Successful sewing

Back in November I took a workshop at the Weaving and Fiber Arts Center. Called The Fit is Fine, this 4-hour workshop, taught by Val DeVries, was all about how to fit a standard pattern to fit your body. Since I’d previously had such disastrous results when working with my handwoven fabric, I was really in need of direction.

working at Fit is Fine workshop

Although the 4 hours was not enough to get to the point of making a muslin, it was totally sufficient for getting the information I needed to complete the process at home. I had my pattern, I had my measurements, I had the muslin.

my muslin pattern

Muslin #1 had issues – I’d added width to the pattern from the waist down, and it was too much. Easy enough to revert to the actual pattern. But, given the fact that I’m usually cold, this tunic had to fit over a turtleneck. The armholes were far too short for that. Emailing back and forth with Val told me that I needed to buy and use a French curve to make the needed modification.

It took a few more modifications – to the bodice and the sleeve – to get it right. Finally I was ready to cut out my fabric. This is a commercial mid-weight flannel blend of mostly cotton with some polyester (I couldn’t get 100% cotton at Joann’s; note that I was sorely disappointed with the fabric choices, even at the largest store in Rochester.)

tunic fabric, closeup

Two days of careful cutting and sewing later, the tunic is done and fits well!!

tunic front

I’ve taken to loving to wear leggings, and this top covers my butt well in addition to hiding my gut.

tunic back

I like the hemline drop from the front to the back.

tunic side

I’m pretty sure I’ll use this pattern again, although I will make a few more minor modifications to it for the next one.

When I bought this pattern and fabric, I also bought another pattern and fabric. I’m now confident I can modify that pattern appropriately. I admit that the lengthy process of making a muslin is rather a PITA, but it’s worth it since I can now make clothes that fit me! YAY!!!

11 comments to Successful sewing

  • Alma

    Your tunic looks good on the mannequin, but EVEN BETTER on you!!

    • Peg Cherre

      That’s been in the offing for some time, I think. The woman who runs the store is retiring after many years, and no buyer came forward.

  • Alma

    I know Patricia’s has fancy – bridal gowns, prom dresses, etc. – fabrics, but I don’t know about linens and wools. It’s worth a call, at least . . .

    • Peg Cherre

      So I was at the Weaving Center this morning and went down to Patricia’s. Which is closing, sometime soon, as there was very little left in the store. What was there was almost exclusively quilt fabric – small-ish print calicos. Sigh.

  • Alma

    Peg – If you haven’t discovered Patricia’s in the Piano Works Mall, I’m very surprised. They’re pricey, but, in my quilting days, well worth it, because their fabrics are not first run – as are Joann’s – but best runs. Best runs are after the designers have looked at the first runs and adjusted colors or spacing, or whatever. To the naked eye, they may look the same, but to the hand they’re a much better texture. It’s like the difference between Walmart and Joann’s. If you want to check out the cottons at Keepsake Quilting, you’ll fall in love. They are geared to quilters, so carry only high end cottons, but have about everything you could want.

    There’s a place in Fairport I’ve never been to, but have heard good things about. (In fact, I think they may have recently moved.

    Best parts about Patricia’s and Keepsake? When you walk in you smell the smell and when you talk with the clerks you are greeted by people who know what they’re talking about!

    Now, back to you – the tunic is terrific. I like its lines!

    • Peg Cherre

      Thanks, Alma! For no good reason, especially since the Weaving Center is in the same mall, I haven’t been in Patricia’s. I will definitely check it out. I’m also at least occasionally looking for other-than-cotton fabric…got a lead on that? Linen? Wool? Other?

  • Lovely results Peg! What a great tunic and such pretty fabric. Stylin! I like the bodice what pattern did you use?

    • Peg Cherre

      Thanks, Theresa. It’s a New Look D0723 pattern. I hope to make it out of handwoven fabric for a summer weight in the coming months. That will require a new muslin, however, as the fit will be completely different without the turtleneck underneath. Sigh.

    • Peg Cherre

      You’re probably right, Judy! I will definitely ask her. Hilton Head’s a bit far for fabric, unless I’m mail ordering. 🙁

  • Judy T

    Most impressive Peg! Looks great! I bet Alma could tell you where to buy good fabrics nearby. The best place I know is in Hilton Head. Road trip? : )

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