One of the perks of enrolling on the pattern drafting class was that I had access to loads of drafting paper and a large spacious studio to work in. Once I finished my project I still had a few weeks left on the course and so I used that time to start drafting a T-shirt block for my OH.
Using Winifred Aldrich, I drafted an easy fitting t-shirt. It is a very quick draft – I think menswear might be easier to draft for than women’s because men don’t have as many curves? This is based on this one easy draft :-).
Personally I thought the neckline on the draft was too high and narrow for something that is supposed to come over your head. But I didn’t remedy it immediately so I could see if my instinct was correct. Upon making the t shirt I was chuffed to see that I was correct – the neckline was far too high and narrow so I lowered it by 3/4″ at front and widened by 1/2″ at shoulder.
There was lot of ease on this t-shirt. OH complained that it was too much and so in a dramatic role reversal – I was pinning out the excess while he had to pose in front of a mirror and say when :-). He was eventually happy when I had taken out about 1.75″ (one and three-quarter inches) from the sides.
The fabric is a really great quality cotton jersey that I bought from B&M Fabrics. Its nice and slightly thick with good stretch recovery. I used 1m which cost me £14/m – worth every penny for my loudest cheerleader.
OH had choice of neckband in either same fabric of contrast black cuffing – I think he made the right choice. I finished the neckband and hems using a twin needle. A lot of effort went into making him this t-shirt. Now that we have a block for him I expect that there will be a few more t-shirts in the future – he even mentioned screen printing his own graphics…….
He is very pleased with it and he wears every time its clean and available. One of my loosely defined goals this year is to sew more stuff for him – because- he is worth it 🙂
Thanks for stopping by and until next time Happy Sewing everyone.
Phew I am really trying to catch on all my blog posts before the beginning of September so apologies in advance for the project dump that will be happening in the next week. This is another one of my UFOs that I tackled after getting back in May.
Ok here is a skirt (in progress) that should have been finished over 2 years ago when I started working on it. Believe it or not but I actually started this before even buying the Suzy Furrer Craftsy class. From early on when I read about bloggers who were drafting their own patterns, I was fascinated and keen to try it out so I borrowed the Winifred Aldrich book from the library.
The inspiration for my skirt was this Boden skirt that I just loved but couldn’t afford.
In terms of the drafting instructions – they were quite easy to follow. The ease on the block was quite considerable and I had to take in about 2 inches in total. I made 3 muslins in total. Once I had a 2 dart tailored skirt draft that seemed to work I then had to make princess line seams which went well and I decided to add pockets as well.
I added a contoured waist on either side of the front center panel with the pockets angled straight across. I think it it sort of worked but I took forever with this. This is mock up number 4 I think. I used linen but really I need to use a woolen as my intended final garment is a woolen. The trick with the wool will be dealing with the bulk – there are places where there will be 4 layers of fabric intersecting. Thought with linen its manageable – I will need to think about this. Its supposed to be lined but hey Done is better than perfect right? I simply finished the waist with a petersham ribbon. (my woolen one will be lined. I did draft the facing and lining pattern pieces. I found the length perhaps a tad too long and will reduce it by another inch. If I do that I will add the vents which I skipped in this muslin.
Its a workable pattern I think and I am finally going to make it using a pink tweed wool that is part of my preciousness fabric stash 🙂
But that will be sooner rather later :-).
Thanks for stopping by!
Peace and love,
PS. This is not a review of the Winifred Aldrich book. I have not made enough from this book yet to justify an opinion on it. I hope in future to make more from this book. So far the main thing I have noticed is the huge amount of ease with the initial draft.
This a fabric that I had been dreading to cut because of fear of pattern matching. Too many times I brought the fabric out and started pinning trying to match and always gave up. The idea of perfection was getting in the way. Eventually I just decided to just do it! I failed at pattern matching but thats ok.
Ok so on to technicalities…..The difference between this skirt and the previous one (link here) I made is that this one was made from a knit sloper. The first one was from a woven sloper. Thinking on it now I am not sure why I did that.
Making a knit skirt sloper basically uses the woven sloper as the base. All the darts are removed from the side to give it a more rounded shape. I also pegged it in about an inch athe hem for a more pencil -y shape.
I loved sewing this up because it has to be my fastest make to date. Took me less than 30 mins using my overlocker. Hem was just zigzaged. I have said before that I like the twin needle but sometimes I just dont feel like stopping to set it up.I have been wearing this a lot with tights and boots and its just so nice, warm and comfy.
