Thursday, October 1, 2015

"Miss Petite, under 5'4" without shoes"

I'm trying to figure out what I should/would like to be wearing as I wander between sizes.

I don't care for leggings, I think the lagenlook is aping little girls (skirts over pants?), but what the hell, it looks comfortable and camouflage-y. A tunic, a statement necklace (that doesn't make noise when I move), some leggings, Birkenstocks with socks...

I live in a family of thin men, and they shop vintage in person and Uniqlo online for skinny stuff.

God bless 'em for putting real measurements of clothes up on the web, but according to this

Uniqlo size chart - they do a separate chart for each clothing item

my 43" backside is too big for XXL.

Now I know my brands: I wear a ladies XL in t shirts from American Apparel, a L from District, and so forth.

But I was wondering how these numbers stacked up in sewing pattern numbers.

There is, generally, way more ease in sewing patterns today.

Had to dig down past searching the website for "size chart". Who writes this site's code anyway? The Microsoft /Apple help desk teams?* Make this site searchable, dangit.

Roll credits

It's there. Needed a better data shovel. My top is a 14, my bottom is a 20. Usually I only span adjacent sizes.

We've yapped about sizes, sizism, and marketing a lot on the sewingnets, and as much as I dislike a vast conspiracy (no one is that organized), there is a great desire for standardization across the shopping globe. Americans are bigger than Europeans (check the Ted Baker US/UK size ranges - my spouse is a "1", which does not exist in the American range) and certainly bigger than the Japanese size range. So the Uniqlo range makes sense.
Unlike the American Apparel range.

I am trying to compare apples to apples here. Note there is no hip measurement on this chart. It's the same on the jeans chart. It's a case if "if you have to ask, it's not for you".

I had a friend who sewed for AA, and she joked that none of the sewists could possibly fit into the clothes they sewed (being average lady people).

I had an email exchange with an OLD and VENERABLE workwear company about posting the measurements for their ladies jeans, and their response was: Why? We use a standard size.

Whose standard?

Now THAT's a curvy chart! I'm actually within the 0 size range, waist AND hip! Let's go shopping!
(ed: I did. Those are the leggings. In the jeans, I'm still too big in the waist. SAD)

from the very very fine NewVintageLady website. Go read this article!

Styles change, so do sizes. It's worth reading about. Hey, you're already on the 'net!

*It's now official: in the inhouse Windows/Apple style wars, I hate them both.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Birthday shirt in a day

Almost one year exactly, just after the raging success of his plaid shirt and vest, I took my son to District Fabric to pick out material for his next shirt.

photo from

He picked a rayon knit.
This one.

I'M BLIND!!!!!!!!!!!

As it was his 16th birthday today, it seemed time to make good on the promise.

A promise that needed a knit stitch that worked.

Now I really don't have any one brand of sewing machine that I love or hate anymore than another. My Bernina bugs me, but it is paid for, and I have a billion dollars tied up in those presser feet. And I thought about that when I bought the walking foot for it (on Ebay) last spring.

I did borrow a Brother when the Bernina was in the shop, and I disliked it immediately
for the lightning stretch stitch.
photo from

I could not borrow one, so I bought a rebuilt one on the sale rack. This one has one hundred stitches (if you include the buttonholes), about 98 of which I will never use except to make a blog post. Still debating taking it back this week. It is a really nice stitch.
That was yesterday.
So now I need a pattern that fits him. 

The male members of the family do not share my fitting issues: they all need stuff that is small and they like it more fitted than most menswear patterns.

So I worked from clothing I knew the fit of already.

It's tracing and connecting the dots from here, onto tracing paper.

Truing up the lines

A little transfer paper and a wheel for the curves

Truing the side up  (matching the collar seam mark the marker is pointing to) and then folding in half

A front and back collar line

I cut one side out for the front, and the other for the back.

The sleeve head came from this shirt, the sleeve body from another knit shirt. Handy that I'm drafting at a table right next to the laundry, many models to choose from.

Preshrunk and ready (well, it would not lay out properly, so I had to cut the pieces on a single layout. We're skipping the sweary parts)(and the part where laying out the fabric made my eyes hurt)

first thing you see when you open the box

and just in case you missed it before.

If you love your Brother sewing machine, don't read the next paragraph.

There's no speedy work on this machine, and the needles they provide make a horrid clunking sound going through fabric. The drop in bobbin does not like to be threaded in, and it is deeply picky about tension and how it's wound. The stitch 'cycle' sometimes will not clear the thread over the bobbin at the end. You can't adjust the bobbin tension. I guess I am a front loader bobbin person. And no, I don't like the on-machine threader. Or the needle always ending in the down position. But that stitch....
Dreamy # 03!

what is with the kids and the beanies these days?
A little like the end result. We are discussing making these 3/4 sleeved, and he wants more of these shirts.
He has promised not to make any sudden movements while wearing this.

Happy birthday, Blondini!