Thursday, November 29, 2012

Pattern Magic 2 and another Giveaway!

One Pattern Magic book is not enough, readers, right? We just have to take a peek at the Pattern Magic 2. And yes, Laurence King Publishing is again giving away one copy to a lucky reader of this blog. But let me show you what's at stake.


The book starts with an intriguing design where a three-dimensional shaping is achieved using design lines instead of traditional bust, shoulder and waist darts. Relatively simple once you know how it works.


Before, I was often intrigued about the process of incorporating design lines - those seams and details that usually don't serve as shaping. Nakamichi's method is mostly free of trial and error - with some fabric manipulation you may just draw a shape on your three-dimensional sloper, cut along the new lines and get a pattern. It is the best method I know, in my opinion, but still it is not that simple. It would only make sense to try the project illustrated by Nakamichi before attempting own design, as you won't come around making some slits and folds in places where the pattern won't lie flat - this does require some guidance, at least for the first time.
"Always be flexible in your thinking as you find ways to complete your garment," - a reasonable advice from Nakamichi since many of her designs are very much a launching pad for your creativity.
 PART 1: PLAYING WITH GEOMETRICS

Geometry is the main topic of this book section as Nakamachi integrates different shapes into her designs.
"...When you wrap these shapes around you, the excess fabric flares or drapes elegantly. I also tried incorporating artistic forms and details. Geometric figures can produce beautiful shapes."
Yes, some of these garments are truly artistic and, for me, less wearable, but I love peeking at the engineering process so well illustrated in Nakamichi's books. It's like being in a museum archive and being able to touch and examine the pieces.Yet there are also styles that can make a great addition to your wardrobe. Here, my favorites:

(From top left) Just like a stole, A ball-shaped accordion (jabara), Wearing a square, Square accordion (jabara)

PART 2: DECORATIVE STRUCTURES
"Twisting, catching, draping - various methods with which to capture different qualities of fabric and  incorporate them into elegant garments"
I love this part which is full of beautiful and intricate styles and my absolute favorite that I plan to try for a summer style is the Flip turn, and its variation Flip turn for a draped effect.


"I increased the depth of the shadows by rotating the fabric and then flipping it over like the flip turn of swimmers in a pool." - no worries, readers, if this rather poetic explanation don't help a lot, diagrams in the book are more illustrative.
Another great pattern manipulation technique to learn is Different facings, different looks. It is amazing to see how differently shaped facing change the look of an almost identical bodice.


PART 3: IT VANISHED

Fun, fun, fun part for anyone who loves intriguing garment details: a vanishing scarf, a vanishing tie, a vanishing lapel, and three variations of a vanishing pocket.



THE BUNKA-STYLE SLOPER FOR AN ADULT WOMAN

 One problem a novice to patternmaking may encounter is the bodice sloper in the book. 



"The Bunka-style sloper (block) for an adult woman," says Nakamichi, is "created for the body shape of the modern Japanese women." 

What that means to someone who has a similar shape like me - a relatively curvy, pear-shaped body - is that we either have to do a few fitting adjustments to the sloper, or try to manipulate an existing fitted sloper before proceeding with the projects.  Overall, I don't think it is a huge issue, because it is a good habit to work with a fitted sloper anyway. So, incorporate this step in your planning if you are want to create an entire garment piece based on Nakamichi's projects.

THE GIVEAWAY

So, are you ready for the giveaway, readers? If yes, leave a comment by Wednesday, December 5, The winning comment (chosen by random drawing) will get Pattern Magic 2 in English.

One small detail! In your comment, please share with the rest of us which style, from those featured in this review, you like the most.

Good Luck!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The winner of the Pattern Magic giveaway!

Yes, we have a winner of the first Pattern Magic giveaway!

It' s Abby of Sew Get Dresses
She said: "This book has been on my wish list for a while. I borrowed Pattern Magic 2 from the library, and I'm amazed by the vanishing pocket and vanishing necktie. I would totally use those on a garment! And I would love to see what the first book has to offer. Thank you for the review!"

