Unexpected find

Vogue 1717

In the 80s I made a vogue skirt with pleats at the knees, front and back like the blue dress on this pattern. It was such a professional variation on the pencil skirt that I thought it would be very easy to duplicate but I have had little success. I have looked for the pattern in the size I need today but have not been lucky enough to find it.  

Two weeks ago, on a haunch I searched for this pattern (Vogue 1717) instead because the skirt was so similar, plus it has the beautiful four gore skirt too, which is a bonus. I had made the view pictured here in yellow in a white, widely spaced blue polka dot fabric. It was a very comfortable dress and I wore it until I had children. After that time styles changed and so had I.  

I found and ordered the pattern from an etsy seller and it has arrived. I am going to use this pleated skirt version to remake a new version of the original skirt. It will require a few alterations as the back of this dress fastens with a zipper down the center back and does not have the back pleats. I plan to include pleats in the back and move the zipper to hide under one of the pleat seams which will be to the side. The center back will be like the center front without the center back seam. This will definitely require a muslin sample or two.

I also plan to remake a newer version of the dress shown here in yellow. If that goes well I may make the whole dress shown in the dark blue view too. It is the kind of dress you can add a modern jacket to wear for work and beyond. I am so happy to find a larger copy of the original pattern. This will go a long way to help me get the proper lines and fit.

from Online Etymology Dictionary:

serendipity (n.) 
1754 (but rare before 20c.), coined by Horace Walpole (1717-92) in a letter to Mann (dated Jan. 28); he said he formed it from the Persian fairy tale "The Three Princes of Serendip," whose heroes "were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of." The name is from Serendip, an old name for Ceylon (modern Sri Lanka), from Arabic Sarandib, from Sanskrit Simhaladvipa "Dwelling-Place-of-Lions Island."
serendipitous (adj.) 
1914; see serendipity + -ous. Related: Serendipitously.


Global Readers

Здравствуйте. Добро пожаловать на Sew-I-Do.
Hallo. Welcome to Sew-I-Do.
Bonjour. Bienvenue à coudre I-Do.
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Hello.Maligayang pagdating sa tumahi-ko-ba.

Hello. Welcome to Sew-I-Do.

This year I added the google translate button. It must be working because Google Stats show that I have readers all across the globe with Russia currently in second place for reader count.  

Now that Google Reader has opted not to be to serve blog readers I am looking to find the best way my blog can be found.  For the moment I am reading all of the blogs I follow on Feedly.  I like the way it looks. There are still some differences, but overall I think there are more positive features than negative items. How do you find the blogs you read? 

Word origin of the day from Online Etymology Dictionary: http://www.etymonline.com/

communication (n.) Look up communication at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French comunicacion (14c., Modern French communication), from Latin communicationem (nominative communicatio), noun of action from past participle stem of communicare "to share, divide out; communicate, impart, inform; join, unite, participate in," literally "to make common," from communis (see common(adj.)).


Tissue Tracing Paper Uses

There are few tools I use more in my sewing room than tissue tracing paper like the rolls pictured above. I buy tissue tracing paper by the roll in two colors and two widths. If I had access to other colors I would probably purchase those too. The cost is about 20 to 30 cents per yard so it is much less expensive than fabric or patterns.

The number one reason I use tracing paper is to preserve patterns. It is much easier to be sure all of the pattern pieces stay together if you don't have to cut them apart. I started tracing patterns when my children were small and there were multi size patterns included. Kids grow up not down so this saved me from having to rebuy favorite patterns as they grew.  

The second reason is when I draft my own pattern. I use it to make a small sketch of my plan, then on the same piece of paper draft any pattern pieces I need to make this happen. 

When I sew for myself there are always some alterations so I trace patterns for me with the alterations. This just helps me not make a cutting error before I even get started on the project.

Tissue tracing paper is also much stronger when doing paper test fittings. 

More recently I have deconstructed favorite articles of clothing as they start to wear. It really is easier to copy something that fits than try to recreate it from scratch. Once I have the fabric ready I place a layer of tissue paper on top of the fabric. This will be between the fabric and the pattern or original garment pieces. If I need to match a pattern I can see through the tissue for easy pattern placement. I make sure to place the tissue paper straight with the selvage edge. Before I lay out the original deconstructed pieces I mark the straight of grain on the paper about six inches from the edges. This marks the straight of grain for me so I have it when all of the cutting has been completed. Next I lay the pieces of deconstructed garment on top of the tissue and pin through all of the layers. If I have a place I plan to alter I can mark the tissue as I pin. With all of the pieces pinned I will create a new pattern when I cut the new garment. This saves time and tracing. Also make your tailor tacks through all the layers and a lot of your pattern markings will be transferred easily.

