Facebook, Friends and the World Made Smaller

So, I posted to facebook my pure joy at finding a Japanese Pattern Book and wanting to sew from it. Cricket piped up that Masako might be able to help me interpret the pattern book! Um, excitement. Masako speaks and I presume writes in Japanese. I have lots of questions and we have made a date! And just so you have it, and if you want to purchase it and sew…along…with me, here is the link to the pattern. You will also need the magazine, which gives full illustrations of how to approach sewing the garment together. You can just purchase the magazine, though. It has a full sized pattern tucked into the back (mashed up with all the other patterns in the magazine). You will just need to trace it off, add seam allowances and then start cutting.

To say that I have obsessive compulsive tendencies does not quite cover the scope of my ability to focus. It is more like I have an inner hound, a scent, a trail and I am doing my primordial job. Last night I began tracing the pattern off. I need to discern what seam allowances should go where, for instance, I think this blouse has a 1/4″ clean finished hem, but the illustration says 1.7 cm in one place (with a drawing of a turned hem) and a reference to 2.5 centimeters in another. So. Hmmm…

What I love about the illustrations are that if you know anything about clothing construction and pattern making you can figure out how to draft your own version of the pattern, the illustrations give that much detail. I sure wish the U.S. would make the switch to centimeters.

Today I will wash the cloth and finish tracing the pieces and adding seam allowances. I like having the ability to decide what my seam allowances should be. I think that American patterns generally cater to an odd mindset. I don’t understand using a 5/8th” seam just to fussily cut it down to a 1/4″. Shouldn’t you just learn to sew a 1/4″ seam? Beside which, when I was a sample cutter and learning to sew, the professionals used a 1/4″ seam in almost every instance, except for special instances, like sleeves, where a 1/2″ was used.

And because stretching is my part time job, and we mentioned OCD tendencies, I show you my stretch log and my helpful stretching sticks.

So, what do you say? Would you like to do a sew along with me? You don’t need to make this blouse, you can make any blouse you would like. Or  dress, or…??

If you would like to do this, I will create a Flickr group so we can share our photos in a single place. Leave a comment if you are interested.

Welcoming myself back!

 

Welcome to my new blog, it feels spiffy here! It has been one heck of a month. I moved my website to a new server, worked with Holly Knott to create the new structure and look, and here I am. My old blogging platform took a hit in the move, but it was so old and cantankerous that I don’t mind. I am happy enough to have an archive of the old blog to reference now and again, I doubt anyone but me would do this. What does all of this mean to you? Please update your RSS feed, if you use one. This new blog will be friendlier, will show its photos and play nice.

studio Melanie Testa

I have been on blog hiatus for a long time, the longest period since I started blogging, maybe eight years ago! It has been interesting to make things without talking about it. I see value in this, where I never had the chance to experience the difference. 

I am stretching my way out of having a frozen shoulder, so I am keeping oft used things up high above my head. When I need my pins, embroidery scissors, glasses and other small items, I need to stretch in order to grab these things. ‘Motion is lotion’ when it comes to frozen shoulders. This has not been the easiest problem to deal with, tissue stretches at a very slow rate and I may have 75% of my mobility back, so I have a bit more to work through. I never want to have this problem again.

Hand sewing, Rockstar Boro, Melanie Testa

I have been madly creative over here. I am making clothing, the Rockstar Boro (see I link-referenced my old blog already) project has spurred movement within me. Sewing, clothing, construction and reconstruction are going to be a focus for me in the world of fiber, cloth and art for the foreseeable future.

And now that  you are done reading my first WordPress blog post, why not go check out MelanieTesta.com!