Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Busy January!

So while I was still recovering from a cold, this semester hit. Hard. I have some absurd number of major papers (seven? eight?) to do this semester plus trying to push my Etsy store into an actual business, business license and all. And teach sewing classes. Sigh. So much to do!

So that's my excuse for not posting. It doesn't mean I don't have lots to share, though!

Last weekend I FINALLY got around to hanging this beautiful quilt my best friends made me for my wedding:

I've been putting it off for a while, partially because it required buying the rod, hanging the rod, and hand sewing a tube to the back (er, three smaller tubes in this case) to hang it from. It was worth the effort, though, since it really makes the room look nice and lets others admire all the work my friends put into it. It also serves as a hiding spot for the cutting table that's currently out. Those black legs screw off easily and the whole thing slips behind the quilt, freeing up a LOT of room in our tiny apartment. That table also serves as my tracing table, ironing table (with protective cover) and sewing class table so it gets a lot of work. And it's still looking good! I love Ikea furniture.

Also this weekend I hit up the bit Joann's sale and look what came home with me - a whole bolt of lovely gridded interfacing! Mine for just $15, with coupon. Happy!

Now that I have nice tracing paper I took the chance to redesign my basic robe pattern. I really hope to make this my major seller in my etsy store and I have some other top-secret plans for it beyond that. For the redesign I started by blockifying the robe, basically making it out of all rectangles. The rectangle dimentions were determined by measuring my existing and (and disintegrating) pattern, made from small sheets of tissue paper taped together. It seemed like a good idea at the time. From there I started pinning and adjusting it on Elanore, my dressform. Here it is in the first steps of that:

From there I adjusted the shoulder slope and width, carved out the back neckline and armcycs, and worked out the perfect overlap for the front. Oh, and added some flare at the sides. The sleeves took a little longer since it's been years since I drafted one of those from scratch. A lot of playing around and pinning and I like it! I made up a test out of some lovely pink rose cotton I'd just gotten from and I really think this new pattern is a good improvement. I'm not sure it's noticable to anyone else but me, but I think the robe lies just a little nicer and swings just a little better. And this would be a great place to show the old and new side by side. Which would require taking a picture of them. Hm, must do.

That was a few days ago. Today I sized up my robe pattern so that I can finally start offering them in a size other than small. It took a while but it really wasn't that hard. I got a sample of RTW sizes from various online sources (pretty much whichever came up first when I googled "size charts clothing women") and used measurments gleaned from those to figure out how much to size up. The exact how-tos were borrowed from this utterly fantastic tutorial from

I considered talking through the process but, really, that site tells you exactly what I did with good, clear pictures to boot. Anyway, after following those easy directions I have a medium robe pattern to test out later this week!

Until then I still have a ream of reading to do and some Greek to analyze. Sigh. It never ends!

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