Welcome to Gramma's Quilting Room.

Friday, June 30, 2006

The Perfect Weekend

What a wonderful weekend I had with my dear friends. After a great breakfast on Thursday morning, Sonya and I left home for our road trip to Netty's. I don't think there was one moment of silence in the car the whole way to Goldendale. We had a lot to talk about! In fact there wasn't much silence all weekend.

After arriving, hugs, welcomes and a tour of Netty's, we set up our machines and went to work. It felt great to be able to sew and chat and not have anything else to take care of.

Netty and her husband Bob,own a fabric and craft store and she does long arm quilting, they also do machine embroidery and silk screening and a few other things. They are always busy. I get so inspired just being there. I have a mental list 10 miles long of things I want to do.

I worked on pants fit attempt #5. Netty helped me tweek my pattern just a bit more and I made 2 awesome pair of pants--sorry, no pictures yet. I think I need just a bit more tweeking but I am very happy with the way they turned out. I also made 2 camp shirts (they both still need buttonholes and buttons) and almost finished a t shirt. I didn't get done all I wanted to but I think 5 new pieces is a pretty good weekend. My plan is to finish everything over this next long weekend. Hmmmm, 2 4-day weekends in a row. A girl could get used to that.

I tried uploading a scenic picture I took on the way home but blogger is being blogger. No time to try again, I have to get to work!

Until next time, drink lots of water and use sun screen!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

My Bags Are Packed,

I'm ready to go. I won't be leaving on a jet plane, but in a Honda Accord headed east, taking the scenic route.

I'm off for 4 days with my friend Sonya. We are going to Netty's for a weekend retreat. It's been 3 years since we've been there. How did that happen?

I plan to spend most of my sewing time working on clothes. I will come home with at least 2 pair of pants, 3 to 5 t-shirts and who knows what else. Netty has a really cool fabric store. Ohhhhh, the danger of that. The best part is, if I forgot anything or need anything, it will be right there close.

So, be good, be safe, have fun.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Pants Pattern Draft Attempt 2--The Light Came On

I hope in my last post it didn't sound like I was unhappy with Margaret's drafting instructions. It wasn't the instructions at all, it was the person that was drafting the pattern. That would be me.

When step one says to draw a line the length of the side measurement, that is what it means. Not the center back measurement, the SIDE measurement. No wonder my sideseams went up to my bra line! No wonder my back waist cutting line was straight. My body isn't shaped that way, because of my big ole butt, I have to have a much higher center back than a side. Duh! The light is on. I am home.

Back to the pants pattern draft and hopefully some time soon, some pictures of an awesomely, perfect fitting pair of pants.


How Many Attempts Does It Take To Get It Right

When I started this blog, I had such great intentions. I was going to update about once a week. As you can see, it's been over 2 months. I will attempt to make it right again. I have been sewing, I have not been quilting. I have been having fun and I have been having some frustrations.

You see, I went shopping one day. I was going to get a new serger. My old one was just a piece of junk. I go into the Viking store inside of Joann's, I know what I want for a serger. I buy it. I also buy a Designer 1! They were right there, I've wanted one forever and THEY WERE ON SALE! So I bought one. In my spare time, I have been playing.

Right there is the problem. Any spare time I find when I am not not playing with my newest toys, I am filling the spare time with my latest obsession. I want to draft a pants pattern that fits my strange shaped body. I buy a pattern, I take my measurements (big mistake, have someone else take your measurements--they really are only numbers!), I measure the pattern, make adjustments, cut out a muslin, sew it up, try it on, cry.

Ok, I see I need more adjustments. Make those, cut out another, sew up another, try on another, cry some more-not as much, this one is a bit better.

Before thinking about Attempt #3, I start surfing the web for some fitting hints for plus size women. I stumble on to Debbie's Sewing Projects and see she has a link to projects and tips. What the heck, I click it. Oh my gosh, there is one of my problems, the wrinkles right under the butt cheek. She has the solution, right there in front of me on the computer screen. I print out the Fisheye Dart Pants Alteration pages and now I am ready for Attempt #3. I am sooo excited, I can't stand it. Of course I had to look at all of her other fabulous pages and do more research (that's called surfing, I believe) so Attempt # 3 was put off for a few days.

During my surfing time, I also run across Margaret Islander's site. I have heard about her pants pattern drafting before and have seen great results, so I clicked on the link for the videos, see there is a Pants, Etc DVD and Book. The first line in the description is? "Are you tired of trying to alter ready-made patterns to achieve a perfect pant fit?" Well, you know what I did, I jumped up screaming, "YOUR DARN RIGHT I AM!", as I'm running for my credit card.

While I am not so patiently waiting for the arrival of my book and video, I work on Attempt #3. Adjusting out the fisheye problem and make another muslin. (These really aren't out of muslin--I don't have any muslin that isn't earmarked for quilting projects but I have lots and lots of old fabric that I don't know what else to do with!) Woohoo! The butt cheek wrinkles are gone. Oh lordy, why did I add so much to the back seam. Crap, another problem. I'm disgusted, discouraged and done.

Then the book and video arrive, I watch the video, have Crystal take my measurements, fill in the chart and put it away. Finally yesterday, I have enough time to draft the pattern. It was kind of fun. I should have drafted a pattern for someone with a more normal size body than myself but I didn't. I made the pattern, cut out and sewed the muslin, tried it on and sat down and bawled. This was going to be my perfect solution and it wasn't. The waist fits perfect. The back is perfect, the front is perfect. The side seam goes clear up to my bra, the pant legs can fit another person in them. I know that sewing for plus sized women is a challenge. I know that I will do Attempt #4. I know where I need to work on this pattern and I know I am going to have Crystal remeasure me today. I will make another draft. I am going to do her measurements and make a draft, pattern and muslin for her just to prove to myself that Margaret's system works--I know it does, I have seen other's projects. Now I want to see mine.

So now that I am over my disgusted, discouraged and done mood, I am going to make Attempt #5. It might take me several more attempts but I am going to get myself the perfect pair of pants. I will do it. I know I can. After all, I am Women, Hear Me Roar!!!

Until next time,

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.