I am happy I have used up the fabric thats been in my stash for over 18 months. Most of the fabrics I purchased at the beginning of my sewing journey are frankly speaking …….think word that rhymes with hit, bit, kit 🙂 ….but I think this is one occasion where I didn’t do too bad. DO you ever look at some of the fabric you bought early in you sewing journey and just slap your head?
Its nearly the end of August eek! Must get on with finishing my summer projects – my head cannot stay buried in the sand forever. I will have to say “Good bye summer I hardly got to know you this year“.
Anyhow, allow me to present another self drafted skirt. This one is a taffeta lined, high waist A line skirt with pockets. It’s nearly the same as this one I made in Feb however it has a waistband instead of a facing. Drafting it took about 45 mins because I faffed around with whether I was going to keep the front waist darts or not. This was important because of the pockets. The positioning of the pockets is in the dart area. In the end I just kept the darts because I wanted a fitted look. I lengthened the skirt by about 6 inches to hit my knees. The pockets were split into 2 pattern pieces – one of the pocket bag lining and one for the visible part of the skirt. I did this to reduce bulk as my fabric was a cotton canvas. A Cath Kidston cotton canvas…
Say WAHHHHHHH!!!! Yes I bought 1m of Cath Kidston ‘Birds’ fabric. For months I had been looking for something to make for the Monthly Stitch Put a bird on it Challenge (I had voted Foxes and have plenty of foxy fabric in the stash but no birds). Took a while of searching but I finally found this birds fabric as something I could get down with. Unsurprisingly I first saw it on InstaGram (Thanks IG…for a free app you are turning out to be quite expensive!)
The fabric came in this lovely spotty packaging (which I still have). It was so exciting! – the thrill of receiving a fabric package. Waiting till I had enough time to savour opening it (little people having naps ;-). My next issue was the lining. I went shopping specifically for lining and found this red taffeta and I knew it was prefect.
All things assembled cutting was next. Took longer than normal because I had to get the optimal pattern placement. I did not want decapitated bird heads. So everything was cut single layers. Because cotton canvas frays it had to be overlocked straight away. I also overlocked all the lining pieces as well since I was at it.
Sewing it was quick work. I use an 80 sewing needle which made a nice difference to the stitch quality. For the waistband there were a few options for me and I tried the fold a band which was a first for me. It creates a crisp sharp waistband without a lot of work. I also did a button waistband for the first time and used a hook and bar.
To maximise length I went for a bias hem and it looks so neat on the insides. Its a very nice skirt – I feel very To the Manor Born in this. Love it very much, all that’s missing is a wide brim sunhat and Daiquiri with me swanning around saying “Dahlin…”.
Overall I am very pleased with this skirt …Despite the invisible zip not being quite invisible (DONE is better than PERFECT)– I enjoyed taking my time over the new techniques and getting a neat finish. Plus, the fabric is lovely, it has pockets and I think that the shape of this lends itself well to a few more skirts in different fabrics/colours that could become easy wardrobe staples.
In all honesty, I’m immensely proud of how far my sewing and dressmaking skills have come. To think just over a year ago I was tentatively dipping my toes into sewing, now I am designing, drafting and creating my own clothes!
How are you? Is summer with you yet? I hope so- in Northern England its been half and half and I am trying to make the most of it. My two eldest are really enjoying not having much structure to their day: no music lessons, homework, scouts etc. I have to admit I am letting them watch a lot more TV ….which gives me a bit more time to sew :-).
I got into a mad panic this weekend having realised that there are only 4 weeks left till Autumn!!!! Where did the time go?? I haven’t finished half of my summer sewing plans. Do you feel like you are ready to think about Autumn sewing? I am not! Like an ostrich I will stick my head in the sand for a while longer yet 🙂
And so onto something I just couldn’t wait to share with you guys! Remember my post about how I sometimes get random ideas that are not on the sewing queue (wrote about it in this post here)? Well pencil skirts is one of those. In my head I want to have about 5 pencil skirts in patterned fabrics. I got my sloper out and used Suzy Furer’s Craftsy class to draft the pencil skirt with a facing.Continue reading →
I made this skirt a while back but haven’t got round to blogging it. Its exactly the same as my last self drafted skirt except for I lengthened by 4 inches. I cut a straight line along the low hip, added 4″ and trued up the side seams. I quite like the length and the slim A line look of the skirt.
The lining is a medium weight polyester with a tight weave. I picked it up for 50p/m at a car boot sale in Essex. The colour complimented the cotton of the skirt.The fabric is a 100% cotton that I picked up for £2.95/m so its a bargain really. It sews and irons nicely. Not quite like my favourites linen and lawn but its well behaved. I quite liked the flowers on it but on a black background. A bit shabby chic but not quite…..