Tissue paper also helps when sewing or cutting fine, slippery fabrics. I usually use scraps of my tissue paper on the seams but Gretchen Hirsch described a way to make this much easier in her blog, Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing.  Here is a link to her blog about cutting slippery fabrics.  

Another use I have found for tissue paper is to match seams. Fabric with large repeating patterns, like flowers or smaller woven patterns like plaids are sometimes hard to match. If you need to be sure the plaid or print pattern on the fabric will match at critical places, you can trace the pattern over the seam area, including the seam line and then pin that tracing at the matching seam. It makes it very easy to see how to place fabric so that you get the desired alignment for a match and include the necessary seam allowance.

I write out fitting notes before a project on tissue paper. They will be there while I cut and plan for easy reference, then I can store them with the finished pattern. Also a good place to write in planned design notes - ie: add a pocket or certain kind of trim.  

I also use scraps of tissue to list items I may need to purchase to finish a project, I can pin little snippets of the fabric so I have a swatch to match if I need to pick up a zipper, buttons, thread or other trims. 

And one last item I use scraps of tissue paper for is to make small paper balls for the cat. If I give her something to play with while I am working at the cutting table, she is much less likely to jump up and assist or inspect the project while I work.

What tool do you find indispensable?

"New" toy fully restored

I introduced you to my "new" toy in this post.  I found this little beauty on Craig's list. The description included something about "all original parts" and had a photograph of this same model in excellent shape, including the serial number visible in the photograph.  

What I discovered when I made the purchase was that the seller had photo shopped the correct serial number over a photograph of a perfect machine that truly did have all original parts. I discovered that it was missing the faceplate over the bobbin area, did not have any of the presser feet or the screw to secure them, did not have a thread spindle or magnifying glass cover over the light and there were not any bobbins. That was just for starters.  

Once I started checking it over the motor needed a new power cord because the old power cord had been repaired at least once with electrical tape. I found a whole set of presser feet, also on Craig's list from another seller. I also found the photograph the seller had used to tempt buyers. Lucky for me it was this web site:  

Duane repairs and sells these machines and also supplies parts for them. I ordered a new belt, bobbins, the thread spindle, a bobbin faceplate cover and the screw that secures the presser feet. I also made an inquiry and he was able to repair the power cord if I sent the motor, light fixture and foot power-peddle to him.  (these pieces are all wired together) Once I had the newly rewired motor back, with a new light, because the original light fell apart when I took it off of the machine, I  reattached everything, finished cleaning it up. It was in need of some tender loving care because in its day it has been worked, like the little work horse it is then neglected for an extended period of time. 

Newly refurbished it is a very nice quiet-running heavy-duty sewing machine. Yes, it only has forward and backward straight stitches but I have other machines for specialty stitches if I need them. One of the last pieces I had to work on was the bobbin winder. It took a little bit of time and oil to get that to work. Now the machine hums like it is new.  

I learned to sew on one just like this. Now I am a little spoiled by some of the features on my newer machines, like auto needle threader and thread cutter. The ability this one has to sew heavy denim, canvas and other tougher fabrics more than makes up for the little conveniences of the newer machines.  


Nothing to do with sewing today

Nope, nothing to do with sewing today. I am sewing, just not talking about it right now.

Since Google Reader has exited the scene I have a lot more time to actually do more than read. I enjoyed having a lot of reading material available and being able to divide it by topic or interest and having it easily accessible separate from the e-mail. Probably too much because I read about current events, science, gardening, photography, knitting, nature, quilting, sewing, travel, outdoor sports, and probably a few other topics.  

The down side is that now that I am not reading as many blogs I am also not writing as many either. Probably  because I am not at the computer as much. Funny how breaking just one little habit has a domino effect on other areas. While I miss reading the blogs, I am enjoying having time to work on other projects and interests.  

I don't know why Google thought this was a good idea or which rss reader service I will select. There are several available. I am reading the comments and recommendations now. Feedly is getting a big nod from most of the people who have commented.  

I will eventually chose another rss feed service and I am sure I will write more blogs, but it is hard to be motivated to write if your readers can't find the blog. I am also considering either moving from blogger or creating a full blown web site because Blogger just reverts to things I did not chose no matter how much I work with the settings.  

For the moment I plan to enjoy the change of seasons. Happy Spring!