Monday, 27 October 2014

Perfect Fit Skirt Sloper

I've dived into the world of pattern drafting head first!  I'm really inspired by all the possibilities and excited about what I've learned thus far.  There are so many possibilities once you have a well fitting sloper.  I'm learning from Suzy Furrer and her textbook "Building Patterns: The Architecture of Women's Clothing".  She also has a few really awesome Craftsy classes which I highly recommend.


I decided to start simple with a skirt sloper.  After taking accurate measurements I drafted a basic skirt sloper and sewed it up in muslin.  I had to make a few adjustments to improve the fit.  I moved the front darts over 11/4" toward the side seam to reduce fabric pooling under the dart.  I also trimmed 1/8" off the low hip.  The sideseam was not perfectly vertical so I brought down the front waist shaping line an extra 1/2".  After that there was gaping in the back waist so I took in an extra 1/4" back contouring on both sides.Then I dropped the waist line at the sideseam 1/4" to get rid of a few pull lines in the front.



I learned how to true my darts and of course sideseams.

 Here is my final skirt sloper on poster board.  I'll use this template to draft whatever style skirt I wish.  Pretty awesome eh?  Freedom from searching and searching for just the right pattern!



The final muslin looked really good and I was excited to draft a skirt pattern from this and make an awesome skirt in fashion fabric.


Coming up next:  Pencil Skirt with peplum!


Happy Sewing!

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Buffalo Plaid Archer!

My second Archer shirt is completed!  I like this one better mainly because I think I did a better job on it than the first time around.  I lengthened it by 2 inches.  Otherwise I sewed view A as per pattern instructions.

 I cut the pockets, yoke, cuffs and front placket on the bias.


I tried to pattern match the seams at least vertically.


Inside the shirt:  French seams and bias tape hem. 


I chose these royal blue pearl snaps just because I love the pop of colour! 

I marked my seam allowances on the cuff in order to get the corners just right. 








Here's what I did to my pattern: 2 inch lengthening in the bodice.  This makes the shirt fit a bit better on me.  I also feel that the extra length counteracts the boxiness of the fit. 

Well, I'm quite happy with my casual comfy shirts but I think that's it for now.  I'm eager to go back to my feminine, fitted patterns! 


Happy Sewing!

Friday, 3 October 2014

Autumn Archer Shirt

Yah!  I just finished the Archer Button up shirt from Grainline Studio.  This project was definitely a learning adventure for me.  Mostly learning to pay more attention to right vs. left and such.  Yeah, I had a little bit of sewing dyslexia.  But the reason I'm extra proud of this project is because I partially completed one of my sewing goals.  That goal is to sew more casual comfy everyday garments and a flannel shirt for fall... and boy is this ever a comfy warm shirt.  It's like wearing a hug.


This shirt is not actually flannel but brushed cotton.  I wanted a yarn dyed woven fabric as opposed to a printed flannel.  That ensures I get the plaid pattern and grainline working as one.  Oh yeah and I kind of did some pattern matching on the side seams but that's about it.

Things I've learned:  I mixed up the left and right front pattern pieces so my shirt closes like a mans shirt.  I don't mind it but next time I'll pay more attention to the way I place my pattern pieces.  I also sewed the collar on backwards and couldn't undo it because I already trimmed my seam allowances!  Yikes,  I was about to give up but I figured it's salvageable.  I ended up carefully slipstitching the collarstand to the outside of the shirt.  I'm happy the way it turned out but next time I need to pay more attention to putting things together the right way.  With my next shirt I think I'll also pay more attention to pattern matching.





 Yep, there's my dyslexic collar...































I decided to do a bias tape hem.  It's a neat finish and I felt that I wished the shirt was a tiny bit longer so this way I only lost 1/4 inch in length during the hemming process.



I love the cuffs and the white pearl snaps!


This was the sideseam and sleeve topstitching process.

I graded the seam allowances using pinking shears for one layer.

 I hand basted in the shoulder seam prior to the burrito method seen below.

My little flannel burrito

 I've always disliked setting in sleeves.  I'm always worried about getting puckers.  I hand basted one of the sleeves prior to sewing it in.  It takes a little more time but really makes a huge difference.

Awesome pattern,  I'm definitely going to make another one.

Happy Sewing.


Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Grant Park Quilt Top - Completed!



I recently finished this simple disappearing nine-patch quilt top. It is 67"X55".  I'm waiting to get the backing fabric, then I will layer, baste and quilt it by machine.


I made the centre accent squares all red and arranged them to match up on the diagonal.  I also tried to match the corresponding large corner squares.  I found this created a more cohesive look.  I did try laying it out so the white rectangles lined up as a sashing but the quilt looked too much like a USA flag; not exactly the look and feel I was aiming for.

So, I'm thinking of using wool batting with this to make it extra soft and warm.  Once it's all quilted and binded, I'll make another post with photos.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, 18 August 2014

Colour Value: A simple trick!


I've been planning a quilt that requires specific placement of light, medium and dark value fabrics in order to get a 3 dimensional effect.  I have these batik precuts that I'm planning to use, so I sat down and played around with them.  I discovered a simple trick to accurately arranging the colours from light to dark.  A lot of them were obvious, but for most of the middle shades it was more difficult to determine which is darker.










I took photos of my various arrangements and then converted the photos to black and white.  The black and white photos clearly presented the value of the fabric colours so easily and so simply! 



Here are some comparison photos:
















 It's so fun playing with fabric, isn't it?


Happy sewing!












Friday, 8 August 2014

English Paper Piecing!

I've been really inspired by the craft of quilting lately; especially hand piecing.  Today I wanted to share my english paper piecing project which I started probably a year ago.  I often find it relaxing to do things which are slow, such as hand piecing, hand quilting or knitting.  I then alternate with another project that is faster such as machine sewing quilt blocks that are simple and quick to create.  This one may take me a long time to complete.  So far I've sewn 150 hexagons... only 850 hexagons to go!  But the point is not to just finish it.  The purpose is to enjoy each step, each stitch and just relax into it.  I have to keep reminding myself this.  I love the different patterns and colours.  I love the way the pattern emerges as I sew each row.

Here is my sewing kit.  I sew only one row at a time.  I love to sew outside on the deck and enjoy the fresh air, sunshine and breeze


I start off by basting the hexagon templates to the fabric pieces for whatever row is next.



Then I sew them, using a small whipstitch, into a row according to the pattern.


Then I sew that row onto the previous row



 Tada!  Pretty cool pattern eh?




You can see the paper templates on the back.  I could have removed the top 2 rows of templates because I really only need the last row to have templates in place.

Here is the complete pattern of the quilt.

1000 hexagons!  Wow!

Happy Sewing!