I’ve Got More Patience Than a Hospital

I haven’t written anything for a while. That’s because I’ve been toiling away at finally getting that dress shirt fit right so I can start mass producing for summer. Well, there’d be variations on each one cause I have more creativity than I know what to do with, never mind duplicating anything!

What I was after was a dress shirt fit where the shoulders wouldn’t crinkle when you generally wore it. It would if I were to cross your arms in front, but probably not even if I had my arms folded or crossed, as people often do. The sleeve also had to be fitted, but still loose enough for me to do kung fu. Not that I kung fu, but that’s half my test for fit aside from looking like it fits. I don’t know if what I was looking for was possible, but I played naïve and believed it was and went to it.

And believed I did, because had I not, I’d be making dress shirts that just covered me. They’d be just like the ones I currently have, bought and altered once upon a time from my seamstress who retired several years ago, and I didn’t get into sewing to make myself Wal-Mart clothes for more costs and time.

So how does one measure belief? In this case, it was the 15 fit garments I went through, altering all kinds of things but mostly shoulder lie, width and especially arm hole and matching cap sleeves. That’s right, 15. Look in the picture below. There are even a few after that with further tweaking, but I also made them to learn other things for future designs.

My 15 dress shirt fit prototypes
My 15 dress shirt fit prototypes

Notice the variety of fabrics there, from what you can tell. I got everything from hard to soft stretch and shiny and fraying and light and heavy weights and so on. I learned a LOT through this process, from both fitting to sewing to ripping apart my prototypes. Yeah, I was still seam ripping them even though they were basted in. Silly me!

I have my first dress shirt now. It’s not bad and I’ll post it later. I’ll just enjoy looking back at this with pride for now as a reminder of my patience and determination.

Now I just need to find a person who makes crafts or something who can use these relatively small pieces of fabric, but reasonably nice and varied.

Has Your Seam Ripper Ever Filed for Workers’ Comp?

I had a new level of a frustrating sewing day on Saturday. This is what happens when you try to do your own pattern, to fit, without a lot of experience. Then you sew it in strongly with strong threads, multiple seams, zig zags on one, only to not be completely satisfied cause you have too much pride to put up with a little imperfection for eternity. Then you mess up after you fix it and went to serge it in place. Then you compensate from what was left after you had serged the bloody thing in. Then you have to adjust your compensation cause that was a new pattern piece. And so on and on.

I don’t need to dump on anybody with more details. I just thought I’d share some humour I used to diffuse the situation. I was looking at my seam ripper and all the work it had done Saturday and thinking that if it were a person, for how much I had worked it that day, it’d probably be crippled. In other words, it’d be filing for Workers’ Comp!

And on that thought, I named my latest standard for sewing frustration – seam ripper filing for workers’ comp kind of a day.

Now, I have a nasty habit of bouncing back by doing something little and useful immediately, to make up for frustrations like that. A little concrete result to bring back the confidence. A little step back in the right direction, being a firm believer that the hardest step in any journey is the first (because it’s the psychological barrier to get going). So despite calling it a “day” at about 130 AM, I went to a different, rather simple, project and made a little something. I measured the cut offs for short running tights from a pattern for a body suit I just made a few days ago from Wild Ginger software. Some adjustments by me resulted in a body suit that fitted rather nicely, and held up for a very entertaining 7.5 mile run with all the gawkers, too! It should be easy to identify points for cut off from that pattern, that I’d like at the waist, and above the knee, to get a running tights pattern. The long running tights I’d just go from the waist down to the bottom, of course, so no need to waste time on that (no pun intended).

Sure enough, I got the cut offs right with double seam allowance to finish the edges holding in optional elastic bands. And I did it all in 50 minutes, too! I made the short tights out of ridiculously cheap knit with cows in the pasture that I got for $1/m from Fabricville in Cole Harbour. I didn’t care to line anything up, just needing to know I got things right. It looks rather ridiculous, see below. However, it was not functional cause this cheap knit doesn’t bounce back well after getting stretched. That was probably why it was dirt cheap, but I have my prototype fabric stash for purposes just like this, all dirt cheap.

Cow Pasture Running Tights Test
Running Tights Test Garment on Cow Pasture knit

It is a bit too bad that I couldn’t make this fabric work as running tights so as to have something so ridonkulous to run around in. However, if you only knew what else I have in my stash, you’d know why I’m not the least bit miffed, hehehe. I’ll post pics as I make other running gear out of my wilder spandex, and will try to keep pics of me in them minimal. They’d just look like of lame if you can’t see how well they fit.

Anyway, after all that, I got some early breakfast and went to blog about it. Going to bed now at 3AM, I’ll sleep well knowing it wasn’t such a bad day after all… 🙂

And maybe I’ll just make a new pair of wild looking running tights before going for a run tomorrow. Game on!