Posts Tagged“clothing design”

Great Things in Sewing This Week

Something to sew

Don’t you love a free sewing pattern, especially when the pattern maker is modelling an awesome garment made with it?

I was already impressed by Deer and Doe and their sewing patterns for women and not men men, but this new free t-shirt sewing pattern is really cool. You’d have to sign in to download it, but the pattern looks like it’s worth it.

free tshirt sewing pattern deer and doe

I’ve bought a thick raspberry-pink jersey in my last holiday and this looks like a good project for it.

Something to think about

I really like Laurwyn’s post about body image. I think many of us don’t know how good looking they really are. We are taught and used to thinking females are only beautiful if they look like whatever the era’s models look like. Curvy, slim or supper skinny, tall, but not too tall, shorter than most males, but not too short etc. Instead of looking at ourselves, we look at what’s missing.

It’s refreshing to change the tune for once.

Something to do

wardrobe architect

I like Sarai’s new project, Wardrobe Architect and the exercises she suggests.

Week two’s assignment is creating a collection of images that describe your core style. Sarai takes you on a self-discovery journey of personal style and then helps you pick 5 words that best describe your style. Mine are tomboy, natural, comfortable, feminine, bicycle. Bicycle?? Why is that there? Well, I was struggling to find a fifth word to describe how I dress and since I use my bike everyday, that affects how I dress.

I won’t wear anything polyester for example because I need fabrics that breathe on their own. I won’t wear short skirts or too short shorts because that won’t be comfortable. I won’t wear a jacket that’s too fitted, because it would bother me on the bike. And I don’t like to be bothered 🙂

That’s all from me, for now. How about you? What did you sew? What did you think about? What did you do this week?

How to Draft A Fitting Back Bodice Block

I’ve talked about pattern blocks and how they can make pattern making easier by offering a basic template to work on. Instead of buying pre-drafted pattern blocks I decided to make my own. It isn’t as difficult as it sounds, especially if you have a copy of Helen Joseph Armstrong’s Pattern Making for Fashion Design.

The instructions are clear and to the point. The illustrations in this post are taken from this book.

For the front bodice check out my previous post, Sewing Course Lesson 2 – How To Make a Basic Bodice Block.

Step 1

How to Draft A Fitting Back Bodice Block

Starting from the left side of your paper, draw a line AB with the same length as your full length measurement (check out this post if you’re not sure which measurements you have to take).
Then draw a line AC equal to your across the shoulder measurement. Square down from C 3 inches.
Draw a line BD measuring the same as your center back length, then square out 4 inches from this point
Draw BE, which is equal to your back arc + 3/4 inch. From E square up a few inches.

Step 2


Draw AF, which is your back neck measurement and add 1/8 inch so the bodice won’t feel to tight around your neck.
Draw BG, which is the shoulder slope measurement and add a 1/8 inch
Daw FH, which is your shoulder length + 1/2 inch. Square down from F to D
BI is your dart placement and BJ is your waist arc, plus dart intake of 1 1/2 inches, plus another 1/4 inch for ease.
IK is your dart intake measurement.

Step 3

To get JM square down 3/16 inch
MN is your side length measurement
To get LO square up from L 1 inch less than MN
Draw the fart legs from O and then draw lines from K to M and from B to I.
Mark half of GH to create a point P
Draw a 3 inch line PQ in the direction of the O point
PR measures 1/4 inch. Draw a dart leg from Q and connect to F. Mark 1/4 inch from P and draw the other dart leg.
DS is 1/4 of DB
ST is your across back measurement with a 1/4 inch added for ease.
Draw the armhole and the neckline with a French Curve.

Even though this looks a little complicated, once you have the measurements drawing the lines is pretty straightforward.

This bodice has a vintage vibe: super slim waist, (almost) pointy bust, fits at the true waist. It’s also interesting because those back darts make it very stylish. I think I could use this bodice as it is to make a fitted dress, I made the bodice our of fabric to see how it fits, but I am not sure I want a dress that’s that form fitting at the moment.

I will update this post when I write more about the adjustments I made to it.

Do you draft your own patterns? Any tips?

On Personal Style: What is It?

