Photos really help!

Every time I make a pair of pants (trousers) for myself I first take a look at this photo.  No, I did not make these.  This is how RTW (ready to wear) fits on my body – and this is the right size.  Just awful!  This photo reminds me that no matter how little or how much work it is or how good or bad it turns out, me-made is always going to be better than this.

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I have cut out three pairs of pants so far and last Tuesday I finished the first pair – the chocolate brown ones.  I used McCalls M6901 (a Palmer/Pletsch pattern).  I didn’t use to like Palmer/Pletsch patterns – basically because they just went on and on, page after page of instruction to which I never paid any attention.  Silly me! Continue reading

Giving it another go …

I started the year with the #2017makenine Challenge – pick nine patterns and get ‘er done during the year!  So far, I am not too sure if I have been successful though.  I started with the dress pattern in the bottom left hand corner.  It was Vogue 9202, but it turned into a top, McCalls 6896 – actually rather successfully!

Last weekend I started my second garment of the #2017makenine Challenge.  Pants/trousers in the middle row, left side – Vogue 7881, described as “Claire Shaeffer Custom Couture Collection”.  How’s it going?

Well I took a good look at that pants pattern again and decided that I wanted to forgo the “couture” techniques just for now – I just don’t have the interest or energy!  I just want some pants, quickly, like now.  So I switched to another pants pattern of mine, Vogue V2532.  A simple pattern – fronts, backs, pockets and waistband – described as a “basic design”.

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In a panic for pants (trousers)!

Hello again!  Here I am!  The real thing!

My RTW Fast year is close to ending and I am still filling in the gaps in my handmade wardrobe.  There is still time left to sew up some pants for myself though – I would love to have a pair of black, blue and brown pants suitable for work.

So to recap… You’ve seen my pattern, Vogue V2948.  It has princess seams front and back and a curved waistband.  It is fantastic for alterations…

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What I did on my summer vacation. (Part II)

… just a hint … it involved a LOT of butt gazing!

The first (and last) time I sewed myself a pair of pants (trousers) was when I was in grade 8.  It was a tunic top and hipster/bell bottom pants, sort of like this pattern, made of PINK 100% polyester (the heavy stuff).

Those pants either “goosed” me when I walked or gave me “plumber’s crack” when I sat down.  I was at least lucky that the tunic top covered all my mistakes! Continue reading

More studying! … Pants Fitting Shell …

I know, it’s been a long project!  In October I made my Bodice Fitting Shell and in January I made my Skirt Fitting Shell.  Finally, I have finished my Pants Fitting Shell.

Like before, again I had the help of a Craftsy course – this time Pants Fitting Techniques by Sandra Betzina and her Vogue Pattern 2948.  I tried the pattern twice, first as is, with the centre front and back seams, and the second time without the centre front and back seams, making a one piece front and a one piece back.  I had different results with both.

I used my cotton gingham fabric again, although it was a bit stiff to be used as pants material.  I hope to make any other pants using this technique/pattern with a fabric that has a better drape.

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More studying! … Skirt Fitting Shell …

It’s not really my first garment of 2015, I certainly wouldn’t wear it outside the house, but it is a really important one.  A while ago I measured and drafted my Bodice Fitting Shell from Vogue pattern V1004.

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

During my time off work over Christmas, I continued with my studies using my Craftsy courses “Fast-Track Fitting” and “Fast-Track Fitting: In The Details” and my new book “Create the Perfect Fit” all by Joi Mahon.

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Quiet Please! Studying in Session!

I have definitely been busy, not sewing, but studying.  I have been working on my Bodice fitting shell!  When done, I hope to use it as a guide for fitting other patterns or even, some day, designing some patterns for myself!

"Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!"

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

A while back, I bought myself the Craftsy courses “Fast-Track Fitting” and “Fast-Track Fitting: In The Details” by Joi Mahon.  I was excited to work on improving my pattern fitting.  I liked these two courses so much I bought Joi Mahon’s book “Create the Perfect Fit“.  Although I like watching videos of “how-to”, when it comes down to doing it, I like having a book or instructions to refer to as I measure, cut and sew.  Flipping pages back and forth just makes me feel like I have something solid in my hands.

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Christmas all over again!

I have bought myself a wonderful after-Christmas present.

How to use, adapt, and design sewing patterns, by Lee Hollahan

I love reading books on the bus during my long commute to and from work. (If you can’t do it, ya might as well be reading about it!). The table of contents looks loaded with “how to’s!

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Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

One of the first chapters is on commercial patterns – how to measure yourself properly, pick a flattering pattern, pick the right size & fabric, layout your pattern properly, etc.

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Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

The next chapter covers alterations of the pattern for a better fit – something I need practice with – working with a bodice, sleeve, skirt, dress, and pant patterns.

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Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

The next chapter is about making muslins and advanced alterations for design and/or a perfect fit – something I have not done before. Want to change your pattern to make a bodice without side seams? Want to make a puffed sleeve head instead of the usual? What about putting a yoke in that flared skirt? I haven’t even gotten into all the dress, skirt and top variations yet!

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Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

The book comes with pattern blocks – pardon me? – Yes, pattern blocks – US size 6 to 18 included!

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Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

Oh yes, and a chapter on core sewing techniques, such as zippers, pleats, sleeves, etc., just in case!

Ok, so some of this is just a refresher for me… but most of it isn’t!  I am very happy with my purchase and Ms. Hollahan is not paying or asking me to say that neither, it’s just my opinion.

ONE BAD – I do wish that the book came with spiral binding though so it would lie flat! Although I think by the time I’m half way through it all the pages will have fallen out anyway and I can rebind it with a spiral coil!

QUESTIONS –

One book I saw suggested altering patterns with the “pivot and slide” method vs. this book suggesting “folding and/or cutting and taping” your pattern to adjust where needed.

Also one book suggested I measure across my chest above my bust, look at a chart, and that is the size of pattern I should always get – bust, waist and hips, etc. would have to be adjusted as needed on that pattern. But this book suggests that I go with my bust measurement if I am making a top and hip measurement if I am making a bottom then adjust the rest, if needed. I have never heard of the first method before!

Of these, which methods are most popular out there? Pivot and slide OR fold and/or cut and tape? And how do YOU choose what size pattern to buy?

PS… Sophie has decided to spend the afternoon on the fridge today and stay out of my sewing!

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

Hello Dolly!

Well my Happy Day has arrived! On the weekend I picked up “Dolly” from the post office! I was so excited I quickly slit open the box and hauled yet another box out! Hmm… Is it called “foreshadowing” when the box tells you “Dressmaking made easy”?  Sounds ominous to me!

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Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

As you can see, the cats were excited too! I see Simon (fluffy grey in the rear of the photo) but Where is Sophie Waldo?

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Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

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