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Messages - Sewingforfun

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1
House Beautiful / Re: Potato storage bag?
« on: July 12, 2020, 17:05:10 PM »
We have a commercial one in a double layer of dark brown cotton that lives in a drawer. It works pretty well I think, although you do occasionally have to cut off a shoot or two. When we have too many for the cotton bag, we tend to just put them in next to it, and they seem to do ok, too. I think it's the dark that matters most. if you grow potatoes, it's the bits that stick up out of the ground that go green, hence the need to keep earthing them up.

2
House Beautiful / Re: curtain fabric suppliers - recommendations?
« on: June 23, 2020, 08:54:27 AM »
Textile Express  is another good one - as well as discounts, they have an own brand range that can have some great things in it. I got some amazing cabbage rose fabric from them for £8/metre that looks like it cost £80.

For big windows, another way to think about is to have fixed panels of a fancy fabric at the sides (these can be just one width each), maybe with a matching pelmet, then have curtains that actually pull in a cheap plain or have blinds that go with the side panels. Roman blinds are also much less fabric hungry than curtains.

3
Wow, just wow! The talent of people on this forum never ceases to amaze me. Alas I have no place to much such gorgeousness (plus, probably luckily for me and my clutter, no 10 has already been snaffled), but they are lovely to admire. If you have any left over, why not put them on Etsy? It's really easy to do, and the prices for handmade things are better than ebay.  :thumbsup: :flower: <3 :thread:

4
@Sewingforfun
The cost of all Bernina feet. etc. have doubled in price over the last few years, for example I paid £55 for my walking foot and it now retails at roundabout £100.  Part of the reason is that the Swiss Franc is so strong against most other currencies.  My cousin has reluctantly moved back to the UK as he and his wife felt that they could no longer afford to live there.

The franc is strong, and the pound still very very weak thanks to Brexit... that all makes sense, plus that looks like it's one fo the very few new 1008s left. But I still think it's a daft price!

5
I have a 1008 and it was considerably less than half that price (about £875) new about 5 years ago. That's a crazy price.

6
Sewing Machines / Re: HELP!!
« on: May 25, 2020, 18:07:36 PM »
@Jabandmove how lovely that she's into sewing. I'd second the vintage/second hand mechanical machines. A older mechanical Bernina is a workhorse machine capable of making anything she wants to try, but also often cheaper than the fancy computerised ones that don't actually sew as well. For the most part, you only need a straight and a zig-zag stitch, the rest is window dressing. Plus with the mechanical things, most things that go wrong are easier to fix.

7
Wow! That's gorgeous!

8
But surely, it is the same as any other pattern, that it will take some tweaks to fit you and therefore it is not the fault of the pattern as this is just the starting point?

@Missie - yes, that’s always true, but I think in this case it’s actually worse than that and the directions are genuinely wrong. If you look at my first picture, which shows my experiment using the same measurements for different books, the other four are all within a reasonable tolerance. Not the same, but definitely similar. The one in blue, from Ann Haggar's Pattern Cutting for Lingerie book is a bit longer, but still the same size as the others if you aligned the crotches.

In particular they are all agreed that the area where the crotch goes under the body should be around 7-9 cm *finished* width (pattern width 4-4.5cm) for a finished length of somewhere between 8-12cm, when gently widening out at the back.

For the front gusset, he starts on the front crotch line at 4cm (8cm finished, much like everyone else). Then for the leotard, the front part of the gusset goes out to 9.5cm pattern (19cm finished) where the front and back parts of the gusset join. That's much wider than the others. The swimsuit is slightly narrower at 7cm in the same place, but at 14cm finished still considerably wider than the others in the same place at the lowest point on the body.

This is compounded by the front half gusset measurement. The gusset is explained as a custom length (½ waist-waist minus crotch depth), and you use ½ gusset for the back. In the front, however, the corresponding measurement is a fixed 9.5. My personal ½ gusset is only 6.5, so using 9.5 adds 3cm at the front to the overall length. It needs to be one or the other - personal, or fixed, not both.

The way the back is drafted, the balk half gusset continues to get wider as it goes up, broadening out to 3/16th hip (⅛ hip for the swimsuit) at the back crotch line (that's 17.5 for me, finished 36cm). Even allowing for the bum to pull the back crotch line up, that's a heck of a lot of fabric very low down. Plus it's 3cm too long in the crotch because of the fixed 9.5 length so it has no negative ease anymore.

I made three changes:
-- used my personal front crotch length
-- treated the specified 9.5 width on the half crotch line as a finished measurement (using 4.25 for the pattern on the half gusset line)
--  put the 3/16th hip on the hipline not the back crotchline

Everything else I did the same. It’s now a much better fit and a normal shape (see photo below). It is also within the tolerances of the others - not the same, but not wildly different.

So yes, I do think it’s the pattern not me. As I said at the beginning, it may be OK is you are his size 10 (a UK 4ish) and have the body of a swimsuit model with a great big perky bum to haul up all that extra fabric, but be very very careful if you are using it to make a basic block for an ordinary person.

