Monday, June 11, 2012

The Renfrew Begins...and a Party

I mean, what is Renfrew? Is it a country? I think Kitschy Coo said she lived near Renfrew, but that's such an odd name for a shirt pattern. Anyway, we'll get to that in a second. First, I just came back from a party, and guess who else was there - Gwen!

I actually tuned in to Peggy Sagers webcast tonight on blouse fitting. I checked in an hour early to see if I had the time right, and there were already people there chatting. I felt like Helen Keller, seriously, because my screen was black and there was no audio, so when people start typing you realize that's the only way you're going to communicate until the show starts. It's like a PR chat session, if you've done one of those, which are always awkward because people talk at the same time and you can lose your thread of conversation...especially when 150 people sign on at once and start shouting out to people from their state. Wild stuff. There was even a woman there from Foley, which is just an hour from me! (Robbie, I started to ask her if she knew you, but that's like the time I asked the Japanese woman in the dentist office if she knew another Japanese woman who lives in Daphne. Ridiculous...but she did actually know my MIL - ha!) I learned from that pre-show chatting that Gwen is famous - I waved at her when she came in, but then a whole crowd gathered 'round and started asking her about her projects. You should've seen her working the room. I was just bursting with pride that she said hey to me. (If you haven't guessed, I suffer from low self-esteem.)

So I had taken Robbie's advice and sent Peggy some pics of my Ann's Top this afternoon and asked about fitting questions, and she actually MENTIONED IT ON THE AIR! (I know, take some deep breaths.) But here's the thing, she thought I put a woven sleeve into a knit top, so I think she was saying something about how dumb that was and no wonder it didn't fit. And that she didn't know how I added 1/2" for the bicep, so I probably did that wrong. I have to listen to the replay - I could've misunderstood (it's at 8:14 PM if you're checking it out too). I tried to type in real quick that I used her method and it wasn't a woven (I guess she thought it was from the picture), but that I would just move up to a bigger sleeve like she suggested. I got embarrassed and blushed a little bit, even though I was sitting here alone.

So I'll be honest and say that sometimes she talks down to you (like saying she was surprised that we the viewers didn't know things, and that by the questions she gets, she can tell that we have no idea what she's talking about, etc.), but on the plus side, she emailed me back about one hour after I emailed her and said to go with a bigger armhole and that she would discuss it on the air if that was okay. What other pattern maker is going to be that responsive? (Maybe everybody is that way except the Big 4; I just branched into smaller pattern companies so I have limited experience.)

Anyway, enough moaning, let's get to the Renfrew. (Can you tell Dean took the kids to the beach for his day off - how else would I sew for 3 hours and watch a webcast for an hour?!) Here's the back neck gappy thing some people have mentioned - I can handle it.
I just basted in a sleeve and one side seam. I think I need to size up - see the wrinkles across my chest - and I definitely will lower the armhole a good inch. Wait a minute, let me savor that statement - I need to size up in the bust. I never get to say that.

And I was just trying to use a happier face instead of my mad concentratey I'm holding the shirt against my body since I haven't done that sleeve or side seam.

I don't know, maybe my neckband is what's causing the wrinkles, but I sewed it carefully then steamed the hell out of it on a neckroll thing. I did put some stay-stitching on the front neckline before I put on the neckband - was that wrong? Maybe I can rip that out and see what happens. Anyway, minor stuff. I like the top so far and there's no gaping when I bend over, so this is quite promising. Maybe I'll get it finished tomorrow. (After I watch the webcast replay and feel ashamed again!)

10 comments: said...

Looking good! Try cutting your neckband 15% shorter than your neck opening and stretching it on as you sew and see if that helps. That's what I had to do to get it to lie flat but now it looks good. Do you feel like this pattern already has a swayback adjustment done for you? You should check out their Cambie dress pattern next--I am loving how it is coming together even if I may never wear it in public because of my fabric choice :(

Talking about Peggy Sagers, want to go to NYC next month for her fabric buying trip?

Rachelle said...

I think we all suffer from low self esteem to some extent. Do you think Peggy perhaps felt a little bit challenged by your questions about her pattern? In my experience people's reactions/actions are often more about where they are at than about you. I love your renfrew. It's showing great promise and the colour is gorgeous on you.

Rachelle said...

p.s. I am quite happy with your concentratey face. You should be able to be yourself among friends :)

gwensews said...

You are so funny. I am hardly famous. Stick me in a room full of people and I disappear. Well, except for my flaming red hair. I don't think Peggy intends to sound as if she's talking down to people. I think she's truly baffled that sewers don't understand fit.

As for your top, I think the wrinkles, which are pointing to the neckband, are caused-by the neckband. If you pulled the neckband while stitching in that area, it is going to cause wrinkles. Sew that area on a 1-1 ratio. In the back where it's gaping, try pulling the neckband in that area to pull it in.

RobbieK said...

I've been in some of Peggy's classes and I agree with you Gwen. She is surprised that we don't know things. And I suspect, like my husband, sometimes she thinks she's being funny. But, I've also found her to be very helpful when I told her I didn't understand what she was trying to explain to me.

The Renfrew is looking good! And I think Gwen is spot on with the neckband sewing suggestions.

Sister said...

Oh, Katrina, so tempting! I totally would do that if I wasn't on call that week :( . Now in November I'm free...something to think about! And yes, I was eyeing that Cambie dress pattern - can't wait to see yours.

Rachelle, I think it's hard for her to understand some of the questions that people type without being able to see what they're talking about, and I've got that demure Southern personality that wants to please, so a direct comment can come across to me as gruff, but I've been trying to work on that.

Gwen and Robbie - I'll try the neckband again like you said and stretch it more in the back.

(And I just watched the replay - my issue was at 10 minutes in, not 14.)

Pammie said...

S - I agree with the neckband adjustments (and maybe a little more room in the bust area; - looking good!)...

It's a wonderful color on you (War Eagle!) - congratulations - it's close to perfect!

Rachelle said...

I have just watched the video - hm should've probably done that before commenting, sorry. I totally see you point now.

Sheila said...

I agree with the others pulling the neckband while stitching it onto the neckline. I love that color on you.

Sister said...

Well, too late on the neckband, but thanks for the nice comments! It's a coral color that came across as reddish in the picture, but Dean thought I should wear it to a Florida game (Go Gators). It'll be equally at home with the Auburn Tigers.