Congratulations, Abby! And thanks to Laurence King Publishing for this generous giveaway! Please, contact me with your shipping address at mvk(dot)fashion(at)gmail(dot)com.  And stay tuned to another review and giveaway tomorrow morning!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

PMPS Sew along #6: Measurements

Four-day holiday, including an ample Thanksgiving dinner and a fat-burning hike in Westchester is a way to go! Only little sewing happened, of course,.. but, I have more energy again to tackle the upcoming workload, not only with the Sew along, but with my next Burdastyle challenge and Mood Sewing Network project of the month.

Back to the Sew-Along. Today we will talk about measurements and calculations for pattern-drafting. If you missed some posts, check out the Sew-along page for links and more.

As I am starting to demonstrate the drafting process I wanted to share that most of what you will see here I learnt by taking classes with Kenneth D. King, as well as from a great pattern-drafting book by Suzy Furrer, 'Building Patterns: Architecture of Women's Closing' (out-of-print and meanwhile way too expensive). I highly recommend both authors and experts, and if you are interesting in learning more, Kenneth's book 'The Skirts' has a lot of information and instructions on a wide variety of skirt styles. Of course, there are quite a few good books on pattern drafting, but those I mentioned are especially good if you want to draft a custom pattern. The great news is that Kenneth has generously agreed to share some of the materials from the Skirts book on this blog, and in the upcoming days I will provide a detailed review of it for those who want to know more (and guess what - he also offered a copy of the book to one lucky reader - holiday season has started here! - but more about it later). 

So, let's start with measurements. While you will be able to measure all circumferences yourself, you will need someone to help you measure the length, as well as a few tools. It is important that all the measurements are taken in one session. Since the skirt is drafted from the sloper, don't wear anything too thick for measurement taking - thin leggings or tights are good.

YOU WILL NEED:
  • two pieces of elastic to tie around your waist and hips
  • measuring band
  • full-length mirror for measuring and fitting.
  • Skirt Measurement and Calculations Sheet (download a metric or inches version from my Google drive) 

 MEASUREMENTS:


Waist circumference (1): place elastic at the waist and check whether the elastic is level, or parallel to the floor. take the measure around the elastic

Skirt length: All the sloper measurements below are measured from the elastic base to the floor

Note: unless you have a perfectly symmetrical body I recommend measuring the skirt length to floor before getting to the hip depth and circumference. The reason is that often one side is longer than the other. When drafting a pattern we will be using the longer side measurements, any necessary adjustments on the shorter side can be tackled during the fitting. So, when you will be taking waist-to-mid-hip, and waist-to-hip measurements, remember to take them on the longer side.

First, we are measuring right side to floor (2), left side to floor (3), front to floor (4) and back to floor (5). Taking these four measurements will help us determine whether our lower body is asymmetrical, as well as give us guidelines for determining waist shaping.

Next, we will measure the length for our pencil skirt, which will be the below knee-length (6), approximately 2,5 cm. (1") below mid-knee in the front and the crease at the back of the knee in the back. This measurement is taken at the (longer) side.

Mid-hip circumference (7): place elastic at approximately 11,5 cm (4 1/2")  below the waist and measure around elastic. This is the placement for the height between 165 to 175cm (5'4" to 5'9"). Lower or raise the elastic for taller and shorter height respectively - 1,2 cm(1/2") down or up.

Waist to mid hip (8) on the (longer) side: note down the distance from the base of the waist eleastic to the base of the mid-hip elastic.

Low hip (9) circumference: lower the elastic from your mid-hip to the fullest part of your hip - it will be approximately at 21,5 cm - 23 cm (8.5" - 9").

Note: at this point I like to compare the mid-hip and the hip circumference. If the mid-hip measurement is larger than the low hip measurement (one of the reasons is a protruding tummy), go with a larger (mid hip) measurement for the low hip as well. On your measurement chart note down the larger circumference  next to your low hip section and, in brackets, the actual measured width.

Waist to hip (10) on the (longer) side: Take this measurement at the same side as mid-hip (which should be the longer side if your body is asymmetrical). It may be within the range of 21,5 cm - 23 cm (8.5" - 9"), or shorter/longer depending on your height and body.

