stuff and things

31 August 2011

My Design Wall This Week

I think I preferred it when she only 'helped' with quilting projects.
This week, I'm trying to finish sewing a Swing Top pattern from an indie pattern company, Hot Patterns. I'd like to wear it on our annual pilgrimage to the Wine Country Ukulele Festival.
Hot Patterns' "No Sweat, Easy Sew Poetry in Motion Tops": I Can Do This!
I usually get into quite enough trouble buying too many of the "Big Four" patterns -- often more mainstream and usually much cheaper than indie companies' -- but this one was being discontinued (read: at deep discount), and is right in line with my "non-form-fitting" current figure.
Is it possible to keep a sewing assistant from assisting?
Lotus is holding down the obstinate fabric I've chosen for a "muslin": a rayon plaid with a crinkle texture. The word muslin describes an inexpensive, plain cotton fabric, but it also means the result of sewing a mock-up or trial run of your given pattern. Many muslins are/were made of muslin, hence the name. But because my fashion fabric is a light, drapey rayon voile, I found it best to sew it in a similarly drapey fabric to better fit the pattern, or work out any kinks.

After making sure the plaid top fits, I'll make it in this fabric.
Was it really necessary to make a fitting muslin for such a loose top? Well, I'm a member of PatternReview.com, a helpful, free website where other people review patterns you might own. By all accounts, HP105 runs very large. So I'll try it out first in the plaid. It, too, will make a nice top.

Speaking of fabric stashes, this is how I organize my garment fabrics:
A fabric swatch, each on its own index card, is grouped and ring-bindered.
Because I purchase garment fabrics in longer lengths of yardage, it's inconvenient to cart them around town trying to find complimentary fabric for a top, bottom, or trim. So I cut a small swatch from each, staple it to an index card, write down whatever info I can, and punch a hole in it. Then I use a simple binder ring to group them, by storage area or by fabric type: the group on the right are all knits, for example. This is an easy way to keep an eye on what I already own, too, instead of heading back to that fabric store! And, when leafing through pattern catalogues, you know if you have enough yardage for a given view.

Happy sewing -- or pursuing whatever gives you that creative thrill!