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Messages - Marniesews

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We went yesterday on our way home from holiday in Cornwall (stopped overnight in a hotel near Camberley). Arrived just before 11 but walked straight on to the shuttle bus in the paddocks car park & same when we got checked out at 7!

We took your advice about the food (it took long enough to queue for drinks!) and had a few rest times when we spotted chairs but the afternoon/evening session wasn't as busy as I'd expected so I got to talk to interesting stallholders like the embroiderer Diane Bates who just happened to have done a display piece of a bead encrusted leotard which was the highlight of the show for us. My dh most enjoyed the art embroidery displays too and especially Ann Small's cut fabric layers. So glad we went.

It's a good job the visit was preceded by a relaxing holiday and my spending was (slightly) in check when I saw the rather shocking 'available balance' when I had to use their ATMs a second time!  :\

The Show Must Go On / Re: A bit late but Happy Ballet Day
« on: October 09, 2017, 23:05:49 PM »
Love the transition from blue to white. So delicate but I bet it's tough to survive the dancing - just like the ballerinas themselves, come to think of it!  :|

The Cafe / Re: Are we liking....
« on: October 08, 2017, 18:39:27 PM »
Oti is a great dancer and a superb choreographer too which makes all the difference to making your celebrity stand out.

You can visit the DSI showroom in East Croyden if you want to examine dresses close to - they're happy for you to look up skirts and down bodices - yes, I certainly did both! You can also see many of the dresses worn this season and previous season's here. Sadly not Alexandra's though.

I've never copied any dresses as such but I did use a skirt of Claudia Fragapane's as a reference for my latest ballroom dress and I agree that Alexandra's paso dress was a real standout. Oddly enough Oti wore a dress last season that I loved and shares similarities with Alexandra's. The way the fabric was used and stoned has been stored in my memory bank for future dresses. 

Overlockers & Coverstitchers / Re: Which Overlocker?
« on: October 07, 2017, 20:33:38 PM »
I know it has the knobs on the front rather than the lay-in threading but I wonder what the other differences are.

You'll be pleased to know that the difference between the knob tensions and lay-in tensions is primarily aesthetic and, if anything, the knob type are superior because the thread passes around 3/4+ of the way through them whereas the lay-in type passes through a little less. The other benefit is that it's easier to clean between the disks as they're more accessible around the entire knob.

Overlockers & Coverstitchers / Re: Machine recommendations.
« on: October 07, 2017, 19:05:55 PM »
The Brother 4234D was my first overlocker and it's a very good machine at a budget price, I wouldn't go down to the 1034d unless it was essential for budget reasons because it doesn't have a 2-thread converter so a number of stitches can't be done on that machine. The 4234D can do it all and has been wonderfully unfussy and, even as a newbie, I found it easy to thread. The build quality isn't as good as Juki, it's true, and it's noisy so I actually upgraded to a Juki MO1000 when my generous hubby suggested it because he kept getting woken up in the night  :( with my late night overlocking!  :)

Despite all that I still think the Brother 4234D is a good little machine as proved by the fact that I still have mine. It lives at my daughter's house and is my backup.

Overlockers & Coverstitchers / Re: Which Overlocker?
« on: October 07, 2017, 18:54:55 PM »
I love my Juki MO1000, had it for a couple of years now and would only consider moving up for a machine with needle up/down.

It has air threading and, although that wasn't a big item on my list of requirements, it's quick and easy to use. I've never been one for pulling threads through so I've never tried to avoid threading with any of my machines. The build quality is great and, if I do look to change it at some point, Juki will be the first I try. One thing I especially like about Juki is they include all the important safety features (such as cut-outs when doors are open) on all their models, not just the more expensive ones like Bernina do.

I toyed with the idea of an embroidery machine for a while thinking that I could make appliqué lace motifs for the dance dresses in the right colours...but when I looked at them and saw the complexity, the price (even for used) plus essential servicing costs  :o and considered the learning curve and number of failures to successes initially...I decided I'd do better to ask someone who already has a machine to make them for me as I needed them. I joined a couple of fb embroidery groups so there are plenty of people who I could ask.