This should get you started! Don't forget to download the Measurement & Calculation Sheet (links above), and if you are experiencing any troubles let me know at mvk(dot)fashion(at)gmail(dot)com. Post your questions here or on our Flickr discussion board.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pimp my Pencil Skirt Draft & Sew Along: optional patterns

I promised you to give an overview of available patterns that would be suitable for the skirt. So here is what you suggested, as well as some additional ideas.

Our original inspiration, the Burberry skirt:



Number 1 is a similar skirt pattern by the Dutch Knipmode magazine:

Source: Knipmode.nl


Some differences: 

  • Our original skirt doesn't have a yoke on the back and is longer (knee-length). 
  • The flounce on the original ends all the way in the back princess seam.
  • The original flounce is not as full as on the Knipmode skirt, and it varies in length.
Since I will be drafting the skirt from the scratch I won't be using the Knipmode pattern. One thing that I don't like very much about the pattern is that it is somewhat overdesigned. It is usually more pleasing to have only one focal point in a garment - like the flounce in our skirt. The Knipmode version, however, has also an interesting 'yoke' in the back, and although it is relatively inconspicuous - it can be distracting. But this is really a matter of preference.

Also, I would prefer using - as in the original skirt - princess seams on the front and on the back. They make the construction process easier and you won't depend on the dart length for the flounce placement.

PRINCESS SEAM PENCIL SKIRT PATTERNS

Now, if you don't want to draft all along but prefer using a fitted princess seam pencil skirt, here are some pattern suggestions:

online PDF patterns, English instructions, print on letter-size paper
You can print out English instructions on Burdastyle.com without purchasing the pattern. Attention: Burdastyle doesn't include seam allowances, so add sufficient amount for your garment.

You can, in fact, use any princess seam skirt pattern. I recommend Burdastyle because the fit is usually very good. As always, ask questions and suggest other patterns. Feel free to post images and discuss the patterns on our Flickr Group board.

This week, stay tuned to the Measurements post, as well as more on our inspiration file.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pencil Skirt Draft & Sew Along: Tools and Supplies

Like with any other art or craft activity, it is very easy to get excited about tools for pattern drafting. There are so many of them out there, each better than the other. How can you resist buying a hip curve, a T-square, an L-square a Fashion Ruler, a Pattern Master, a French Curve, a clear ruler, a 2-inch clear ruler, a 4-inch clear ruler, a metric ruler... - the list is endless, with all these tools designed to draw a simple line...

The good news is you can actually draft an accurate pattern without most of those (even though having a small variety can be quite convenient). So, here is my list of essential tools that you will find useful for this particular particular pattern drafting project. If you are having difficulties sourcing some of them, post on our Flickr discussion board, hopefully someone can help with resources outside the US.

PAPER



I love alphanumeric drafting paper - it has a very useful 1 in. grid that speeds up the process of drafting. However, you can also use a regular white or unbleached paper, preferably on a roll. Just make sure it is not too thin and can withstand multiple tracing. Also, it is nice when you can see through just a little, so you can see the markings underneath if you have to re-trace a pattern. For paper without grid it is nice to have a wide transparent ruler with a grid, like those patchwork rulers - it simplifies drawing perpendicular and parallel lines.

For tracing, I like using sketch paper roll (18 in. wide or wider), such as Bee Paper White Sketch Roll, 18-Inch by 50-Yards- it is semi-transparent and wide enough to fit most of the pattern pieces. I prefer to buy paper on a roll, which eliminated the need to iron out the creases, and is also more economical.


PENCILS, ERASER, SHARPENER



graphite pencil - I prefer softer ones, such as 2B or even 4B (keep them sharp), or a mechanical pencil (softer lead is more visible, 0,5mm is a good width)

two-three color pencils (for pattern correction and outlines)

Sharpener: any sharpener with a shavings container to keep things tidy

Sharpie, or any other permanent marker, for drawing final pattern outlines

Eraser: this Staedler Mars Plastic Eraser is nice as it is soft and does not leave a trace.

