Picking the Perfect Skirt for Your Body

With our April/May issue of Sew News, we celebrate the start of a new mini-series on finding the perfect fit for your body, with fit expert and Fit for Art Patterns (fitforartpatterns.com) Creative Director Rae Cumbie as your guide. The series will explore fit garment type by garment type, starting with skirts. From classic skirt shapes and silhouettes to waist treatments and length to picking the right shape for your body type, the first installment of the series discusses all things skirt-related. Read on to learn more about Rae’s perspective on fit, current skirt trends and skirt selection tips. For the full article, grab the Sew News April/May issue.Screen Shot 2016 03 16 at 9.15.11 AM 1024x523 Picking the Perfect Skirt for Your Body

Why is it important for people to understand fit principles when selecting patterns? We all want successful sewing experiences, especially if you are making clothing for yourself or others. Understanding your personal fit preferences and the basic elements of fit will lead to good choices in your preparation for sewing which includes picking a pattern. Continue reading

 Picking the Perfect Skirt for Your Body
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Winners Announced!

Hello,

Wanted to announce the winners of the Craft Blog Hop and the garment sewing book pack.

Be sure to check your emails and spam folder. If I don’t hear back within 30 days I’ll pick another winner.

For the Craft Blog Hop is….

Sarah  (Slp…..@aol.com)

And, the Joi Mahon and Boundless Style book giveaway winner is…..

Sharon C. (scol….@yahoo.com)

I will be in touch with both of you shortly to let you know how to claim your prizes.

Thanks everyone for making a comment and joining in the fun.

 

 Winners Announced!
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Pepernoot Coat Sew Along: Inserting Pockets

This is a special portion of the sew along. Rhonda has written up a nice piece on making beautiful pockets for your Pepernoot Coat. The end is almost here! Please let us know if you have made the coat. We would love to see your version!

 Pepernoot Coat Sew Along: Inserting Pockets

Nothing can make or break a garment faster than a poorly sewn pocket. Not only is the pocket on the Pepernoot Coat a large pocket, it also has a zipper, making it all the more intimidating. But you will soon see that inserting the zipper is really quite easy.

 Pepernoot Coat Sew Along: Inserting Pockets

For my first coat, I used a metal zipper as it worked well with the fabric I chose for the coat. The pocket was attached with an edge stitch, so quite easy to do. Continue reading

 Pepernoot Coat Sew Along: Inserting Pockets
Posted in Sew Along Pepernoot Coat | Tagged , | 1 Comment

7 Reasons Why We Love Jennifer Davey & Her Tote Bags

Have you seen the cover of ourBeach Bag  7 Reasons Why We Love Jennifer Davey & Her Tote Bags April/May issue? The gorgeous nautical-inspired project is just the thing for summer: a perfect-sized tote with interesting details that make it great for beach trips, a grocery run or a quiet afternoon library visit. Read more from Jennifer Davey on her inspiration for the project, tips for creating the tote and what’s on her summer sewing list.

What’s your favorite kind of bag to sew and design?

I love to create bags with all the right pockets to suit my needs, a fun contrasting lining and a little surprise. This tote fits all my faves in: an optional zip pocket for my phone, a bright red, white and blue cotton lining and the fun twist of the snap on handles.

We love the handles – why did you decide to go with rope? 

When I designed this bag, I was feeling the nautical inspirations. Rope seemed a perfect functional nautical accent for the bag. Although with the snaps, the handle could easily be changed out to a different handle should your mood change. A soft scarf could give this bag a completely different look.

Any recommendations for choosing rope for the bag? 

When choosing a rope, go with something that will be comfortable in your hand, such as a natural fiber like cotton, linen or hemp that is soft and flexible. Take a peek in the home dec and upholstery trims.

Are there any other fabrics that could work for this bag? 

Absolutely! This design would lend well to denims, upholstery, wools or even quilted fabrics. The mid-weights will keep the shape and body of the bag.

What are your must-haves on a bag sewing pattern?

