Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Making a Bodice Front Sloper

I have been wanting to make a sloper, also known as a basic block pattern. From what I understand, a sloper is used as the foundation for drafting other patterns of varying designs. Since I'm interested in eventually learning how to create my own patterns, I thought that building my own sloper would be a good start.

I have recently discovered a wonderful sewing website,, which features the contents of sewing books in the public domain. The book I've been reading, Modern Pattern Design, was published in 1942. I'm not sure how the content measures up to actual modern pattern design, but I figure that not much should have changed in the past 60 years of sewing. I have been following Chapter 2 on Slopers, and with the instructions given I created the Bodice Front Sloper in the picture. (The measurements I used were given to me in the book).

My next step is to draft the Back Bodice Sloper.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Remnant Haul

Today I rummaged through a fabric remnant bin and came away with these goodies. Each roll is about 1 to 1-1/2 yards and cost about $2-3.

I'm going to be working on garment prototypes and I didn't want to experiment on pricey fabrics so I thought remnant fabric would be a good way to go. Unfortunately, these lengths won't be good for much more than a skirt or blouse each, but I'm planning on using the burgundy and floral to make a two-fer dress.

Look for these fabrics in my next few projects!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sewing Updates

Originally I wanted to keep this site Just completed sewing projects, but I love sewing so much that it seemed a shame to not share that love to a greater extent here!

I maintain another blog, my personal style blog, where I share my outfits and other musings related to fashion, art, and life. Although I feature my projects there too, I try to keep it less technical because I try to keep that site focused on fashion, and not sewing. That's what this is for!

So some updates:

1) I haven't made anything from scratch in almost two weeks. And unfortunately, my poor little sewing buddy, my Kenmore 385.19233 is sick! I'm going to take her to the doctor in the next couple days. I'm not exactly sure what is wrong with her, but the tension has been all off and the adjustment knob seems to be completely nonfunctional. I hope I can have this problem fixed as soon and as inexpensively as possible!

2) The last thing I made using Kay (my sewing machine), was this red skirt , which I made using a tutorial created by Ruby of Ruby Murray's Musings. This skirt was originally a pair of floaty pants (also known as culottes as I am told?) Awesome tutorial, awesome blogger and seamstress!

3) Since I am currently without a healthy, running sewing machine, I need to think of other ways to satisfy my need to create that do not involve sewing (I'm terrible at hand-sewing. That sounds criminal doesn't it? But it's true.) This is probably as good an excuse as any to try drafting new patterns and a sloper/pattern block. I'll let you know how that goes!

Happy crafting, everyone!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

What's In My Sewing Box?

On my personal style blog, I shared the contents of my purse, so I thought it would be appropriate to create a parallel post, this time sharing the contents of my sewing tool kit.

From left to right:

1) My Fiskars rotary cutter. This tool has changed my bias-tape and straight-edge cutting days! It also came with a small self-healing cutting mat.

2) Normal scissors. I use these to cut my pattern pieces. They don't need to be in my sewing kit, but I like having them with everything else.

3) Fabric shears. I love this pair of scissors...I cannot begin to tell you how much. These were a Christmas present from my brother a couple years ago, and though I did not appreciate them then as much as I do now, I could not sew without these. They cut fabric so beautifully. I've scared people before when they've tried cutting anything other than fabric with these. Love.

4) Pin cushion. Pink, of course, this came in a pink themed sewing kit I got when I was in high school.

5) Seam rippers. Some of my best friends. I don't know what I'd do without my seam ripper.

6) Pencils. For pattern-making or marking muslins. My disappearing pen is missing from this picture! I love that too.

7) Measuring tape. I keep a retractable measuring tape in my purse because I never know when I might need it for something, but it would belong in here otherwise.

8) Pin case. This holds an assortment of pins in case I need more, but for the most part I use the pins on my pincushion.

9) Tracing wheel. I have carbon paper to use with this, but to be honest I don't like using them. Lately I've been using Tailor's Tacks and disappearing ink to mark my fabrics.

10) Seam gauge. Useful for measuring small amounts.

11) Ruler. I have a yard stick and a larger ruler, but it never hurts to have this handy.

So that's about it! I have more sewing tools, of course, but there's a peek at what I keep in my sewing toolbox. I'd love it if you'd share yours!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Completed Project: Dress Form Cover

My dress form, Lil, is naturally a dark red color. I didn't like how the original cover photographed or how it would cling to certain types of fabrics, so I decided to make a new cover for her.

The cover is made from a spandex blend which has amazing all-direction stretch. I am quite happy with the result! (But Lil is not happy to be photographed in the almost-nude).

Friday, March 11, 2011

Completed Project: Pink Dot Tank Dress

As per requested :)
I made this dress using a pattern I drafted with the help of Cal Patch's book, Design It Yourself Clothes. The top is a basic tank pattern with bust darts, and the skirt is a slight A-line gathered skirt. The dress has a casing for elastic at the waist. 

Completed in about 4 hours, I'd estimate.

I really like it! I'm probably going to make the same style in different patterns and colors :)