RULERS & MEASURES:



Transparent (acryl) ruler, 2 in. x 18 in (or 5 cm x 45 cm). There are similar ones in Europe, available on the UK Amazon site. This is a great ruler to have for pattern drafting, it allows you to draw parallel and perpendicular lines without trouble.

French curve is quite useful, but you can do without it if you are not afraid of drafting curves free hand. Actually, practice drafting curves and lines without a ruler - you will gain confidence and steady hand after only a few attempts.

Tape measure comes in handy not only for taking measurements, but for measuring and truing curved lines.

Yardstick is optional, any longer ruler would do in fact. The problem with many yardsticks in the US (I don't know for the rest of the world) is that there are not accurate (check them against a good drafting ruler and you will see what I mean). However, they are straight enough to draw a long line.



SCISSORS


The bare minimum are fabric (far left) and paper (far right) scissors. On the picture above, you see my essentials set. I also like the 4 in. tailor point scissors (center left) for clipping, small cutting, removing basting etc - very versatile. Serrated scissors (center right) are especially good for cutting slippery fabrics (silk lining, for example).


MISCELLANEOUS



Adhesive tape - regular transparent adhesive tape for office needs.

Tracing wheel with serrated edges, like this Clover Tracing Wheel one. Invest in a better quality if you use it a lot - I have to replace my cheap one after only a few months of use - it started making annoying squeaky noise.

Double Tracing Wheel (for adding seam allowances) is optional, for marking seam allowances. I prefer doing it with a transparent ruler.


ADDITIONAL SUPPLIES FOR MAKING A MUSLIN



Muslin, or unbleached cotton (calico) - you may need up to 6 yd. (6 m.) of it depending on the width. We will be making a muslin for a straight skirt and for the final skirt with a flounce, so this is a minimum. I usually buy entire roll at Jo-Ann's, with a 50% coupon. In some countries it is difficult to find muslin, so in this case just buy cheap cotton, preferably without print and not too dark so you can see markings.

Carbon paper - the waxed type is better, especially when you work with muslin, because markings are bright and don't fade. But, if you don't have access to it, use wax-free paper, or a permanent marker to transfer the pattern to your muslin.

Pins - my favorite type are the silk pins with glass heads, or any fine pins.

Pattern weights - professional weights can be quite expensive, so you can improvise and use cans or anything heavy as an alternative

Needle, thread, sewing machine

A zipper for the skirt muslin - any old zipper will do, this is meant for fitting.


That's more or less all on tools. Tonight and tomorrow I will upload a post on patterns and measurements. Please, ask questions and share your tips!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Pattern Magic books and a Giveaway

Avant-garde, intriguing, beautiful, mysterious, puzzling, plain nuts, unwearable, different - these are only a few attributes that are used to describe the book by a relatively large community of loyal following. Over 250 projects have been uploaded by some of those fans to the Pattern Magic group on Flickr, with some fans challenging themselves to make as many projects from the book as possible.


I am one of those fans, so when the Laurence King Publishing (check out their amazing books!) contacted me asking to review Pattern Magic books I knew exactly I have a lot to say. Let's be honest, however. I am not wearing Drop Hole skirts, or Lumps and Bumps tops, but I love going through the projects figuring out how the pieces were constructed.

Definitely intriguing: a Drop Hole Skirt and a Lumps and Bumbs bodice
Take kakurenbo, or Hide and Seek design. It is a simple jabot-style frill, something you can put on a blouse or a skirt. Nakamichi asks you to draw the frill, complete the hidden parts on each section of the frill and then join the completed sections into one piece, which is, in essence, a spread-out jabot.


How smart is that? I made a few flounces this way and it seemed to make so much more sense than using C=2πr formula, or slash and spread method.



The same applies to the Flare concealed in a curve. I've seen similar style on the runway recently, but go and figure out how they did it! Pattern Magic has an answer for many of those tricky questions:
"Take the pieces of a three-dimensional garment and flatten them, to get individual pattern pieces. The relationship between the flat pattern pieces and the three-dimensional structure of the garment never changes. You can create a garment by cutting, moving and reassembling the pieces of a pattern, just like pieces of a puzzle."
And that is what makes this book so valuable to me.

