Tuesday, March 19, 2013

First Commission!

I'm very excited that I've received my first commission for Marlena! I was contacted by an old friend to construct a beautiful wedding pajama set. The couple is going for a non-traditional pajama themed wedding. The underdress will be a princess seamed slip dress with a sheer overlay that is longer. The color story will be ivory and pink.

Here's her inspiration pics:

Under dress

Over dress


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Plus size patterns

I'm starting a resource list of useful links for plus size patterns. These can be hard to find and I hope to add to it as I discover more. If you are a plus size pattern designer, I'd love to feature you here or if you know of some great ones, leave me a comment or send me an email.

Want to get the fit right?

Online Sewing Class

Barbara Deckert's Online Sewing Class is a great way to get started with learning fitting techniques for the curvy body. Crafty's video format gives you 24/7 video access to the course work, plus you can ask questions to the instructor and other students in a asynchronous chat format aka you don't have to be online at the same time. You can post pics of problems or finished garments in the community as well. By using the affiliate link above you help fund my little fabric stash.

Pattern Review

A great place to check out how well patterns work out in real life fabric (and on real life bodies) is to check out Pattern Review. Lots of helpful sewers here! Tons of information, it's easy to get into information overload. If I'm interested in a pattern while I'm out shopping I pull up this site on my phone before I make my decision.

Fashion Patterns

I love supporting independent designers, especially if they happen to be local! Fashion Patterns is based in Washington, state that is:) Connie offers plus size sewing pattern in sizes 1-6X, she has a nice selection of patterns including dresses, tops, lingerie and pants. Check out the site here http://www.fashionpatterns.com/ She also offers books and videos on sewing, patternmaking, etc and straight sized patterns.

Sis Boom/The Scientific Seamstress

Not just for plus sizes, but most if not all of her women's patterns are sized to include plus sizes. I absolutely love Carla's attention to detail and the thoroughness of all her patterns. As a fellow scientist myself I love the way she has put together her "lab manuals" for the patterns. She includes step by step directions and clear pictures of each step in her ebook patterns. The great thing is you can purchase and download immediately and get to work. Purchasing through this link helps keep this blog going (*affiliate disclaimer, I heart You Can Make This website and I personally spend much more on this site than I make through affiliate sales, but hey every bit helps when you're a start up)


Butterick, although part of the big 3, has some pretty nice plus size patterns, especially if you're looking for career or casual wear.  Most patterns are offered multisize 18W-24W. http://butterick.mccall.com/plus-size-pages-156.php

Style Arc

Style Arc is an Australian based pattern company. I've heard great things about this company (fit-wise and instruction wise) and they have very stylish patterns! Their plus size offering goes up to size 30. Very fashion forward, I love the gallery and the photos of celebrities along side with their patterns.

Got any favorites? Leave a comment below!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Corsetry Part 2

I'm finally finished with my first corset! Truly a labor of love. This custom pattern required at least 4 separate fittings and many adjustments along the way. I learned a lot about my body, pattern making, grading, fitting, and handling power tools. As Dr. Whaley, Provost of the New York Fashion Academy says "making a corset is part sewing and part metalwork." I also learned you need a lot of hand strength to make a corset...from cutting coutil to setting the grommets to cutting the boning oh and hand sewing through 6 layers of coutil while trying to keep dotted material nice and even, I realized I need to work on my hand strength. Anyone have any exercises?

 My corset has a gentle sweetheart neckline and a v-shaped lower silhouette. Red and black tapestry patterned coutil make up the outer part of this lined corset. The lining is red polka dots on a black back ground. The corset has a 7 closure (extra long) busk in the front and laces in the back with metal tipped polyester lacing. I believe there are 22 grommets on each side. The edges of the corset are bound with the polka dot coutil. The over the bust bones are spiral and the rest are medium weight steel bones. If you want any other details just ask!

Without further ado, here's my beautiful corset. Want to see the progression? Check out the in progress pics in part 1. Professional pictures coming soon, so stayed tuned.

Front of corset

Back of corset