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The day of alterations October 9, 2011

Posted by Judy in Sewing projects.

I’ve been a really terrible blogger for the past few weeks, even worse than usual. It’s not that I haven’t had ideas and thoughts to share, I’ve just been spending every spare moment in my sewing studio. The time has been equally split between learning how to draft patterns and R&D stuff for my soon-to-open etsy shop. The former has actually been pretty enjoyable. It’s been a long time since I’ve had to really concentrate and open up my brain so that I could actually learn something. Drafting patterns and slopers is something with which I’ve not had much experience, so it’s sometimes brain strain. But I’m keeping at it because the slopers are going to be so useful.

A brief little digression, here. Slopers or blocks or second skins or whatever you want to call them are your basic patterns made exactly to your dimensions without seam allowances. So you take like a jillion measurements, then make up a muslin (practice garment) with those dimensions. When you try it on, it basically should fit you like a glove. You can then use that to confidently draft any other piece of clothing, knowing that it will likely fit perfectly.

I’m trying my hand at doing slopers for the babes, in the hopes that it will make it easier to make stuff that actually fits, rather than having this happen again. At this point, it’s a TON of work. Partly because I have no idea what I’m doing. (Fortunately, LiEr over at ikat bag has a fantastic drafting series.) And partly, because it is a PAIN to take measurements on a wiggly almost 3 year old!

Anyway, it’s been a fun process, and it is actually paying off. A few days ago, I spent most of my sewing time working on alterations, mostly for DD. It was sooo nice to have a sloper that I could look at and say “okay, chop here and here, sew here, add this much length” and voila! I could get the alterations done without having to call DD in every 15 minutes to have her try something on. Hooray!

So the first thing I fixed was a little gauzy tunic.

I picked it up at a yard sale, thinking DD would wear it next fall. She had other ideas. She grabbed it and was wearing it around the house. Sadly, it was like 2 sizes too big, and it was turning her into an exhibitionist at a VERY young age. So, I pinched up about 2 inches at her shoulders, skinnied up the sleeves, and it was good to go. I showed it to her and she said, “I like it! Now my boo boos are covered up!” Heh!

Next up, two onesies got chopped up into regular shirts. We don’t really use onesies around here, and DD would probably find them supremely annoying anyway, what with all of the snaps she’d have to do and undo for pottying purposes. Anyway, here there are after having the bottom chopped off.

I salvaged a bit of the binding from the leg portion and used that at the end of the sleeve, which got lengthened since it’s fall, after all. And, here there are with their colorful sleeves added in. DH pointed out that one of the sleeves got sewn with the stretch going down the length of the arm rather than the width. Oh well, they still fit!

Another garage sale find was this polo shirt. It was strangely long, which meant that it would be great as a dress for DD. Pretend that the sleeves haven’t been chopped in this pic. I forgot to take a true before pic.

I grabbed my sloper, made a few cuts, added sleeves, and the dress was good to go. She has yet to try it on, but thanks to my sloper, I know it will fit.

DD wasn’t the only one to benefit from the alteration mania. I got these footie jammies last year and started to cut them up.

Life got in the way and they got dumped in the “to be fixed” drawer, where they were promptly forgotten until this week. I added a waistband to the pants and a band to the shirt for added length and VOILA . . .. new jammies!

I have to say, after several weeks of not actually producing anything usable, it was nice to churn out a few revised garments in one afternoon.

But now, it’s back to the salt mines!


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