Of course, many of the designs featured in the book are not only inspirational but also wearable. So it is not surprising that you will see projects from the book being quoted on the runway, just like this almost literal interpretation of the Blouse with an interwoven design by Andy South of the Project Runway Season 8.


Forget literal, look at these Dior pieces from the 2012 Resort collection. Recreating the draping on that top below, or the folds of the jacket is easier than it seems using Nakamichi's 'visual patternmaking approach' (that's how I like to call it).

Source: vogue.com
But, of course, I would not mind having some of the Pattern Magic projects on my sewing list either, and so, these are on my wish list (sigh) for the next year:


GRIPES, GRUMBLES & GROUCHES

Ok, would you believe me if I said the book is perfect?.. There is always something to grumble about, right? For example, one drawback in the book is that there are hardly any fabric recommendations. After making a few trial projects from muslin, I realized that some of them can work with only a very specific fabric. So, if you do use the book, look at the fabric in the photographs and proceed accordingly.

Second, the lack of construction information is quite a problem with some projects, even for advanced sewers. Of course, this is a book about pattern-making, but if it needs to appeal to a wider audience, at least a bare minimum of construction tips should have been included. But, well, that's my personal opinion.

On the positive side (a sigh of relief), I have seen so many bloggers make garments based on Pattern Magic that I am sure you will find plenty of information for the most popular pieces on the Internet - just google Pattern Magic.

Making these projects does require some patience, but with some basic patternmaking skills you will succeed. After all, you can take only one small detail and use it in your own garment, be it a sleeve, a collar, a frill or anything else.

FINALLY, THE GIVEAWAY

Now, readers, do you want to know more, or try the projects yourself? The publisher offered a copy of Pattern Magic in English to one reader of this blog. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post by Sunday, November 25. I would appreciate it a lot if you could add a line or two about the book: have you heard about it before? any favorite projects? or just anything related - I love getting your feedback on reviews...

Good luck!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Pencil Skirt Draft & Sew Along: Next week's plan and Q&A

Readers, yay, this is our first Pencil Skirt Draft- & Sew Along post. For the start, let's look at the upcoming week schedule


on Monday (Nov 19), 
we will look at the available pattern choices (thanks for your suggestions) and briefly discuss the basics of the skirt drafting process. I will also blog about the tools and notions I use for pattern-drafting. The new Flickr discussion threads are already up, so you can ask questions and make suggestions.  

on Tuesday (Nov 20), 
as a teaser for the hands-on work, we will take measurements and make preliminary calculations for the drafting. This will be the only 'homework' for this week, so our US participants can relax and enjoy Thanksgiving.

on Wednesday - for the rest of the week,
- only pleasant activities involved! We will start looking for pencil skirts with unusual details (whatever you think fits into this category - it's your creative process!). The idea is to train our eye and to go beyond limited options offered by commercial patterns.

Now, let's move to

QUESTION & ANSWER

What exactly will we do?

In the first part of the Draft & Sew Along (before the New Year), we will draft a skirt sloper and then make design adjustments for a pencil skirt with princess lines and a flounce, similar to our Burberry inspiration skirt. In the second part (January), we will sew the skirt.

Is it too late to join the Sew-Along?

It is never too late. However, if you want to do it as a part of the group join as early as possible so you can participate in discussion and, if needed, ask for help.

Do I need to have a blog?

No, absolutely not. But do register at Flickr to participate in discussions and upload pictures.

I don't think the skirt style will work for me, but I want to follow the drafting. Is it possible?

You can draft the sloper only, or the pencil skirt, as you like. And, why not making a trial garment - maybe the style suits you after all? If not, drop the flounce and make a princess seam pencil skirt!

Will we make a trial garment?

Yes, we will! We want to draft a fail-proof skirt sloper, so a trial garment is the way to go. Why draft a custom pattern otherwise?

What fabric do you recommend for this skirt?

