I am still working on Simplicity 1104. I have made up my muslin and wanted to show you how I look at the wrinkles and determine where I need to address fit issues.
I am on my way to making this gem. You can read from the beginning here.
Here is a full view of my muslin.
Here is a close up of my problem area.
And more specifically…
And, here is the back. I should have ironed the muslin, but you can still see the wrinkles that call out to a fit issue rather than a “I forgot to iron” issue.
I cut out a size 8 and if I cut out a size 6 I would have had to do more alterations because the bust would have been too small as would the waist, hips etc. But, what these wrinkles are telling me is that I need to do a narrow chest adjustment and a back adjustment as well. The shoulders are a little long too. These are common alterations for me. My upper torso is more like a petite sizing but my bottom portions are more “regular” sized (Pear!).
My favorite fit book of the moment is Joi Mahon’s Create The Perfect Fit. One of her tips is to try contouring the body in place of fitting if possible. Contouring the body is a way to camouflage “unevenness in the body by padding areas that do not match on the other side”. Narrow shoulders can be broaden with shoulder pads, small busts can be made bigger with padded bras and so on.
Even with a narrow chest some padding can be used (especially in jackets) to fill out that area. However, in the case of this pattern the best solution is an actual adjustment to the paper pattern. Now, on to the alterations!
What are your fit issues? Do you alter the pattern or have you tried contouring your body to fit the pattern? Do you know your body type?
Every year I think of all the things I want to sew for my friends and family and give as gifts. Then December comes around and I look at all the things I have zero time to sew for family and friends. This year will be different! Let’s get ahead of this and start planning now.
Plus, here’s a few I’ve made. Talk about fast and easy sewing gifts, pin cushions are it. Oh, and these I made for myself. I couldn’t part with them. That red one on the left was from fabric I found here in the office. Clever uh?!
Pillows – Pillows are great for a new home owner or apartment dweller. Great coming from mom who’s favorite daughter ( I was always mom’s favorite) or son who has moved out of state and needs a warm soft pillow to hug. We have an endless supply of pillow patterns and projects. Some are for free and also new kits like the Under Sea Pillow Kit has received an incredible response and you get it all in the kit, fabric, supplies and instructions.
Pillow cases – I have a friend who every year makes pillow cases. She purchases the fabric in fun prints of cotton or for a luxe version satin. French seam the inside for a nice touch. I have some fabric that would be perfect for this, plus it will go nicely with my bedspread. Here’s a free pillow case tutorial to get you started.
Scarves – I buy a little bit of extra fabric and use the extra to make scarves (usually for myself). Right now in my pile of sewing projects I have a chiffon with pretty pink birds on it, a cashmere wool abstract print and a chartreuse silk all ready to be sewn up for scarves. They’re all cut out in various sized rectangles. All I need to do is some hand sewing etc and they are done. So freaking easy. I could give these out as gifts but I think I’ll keep them for myself. Ya I need more scarves.
Table linens – Good grief, who does not need a beautiful table runner and/or a matching napkin/place mat set? I do, for sure. So here’s a few you can make for me, or you know, whoever (Whomever? Whatever). These projects are little bit more time consuming, especially the table runner. But, napkins? Come on, just square up some linen or cotton fabric, finish the edges, boom you’re done.
Love this bag. It is so roomy and can be used for a variety of things; knitting, grocery shopping, school, baby, make it for me etc..
A tote bag like this is great for larger needs. Cute as a gym bag but more so as a weekend type bag. There are hundreds of easy tote bags tutorials, kits and patterns you can choose from. Bags are fairly easy to make too.
And, on and on I could go. I think these are some of my favorites though.
What do you think is the best sewing gifts to make? Are you going to make any this year? And, when do you get started? Let me know in the comments section below.
For people new to sewing, you might be wondering how you should start a garment sewing project. Everyone, as they become more experienced have their favorite ways of doing things. This is generally how I start a new project, with a pattern I’m unfamiliar with and/or possibly using a difficult or new fabric.
