Posts Tagged“free sewing patterns”

Two delicate and feminine, no pattern blouses

As a person who owns much more patterns than she will ever get to use and still remembers the exact number of the now lost Burda magazine she lent a friend over 6 years ago, I am fascinated by garments that don’t need patterns. More specifically about boxy, square-ish shapes that have never seen a french curve in their life.

That’s why I really like these blouses and dresses from this Kitting, Crochet and Sewing Magazine (I can’t find this magazine anywhere else, do you know if it has a different name?)

Look at this blouse below, for example: it’s basically a trapeze shape, but the crochet straps and hems only barely drape it to create a wonderful and simple blouse. If you’re good with crochet, this should be very easy to make.

delicate no pattern summer blouse

This second blouse follows the same style: crochet upper bodice and soft flowy body.

delicate blouse with crochet trim

I really like how delicate the crochet looks against the modest napkin-like fabric.

delicate crochet and cotton blouse in japanese style

The magazine has instructions at the end, showing you how to create the very very simple patterns.

The softer and fabric you use it, the more delicate the finished garment will look like. If you use heavier fabrics, you will end up with boxier blouses.

how to make an easy blouse in less than one hour

If you want to take a look at the other blouses in the magazine, here it is:

How to make a dress or blouse bodice: the easy way

Today I was thinking about ways in which I could simplify the making of the bodice. Now, I have a bodice that I’ve made following the instructions in Helen Joseph Armstrong’s book, Patternmaking for Fashion Design and another from Sarai Mitnick’s book, The Colette Sewing Handbook: Inspired Styles and Classic Techniques for the New Seamstress but I wanted to see how I could make one fast and easy, if, let’s say I am too lazy to look for them 🙂

And then I found this video with Peggy Sagers who explains pattern-making by draping. I always thought this was difficult to do, but she explains it very clearly.

One point she makes about the bust darts is that they always have to reach to the bust point (the nipple) and that they have to end somewhere within the bust circle, which is a 3in radius circle, with the centre at the bust point. If a dart does that, then it can be safely positioned in a multitude of ways, either vertically or horizontally.

See how to draft the bust circle below:

sewing patterns drafting the bust circle

Another point that’s actually something I wish I had understood sooner is that the bodice always stops at the real waist. So if you want to make a blouse, you should add as much length to your bodice as you need (maybe you want it to only touch the hipline or to pass it completely, you always need to add that length). It’s funny now because when I first created my bodice following Helen Armstrong’s instructions, I had commented that the bodice fitted me more or less well, but it was way to short.

Measuring the body takes much longer than draping the body, she says. It’s true, how come I didn’t think of that before?

How does she drape? She pins the square piece to the mannequin (my recent madness about owning a body form is bubbling up here, but let’s put a lid on it for now), marks the neck points and the shoulder, then she drapes the paper at the bust point, horizontally, creating a bust dart. She then repeats from the bust point to the waistline, vertically, creating a waist dart.

how to make sewing patterns bust darts

Another quote that sounds a bit funny in the beginning, but makes a lot of sense: an armhole is created the same way as a neckline: down and out.

She sews the darts starting from the bust point down, arguing that it’s easier to get that first part right, like that, and that if you get wrong the foot of the dart, then that’s going to be encased in a seam anyway. Plus, she sews darts with an overlocker!

A french dart is a combination of the bust dart and the waist dart: you start with your basic bodice with the two bust and waist dart. You then mark the new french dart starting with a few inches up from the side and drag it to the bust circle. Slash open and close the old darts:

how to make a french dart

Would love to know your thoughts on this technique!

 

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?

A Cute Vintage Gathered Yoke Blouse

a-vintage-inspired-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.