We will discuss fabric choices in detail after we finish the muslin. Tweed is my favorite. Further choices include herringbone or small-scale houndstooth, for example. Make sure the fabric is not too heavy. The flounce is made of two layers of fabric, and at the seam, you will have even four (graded) layers. We will also underline the wool with silk organza, so, before you commit try all these layers together.

Gabardine? Yes, but be prepared to spend more time at the ironing board than at the sewing machine. Gabardine is not easy to press and it takes a lot of patience to get the seams look polished.

Check out wool satin. Also not easy to handle (yet easier than gabardine), prone to snagging (no seam ripping!), but very-very dressy! Beautiful fabric if you like the subtle sheen.

If you have a good men's fabric store around, check out their suiting fabrics (pricey!). You will most likely have a limited color choice, but the quality will often be amazing. One of the fabrics worth looking at as well is worsted flannel (as opposed to woolen flannel). Whatever fabric you will be drawn to, make sure it has a compact weave and smooth face.

By the way, if you don't have a swatch book by now, start collecting swatches, note composition, origin, price and the store for future reference. I am sure you will visit a store or two before we are ready to cut, so that may be something to consider.

How much fabric shall I buy?

A knee-length pencil skirt with princess seams will require about a 0.90 cm (1 yd) fabric, 150 cm (60") wide for hips up to 120cm (47"). For a wider hip circumference you will need to double the length.

Attention! This doesn't include the flounce, which will require additional length and needs to be calculated based on your final pencil skirt pattern. I would suggest, purchase the fabric after you fitted the muslin (with the flounce). If you are impatient, get some swatches.

Here, I hope I answered all questions. If not, please post a comment, or go to our Flickr discussion board.  Enjoy!



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Blogger meetup calamity or what to do if you want a new camera...

...bring it over to Mood!

Readers, blogger meetup is definitely not an intimate experience - I tell you! Yesterday I met Oona (from Kalkatroona) and Sarah (Goodbye Valentino) at Mood and there are already two juicy stories about it on their blogs, with Oona blogging about her destroying Sarah's camera and blaming me partially for the mishap.

Sarah (left) and Oona (right)
Oona must have laid out the advantages of having a camera broken by a fellow mood sewing network blogger for you can see they look very happy, both of them.

But I don't believe it was as simple as Oona claims, and Sarah treated the incident diplomatically. Can you imagine it was her birthday?.. ok, I shut up. Unfortunately I missed the whole hoo-ha as I was late! When I arrived, Oona was already offering Sarah to slam her iPhone against a wall... actually, now that I think of it, she was pointing at bolts of fabric (those at her right) - pretty smart, or? Dah! All I am left with are those snapshots of our presence at Mood (made with my camera).

The crash site!
The picture above was snapped by one of the Mood employees - I couldn't entrust Oona with my camera after all! Anyway, we had lots of fun in those five minutes at Mood as I was just picking up Sarah for a quick lunch. That's it. And if you are craving for juicier details check out Oona's post.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pimp-My-Pencil-Skirt Sew-Along: the Schedule

What acronym would you use for the Sew-along, readers? I tried shortening the name but PMPSSA sounds scary - just try to pronounce it. And saying Pencil Skirt Sew-Along just doesn't reflect the beauty of our inspiration garment, or? On the other hand, I wish it was the only problem in my life :) Back to business!


THE BADGE

What's a sew-along without a badge? Recognize this one? I used it in my Gadgetmania posts and for me, beeswax stands for the old-school craftsmanship, 'slow' sewing, quality and transfer of knowledge.


To post the badge on your blog grab the html code below:




THE FLICKR GROUP

And, we will be using is a Flickr Group, so we can post work-in-progress images and support each other.


THE SCHEDULE

So, here is the schedule. I broke it into sections, so you have a tangible result after accomplishing each section. Depending on the amount of work, in a week we may cover a section or, sometimes, even more. One post per bullet is the plan, so the drafting is manageable and easy to follow. The first official Draft & Sew Along post will be up this Friday, November 16th.