After asking you all on Facebook what I should do over the weekend; work on UFO’s or start on Simplicity 1104, I got a whole lotta advice! By far the best advice was to do a little UFO work and then start on the new project! Perfect. And, that is what I did over the weekend. I finished up a dress, made a scarf out of some remnant chartreuse silk and then cut out my Simplicity 1104.
First, I carry the pattern around in my purse or tote bag for about a week ( I kid you not). I read the directions while out to dinner, look at the measurements as if they might change, fantasize about how great this is going to look and think about fabric.
When I get a moment I get all my supplies together and spread them out on the dining room table (sorry, can’t make dinner tonight!). For this pattern since I’ve never sewn it up I am making a muslin. My supplies are dressmaker rulers, marking pens in various colors, muslin, scissors, pins.
I love making muslins because I can do it fast, I can write on the fabric and I don’t have to be overly gentle with the fabric. A muslin is only for fitting purposes and to make sure I’ve cut out the right size and to see what fit issues I have.
When you look at the pattern be sure to look at the Finished Garment section. Most patterns will have this info, some don’t.
I am cutting out a size 8 because I have a 31 1/2″ upper bust measurement. Finished, the muslin should fit when I wear my foundation garments (bras). Now, I haven’t decided if I am making the dress or the top, so I might ask you all again on Facebook. If I make the dress I will need to adjust, since I am not a size 8 on the hip portion. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.
Here is a photo of the muslin, very quickly worked up. The darts aren’t perfect, it’s wrinkled and so on. But, that’s okay. I also know plenty of women whose muslin’s are BEAUTIFUL. As long as you get accurate fit.
I also always use a contrasting thread color so I can unpick/rip out easily. I use basting stitches along the side seams.
When making a muslin you generally don’t need to put together the facings, install zippers, buttons etc. Just really the foundation of the garment. Sometimes I will only do one sleeve, it depends. Making a muslin is like a dress rehearsal and it is where you iron out any and all major fit issues or construction problems before using your fashion fabric.
However, what I find to be most important when making a muslin is to make the muslin in a similar fabric as the fashion fabric. My fashion fabric for this project will be either a linen or a double gauze so the muslin fabric is a fairly decent weight and fiber and drape comparison.
Next, I would will show you what the muslin looks like when it is on my body. And, play “What Do Those Wrinkles Mean”
Thanks for joining in the Dixie DIY shorts sew along. This sew along went fast, and we hope you enjoyed making the shorts. I would really like to see these made up in a light weight wool for fall. Currently, we are experiencing a bit of technical issues with the e-pattern. When it is ready to go I’ll will let everyone know on Facebook, until then you can purchase the pattern on Dixie’s site here.
I’ll let Rhonda take it from here so you can get those shorts made in time for summer fun.
“The details are not the details, they are what make the design.”
Charles Eames ~
The details that we so painstakingly add to our garments can make or break a great garment. More often than not, it’s the execution of the detail that will make or break the overall look of the garment.
Just a quick note on the waistband yoke before we move on to binding our shorts. In the video, I talked about turning under the edge of the waistband yoke facing and hand stitching it in place. There is a quicker method. Take a look at the picture below and you will see that I sergered the lower edge of my facing.
I pressed the facing. I then turned the garment to the front side, pinned the facing in place and then stitched in the ditch. This will give a clean finish to your waistband yoke and eliminate the need to hand stitch the facing down. It will also eliminate some bulk in the seam.
Binding a garment can seem a little tricky, but it’s really about just taking your time.
Begin by cutting a 2″ wide strip of bias binding. Be sure that the strip is cut on the bias. If it is on the straight or crosswise grain, it will not move around the curve of the leg.
Sew the binding the the edge of the shorts with a 3/8″ seam allowance. Be careful to not stretch the binding strip as you sew around the leg of the shorts.
Once sewn, press the binding away from the short. Be sure that the pressed edge is nice and crisp.
Be sure to leave a little extra at the top edge of the short in order to turn under the raw edge.
