totally agree with you about the circle of completion. In my mind, that's what a "finished" project looks like, too. Although I'm of the same mind as katherine h - I sometimes find the time to sew by ignoring all the other things that need to - or rather, should - be done before I hit the sewing room!

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