Monthly Archives: August 2012

SEW BUSY (and a giveaway)

A lot of little things are taking my time and mind away from sewing, patten making and blogging at the moment The little thing that is teaching first graders to read, endless meetings at school, cooking and preparing for my birthday party on Friday (only the closest family and friends – we’ll be 25 people.. :-)) and trying to get the last pictures edited and the text written for the instructions for the skirt pattern that I plan to be release next week. It all adds up.

There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day at the moment.

{Another little thing (that I love): The pocket of the new skirt pattern. I wore this skirt today. I can’t wait till it’s ready for release!}

I did cut out the fabric for my autumn wardrobe skirt (in the plaid with burgundy fabric) and I’ve also been working on some muslins for future design…

And I’ve been interviewed again – this time by the lovely Sew Busy Lizzy – and there is a give-away of the Birgitte Basic Tee! Go pay Lizzy a visit, find out what my design inspirations are and how I learned to sew and comment on her post to enter the drawing!

See you soon!

 

 

FIT(TING) TO A TEE (the forward shoulder)

The great thing about sewing is that we are all designers and we are all able to get clothes that fit us well and make us look and feel even better.

But yet many people just sew up the patterns straight out of the envelope (or printer, as may be the case) with out enjoying the possibilities for individual fitting. Some may not do it, because they don’t know how.

SO I thought I would do a series on fitting and altering different kinds of t-shirt.

While there are many ways to fit garment and almost as many books instructing how to, most of them merely talk about fitting woven fabric garments. And while I’m a big fan of tissue fitting, it just will not work with a pattern with no or even negative ease.

According to Celia (The Palmer/Pletch instructor I interviewed for the Twin Needle podcast (a bonus episode from April ), the forward shoulder alteration is one of the most common needed alterations today.

This is because, as we spend more and more time at the computer and sewing machine, we round our shoulders bit by bit. Luckily it’s a very simple alteration!

I have quite a lot of forward-shoulder-ness (damn being in a computer literate family who had PC before anyone else and also sewing since child hood. And writing a lot… ;-)) – meaning that the outer part of my shoulder turns forward.

{See? Very round (forward) shoulder – sorry for the lousy Iphone pic. What I could manage today..}

This alteration is the  same whether you are working with a woven or a knit shirt. And I should mention that I’m just following the directions from Fit for real people (page 162).

I usually do a kind of big alteration of 12 mm (as I have very forward shoulders). To determine the amount you need, wear a shirt (with a shoulder seam, of course, raglan wont work) and look in the mirror. Then place your finger at your shoulder point, and figure out how much you need (maybe getting somebody to measure it for you) to move the outer point of the shoulder seam.

The rest is easy:

You are moving the shoulder (outer) point of the shoulder seam towards the front, so you need to take some off the front shoulder and add some to the back shoulder:

{I’ve rotated the shoulder seam forward 1.2 cm (the red line) by taking it down in the front and up in the back}

Then just adjust the seam allowances, too.

{Added seam allowances again (the broken lines) and I was done!}

And voilá! Ready to cut!

Do you have any fitting issues you would like me to talk about here? Please let me know!

STARS!

Sunday saw me playing with stars.

The mail man brought the new ONION iron-on prints and I had to try them out right away.They are quite simple to use, and can be used on all kinds of surfaces (except nylon and PVC) and items. I’d like to do a clutch bag with stars. And maybe a pillow or two..

But for this time around, I decided to embellish one of my first versions of the Birgitte Basic Tee.

Here are a few tips on how to do it and how to make sure the print will last wash after wash:

{I was too conservative in my star-use. Next time: many more! }

 

The t-shirt can now be washed on cold (40 degrees Celcius) – but no tumble dry!

{Wearing the t-shirt with a short(er) yoke skirt (soon to be released) and ballet flats for going to an outdoor market}

I was a little bit impatient to get the picture taken (you can see, my husband – the photographer – in the window) as the expression shows. This outfit was great for going to the market!

The result looks nice – but I think I’ll be using a lot more stars on the front next time – I was a little too worried that it would be too much with this one, so I took it easy. Next time I’ll do over the top:-)

 

SEWING FOR AUTUMN

While we are enjoying great summer weather and really don’t want to think about how soon it’ll end, school has begun here in Denmark (meaning I’m back at work) and I’ve started thinking about what to sew for my autumn/winter wardrobe.

