Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sleeves On Saturday

Rather than a pretty new sleeve design, I thought we would do something a little more fundamental today. If you are making a lovely tailored jacket, a fitted sleeve is a must in my book. But more and more often these days, fitted sleeves are difficult to find. A fitted sleeve is very easy to draft from a fitted sleeve and something nice to have in your sleeve design notebook.

Drafting The Fitted Sleeve From A Straight Sleeve

Begin with a basic straight sleeve.
Find the elbow. This can be done by measuring from the top of your arm to your elbow. The measurement should be between 11" and 13" depending upon the length of your arm. Square in a line at this point.
 Draw in a line on a separate piece of paper and match the grain line of the sleeve to this line.
 Between the grainline and the edge of your sleeve, at the elbow, divide the line into 3 sections.
 Cut the sleeve on the elbow line and spread 1".
On the lower portion of the sleeve, draw a line up to the second mark. This will create the elbow dart.
The final pattern, and it's just that simple. If you will notice, the center of the lower portion of the sleeve moved when we rotated in the dart. Go ahead and draw in that line on your final pattern. It's a good reference line to have. The grainline is the line that we drew in and matched our original grainline to.
So nothing flashy and pretty today, but as I said, a great piece of sleeve knowledge to have. In the future we will draft sleeves that will need a fitted sleeve, so this will come in handy.
Happy Saturday!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Fabulous Free Pattern Friday

Ahhh, a little normalcy :), a Fabulous Free Pattern Friday entry!!!
Today I have a fun and as always, well almost always, a very simple rectangular design.
I really enjoyed putting this one together. You must use a knit fabric for this top.
The Draped Waterfall Top
The front and the back are the same, after all, it is a rectangle. What gives the top so much drape is the shirring that you see on the left shoulder. The shirring is crated with elastic that is zigzagged to the seam.
The top laid out flat. There's the basic body of the top, 2 sleeves, and a band along the bottom.
Here is how the shape is achieved.
Begin with a basic rectangle. The rectangle should be at least 10" wider than your hip measurement and your desired length. The notch that you see on the left hand side marks an opening for a sleeve and the notch on the right hand side marks the opening for the neckline.

 The top seam line will be sewn and then elastic zig zagged to the seam to create the shirring. The hip opening along the lower edge will be half of your hip measurement. Draw in the curved line. It should be about half way between the bottom of the rectangle and the neck opening.
 The notch along the curved line marks the opening for the second sleeve.
 The final pattern. The lines marked in orange are the seam lines.
You will need to cut 2 of the main body.
Cut 2 rectangles for the sleeves that will fit into the sleeve openings. The sleeve openings should be wide enough for your bicep to go through comfortably. Once the sleeves are in place,taper them so that they will fit your wrist comfortably.
I also added a band to the lower edge, just a rectangle.
I'm planning to wear the top tomorrow, so I will try to get a picture of me in the top.
One last note on the elastic shirring. Cut your elastic half the length of the seam. Stretch it has you zig zag it in place. This will create the shirring.

And The Winner Is......

The day is finally here!!!!!
Wow, did you ladies ever have me writing a lots of names! I know I need to join the modern world and do a computerized contest, but I always worry about there being a mix up. At least with my little slip of papers, everyone knows exactly who the winner is. So without further ado...the winner is
Ann Vidovic!!!!!
Congratulations Ann. I know you are going to make something beautiful out of this fabric.Please email me at with your address so I can get the fabric out to you.

Thank you again for all your well wishes over the last few weeks. As I told a friend recently, I am still a bit shaken. My eyesight is something I took for granted that I would always have, and as it stands at the moment, I may. But there are no guarantees as to what tomorrow will bring. All the more that we should soak up every wonderful moment that we have.
Wishing you a day soaked full of wonderful moments!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Celebration Continues!

I received a message from Sew News that I am VERY excited to share with you!!!! In celebration of my 6th series of sew along videos, Sew News is offering a very special prize package.
The package includes;
Creative HD OttLite and Craft Caddy
6 Sewing and Craft books

There is a catch have to complete the jacket in order to win. Hopefully, between the videos and my blog posts, you'll breeze through the construction with ease :)
You can find all of the information here.
Sew News has a great sale going on at the moment, but it ends today. The sale is on everything in their shop, patterns too, so here's a great opportunity to get the Robson Coat pattern at a great price. Find the store here.

