Tuesday, November 19, 2013

New Normal Sewing

Sometimes you feel like sewing something new and this is that day and that week.  I'm starting out with two new to me patterns, the Alabama Chanin Corset T Shirt  just one example from the Alabama Chanin blog  
and a similarly designed Margarita Tank Top from L J Designs.  Great sale on Londa's Sewing website for Margarita Top

The weather in Baltimore is pleasant today but the cool weather is moving in quickly and I need some lightweight silk knit, merino knit and maybe polarfleece 100 knit tops for under my sweaters and tops.  I'm stitching these two patterns as mock ups to take up to Sarah Veblen for some fitting help next Tuesday.  I've booked two hours with Sarah and if I'm industrious I will take some woven tops and perhaps another dress for her fitting assistance.
Copying the pattern with carbon paper

It takes time to get mock ups ready.  I usually copy the pattern,particularly if it is OOP.  It means marking vertical lines, easy enough to just continue the grain line and use that for marking.  But it also means creating horizontal pattern lines and transferring those from the pattern to the fabric.
My mock up inexpensive cotton poly interlock from Fabric Mart

The Alabama Chanin pattern is a delight to look at in its finished form, but what a pain in the neck to prepare.  I heard Sarah bemoan its lack of trued seam lines when another friend brought it to the June sewing retreat and this morning I had the same experience.  I dislike the bother of "walking" seams but it does make the final sewing easier and so much more enjoyable.  So I "walked" all five seam lines and had to add about 1/2" in length on several of them to make them equal length.  Walking seams from The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting  This simple knit top doesn't have facings which does speed up the process.
The Alabama Chanin sizing chart.....
The Lyla Messenger pattern is a more conventional pattern but one of my pet peeves is not having finished garment measurements anywhere.  I think I'm going to start with small at the shoulder and neck area then move out to a medium size for side seams. 

Yes, it's good to be back in my sewing space and feeling ready to tackle something new.  All of October we were carrying around the weight of our decision about Sam, as well as being busy just taking care of him.  We miss his presence but yes, we know it was the right and loving thing to do.  Thank you, thank you, for your kind, thoughtful words that are helping us heal and enjoy our memories.  It does help to know that others have gone through this and felt this same loss and pain.  As the saying goes, friends and family are what multiply our joys and divide our grief.  
Sew grateful,


  1. I'm glad to hear that you are back in the sewing room! I've looked at that Alabama Chanin pattern and look forward to your progress with it.

  2. I'm so glad you warned people to walk the seams. I would like to add the caveat to check the measurements of her clothing patterns. The skirt pattern is a nonstarter for someone with hips.

    You can apply her techniques with any pattern. If you will put so much time into a garment, you may be better served to use a TNT that you know fits your body and lifestyle well.

    I wear this often.

  3. Hmmmm. I guess I don'r know what walking the seams means !

  4. Jane,
    thank you for visiting my blog. I envy you being able to visit Sarah for so many days. I had a one hour Facetime consultation with her, and she helped me a lot.
    Maybe she will hold a workshop in Dallas and I can go there since I will be able to stay with my daughter. Or maybe she would like to have one here at my house on the beach.
    I read your post about Sam. We have had to make that deciion twice in a year. I know how much you miss Sam, but you know that you did the right thing for him.


Love your comments, opinions, advice and questions. I just ask that we all "play nice."