Wednesday, 25 February 2015

What's Your Weirdest Non-Sewing, Sewing Gadget?

Image Source:
Tell me... are you guys like me? Are you always happy to see and learn about nifty new-to-you sewing notions? I know that I am! I particularly love my vintage Vanguard buttonholer attachment - it made gorgeous buttonholes on my Grainline Alder Shirtdress last year.

I've even been known to make a few things myself (e.g my pressing hams and holders here and here, pattern-weights) or come up with different uses for everyday objects (like my laptop-stand to overlocker tilt-table)!
But, how do you feel about using the weird 'n' wonderful to aid your sewing?
On the list of "weird things I've bought for sewing" an Inclinometer must be right up there!

I saw this bit of builder's equipment used in my current issue of Threads Magazine. (No. 178 - May 2015). The gadget is on Page 44 as part of the 'Prepare Patterns for Fit' article. The article describes it as an 'Angle Locator', and it shows you how to use one to measure an individual's actual shoulder slope. You can then transfer those angles onto your bodice pattern to exactly match your own body.

Screenshot From: Wikipedia

It seems there are quite a number of free mobile phone apps that should also perform the same level-gauge/angle finding duties. I'm not quite sure how accurate those would be so I shall be sure to do a comparison and to share my findings with you guys when my new toy arrives :-)!

For £3.73 on Amazon (I have their Prime service so delivery is free - yay!) it seemed an inexpensive purchase and I'm intrigued to see if it will help resolve a slight sloping-shoulder fitting issue that I believe that might have :-)

So, come on let's share! What's the weirdest non-sewing, sewing gadget that you own or have ever used?

Friday, 13 February 2015

Can Claire Sew a Coat?

I want to make a coat this year - hopefully before the weather in London warms up too much❄!

I've never made a jacket, let alone a coat before, so this will be totally new territory for me - but I think that it'll be a challenging, yet fun project for me.

I plan to work in my preferred style "slow sewing" and to take my time on this to get a great finish :-). I shall probably work on the coat on and off between other makes, as I don't want to get frustrated with it when I hit a proverbial wall. I don't want to end up making silly mistakes because I want to get it finished and "done with" - I'll be keeping my fingers-crossed that my plan for "slow and steady" will win me that race LOL!

I've ordered a copy of Simplicity 1197 to work with.

It's a re-printed retro 60's style that reminds me a lot of much loved, vintage second-hand Camel coloured wool coat that I bought from a charity shop in my teens. It has Raglan sleeves, and a trapeze shaped silhouette - so, it should be a.) easy to sew-in the sleeves, and b.) have minimal fit issues over the waist/hips etc. (yay!).

I plan to make a Toile in Calico/Muslin fabric first to tweak the fit. I anticipate that I will need to make my customary 1.5cm-2cm FBA (full-bust adjustment). Possible other tweaks that could occur are all problems that I encounter with RTW (ready to wear) coats are: needing to length sleeves + hem, and narrowing/tapering-down the horizontal width between the waist and hem (I have hips typically 1-2 sizes smaller than the pattern-size I use for my bust and waist).

And then, I've got some inexpensive grey wool-mix fabric to try it out in - after which I can hunt down some appropriate Camel toned Wool - yay!

Sunday, 1 February 2015

PRIMA Pattern, February 2015 - Wrap Belted Coat

There's until the end of this month to order the February 2015 PRIMA Magazine pattern by phone. 

PRIMA Magazine - February 2015 - Cover

For February 2015, Prima Magazine are offering an unlined wrap coat with wide lapel collar, tie belt and hidden-pockets in the front seams. The coat comes in 2-lengths: a short mid-thigh, or a longer knee-length. The pattern as usual come in Sizes 10 - 20 (UK).

Prima Magazine - Pattern, February 2015 (02)

Prima Magazine - Pattern, February 2015 (03)

Prima Magazine - Pattern, February 2015 (04)

See my old post here on tips for ordering their patterns: PRIMA Magazine: How to Order Their Sewing Patterns.

For my some of my thoughts on PRIMA Magazine's sewing patterns - and how I'd personally like to see them change to make things better and easier for sewing-fans - please see this link here Claire's Tuppence Worth... .