I have worn the skirt several times since making it and the colour has faded somewhat. A bit disappointing but the skirt still looks nice on. Still some refining needed on the lining construction. I probably need to get a book or something….. Anyway here is my IG from last week wearing this skirt. Come hang out on IG where I post my me made stuff and yoga challenges 🙂
Hope you are all well! I have a post that I have been meaning to get done for some time. Way back in November I bought some Craftsy classes during their Black Friday sales. One of them was Pattern Making Basics – The Skirt Sloper by Suzy Furrer.
Its an online class delivered via the Craftsy Platform which means you can ask the teacher questions and they respond as soon as they can. In my case it was 2 days at most before I got a response from Suzy. You can also see questions and responses asked by other people taking the class. I found it helpful because sometimes my issue was answered in previous questions.
The class is very comprehensive. Suzy shows you how to take measurements accurately – I thought I knew how to do this but now I know. The sloper took me a couple of hours to draft – both front and back. I then had to make a muslin and adjust the fit. My first muslin looked like this:
Most of my adjustments involved shaving off 1/8″ here and there. I also had to move my front darts 1″ towards the side seams to get rid of the drag lines across the back. I had kept on pinching out fabric at the side seams but it had the drag lines regardless of how tight it got. A simple shifting of the darts and everything dissolved into a smooth fit. Amazing!
Once the adjustments were made on the muslin I transfered them to the sloper. I started off making my sloper using a thick white paper from old wallpaper. When making the sloper you will need to preserve it since you trace from it when staring a new design. I am glad I did this because I didn’t have to retrace it onto sturdier paper.
From there I drafted my first A line skirt. The class includes excersizes on drafting an A line skirt, bias flare skirt and circle skirt among others. There are excersizes on drafting pleats, peplums, flounces, empire line skirt, pencil line skirt, knit skirt. She also covers the different types of waistbands – straight, lowered, contoured, faced and contoured waist bands. Oh and there is also an easy pocket instruction.
There are so many different types of skirts to make. I am having fun with it. Here is my A line skirt with a faced waistband and lining. I made it in pale blue/aqua linen. Its lined to reduce wrinkling. Suzy also advocates lining your skirts because they always hang better. And I have to say I am a convert! I just love this skirt and slipping it on and off is such a pleasure:-)
I highly recommend this class if you want to be able to make great fitting skirts. But its not just that. I have found that I understand the architecture of a skirt a lot more and can apply that to other sewing patterns.
I mean I have developed a really good understanding of where the darts need to be in order to achieve a smooth fit. I also have the sloper which I can just place under or over the sewing pattern to see how much the pattern needs to be adjusted by in order to fit the way I like. I would say this class has upped my game when it comes to making skirts ; £12.50 well spent.
The only fly in the ointment for me is the paranoia that one day these classes may not be available. Crafsty promises lifetime access but reading the small print it does say ‘Craftsy’s lifetime’ so I don’t know what that means if they get bought by someone else. I worry sometimes about this because I really like this class and find it so useful! Ah well..
I am also doing the bodice class which I will review when I am done with making the sloper.
Are there any Craftsy or other online classes you thought were money well spent? Did you feel they upped your sewing game? Please share in comments below. I love discovering new classes (makes a change from buying sewing patterns and fabric! 😉
The weather was fine here with a bit of cloud. The sun filtered through the clouds; the fresh air filled my lungs and I felt refreshed and exhilarated. We spent most of the day outdoors. My hubby ( now promoted to Blog Manager) took the opportunity to take pictures of my 2 tops made from an old dress.
I bought this stunning dress 8 years ago but only wore twice! It cost me £79 which at the time was a lot of money for me (it still is). But that print! I loved and still love the print!
After reading the brilliant book by Marie Kondo on the magic of tidying up, I have been slowly going through my clothes and came across the dress. It sparked joy so I decided to reuse the fabric. The fabric is cotton jersey which is so soft and comfortable on the skin.
Two tops emerged – a halter neck top showing loads of shoulder cleaveage and a springy high low peplum full of moxie.
The process involved Googling “making a peplum” which led me to this tutorial on Youtube that does freehand patterns. Once I started cutting it was done in two shakes of a lambs tail. I drafted the little cap sleeves. For this refashion I just went with the flow trying hard not to overthink and be precious about the fabric.
The verdict – Not bad at all. I love these tops! They will be worn a lot more than the dress.
Have you refashioned anything recently? Know any refashioning resources, share in comments below please. I have some more voluminous clothes earmarked for refashioning 😉
Here are some outakes of me having a ball. Most of the blog pictures are stiff (self conscious). These are a little more reflective of my energetic self! And an outtake of my 3 littlest ones who truly believe the sun shines out of my bum 🙂