"How EVER did you find those finger pointer things?" (I use the picture above to illustrate what we are talking about. But I warn you that in this particular pic, the pointer is not there for any other reason than to display the graphic about which we are speaking -- or should I say writing?)
I found the pointer in Picasa. Here's how to put pointers into your photo. Open the text box to add text to a photo. Choose "Wingding" as the font. The pointer can be displayed by typing "e" using the shift key. You can then size and position or rotate it in the same way you do the normal text box.
"Now. A question. I've noticed that lots of patterns are similar with slight variations. What do you feel are the most crucial patterns? The ones that you could easily tweak in one or two areas? or do you just buy new patterns for the variations? I ask because, I've noticed myself purchasing dress patterns for myself that are suprisingly similar with just slight variations and I wonder if it is worth it. Right now, obviously being a new seamstress, it is. But will it ALWAYS be? Just curious."
This question is a little tougher than the first one, because my idea of "crucial" may be very different than someone else's. For this reason, I would appreciate anyone with sewing experience to add your answer to mine by leaving a comment.
Now to my convoluted answer. This is how I would go about trying to determine a crucial pattern for myself. I would think of a dress, shirt, etc. that I thought was becoming on me (this of course will be different for each of us, since God has made us with a great variety of body types). I might think about what garment in my closet gets worn the most. If I couldn't think of any in particular, I might go to a store and try on some outfits (even expensive ones) until I found something that was a "good" style for me. (After all, it costs nothing to try things on, and I am only trying to determine what style looks good on me. I don't have to buy it!) If I were a beginning sewists, I would look for something that is rather simple, yet attractive.
Next, I'd go to the pattern books and look for something similar to "my" chosen style. Again, if I were a beginning sewists I would check to see if this pattern would be simple to sew. I often will take the instruction sheet from the envelope to look it over BEFORE I purchase the pattern. If I don't like what I see, I simply refold it neatly, return it to the envelope, and then put the pattern back in the drawer.
I rarely buy a different pattern for all the variations -- in fact I rarely make a pattern up exactly the same as it is meant to be. Although, I must admit this ends up adding time to my making things -- the time it takes me to revamp the sleeve or add some detail or other.
As to "will it always be so"? That is really up to YOU! Don't be afraid to risk making slight changes even now. Children's outfits are a great place to practice. (Less wasted material if something should REALLY go awry. Also, a child's body shape is less curvy, so usually there is less chance of making a major mistake in fitting.) The more we sew patterns and become familiar with what we are doing--the less complicated these changes become. We can sometimes combine the sleeves of one pattern with the bodice of another, and thereby get the exact look we want.
Here, I am going to suggest a book I came across a year or so ago. The title is Make You Own Patterns by Adele Margolis. I absolutely LOVE this book, and would recommend that you find this book and make it your own. The illustrations are great, she explains the how-to's of tweaking your patterns.
"On the subject of busts, . . . are there any particular style necklines or shirts that are more flattering for (larger) busts, I wonder? "
Yes, there are some ways to minimize the appearance of a larger bust. The first tip is to separate the visual plane of the bust. For instance, a wrapdress or shirt (the kind that crosses over in the front of the chest) would accomplish this.
A V-neck, even a plunging V-neck with a tank top underneath for modesty will still separate the bustline and thus make it look smaller. A square neckline will (surprisingly to me), also, minimizes the apprearance of the bust. Scoop necks are another good choice.
- Stay away from high or round necks, as they accentuate the size of the bust. Boat necks, turtlenecks, and sweetheart necklines are also a no-no. Lower necklines are better. In colder weather a light-weight scarf can be used around the neck and tucked into the bodice (think of Pride & Prejudice). If you do wear a high neckline, put a long rectangular scarf around your neck and knot it just below your bustline.
- Empire (raised) waistlines will also help to minimize the appearance of a larger bust.; however, the less gathers under the bustline the better.
- Vertically striped tops and dark colors or dark background prints are another good trick. Stay away from shiny, metallic, or clingy fabrics that draw attention to the bust.
- What about sleeves or lack thereof? Spaghetti straps, sleevelesss and short sleeve styles will draw the eyes to the bustline and are less desirable than long sleeves. Ideal are 3/4 length sleeves.
- Single-breasted coats are preferable to double breasted.
- Stay away from large collars, ruffles, or frills at the neck or bust. These add visual bulk to the area.
- Baggy clothes also create a visual mass that accentuate the size of the bust. Clingy or form fitting tops draw the eye to the bust as well. Tops that fit well but are not TOO form-fitting are flattering.
- Carrying a large handbag will also draw attention away from the bust.
Here are a few sketches that I belive might fit the above criteria. I will refer to the view I think falls into the category we are talking about. But remember that they are NOT especially sized for a generous bust, I'm just trying to show you some pictures as examples of styles that would be flattering on a larger busted woman.span>
This top would be a good style (make it with 3/4 length sleeves -- even better)
Dress - View B (Seems to me to be an excellent style - Might consider this one for myself, just add a straight insert at the neck for modesty's sake.)
Okay, that should give you a little idea of what to look for.
Y I hope this is helpful,