Saturday, October 23, 2021

Ahead of the Curve by Jenny Rushmore

Y'all I knew when Jenny first decided to write this book and I was all for it!  She has learned so much and become such a wonderful resource to the sewing plus size community! I LOVE her Cashmerette Pattern line so you know I was beyond thrilled to learn about the book and to pre-order a copy.

However, Jenny being the amazing person she is offered me an advance copy and that's what this blog post is about.  I didn't cancel my pre-order so if you were wanted a copy and haven't pre-ordered yet, I will be giving that book away.  More details to come later!

So onto the book ~

First Impressions...

I own several sewing books that came with patterns and sewing instructions.  But I love, love, love that the pattern envelope is sealed to the back of the book. I will ALWAYS know where those pattern pieces are.  Which I will admit as a sewist that's starting to age, is really important.

Next I love that the book opens flat.  While it has the perquisite information on sewing tools, the fact that Jenny opens with sharing her sewing story is wonderful. Personally I love hearing how people came to this artform so to me it's the perfect beginning for the book.

Moving On...

  • The book is separated into three parts - Preparation, Fitting and Patterns.  
  • It has wonderful illustrations and pictures in each section. 
  • Also each section is chock full of sewing and fitting information. 
  • Jenny even has a section on mobility fitting.
  • The fitting starts at the top of your body (shoulders/neck) and proceeds all the way to your calves with extra special care taken to the bust (FBA/SBA) and back areas.
  • Jenny used real sewists as her models and featured each one in their own section, including my sewing friend, Dibs!

There are five patterns included in the book - 2 dresses, a tank, a raglan sleeve tee and a pair of flat front pants with elastic in the back waist. The size range is from a US 12 - 32/UK 16-36.  Honestly I'm most excited about working on a pair of pants using Jenny's step by step fitting instructions.

Now I know you want to see more pictures of the book so here is a sneak peek...

If you want to see more, please check out Jenny's IG account where she's shared several of the finished garments and more information about the book!

I own ALOT of sewing books - have a complete library of them - with their own place of honor in my apartment. I'm so very happy to add this book to the Library. But more than that, I'm thrilled to have a sewing guide to assist me in getting a well fitted pants pattern.

Like many others, I've gained some pandemic weight due to staying home, surgery, meds and lack of movement.  My TNT pants pattern wasn't fitting well pre-pandemic. I knew I needed to revise it but just wasn't up to it because  I'm not a huge fan of pants these days. However, I'm working from the office 2 days a week now and pants just work better in the colder weather. So I was really looking forward to the book for that reason.

Lastly, my "mostest" favorite part of the book is where Jenny dedicates it to Josephine her daughter...serious heart swoon!  I highly recommend that you get a copy of this book, you won't be disappointed!

Hopefully you will hang around as I document my process of making pants using the Magna Pants pattern from "Ahead of the Curve" sewing book! always more later!

Monday, October 11, 2021

Stages of Construction

I wrote a friend the other day that I don't sew as much anymore...even when I take days off thinking I will sew.  Since moving into my own place, there is so much to do like cleaning. I got rid of the cleaning crew when I moved thinking I can clean a one bedroom apartment. Seriously I'm thinking of having them come in once a month to deep clean. *LOL*

Or decorating, I'd settled into my previous spaces. Having only lived here 13 months there are still things I want to do.  Paint, wallpaper (peel and stick options are amazing) add some furniture to my balcony, etc. So I spend time looking at decorating sites, imagining new things to do, things that are not sewing related.

Let's also add in that I'm back to commuting to NYC 2-3 times a week so my sewing has taken a back seat. I feel like my life has gained a balance I was lacking pre-Covid since I primarily worked and sewed. 

However I am sewing...just in small amounts of time...and not always completing everything I start.

Here are a few pieces that are in various stages of completion...

Simplicity 8875 ~

I don't know what got into me and made me think I could make this slim fitting dress fit my bodacious body...especially since I'm no longer a fan of a close-fitted dress. Wait, was I ever?  Oh yes, in my 20s! *LOL*

I made a 101 fit changes - all documented by the way for a future blogpost - and stopped when I tried it on.  It just needs the bottom ruffle added which I have not been able to bring myself to finish and add to the dress.  Why?  Because I'm not sure I will ever wear the dress due to its close fit. 

BTW, that amazing fabric I used was purchased again, as soon as I had doubts about this original garment.  Another five yards resides in the collection because I was so scared that I'd wasted the fabric.  While this was a spring fabric purchase from StyleMaker Fabrics, it is sold out.  Now do you understand why I immediately bought another five yards?

McCalls 7943 ~

This dress was the victim of bad timing. I started it at the beginning of September thinking I would get it finished in a week or two, photographed and worn. Ummm no! Some family matters came up that ate up several weekends.  Then it really started to look like autumn around here and I lost interest in a floaty, summery, sleeveless maxi dress. This one I want to finish but it's going to end up waiting until next spring.  Fall Sewing is calling my name.

This TNT shirt ~

I was done with this shirt BUT I hung it up on my sewing rack at the beginning of spring. Now that it's getting cooler, I'm thinking about fixing it and adding it to my wardrobe. It is a really cool idea and there is a lot of money invested in that fabric. So look for it sometime this fall/winter on the blog.

Lastly, I'm finishing off my black & white version of the Style Arc Hope Dress. Like I said I have several garments in stages of construction, now to finish them or pack them away to wait for another season. Hopefully some will make it to the blog sooner rather than later! always more later!

Saturday, October 02, 2021

Strolling into October

I haven't sewn much lately.  I've been unpacking and getting the last of the bins leftover from moving put away.  Sort of like a squirrel storing away nuts for the winter, I'm making my place cozy for the long dark nights ahead. I do still have two pieces to photograph and share on the blog and they are coming...

For awhile I thought I would do a recap of September but y'all have already seen the makes so I'm moving on to share a few other things. First, thanks for all of your comments and the thoughtful conversation on my last post. I so appreciate it when you talk back to me.

Second, I want to acknowledge a sewing friend whose blog is closing.  Barbara Emodi, author of two sewing books, newly anointed cozy mystery writer and owner of the blog, "Sewing on the Edge" will stop writing her blog. She's listed her reasons and so many of them I understand. She is moving on to another creative challenge and I'm wishing her much luck in her future endeavors!

I'm featured on this week's episode of Black Women Stitch's podcast, "Stitch Please" where I discuss moving my Sewing Room. I talk about the reasons why I changed living spaces, how I set up my original Loft Sewing Room and why I ended up sewing in my dining room.  All info I've posted on the blog but the conversation with Lisa is so good that I hope you will give it a listen!  BTW, if you don't listen to her podcast, you should...especially the Sewing Room series.  She has highlighted several sewists who have interesting sewing spots and how they came to be.  Who doesn't want to know more about our fellow sewists sewing spaces, really?!

I added a screen to block the sewing room view when
 you enter my apartment. Giving it a cleaner look.

Since I'm down to the last two pieces I want to sew from my cut pile, I will be using the Columbus Day holiday weekend (Yes, I know it should be called something else, because how do you "discover" a country that's already inhabited?) to make a fall cut pile. I have a couple of transitional Vogue 9299's I want to add to the pile. I've got this idea roaming around my creative brain about a pantsuit using the Friday Company Ilford Jacket. And is this the winter I finally break down and make some pjs for myself?  Well maybe? LOL!

Otherwise, things are plodding along here. Hope all is well with you too! always more later!


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