“What constitues great personal style-

“What constitues great personal style? This is one of the questions I get asked the most. We tend to think that to achieve great personal style someone must have perfect clarity about who they are and what they stand for. I politely disagree. I think conflict about who you are often leads o even greater expression. This is why young people, or the young at heart, are those that inspire or move fashion forward. They are still strugling to find themselves: “Am I a rocker? A footbaler? Or a little bit of both?” These contradictions produce the most interesting looks.”

Scott Schuman, The Sartorialist

I bought Scott’s first book because there is something in the people he photographs that is deeply interesting. Maybe it’s because we all love to look at other people and that has somehow become weird or dangerous to do on the street. To be able to look at interesting people from the comfort of your own sofa or desk, to study them and try to understand what is it about them that you like so much – that’s maybe why street style photography has become so popular.

We all see all kinds of interesting people everyday, but do you ever stop to really look at them?

Those Clothes We Love to Hate


Have you ever spotted a dress, a coat, a jacket, what have you, loved it, had to have it, made it (or bought it), only to realize there is something terribly wrong with it, that will never allow you to wear it happily?

Maybe it’s too transparent, or maybe it clings too much, maybe it wrinkles like crazy, or maybe it makes your bottom look fat and your legs short. You love it, you hate it.

What do you do? Do you zip and bare? Do you keep it “just in case”? Do you give it away without thinking twice?

Here’s my list of unbearable discoveries made about garments I otherwise love:

  • The length of the dress is perfect, but people can see your underwear if you walk too fast – do you wear fancy knickers and walk like a lady?
  • The fabric is beautiful and itchy – is there a magic softener?
  • The shirt is fantastic, but it wrinkles horribly the moment you put your bag on your shoulder – do you wear a clutch and try not to move too much all day?
  • The pants are great, until you wash them the 15th time and they lose their perkiness – can they be saved?
  • Everything is perfect, except it makes me look 3 sizes bigger – should this matter?

What about you? Do you have a love-hate relationship with the clothes you make? What annoys you? How do you deal with it?

A Cute Vintage Gathered Yoke Blouse

This is another idea from ”Precision draping; a simple method for developing designing talent” by Nelle L. Weymouth.

And it seems so easy to make also: just cut a (sort of) diamond shape above the bust, then slash and spread the remaining part of the bodice to create pleats. Then sew back together.

I would work with a relaxed version of the bodice for this. The bodice I made with this method comes out very fitted. For this blouse I would just grade it to a bigger size so the blouse has some movement. And it’s easier to take in then release a garment anyway 😛

This is a very similar garment (image from here), with long sleeves, a shirt collar and made in black silk.

Various Vintage Necklines and How to Draft Them

Happy New Year! May 2013 bring you many new sewing ideas and lots of hours of sewing fun.

One of the books I started the year with was “Precision draping; a simple method for developing designing talent” by Nelle L. Weymouth. Published in 1889, this is a lovely book; everything is so well explained and it just makes pattern drafting seem so easy! I got to this book via The Perfect Nose, who posts lots of vintage goodies as well as marvelous sewing projects of her own.

One of the things that I sketched into my notebook for future reference were the necklines and how to design facings. My favourite were the sweetheart neckline, the triangular keyhole neckline and the peter pan collar, both the rounded and the pointed version.

The full lesson on neckline facings can be found here and these are the drawn notes I took while reading. Drawing helps me both remember notions I would like to experiment with and understand better what it is to be done. Just don’t get to bored by the repetitive busty lady shown below.

1. The Sweetheart Neckline
A rounded and rather modest sweetheart neckline is shown here, but you can make it as generous or as square as you like it.

The Sweetheart Neckline

2. The Keyhole Neckline.
A triangular shape is shown here but the same can be done with an oval shape.

The Keyhole Neckline

3. The Peter Pan Collar
The Peter Pan collar has been getting a lot of attention lately and I’ve seen many tutorials and even made my own following the pattern of a blouse I have. This all seems silly when you notice how simple it actually is to draft. If only I had pictured it like this 6 months ago.

The Peter Pan Collar

4. The Pointed Peter Pan Collar
Another reason why I am such a sucker for sewing books is learning the names of things. And then calling them by their names, dammit 🙂 This is such a pretty collar; did you know it was called a pointed peter pan? How do you call it?

The Pointed Peter Pan Collar

Hope this sounds at least 25% as exciting as it does to me and if not, well, I expect you to write about it in the comments section 🙂 I’d rather be told when I am boring than yap yap yap alone.