On the back side, fold the binding over to meet the raw edge and press in place.
Once pressed, fold the binding over so that it covers the seam. On the front side, pin the binding in place just along the seam edge. Be sure to turn under the raw edge at the waist.
Check the back side to make sure that the pins are holding the binding edge in place.
Stitch the binding in place by sewing in the ditch that is between the short and the binding.
Success!!! The binding looks as pretty on the back as it does on the front.
The binding is in place.
Before sewing the legs together, we need to add the buttonholes which we will do in our final post.
Good luck with your binding. Remember, it’s all about just taking your time.
I’m always sad to see summer go, but early fall and the start of school is one of my favorite times of year. I have always loved – and probably always will – new school supplies. It’s in my genetic make-up as an editor. And as a sewist: I love looking through the new patterns that are coming out for fall…and planning my fabric purchases accordingly. And I’m so inspired by the collection of projects in this issue of Sew News.
First, the cover: a trio of travel-ready bags in luscious fabrics! If you haven’t joined our Sew-Along yet, do it this month. Grab the pattern and sew this set with us. There’s a great big duffle for overnights, a boxy bag for toiletries and little zipped pouch for odds and ends. I love it! Sew Along starts September 08, 2015.
Also inside, a sweet stamped tunic, customized with carved stamps placed strategically on the fabric. I’ve got several tunics on my fall to-sew list and this technique is a must-try.
And the good stuff continues. Make an elegant clutch with an over-sized bow, a cozy custom sweatshirt for cooler evenings, a tweed skirt that is back-to-school perfect and so much more. Plus some great techniques like working with drapey fabrics and pant fitting FAQs answered.
Pants are easy to make, easy to make, but can be a bear to fit. Shorts are nothing more than short pants, so fitting issues can be just as much of a problem with shorts as they are with pants. One of the lovely features with the Dixie DIY Movies In The Park shorts is that some fitting issues can be taken care of once the shorts are made as the side seams are not sewn until the very end.
To give the shorts a lovely fit across the back, a dart has been included. Once you have cut out your shorts, begin by sewing the 2 back darts.
The next step will be to sew the front leg to the back leg along the inseam. Once the inseams have been sewn, sew the 2 legs together along the crotch seam. Remember, the side seams will remain open until the end.
If you would like to accent the shorts with a contrasting trim, piping works beautifully along the pocket edge as well as around the waistband yokes. By making your own piping, you can give your shorts a truly custom made look. If you are making your own piping, be sure to cut the fabric on the bias. I cut my strips 1 1/2″ wide. Fold the strip around the cord and using a zipper foot, stitch the fabric close to the cord.
Once the piping has been made, sew it to the pocket edge. Be sure to match the stitching of the piping to the seam line. Once the piping has been sewn, place the pocket on top of the piped edge and sew in place.
Lay open the pocket facing and edge stitch along the piping on the pocket side. This will give the pocket a reinforced edge and will help keep the pocket facing in place.
Turn the pocket facing to the inside of the short and press.
Place the pocket on top of the pocket facing and sew the 2 together.
The pocket is in place.
It is difficult and bulky to have the cord in a seam allowance. So before we go any further, we need to trim down the cord that is inside the piping. Simply grab the edge of the cord and pull out a little more than 5/8″. Remember, our seam allowance is 5/8″, so we need to pull out a little more in order for the cord not to be caught in the seam. Just be careful when pulling the cord so as not to pull the cord too far. Snip off the cord that has been pulled out. Be sure to do this to both ends.
In order to hold the pocket in place, baste the top of the pocket to the edge of the front along the top.
Baste the pocket to the side seam as well.
The next step will be to interface the waistband yokes. You will need to interface the front as well as the back.
If you are piping the waistband yokes, sew the piping to the top and bottom edge, but not to the sides. The sides will be finished with bias tape. Sew the waistband yokes to the front and back.
The last step will be to sew the facing to the waistband yokes. Once sewn, flip to the back, fold up the seam allowance and hand stitch in place. You can see in the picture below that prior to stiching down my facing, I edge stitched the facing.
