Sunday, August 2, 2015

Combining pattern and sloper

(Very picture heavy)

I love making jackets, as I answererd to Faye’s poll last week too. And you will know already if you’ve been following my blog for a while. If you click the tag “Jacket” in the side bar you’ll see most of them (though admit I sometimes forget to tag my posts). Time to make another one.

In May and early June I worked on the sloper for a jacket. Trying my muslin again a few days ago I was not completely satisfied with it, especially the position of the bust dart. I was so focussed on the sleeve that I did not see it. I changed it, made a new muslin, drafted a new sleeve pattern with less ease and it is good to go (photo later).

Next was the decision on the pattern and fabric to use. This is my fabric. A pretty stable knit in a weight suitable for a jacket.


Initially I planned to use it for this jacket, but decided against it.


I could only find suitable black faux leather trim and zippers with black tape and the contrast might not be good, even though there is black in the fabric. Also I considered that I will get more wear from that jacket if I use a color that’s more in my comfort zone. The above fabric is not really my usual color.

So after some deliberation I decided to work on the pattern that I showed in my previous post, from the 1993 Burda magazine.

Burda jacket line drawing

Nice shape, nice details, not complicated (no collar) and I love shorter jackets. As I’ve started my journey drafting my own patterns partly because I don’t want to make muslins all the time, I used my sloper pattern and combined that with the Burda pattern. I actually traced the front of the Burda pattern and used it to make my pattern. Fingers crossed it will work without the muslin, as I’m not going to make one.

As it might be of interest for those of you working on drafting a sloper/pattern I took pictures of how I did it. It’s my way of doing it, there could be other ways. If you know other methods please chime in!

The front sloper without changes.


The Burda pattern on top, waistline and center front matching the sloper. You can see it’s too short and not matching the shoulder, which is what I expect. I used to make patterns longer above the waist. From this I traced the bottom part and the overlapping center front.



Then I shifted it up and traced the neckline.


Connected the lines with a slight curve, like the Burda pattern has too.


The armhole is very much like the pattern too.


Drafted the line for the princess seam.


Messed up a bit moving the dart into the princess seam, did not use pencil so could not erase :(


At this point I cut the two pattern pieces apart. Below is the side panel with the dart still in.


One leg of the dart is cut and closed to the other dart leg. The side panel is ready (though I will smooth the bust line a bit). 

DSC_1346 DSC_1347

The original and my pattern side by side. Mine is a bit wider, especially in the hip area.


I did the same to the back of my sloper pattern and turned the darts into princess seams. An important step is to check the length of the connecting seams: side seams, princess seams.

The main pattern pieces are ready. It was nice to see that my sleeve pattern is almost exactly the Burda pattern for the sleeve, only a bit longer.
I’ve still some work to do in drafting facings and some interfacing pieces. That’s for another day and not so interesting.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Burda – April 1993

“Who saves something, has something” is a Dutch saying. The English equivalent is “waste not, want not”. I found an old Burda magazine yesterday evening when rummaging through a pile of magazines, searching for something else. I should be de-cluttering but this magazine is a keeper! I never made something from it, the pattern sheets were still attached. Probably because in 1993 I was pregnant with my first child and for a long time after that I did not really sew for myself.
Some things look so current (or classic?) that I would like to make them. I’m still undecided as to what my next project will be, so perhaps???
DSC_1330 DSC_1324
DSC_1323 DSC_1322

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A new bra

bra front

It turned out to be very difficult to make good photos of this bra. These are the best shots I madebra side detail

The seam in the lace is hardly visible, don’t you agree?

bra shoulderstrap

I like the result but it was a pita to use this lycra for the bra. In my previous set I used a lycra with less stretch for the bra and this lycra only for the accompanying panties. Should have done that here as well. This lycra is thin and very stretchy. Add to that I had not the usual stable fabric I use to interface the under/side cup and used “old fashioned” tulle and there’s a recipe for difficulties during construction. Wearable, but a few pleats that I’d rather not have when this is on my body.

