The coolest thing about going to school for pattern drafting is that I can use what I learn and do something with it. I’m trying to push myself and practice more. Trying to look at pictures and get inspired to draft more.
I wanted to to make a dress that was inspired by a picture I saw on Pinterest. So I got started drafting a dress. This meant there would be an partial elastic waist and a button up front.
(next photos are from InstaStories. I share the process as I go along on that platform)
Overall it’s a dress … I’m not too overly excited for the results but I’ll have to figure out what else I could do to it.
Who knew Pinterest would be addicting?! That said, I obviously was browsing and came across a picture of an Emilio Pucci jacket. It looked like a quilted faux leather jacket that had a unique quilted detail design. I was like whoa!!! Saved that in my board for inspiration just in case.
Fast forward a little bit of time and I’m browsing along the aisles of Joanns Fabrics. There sitting pretty was this faux leather fabric that had a quilted stitching design on it. Guess what?! It was almost identical to the Emilio Pucci Jacket!!!!! You got that right I wanted to get it but I had to wait until a Joanns famous coupon popped up to get it.
Well let’s fast forward just a little more. I wanted to make this jacket and was looking threw my pattern stash and found the perfect pattern jacket to make it out of. NewLooks D0565.
There is one problem… the pattern isn’t made with a lining just facings for the jacket. That’s no problem because I’m going to school for pattern drafting.
Away I went drafting a lining for this jacket and wha la!
It fits and has plenty of movement for the jacket!
Well da tAh!!! Here is my entry for the sew frosting contest hosted by Kelly from True Bias and Heather from Closet Case Patterns.
If you are not familiar is was a contest to encourage sewist to create something outside of their normal style. What a great way to push and encourage our creative side!
I saw a jacket by Ellie Saab once and fell in love. It looked like a jean jacket all covered in rhinestones and pearls. So I took that as inspiration.
Using SeamWorks Audrey Pattern I got started.
Didn’t make any adjustments to the pattern and their fit guide was an amazing feature to the pattern.
The fabric I choose was a stretch twill in blush, that was purchased from Joanns Fabrics. I wanted a different color but didn’t want to purchase more fabric. So I dyed it.
Once I completed sewing the jacket I used my hotfix tool applicator and went to town on blinging. Took forever but I made it!
Lets go back in time. I always considered myself a creative person. A person who loved to paint, sketch, and make crafts just for fun. Sewing was included but mainly doing alterations to my clothes and sew crafts items. I didn’t think I was really good at anything. I just had this desire of making things with my hands. So I did. My husband and I got married and knew we wanted to start a family right away. Well nothing happened for a couple of month and went to the doctor to ask why? The doctor told me usually they have patients try to conceive for a year before even considering testing you.
A year past … nothing. Went back to the doctor and they tested. There was something wrong. It had to do with me. Type 2 PCOS. During this time I worked full time and put school on the back burner. My heart wasn’t into it, all I wanted to be was a mom. I coped with the sadness by painting a lot and focusing on my pets like they were my children. I felt alone, no one in my circle of friends had dealt with infertility.
The infertility story is a long one so I won’t get into details on this post. It took 4 years and three miscarriages to bring our first baby into the world. I was so happy that ALL my focus was to be the best mother I could possibly be. I think looking back I probably was trying to prove that I was worthy enough to be a mom. I donated all my paints and craft supplies because they were not being used and we needed the room.
Fast forward a couple of years and I was that stay at home mom that did everything I thought a stay at home mom/wife does. Run the house like no other. I did everything. Pfff I still do HAHAHA! We wanted another child. I still needed to go through fertility treatments to conceive. Shortly we were able to find out we had conceived again! I was so over the moon.
Then around 22 weeks we found out that our baby girl has a congenital heart defect. PA-IVS for sure but unknown what else since its so hard to see a babies heart in depth while in utero. When I say my world crashed, my world really felt like it collapsed on me and I couldn’t breathe. Especially when the all the doctors explain to you the possibilities and prepare you for the worst case.
Details on that whole journey will definitely be told another time because I learned so many life lessons through that time it should have its own story. Forget about me and my wants at this time. There was absolutely no creative outlet during this time. Every waking hour was spent trying to survive. I was in a dark hole on my knees praying. Two open heart surgeries later and long recovery back to normal my baby girl was home. I think I traumatized by the whole thing that I didn’t want to leave my kids ever. Even leaving for a girls brunch for an hour was really out of the question. Forget about anything creative for me.
One day I remembered something had to be mended on the kids clothes. So I went to the garage and pulled out my very old sewing machine to fix it. I Youtubed a tutorial to research on other ways to do it. I found this sewing world had its own space. I felt like someone took a lit match and lit the wick of my creativity into this world. This mama found herself again. This mama who once loved creating things died and was given life again. Lets just say I discovered there was a bigger creative person in me that I didn’t know existed until now.
When you combine excellent quality fabric with an expert pattern maker you feel like you’ve just walked out of a luxury department store in style. This is how I felt when I ordered my denim and rib knit from D & H Fabrics. Then used the Nikko pattern by True Bias. Along with a modified pattern by McCalls.
Let’s start off with the fabric. I have always loved the quality of Tammy’s fabrics that she carries in her shop. I mainly purchase all my denim from her . So as soon as she stocked black 9oz cone mills denim I made sure to get some. I wanted a top to go with it and my wardrobe is lacking rib knit tops so there was some Melange Rib Knit in black and white. It’s light weight and such good recovery. As soon as my fabrics came in, the wheels started turning on what can I make.