In our next post, we will talk about making the bias tape and edging the shorts.
Just a few more steps and your shorts will be ready to wear!
Please check out the video for more tips and suggestions to make your pair of shorts the very best!
Celebrate with us as we launch a new video, pattern and kit series called Sew with Me. There are so many things to love about this new series: luscious feature fabrics, fresh patterns and informative videos that let you skill build while you sew along with some of your favorite sewing designers. First up: the dynamic duo behind Sis Boom Pattern Company, Jennifer Paganelli and Carla Crim. Today, we’re chatting with Jennifer Paganelli, a name you probably recognize if you’ve spent any amount of quality time in a fabric store.
What do you love most about the online sewing community?
I love the exuberance and the pride in the handmade. Because it’s no longer about saving money to sew a garment or a quilt: it’s the process of creating that is the common thread.
How amazing is it to see people make special things with your fabric?
I love when people using my fabrics become their own celebrities to their own following, because out of cloth they bring their vision to life. They are the designers that I tip my hat to. Most of all, the Sis Boom/Jenny Eliza folks are incredibly talented, and they think of ideas that I wouldn’t. They also have the ability to put fabrics together that are visually stunning.
What trends, sewing or otherwise, are you enjoying this summer?
As a creative director, I am the idea person, and I love scouring flea markets and estate sales for inspiration. I love coming up with something unique.
What are three must-haves in your creative space?
My must-haves are a glue gun, decoupage glue and fabric.
Where and when do you get your best ideas?
Seriously, nothing gets my mojo more pumped than getting to the flea market. My mind goes a mile a minute looking for ideas that ignite my creativity.
How do you stay motivated and inspired?
I do quite a bit of hand sewing so that alone really keeps me in sync with my craft. If I’m stuck or blocked, I pick up a needle and thread and sew sequins to everything, and that makes me feel connected.
Celebrate with us as we launch a new video, pattern and kit series called Sew with Me: your chance to sew along with some of your favorite sewing designers. Today we’re chatting with Carla Crim, aka Scientific Seamstress and part of the duo behind the Sis Boom Pattern Company. Jennifer Paganelli and Carla have worked together to create an amazing line of patterns for Sew News readers. Read more below about Carla’s interesting background and her approach to designing for modern sewists.
What do you love most about the online sewing community?
I love that there is 24 hour access to sewing help. In the Sis Boom/Scientific seamstress Facebook group (we call it the lab group), there is always someone online, willing to answer questions and lend a hand. There is also the instant gratification of showing off completed projects to people who will appreciate them. Along with that, you can get so much inspiration from other members’ projects.
How amazing is it to see people make special things with your patterns or instructions?
It is truly a thrill! For the adult clothing, it is heartwarming to see a woman feeling beautiful and empowered to make her own custom-fit garment. The kid/baby garments are a joy to see as well. I love my daily dose of cuteness.
What trends, sewing or otherwise, are you enjoying this summer?
Lace! I’m seeing lace overlays and pieces that can be layered over a tank or a cami. I’m also glad jean shorts are back. I wore the heck out of those in the 90′s.
What are three must-haves in your creative space?
Good lighting, a big stash of Sis Boom fabric, and a big cutting table to clutter up.
Where do you get your best ideas?
In the bathtub or when just waking up.
How do you stay motivated and inspired?
My team (Jeanine Thomlinson, Social Media Director, and Cathy Peckiconis, Customer Service Rep) and of course Jennifer Paganelli are my cheerleaders.
Tell us the story behind your moniker, the Scientific Seamstress?
My background is in Biology. In fact, I have a Ph.D. in Plant Physiology. After I had my little boy, I left the world of research and started sewing doll and baby clothes. I had lots of people ask for my patterns, so I ended up compiling them in PDF format. My business name was SewBoutique4Dolly. When I transitioned into older kids and even adults, I wanted something that was more reflective of my style and background…Scientific Seamstress was the perfect fit.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Believe it or not, we work about six months ahead of time in order to publish Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery magazines. We’re always working on winter issues in the summer and summer issues in the winter. It sure makes things interesting when you’re looking for a model to wear a swimsuit while it’s snowing outside!
