Last month I regaled you lot with my sewing plans. (And I realized I never linked you to my sewing Pinterest board, which is here, and which you can see is still getting healthy usage.) And I said I’d check back this month and let you know if I’d actually gotten on the actual sewing part of this madness.
The answer is no! But it’s more complicated than me just being lazy (or actually working on writing things, like I was supposed to, though I did do that).
I picked out two patterns to do. I cut out the pieces (which was harder than necessary because said patterns are in books and you cannot cut up library books). And then I hit the problem.
The average American woman is 5’4″. I believe they make patterns for people who are 5’7″. I am 6’1”. So I cut out my patterns and then remembered that I can’t just use a pattern, I have to modify a pattern. I have to lengthen it in the right spots (such as, say, arm holes) and move darts and all sorts of wizardry. Actually, in the past, it’s been easier to take men’s patterns and make the shoulders narrower than mess with women’s patterns, but it’s been five years and I forgot.
(The last clothing I sewed, five years ago, was a brocade vest and spats for a steampunk costume. I made the vest without a pattern, and luckily spats are not picky on sizing.)
So, I wrote a blog post on my own blog bemoaning my pattern issues (and how I probably hadn’t bought enough fabric because I forgot I needed to do that too) and making a writing analogy out of the mess, and some lovely person came along and left a comment about making my own block.
Now, a sewing block, or sloper, which is the more common term, is essentially a base pattern that you make based off a million measurements of your own body. It tells you where darts should go, how long your arm holes should be, how wide your shoulders/waist/hips/etc. are, and so on. Once you’ve painstakingly made your own sloper, you can use that as a base for pattern modifications or making your own patterns, and in theory everything should fit right because they’re made to your own measurements.
Yesterday I spent about an hour researching how to do this (once I figured out proper terminology to put in the search engine). It is going to be time consuming. There really is about a million measurements that need to be made, which must then be painstakingly transferred to paper. There is math involved. But, in theory, I should only have to do it once and then I’m home free for life! Or until I lose or gain weight, I suppose. Still, my bust dart and shoulder measurements will still be right, and that’s all you really need for most of the patterns I’m looking at.
So, maybe NEXT month I will have some sewing done! I’m optimistically hoping to do some this week, because my book is due back to the library, so we’ll see!
How are your projects going?