Let me firstly apologies for not blogging sooner... it's been two weeks since I shared with you my adventures but I do have a genuine excuse...it was my birthday! I had a super weekend and birthday day thanks to my husbandy and friends. I was spoilt rotten which can't be a bad thing. I'm now back and spreading the love.
Since my last sewing blog, I have made a few other bits and pieces - primarily involving squares! But my skills were well and truly put to the test when I attended an all day sewing course that involved making an 'A' line skirt. In a previous blog on sewing, I mentioned a great website called 'The Thrifty Stitcher' which has lots of hints and tips to help with sewing projects. The Thrifty Stitcher is an friendly sewing school ran by Claire-Louise Hardie who was a consultant to the BBC2 programme 'The Great British Sewing Bee'. She runs evening, half days and day courses for all levels to try and de-mystify the art of sewing. So with all these exciting courses to chose from I selected the 'An Introduction to Dress Making - Making a Skirt' (link below).
Once booked, an
email came through of what to expect from the day and what to bring. The key
items to bring were fabric, an invisible zip and thread to match the fabric. With
these instructions I jumped straight onto the 'Ray Stitch' website where I clicked
and examined all the glorious fabrics they had on offer. When it came to the actual
selection I remembered the first episode of the GBSB and decided not to get a
complex pattern or anything too lightweight! So I selected a truly stunning
shade of royal blue in a medium weight cotton (made in the UK) with matching zip and
|Fabric Made in UK|
|Thrifty Stitcher HQ|
Now the plan is to split the day over a series blog. I had to take in a great deal of tips, hints and skills and to get the full benefit from it and not to lose you by reading streams of text, I will break them down into smaller chunks. So, this blog starts at the beginning by focusing on patterns and pattern cutting...
|'A' line skirt pattern|
To select the size of the pattern look at the waist and hip measurements closest to your size (normally located on the back of the packet). If you like a snug fit, go for a size down or if you like a loose fit go for a size up. Top tip: Check the waistline on the pattern itself as it actually tells you how much 'give' it will have once made. A great blog that goes into more detail is by 'Tilly and the Buttons' called 'How to select your sewing pattern size' (link below). Top tip: Don't worry of you make it larger - it is generally easier to take fabric away than add in. My measurements were a 30" waist and a 41"hip. After checking the guidelines we decided to follow a size 14 pattern (as I like a snug fit) and add an extra 2" to the waist. To add the 2" to the pattern add 0.5" the front and back piece. (NB: this calculation is based on 2"/4 as you work on four pieces of fabric).
Being my first item made from a pattern I was surprised at the amount of preparation it took even to make the pattern the correct size. I took for granted that a pattern was taken out of the packet, attached to fabric and that was it - boy, was I wrong. Even making sure the pattern fits correctly by adding extra inches to the waist and length takes time but I suppose it's like all things - make sure the preparation is correct and the rest should be easy (well, you will have to wait for the next bit!). Next time I'll look at the fabric and starting to make the skirt!
- Equipment: Pattern, dress makers ruler (or a long ruler), hemming ruler, tape measure pencil, scissors, calculator and a cutting mat. You may also need additional dressmakers paper and scotch tape depending if any alterations are required
- Take body measurements from the side and not the front - it will save a lot of embarrassment when you have your face in a strangers crotch!
- Don't worry of you make it larger - it is generally easier to take fabric away than add in.
- Check the waistline on the pattern as it actually tells you how much 'give' it will have once made
Useful websites/ blogs:
I'd would like to say a massive thank you to Claire-Louise and to all at The Thrifty Stitcher for a wonderful creative day - I will definitely be back for the dress making day!
- The Thrifty Stitcher - http://thethriftystitcher.co.uk/category/classes/intermediate/#make-a-skirt
- Ray Stitch - http://www.raystitch.co.uk/
- Tilly and the Buttons - http://www.tillyandthebuttons.com/2013/02/how-to-select-your-sewing-pattern-size.html
Happy Pattern Cutting x