The Next Level

The Next Level

I design a lot of my clothing, I’ve been dying to take my designing to the next level with a dress form! Constant trying on, next running to the mirror, next adjusting, next ripping seams, next sewing seams, next, next next, it takes for EVER! Then when you THINK your garment is ready you try it on…..NEXT  what the is the fit?  Do I want to portray this look?  People see me everywhere I go.  Do I feel good wearing clothing I should hide? See the problem?  A dress form takes care of the guess and next work.

So, what’s really NEXT?

Learning the ebb and flow of threads combined to create the fabric chosen for the garment.  It’s easier once on the dress form to define how the fabric reacts to movement, wrinkling, , and how it generally lays against a 3 D object, eventually your body.

A really cool part about a dress form is examining the look of the garment on something that is three dimensional.  Hangers cannot make clothing look good.  If they could, the body consciousness in America would not exist to the extent  at present.  I recommend shopping around before deciding on and purchasing a dress form. Also studying up on the dress form you purchase is a great idea.  I went with brand name only. I should have visited this instead.

Singer does it for me again! I don’t like the color, but I’m creative, I can recover it to match my studio.  I love that it’s so completely adjustable.   I found this one at Amazon.  The features are wonderful.  All of the below information is excerpted from Amazon.   I am not an affiliate.

13 key adjustments (bust, waist, hips, neck/back) provide a perfect fit

Height adjustment lets you customize the dress form to your height in a snap

Foam-Backed fabric exterior allows you to easily pin dresses, skirts, tops and patterns

Four leg metal base for extra durability and added stability

Pin cushion with key holder provides convenient storage for pins and adjustment key

In my own opinion, this dress form is pretty generous in range of size.  I like that the dress forms size changes with the twist of a knob.  The foam backing is a dream for any designer or seamstress.  I’ll follow up with a real life experience as soon as I get the chance to enjoy it.

I’ve figured it out, I used a chop stick to adjust the size.  Important tip that could change your life!

The Next Level

A Sewist Purchasing Guide

I wish I would have had a Guide to Sewing tools and accessories guide with me my first sewing Christmas. Christmas for a sewist is a dream come true! My sewist’s first Christmas was so fun!  That was me last year, with gift card in hand and twinkle in my eye.  I had an idea of what I wanted, but the things I bought were and still are, lifesavers for me.

Even though a purchasing guide would’ve been a great help, I still spent the money!  The first purchase was cutting board.ds. I bought a and have never regretted it.  Actually I purchased two!  One extra large cardboard one like this,

I also purchased a recovering cutting mat that works perfect with my rotary rotary cutter.  It’s perfect for any sewist, it cuts through several layers at once and never seems to dull.I also purchased a roll of iron on interfacing.  Good grief, we go through that like mad, don’t we?  The purchase was wise, because I’m still working on that roll.  I’m so glad I have no need to panic when I’m sewing and realize I don’t have the supplies I need.

Since it was Christmas, I splurged on some really nice scissors also.  It changed my sewing game.  They are so sharp and cut so well. I bought these but wish I had seen the gold ones, aren’t they cute?

Of course I hit the fabric bargains and stocked up on fabric I just knew I couldn’t live without.  If I had it to do over, I may have purchased a dress form.  I still don’t have one of those. I really think a dress form is a must have for any sewist. The hanger just doesn’t do the garment justice.  Maybe this year I’ll purchase one?  I’ve been eyeing the Dritz one, I don’t know though. I’m pretty thrifty so I’d really have to consider  all the options before making that purchase.  Maybe if she came in pink?  lol

Those are my suggestions for purchases if you happen to receive a gift card or some cash for Christmas.  No matter what, I hope you ENJOY!

Sewing for 20 something Daughters

The featured photo for this post is of my daughter.  She is wearing clothing I made using only her measurements.

I recently encountered sewing for 20 something daughters.  You know the drill, “MOM, MOM! MOOOOOOOMMMMM!”  Like an ambulance screaming in the night.  It’s an emergency, at least to her it is!  She’s met some young man and has to go out with him, in public! Of course her wardrobe of odds and ends just won’t work.  She needs something from a fairy godmother …. YESTERDAY!  Actually, it’s not as daunting as it may seem.  Sewing with knits are wonderful when no one is there to try the garment on their body.  Ask her three questions to make a skirt, we will get to the rest later. There is a  great blog on this here.

  1. waist measurement
  2. hip measurement
  3. length she would “like” her skirt.                                                                      I stuck with a solid knit fabric in burgundy. Her color of the moment!There are plenty of quick tutorials online for making a fast skirt.  Circle skirts are especially quick. Even faster are maxi skirts!

Mesha has some of the most informative and detailed videos for beginners.

Her measurements are needed when cutting the garment to size.  Do NOT use the standard measurements in the video or tutorial.  I’ve done this and ended up with clothing to fit a Barbie.  I, am not a Barbie.  Fabric wasting annoys me and blows money.  I’m a pretty thrifty gal so neither of those are my favorites.  I hope you ENJOY sewing for your daughter as much as she enjoys the skirt.  Check back for the tutorial on making a coordinating piece. Enjoy!

