Arctic Sky Update



First, let me refresh everyone’s memories on the Arctic Sky Fabric, which I had been calling Project 5.  It was based on a forecast I did for Handwoven Magazine for the January ’07 issue.  It is a twill variation, using whatever was on my shelf, novelties, Harrisville wools from the late 70’s?  I had some variegated cottons, and this very pretty bright lime green novelty rayon.

I originally set this warp up on my 8 shaft, 24″ floor loom, not because it needed to be, but when I have sticky wool warps, I find that by spreading them over eight shafts instead of four, I get less skipped sticky warp issues.

I have about 6 yards of 21″ wide fabric, not a huge amount, but enough I think for a short jacket, and I have a beautiful silk Sari from my husband’s gift stash in the perfect teal.    And I have this odd little sash/narrow scarf that I felted with a friend, in that fabulous lime green color.  I can see using the natural edge of the felt as a narrow accent down the princess seams, almost like piping.

muslinSo when last we left off, I was tracing the Burda pattern onto the tracing medium, and then of course, the next step is a muslin.  I know this doesn’t look like a muslin, but I use whatever junk is on my shelf, I have this huge hunk of decorator fabric which someone gave me, which in the picture is actually appealing, but trust me, it isn’t.  So instead of wasting perfectly good muslin, I made up the jacket in this.  The upper collar/facing was left out, you get the general idea without going to all that trouble, and I put the cuff on only one sleeve.  The sleeves are too long, I always have to shorten Burda sleeves, an easy fix, and the jacket itself, although cute, and well fitting, is way too short waisted.  By about 2 inches (see blue line in photo).  The buttons look compressed, and the torso looks squished.  The lime green edge of the felt piping would come down the princess seams, or, now that I look at the photo, maybe I could run it down the edge of the collar/front.  There will be a welt pocket in the side front, and a belt in the center back.

Once I make these changes, I’m good to start cutting.  But I wanted to give you an update on the pattern tracing medium issue.  I was waiting for a sample or bolt, which ever got to me first, from Pellon, showing me the version of Red Dot Tracer they picked up from HTCW.  Their Tru-Grid product, which was their original pattern tracing medium, is very soft like cloth, and though I like the grid, and the re-engineered product that is now stable in all directions, the pencil marks that I make that copy the pattern onto the medium tend to rub off on your hands, and slowly disappear.  Not good for long term patterns.  I really miss Red Dot Tracer, which was more paper like, though it was a polyester composite cloth, and it really held the color, and the marks.  You couldn’t get them off if you wanted to.

Well, today I got a bolt of the new Red Dot Tracer from Pellon, and oddly enough, and sadly enough, it is the same product as their Tru-Grid, except it has a 1″ grid of red dots instead of blue squares.  Bummer.  I’m not sure why they need both.  And I’m really sad that I can’t get the HTCW version of Red Dot.  All of my master patterns I use for teaching are made from Red Dot from HTCW, and they hold the color and the marks for years.  I don’t see that happening with Tru-Grid/Red Dot from Pellon.

In the total scheme of things, what with everything that’s happening in the world, this is really a minor thing.  It is just frustrating because the things I use for garment making seem to disappear since most of the sewing world is ruled by the quilters.  My complete admiration for the quilters of the world, for they have single-handedly kept the sewing industry alive, but us garment makers have to struggle to make do with what the manufacturers  provide.  There aren’t enough of us to have a voice.

We are going to the movies tonight, free at any Claridge Cinema on Tuesday nights with the Optimum Rewards Card.  That’s a perk from my cable company that also provides my phone and internet service.  Free movies once in awhile is a nice perk.

Actic Sky

Arctic Sky refers to the project, not the stratosphere in winter.  I decided it was time to refer to its proper name, instead of Project 5.  I have begun.

