Sunday, 16 April 2017

Swedish Tracing Paper

Good morning my lovelies and Happy Easter.  It's a long weekend and so I thought I'd do some sewing (and yes it is a distraction technique to avoid the chocolate that is really shouting my name!).  I have a list and a plan (more of that on another day) to tackle, I mean use,  my stash and thought I'd make a start; actually I'm picking up a dress I toiled probably a year ago and bought the fabric probably a year before that!  Hey ho, what can I say other than "Life!"

Anyway, I digress.  Today, I thought I'd talk to you about Swedish Tracing Paper.  I was browsing through my instagram one day and "creative_ind_ "appeared on my feed with swedish tracing paper. I don't know about you but I trace off all my patterns and keep the originals in tact.  My weight has fluctuated over the years and I don't want to be stuck with one size of pattern I love and want to use again.  Also, I use Burda Magazine patterns, when I can face tracing off their trainwreck of a pattern!  I nearly always toile a pattern but I tend to skip pin fitting on the paper pattern as I find it just does not really work (but don't ANY of you tell my old tutor!), It's not an ideal process as it invariably means more than one toile and I am running out of toile fabric (note to self to find some cheap alternative fabric!).  Enter Swedish Tracing Paper!

 For those of you that don't know, swedish tracing paper is used as pattern paper.  It looks rather like a lightweight interfacing but it is far crisper, but not paper crisp.  It is see-through, making tracing a cinch; you can pin it and even sew it and because it is kind of fabric like, you can easily pin fit as it contours properly to your body.   It doesn't tear easily (although I managed to rip it having discarded in disgust an ill-fitting toile with a zip which I later yanked it out of pile with said zip caught on something else!)  so it is fairly robust and will put up with a toile fitting or two.  And you can use it as your pattern piece when you do (finally, in my case!) get round to making up your item of clothing.  The only downside and this really is so minor, I feel churlish mentioning it, is that felt-tip type pens (I use fineliners for my pattern marking and toile adjustments) will bleed if you keep the tip on it for more than a millisecond, which is fine if you are marking dots and notches, but not great if you hesitate on tracing out lines, but like I say, it is such a minor thing, it feels wrong to mention it.

A sneaky peak at my current project on the swedish tracing paper, and this is the reverse side

So in summary, so far I'm liking the swedish tracing paper.  Head over to Creative Industry if you fancy trying this out.  Clare also sells a great journal if you want to keep a track of what you are sewing.

Whatever you are doing today, enjoy and if you do use the swedish tracing paper, let me know; I do like to compare notes!

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Vintage style Simplicity 8050

Well, I don't know if you know, but I do a little acting. Yes, I'm a luvvie but I don't really tell many people.......well until now!  I belong to a small local am-dram group.  I kind of fell into it.  I thought I was going to help with costumes one day but ended up standing in on a read through and was offered the part.  The rest, as they say, is history.

The last play we did was "The Actress" by Peter Quilter.  It's about the last show night of a retiring colourful complicated actress and I got the part of her dresser.  The play was set in the 1940s (love the 1940s).  My character was unglamorous, no-nonsense and  working.  I figured I needed a uniform, a no-nonsense dress.  A visit to our local fabric shop with Miss Frillymingoe found Simplicity 8050.  I bought a bottle green polyester fabric for it.  Yes, yes, I know that polyester isn't the right fabric for the era, but, the last week of  the play is full on - everyday from Sunday (2 rehearsals) through to the Saturday, which is last night.  I needed something that could be washed and dried easily, and as non-iron as possible - ergo a "lovely" polyester.

If I were making it for me to wear everyday, I would have done a whole host of fitting changes - FBAs, waist adjustments etc etc, but being I was so short on time, I just made it to my bust size and hoped for the best.

It has an interesting side front seam and by interesting, I mean a little tricky.  The curved seam of the skirt is an opposite curve to the bodice when sewing together and, according to the instructions, requires pivoting the needle on a set point before continuing the seam.  Three attempts later, I abandoned those instructions, sewed to the point, cut off the threads, re pinned the next part and then started the seam again.  But other than that, it sewed together really well.  I was going to leave it plain but on stage it was too dark and plain, so I sewed some white bias binding over the seams and around the collar, and actually, it really lifted it.

All-in-all, it turned out not too bad.  It was a tad big in places, but not so big it looked ridiculous.  I got seamed tights and authentic styled shoes, did my hair and make-up authentically and you know what?  I crushed it, to coin a phrase.  I had quite few of the older ladies say how their mother had worn a similar dress or their hair the same way.  I have to admit that a glance in the mirror saw my grandmother looking back at me!