Tuesday, November 11

Plated and confused...

Went to Long Buckby's plating workshop - Anne Brown (Posh Frocks) couldn't make it, but Sue Booth stepped in instead, and did a sterling job bearing in mind she didn't get much notice. The drive on the way down was... interesting... as it was chucking it down. The M6 was more spray than road, and overtaking was interesting as it was hard to see lorries until you were almost on top of them! I was quite glad to get off the motorway, but then Mrs Tomtom sent me down Dog Kennel Lane in Watford, which is little more than a tarmac-ed farm track, and a bit flooded in places! Funnily enough, she never sends me that way on the way home, and I ignore her suggestions to "turn around when possible" - she wanted to take me through Kilsby, but I figured that staying on A roads was better in that weather.

Had a quick go on the SK at home and it came out OK, I had never used the plating feeder on that machine before. Sue used her thumb to keep the yarns in the feeder (she held the yarns lightly between thumb and carriage handle), and I think this tip will fix the big floats effect I was getting with the Brother 260 (see post 06-06-2007, "Plating and alpacas") - now, if I could only locate the plating feeder for that machine, I could try it again - it came with the ribber, so may be up in the attic. I shall have a look tonight.

She did single-bed plating, and then double-bed plating - she suggested the use of a colour-changer, too, which I shall have to try. Why would you want to plate? Well, if you had a fine boucle, you could give it more body by plating it with a 3ply acrylic background. If you wanted to make a garment from a scratchy yarn, eg shetland, but wanted to keep it away from your skin, you could plate it with a main yarn that you can use against your skin. Another use is shadow-pleated skirts, knit sideways - for example, 8 rows with both yarns, and 2 rows with plating yarn only, will produce an automatic pleat effect with not much effort.

Plating also looks very striking on the double bed - cables worked on the ribber bed in one colour, with the other colour as background, also tucked rib. I need to make up some samples I think - more grist for the fancy yarns afghan, anyway.

===

Sewing class is going ok but I am a bit confused by conflicting information. My tutor told me to look for 48" hip dress patterns, which puts me firmly in the plus size range (I'm a US 24/UK16). Most dress patterns seem to go up to 18, or occasionally 22. Simplicity only have 7 plus-sized dress patterns, because apparently plus-sized people don't wear dresses... Sorry, but I find that really annoying! Anyroad, after checking out the Simplicity website, apparently for dress patterns you use the bust size. not the hip size - which makes me a size 20, not 24. You only use hip sizes when it's a skirt or trousers. Also she told me that the three Vogue patterns I had were for petite sizes, because they were called "Misses". Most womens dress patterns seem to be for misses - they can't all be for petite/teenagers, surely? I suspect it's one of those archaic dressmaking terms, meself. So I think I may have given away three perfectly good patterns (they probably didn't go up to size 20 anyway).

If I make a dress to fit my hips, the top will be enormous, but if I make a dress to fit my bust, I risk not being able to get it on. I am a typical English pear-shape. Depressingly enough, if hip size is the measurement I must go with, even at my fighting weight, UK14, I will still be in the top end of sewing pattern sizes (I'm guessing size 20). Who are all these size zero women?! Real women are not that small (the average UK size is 16, and I'm not far off that). The pattern I have picked to make (the only one I could find on the market that was near my size) is a sundress, which flares from the bust line down - so I can't see hip size being an issue. My nan, who has made lots of dresses, said I should go by the bust size.

Heh - you'd think the sewing pattern folks'd encourage plus size sewers - they need to buy far more material! We're all getting larger/taller as a species, too.
So, I am a bit confused at the moment. I shall be making a toile, anyway, so these problems can be ironed out I supposed. I'm hoping all will become clear in time.

1 comment:

Julie said...

This reminds me why I very rarely use commercial patterns and prefer to draft my own - that way you fit it how you want to fit it and that's the end of it!

Personally, (and I admit I hate commercial patterns) I'd go off bust size and then adjust the pattern to fit me. Bust size is always off anyway because pattern companies (Simplicity certainly) assume a B cup and you have to sanity check the expected fit against actual pattern pieces against your body measurements.

Your instructor may be working on the basis that its easier to cut a pattern down to size rather than sizing up the required part - but if all it is is adjusting the bodice to skirt line I don't see why it would be such a big deal.