Alterations; Fixing a Failure 8

Everybody I know who sews has fitting challenges! I love to sew but fitting is my least favorite part & I am really bad at it.  Yucky. 

[See my strudel post related to this & other very cool sewing etc. at

Disparate Disciplines. She’s asking “do you sew Cake or Frosting for yourself?” ]

Okay, I Hate Fitting! I made this and then Never Wore It!
So, since I am taking the Couture Dress Class, I went back & picked up a “Wad it into a ball and bury it!” project from last fall.  Use it Up, Make it Do… 🙂

Like now, getting chillier, last fall I wanted a jumper that looked “fallish”, could double as an apron. I’d been reading about vintage “house dresses” & wanted something really comfy for around the house. Butterick 3725 looked fine. Add cozy cinnamony plaid baby wale corduroy.  I was set to go, had bodice lining ready…

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The fit was terrible and I didn’t really have a clue what to do, So disappointing!

  • The shoulders fell off.
  • The bust just didn’t fit
  • The side seams just fell away

I looked up Full Bust Allowance (Vogue advice). I am gritting my teeth and am now resolved to add the following adjustments:

  • Choose pattern size by upper chest measurement: around the back, up under the armholes and across the upper chest (not “bust).
  • Consider using an even smaller back size, or at least look at any back fitting needs.
  • Look at the bust area, and adjust if it needs more room, by adding both horizontal and vertical allowances.
  • Narrow the neckline and widen the shoulder straps to try to get them not to slip off. btw, my shoulders are uneven, so adding shoulder seams helps.

The jumper is done & I’m wearing it! The wider straps are less of a problem, but not perfect. I’d enlarge them onto the back wrap-panels and again, insert a shoulder seam. The bodice fits better!  I  would narrow the neckline/center panel even further to keep those shoulders up! –and stay stitch that curve– the elastic did the job, but *I know*. it was a mistake, and it shows.  🙂

I hope this helps you, if you are looking at bodice fitting!

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Mission Quilts Reply

A flannel quilt, with a dozen+ to our Mission (Homeless Shelter). Really timely with budget cuts, prisoners released this week for lack of County funds. Public land timber profits have dried up and the tax base hasn’t compensated, voted down the last 15 Public Safety ballot measures. Wake up call – Support our schools, prisons, services== Generate jobs for a strong tax base!!

My friend says this pattern is super fast. She donates quilts to our NICU and to police for kids taken into custody. Blocks were easy, and easy to get a little backwards. 🙂 Special talent of mine. Here’s progress, including a sample square, and others to the Mission:

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For the fast one I made:

  1.  Put 2 fabrics together, right sides facing. Cut into pairs of 9” squares.
  2. Stitch 2 seams on connecting sides, making a Vee, ¼” seams.
  3. Cut the squares in half, through the middle of the stitched sides (the V), making 2 equal right triangles.
  4. Put one triangle on top of the other, seams & long sides together.
  5. Cut 2” (or 2 ½”) strips off each of the 2 short sides of the triangle (not the hypotenuse). This will give you two sewn sets of small squares to make into a 4-patch, 4 small triangles, & 4 “arrow” shape sets, 2 already sewn together down the middle, 2 not sewn yet.
  6. Sew those two arrow shapes together on the long sides, to match the first two. Press seams flat, then open (for all subsequent seams, too). 7
  7. Sew the 4-patch, alternating fabrics on the diagonal. Press.
  8. Lay out the 4-patch & align the arrow pieces, fabrics ALL alternating, OR matching. Place the triangles to complete the square, coordinating. Seam allowances will have excess to trim later.
  9. Sew one bar of the X made by the 4-patch & two opposing arrow shapes. Press seams. 1
  10. Lay triangle short sides onto adjoining sides of the 2 remaining arrow pieces & sew. Press. You’ll get two big triangles to sew onto the center x-bar with the 4-patch. Check to be sure that layout is still okay. 1
  11. Sew triangles onto the x-bar 4 patch piece. Press seams.
**Note– all seams are sewn on straight of grain, BUT the finished square edges are ALL BIAS. Be careful, they stretch. I decided to use sashing strips to stabilize them and pinned carefully to prevent stretching. It was a little harder with the flannel.

I ran out of one flannel and used another (can you find it?), then inserted sashing strips.  I made an extra block, just to demonstrate. It took 25 minutes, including getting out tools, choosing fabric, setting up the machine (changing thread, feet), pressing and final trim. Breakneck pace takes ~8 minutes (with mistakes!), 10 minutes okay, 15 minutes leisurely. The traditional quilting took forever. Happy quilting, and supporting our community…

btw, some of this fabric was gifted to me from old stashes. The yellow and fall fabrics (the sample) were stash clearing and would make a nice fall birthday gift. Hmm…squeeze that into what time slot, um, where?? 🙂

Couldn’t resist that sample block, threw in a progress snap for that, too! It really is FAST!  🙂

Today’s Favorite Quilt- his old shirts 3

We have quite a variety of Quilt Styles in our house, never posted any, so here’s a start!
(a deep breath while I’m *not panicking* about a potluck at our house tonight, a June newsletter to post, a costume to finish under deadline- know the feeling?!)

This quilt is from Quilts Made Modern, Weeks Ringle & Bill Kerr, the “Fashion District” project.
I got a USE IT UP bug – Use It Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do or Do Without…

  • his old shirts that had plenty of usable fabric
  • florals, big, small, how did I get so many?!
  • that curvy seam practice piece 🙂
  • another irresistible fat quarter-frogs!
  • that sweet extra-wide piece that would be great as a back!

I quilted with a variegated thread, Amann Group Isacord 40 Multi, a Japanese poly called Emerald City. This stippling makes for a soft cushy feel, not stiff like some machine quilting. It was fun and went so quickly compared to some of the more traditional patterns, not to mention-by hand.  There are still scraps left, maybe a baby quilt?

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