Archive | January, 2012

This Is Why I Can’t Buy Fabric Anymore

9 Jan

You guys.
Remember this?
ughhh my fabric stash
That is my fabric stash as of last week. And before anyone goes, “Oh! That’s not too bad!” may I point out that the fabric is double-stacked – i.e., there are piles of fabric behind the stuff you can see. Also, I have smaller piles lurking in my sewing room closet & attic. Eep!

So, I knew I was going to put myself on a fabric-buying ban. It seems silly to keep spending money (especially when you consider my expensive taste when it comes to fabric) when I have soo much perfectly usable fabric hanging out at my house as it is. I mentioned this at the beginning of the year (aka last week) and a few of y’all commented that you should also follow suit, but felt like you couldn’t stick to it. To be honest, I kind of felt the same way, but after pulling out my stash & really combing through it, I am actually pretty excited about this upcoming sewing year. I have so much good fabric! So many gems I had forgotten about!

Over the weekend, I pulled every single piece of fabric off my shelf, measured it (both yardage & width) and took a picture. I was going to upload everything to Pinterest – well, I started, anyway – but their site is all buggy and half the pictures don’t show up and idk, I just got pissy & moved everything to Flickr. Whatever! I also took the opportunity to pull any fabric that hadn’t been prewashed (I try to prewash everything as soon as I get it home but in some of these cases, this fabric has been hanging around for years… long before I because the Queen of Prewash) and get that taken care of as well.

I’m not going to bore you with dozens of pictures of my fabric stash, but if you are feeling lurky, I have allotted it it’s very own set on flickr. I am kind of embarrassed that there are nearly 50 photos, especially when you consider that this is ONLY my woven garment fabric with significant yardage. I have more stacks of muslins/interlinings, linings, remnants/scraps, and an entire cabinet full of stretch fabrics. Plus I never got around to that stuff in the attic lol. Baby steps, y’all!

I cut little swatches & hung them on my bulletin board as well:
fabric board!
The swatches to the left are the ones I want to try to sew up over the spring/summer. The swatches in the middle are fabrics I want to use before them (aka now). The giant stacks at the bottom are the rest of my swatches. Oh, and the little white papers stuck on everything show the yardage & width – so I can figure out if I have enough of something without actually unfolding it and getting measure on. Did that once, not doin’ it again!

Then I got really inspired and decided to document my entire pattern stash as well. And, well, guys… I have a lot more than I thought I did. And I’m kind of embarrassed. But we’re not judging each other, right? This is a safe space, yes?

Ok, well, here’s the flickr link to all 158 of them.
Don’t judge me!

For your troubles, here is my favorite weird pattern that I had forgotten I own:
McCall's 6988
lol wtf is even going on here?

So there you go! I do feel more organized about my various stashes – I’m already planning my spring wardrobe in my head :) Hopefully this is inspire some of you to take control of your stash, too! And then share pictures, because *I* like to lurk :) Heehee.

About these ads

How Do You Notch?

5 Jan

I took the first step last night and cut out my coat pattern pieces – all 21 of them! Coating, lining & interfacing – I basically cut the coat out three times. The coating & interfacing were fine the way they are, but cutting the Bemberg rayon took a little bit of finesse – I used Sunni’s brilliant tutorial for cutting slippery fabrics and used silk pins for the first time. My tip if you want to try this – pin the slippery fabric to the muslin first (especially if you have the slippery fabric doubled) and when you pin your pattern pieces down, give the pins some extra breathing room and put them at least 1/2″ from the edge of the tissue. It may pull you out of the seam allowance (hence why I used such fine pins), but it does make it easier to wedge those scissors in there! And no jagged edges! Yay!

I noticed this while I was cutting out my pieces:
wait, people really do this?
I actually see this a LOT when using vintage patterns (and wearing vintage handmade stuff) – people who go the extra mile and give those notches a proper space to call their own. I remember my mom doing this on the clothes she made for me, and I always thought it was such a fiddly extra step. Cutting out fabric is obnoxious enough without having to maneuver around the table to cut some tiny extra pieces with the tips of your shears.

Here’s how I handle the situation:
snipping off notches
I cut the triangles off entirely & notch directly into the seam allowance. It’s quick, painless, and efficient.

And it gives me a good excuse to use my tailor snips, a Christmas present from Landon:
tailor snips!
(Seriously, he is the best! I AM NOT WORTHY)

Now seems like an appropriate time to introduce you to my Gingher Family:
my gingher family :3
8″ knife-blade shears, pinking shears, applique scissors, and the new tailor snips.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand – how do you handle your notches? Do you cut out the entire triangle, or just snip a little snip? Or do you do something else? Is there any benefit to leaving such a giant piece flapping around the notch? Should I stop cutting (hahahahaaaa see what I did there?) corners?

In other blog-land news, I was nominated for the Versitale Blogger Award by miss Joanne and given this cute button to share!