No matter if I am shopping retail for a bag or planning to make one, it must fit my intended purpose. Whether that is a trip to the beach, farmers market or heading to sewing class it must fit ALL of my stuff. I like to keep my bags organized to find what I need so I LOVE good sized, well-positioned pockets. And of course if it doesn’t look cute, it’s out. Functional and fashionable is the sewing pattern for me.

What is on your must-sew list this summer?

Summer sewing for me usually involves sewing with my girls; I like to keep the projects quick and fun. Christmas sewing, décor and gifts are in the plans for this summer.

Anything else you’d like to tell us about the process of designing this bag?

I always like to think of my designs as a jumping off point and hope those who see it are inspired to create and make it their own. In each of us is a designer whether you just choose different color canvas, change out the handle or adjust the size to fit your needs. I would love to see what others are doing with my design. Come by my blog and see what I’m up to.

 7 Reasons Why We Love Jennifer Davey & Her Tote Bags
Posted in E-patterns | Comments Off

The Perils of Not Taking Home Ec

housewife+2 The Perils of Not Taking Home Ec

You may recall my quick review of Joi Mahon’s book, Create the Perfect Fit on the Sew News blog awhile back. It’s one of my first resources I go to on fitting. Which got me to thinking, how do people like to learn? Today we can get knowledge on any subject in a nanosecond. But, I still have a preferred way of getting mine.

My mom and grandma taught me to sew. I didn’t take home ec, my mom didn’t want valuable time spent on “housewife training”. Instead I took German, Latin and drama. Of course when it came time for me to be out on my own, I not only poisoned myself multiple times with under cooked chicken and beef, and wore more unintentional pink in my wardrobe than I wanted but I was absolutely terrified of small babies and checkbooks.

stack+of+books The Perils of Not Taking Home Ec

 

 

 

 

 

Even as my mom and grandma taught me how to sew, I was always on the hunt for more info. I ‘stole’ my grandma’s Time Life collection of The Art of Sewing books so that I could read over details before I went to bed. I particularly liked The Classic Techniques book. The cover was pink, black and white in a geometric print. Still remember that.

I still enjoy looking through the latest books on sewing to learn something new and be inspired. My bed is littered with sewing patterns and books. What’s on my nightstand currently is Joi’s second book, Designer Joi’s Fashion Sewing Workshop I can honestly tell you, that I love it.

Her new book is about fashion sewing that shows professional skills and techniques for creating stylish garments. It includes 5 patternmaking templates, design tips for real bodies, flat patternmaking and tons of information on draping, drafting, sewing for the aging body and even fitting for kids. I can’t give the book justice here so, please go to my full review on the Sew News blog.

T6854 The Perils of Not Taking Home Ec

Plus, answer my question (on the blog) and you’ll be in the running for a Joi Mahon 2 book giveaway.

Another book that I’m drooling over is Boundless Style by Kristiann Boos of Victory Patterns. This book is gorgeous. If you love pattern hacking (taking patterns pieces from different patterns and making a completely new design) this book is the for you. I’ve been scouring the big 4 pattern catalogs for a blouse with no luck. However, I found the perfect one on page 74 of her book. The Georgia is so beautiful, feminine but adult too. I don’t need to look like a tween thank you.

 5110zqBzPoL. SX377 BO1204203200  The Perils of Not Taking Home Ec

The Georgia blouse is on my list for spring sewing (see below).  I’m still working on my double gauze shirt dress and I somehow cut out another skirt pattern, even though I told myself I wouldn’t until I actually finish something.

georgina The Perils of Not Taking Home Ec

Who actually is in charge here?

Oh, well. Carpe diem.

 The Perils of Not Taking Home Ec

 

 

 The Perils of Not Taking Home Ec
Posted in Fashion | Tagged , , | 14 Comments

7 Reasons To Try Fashion Sewing: A Review of Joi Mahon’s Latest Book

I really love Joi Mahon’s books and videos and her fresh take on sewing. She takes difficult concepts and breaks them down in to manageable sizes. Sewing as we all know is easy. Making things fit? Like trying to sculpt wood with a plastic knife.