I’m sure the last thing you’re thinking about is Christmas (it’s just now summer, after all). But, as a sewer, it’s a good idea to get a jump on holiday planning, especially if you’re going to make some handmade gifts. So, I’m announcing our first-ever Christmas in July!
I’m notorious for needing last-minute gift ideas. What I love about our Hedgehog pincushion kit is that it’s packaged in a box, so if I don’t get around to making it for my sewing friends, I can always just gift them the kit and they can make it themselves! Love that!
For my aunts and cousins, I’ll make simple aprons and embellish them with the CME Christmas Goodies design collection. You can buy it on its own or in our 2014 CME Collection. A whole year’s worth of embroidery designs.
This collection was one of our biggest sellers last year and it’s super cute! The Christmas Cheer collection is also adorable, and perfect for some tea towels or bathroom décor. (For a great tutorial on mitered napkins and place mats, look to this video hosted by Elizabeth and Liz Evans!)
In-the-hoop projects are wonderful gifts, and you can sew them assembly-line style to whip out several in no time. Check out the Table Trimmings Trio for super cute favors to make for your holiday gatherings.
Another great gift is a pair of slippers—you can make these for each person on your gift list and change up the fabric to suit their style. Plus, the pattern is on sale for $1.50. Does it get any better than that?
I’m trying to get my friend Erica into sewing, so I’ve decided to gift her the Essential Sewing Reference Tool by Carla Crim. I’m sure this will inspire her to dust off her sewing machine and start making some easy projects. I may even throw in the Shellie Clutch kit so she has a pattern and fabric at the ready.
If you need more inspiration, look to our 12 Days of Sewing ebook, full of 12 great gift ideas for family and friends!
Ah, a sewing holiday, how fantastic would that be?! Well, your dreams can come true. Read below for all the details for Joi Mahon’s first ever Sewing Holiday. If you are in the Sioux City, Iowa area in July please be sure to check this out. Find a list of all the classes here.
Fashion entrepreneur Joi Mahon, of Dress Forms Design Studio, LLC, has announced that she will host the first ever Designer Joi’s Sewing Holiday event from July 22-25, 2015. The event will be held at the Stoney Creek Hotel and Conference Center in her hometown of Sioux City, Iowa. WHO
Mahon is a fashion designer, McCall Pattern designer, author of “Create the Perfect Fit”, a popular online instructor, Baby Lock sewing machine spokes-designer, ASE teacher of the year and contributor to Sew News. WHY
“I thought if I could bring all my favorite aspects of successful sewing events across the country and create a go-to sewing event, this would be it,” says Mahon. “The industry is excited, customers are excited, and I am excited because we are setting the stage for a yearly destination event that will feature A-list talent and great learning opportunities every year.” WHAT
The 2015 Designer Joi’s Sewing Holiday will feature sewing, quilting and embroidery classes by popular sewing personalities, a banquet, contests and prizes, a traveling quilt exhibit, book signings, and a historic clothing presentation from Iowa State University, where Mahon earned her degree in fashion design. Sewing machines for classes are graciously provided by Baby Lock Sewing Machine Company.
Behind the scenes, Mahon has been planning all sorts of details, including special guests. Among the “sewlebrities” scheduled to attend:
DR. SARA MARCKETTI
Entertainment for the “sewtacular” will be provided by Emmy Award-winning a cappella act Tonic Sol-fa during the opening ceremonies and banquet on July 22, 2015.
Sign up for email updates at http://sewingholiday.com for details about speakers, class descriptions, pre-registration and more. Space for the event, which will accommodate sewing enthusiasts of all ages, skill levels and sewing interests, is limited to 300 attendees.
For more information – visit the Sew Holiday website www.sewholiday.com. http://sewingholiday.com/ her website www.designerjoi.com.