Figure Flattery IS Important

Vogue Patterns has a handy feature one their patterns called Figure Flattery. It’s a simple chart that lists if that pattern would look good on your figure.  I fall into the “triangle” body shape (also known as “pear”).

Can you guess which figure is missing from this list?

Can you guess which figure is missing from this list?

I noticed that before I bought the pattern, but figured, “It will be alright! I should be able to fit into it just fine!”

PFFT!

Lesson learned: my body type is not listed for a very good reason. No pics yet, because I’m not quite finished, but I had an opportunity to try it on last night and discovered that true to the word of Figure Flattery, my upper body kind of got lost in all the fabric of the bodice. And here I was, worried about how the fabric would look against my skin tone all this time. Ha!

The only work I have left is to insert the zipper and hem the skirt, and after that, I’ll be posting the measurements of the completed project so it will be up-for-grabs for some of my “bustier” girl friends.

Aside from the disappointment of it not looking amazing on me, I’m happy with the way it’s turning out. It’s cute, and now I know I can wear yellow, even something this YELLOW.

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Adventures with Underlining

I’ve lined garments before. It’s easy and gives the garment a professional touch. Not to mention that it covers up potentially scratchy raw edges from seams. But underlining… is different. Sure, you’re still cutting out the same pattern pieces from two different fabrics, but instead of sewing the layers separately and then sewing them together once each separate garment is completed, you treat both layers as one. I found this nifty article by Sandra Betzina on Threads for help in figuring out how this whole underlining thing worked.

Let’s look at why I’m underlining. I picked up this pretty shirtdress pattern a while ago, and found a beautiful peacock blue eyelet for it from MoodFabrics.com. Fortunately for me, I got the last 2 and three-quarters yards of fabric in stock, which was just enough to make the dress.

McCall's 4769, Style C

McCall's 4769, Style C

Eyelet, as pretty as it is, offers a challenge when creating garments: a well-placed eyelet hole can cause a wardrobe malfunction. Oops! This is where underlining comes in. By adding another layer of light-weight fabric, you can add a little modesty to the garment. I chose a neutral poplin called “peach sand”.

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Swatch Stash

I’m still educating myself on fabrics. It’s one thing to read the back of a pattern and see a list of patterns, but it’s another to go to the fabric store and actually buy one of the suggested fabrics that you like without knowing what they are. You could encounter five different fabrics made of cotton, but they could all have a different weight, different drape, and a different feel. Then you have to determine how it’s going behave with the pattern you want to use it for: will it hang nicely? Will it flow? Will it hold a pleat? Will it become charged with static electricity that it causes skirts to cling to your legs? :)

The best way I’ve found to educate myself is by collecting swatches, even from the scraps I’ve already used so I can remember NOT to use quilt weight Kona cotton for a shirt (too stiff for my taste). But buying swatches from online fabric stores also lets you get to experience a fabric before you commit to buying two-and-a-half yards for a garment, and then realizing it’s not what you were expecting.

So I’ve been collecting swatches, and finally realized that I need to organize them so I don’t have to dig through my stash of fabric each time I need to re-educate myself. Here’s what I did:

Swatch stash

Swatch stash

Most swatches are the size of a notecard, which makes it easy to staple it to a notecard. Online retailers will post a bunch of information about the fabrics they sell, so I wrote them on the notecards. Any information I can find about it, even suggested usages, suggested needles, washing instructions, et cetera.

My notecard holder is pretty stuffed right now, so I think I”ll have to go get another one soon!

(And I’m totally going to make a dress out of that blue eyelet in the picture)

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Official Word from Stoney Creek

I emailed Stoney Creek this morning regarding the error that I was seeing in The Ark. The official word from them is that it is correct as printed. Hrm. No, it really doesn’t seem correct at all, so I’ll go back to my plan of removing the half cross-stitches I did, and use that same color with the blending filament and do full cross-stitches.

Fortunately, I don’t have to take out as much as I did with the sky!

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A Tip on Personalization

When working on anything that will be personalized, double, TRIPLE check the spelling, the event date, the weight and length of the child (if the piece is a birth announcement). I have been burned once on this, and nearly burned a second time on the Beatrix Potter piece I’m working on for my nephew.

A couple years ago, I did a birth announcement for the first-born of friends of ours.  I was originally told their daughter’s name would be Anna. Since I was pretty diligent, and not very distracted by other things (as I am now), I got the cross-stitch completed in record time. Her name was personalized on it before she was even born. Of course, I had to wait until she was born in order to stitch her birthdate and weight on there, so it wasn’t completely finished. Despite being as diligent as I was, I did not know until I had finished that her parents had actually decided to go with “Annabelle” instead of just “Anna”. Too late, it was already at the framers.

On this piece, I was thankful that I had the wisdom to double (and triple) check the exact spelling, weight, and birthdate of my nephew. Originally, I had gone with my mother-in-law’s spelling of “Elliot” (since she was the one who sent out the only birth announcement via email). And even though his name was stitched onto the piece, when I looked at an email from my sister-in-law (my nephew’s mother), I noticed that his name was actually spelled with two Ts. So I un-stitched, recounted (to properly center), and stitched the correct spelling of his name on the piece. Whew! At least it wasn’t at the framers this time.

Similarly, when making a piece for a couple who is about to be married. I’ve often deliberated about using proper first names versus nicknames for friends (i.e. Thomas versus Tom). As much as I’d like to keep these works a surprise, I will often confirm with them if I’m not completely sure how they would want their names immortalized on the gift.

It seems like common sense, but sometimes, it’s just a good reminder to have just in case!

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