GETTING READY
I will show you the tools and supplies I use for drafting, but also explain alternatives. We will also cover measurements and plug our measurement in a personalized measurement chart. Finally, since we all seem share the love for flounces, we will start putting together an inspiration files, with clippings from magazines or internet. 
  • Drafting explained, and available pattern choices;
  • Tools and Supplies; 
  • Measurements;
  • Inspirations clippings.

STRAIGHT SKIRT SLOPER
When drafted this sloper can be an invaluable fitting and pattern adjustment tool for a whole range of skirt designs - eliminating tedious project-by-project alterations. 
  • Drafting the basic Straight Skirt Sloper (Back and Front), 
  • Trial garment and Fit

STRAIGHT TO PENCIL SKIRT | CUSTOMIZING THE DESIGN
These post will walk you through creating a custom pattern: changing the shape of the skirt, adding princess lines, and adding the vent. I will also share couple of couture techniques to make the skirt hang better. 
  • Making adjustments for the Pencil Skirt shape; 
  • Drafting the vent; 
  • Adding princess lines;

THE FLOUNCE / FINAL TRIAL GARMENT
A flounce can be drafted in different ways, it can have more or less flare, its length can vary or be uniform, folds can be added to the flounce. The choice can affect the design and make it look dramatic or boring. We will draft the flounce and make the final trial garment, finishing this step with the final fitting.
  • Not all types of flounces are equal: the amount of flare, length variations
  • Calculating the flounce base length and adding flounce lines on the sloper;
  • Drafting the flounce;
  • Making the final trial garment;
  • Final adjustments (if needed). 

THE FINAL PATTERN
This one is a quickie - it is really only cleaning up and preparing everything for a trouble-free sewing. If you are one of the participants who can't wait to sew up the skirt, after this step you should have the pattern all ready. 
  • Cleaning up and truing the pattern pieces
  • Finalizing the pattern pieces for cutting
  • Calculating fabric

Once the pattern is drafted we will plan the sewing. I believe we should be done drafting beginning of December. Please ask questions if anything is unclear - I am putting together a Q&A post and answer your questions there. I hope you will all enjoy the process and end up with at least a great pencil skirt pattern!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Pimp my Pencil Skirt Sew-along: Brainstorming

Hello readers!

I am so excited that there are almost thirty people who are interested in this first ever Sew-along on my blog. I will try my best to make it as easy to follow and as instructional as possible.

The object of our desire:



Since we start with a ready-to-wear design we will discuss what pattern choices we have for this project. I can also include a week for those who want to (learn to) draft the pattern with me. Then, we will go over fabric selection and supplies, and, finally, construct the skirt.

To make the pace and the posts more manageable for everyone I would like to post about three times a week. We will move on step-by-step, over five to six weeks - I am already working on a tentative schedule. Let me know please if this works for you. Before we start, I will set up a traditional Flickr group for the Sew-Along where we can post pictures, discuss the work-in-progress and offer a helping hand.

If you have more questions about the Sew-along please go ahead - I will put together a Question & Answer post so we don't miss any of them.

QUESTIONS TO YOU

I am also wondering how many of you are interested in drafting the pattern as a part of the Sew-along. Or, would you prefer to have a pattern to work from?

Finally - the timing. I know that some of you already have pre-holiday sewing plans, so would you prefer to wait until the holiday season is over, or would you prefer to start this skirt as soon as mid-November ?

Well, that's it for brainstorming.  Looking forward to your questions, ideas and suggestions!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pimp my pencil skirt (continued)

I could not pass this beauty - so simple to make and yet so dramatic! 'Only' $1,500...
Source
Construction-wise it's a simple pencil skirt, made with tweed, with an asymmetric flounce and partially exposed zipper. Shall we make it for under $100? Together?

Friday, November 2, 2012

Take a class to help feed 10,000 New Yorkers in need.

