Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Quicky question: How to adjust a pattern if I cross 2 sizes??

People, I need advice please.

I'm 32 inch waist 44 inch hip (not actually my hips but the tops of my thighs really as that's my broadest point).

That makes me a 12 on the waist 14 on the hip on the Beignet pattern.

I recently read Sunni's ace post on her series for her Ginger sew-along, which shows you how to grade between sizes, this seems pretty straightforward on a skirt with only a couple of pieces.

However the Beignet doesn't have a waistband, so I am not sure where the waist line actually is on the pattern pieces, so don't know where to start the grading. 

Also it has 4 skirt pieces, 4 lining pieces and 4 facing pieces, so that's going to take a lot of adjustments! Do I therefore just adjust the side pieces (there's a front piece, side front piece, back piece and a side back piece for the shell, facing and lining) or the front and back pieces too? 

Lastly the lining and facings attach to form the inner shell so my grading will have to go across pieces.  So how do I grade across the facing and lining pieces on the pattern, bearing in mind all the pieces have seam allowance?

How should I do this grading?  Is it too much faff, should I just cut a muslin in a 14 and take in the seams around the waist a little?

See, this is why I struggle to actually make any clothes, and I haven't even gone near my sewing machine yet.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Brighton meet up and the Beignet begins!

Well my last exam was today, so hopefully in 6 weeks (once my results are in) I will able to call myself an Accounting Technician.  Lucky me.

To celebrate it's high time I actually started sewing something, and I now have my fabric for the Beignet skirt washed and ready to go.

Saturday was the Brighton M-M-J meet-up, and although I wasn't participating, being a Brighton local I tagged along.  I met some lovely sewers, and seeing everyone in their me-made creations really inspired me to get sewing again.

I was pretty restrained in my purchasing, as I don't feel I can justify buying any more fabric until I've at least made a dent in my existing stash.  I did however pick up some buttons for the Beignet, but can't decide which ones I want to use.

In the fabric swapping section of the day I didn't bring anything with me, so wasn't expecting to take home anything either.  However once everyone had had a swap around, there were a few pieces left unclaimed, including this Liberty cotton print of Zoe's.  She kindly offered it up to me.  I'm not sure what the heck I'll do with it, but I have around one and a half metres to play with so any suggestions you may have are very welcome.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Sewing space complete!!!

Well here it is people, the big reveal.  I finally moved all my stuff into the spare room and set up my sewing space.

But first of all let's remind ourselves with what I was working with.  Here's come before pics:

And now check out my man's space!!!

Nice huh?  But lets face it you're not here to see a bunch of bikes and plastic crates, you're here to see a sewing space!  So lets check out my side of the room:

I bought the screen / room divider from a lady at work for £20.  I think it works well.

I attached a cheapy flowery fabric to the back of the bookcase using my new favourite toy, my staple gun.  It was a bit of a rush job (I didn't even iron the fabric) but I think it looks quite nice.

Those are my white shelves which are now holding all my patterns, fabric scrap stash, sewing books etc.

That big box contains my fabric stash.  Now the box is full to bursting I can't buy any more fabric. I have decided that I must at least half empty it before I can buy any more.

Now it's not fully functional yet, because the only power socket is by the white shelves and I need to buy an extension lead to reach my sewing machine.  I also need a desk lamp, and want a noticeboard so I can pin up inspirational pictures and the like.

Looks pretty good now though right?

Monday, 6 June 2011

Courses follow-up

Right chaps, many thanks for all your insightful comments on my last post.  I've had a good long think I do agree with you all, a dressmaking course at this stage in my sewing journey seems like the better option. 
I did do a beginners sewing class last year, and made a dress in it (see exhibit A in this post), but we didn't cover fitting at all so I am a bit cautious about not getting support in that area again.  So I am going to investigate the course a bit more before I sign up, as it is a big commitment, and isn't exactly cheap.

I also think I'll give drafting my own bodice and skirt blocks a go.  A few of you mentioned Miss P's bodice draft along, which I most certainly will follow.  However I also fancy picking myself up a book on pattern drafting for further reference.  Do any of you have any recommendations? 

The newest edition of Cloth magazine had this in it's books round-up section:

It's only just been published, but looks pretty comprehensive, and at nearly £35 it sure better be!

I've seen this one around a lot:
But having a nosey inside with the "look inside" feature at Amazon has made me uncertain.  It feels like it rushes through everything, and I want baby steps.  Does anyone have this book, and if you do what do you think of it?

And what bout this beastie:
This looks the most serious, and thus scares me a bit.

What I want is a gentle easy entry into this stuff, something with diagrams that don't look too scary, and that I can follow fairly easily.  But I do want some depth as well, something that covers all adjustments etc that might be needed.  But is that asking too much?

Does anyone have any other suggestions?

Friday, 3 June 2011

Advice which course (if either) to take????

Now my accounting technician course is coming to and end, I have more free time (yay!).  However I am a learning addict, I need to be studying something, academic, creative, practical whatever really as long as I’m using my brain in some way.  So because I’m finishing off this qualification there now is a hole in the self improvement / studying / learning part of my life.  I want to fill this whole, but my question is with what?

Sewing of course is the answer :o)

My local college is running evening classes from September in both dressmaking and pattern cutting.  The courses run for 30 weeks (so a full academic year), and aren’t cheap so I can only do one.

Now my sewing productivity level is pretty low at the moment, and I am hoping that I will be able to improve this anyway thanks to my soon-to-be-completed sewing space and my lack of other studying commitments now.  But I am still fairly inexperienced on anything beyond the basic sewing techniques, so I think a sewing course where I could make an item of clothing over a few weeks with my instructors help would be great.  However, if the course doesn’t include help with fitting I’m not so keen.  This is something I will need to find out as the blurb doesn’t say, but fitting is a major bug bear for me, and if I have to sort that bit myself at home (i.e. we just sew in class and nothing else) then I’m less keen.

Next option is pattern cutting.  It says you start with a skirt block in the first term.  I am guessing you move on to a bodice block after that.  Again details are sketchy, this is all the info on the website at the moment:
"Each term we will look at how to create patterns for a different garment, beginning in the autumn term with skirts. Learn how to draft a basic pattern from your own measurements and how this can be adapted to different styles".
I think having a block pattern could be really handy, especially after seeing Rachel's post on how she uses hers to compare against commercial patterns, to work out adjustments needed.  However I don’t really want to “self-draft” anything at the moment as I just don’t have those skills.  But then again will this course teach me these skills?  Is it really worthwhile having a block pattern of yourself?  I just don’t know!!!

What do you guys think??
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