Posts Tagged ‘Pattern’

Stop press!

Posted: March 24, 2013 in dressmaking, Not a rant
Tags: , , ,

Well, bugger me if I haven’t gone and made summat that FITS!!

Yes indeed. Yesterday I bought SEW magazine, which is sometimes good, sometimes shit, but had a pattern on the front IN MY SIZE (as opposed to the size 6-12 they normally do). At first glance it doesn’t look my sort of thing but then what is?Β It’s Simplicity 2444 if anyone’s interested….loads of reviews on PatternReview, may do my own later.

One thing that bothered me about the pattern was no waist measurement of finished garment.


Given my previous pattern traumas, I decided to make a toile of the bodice.Due to lack of waist measurement on pattern gambled with cutting a 16 for the waist. The toile came up too small on the waist and showed me I needed to adjust or a hollow chest (seriously!) and my slopy shoulders. Eventually cut a 14 top (with a slight FBA) , graduating to size 16 on waist (plus half an inch) and size 16 skirt. The front was supposed to be cut in 2 pieces but I cut it on the fold, adding half an inch for my belly. The centre seam would only have messed up the pattern even more anyway.

Fabric was cotton poplin courtesy of Dunelm. Evil Dunelm, I only went in for underbed storage, FFS. I only bought 2 metres, and it was 45″ wide and the pattern envelope claimed I’d need 3.4 metres of 44″ wide fabric. Ha. I like a challenge, me πŸ˜€

Firstly, I knew I wasn’t going to be worrying about collars…or sleeves. Or facings. In the end, I just squeezed the pieces out, by narrowing the skirt hem by 2″ on each piece (it’s a massive skirt anyway, I’m only 4′ 11″, it would have looked daft) and attempting no pattern matching whatsoever….

Also due to previous experience, ignored the instructions. Constructed front and backs as stated, then did side seams. Got Bob to pin back together to make sure it would fit. Added zip and then checked shoulders for fit before stitching. Seems odd to do shoulder seams last but this is ALWAYS where it goes tits up for me. That and bias facing armholes and neck (don’t look too closely please!) but that’s another story. Anyway, upshot is, a thing that fits. A little snugly across the chest, but I’m wearing a sports bra in the pic, will look better when I wear a proper one.

The front – we’ll ignore the mess, shall we?


The back – apart from cutting the points of the stars of, I think I’ve got the hang of zips. I especially like my invisible zip foot πŸ™‚


Construction – ie the inside of it


And the front, yes it’s wonky on the dummy


I was so pleased with it I even put a label in it… πŸ˜€


Things I think went well with the dress:

  • The fitting – everything seemed to go right this time
  • The zip. It’s rather good
  • The pleats. Hurrah for poplin, it presses and EVERYTHING
  • I managed to find a flattering shape. I usually think boat necks are grim

Things that did not go well:

  • Neck and arm facings – all creasy and stuff – nightmare on tight curves but oh god I HATE normal facings!
  • It’s a bit shortwaisted. I read as much on Patternreview BUT I’m shortwaisted. And under 5′ tall, I have no idea who that would actually fit…
  • Did I mention the facings?

So there it is. Not quite the weather to wear it atm, unfortunately, and I suspect I will need an underskirt to stop it sticking to tights…the minute it is actually not sub zero, I wear it……


As I said in my last post, I had already made a very basic bodice block, courtesy of the Metric Pattern Cutting book below….

Did a bit of faffing adding shaping, had a go at doing the princess seam thing, traced and cut out with 3/4 inch seams cos for some reason my Patternmaster doesn’t have 5/8″…

Cut out paper, pinned to lumpy…



Yes it’s bad pinning but from where I’m standing it looks like a reasonable fit. Next stage, which will be tomorrow, will be to make same out of some non stretchy fabric


Okay. for the three people in the world who expressed an interest…. I just got Bob to take pics of the offending articles….oh and believe me when I say I am not nearly as shapeless as the pics make out…..honest!

Exhibit 1 – Portrait Mk1 – nice colour, nice fabric, dreadful fit. Looks fine till I attempt to move my arms, chest too tight, hips too tight….think I would need to cut it a size or two bigger and bring those tucks up higher…also bear in mind I lengthened this by a good 3 inches….