Joi has a new book out, Designer Joi’s Fashion Sewing Workshop, is it as fantastic as Create the Perfect Fit? Let’s find out, chapter by chapter.U9383FP 7 Reasons To Try Fashion Sewing: A Review of Joi Mahons Latest Book

T6854 7 Reasons To Try Fashion Sewing: A Review of Joi Mahons Latest BookChapter 1: Design and Inspiration

Joi discusses her unique designs style and skills. She offers plenty of tips and tells the reader how she has developed her style, how you can use storyboards in your sewing, how to cultivate inspiration in even the most mundane items and activities. She also talks about design elements, how to use them, color theory and more. Through out this chapter you can do assignments and activities to help reinforce a technique or idea.

 

 

Chapter 2: Fashion Sketching

By far my worst subject. I cannot draw my way out of paper bag. As I review this chapter I enjoy how she makes drawing and sketching seem doable for myself.  haven’t had time to do the activities in this chapter. However, she starts our slow with the first exercise all about practicing the basics. Perfect for someone like me. Don’t worry. For those that are more advanced you’ll be doing rendering, and making croquis.

joi sketch 7 Reasons To Try Fashion Sewing: A Review of Joi Mahons Latest BookChapter 3: Patternmaking by Flat Pattern.

This chapter is all about taking an idea in your head and putting them to paper. That is, learning how to make your own patterns. I cannot tell you how fun it is to start making your own sewing patterns. Once you learn how to do this you’ll never be the same. Joi has a lot of great information on pattern drafting, flat pattern, making your own pattern board, using slopers and making a fit sample. This book would be a great companion piece to video instruction. Just remember; you can’t learn patternmaking in a day. It does take practice.

Chapter 4: Draping, Drafting & Computer-generated Patterning.

See how we’re increasingly getting more advanced in our sewing? Draping is something that I have seen talented designers do, and it’s amazing to see in action. This is something I’d really like to learn. In Chapter 4 Joi goes step-by-step through the process of draping and with draping exercises as well. Again, this would be an excellent companion piece to video instruction. And, goes without saying: practice, practice, practice.

If you’ve been sewing for awhile, you might have noticed how difficult sleeves can be. Drafting sleeves is one of the harder areas to draft correctly. Notice how pattern companies put in a ton of ease into the sleeve? Not necessary at all (in most cases). Joi says that even a “novice patternmaker can master” sleeves. A wee bit skeptical but I am totally game for trying!

joi red blouse 7 Reasons To Try Fashion Sewing: A Review of Joi Mahons Latest Book

Chapter 5: Designing for the Real Body

Pattern makers have a standard, they have to adhere to. And, one can argue that the standard is unrealistic or needs to be updated. But, no two bodies are going to be a like, so it’s helpful to view patterns simply as a guide. You are the master and can make it fit your body with proper alterations. This chapter is how to take accurate measurements, how to measure yourself and pattern. Plus, find out how to adjust a pattern and why you should sew a fit sample. Also included tips through out. Bonus: fitting and sewing for kids.

joi half scale 7 Reasons To Try Fashion Sewing: A Review of Joi Mahons Latest Book

Chapter 6: Joi’s Sewing Workshop

This chapter is great for beginners or those new to sewing. It offers sewing machine know-how, fabric tips, what tools you should have and information on interfacing. Plus, activities and exercises good for all levels.jois blouse sketch 7 Reasons To Try Fashion Sewing: A Review of Joi Mahons Latest Book

Chapter 7: Design Process: Start To Finish

Short chapter, filled with photos of the process from start to finish.

Appendix

This has a catalog of garment styles that will give you ideas and you begin to make your own patterns, croquis,  plus a lengthy Resource List.

That is it in a nutshell. There is only one thing I would have like to have seen, spiral bound.

Thank you for reading! If you would like more reviews, or what you would like to see in a review, please let me know in the comments section and you’ll be entered to win 2 of Joi Mahon’s books!

