Sunday, March 30, 2008

Victory is (almost) mine!

I thoroughly enjoyed the past 4 days at the Cleveland Sewing and Quilting Expo. I only took classes with Cynthia Guffey, so I can't give a review of the overall array of classes, but Cynthia's were, as always, incredibly informative and valuable, and I'm so glad I attended them all. I especially enjoyed her classes on collars (how to edit collar patterns to make collars fit better), necklines (how to choose flattering ones for your face and how to invent new ones), bound pockets and buttonholes (I can't wait to practice making more of these, they look fantastic and her method makes getting a fantastic result simple enough for even a novice like me), and of course, pants fitting. The event organizers also made some changes to the layout of the vendors and registration areas this year, including getting a new (nicer) entrance, which were vast improvements in my opinion. If you have any interest in sewing or quilting and can attend this show next year, I highly recommend it.

When we last left our heroine, she was working furiously to complete her mock-up in time for last Wednesday's class. At around 8 am on class day, I got it close enough (zipper in and a rough estimate of the waistband attached at waist at least, but without the waistband facing turned under and whipped in), leaving me time to shower and dress, pack food and drive to the I-X Center, arriving at class only 15 minutes late. But I don't think I missed too much, and when I got there, imagine my surprise to discover that a full sheet of instructions on how to complete the mock-up, including the important line "Email Cynthia with any questions" had been accidentally omitted from my registration packet. Wow, would the process of making this thing have been soooo much easier if only I'd had those instructions. It had occurred to me around 5 pm on Tuesday that maybe some such error had occurred, but at that point, I figured it was too late to call them and find out, so I just muddled through. I did learn my lesson, though, and next time something looks wrong to me, which the mere supply list did look insufficient as far as the promised "detailed instructions for preparing your mock-up" when I originally got it, I will definitely call and ask.

I didn't get photos of my mock-up before Cynthia fitted me, but here are some photos of it after 3 passes at tweaking the mock-up.

Rear view:

Front view:

Rear close-up (aka, how cute my butt is going to look in these pants):

Only the left leg got all the final tweaks, and it's interesting to me to see how much of a difference those little changes make. The tweaks have been transferred to the pattern, and that T-shaped adjustment that you can sort of see if you click on the butt close-up (see that dotted horizontal line?) was particularly hairy to make on paper, but Cynthia showed me how to do it, so that was good. She even recommended an additional nip in below the butt when we were fooling with the paper pattern piece, so we'll see if that works or if I need to back off from it a bit. The little bump on the side hip is just a result of the adjustments I had to make to the crotch depth and will disappear in the next mock-up. I will definitely post more photos when the 2nd mock-up is done.

Now that I've got the green light from Cynthia that I am done tweaking and can make another mock-up, I'm going back up to my lovely sewing room today to tidy up and get back to work. I want to keep my momentum going this year. The Professor (who kindly donated his photography services to this morning's post) is down in the basement making maple legs for the nightstands for our room. Another nice DIY day here at the old homestead.

Oh, and I would also like to mention that I did not buy any more fabric or yarn at the show. I was only a little bit tempted and then only once, by some lovely rust-colored wool coating for 25% off, but it's from a local store, Cutting Room Fabrics, which I thought had closed but only moved, so I just decided that by the time I'm experienced enough to make a coat, they'll have something else equally pretty for me to get. I did choose to break the Compact and get some of Cynthia's videos, mainly because there is no way I could buy them 2nd hand, nor would I want to do so. Cynthia deserves to get every penny for her genius. I did also get some scissors that she recommended. I could rationalize them as art supplies, but honestly, when it comes to sewing, I just do what Cynthia tells me, and if she says these scissors will make my sewing go better, I believe her. I hope to back on the Compact straight and narrow now that March's temptations of Scotland and the Sewing Expo are behind me.


  1. Very cute pants (and butt!) :-) You rock. Sounds like a great time!

  2. What a great opportunity - to work with a professional to make custom-tailored pants! I'm green with envy! They look fantastic - cute pants - and yes, they are very booty-flattering!


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