(Me wearing the Nikko top to school to test it out)
I had been working on modifying McCalls #m7726 pants pattern into a button front skirt. The denim would work great with this pattern. Now onto choosing a pattern for the rib knit. I searched for a while for the right pattern. I have huge respect and admiration for Kelly’s work from True Bias. Being a pattern maker student I can tell she does an excellent job with her drafting. The Nikko top was the chosen one for the beautiful rib knit I ordered.
NIKKO TOP/RIB KNIT:
The Nikko top. Let me tell you I was OBSESSED as soon as I finished the top. I tried in on and I didn’t want to take it off and wanted to show everyone what I made. There was only one adjustment i made which was a full bust adjustment. I usually need to make this adjustment to pattern but I did measure the pattern pieces to double-check. I loved the fabric so much in this make that I actually direct messaged Tammy from D&H Fabric and raved about it. I was asking her if she was planning to carry more because I was so interested. I hope she carries some thicker rib knit so I can make a dress from it.
PAPER BAG WAIST MODIFIED BUTTON UP FRONT SKIRT:
I saw a picture on Pinterest of a skirt that was of a paper bag waist with a button up front detail and a belt. I wanted it and there were no patterns available like it. So I used my pattern making skills from school and converted the McCalls M7726 into one. Easy and quick! The denim in this make was so smooth to sew and press with. 9oz is the perfect weight for the skirt. Not to heavy.
Overall I’m more than happy with my makes. I want more of this rib knit for other planned projects and the cone mills denim never fails me.
My favorite color is red, especially a deep red. It suites my skin tone and my personality haha! I was shopping online and came across two fabrics. They were from Alyssa-May Design fabrics. One stripped fabric and the other a beautiful red floral bubbled crepe!
How beautiful this would be in a maxi length dress?! After talking to Alyssa from Alyssa-May designs we decided to collaborate on this fabric! I was beyond excited. I wanted to make this fabric’s beauty shine!
Now off to finding the perfect maxi dress. I happened to have a McCall’s pattern that is out of print but is still available to purchase. McCall’s #7242
As soon as I received the fabric I washed it per care instructions. Wash cycle gentle in cold water and hang dry. Easy!
This time around I wanted to tissue fit this pattern. I’m a fan of Palmer and Pletsch. I recently received their new book and wanted to apply those techniques. Cut a size 14 and prepped it. As I was tissue fitting I decided that a full bust adjustment was needed.
This dress was a dream to sew up. I didn’t have to use a walking foot or stabilizers. I’m describing this fabric as a lightweight – slightly med drapy fabric. Color is vibrant and I know the shop has many other colors I want to consider in the future.
Planning out how I would cut this dress was important because there were large skirt pieces and this pattern does take up a lot of fabric.
This dress has a button front with an elastic waist. Mandarin collar that hits before the neck. I choose the bishop sleeves to give a little more flare for the upcoming fall/winter. To see more details on sewing this pattern go check out my YouTube channel. I made a video on this dress.
Tip/trick of the day:
The one thing I have learned when sewing a collar is to consider cutting out your interfacing on the bias. This is to allow it to have some give and wrap nicely around the neck. Yet you have the stability of the interfacing.
So here is the final dress!!
A HUGE thank you to Alyssa for having faith in me to showcase this fabric!
I think I’m addicted to sewing or sewing related books. I’m a self taught seamstress and obtaining knowledge where I can is like finding treasure. I wanted to share with you my stash of books. I know it will be evolving and growing.
I have found that your local thrift store could be a wonderful place to find sewing books and for a really great price. Most of the time you will find book that are older but don’t judge them on that. They will have all the knowledge you need and is still used to this date. Find out what days your local thrift store have discounts and head over there in their book section. Here are a few that I found and they even had patterns in them!
Out of those thrift finds these two books have been my favorite! They contain so much tips/ tricks it’s mind blowing. The book by Sue Haussmann gives so many useful tricks to sewing it gives the hobby stitchers a boost of excitement. The book by Sandra Betzina made me feel confident in my sewing by giving easy instructions on how to sew like an expert.
Now lets get into the books that I know I’ll forever keep and will not part with. These two books I purchased by recommendations and they are about fabrics. The one by Gail Baugh gives descriptions of fabrics, the contents and what they are mostly used for. Great book to get to know more about fabric. The one by Sandra Betzina is how to sew with different types of fabrics. This book is great because it tells you what you ideally need to sew with that fabric. Like how to wash, what stitch length to use, what presser foot to use, and what cutting tool is ideal. But that’s not all, it also gives you helpful tips on how to rid of stains and how to identify fabrics when there is no label.
These books are what I call my “how to” sewing books. As you can see, the cover are self explanatory and these book are what help me understand the basics.
Now the good stuff! PATTERN DRAFTING:
Now this category is what started the whole library of sewing books. I wanted to attend pattern drafting course at my local college but couldn’t. So I thought I’ll teach myself! Googled pattern drafting books and purchased a used Sylvia Rosen pattern drafting book. Learned how to draft a sloper and was able to draft some trousers. It was great! There is not a big selection of items to draft but it does focus on the basics. I decided to step it up and purchase the pattern drafting by Julie Cole on pattern drafting knits. It is a textbook technically and a bit expensive but the best thing I’ve purchased. This book taught me so much about knits. Learning about how knits are drafted make me realize I need to pay attention to the amount of stretch in a fabric. I highly recommend this book!
Eventually I was able to enroll myself in the local college pattern drafting course. So I had to purchase the book by Helen Joseph-Armstrong. I think this book is used almost every school (practically) and everyone knows this book. I’m still attending school and will keep you updated on how it goes.
The “Bias Cut Blueprint” book I’m still working on reading it. From what I have read so far it seems that there is a lot more to bias cut than just a slight stretch! Who knew?!