Vintage Red

Dedicated to Vintage Pattern Reproduction.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

OH the Irony of it all

Posted by Carisa |

Oh Look at me! Blogging twice in one day! Score! I just have to mention this story and didn't want it to get lost in my other post, because I find it to be quite ironic and funny, in a laugh-instead-of-cry sorta way.

I decided I needed a new project on Saturday, so I rummaged through my old patterns and found a lovely mid-thigh trench coat pattern I just had to have (there is a strong possibility I may have a slight obsession of jackets, just as a warning). So I went a few blocks over to Joann Fabrics (because I live in Seattle and there is really no choice for inexpensive fabric stores, sooo sad...I miss you Vogue Fabrics in Chicago and Shepherds Bush Market in London!) Anyways, I got this faaabuluse deal on some cotton sateen!

These were my choices, at first I wanted to go with a really bright color like the blue, but after looking at it in the mirror, although it would have looked killer with my red hair, my sizable everythingelse, would not have fared so well.

Behold! My future masterpiece! dark Red with a black and white lining.

So why do I find this ironic? Well I got home and realized, I have, ahem, grown a bit, ahem, and the pattern no longer fits. So guess what? OH THE IRONY!!! I have to resize it. Oh yes, I laughed, so you might as well laugh too. Since I won't be distributing the resize, I got out my trusty paper and sized away, it was actually really good practice and I learned a lot. It's a modern pattern so it's already multi-sizes (just not my size, booo) so it was interesting to see how they gave a little more hear and there and a little less in places for ease. Très Intéressant...

 I'll post more as I get more of it done!

Don't worry, I am aware that if I blogged more frequently I would not have to write such long post, I promise to do better! To preface this posting, you should know I’m kinda in love with technology, and border on OCD perfectionism in things that I do. Combined, these two lovely personality quirks lead me to trying my hand at computer drafting (well my cheap version that is). Let me explain why, in my crazy brain I think this is necessary…

Hand Drafting:
Drafting on paper is super fun, but has a huuuuge margin for error for people who:   
A.   Don’t have patience (me)
B.   Move paper around easily because they are clumsy, have no ability to keep everything but hands still ,and have boobs that have a mind of their own and are often heard giggling when they move said paper (me)
C.   Are easily distracted by anything that isn’t what they’re doing at the moment, thus leaving   project to wander off (me).
D.   Are named Carisa (I blame that stupid Clarissa Explains it all show…somehow…)

If you manage to draft it then you have to cut it a part in several strategic points, spread them out by an array of different centimeters, and redraft it for each size (zzzzzzz). Causing more scandalous boobie paper movement and more errors (boobalized of you will) 

Well I don’t know about you, but I’m a total perfectionist, and if I’m going to do something it’s going to be as perfect as I can get it…especially if someone else is going to see or use it! Therefore, my next idea was scanning! I thought, oh I’m SOOO gonna knock this outta the park, sans cork and steroids. 

Scanning and Editing: 
Just know that scanning is a sucky idea for the following reasons:
A.   If you go to Kinko’s, or any other printer, it costs a fortune to have it scanned, and there is a strong possibility that they tear your paper while running it through their monster scanning machine. If you think this isn’t a big deal, think about how much time you took making it as perfect as it could be and then hearing “ooops” while waiting. Yeah, I think “going postal” would have a new ring to it for you.
B.   Scanning on a scanning bed seems like a rad idea, if you have one at your disposal. Know that you will spend HOURS, matching up the scans that you had to do separately since most scanners are 11x17 at their largest. HOURS. 

My scanning experience:

I personally tried the work scanner idea (insert boring day at work) and ended up spent hours using a program to connect the pieces together called GIMP, which is almost exactly like our friend Adobe Photoshop but f-r-e-e, my favorite word. After a very long time piecing it together I had to save it as a jpeg and then open it in AdobeAcrobat to make it print in pieces like a downloadable pattern (see, I said techie nerd, if you understood any of that you too have a problem and probably an iphone or crackberry. Don't you! Admit it!)
I got it home to try out my masterpiece by comparing it to the original and I swear I thought my boobs has somehow been involved again because it was crazy off aspect. (argh)
Doesn’t it even look a bit off? (well it 's, I swear) It’s the bodice front piece, ack…

Never one to give up easily I tried taking measurements and going back to GIMP, to rearrange till it worked. HOURS later, much cursing, a few temper tantrums, and several diet cokes later, I realized it just wasn’t going to work. 