And the back…yes I weight train lol – NOW do you see my problem?? πŸ˜€


Exhibit 2 – Portrait Mk2 – made with the most evil fraying loose weaved fabric in the world, but perfect for an experiment (until I got a lump glued to my iron GRRRRR this shit cannot be pressed)

Added almost an inch per side, extended the shoulders slightly but made armhole bigger, shirred 4 rows at the narrowest part, the bit I ASSUMED would be the waistline. Er, no. To be fair, this version is infinitely more wearable, and I will probably wear it, it’s comfortable, only a little tight when I pull my shoulders and arms forward but the elasticated bit? Believe me when I say it is almost 2″ above my waist. And I’m short, and a bit shortwaisted….

Oh, and I haven’t done the neckline yet, was checking to see if it fit first. And yes, I hemmed the sleeves flat. Life is too short to hem them when the side seams are sewn up!


It nips in – honest!!

And the beefy back shot…and no the back hem isn’t straight…


In good news, I found my draft bodice block earlier – seems at some point I made one – now just need to trace it and try to make something sensible out of it. I’m quite into princess seam..and I have a pattern with them that fits a treat (apart from the waist being a little too high lol)

Well actually you can’t, cos I’ve taken no pictures..BUT…

Perusing the local charity shop this afternoon, I find they have a bit of fabric in (they hide it amongst the bedlinen, curtains etc)….so today, for the grand total of Β£8.97, I managed to bag myself;

A scrap of really nice teal fabric. I say scrap, it’s 24″ x 70″ – I’ll probably get a small top out of it….it’s sort of crepey but has no stretch….

2 metres of slightly stretch black stuff with a stripe which is perfect for making a shirt or light dress for work. Not too drapey but comfy…would need lining if I made a skirt….

Almost 6(!!!) metres of burgundy suit/trouser fabric with a little stretch.Β  Debating whether to make Vogue 1265 out of this, seeing as I’ve ordered it and all.

Have just joined – get the magazine for Β£30 a year, plus 2 free patterns, and every other pattern I buy is half price – saves waiting for the Vogue sale at the fabric shop πŸ˜€

So they are the patterns I bought, or rather, didn’t…….

I also got ‘goal’ trousers, which are just too tight to fasten up. My goal is to get into them (comfortably) by end of July.

If the rain holds off, I’m going to the allotment later.


Oh and in Debenhams earlier – Henry Holland top – I LOVE his tights but I need this top, yes I do, I don’t even care that it’s white….




Just back from Polenastics. Busy lesson today, and I had the Fear of Fatty. This relates to the pole, not the people! (The poles come in 45mm and 50mm widths. I have tiny hands and short fingers, despite being built like a brick shithouse, and today, I had to go on a fat pole….. 😦 )

Despite the Fear, I managed to do a sitty thing and invert, though I got proper scared and fudged it a couple of times. This is good, though I am still sore from the gym yesterday. Yes, I thought skullcrushers and close grip bench press would be a good idea…. πŸ˜€

Today, I made dumplings with proper beef suet and einkorn flour. They looked dark and were quite dense but tasted lovely and nutty so I shall be attempting pastry next, for my mince pies…..

Yesterday, I went to the Singer shop to have a little look at the patterns… friend says th Vogue patterns fit best, as we’ve found New Look ones have silly amounts of ease, Simplicity patterns aren’t and well, the Vogue stuff seems more suited to my chunky hourglass shape…..

How unfortunate then, that as I got to the shop, there was a big sign on the door telling me there is 40% off all Vogue patterns. Oops. I was good, I didn’t just buy the ones I wanted to make, I bought the ones I wanted to make and HAVE ENOUGH FABRIC FOR…….


The first is a dress I liked the look of as it looks simple but challenging – it will require concentration. I have 2 metres of a slightly stretchy pinstripe which I may use – I think this would really work as a smart work dress, though I plan to make it out of something else later….

The second is a vintage reissue, which I will trace, as I’m going to attempt it in a stretch jersey, so will need to cut it a size or two smaller (I also want to make it in a different fabric in the ‘proper’ size, later). It’s also the sort of thing I’ll wear with leggings, when it gets cold(er).

Hopefully, I shall be cutting out the fabric for the 8728 on Sat, and beginning to stitch it on Sunday. I must be mad, I hate stretchy stuff, but it’s spotty, and I have loads of it!