Jan. 5th, 2017

kareina: (mask)
...sometimes they take time.

For a year or so now (perhaps longer), every time we would get ready to go to a party in modern clothing I would look through the closet, and realize, once again, that I don't really own any shirts that are "dressy". Of course I only ever thought of this as we were getting ready, so there wasn't anything I could do about it, and would make do with what I have. (Luckily, parties for which the expected clothing is modern don't come up all that often, and my informal clothing is generally kinda cute.)

However, we actually thought about what to wear this weekend when we head down for H & K's wedding enough time in advance that I could actually do something about it. I already posted pictures of the new embroidered apron and pocket I made for my folk dance costume (and if you missed the photo of me wearing it, you can go look here). But the festivities associated with the wedding will go on all weekend, and I also wanted something else to wear for Friday evening.

Therefore I did that thing I avoid doing. I went shopping. Many thanks to C. who did the research in advance to figure out where the stores are in LuleƄ that *might* have something pretty in a fibre I would wear, and where they are located. We found a black button up Merino Wool sweater at one of the first stores we checked, which I purchased (despite having plenty of black sweaters, since the others are either cotton, or, in one case, a heavy wool-cotton blend).

The rest of the stores managed to convince me that my taste in colour is fashionable just now. Tons of things in lovely shades of dark blue. Plenty of really pretty maroon. Sadly, synthetic fabrics are also in, and I am just not willing to go there. There isn't a store in town high end enough to carry linen, silk, or wool as their main items. However, at about store five or six we found some cotton shirts in a lovely dark blue fabric with an interesting stripy weave.

However, those shirts had some flaws:

*3/4 length sleeves of the kind that are meant to be rolled up and buttoned above the elbow, meaning too bulky to put a sweater on over them, but not warm enough for the forearms on a cool day.
*said sleeves were attached in such a way that the only comfortable position for one's arms while wearing the shirt is down by one's side. Any attempt to raise one's arms would result in all of the fabric on the side of the shirt raising till one's tummy was exposed to cool air.
*the shirt body was both (mostly) straight cut and wide, so that even the ones which are supposedly small enough to fit me were still quite loose and not at all flattering.
*the front was pleated to just under the breast, causing the stomach of the shirt to protrude in a very pregnant manner.

However, neither of us felt for checking yet more stores, we had already been out for more than an hour. Therefore we decided to buy one about four or five sizes too big, so that I could take it in, but use the extra bit removed from the sides to fix the sleeves.

Therefore I have:

*extended the pleating down to the waist
*cut off the sleeves
*taken in the original sleeves so that they actually fit my fore-arm
*chopped off the top of the original sleeves so that they are now straight cut just above my elbow.
*attached the strips of fabric cut off of the sleeves to that edge just above the elbow, such that the stripes of the narrow strip goes around my arm (perpendicular to the stripes going up the forearm)
*pinned the side seams of the body to a comfortable, flattering fit
*cut off the excess fabric from the sides
*cut each of those strips in half to make upper arms for the sleeves
*sewed shut the sides of the shirt from bottom of the arm hole to the waist
*hemmed side slits from waist to hips
*cut square underarm gores from the curved part that used to be the top of the upper arms
*attached the underarm gores to the bottom of the original arm pit holes, thus reducing their size to better actually fit my arms

and (for arm #1):
*cut off the horrid serged seams in those upper arm strips and sewed the pieces back together with flat-felled seams
*sewed the sets of pieces together for the upper arms
*sewed the upper arms to the arm hole, pleating the top of the shirt in slightly at the back of the shoulder to further reduce the size to match the amount of fabric that was available for making the upper arms which are comprised of five pieces, four from the sides of the shirt, and the fifth a triangle from what was left of the forearm sleeve scrap, all of which have their stripes more or less running parallel with my arm, but none of which have their stripes quite parallel with one another due to the way the shirt had been made(see the word "mostly" modifying the phrase "straight cut" above).
*pinned the upper arm to the forearm to determine it would work.

At that point I decided that I needed a break and stopped to do yoga and, now that that is done type this. Next I will return to sewing. I just need to finish the first sleeve and then repeat those steps for the next sleeve and I will be done. So far it is over 8 hours of sewing, so I can't imagine that the full project will take less than 10.

The good news is that the new arms are so comfortable--with that square underarm gore I can lift my arm fully over head without the fabric of the body moving anywhere at all. I will never understand why modern clothing manufactures want to use those horrid curved top sleeves that don't actually permit movement. I have seen sleeves with curved shoulders that are designed to move one's arms, are they really that much harder to do than the ones this shirt came with?

In other news, I have been doing yoga with an interval timer fairly often recently. Today I set the timer to do 100 sets of 45 seconds each, figuring that number would be big enough that I wouldn't run out of timer before I had done all of the yoga poses I felt for. I did, however, use up enough of those 45 seconds-es that I did a full 57 minutes of yoga! One day not too long back I set the timer for 80 sets of 1 minute each, and managed more than an hour. Other days it has "only" been 35 minutes, but even so it is better than the 12 or 20 minutes I manage on a night I am sleepy and don't set a timer.

But it is time to close this and see if I can finish the machine sewing (using the treadle machine, of course, since we fixed it, and I like it ever so much better than electric) tonight. I can finish the hand-finishing of the seams on the fore-arms in the car tomorrow (my arms are narrow enough that it isn't worth doing the second pass of a flat-felled seam by machine--it might be possible, but it wouldn't be pleasant).

K & H said that their doors open to guest tomorrow at 14:00. It is pretty much four hours from our place to theirs. Therefore, so long as we are on the road sometime between 10:00 and 13:00 we should be there at a reasonable time.


kareina: (Default)

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