Monday, February 16, 2009


That was her first word, you know.

Last game of the season!

I actually started a project today! You know, seeing as it was my last day of freedom until Spring Break (for all intents and purposes) and I was all exhausted from the major house cleaning I did this morning. THEN the mojo hits. Of course.

I started Simplicity 3745, the contrast band version with sleeves:

I'm using these two prints, the ovals I've had in stash for quite a while (ask Shannon, we bought them the same weekend. In different states. This happens alot as we SHARE A BRAIN!) Shannon has a different colorway (mint?) The blue print I've had in stash quite a while too (Shannon has the pink version. I wasn't kidding about the brain thing.) The ovals are the main dress, the blue print will be the contrast bands & hem.

I also tried something new...the pivot & slide for method of altering my bodice piece. I cut out the tissue in size 18. I want to wear this over a turtleneck while it's cool, and I also want to omit the zipper. I would normally start with a 16 in the bodice. After I tissue fit, I discovered the size 18 fit everywhere except I needed about 1/2 inch length over the bust, and I needed about 3/4 inch in width across the front.

I added the length first, adding it at the bottom of the bodice piece as per Nancy Zieman's pivot & slide directions. I don't have Fitting Finesse (Nancy Z's book) which details this technique, so I went to her website to watch her videos. I used the pivot/slide to add 1" at the side seam. That was a bit extra, but there's gathering under the bust, so I have some play room if it's too wide. Here's what my altered tissue looked like (the blue lines were the original tracing, the black line is the added length)

Here's a closer shot so you can see the different lines (the pink is the final trace after the pivot).

I really liked this method because it preserves the original tissue. No slashing/spreading/taping. I often look at my altered patterns & know without a doubt that there's no going back on those alterations. ( if I lost weight--in my dreamland with Keanu--for example.) In fact, I've avoided altering a couple of patterns because I don't want to lose the original design.

Oh, and yes, of course I do know I could just trace. But I'm lazy.

In other words, I have several patterns I love but have never made up because I don't want to potentially "ruin" them in alterations. So I think I might enjoy the pivot/slide method. We'll know more in a bit if this works as an alteration technique for me, but the tissue fit went really well!

And yes, of course I do know that I have to trace to use this method. It's tracing with a purpose. That's WAY different. Honest.

If you're interested in the pivot/slide, here's the link to Nancy's online shows: Sewing With Nancy. I watched the Knit series, which featured a basic tutorial on the pivot/slide.

Since I am interested in learning more about this fitting technique, I ordered Nancy's new book & DVD set, Pattern Fitting with Confidence.

I can't wait for it to get here! I need me some good sewing related reading/watching material. (And WHEN is Project Runway ever going to return??)

I'll be honest, I had never caught onto the Nancy Zieman wagon. Her tv show often features anything but fashion sewing, which is my main sewing goal. Nancy just wasn't one I had ever been interested in enough to try her books. I kind of thought she was more of a crafty, quilter type person, not a fitting expert.

And, let's face it. There are FFRP people, and there are Sandra Betzina Fast Fit people, and there Palmer/Pletsch people, obscure pricey out of print manual people, etc etc. Sometimes they all fail to mesh on the various sewing boards. There are lots of people who will argue their method is the best method because X Y or Z until your head spins round like Linda Blair! In the end though, if it works for you, isn't that what matters?

I'm excited to get the book here so I can read it, and try her pants fitting method. That's the real holy grail, am I right?

And with mini break is over. There's still an hour or so before I have to rally the troops to bath/teethbrushing/ if I hurry, I might get a couple of seams sewn.


  1. Isn't it neat to find a person on the internet that thinks like you? Weird, but true! Gotta love the internet! As for Project Runway, you have Keanu... I have Seasons 1-4 on DVD! Love to watch them while I trace or cut. Makes me feel like I'm worthy to be in the workroom. Ha!

  2. Okay back in the beginning of her series, Nancy Z was all about garment sewing. That's when I got turned on to her and turned off when she went the way of quilting and making sweatshirts into jackets.

    However, I use her pivot and slide technique all the time when fitting garments. I guess I use a little of everything, depending on how I want to achieve the fit on a particular garment.

    All of this is to say that Nancy started out with garments and if you can get some of her earlier stuff, you will be surprised at how helpful it is!

  3. Great action shot! Really conveys the "feeling" of the pic.

    I'm working on that same pattern right now! The green version on the front. It's going to be DD#2's semi-formal dress coming up in May. Just working with the cotton muslin at this point.

    I have Nancy Zieman's Pivot/Slide book. Sometimes I use that method, sometimes I don't. What I really like is her unique approach to pants. Choose about 2 sizes smaller and adjust the waist and hip to fit. Her theory on that is baggy legs are much harder to fix than it is to enlarge the waist and hip. Her pants method has some brilliant points. That books is a must-have along with FFRP and Fast Fit. Different approaches that sometimes are exactly what one needs.

  4. The picture of your DDs basketball game brought back pleasant memories. When my DD was in middle school and high school, she played some sport every season. I often complained (half-heartedly, because I was really proud of her). Now that she is 250 miles away, I would give anything to drive to her various basketball practices, soccer games and track meets.

    I second Carolyn's comments about Nancy. She was a great source before she got all crafty-quilty. I use her pivot and slide, too. but mostly I use what works for the situation.

  5. I just bought her Busy Women's Fitting Guide at Half-Priced books this weekend! I've never paid much attention to the P/S method because whenever I went to do it myself, it turned out all wacky. But the past two weekends Nancy's current shows have been about fitting using this method. Good luck to you!

  6. a new season of Project Runway Canada started a few weeks ago - it is on u tube, but I don't know if this will quite fix the yearning.

  7. Anonymous9:23 PM

    I can't wait to find out what you think of Nancy's fitting DVD! Fitting is such a problem for me.


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