What do you get when you cross a …

needle with a tiger – A pinstripe!

What do you get when you cross a bodice pattern block, a Sewaholic Hollyburn skirt and a vintage Butterick pattern?  Let me show you!

In the ’80s I remember having a red polyester knit dress – similar to the one here without a collar.  I loved it!

I decided to make another one for myself using this Butterick pattern and this knit fabric.  I’m not sure what its content is – I just found it in my stash.  I love the print.  Is this paisley or floral – or paisley floral?  or floral paisley? Continue reading

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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.

Continue reading

No rain, a new hair-do and a new dress!

… this is Happiness!

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It’s Frocktober! A while ago I received my Sewaholic Yaletown pattern in the mail and knew I had to sew it up with my Batic 100% rayon purchased during my shopping trip to Vancouver!  My dress is done now, just in time, and I am very pleased with it.

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

I Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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!!