Happy Hands At Home Strikes Again

I’m big enough to admit a project rife with problems. I am also big enough to admit I didn’t love sewing this sweatshirt from the November 2007 BWOF.

The seam allowance is on the outside and turned under for a flat fell look. A collassal PITA with something slippery like velour. Note the original drunkard’s path of seams (the one on top):

When I first started this over a month ago, I tried to hand baste it on a long drive to NYC. Turns out that like reading, sewing in the car now makes me motion sick.

Yesterday I got up and told myself that I had to finish this thing. So, I used Wonder Tape (a double-sided, transparent tape) to tape down the seams before sewing. Perfect. Then, I ran out of Wonder Tape. Desperate to just finish this UFO I made the shoulder seams and the hood the ‘regular’ way. Check out Melissa B.’s version for the full on look.
Overall, it’s too small for me (I let the sleeves out to a scant 1/4 inch seam) and the pocket is all kinds of wonky. “Really?” you say. “How is it wonky,” you ask? Well…. the pocket placement is too high and my hands cannot comfortably go in the pocket. And um, one side opening is bigger than the other. And um, oh whatever. Let’s just call this a wearable muslin and move on, shall we? Great.

That being said, it’s warm, comfy and really flattering. It’s also great for traveling and you can be sure I’ll be wearing this and carrying a big hefty Starbucks the next time I fly.

** after seeing these photos I decided the pants (BWOF 11-2007-122) were too long in the crotch and took them in there by about two inches.

Sewing Updates

The Panama dess is done. Well, almost. I can’t find the sew-in bra I have for it. Probably a sign to clean out the sewing room. Or put away my clean laundry in my bedroom. Oh, and I need help marking the lining hem and tacking down the straps. I may have to conscript my father when I visit him today.

Last night I traced out two patterns. The first is #118 from the November BWOF (aren’t they all?). I haaaate swimming in the winter and I think this in the remainder of blue velour from the yoga pants should keep me warm between the pool and my house. I found a very similar style at Delia‘s for $39.50.

Trena reminded me last night that Delia’s was for juniors and I told her that’s why I shop them online. The last time I went in to that store I felt like a cougar. I pretended I was shopping for a younger cousin.

The second tracing was supposed to be the #125 blouse from January ’08 on the left. But, I traced the #117 blouse from December over on the right. Funny thing about this. I DON’T EVEN HAVE THE JANUARY EDITION YET. I had no ability to trace it out. But, tracing at midnight last night, I just pulled a pattern with pleated sleeves and didn’t realize it wasn’t the right one. This morning I’m like, “where is the collar”? The first is close to one I saw at Bebe’s this week for $69. Meh.

Today, two hours sewing, then two hours cleaning!

Tracing really isn’t that bad

Thank you for the compliments on this weekend’s knit jumper! Party was a lot of fun and the dress was very warm and comfy.

I now realize my goal in life is to turn new people on to Burda World of Fashion. It’s a mighty task that the sewing gods have entrusted me with, but I feel that I am up for it and must rise to the challenge. Why? Because the more you sewists get addicted to BWOF, the less likely it will ever go out of production (unlike Blueprint Magazine which Christina let me know last week was ceasing production. I swear Martha Stewart wants me to fight her.)

There are two things that seem to turn people off the Burda World of Fashion. The first is the sparse directions and the second is having to trace out the pattern. A good book will help you with the first, but I thought I could show you one of methods I use to trace and add seam allowances.

Over the years I’ve picked up two handy tools. One is this Clover double tracing wheel. I’ve seen it as cheap as $4. The second is a vintage Traum Tracing Wheel (with Seam Guide). *** ETA: When I posted this eBay link there were five Traums for less than $5. It seems that only the $20 one is now available. Hold out for the less expensive one! The first was a Joann purchase, the second came free — stuffed in my sewing machine table!

First, trace your pattern size. I have two traced here because I want to blend the 38 and 40 at the thigh.

Now, I’ll show you how I use the Clover double tracing wheel. After you trace your pattern, pin the pattern to your fabric. Then, follow the seam line with your double tracing wheel. The wheel will put a nicely dotted line along the pattern paper — delivering an easy to follow cutting line. Now, the wheel is adjustable by 1/4 increments. So, the natural seam allowances are 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 and 1 inch. But, I found that a slight bend to one wheel and it easily makes a perfect 5/8 seam allowance.

The second one (comes with an orange or pink handle, in case you are interested) has two lines. One is 1/2 inch the second is 5/8 inch. It’s not quite as accurate or easy to handle as the Clover, but it works well. And, it leaves a ‘stronger’ marking. It was originally intended to mark the seam line on patterns when they weren’t printed.

I know there is a rotary cutter with a seam guide available. But, I still cut with scissors. I just kind of like the way it feels. I will use a rotary cutter for knits sometimes.

This little project is a pair of yoga pants from the November BWOF in an icy pale blue stretch velour (the fabric on the left). I’m not really a Juicy kind of girl, but I fell in love with the color. I might make a matching top over Christmas. We’ll see how I feel about the pants!

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