Wednesday, June 29, 2016

June 2016 Sarah Veblen 3-day Choose Your Own Focus Workshop

This was my second second 3-day Choose Your Own Focus Workshop this year! (You can read about the first one I attended back in February here). We are very lucky that Sarah Veblen is coming on a semi-regular basis to teach in Chicago! You can see Sarah's full schedule on her website under the Teaching Tab.
Everyone hard at work!

Sarah demonstrating walking a sleeve pattern.

This workshop was full with 6 participants. 2 from downtown Chicago, Myself, from the Chicago suburbs, 1 from Milwaukee, 1 from Ohio and 1 all the way from Alaska! It was so great to meet new people and make new friends with others that share this sewing passion!

This workshop I concentrated on skirts, a new dress and in-seam pants pockets. I also brought 2 shirt projects that are in progress to work on in-between time with Sarah.

New Dress; This dress is inspired by Vogue 1404 by Ralph Rucci
I did actually start with the pattern as a base to try it out. I made it up in a muslin for when I had some time with Sarah back in May. The dress has been completely re-designed. Some of this was for fitting purposes and some was purely for design purposes.After that meeting I left with a crazy looking muslin with sharpie marker lines drawn all over for design changes and pins everywhere and extra pieces of muslin stuck on. This was a super challenge for me on the patterning side of things.There are 6 inset corners in the dress front plus the neckline corners. For this workshop, I made all the pattern changes (some were creating completely new pattern pieces and some were changing existing pattern pieces) and constructed a new muslin. I will do a full blog post once I complete the dress.
In this workshop, Sarah helped me to tweak the armhole, upper side front piece, neckline, drape a cap sleeve and determine a good finished length. I was able to make all of these changes, mock up the changes and create a final full pattern with facings for my new dress. We also discussed different fabric types and changing it from a summer to a winter dress with 3/4 or long sleeves. 
Mirror selfie to help me determine the neckline. I find if i can look in the mirror and then refer back to the picture a couple of times it helps me to determine if its something I really like.

New Dress! The final garment will be 4 about 4 inches longer with a band at the bottom!

2 options of cap sleeves. left is on the straight of grain, right is one the bias grain. The bias grain sleeve is much nicer to my eyes!

Skirts, skirts, skirts! I left the workshop with a completed skirt and patterns for 3 skirt types. Straight skirt, A-Line 4 panel skirt and a princess line pegged pencil skirt.
Prior to the workshop I self drafted a straight skirt and used my Master pants pattern as a guideline for the waist, darts and a jumping off point for the hips. The darts weren't quite right and had to be re-draped on my body to make them fit the best. Overall, it was a successful start to a straight skirt design. YIPEE!

From this straight skirt, I designed an A-line with a slight flare at the bottom and a pegged princess line pencil skirt. We even took the time to make sure that the princess seams line up with the princess seams on my master jacket pattern. 
Me in the completed jacket and freshly designed and constructed A-line skirt!

With the A-line pattern in hand I constructed a new skirt. I really wanted a new skirt to go with The jacket that I designed and constructed for Princess Victoria's baptism. I just happened to have 3 yards of this lovely cotton print in my fabric collection. I also used several coordinating prints for the facings and undercollar on the jacket. Sarah gave me some pointers while I was finishing my center back seam after putting on the invisible zipper. Sometimes I get a little bump or pimple area just below the invisible zipper in that slightly tricky area where you sew the seam to match the zipper insertion. Following her steps the seam came out spot on and perfect the first time! 

My last project for the workshop was the tailored in-seam pocket. I really like the tailored look of a nice inseam pocket and wanted to play with the possibility of incorporating it into my pants. I used David Page Coffin's book Making Trousers for Men and Women. I found the directions for the inseam pocket a little challenging to follow. I had to read and re-read the instructions a good 5 or 6 times before I could figure it out and once or twice I just tried what I though he was saying and hoped it would become clear as I was sewing it! I made a bunch of clarifying notes in my book so that if/when I go back to try it again it will make better sense to me... hopefully. In the end the pocket was a failure. The construction came out just fine but the style of pocket and where it hits on my hip just gave us all a good chuckle!! It is a possibility to be used on an A-line skirt. However, there are easier ways to make an inseam pocket that are less tailored that would suit my purposes. I found this to be a very interesting exercise!
Photos of the tailored inseam pocket and why it will not work on my body! Too much of a hip curve for the pocket to lay nicely.
To complete this exercise I cut out pieces in muslin and scraps that I could play with and not worry about messing up my good pants fabric.I can now check tailored in-seam pockets of my list of pocket choices for pants and move on to trying other styles like slash and welt pockets.

As a group, we also learned about drafting parallel darts. This was fascinating to me for 2 reasons. One due to my shape of very forward breasts, I have a large dart intake and in some fabrics this produces that point and not the very smooth curve in the fabric that I desire. The second reason is that I really love the design aspects that come into play!

Another workshop participant was working on a darted shirt pattern and she also had a very large dart intake. Sarah used this opportunity to show any who wanted to learn the process of taking that single dart and turning it into 2 parallel darts. 
Drafting parallel darts via Sarah Veblen method!
The basic process was actually quite logical once shown. A line is drawn down either side of the outside dart legs anywhere from 1/4 to 1.2 inch depending on how far apart you want the darts to be. Remove the dart intake, then cut down these lines and over to but not through the dart end. Slide the 2 lines together and the remaining openings are the your new darts intakes split into 2! From here you can decide if you want the dart intakes to be even, or have one larger/longer/shorter than the other. so very cool!!

This was a VERY Successful workshop for me! 

I have signed up for the 4 month Mentorship program with Sarah Veblen starting in July and am very excited to see how much I learn and grow!

Happy Sewing!
At the church with Princess Victoria prior to her baptism!

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