And it's not only me - when the original site was up 10 years ago, there were a number of "hobbyists" who wrote in or posted blogs showing simialr problems around the back crotch and seat. Like me, they got dismissive replies that it must be their errors because they weren't fashion students. Most of the blogs have gone, but I found this (scroll down a bit to see the right part). She used the swimsuit (and is quite skinny), but had exactly the same problem as me with a very baggy bum, and she also made exactly the same changes cutting back the crotch and lifting the leg line.

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9
So, this is what he wrote about me on his FB page after I asked about the block.... I actually got a much politer email response, and have replied equally politely including with detailed measurements. It does rather suggest he hasn't changed much!


"The third that said the opposite of the first ... that the top was perfect but the bottoms were really baggy and that my patterns should match in gusset length front to back like everyone else's do, therefore presuming I was wrong for being different.I prefer the crotch seam to stay relatively fixed and vary back length because it looks better on the body commercially .... much much better. In the example she sent her pattern looked like it had a boy leg which is nothing close to how it should look if she followed my instructions. Instead of sending me her measurements so I could see if there was a mistake in interpretation, an error in my instructions or perhaps they even needed to be clearer, she told me how to correct my methods and change my commercial teaching numbers so that it might copy other made to measure systems that work better for her specific figure .... the complaint also seems to be that I'm working up and down from a Size 10 (as required) and not good for made to measure ..... which is what I repeatedly say the site is about.

I took my site offline 10 years ago because some made to measure people didn't comprehend the sites intention was to teach commercial fashion systems to students and this meant they could say bad things and criticize a well established commercial system because it didn't suit them personally. They didn't care whether that was the intention or that it was even offered for free to students or that I was happy to try and help if there was a problem. All they wanted to do was criticize something that didn't work the way they wanted it to. And if I did eventually give up trying to help and again explain why I did it this way I was apparently being flippant or something similar and critical of home sewists. Not fair.
The first thing these same people did when I closed the site was say how much they missed it. Oh really?
I'd forgotten about these people and actually missed teaching and was happy to put it back up again ... but in less than a week online those very same type of people (one was actually the same person) were straight back to questioning why the methods didn't work as well for their specific made to measure figure.
OK Rant over ... going to go have a coffee and decide whether or not I even bother continuing answering messages .... so disappointed :(
- end quote

10
Fantastic news, but.... be very, very careful using the basic block instructions!! (rant alert, but I spent a lot of time agonising over why it didn't fit when I first started making stretch dresses, and finally came to the conclusion it was him, not me.) The rest of it is really good, though, if a bit fiddly sometimes.

The swimsuit basic block still has the same errors that plagued the previous block. In particular, in Step 2, 9-16 is not (necessarily) 9.5cm, it should be ½ the gusset for custom measurements. 9.5cm is ½ the gusset based on his size 10, who has a distinctly pert bottom and so a high-positioned full hip, and therefore a very long gusset. Similarly, in Step 1, 3-5, and the matching 16-17 is also not necessarily 7cm unless you have said pert bottom and very long gusset.

This was worse when he also had the leotard pattern, as he had you square across 9cm for 3-5 and 16-17. Basically it made a gigantic lycra diaper cover! Here is a comparison I did of his pattern with a bunch of others from books by Helen Joseph-Armstrong, Ann Haggar, Keith Richardson and Kristina Shin, all using my measurements.  The PatternSchool one is in red, and as you can see is both longer and wider than the others, although it is a very similar shape to the Joseph-Armstrong one.

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And here is what I took off to make it actually fit me!
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Now that he's back, I will email him and see if I can get him to update it, but previously he was very sniffy about "hobbyists" and their problems, so we'll see.

11
All amazing as usual! So hard to chose.

12
Patterns Discussion / Re: Am I mad to want to attempt jeans?
« on: April 13, 2020, 07:45:38 AM »
I did the Ginger jeans class last year - it’s very good!! She (Heather Lou, the designer) actually recommended two strands of regular thread in the needle and one in the bobbin instead of top sticking thread.

13
Sewing Professionally / Re: Program for creating patterns
« on: April 03, 2020, 08:58:59 AM »
@crfrench I had a little look at Valentina, and while it certainly opened on my Mac, there doesn't seem to be much help in English. I haven't done much/any computer drafting, CAD, etc, so I need my hand held to transfer from pencil to computer. The Valentina forum, at least in English and/or from the UK, doesn't exist, you just get an error message. I think if you already do CAD you could dive right in, but it's not very beginner friendly (sorry).

I also opened Seamly2D and that seems more user friendly - same basic programme, and also free, but there is a Wiki in English with a "how to get started" page and tutorials on how to do things like make a bodice block or a shirt pattern. Presumably one could use that Wiki to do things in Valentina, too. I think I might have a go with that one as I have been wanting to try computer drafting for ages. 

14
Sewalongs and Competitions / Re: It’s All About Shirts voting thread
« on: March 14, 2020, 10:40:08 AM »
Please may I vote for them all??

15
In the wardrobe / Re: McCall’s 7948
« on: March 14, 2020, 10:34:33 AM »
Wow, just wow! You have the most amazing knack @Manuela for not only finding beautiful fabrics, but then doing just the right thing with them.

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