Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Monday, October 20, 2014
And now that you reached the end of this post, here is the best part: the publisher is offering a free copy to the US-based readers of this blog. All you need to do is leave a comment here by Sunday, October 26. I would love to read a few words about your embroidery experience and what you might consider making from this book. The winner will be chosen in a random drawing and will be announced the following Monday.
Friday, October 17, 2014
When I featured this pattern find on my blog about a year ago, it seems to have kindled your interest.
This is a 1959 pattern by Vogue Patterns. The envelope describes the style as ...
... a flared skirt in two length, which has deep front and back box pleats. Front pleats cross over at waist line. Wide shaped and narrow straight waistband. Four gored petticoat also in two lengths...
Cotton satin - Gingham - Pique - Cotton Broadcloth - Barathea - Satin - Faille - Shantung - Wool Crepe - Lightweight Woolen
At that time I also stumbled upon a very similar skirt by Vivienne Westwood in Liberty floral print at whopping $500 (http://www.net-a-porter.com/am/product/337385#). I find Vivienne Westwood’s patternmaking is very inspiring, but the price can hardly be justified if you can sew.
Finding a very similar vintage pattern was really a lucky strike. Unfortunately, the pattern sizing is on a teenager side, and grading a pattern like this is more time consuming than drafting one from scratch, while having instruction sheet and the pattern pieces at hand gives wonderful guidance. I thought, I will just re-draft the pattern with slight modifications and post step-by-step instructions so you can follow along if you are interested.
At first sight, the skirt looks like a simple 3/8 circle skirt with angled crossover pleats. Theoretically you can integrate pleats as circle segments (not as straight rectangle inserts) from the beginning of the drafting process. However, this pattern has five front and three back pattern pieces.
The two angled pleats at the front are made using a separate pattern piece each (7). These pleat pieces are then inserted between the center front pattern (8) and the side front (6) pieces.
The back also has two 'normal' box pleats, which are not angled and almost meet at the center back.
The Vivienne Westwood skirt, with its asymmetric pleat placement, is more improvisational, but the cutting principle is very similar. I think once you understand pleat drafting and grainline placement you can improvise endlessly.
So, here is the plan:
I will start with drafting a basic ⅜ circle skirt, which can then be also used as a pattern for the petticoat or lining. It makes sense to start with the easiest piece first, and I will use this opportunity to go over some basic steps for those of you who don’t have experience drafting circle skirts.
Next, I’ll draft the back with two not-angled pleats, and I’ll also look into seam and grainline placement in the pattern. This part offers a good overview of how the pleats are drafted in a circle skirt.
Finally, the front with the angled pleats will be drafted, completing the draft along.
At the moment, I haven’t yet planned a sew-along for this skirt. Maybe after drafting is completed. For now, it would be great if you'd join me and draft your own skirts. It's just much more fun to do it as a group. If you are joining please leave a comment. Additionally, I have also set up another draft-along thread on the Couture Collective forum, so we can interact and post pictures.
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Now, the questions...
to connect to the sewing community, share... Of course! But blogging for me is also an educational process, when, after researching and making, you sit down and document
all some bits and pieces of the process. Putting what you learned down on 'paper' helps you remember crucial techniques and, sometimes, improve them. Images are a great help too, even the least noticeable mistake becomes prominent. Having your feedback is a reward for this work.
I am also inspired by the success of those prolific bloggers and designers who were able to turn blogging into living. It is working out for me in some ways, and now, that my life is getting back to normal after the move last year, I hope I'll be able to offer you more. Which brings me to the next question...
That's the toughest one ) All the plans and patterns, and the need to focus... An IKEA Expedit shelf full of fabrics is a major point of distraction - I need to hang some neutral textile over it!
What I am really working on: a tailored dress for my mother (we just had a great first fitting) and another dress for a good friend of mine. I hope I can feature those two soon.
And, finally, I am in dire need of another 'smart casual' garment for a reception this Friday... I should get on to the next question before I come up with more plans!
I got more ideas than I could possibly turn over, but it is probably better this way than having nothing to write about. Time is limited and, so far, I can manage a post or two a week.
In the near future, besides posting finished garments, I would like to focus more on techniques and tutorials and write more reviews. These are labour intensive posts, but they are the most rewarding ones!
Question to you, readers! Does your fabric stash distract you from focusing on projects? That's my main issue, I wish I had one or two fabrics only in my stash. On the other hand, a friend recently told me she might take/buy some of my fabrics 'cause I got too many... Oh, my precious!!! Am I turning into a Gollum?..