Dear readers,

CourseHorse, an NYC class booking platform, reached out to craft bloggers, among others, to help raise funds to help feed hungry New Yorkers through the Food Bank For NYC. If you are a New York resident and want to help, visit the platform and sign up for one of the classes they feature. They'll cover a number of fun and seasonal topics (like Cooking Thanksgiving Sides, Pumpkin-Flavored Gelato-Making, Fall Wine and Whiskey Pairings, Autumn Painting and Photography, Bookbinding and even How to Make Small Talk And Survive the Holidays). Best yet, proceeds will go directly to the Food Back to provide meals to those in need.

From November 12-18th, top class providers across the city will host unique, hand-crafted and seasonally themed classes with a goal of helping feed 10,000 New Yorkers in need this season.
For those who are unable to take a class, special gift cards good for future use on any of Course Horse's 20k classes are also available. In addition, anybody can 'Provide a Meal' for free just by registering via a special Facebook campaign. 

Below are some important links, and a short press release from CourseHorse.
Thanks for reading!
Marina

COURSEHORSE, TIME OUT NY LAUNCH #FOODFORTHOUGHT CAMPAIGN TO SUPPORT HUNGRY AND HURRICANE-AFFECTED THROUGH FOOD BANK FOR NYC

Campaign launches to help feed 10,000 in need and inspire local learning this season

November, 2 2012 (NEW YORK) – CourseHorse and Time Out NY today launched #FoodForThought, a new campaign to help feed hungry New Yorkers through the Food Bank For NYC, while inspiring curious locals to learn a new skill this season. From November 12th-18th, top class providers across the city will host unique, hand-crafted and seasonally themed classes with a goal of helping feed 10,000 New Yorkers in need over the holiday season.

“FoodForThought is a great way for people to learn something new and have fun, while giving back to those in need,” said Katie Kapler, co-founder of CourseHorse. “Whether it’s art, cooking, wine, or life skills, we’re featuring a class for everyone, and each will directly support The Food Bank for NYC, an organization that’s leading the fight against hunger and playing a critical role in the recovery from Hurricane Sandy.”

Classes will be taught at leading schools across the city and will include options for kids and adults. All classes are one-of-a-kind and have been specifically created for #FoodForThought. Most classes will be priced at $65, with proceeds going to the Food Bank for NYC. For those looking to support the campaign but are unable to take a class, special gift cards good for future use on any of CourseHorse’s 20,000+ classes in NYC are also available. In addition, anybody can ‘Provide a Meal’ for free just by registering via a special Facebook campaign.

Featured classes will include:

· Thanksgiving Sides with a Twist at Camaje

· Pumpkin Flavored Gelato-Making at Mia Chef Gelateria

· Cooking Vegetarian Fall Classics at Bhagavat Life

· Fall Painting for Beginners at Paint Along

· Fall Bourbon Pairings at Idle Hands

· Thanksgiving Cookie Decorating (BYOB) at Taste Buds Kitchen

· Dare to Paint 101 (With Wine) at Art Studio NY

· Wine & Thanksgiving Flavors Pairing at Maslow 6

· Capture Autumn: Photography Workshop at Brooklyn Central

· Bookbinding: A Family Album at Brooklyn Central

· Wine and Cheese Workshop at Bedford Cheese Shop/Fluent City

· Master The Art of Small Talk at LifeLabs NY


Book a class now: CourseHorse.com/FoodForThought
Provide A Meal’ for free at: Facebook.com/CourseHorse


About Course Horse:
CourseHorse is a central booking system that helps users find, compare, and enroll in local classes in New York City. With over 500 partner schools and 20,000+ classes, CourseHorse is the first and largest class marketplace in New York City. Classes cover a wide range of topics, from art, cooking and yoga to kids and career-oriented courses.

About Time Out New York:
Time Out New York is a comprehensive arts and entertainment multiplatform media business, delivering engaging features, local listings and critical reviews to active and informed residents and visitors of New York City. Time Out New York is part of Time Out Group, the global media business delivering local information and cultural guidance in 37 cities across 25 countries and encompassing a worldwide audience of more than 18 million.

About the Food Bank For New York City:
The Food Bank is the only hunger-relief organization that takes this integrated approach to ending food poverty, working through a citywide network of soup kitchens, food pantries, senior centers, classrooms, after-school programs and more.

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