Now at this point you are thinking, why don't you just put down a few hundred and get a FashionCAD (thousand actually) or another pattern drafting program. Well I don't know about you, but I'm really poor, and I have to make do with my limited resources! Unless you wanna give it to me for free, I'm all about free :-)

Again not one to throw away a perfectly good idea (I think we can add stubborn to the list of personality quirks, right about now), I convinced my IT department to let me download Adobe Illustrator. I haven’t used this program before but I heart it already. It is based on a vector system  (geometry) instead of raster format (graphics), (I can't believe I know that) so it is much cleaner and easier to use. I just click, type in the angel and the length of the line and there it is! I am not kidding that I seriously want to fake a baby or something and run home and start using it! (I told you I was a huge dork right?)

Who said you would never use a protractor again!!! 
Crap, I totally lost that bet didn't I.
I owe you a dollar Meredith.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Mad Tracer Strikes Again...

Posted by Carisa |

Ok Ok I knooooow that I've been a naughty blogger, but I really have been productive! (sorta) So in my last post I was going to start tracing my vintage pattern to resize! I did trace last week as promised and it went really well once I used a ruler (stop laughing, no I didn't use it last time.) and the new love of my life, architect paper. I'm constantly amazed by this paper people. It is on a role and it, of course, like all paper is want to do, rolled right off the table within a few minutes of use. So I immediately use some choice profanity and then thought "well there goes the paper, now it's torn...blah blah" ranting and raving and then went to snatch it off the ground to salvage the role. Well low and behold, it's isn't torn. It's not even wrinkled. In face I'm pretty sure it was laughing at me while mocking me for doubting it's paperlicious superiority. If it had fingers, it would have pointed while laughing, I'm sure of it. I was blown away by how fragile I thought it was but it's actually really durable. It doesn't wrinkle, or tear. I was even using heavy "weights" on it and when I moved them around it didn't even leave a mark. Booyah!
Speaking of weights. I thought you would all find this as amusing as I did. I found myself, fully prepared to get down with my tracing the other night, to realize I had nothing to hold the super-awesome-tracing-paper down. Being the resourceful smurf that I am, I walked into the kitchen and snatched a few cans to use. I must say once looking at them I thought, they are like my own little military toops! Look at them, all lined up and ready for duty...

But then I thought, no way the military would be involved with super-awesome-tracing-paper, it's just too cutting edge. This calls for superheros...dah dada to save the day! So I took them in a more flattering up shot, to show their true greatness. (yes, you are correct, I do have way to much time on my hands)

So then I got biiizay with my tracing, and it actually went WAY better than I thought. No really, I don't know how I made it so hard last time. ha, actually I do, but still. The paper was a dream and the only problem was if I accidentally moved the cans or shifted the paper, it was a total pain to line it back up again with the pattern underneath it, but that's what I get for moving stuff.

So after this epic adventure with canned food (please note that no food was harmed in this process, that happened later when I made chili and chicken pies from good.) I mentioned to my bfry that he should stop by Home Depot (oh the agony for a carpenter) and grab me some of those lovely slate tiles that are really heavy but about 2x2, peeeerfect size for a paperweight! And then I could make some fetching little covers for them, and then, voila! Fancy fabric weights! I saw this idea on and only wish I was so crafty with HomeDepot supplies. He of course said no because he always has a better idea "why would I do that when I can just make you some steal ones from scrap steal in the shop?" (smarty pants) Therefore, someday, in the foreseeable future, I will have brand spankin' new weights to trace with...muahahaha.

Until then my S.H.I.E.L.D. team will be workin' hard for the money. Did I really just combine a vague comic book reference with an 80s dance song? Sigh.

Next time on S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Mad Tracer we will explore computer aided design and the Mad Tracer's compulsive perfectionism at it's darkest. Until then...break out your leg warmers, full body leotards and that old sweatshirt and dance, dance, dance...

Officially. Gone. Crazy.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

How Hard Could This Be...

Posted by Carisa |

I was reading a comment response thingy on the SewRetro site to my Paper Tracing Blog, and geogrrl mentioned that their personal motto was "How Hard Could this Be?" After I was done laughing so loud that my boss asked me what was so funny, I decided, what a perfect title for a blog explaining why I haven't done anything at all in the past few days!

I find that I try really hard to be productive in the evenings, and I find that people, as in social situations, are like my shiny objects of distraction. Such as this weekend for instance, I was all set to get down with my tracing, and instead fell prey to a suggestions that I should watch the train wreck that is Jersey Shore (if you have not watched, please don't, it's for your own good). I finally tore myself away once I realized I had wasted 4hrs on the worst MTV show to grace their station since Cribs (yes, I sadly Wikipedia-ed it to find out if Sammi and Ronny were still together, they are.) Then Monday, well that was dinner and Wii night. And then yesterday, I even skipped a beautiful day for crew practice, just to get my trace on, and well that turned into grocery shopping night.

The moral of the story is, I am apparently incapable of doing more than one thing in a night, eventhough I'm home by 5pm.

Tonight is the night people! I WILL trace!