Now I’m supposed to tell you seven things you don’t know about me. Let’s see…
- My last name is Taylor! Every so often, I’ll have a friend make the connection and get really excited about their epiphany.
- I got the bird tattoo before I got the name. I am not really sure what to tell you about the second L. I wanted it to be like Lloyd, the silent L that makes for confusing pronunciation.
- I love obsolete electronics & I collect bits & pieces when I can. My favorites are computers/game systems and cell phones.
- I was homeschooled from third grade until graduation. This REALLY confuses people when I tell them, because apparently I don’t “act homeschooled.” Well all right, then!
- In addition to Nashville (my hometown & forever Lover), I have also lived in New Orleans & Pittsburgh. I left New Orleans because a bitch named Katrina kicked me out :( I left Pittsburgh because it was a terrible idea. The cold & I do not get along.
- Johnny Paycheck serenaded me on Lower Broadway in front of a bunch of tourists shortly before he died. I told him to bugger off & he thought it was the most hysterical thing ever. I didn’t find out who he was until years later – I thought he was some rando tourist just being an ass.
- I have pretty bad TMJ, so my jaw pops every time I open it all the way. My dentist finds this hilarious.

Now I am supposed to nominate some people for being my new favorites of awesome, so I pick Molly and Oona. I would nominate more but it looks like Joanne already jumped on the others I was going to pick. Boo!

Okay, back to cutting! I have a shirt muslin that requires my complete & undivided attention.

Of Muslins & (Fabric) Musings

3 Jan

Welcome to 2012, everyone! Did you make any resolutions for the new year? I only made one, forreal-legit resolution, and I actually made it just now (as opposed to pre-2012): I have decided to enter the world of adulthood & start using proper capitalization on this blog. No real reason in particular except that it makes it easier to read. So there you go – my Christmas gift to y’all!

Another goal for 2012 started running through my mind last night while I was working on my coat muslin:
ughhh my fabric stash
Dear Lauren,
You are not allowed to buy anymore fabric this year until you cull that stash under control.
Love,
Lauren.

EXCEPTIONS (ah, but isn’t there always an exception?): January & July, my amazing local fabric store has a 40%-50% off sale on all fabrics. I generally use this opportunity to stock up for the upcoming season, and to pick up fabrics that I know I will use but are normally a bit cost-prohibitive (such as silk organza, and extra yardages of rayon lining to, er, hoard). So I’ll allow myself to buy stock-up fabric during these sales, and also a piece or two for funsies. Another exception is anything that involves my mega-cheap fabric scores – flea markets, yard sales, thrift stores, donations, etc. I mean, they’re practically paying me to take this stuff! I’d be a fool to not grab it and go, amirite?

Speak of the fabric sale, I already hit that shit up yesterday (first day!) and picked up a rather modest pile (considering my usual history of how much I tend to spend…):
the only fabric I bought in 2012 :)
The top two don’t count; they are shirting fabrics for Landon’s Negroni. More on that when I make a muslin!
That black under the plaid flannel is dark-wash denim with a slight stretch (for another pair of wide-legged trousers), the stripey is jersey knit with navy & white stripes, the white is boring old cotton batiste (for lining summer dresses), the shiny blue is silk shantung (actually from Mood fabrics), the green is Bemberg rayon lining for my coat (yes! I went with green!), and the big blob at the bottom is my coating fabric from Mood.

Speaking of my coat – have some muslin pictures!

coat muslin
This is actually my second muslin – the first muslin was almost workable, but needed a little bit of tweaking. This is what I ended up with:
- Remove 1/4″ from top & bottom sleeve side seams
- Reduce sleeve head ease (appx 7/8″ at peak)
- Taper lapel 1/2″
- Shift button position
- Shorten back belt 3/4″ on each end
- Remove 5/8″ from center back seam
- Remove 3/4″ from side back seam
- Raise underarm seam 1″
- Reduce shoulder width 5/8″
I think I’m pretty happy with the fit! Tell me what you think, fitting princesses & princes.

coat muslin
The underarm seam was the most confusing adjustment I made. Clearly there was something wrong with the first muslin, as I couldn’t move my arms at all without the entire coat joining the parade. I checked several fitting books, but none of them mentioned the actual armhole unless they were referring to a sleeveless top. I finally determined that the armhole was too low (which makes sense, as the pattern is a slight bit too large for me), and raising it 1″ pretty much eliminated the problem.

coat muslin
the lapels were also a little too wide around the neckline which resulted in some gaping. I pinched out the excess and re-smoothed the lines. There is still a small amount of gape but I want to be able to wad a scarf in there so I’m ok with it.

coat muslin
The back in cinched in via the belt, which is a design feature i loooove. Check out my mismatched sleeve caps – I put one in before I realized it needed to be reduced.

coat muslin
Side looks okay.

coat muslin
What do we think about the overall length? I folded back the sleeves the suggested 2″, but I think they are a smidge too long (like, no more than 1/2″). I like the coat length, although I realize now that I hemmed it 2″ and the pattern calls for 3″. So – current length or 1″ shorter? Eh?

Transferring the fitting adjustments was a PAIN IN THE REAR. This coat has separate pieces for everything – coat, lining, and interfacing! So every adjustment was transferred three times. And I will just (wo)man up and say right now that I did it all to the pattern tissue – no tracing. Whoever owned the pattern before me wrote all over it and made their own fitting adjustments, so I didn’t see much of a point in preservation. I will include my fitting notes should someone obtain this pattern after me, and they can re-add the stuff I cut off. Or something. Don’t be mad!

Anyway, I’m pretty happy with the overall fit of the coat! I think everything looks good & I’m ready to cut straight into the coating fabric. I have my (green!)lining & I picked up some giant covered buttons. Oh, and 3 yards of 72″ horsehair interfacing. Hopefully I won’t need to buy interfacing again until 2013 ;)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,764 other followers