Lynda Maynard’s replay to question about wrinkles on back!

I really needed a concrete plan to get rid of the wrinkles on my back, so I posted a question on Craftsy’s Sew the Perfect Fit question forum, along with a picture of my back from muslin 3 on my last post.  So, now I have a plan.  Here is the question and the reply:muslin 3 back

Side posted on Apr 12, 2013: Hi Lynda, Do you think these wrinkles on my back are caused by excess length, insufficient width or both? The bodice feels comfortable on my body, and seems to be hitting at my waist.

Lynda Maynard responded: Hi Side, The upper balance is arcing up as it nears center back, which indicates that there may be slight roundness in the upper back. The bodice appears to be too tight. I would recommend releasing the side seams so the back will “hang” properly. Then, place extra fabric strips in the side openings and redraw the seamlines. You will also need to redraw the waistline seam. Lynda

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Help with Sleeve Cap Ease for Fitting Sleeves in Arm Holes/ Armscyes

sewing sleeves
There must be an easier way to sew sleeves
You know the horrible tedious torture that is trying to ease in a sleeve to the armscye or armhole? That special kind of burden that makes you consider only making sleeveless clothes? I just read on Green Apples that the process of pinning, basting,and then ruining the sleeve because you messed up and it didn’t fit right in the armscye is not really necessary. Some pattern adjustment can eliminate the ordeal. The method used to eliminate the ease is in the blog post. Also, I found another helpful sleeve ease tutorial on Elegant Musings.

The reason why sleeve cap ease is built into sewing patterns was originally outlined on Fashion Incubator.

I would love to use this method to stop having to ease in sleeves!!!


With the new baby, I haven’t had time to sew a single stitch. So, now is the perfect time to take my sewing machine in for a tune up! After all, its been over a year since I got it, and the stitch length has somehow become entirely unpredictable.

While researching the cost of getting a sewing machine tune up, I came across an article on Prudent Baby about how to keep the inside of your sewing machine cleaner. It turns out that my method of changing the thread on my sewing machine (the “grab and pull” or “tug of war” method) is wrong. You should gently guide the thread out through the opening near the needle. This will minimize thread shedding and thus keep the guts of your machine cleaner. Who knew?

Cut off shorts, instead of nasty, holey jeans

Short shorts are all the rage here in Texas.  Anyone over 28 is scandalized by the tiny things girls wear now.  We know we sound like a bunch of 80-year-olds, but these things are seriously short.

I had a couple of pairs of worn-out jeans, so I figured I could make them into a couple pairs of comfortable, casual shorts, instead of wearing them around my apartment and feeling embarrassed when I go walk the dog or take out the garbage. I have used jeans to line bags instead of canvas, but wanted to go the shorts route this time, since I needed more things to wear in warm weather.

I decided that slightly above mid-thigh would be an acceptable length for me.  Short enough to not look matronly, but not scandalously short.  This length is also short enough to encourage me to make sure I exercise,  so yay healthiness!

cut off shorts
Lay out the shorts so they mimic how they actually fit on your body.

To get this length, I put on the jeans, stood in front of a full-length mirror.  Making sure to allow for a fold-up hem, I marked where I felt I should cut.

Once decided on my length, I laid the jeans out on my cutting mat and got out my rotary cutter.  I made sure to lay them out flat, doing my best to make sure the crotch and inner thigh seam lay flat and to the front, so that the front waistband mimicked how it actually sits on my body.

I didn’t cut straight across, instead I cut at an angle, making the seam of inside thigh about an inch shorter than the outside thigh. To make sure I was cutting at the right  area at the right angle, I put a measuring tape in line with the front waistband and ran it straight down the seam I was cutting.

Cut-off shorts inside seam
Run the measuring tale straight down the seam from the front waistband.

To me, it seems like cutting at an angle his helps my legs look longer, and helps to disguise my chicken legs by making my thigh look smaller. I tried them on to make sure I was happy with the length before doing anything else.

When I knew I was happy with the length, I used my overlock foot to stitch the edges so they wouldn’t unravel.

I wanted the shorts to look nice and neat, so I made a hem by folding up the edges by one inch, ironing, then folding the edge inside the fold and ironing again. Now that I have worn then, I realize ironing was more or less a waste of time unless I am willing to sew a real hem.

Since I made two pairs of shorts, I immediately got an excuse to harp on one of my favorite annoyances- artificial fabric.  One pair of cut-offs is 100% cotton, while the other is 80% cotton and 20% polyester.  Ug, there is such a difference between the two!  The 100% cotton shorts will hold the fold and get a crease with ironing, but the ones with polyester will not.  So annoying, especially because manufactures are adding more polyester to jeans lately.  Do they live in the Arctic? Do they not know what wearing polyester in the summer feels like, and how it makes you smell? Ug. So annoying.

Anyway, my cut-off shorts were a success!  Instead of gross, holey jeans, I have casual shorts that aren’t a complete embarrassment.

Finished cut-off shorts 2
Finished cut-off shorts 1



New Sewing Book: The Colette Sewing Handbook

Colette Sewing Handbook
Colette Sewing Handbook

For Christmas I was lucky to get a gift certificate to a book store.   This was perfect since I had my eye on a new sewing book: The Colette Sewing Handbook: Inspired Styles and Classic Techniques for the New Seamstress.

This book, by Colette Patterns, is designed to progressively provide an overall introduction to  garment sewing.  It starts with a cute scalloped skirt and culminates in a vintage-inspired dress.

The Colette Sewing Handbook looks great because it seems to provide a good introduction to basic techniques for altering sewing patterns. I am trying not to develop too many bad habits right from the start, so learning more about sewing and fitting techniques is the way to go. Once I have a few more simple projects under my belt, I will start off with the first clothing project in the book, the meringue skirt.

I noticed that Colette Patterns has a great blog at The blog has a lot of tutorials that look very promising, including guides to sewing some of their patterns.  The blog also has guides for customizing the Colette patterns (such as adding a waistband to the Meringue Skirt). I am going to check the Colette Blog for tips before beginning their sewing projects.