Saturday, October 11, 2014

Saturday Miscellany

Happy Saturday, sewing folk!

I am still working on my project with the Marcy Tilton fabric, so nothing to report there.

For some of you, this is a 3-day weekend. Not for me - Columbus Day (or Indigenous Peoples Day) is not a holiday in Silicon Valley, for the most part.

But I have noticed lots of sales for this weekend. For example, Craftsy is having a sale. I was bombarded with emails about it and also saw a notice on Facebook, if you "like" their page. Now, depending who you are, you will see different sales prices. For example, some folks see the bra-making class for $19.99, while others see it for $39.99 (regular price is $49.99). I am one of the folks who see the bra class for $39, which I find rather annoying. (You won't see the sales prices if you go directly to their website. You need to use the link through an email ad or the Facebook ad.)

I did buy one of their classes, however.

Maybe you'll remember when I was excited about the re-publication of Susy Furrer's book, Building Patterns. Suzy Furrer runs the San Francisco based school Apparel Arts, which opened during my sewing hiatus, when I was raising kids, and after I had already taken many classes at Cañada College and Sewing Workshop (back when Marcy Tilton owned it).

(Another note. Someone emailed me recently to ask what I thought of Suzy's book, after having used it. I admit that I have still not used it. I know it's a good book based on what many folks I greatly respect have told me, but I haven't yet needed to reference it.)

Anyway, Suzy is a pattern drafter and she now offers several classes through Craftsy. I was curious to see, so I bought her class called Pattern Drafting: Creative Darts and Seamlines. I have watched the first three-plus lessons and, I can tell you, it's good.

I took pattern drafting at Cañada College and, so far, I have not really learned anything new from Suzy's class (though there is more to come and boning up is never a bad thing), but if you don't live where you can take classes in person, I really recommend this route. If you are completely new to pattern drafting, start with her basic pattern drafting classes (she has one for the bodice and one for the skirt), and then progress to her classes on sleeves, necklines, darts, and collars.

(I will give one caveat to Suzy's Dart class. Her drafting advice is aimed at a standard figure. So, for example, when she talks about backing a dart off from the bust apex by no more than 1", that is advice for folks with a standard bust. For people like me, with a very large, very round bust, 1" is probably not enough. I often back my darts off by 2 or even 2-1/2 inches. The best thing to do is to draft the dart, and cut out the fabric, but then to drape the dart directly on your body. That will tell you, for sure, where the end of the dart should be. Just keep this in mind as you study pattern drafting anywhere, not just in this class. Drafting advice is always aimed at a standard shape, and you might need to amend it for your particular silhouette or figure vagaries.)

By the way, one of my IRL blogging friends is taking classes at Apparel Arts in San Francisco. Jean, of J. Kaori Sews, was already a published knitwear designer and is now mastering pattern making and sewing. Her work is impeccable (I have a feeling that everything she does is impeccable) and she is having a lot of fun designing and sewing gorgeous, classic pieces.

And speaking of pattern drafting...

I was scheduled to work in Seattle this week, but the trip was postponed and I toiled away in my regular routine. Yesterday I took the subway to the office in San Francisco and was absolutely delighted to see a woman wearing a beautiful red wool coat. (Our weather has changed dramatically from the heat of a week ago.) Because the subway was crowded, both she and I were standing and she had one arm up to hold the ceiling handle. (I wonder if there is a word for that thing that you can pull down to hang on while the subway is moving and, when you let go, it snaps back up so tall people won't get beaned.)

Anyway, the sleeve on her coat was fabulous. It was a two-piece sleeve, but one of those seams was curved. The coat was very nice—standard lapels and double breasted with gold buttons and multiple welt pockets of two different kinds—but was otherwise unconventional. I studied her coat until she got off in the financial district, even taking a couple discrete photos of the sleeve. At one point, a seat opened up directly in front of her that she didn't want, so I sat down and was able to study the front of the coat, as my face was inches away from her torso. Sweeeet. (I would have told her that I loved her coat, and maybe asked who was on the label, but she had earphones on and didn't give off an approachable vibe.)

Expect to see this sleeve as soon as I have the right fabric and pattern together, which might not be for awhile. Oh I wish I had more time.

Enjoy your weekend! I should be sewing right now, but wanted to report on the Craftsy class (after watching several lessons this morning) and I'm also "enjoying" the rare attentions from an otherwise cantankerous and aloof kitty. He's been fed and watered, so he really does seem to be in the mood for copious neck scratches.

P.S. Maybe you noticed that Kathryn Brenne left a comment on my last post, where I reviewed the recent collection of Vogue patterns. I knew (because Robin D had told me), that she had an article in the last issue of Vogue Patterns about the making of the bag pattern, but I didn't realize that it was her own design. I am so glad to see her designing patterns for Vogue! (Though I wish Vogue would put her name ON her patterns so we can follow her as a designer.)

I have never met Kathryn in person (though I would love to) but I feel like I know her a bit, and I love her style. Maybe you have followed her blog. She doesn't seem to post there anymore, which makes me sad, because Kathryn's Fine Sewing was a great blog. She is now writing articles for Vogue Patterns magazines, and excellent articles on sewing different fabrics for Emma One Sock, which are a gift to the entire sewing community.

ANOTHER Columbus Day sale: Britex is offering 30% off all fabrics on Monday. They do this every year in the brick and mortar store, but this is the first time that it also applies to their online store.

And speaking of Vogue patterns and weekend sales, BMV is having a sale this weekend. I put my order in yesterday, and have patterns from Marcy, Sandra and Kathryn winging their way to me. I think my first make will be the Marcy skirt. I already have a fabric in mind, but I do change my mind a lot, so we'll see...

P.P.S. Marcy Tilton is also having a Fall Sale!