Is this your first time visiting my little blog corner? Welcome! Don't forget to subscribe to my RSS feed or my email subscription in the sidebar so you don't miss anything. You never know what's right around the corner :-)
My mom just purchased an extra large study Bible. I figured she’d probably have a difficult time finding a cover for it (since it’s not a standard size), so I grabbed some fabric, a tape measure and gave it a go. Overall, I’m pleased with how it turned out (translation: I didn’t have to throw it away.); however, I will admit, I had no idea how to install the zipper around the corners of a closed book, so I pretty much just disregarded the depth measurement and eyeballed it. I also used wide polyester biased tape instead of fabric for the zipper which probably explains some of the side ways pulling, but it works and that’s what matters. I also included extra pockets, a tablet and pen holder in the back. Check out the free hand name embroidered on the front. Ha! Ha! Can you tell I’m proud of myself? Mom was impressed (wink!) She’s so sweet!
I took tons of pictures in the hope of posting a tutorial, but I’m thinking I should probably figure out the zipper installation before sharing (smile).
With a house full of boys, there’s lots of noise, tons of wrestling, and contests to see who can lift the most weight. So, it’s no surprise that superheros are a favorite topic of conversation. For our 6 year old, his favorite hero changes almost as often as his food preferences, but Batman seems to remain at the top of his list of “super cool” heroes. So, when I recently found a a Batman pillowcase at our local thrift store, I knew it had his name on it.
This week I had the opportunity to use the pillowcase when I participated in Boy’s Week at Project Run & Play. I first drafted a pair of super wide-legged pants (great for spinnin’, kickin’, and skatin’). I’d never done pockets before so I went over to MADE and used her tutorial (great!), and made a Batman applique using the thrifted pillowcase. When I ran across this tutorial at I am Momma Hear Me Roar, I decided to make a jacket also. I used a $4.99 pullover that I found on sale. I removed the front pocket and used it as a pattern to create my own pocket out of the Batman fabric. I then used the remainder of the fabric to line the hood. The jacket was too short for the zipper, so I created a band to lengthen it.
My little man was asleep when I took these pictures (to the left) for the contest, but he was more than camera ready when he tried on his outfit for the first time.
I must admit something. I mentioned in a previous post that I was going to spend some time going back to the basics. Two years ago, I was trying to find every shortcut in the book to keep from spending the necessary time to understand garment construction (See this post). I just wanted to get to the finished product and felt that all of the “extra stuff” was slowing me down. Now, unfortunately, I’m missing a lot of general sewing techniques, and it’s hindering me from making some of the garments that I’ve sketched (I never saw that one coming). I absolutely love designing, but here’s my dilemma: I’m still super duper short on time. I find the draping method to be a big time saver, because I can just forgo the muslin, throw the fabric up on the dress form and just “go for it!” Unfortunately, as the old saying goes, “Haste makes waste”, and I’ve wasted a lot of fabric in unworn garments that looked fine on the outside but just didn’t wear well because of poor construction. I hate to admit it, but I WAS SO WRONG. Technique is ultra important! So, I’ve dusted off my collection of sewing books (lots of vintage ones that I absolutely love!), and I’m starting at square one: THE SLOPER.
Now, understand, though I’ve seen the “error of my ways”, I still absolutely dread making a sloper! So many measurements, adjustments, more measurements. In the grand scheme of things, I’m sure that the initial process of making a sloper will save me tons of time later in pattern adjustments, etc, but,…well…I just don’t want to do it! But, just as bitter medicine is hard to swallow (ha! wher’d that come from?), I know that it’s good for me, so I’ll trudge through it.
I have 3 or 4 good pattern drafting books, but I think only one takes you through the steps of creating a sloper. The others create patterns directly from your measurements and by-pass the sloper completely.
Finally Fits (1973) by Ruth Amiel & Happy Gerhard is a fantastic book for beginners. It says on the cover that it is “The no-scare Home Patternmaking System for everyone, every size”, and I have to agree with them. It’s not intimidating at all. The instructions are easy to follow and there are tons of diagrams. The book is an easy read with very few industry terms that would throw a novice like me. And, even though it was published in the early 70′s you are not bombarded with out-of-date garments to duplicate. I found that everything offered in this book can be used as a template for garments today. I found it here on Alibris.com, but you might also find it here on Amazon.com
Chapter 1 gets you acquainted with the materials needed like pencils, paper, tape, rulers, French curve, scissors, tape measure, etc.
Chapter 2 is my favorite part (not really): Measurements. You have to take approximately 41 measurements, give or take a few, and it takes a lot of time. Some of the measurements are challenging to do by yourself, so I’d advise a partner. My six-year-old was more than happy to oblige and did a fantastic job.
Chapter 3: the Paper Pattern Checker. If you’re a beginner like me, your next question would be, “What?” I thought you went straight from the measurements to the sloper. Who new you’d have to make a Paper Pattern Checker of your exact measurements, transfer that pattern to muslin to make a Muslin Pattern Checker, adjust those measurements and then finally arrive at your sloper. Whew! and Wow! I finished my Paper Pattern Checker today for my skirt.
If any of you have done this before and have suggestions for this newbie, I’d be forever grateful for any advice.
(Step TWO will be to transfer those measurements to muslin and then sew it up. I’ll post those pictures soon.)