I've been thinking about wardrobe building a lot lately.
My personal sewing time is pretty limited, so I want to make sure that what I make will fit seamlessly into my me-made wardrobe, so this week I'm sharing a review of all my summer sewing (some old and some new) with links to the video tutorials that will help you extend the life of your sewing patterns and put your own me made wardrobe together too.
Watch the video for a closer look at the items I made and how I managed to make them all work together to make the perfect summer wardrobe.
McCalls 6083 (out of print)
Blossom: (pop over blouse) *re-issue coming soon, Blossom Blouse Review
When do you feel most inspired to sew?
For me, the motivation is usually sparked by a change in seasons, a special occasion, an unsuccessful shopping experience or travel plans. I recently had a burst of sewing inspired by summer travel plans so I wanted to share what I made and give you a little “behind the scenes” view of the pattern work that allowed me to skip the sample and cut into the fashion fabric with confidence.
I was sure I was going to skip the jumpsuit trend this time around, but I found this pattern in my collection and it seemed the perfect piece to take on a summer vacation as well as an elevated way to stay comfortable throughout the entire summer. As an added bonus I already had the fabric and notions on hand.
Unfortunately this pattern is out of print, but I have no doubt you'll find a similar one if you're so inclined. Watch the video for a closer look at the pattern and a summary of how I altered the pattern to fit me without needing to sew a...
Every year in May I offer a Skirt Block Mini Class. When you sign up during the month of May you get access to the drafting instructions and 5 email lessons that guide you through how to use them.
This mini class is only available during the month of May so if you missed out on the opportunity to sign up, I highly recommend you add your name to my mailing list so you won’t miss out again. You'll get a copy of The Perfect Fit Guide and weekly emails that will build your pattern making and fitting skills. Sign Up Here.
If you were lucky enough to get access, I hope you enjoyed the drafting process and have sewn up a test sample of your draft and are ready to assess the fit because in this video I’m going to share some important tips to help you get the fit you want.
Fit Tip #1
The skirt has been drafted to include 1" (2.5 cm) of ease in the waist and 2" (5 cm) of ease in the low hip. Your draft may have turned out to have more or less ease than this. The difference...
In the last video you got a sneak peek at the cup size adjustment I made on my sewing pattern. This week I’m going to show you exactly how to do it.
Before you make your cup size adjustment make sure you have completed any length adjustments you may need. Pattern adjustments are best approached in this order: length, contour, width, girth. You’ll find that working in this order will help you eliminate fitting issues one step at a time. You can find more details on fitting order and method in The Perfect Fit Guide. Get your copy HERE.
Watch the video to see how to increase the cup size of the Belle sewing pattern.
When you’ve completed the cup size adjustment, be sure to make the corresponding length adjustment to the front facing. Make it a habit to always consider the corresponding pattern pieces that may be affected by any pattern adjustment you make.
If you’d like to see how to reduce the cup size of the pattern, click HERE for a blog post on the topic. I...
I firmly believe that if you spend some time reviewing the sewing pattern and its sizing chart, you can confidently anticipate the fitting changes you may need to make to the pattern in order for it to fit you. This seemingly extra step will ultimately save you time by improving your chance of achieving a good fit much more quickly.
This week I am sharing an inside look at how I assess and prepare a sewing pattern before I sew. I am featuring the belle blouse pattern in this video but you can use the same pattern assessment principles with any pattern.
Watch the video for details on how I assessed and prepared my sewing pattern for fitting.
It’s important to remember, the goal of the initial pattern adjustments is to align the sewing pattern to your personal body measurements and proportions. The...
We all have a sewing pattern or two in our collection that we would love to make again but doesn’t include the size we currently need. To help you solve that problem I’m going to show you a technique you can use to add a size to an existing pattern.
This week I am featuring the Belle sewing pattern and showing you how to use the existing graded nest to increase the pattern size. If you’d like to follow along using the Belle sewing pattern you can find it HERE. However, this tutorial is applicable to any sewing pattern.
I’m going to show you how to add one size to the Belle pattern which will increase the pattern’s girth measurements by 11/2” or 3.8 cm. If you need to increase the size further, simply follow the same method to increase the pattern by an additional size. If you happen to be using a different pattern, you’ll need to check the measurement gap between the sizes to determine how much you’ll be adding to the pattern using...
Have you shopped your existing pattern collection lately? I’ll bet there’s a real gem in there that has stood the test of time. Take a look, pull out the patterns that you’re instantly drawn to and make the most of what you already have. Often you’ll rediscover a favourite pattern that you can update with a styling tweak or a new fabrication.
I recently did this with my own pattern collection and what surfaced for me was the Belle blouse. Looking at it with fresh eyes, I think it’s the perfect example of a classic style that has timeless sophistication. When I first designed this pattern, I was inspired by an elegant 1940’s blouse, but it still feels relevant today. I think it works beautifully with today’s higher waistlines and would look great under a collarless jacket or cardigan. Unfortunately the samples no longer fit me, so I have decided to make up this pattern again and invite you to follow along.
If you have the Belle sewing pattern...
It's no secret that most of us struggle at one time or another with fitting the garments we make. Fitting information is the number one reason garment makers find my website. So I've been thinking alot lately about the reasons why we struggle so much with fitting.
Here are the top 5 reasons why garment makers struggle with fitting:
1. They are unaware of their current personal fitting landscape.
Fitting is not just about body measurements, it's about body shape and proportion too so I highly recommend you take fitting photos along with your body measurements each sewing season so you are aware of how your body has changed over time. It will make assessing fit much easier and you'll begin to understand the pattern shapes needed to create garments that fit you.
2. They assume that pattern size = pattern fit.
If you've been sewing for a long time, I'm sure this doesn't apply to you but it's an easy assumption to make so I encourage you to review the pattern company's...
Happy New Year!
I am not one to make New Year's resolutions but I do believe in setting an intention for the year and developing a plan to follow through. (semantics perhaps?)
This year my intention is FOCUS.
In spite of this ongoing pandemic and the uncertainty it brings, I intend to move into 2022 with a dedicated focus on your fitting success. With this in mind I've filled my calendar with online courses and fitting tutorials to help you achieve that goal so If you've been struggling with fitting sewing patterns and want to commit to learning how to fit this year, I'd like you to consider declaring 2022 your year of fitting success.
If you're with me on this you already know the declaration isn't enough, you must back intention with action and I've got just the thing that will get you started. I'll share exactly what that is next week so keep your eye on your...
I often get asked about the contents of my bookshelf, so I thought today you might be interested to see which books I use the most and would recommend that you add to your library.
Watch the video to get a glimpse inside my 5 favourite pattern making and fitting books. I share what I love about each book as well as some of the areas where the content is (just a little) lacking.
Here are my 5 favourite pattern making and fitting books:
Metric Pattern Cutting for Women's Wear by Winifred Aldrich
Patternmaking for Fashion Design by Helen Armstrong
Dress Fitting: Basic Principles and Practice by Natalie Bray
The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting by Sarah Veblen
Fitting and Pattern Alteration: A Multi-Method Approach to the Art of Style Selection, Fitting, and Alteration by Elizabeth Liechty, Judith Rasband, Della Pottberg-Steineckert
Put one on your wishlist or send one to a sewing friend, I have no doubt you'll make good use of these books.
I hope you...