Monday, June 28, 2010

Drafting patterns........ yourself

Hello all!

Stephanie Ann asked how I learned to draft patterns. I would like to dedicate a post just to answering this question because there so many ways to go about it and to learn this skill. These are just a few hints and suggestions and I hope they are helpful.

First off, I really do not know that much. There is so much to learn and while I can do some, it is not that much in the scheme of things! Keep that in mind :)

If you are interested in drafting (as opposed to draping!) historical patterns, specifically those from the 1850-1870 time frame, I would recommend checking out some helps from James Ruley and the manual by DeVere. It is mostly men's wear but also includes some boys suits along with some more structured women's garments. Drafting using DeVere's.
Resource for DeVere.

Do remember that "draping" is an entirely different creature and is what is most commonly used when making historical women's apparel. If you would like more detail on that, Elizabeth Stewart Clark's Dressmaker's Guide can help.

Now, for modern wear, there seems to be a whole slew of books out there! I have barely started to scratch the surface so I do know that it can be rather overwhelming! I have also observed that there seem to be a lot of expensive books out there that are meant for Fashion Design schools and such but those do not seem to be really within reach for most people. I know they are not inexpensive enough to tempt me! I would assume that it is the same for most people so I am keeping that in mind with my suggestions.

My first ever venture into drafting patterns myself was when I was rather young (maybe 12 or so) and I used Sew What! Skirts. It shows you how to take your measurements and draft all sorts of styles and sew them. I highy recommend it! It does only cover skirts so that is a bit of a draw back but it is absolutely the best for beginners. It will get your feet wet without being overwhelming! I was also just gifted Design-it-Yourself Clothes. I am really excited about using this one more and from what I have seen, I think it is great for those who want to take the next step and make dresses, blouses, trousers ect.

I hope you all find this to be helpful and please do let me know if I can be of any further assistance!

As Always,
Bethany Lynn

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Linen and Flowers

Our neighbors are such generous and sweet people. We are blessed to have them especially when they have gorgeous backyard gardens and are so kind as to bring us part of the bounty.

She brought us a rather large bouquet of different sorts of flowers just in her hands. We had enough for a vase of them on the kitchen table but where to put the rest? In the craft room of course! Makes everything so much more cheery and I think they rather like how they look up against the blue walls!

On the sewing front, this is my latest finished project that I actually have pictures of. I will get getting more pictures of other projects soon so stay tuned! Anyways, this vest was my dad's Father's Day gift in time for our July 4th event. It is made of linen and cotton and only lined in the front so that it is nice and light for very warm weather. I drafted the pattern myself using DeVere's manual from 1866. If you are interested in doing that sort of thing, I recommend purchasing a copy on disc from here.

Just to show the back and part of the inside front. I did stitch a lot of this one by hand and I am also making a matching pair of trousers. I hope to have those finished by tomorrow.

And a sneak preview of what I have been working on rather steadily over the past few days. It is nearly finished but I hope to put up pictures of it on the recipient instead of on the dressform.

As Always,
Bethany Lynn

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Simplicity 2588

Simplicity 2588 is graduation dress numero dos :) I have *never* made a dress with such a quick turn around time (buying fabric to wearability). I do not know if I was more shocked or if my family was! I hope I have more projects like this quite often in the future!

Anyways, it is just a simple linen/cotton fabric from Joanns. Easy wash and wear type fiber. My favorite of all time :D Easy to cut out. Easy to sew with and perfect for warm weather! This is the first dress that I have ever put and invisible zipper in and it went in right the first time. I was speechless.

The only alteration on this dress that I had to do was to take in the princess seams a bit. It really was so easy to do and I *would* recommend it to beginners if they want to take their sewing to the next level.

As Always,
Bethany Lynn

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Vogue 1044

Vogue 1044 (aka graduation dress numbero uno) is the new excitement around here. I finished up the slip to go under it just a few hours ago and Becca kindly posed for some pictures.

I used the pattern without any alteration except to shorten the waist some and make some adjustments for more narrow shoulders. I also serged most of the inner seams. I really like how professional it looks with that detail! Also, the pattern does not recommend using a sheer fabric but adding a custom slip solved the problems that go with that sort of thing.

Over all, this dress was fun to make. I would not recommend it for beginners but then again the hardest thing about it was just attaching the skirt to the bodice! It is hard to tell in the pictures but there is actually gathers on top of pleats in the skirt. I had never seen such a thing so I had a bit of a learning curve!

For the slip, I used a camisole pattern from one of Martha Pullen's books and added two panels of fabric for the skirt. Ribbon for straps and a good 4" hem plus a few hours and where is my EASY button?!

As Always,
Bethany Lynn