All images courtesy of Fons & Porter and Joi Mahon.

signautre 200 7 Reasons To Try Fashion Sewing: A Review of Joi Mahons Latest Book

 

 7 Reasons To Try Fashion Sewing: A Review of Joi Mahons Latest Book
Posted in Fashion, Tips & Techniques | Tagged | 25 Comments

Pepernoot Coat Sew Along: Week 3 Construction

How are your coats coming along? You’ll start to see Rhonda’s coat taking shape and the colors are beautiful. The great thing about spring is that you’ll be able to wear your Pepernoot coat for a bit. So, let’s get started!

 Pepernoot Coat Sew Along: Week 3 Construction

Beginning a new project can seem a little intimidating at times. We want to do our best and have the outcome that we’ve seen in our mind. Now that we’ve talked in depth about the Pepernoot Coat pattern, and have it cut out, there’s nothing better to cast away the fears than just jumping in and getting started!

As we talked about in our last post, the front and back bodice both have darts. The bust dart on the front bodice is a good bit larger than the back dart.

 Pepernoot Coat Sew Along: Week 3 Construction

When marking a dart, I like to make small clips at the base of the dart. This will make it much easier to sew and give you a guide point for your first stitches. Simply fold the dart, matching up the 2 clips and sew the dart.

 Pepernoot Coat Sew Along: Week 3 Construction

Most likely, your fabric will be a little heavier since this is a coat. Once sewn, clip the dart open and press flat.  Pepernoot Coat Sew Along: Week 3 Construction

The darts on the back bodice are rather narrow, so rather than try to clip them open, just press them towards the center once they are sewn.

Because of the pattern on my fabric, and the thickness of my fabric, I did not press my center back seam to one side as you may notice in the instructions. I simply pressed the seam open. If you would like, the seam can be pressed to one side and then top stitched in place.

 Pepernoot Coat Sew Along: Week 3 Construction

If you will be piping the yoke seams, now is the time to do so. The seam allowance is 1/2″, so be sure to lay the stitched edge of the piping exactly on the seam line.

 Pepernoot Coat Sew Along: Week 3 Construction

Stitch right along the edge of the piping.

 Pepernoot Coat Sew Along: Week 3 Construction

Once the piping has been sewn to the front and back bodice, attach the yokes.

 Pepernoot Coat Sew Along: Week 3 Construction

If you are matching a pattern, please pay close attention as a mismatched pattern will be quite obvious.

 Pepernoot Coat Sew Along: Week 3 Construction

Once the piping has been sewn on and the yokes are in place, we need to trim the cording from the seam edge. Simply grab the cord out of the piping, pull it out and trim away at least 1/2″ since our seam allowances are 1/2″.

 Pepernoot Coat Sew Along: Week 3 Construction

Once I’ve trimmed the cord, I also like to clip the seam allowance of the cording on an angle at the seam edge. This will keep the seams from being quite as bulky.

 Pepernoot Coat Sew Along: Week 3 Construction

Once all the trimming is complete, press the seam down.

 Pepernoot Coat Sew Along: Week 3 Construction

Sew the back and front bodices to the skirt of the coat. I like to clip the edge of my darts to reduce bulk.

 Pepernoot Coat Sew Along: Week 3 Construction

Once both sides of the dart have been clipped, the seam allowance will look like a “v”.

 Pepernoot Coat Sew Along: Week 3 Construction

I then pressed the waistline seam open.

 Pepernoot Coat Sew Along: Week 3 Construction

You can now see how the flowers have been matched. I had to make some decisions in regards to matching. Of course, the darts will take away a little of the shape of the flower. But in order to have the flowers match at the waist, I needed to mirror the flowers at center back.

 Pepernoot Coat Sew Along: Week 3 Construction

Now that the skirts have been attached to the front and back bodices, sew the front to the back at the shoulder seams and side seams.

The coat is quickly coming together.

 Pepernoot Coat Sew Along: Week 3 Construction

The back of the coat.

 Pepernoot Coat Sew Along: Week 3 Construction

When matching patterns, sometimes decisions have to be made. I felt that it was more important for the pattern to match in the front than it was to have it matched down the side.