The Next Level

Sewing for your Man

I sew a lot for myself and my granddaughter.   I don’t know about you, but I have never tried sewing for my man.  He told me he wanted something cool and unique like my clothes. Let me tell you sewing for your man is not the same as sewing for yourself.  I self drafted a pattern. Those armsyces are gigantic in comparison to the amount of garment used on women’s clothing. Also, when sewing for your man, the sleeve pattern shape is slightly different.  This, upon reflection, makes sense.  Men don’t want to look curvy, they want to look solid like a brick wall 🙂Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

I designed him a tee shirt.  Not just a plain ole, I can buy this at Walmart, tee shirt.  The one I designed for him has plaid sleeves, neckline, and pocket!  He LOVES it!  Before I was finished, he put it on and shared on Facebook. That’s pretty sweet huh?[envira-gallery id="2290"]
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You know, as the weather gets cooler, sewing for your man is something you may want to consider. I don’t know if you want to make a 

 wardrobe or just add a few pieces here and there. I’ve actually made him one other thing, PJs lol.  Poor guy, he wears those too.  I just started sewing again and he was one of my guinea pigs. 🙂 I made a shirt to match for out littlest dog too.  If I were to sew him more pieces I’d start with a henley, maybe make a cardigan, flannel shirt, and maybe even some sweats.  I do not think I’m ready or he’s ready for me to sew his jeans yet. 🙂 Whatever you sew for your man…ENJOY!

Patchwork Trend

Sew, this Fall it seems as though the patchwork trend is in full swing.  I say, “YAY” it’s fun sewing!  I made some patchwork jeans last night.  I love them!  I’ve tried patchwork before and it was a failure.  I blogged about my first try here. This go round I tried a slightly different method. Instead of putting the pieces together on purpose while assembling the garment, I assembled the fabric as patchwork. Here’s the result this time.
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How does that happen?  I used denim to create my patchwork trend.  I knew I wanted the top of the jeans dark, you know, to hide all those body imperfections, I hope. I cut out the pattern to short shorts length using the dark denim.  From there,  I pieced together whatever I could find to make a large enough amount of patchwork “fabric” to cut out the rest of my jeans.  It was fun! I used my seam ripper a few times, and had to piece some parts in at the last minute to make it work but overall, it wasn’t that difficult.

What was difficult was the Mimi G pattern I tried using.  Let’s just say, it was not made for my body.  I tried all sorts of alterations, none worked for me.  I did give it a run for it’s money and my seam ripper too.  I think the seam ripper saw more action on those jeans than the sewing machine saw.  I really wanted them to work, but just like ready to wear, all styles do not fit all body types.

The pattern I used, is tattered, it works like a charm and fits perfectly every single time.  I have used the pattern for three pair of shorts, three pair of pants, and now one pair of jeans.  I use Simplicity 1165 for all my pants.  The Mimi G pattern I experimented with was Simplicity 1167.  The pattern and instructions were great, my body just would not conform.[envira-gallery id="2202"][envira-gallery slug="patchwork-trend"]

I hope to get a lot of wear out of these jeans and try other fabrics using the patchwork trend as well.  I hope this has inspired you to mess around with the technique as well.  No matter what you do, ENJOY!


Featured image can be found here.

Muslins (the first commandment of sewing)

WOW! What a different world sewing is when you begin to use muslins.  I never had any idea they were so helpful. I thought they were a pain in the bootie.  Seriously, who wants to sew the same garment twice?  No one has that much time, do they?  Essentially, without realizing it, I was sewing the same garment twice, three times, maybe four just to get the right fit.  UGH what a waste of money!  Muslins should be the first commandment of sewing.  I have no idea why they don’t teach you this in home ec. Well, my home ec class didn’t teach me this.

I recently sewed my first dress muslin. No biggie right?  Then I had the nerve to post it in a Facebook group and ask their opinions. Yeah…that was a true eyeopener.  In a good way though, seriously.  I learned quite a bit. My most important critique was of the photo itself. I had no idea the picture really mattered.

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Guess, what? It REALLY matters.  I’ve given you a graphic to look at for proof.  These were all comments after I posted. Well, except the part about not smiling.  I figured that out on my own.  If you smile, people think you believe you created a masterpiece or something. Not true, I smile.  I smile, all. the. time.  I did not wear the proper bra, this severely altered the look of the fit.  I couldn’t find mine, it was late at night. My hands are on my hips for obvious reasons.  Hands on your hips make you look thinner.  This is a no no, because of my hands being on my hips it hides the true fit of the dress.  Oh, and I also did not press the dress.  I really did not care, but as you can see it makes a huge difference.  The skirt kinda looks wonky. I’ll cover the adjustments suggested in another post.  While you are sewing, whatever it is you are sewing, ENJOY!