If I had the time to play and really enjoy a machine, that would be different but I really don't so this seems much more practical. I'm still rather envious of you though.  -<

The Show Must Go On / Re: Bra shelf versus cups
« on: October 07, 2017, 08:58:06 AM »
That's a good question about cup size, Ann, as there's a bid difference between a 32E and a 38E and we often get both in the ballroom, if not so often in ballet.
Fortunately the Sewing Chest sells them in bra sizes but their having trouble sourcing many options these days. I've recently used the Trim-it cups which I'm glad have both push-up and ordinary ones too as bigger busted, dancers often don't want push ups. They're only graded as small, med, large,  xl & xxl. Nice soft cups though.

Overlockers & Coverstitchers / Re: Does this machine exist
« on: October 06, 2017, 19:11:04 PM »
I entirely agree with Sewbee personally and was advised by so many people not to get a combo unless I really couldn't cope with separate machines.

I do have a bit of a faff changing over at times as I don't always have space to leave both machines up on the table if my sewing cabinet is open with my sewing machine too but I often go back and forth from overlocker to coverstitch several times in the course of one garment and, while I might be able to tweak my construction sequence to some extent, all that threading over and back for each conversion would drive me crazy not least because each time it's an opportunity to make a small threading error (I never pull the thread through).

I do know from some facebook groups that the combos suit others very well so you just have to approach it with eyes open and self knowledge of which would drive you the craziest.

The Show Must Go On / Re: Flameco sleeves
« on: October 06, 2017, 17:55:25 PM »
It's not so much adding wings as flattening the top of the sleeve.

Yes, I see what you mean with the DanceSport pattern and the flamenco version, it's the built-in gusset one from The Overflowing Stash that put 'wings' firmly in my head now!  ;)

Off to have a look at the other links now...(thank you both)   J  :)

The Show Must Go On / Re: Latest ballroom dress - mean and moody Tango!
« on: October 06, 2017, 17:40:36 PM »
It was the Horseshoe Room. It's very small and all the wide pillars are in the way for spectators. The dance floor extends under the balcony so it's rather poorly lit there and patchy elsewhere.

Much smaller capacity too so although we arrived for the time if the doors opening lots of others had got in and with the entire balcony closed off there wasn't a single seat for us and many others. The organisers planned that people would rotate but no one did so we all stood up for hours. 😒

Poor Lily, a couple of 5th & 6th trophies - nice to have but a bit of a disappointment after last year's successes & then to cap it off her clothes were taken from the changing rooms so she had to borrow someone else's to dash out & replace them as we'd come on the tram!  😱

Patterns & Fitting / Re: Pattern School archive - back online
« on: October 05, 2017, 20:07:16 PM »
Oh dear, I know that some of his charts in his book have errors - I'm sure that you and several others warned me of that previously, but I didn't realise that it applied to the pattern school leotard (or I'd forgotten).

From your examples it's obvious that you can join the crotch front seam to the crotch back seam as it's far longer than the other. I'm delighted to say the Julie Cole instructions from her book worked really well for me so I'm hoping to stick to her pattern info to create the block and use this for variations.

Julie also does a boy cut pant option, which I know my DGD will love. She hates the high cut legs and has been happier since I've been adding bands to bind the leg opening rather than elasticating and turning under because that gives her a little more length too.

The Cafe / Re: I'm Going Grey
« on: October 05, 2017, 14:43:22 PM »
I think I stopped dying my hair in my mid fifties and never regretted it. As I home dyed it, it was so liberating and I finally understood why clothes didn't look as good on me because I hadn't appreciated how much effect the change in my skin colouring had. Once my hair was silvery grey I could see the rusts, browns & reds that I loved no longer loved me back but blues, greens & greys more than make up for their loss.  :D

Patterns & Fitting / Pattern School archive - back online
« on: October 05, 2017, 10:48:35 AM »
I've just discovered that the archive of Stuart Anderson's Pattern School site is back online again. It's a huge resource for pattern making so, although it's certainly not for beginners, it's definitely worth a look.

The Show Must Go On / Re: Flameco sleeves
« on: October 04, 2017, 23:52:06 PM »
Small world, catllar!

Bearing in mind that I've only just drafted my first ballroom dress, I'm still needing a bit of confidence in being certain that I'm doing it right especially as it's not a shape that's in any of the drafting sources that I've seen. Looking at Anke's drawing, it looks to me as though I can pivot the pattern at the centre shoulder point and swing the sleeve upwards to trace the curve and then join up the side. Would that work?

I've seen another one here which seems to have an outside curve just  before the side seam. Unfortunately she doesn't say exactly how she determines this shape but I'm wondering if it's a case of using the curve of the armscye and flipping it to join onto the sleeve.

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