One panty to finish and then this set is ready.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

An easy project

Making a bra is an easy project for me. I’ve made lots in the past years. I don’t even remember properly when I started making them, but as the lady who took care of my children when they were little (when I was at work), introduced me to it, it’s quite safe to say it must be at least 15 years. And I still like making them. After intense projects or in a period of lacking mojo sewing lingerie is often my next step.

Today I started on another set, all the parts for a bra and two accompanying panties are cut out. The bra is partially done.

band  1

For this bra I wanted the lace, which is only a border lace, to follow the bottom of the band into the side. I made quite a lot of tutorials about sewing but they’re all quite old now, so might be time to update a bit and/or show you what I did.

In the picture below you see the pattern piece for the part that’s beside the cup. It will be joined with the the band for the back (the lycra you see in the picture above).

I folded the lace in an angle and at the botton you see the lace does not complete follow the line of the pattern. From experience I know that’s not a huge problem.

pattern on lace

Before unpinning completely I marked the foldline with water soluble marker.

band marked seam

This is how the pattern piece looks after cutting and unfolding.


Pinned the marked lines, right sides together.

band seam pinned

Stitched the seam

band seam sewn

Folded the seam down. When sewing on the elastic the little piece sticking out in the corner will be folded to the back.


(the black lines in the pattern are not completely straight, I followed the light pencil marks to make the photos clearer and did not use a ruler at that point).

Sunday, July 19, 2015

One pattern, many looks

Could also be titlted: variations on one pencil skirt draft.

This is a skirt I made in past week. Also inspired by a rtw skirt, I’ve seen various variations on this theme in the past year.Initially the pint on my right side was deeper, but I didn’t like the look of it. The fabric on the sides of the zipper is interfaced, it must be my body that makes it curve.

 skirt zipper 2 skirt zipper 1

I nice project after such an intense one that my blouse was. I used a riri zipper that I bought 5 years ago in New York at a meetup with both Robin and Nancy. I thought it better to use it then to keep it in my stash forever as a too special zipper to use.

The base for this skirt is my skirt block/sloper. The next skirts were all made based on the same block, really one pattern, many looks don’t you think? The one with the ruffles is the knock off Marni skirt from last year. I can’t remember a blog post specifically on the other two, but they were based on a Knip Mode pattern that I adapted using my block.

red skirt marni skirt denim skirt

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Blouse with woven strips of fabric – part 6 / finished

Let me first post a reminder of the original top that I was so inspired by.


Followed by my version (looking a bit tired and no make-up after a run earlier). I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking.

finished blouse

  Side blouse Front detail blouse side back

As mentioned earlier I used a water soluble layer under the strips. This is just before I cut most of it away. A little anxious moment as I was unsure how the strips would behave without the stabilizer to hold them together. As you can see in the pictures of the blouse on me, they hold well. A word of caution if you use the water soluble fabric: don’t use steam with your iron. I forgot at some point and immediately the layer started to dissolve (I press a lot during sewing and it irritates me to see the (altered) back dart not pressed well).
How it will be after laundry is another matter.Ironing will probably be a difficult task.

construction detail

Thank you all for the for the nice comments. Carmen, it really is a pity sometimes we all don’t live closer to each other, it would be so nice to be able to (get) help with fitting. Thank you for the link on the shoulder slope and I will definitely study it more closely later.

Laura Arhire asked “your shoulder seems to be a bit forward, but the shoulder seam doesn't point to your shoulder cap. Does that affect fit at all”. Yes, my shoulder is a bit forward, though it’s mostly my arm that tilts forward (or is that the same?) It does affect fit and perhaps I should even set in my sleeves a bit more forward. For the moment I’m satisfied with the sleeve in this blouse, but I do see room for improvement.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Blouse with woven strips of fabric – part 5

Just want to share my progress, I’m so happy with the result of the front. Apart from the strips the placket was a challenge. I did not want the hidden placket till the neckline and figured out how to make a partial one. Might be worth a tutorial at some point. 


hidden button placket

Enough time spent in the sewing room this morning, I’m really longing to finish it but with a gathering of friends later today at our house I now have to close the door to it and prepare some food, take a shower and change. The saga of this blouse will be continued soon.