Subversive Sewer

{July 17, 2011}   Fitting shell, revisited








Once in a while I get motivated to try and figure out my fit issues. I got out my fitting shell I made last year, hoping that it might no longer be a mystery to me.

Here is the front.  I had to let out the shoulder seam by the neck because it was choking me. I seem to be kinda fleshy there. I think that’s related to the shoulder slope issue. I also can’t close this thing. I made the D cup bodice. I got a bra fitting at jc penney, and they said I’m a 34c. I was wearing that size and spilling out of it, so I’ve been wearing a 34d instead. However, one side still spills out unless I’m wearing my strapless bra. I’m at a loss.

I also had to let out the darts on the bottom couple inches. It should be apparent that I have a belly. I’m too lazy for cardio.  I’m wondering if I have a swayback as well.

I’m also suspecting narrow shoulders (tops and bra straps slip off pretty often) and large biceps. These 2 issues alone have rendered me unable to wear any jacket I’ve ever made.

So, I’ve got fast fit and fit for real people. I’ll be reading both for the umpteenth time, documenting my progress here in the hopes that it might be helpful to somebody. Any feedback would also be very welcome.


I made a whole bunch of clothes this month prior to my vacation to Wisconsin. However, between being camera shy and not being able to figure out the pc version of WordPress (bf updated my laptop and wiped everything out), it’s slow going. I’ve got 3 dresses and a top to post, plus a dress for my daughter. I’m sure there’s more that I’m forgetting. I’m posting on the WordPress android app, but I can’t figure out how to post more than one picture with it. Plus the pics I do have aren’t on my phone.

About 2 years ago, I entertained the idea of selling either hard to find sewing notions or international pattern magazines. The magazine idea was a logistical impossibility and a huge cash investment, and I couldn’t decide what notions to sell.  I also didn’t know where to find a wholesaler to buy them from. However, I really want to do this, and now I’m also considering selling swimwear and lingerie supplies. I would offer fast, reasonably priced shipping, which would give me an edge. And my boyfriend can do the website, so my overhead would be very low.



I really need help. I’m making vogue 8706 and piece #2 is giving me a problem. First of all, I think the piece is off grain because it won’t fold in half. At all. Second, if you look at the picture, I put a pin by the instructions that I’m on. As you can see, the piece #2 that I cut doesn’t reach to the right side edge. I cut this straight from the envelope with no alterations. I don’t know what to do! Really hoping one of you can help me.

{May 29, 2011}  

See this?

This is Vogue 1154. I’m actually going to attempt to make this for a wedding in July.  I have the silk shantung, lining, and steel boning to make it.  It has a foundation, which I’ve never done before.  On the upside, it’s a strapless dress so I don’t have to deal with my problematic shoulders.  On the downside, I still have to deal with an FBA.

Did I mention there are 63 steps on the instruction sheet????

{April 26, 2011}   Mccalls 6271


After hours of hard work, I finished the girls’ coordinating Easter dresses!

The pattern is mccalls 6271. I’m writing this on my phone, and I don’t know how to put photos anywhere but at the end. Sorry about that….

The pattern was time consuming but easy to assemble. Lots of gathering involved. I can’t find the receipt, but I believe each dress cost about $12. I bought 3 1/2 yards of each fabric and used each fabric in a different spot on each girl’s dress. And of course, each was made according to the girls’ measurements. The younger two wear a 2 but a larger size lengthwise. If you make this dress, you really need to have the child try on the dress so the back elastic can be adjusted to fit her, otherwise that neck tie is holding the whole dress up.  I should also mention that I made the length in between the 2 views to make it the desired knee length. I ended up shortening the youngest girl’s, which you have to do before attaching the bubble skirt to the self fabric lining. I shortened each the same 2 inches.

The girls loved their dresses, and we got lots of compliments on them.

{April 21, 2011}   Mccalls 6284



This was to be my Easter top, but I learned the hard way that this pattern is not for women with big books. Or women who lie about their waist measurement. 

Other than that, I do like the pattern.

{April 17, 2011}   Not sure about blogging.

My posts have become so infrequent over the past year that the few readers I did have have probably moved on. Blogging about everything I sew has felt like a chore most of the time, and I don’t have any tutorials or impeccable construction photos to show you, so what point is there to post? This is the question I need to answer.

I did make some super cute coordinating dresses for my girls.  I will most likely post those after Easter when they make their debut.

Beyond that, I’m not sure. I have been sewing a lot more as of late, but I make mostly quick stuff that doesn’t warrant much commentary, and I have no intent to fish for compliments via an online brag book masked as a sewing blog.

If I do feel compelled to continue, I’ll likely focus on saving money on sewing projects, general commentary on sewing stuff, and life as part of a new blended family. 

We’ll see.

{March 20, 2011}   McCalls 5050


Not much to say about a basic peasant blouse… I will say that this pattern runs way big and it you make this you should go down a size.

{March 20, 2011}   Simplicity 2451


Here’s another skirt…. this one is interesting because I bought this 1 yard remnant 6 years ago. I’ve been waiting for a pattern I liked that only required 1 yard.

Somehow I managed to match up the stripes on the pockets. Totally not planned.

Total cost:  $9

{March 20, 2011}   New Look 6918





Here’s a skirt I cut out months ago. I put off making it for so long because I pretty much only sew knits now because they’re so much easier to fit. Well, I have way too many projects cut out and unsewn, so I just decided it was going to get sewn.

The fabric was some stashed suiting from Joanns.  I’ve moved 3 times since cutting this out, so I lost one of the facing pieces. You can see that I replaced it with hot pink satin, ha!

{March 20, 2011}   Butterick 5522


Well, I don’t have much to say about this dress other than its great and I love it.

This is Sophia double knit in dark real from
















{February 11, 2011}   Aprons for the kids




Well,  let me get the obvious subject out of the way…  life is much better now.  My boyfriend and i worked out our differences and things are wonderful.  My housing situation is due to improve soon thanks to a more experienced agent, and I’m just happy again in general. I’ve really appreciated your nice comments in my absence.

I havent sewn much lately due to the fact that ive moved 3 times since the house flood in october.   So,  heres what i just finished last nite.

I’m writing this on my phone so you’ll have to excuse the crappy formatting.

Anyway, this pattern is mccalls 6049, if I remember correctly. Sofia had fun picking out all the fabrics and trims. The other 2 are for my bf’s girls, who are close to Sofia’s age. They really liked them!

{November 8, 2010}   McCall’s 6245

Well, hopefully this post marks the return of regular sewing and blogging for me.  I’m mostly recovered from October, which will go down in history as my personal hell.  Some of you may find it interesting that I became a Christian, which I had been thinking about for about a year.  I’m glad I did it.

Anyway, here is a knit shrug I made from the new McCall’s 6245, which is part of a fabulous collection of new patterns!

Here’s the envelope pic.  I made view C:

This is a 1-hour project that you can do completely on a serger.  I’m not wild about it, but I’ll keep wearing it.

{November 1, 2010}   Happy halloween!


Here’s Sofia’s Halloween costume!  I had quite a few, uh, distractions that delayed this project’s completion until the night before she needed it.  But I got it done!

The pattern is Simplicity 2329:

The cape was impossible to figure out so I threw it out.  I also couldn’t make sense of the cobra on the headband so that went too.  I should also note that if that little flap hanging from the waistband is the only thing preventing a wardrobe malfunction!  I didn’t notice until we were out trick or treating, so she had to walk REAL slowly to keep it from flying up!

et cetera