Friday, September 19, 2014
Some classes are less than 30% off. Don't purchase them right away. Craftsy offers you an additional 33% off for one class in an email you receive after your initial purchase. This offer is not valid during a sale, so it's worth waiting until the sale is over and purchasing the class with a smaller discount then.
Steffani Lincecum did it again. She released another great tailoring class, this time it is Coatmaking techniques.
Inside Vogue Patterns: Coatmaking Techniques is currently at 40% off, which is quite a good deal for an advanced level class. Again, even though you are sewing a VoguePatterns coat, techniques are applicable to any coat you want to make. She teaches classic and couture-level techniques and uses a lot of hand stitching. Great sewing class, and, if I am not mistaken, it is the only coatmaking class on Craftsy
Her other classes, all of which I recommend, are
Classic Tailoring: The Blazer
Pattern Drafting from Ready-To-Wear (51% off)
Sewing Machine Feet from A to Z (FREE)
If you are looking a comprehensive patternmaking class, Suzy Furrer's classes are the best I have taken. The series is a patternmaking encyclopedia, very well presented and organized. When taking this class you need to remember that it is not a fitting class, but a step-by-step instruction. Once you have a fitting sloper, you can draft a great variety of garments after taking these classes.
As in her earlier Craftsy classes, Suzy Furrer mostly follows her book: Building Patterns: The Architecture of Women's Clothing, which, by the way, has suddenly become extremely expensive. It is an out-of print book, and is on Amazon starting at $175. Crazy... It is nice to have it as a reference, but there is so much duplication between the book and the class that you can live without the former. In addition, if you ever purchased Kenneth King's CDs, available on his website and on PatternReview.com, you will find that the drafting method is the same. I must say, however, that Kenneth King has also an Advanced Sleeve chapter as a separate CD (a PDF file, which is mostly text accompanied with images), which you can purchase to compliment Suzy Furrer's class. He has more interesting sleeve variations there.
Patternmaking and Design: Collars & Closures (43% off)
Collars & Closures are for me the most frequent pattern alterations. I often change collar shape or replace one collar with another. You can read about the topics covered in the class in the lesson plan, and, of course, it doesn't include everything. However you get about a dozen different collar variations as well as instructions how to draft matching closures.
Patternmaking and Design: Creative Sleeves (43% off) - The sleeve class starts with sleeve slopers, and then goes on to basic sleeve variations (short sleeve, 3/4 sleeve, bell sleeve, cap sleeve and more). She covers plackets, pleats, cuffs and vents. There is also a lesson on drop shoulder sleeve, which experiences a comeback in fashion. I found that the pace is good, and even though Suzy Furrer's teaching is quite dry, but it is very clear and organized . I'd recommend purchasing this class sooner, because many instructors tend to respond faster and more willingly within the first few months after the release.
I am so happy to see new hand embroidery classes added on Craftsy. As usual, the projects in both classes are rather craftsy for me, so I am taking them to learn stitches and some new techniques, and using boards to ask questions related to fabric handling or other technique-specific issues.
Embroidering Texture and Dimension by Hand (25% off) with Sue Spargo
Embroidery with Ribbon (33% off) with Mary Jo Hiney
You can do amazing things with texture. Look at the Fall 2014 collection by Dolce & Gabbana. One look after another incorporating embroidery and appliqué, creating texture by mixing fabrics ...
In future, I hope, Craftsy will offer a beading embroidery class, and have some garment embroidery specials.
Fun Techniques with Fabric Paints. I haven't signed up for this class, but it looks really fun for those who like to experiment with creating new fabrics. Stamping, stenciling and direct painting are the techniques taught in the class... Now, typing it, I am considering enrolling. It reminded me of the art of the Cypriot mantilarides who printed headscarves. You can see some of those scarves below, the picture was taken in a local museum in Nicosia. The moulds were made from the wood of olive or oak trees, with some finer designs. The colors were made from a mixture of plant and animal dies. The fabric - cotton mouseline. I will post about mantilarides in a separate post, here I just wanted to share some inspiration images. Maybe making a me-made scarf for holiday season? ... and look at those pretty crocheted trims...
Hand Applique Made Easy (33% off) A year ago I wanted to recreate this blouse by Temperley London, but I was just lost with the appliqué.
I didn't want to do it by machine, since it produces a rather stiff edging, but now I am taking this class and hopefully it will help me accomplish something similar in the near future. The class works on a sampler quilt, but the techniques could be applied to a garment and delicate fabrics. Since it is a relatively new class, and Mimi Dietrich, the instructor, is still available to answer questions.
That's it for my favorite class reviews, readers. I hope you'll enjoy these classes too.