Stealing Summertime and How to Mark Darts

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Whoa. It has been incredibly busy here. I’m doing my best to sit still and write something while I’ve got 3 cups of coffee in my system, 3 dresses waiting to be finished, and a to-do list a mile long sitting beside me. This summer hasn’t exactly been relaxing, but usually what other people consider “relaxing”, I consider boring. I don’t want to watch movies all day, I don’t want to lay in bed, I don’t even want to spend my afternoon just basking in the warm sun. I want to SEW! TEACH! RUN AROUND! DRINK TOO MUCH COFFEE! PEE A LOT!

I think this is due to Portland bringing so much change into our lives, and it’s about to get a bit messier as I figure out a studio space. I’ll be sure to share before-and-afters, as well as some how-to’s as Rob and I rearrange things around here.

Otherwise, I’ve been spending some of my time getting ready for fall. I KNOW. Already? Sheesh. I lit up that Yankee Farmer’s Market candle at the first sign of cold weather! And pumpkin spice lattes? I’ll have 4, please. Yes, in a row. Don’t look at me that way, I’ve got a problem.

Mmmm- the baked oatmeal I’ve been making is an absolutely amazing way to spend an “I-wish-it-really-was-fall” morning. And it reheats beautifully. I’ll post the recipe if anyone would like to have it. You can put any kind of fruit in it that you have around, but I prefer apples and a bit of cinnamon.

It’s so good. I like that it’s not like oatmeal at all- the texture of the actual oatmeal changes. It becomes almost a fine crumb, and the brown sugar makes the toasted edges lightly sweet and wonderful. I put a bit of milk on mine, but that’s usually because it’s piping hot and I want it now.

I’m excited to share a few class samples I’ve been working on. I hope I’ll get to post them this weekend. Anyone who comes to the Friday Night Sewcial at Modern Domestic tonight will get a sneak peek though!

Speaking of sewing though, I thought I’d share a little tip for how I mark my darts when I’m sewing. I think it’s a lot faster than the traditional “get out your tracing wheel and tracing paper” route, and you won’t have that stupid chalk paper rubbing off on your nice project. All that you’ll need is your project, pattern, sharp pins, and an eraser pen. I wrote about them for MD here, and they’re one of my FAVORITE THINGS EVER. I have the blue one, so it erases with the white tip end or water, but the pink marker is nice too because it disappears with air.

Start out with your pattern piece pinned on your already cut-out bodice/front/skirt, whatever. My example here is a bodice front, on the fold. I’m going to be marking my dart on the left and right side of my bodice front at once with this little trick. I folded my right sides together before I cut out my pattern piece, so I’m marking my dart on the WRONG side of my fabric, or the INSIDE of my bodice. Make sense?

Put pins thru each mark on your dart, making sure that you go straight thru the pattern and both layers of your fabric. Don’t let the darts go in at an angle. The next picture only looks like they’re at an angle because the pins had to kind of lay on their side so the pattern piece would lay down. After you put the pins thru, flip the piece over, so the pattern piece is laying on the table.

Front with pins:

Back with pins:

Here’s where you start to use your handy marker (that will COMPLETELY disappear). At each place that a pin pokes thru, make a dot at the base of said pin. Also, on the edge of your pattern piece, you can mark your dart end notches by drawing them, instead of cutting them out. This way you will still be able to see them after you finish your edges.

After your back marks have been made, flip the piece over, and mark your dart notches, again with slashes. Or, you can draw the notches if you’d like. It’s completely up to you.

Slowly peel back the pattern piece, marking each pin area and you peel it up from your fabric. This is how you take the pins out and mark at the same time.

When you are finished, you will have lots of little dots on your fabric. You can now play connect-the-dots, or just match them up when you go to sew your darts.

Oh, and sorry for choosing yellow fabric for this. I know, I know, bad choice. But it will make sense when you see what I’ve been up to!

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  • Adam

    Let’s see that recipe already! Today is our first truly, truly fall-ish day – thinking it could be a delicious breakfast in the coming days.

    • http://reallyhandmade.com Amy Alan

      Coming right up (tonight)!

  • Maggie

    That’s exactly how I mark my darts.
    PLEASE post your Baked Oatmeal recipe. I can’t find the one you gave me and I want to have some. It is SOOOOO GOOD !!!
    Love & Miss you,
    Maggie

    • http://reallyhandmade.com Amy Alan

      Never fear! I’ll post it later tonight, so that you can remember little ole’ me while you eat it. ;)