 Pepernoot Coat Sew Along: Week 3 Construction

At this point, let’s set the coat aside and work on the lining.

The darts are not sewn into the front and back bodice of the lining, rather they become tucks.

 Pepernoot Coat Sew Along: Week 3 Construction

Once again, clip the bottom of the tucks.

 Pepernoot Coat Sew Along: Week 3 Construction

Fold in half and match the 2 clipped points.

 Pepernoot Coat Sew Along: Week 3 Construction

Fold the tucks towards the center as you see below and baste in place.

 Pepernoot Coat Sew Along: Week 3 Construction

Do the same with the tucks on the back bodice lining.

 Pepernoot Coat Sew Along: Week 3 Construction

When looking at the back bodice lining pattern, you’ll see that there is an extra 1/2″ to the back bodice at center back. This has been included for a pleat that will give ease of movement when the coat is worn.

 Pepernoot Coat Sew Along: Week 3 Construction

Sew the bodice together and stitch 1/2″ away from the edge. Then stitch again 1/2″ from the first seam. Look closely at the picture below and you’ll see pins about 1 1/2″ from the top and bottom of the bodice. Between these pins, change the tension to a basting stitch. Once the coat is finished we will take out the basting stitches and your pleat will be in place. Be sure to back stitch at the top and bottom of the basting stitches.

 Pepernoot Coat Sew Along: Week 3 Construction

The back skirt lining also includes the pleat. If you have not cut out your skirt, you may eliminate the pleat as it is not needed. If you have already cut the skirt lining, simply stitch in 1/2″ and this will eliminate the back pleat.

 Pepernoot Coat Sew Along: Week 3 Construction

Sew the front and back bodices to the skirts and press the seam allowance down toward the hem.

 Pepernoot Coat Sew Along: Week 3 Construction

Sew the shoulder and side seams of the lining together.

 Pepernoot Coat Sew Along: Week 3 Construction

Now sew the shoulder seams of the back facing to the front facing. A note about interfacing. I did not interface my facings. The fabric is quite heavy and adding interfacing would have made the facing far too heavy. Typically, the front and back facings would be interfaced with an interfacing that is appropriate for the fabric.

 Pepernoot Coat Sew Along: Week 3 Construction

Once the facing has been sewn to the lining, I like to then press the seam allowance towards the lining and edge stitch around the facings.

 Pepernoot Coat Sew Along: Week 3 Construction

Sew the sleeves into the lining and the lining is complete.

The sleeves on the coat have tabs that are non-functioning, so no need for buttonholes. Simply sew the tabs together, add the piping if you wish. One note about the sleeve tabs, My suggestion would be to baste at least one sleeve together, then baste it into the coat and and try it on to determine the length of the sleeve and the appropriate placement of the sleeve tab for you. You may need to adjust the the placement of the tab so that it isn’t too close to the bottom of the sleeve.

The sleeves are 2-piece sleeves, so be very careful to mark all notches on the sleeve cap to ensure proper placement. You’ll find that there is not a lot of ease in the cap, so the sleeves go into the armhole quite easily.

 Pepernoot Coat Sew Along: Week 3 Construction

Now that my lining and the shell of my coat are together, I placed the 2 together to see how they look. I’m quite pleased!

 Pepernoot Coat Sew Along: Week 3 Construction

The coat is looking quite nice. As I said in our last post, I’ll never be lost in a crowd!

 Pepernoot Coat Sew Along: Week 3 Construction

In our next post, we will attach the hood, the center front zipper and the pockets. So we’re almost there!!!

Now that we’ve started the project, if you’ve changed your mind and would like to make a coat for yourself, you can find the pattern HERE. The sew along posts will remain on the Sew News blog, so you can always come back whenever you get started or whenever you would like to refer back to them.

Until next time,

Sew On!

Rhonda Buss

www.sewbussted.com

 Pepernoot Coat Sew Along: Week 3 Construction
Posted in Sew Along Pepernoot Coat | Tagged , | 2 Comments