In the meantime, I'm also offering a little gift of my own in light of my recent good news. If you would like a chance to win the fabric I used for my Robson Coat, leave a message on this post. I will be choosing a winner tomorrow, November 21, 2014, so hop over quickly and leave a message if you haven't done so already!!
Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Drafting the Raised Waist Skirt with a Back Flounce

The skirt pictured above was posted on Monday as part of the plaid inspiration. I have been pleasantly bombarded with "how to draft" requests, I obviously like the skirt too and wouldn't mind having one, so I thought I would go ahead and get the instructions out to all of you.
The first step in copying a design is to take a close look. The front of the skirt is nothing more than a pencil skirt with a raised waistline. Look closely and you will see that there is no side seam. Next, take notice that the zipper is not at center back. The back darts of the skirt have been turned into seams. This allows for adding the beautiful drape. Since the zipper is in the dart area, this tells me that there probably isn't a center back seam. Seams in a plaid fabric can be lovely when matched well, but then again, whenever we can get away with not having seams, all the better.
You will need a straight skirt pattern that fits well. If you are using a new pattern, PLEASE do a muslin and make sure that the skirt fits well before you begin doing any drafting. It would be a pity to draft out the skirt, make it up and then not have it fit. Learn from me....I have made that mistake!!!!
I like to remove the seams from a pattern prior to drafting and then add back once I have finished drafting. I won't be confused about where I left seams and where I will need to add them to the final pattern.
So, beginning with a simple straight skirt, lay the front and back skirt together matching at the side seams. There will no longer be a side seam, just a dart at the waistline.
The next step will be to create the raised waistline. Simple to do, just flip the pattern up. 3" to 4" will be plenty for the raised portion of the waistline. Typically, we increase about the same amount in our rib cage as we do just below the waist. I did say typically.

Now we want to turn our back darts into seams. Square a line down the back of the skirt to the hemline beginning at the apex point of the dart.
Take another look at the plaid skirt and you will see that the flounce is coming only off of the center back panel of the skirt. To create the flounce, determine where you would like the flounce to begin. Zippers are typically 7" long. Looking at the picture, we see that the flounce begins below the end of the zipper, so I would suggest beginning the flounce at approximately 9" below the  natural waistline, or 2" below the end of the zipper. Place a notch at this point.
Separate the back panel from the front panel
To create the flounce, simply draw a line out from the seamline as I have shown in the diagram above. The horizontal line should be the same length as the seam length on the front skirt from the notch to the hemline.
If you would like a full flounce, follow the black lines in the diagram. If you would like the flounce to not be so pronounced, follow the red line.
The final pattern for the front skirt is below. You will have a dart in the front and along the side seam. Be sure to add the grainline. Always important, but even more so if you are working with plaid!!!
Add seam allowances and make the skirt up in muslin to tweak the fit. Remember, the center back of the skirt will be on the fold and the center front will also be on the fold.
In my next post, I will have my skirt cut and sewn together for fitting.    

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Quilted Jacket Pattern

A number of you asked about the pattern that I used for the quilted jacket that I wore yesterday. It's Vogue 8483 and I did find a few listings in case you are interested. Cute pattern :) Now that I'm looking at it again, I just might have to pull it out again!!
You can find 3 listings on Ebay here.
And there was 1 listing on Etsy here.
I did change the front of the jacket a bit to incorporate the zipper. You can find a brief description of how I added the zipper here.
Good Luck!

Burda Style Top 50 Bloggers

Back in late September, I was blown away to find out that I had been chosen as 1 of Burda Style's 50 best bloggers. Well, the list of all 50 is out and it is quite impressive. You should really take a look! There are many that are new to me. Here's the complete list,
Thanks again for all who voted. It's truly an honor!!!
I am working on a fun drafting post that should be up later this afternoon. See ya later!!!