Monday, January 6, 2014

Pulling the Trigger

I had an unanticipated burst of doing-ness this weekend, so I used it on the color blocked muslin - hooray for me! - and watching Star Trek.

As I've mentioned, I am highly nervous about cutting fabric. My selected size never seems to work out - I can use high bust instead, or try to go by the finished ease, or just cut down a size or just never works and I invariably have to go back in and fix. And I really, really hate that, guys. Hate it so much. So, with the wonderful addition of Genevieve to my life (yes, she has a name now), I decided that I would be super meticulous and thoughtful and responsible and I would do a tissue fitting on the spectacularly patient Gennie.

An additional note - this pattern (Simplicity 1586) is one of their Amazing Fit products, which means that in addition to the normal sizing anxiety, I have to choose a cup size and then slim, average, or curvy fits. SO MANY PANELS. I ended up going by the recommended cup size panel (which, for the record, was definitely not the cup size I wear. A thought to keep in mind in your cutting) and cutting out the average fit. In hindsight, as I've become rather pear shaped with the secretary-spread and all, the curvy fit might have actually been the better choice around the hips.

Note to self - avoid picture-taking situations with real self from this angle.
It was so wonderful to be able to do this - it took forEVER and I definitely thought some unkind words while working on it, but so great. I pinned it straight through on the size that corresponded with my bust measurement where the center and sides met, then tried pinning them on the side seam. Yeah...did not happen. So I opened things up to the next size up (mainly to get the sleeve position right - it was cutting too close on the back) and then started from the largest size on the hemline and worked my way up, where I got to draw a new line with my fancy drafting ruler.

Next step in responsibility chain was ironing the pieces, which I did like a champ. I think I was two episodes in at this point, but, as I said, I was trying to be slow and careful and conscientious. While watching classic tv.

I laid out my beautiful blue first for the center panel - what a waste of fabric. The pattern piece was less than 10" wide at the shoulder, but of course had to be cut long ways. I moved it from the center fold to use as little as possible, and so have a piece approximately 1.5 yds by 45"...maybe a shirt? I don't really know how else to use the ponte, but I'm sure I'll figure something out...or else make four more of this exact dress?

Fun fact: I remember Mom laying out fabric on this cutting board on our dining room table when we lived in Holland, so it's at least 20 years old. Probably older. Despite the fact that it's just cardboard, it's held up quite well. And survived my kneeling and crawling all over it this weekend. Kudos, board.

Okay, so those pinking shears in the picture: they're my fancy beautiful new Ginghers that  I hadn't gotten to use until just now. And they kill my hand. Cutting out the double layers, anyway - they were fine on the single cuts, but man - for such heavy duty scissors, they take some serious pressure to double cut. Lesson learned. 

Oh, and another lesson learned! I invariably (by which I actually mean alwaysalwaysALWAYS) forget to face down whatever pattern pieces need to be cut out in reverse. Never fails. So this time, I peered at the layout options for an inordinate length of time and decided that definitely, yes, panel #2 needed to be face down. Which I then checked. And checked a third time. And then did this:

Sharpies to the rescue, as ever.

So the next time I make this - hopefully in a few weeks to do the grey version for the February show - I won't have to think about it. Can just slap it all down and cut. Hooray for no thinking required!