First, I spent most of the day, after all the housework was done, working through the Dreamweaver Manual.  I finally feel like I’m grasping the basics of CSS, like I might even be able to actually execute this web site I designed.  It is taking so long, the learning curve is huge.  What’s more confusing is the variety of browsers and devices for viewing that exist, and no two read a site the same way.  And older browsers may not even support CSS style sheets, which is the next generation of device for designing sites in an efficient way, so it makes sense to learn it, even if viewing technology hasn’t completely caught up with it.  Rather be on the cutting edge than trailing far behind…

My daughter had a volleyball tournament this afternoon, so I was all ready to knit away, for a couple hours, I’m only a few rows from the neck of the second side, but alas, we spent more than an hour sitting in horrid traffic, the utility work on the major roadways due to the damage from the high winds was causing all kinds of traffic snarls, and most of her team and her coach ended up an hour or more late, and they missed the first match.  Oh well, I just sat and knit…   The games they did play, once everyone was assembled, were actually pretty exciting, I actually stopped knitting for awhile…

So I finally got to work on the Arctic Sky (Project 5) jacket after 10:30 at night.  The first step was to double check my size, my body is changing daily, I’ve been off Tamoxifen for over a year now, and still seeing slow changes back to my old body, in shape and weight, which means that every sewing project has to be resized.  I suppose there are worse things…  Like not beating cancer… this is a minor hiccup…

tracingI’m using a Burda pattern, since I subscribe to the Burda World of Fashion Magazine, which comes in once a month, I have to open out the huge mapped sheets that contain all the patterns for each issue, and first copy the directions, which are a scant couple of columns, and then determine what lines to trace, on what pattern sheet.  Once everything is located, I grab my bolt of pattern paper, and here I digress.

The second blog I wrote, way back in December, talked about how my favorite pattern tracing medium seems to have been discontinued.  I had always used HTCW’s Red Dot Tracer, which was sturdy, stable in all directions, and held onto a pencil mark really well.  Alas, not being able to get it, I found out that Pellon had re-engineered their Tru-Grid pattern tracing product so it was now stable in all directions, which meant I could substitute this in a pinch (I never liked the old version, somehow using something that wasn’t stable made no sense for tracing patterns).  I ordered a bolt from my distributor, and have been using it for the last couple of months.  I really like the product, it is more cloth like than Red Dot, it’s great for trying on as an interim muslin, but it doesn’t hold the pencil markings, they rub off all over your hands, and by the time you’ve gotten half through the garment, they’ve faded considerably.

Imagine my gleeful surprise, when I got a call yesterday from my distributor telling me that the rumor is, Pellon is picking up the Red Dot Tracing product.  I immediately ordered a bolt, praying it is the same stuff as the old one, or reasonably close, because I really want to use that for my class in California.  And I have to ship it ahead in the next week.  So I’m keeping my fingers crossed, and I’ll let you know if it is the real thing, and if so, it will be back on my website store for sale in two yard packages!  And if Pellon is carrying the product, it will be way more easier to get in a regular fabric store, if there is such a thing anymore…

Back to the project…

tracedaddhemSo I take my bolt of Pellon’s Tru-Grid, cut off a chunk, and lay it  out on the “RED LINES” on the G Sheet.  It is important to note that there are no seam allowances or hem allowances on the pattern pieces, so I trace the lines with my colored pencil, using dotted lines, making sure all the pieces are at least 1 1/4″ away from each other to allow for the allowances.  I add the seam allowances later.  I copy all the marks and reference lines, checking the little direction sheet to make sure they are all accounted for.

Once I do that, I pack away the pattern sheet, refolding it is much easier than refolding a pattern, after 45 years of sewing, I still haven’t mastered that one.  I’m too impatient if you can believe.  Anyway, now I can add all the seam allowances and hem allowances, 5/8″ and 1 5/8″ respectively.

The next step will be to baste the pieces together to try on the pattern.  But tomorrow morning, I’ll be heading off to a meeting of the American Sewing Guild.  I’ve been a member for awhile, but only went to one meeting, well over a year ago.  So I’ve decided to try another meeting,  I’ll report in tomorrow afternoon.