I’ve had a busy summer, what with that trip to France and the drafting and sewing for the new pattern(s), but it turned out – the one thing I said I’d do during the summer break, still hasn’t been done. I had planned to clean out my closet – get rid of the stuff I don’t wear any more (most because it’s too big after I lost the most of my non-smoking weight -Yay!), figure out what to save, but maybe not wear over winter, and find out what I need to sew (or knit or buy) to update my wardrobe for autumn.

So, that’s NOT done.

But that didn’t stop me getting fabric collected (ok. some of it I just bought…) for spicing up my wardrobe for cooler weather:

 

{Fabric for Autumn sewing}

Burgundy and purple are going to be big colours this season, and so are (fake) leather and plaid skirts as well as classical wide legged trousers. The fake brown leather in the back was a steal at my local fabric store (I found it in the back, and they only had 1.5 m left, which I got for 10 €).  I think it’s going to become either a pencil skirt (which I’d love, but must admit will be rather impractical in my everyday life) or skinny trousers, which would also be really cool. I’m considering – and accepting your thoughts on the subject…

There is also some striped wool for wide legged trousers and some plaid (with light burgundy (the colour shows up wrong) lines) heavy woven viscose for a skirt , and some burgundy viscose knit for a t-shirt or two. Also present is a blue viscose knit – which I’m not sure I’ll use after all.

Have you started thinking about what to sew for your autumn/winter wardrobe?

FIT(TING) TO A TEE (the FBA)

The great thing about sewing is that we are all designers and we are all able to get clothes that fit us well and make us look and feel even better.

But yet many people just sew up the patterns straight out of the envelope (or printer, as may be the case) with out enjoying the possibilities for individual fitting. Some may not do it, because they don’t know how.

SO I thought I would do a series on fitting and altering different kinds of t-shirt.

While there are many ways to fit garment and almost as many books instructing how to, most of them merely talk about fitting woven fabric garments. And while I’m a big fan of tissue fitting, it just will not work with a pattern with no or even negative ease. So here is my tried and true way of fitting t-shirts.

First I’ll talk about the Full Bust Alteration, since it is an alteration which has an enormous impact on the over all fit of the t-shirt.

Most patterns companies (MariaDenmark, and Onion included) draft for a B-cup bust. I am not big busted (I wear a C cup bra), but even I have to do a FBA on my top patterns if I want them to fit great on my shoulders and back. I might measure 90 cm (which would put me in a size S) around the bust. But in reality my back and shoulders have the width of the size XS – the extra cm are “used up” by the bust, which means that a S will be too big around the shoulders and back, and will probably not fit properly over my bust.

These pictures (of the same pattern – one made in a standard size S and one made in XS with a FBA (+ a bit added to the side seams) show it well, I think (click to enlarge).

FBA1Big

To determine which size to sew, I take my High (or Upper) bust measurement. Here is a nice article about taking measurements and this excerpt from the Palmer Pletch book also shows (and tells) about the difference between full bust and high bust.

My high bust is 84 cm – which puts me in the XS size.

I started by tracing the pattern of the front piece on to tissue paper, this will make it so much easier to handle doing cutting and re-taping.

{I traced the pattern on to tissue paper – the broken lines marks the seam allowances}

Then it’s time to determine where on the pattern the apex of the bust is (we need it for the next step). In woven shirts this is a lot easier, mainly because I know the measurements for the pattern apex, or can try the tissue on, but with the stretch in the knit fabric, this wont work. So I’ve done this totally non-scientificly by trying on a bunch of different t-shirts, pinning where the apex was when I wore them, fold them in half and measure from the Centre Front. Then I have come to the conclusion that for me it works if I go about 2.5 cm (1″) down from the under arm and find a point that is 3/8 in from centre front. This might work for you too.

{Determining apex point}

Now I draw the lines which are going to work as guides while I add more room to the bust:

{The guide lines}

Line 1 goes straight down from the apex and then from the apex into the armhole – to a point about 1/3 of the way up from the underarm.

Line 2 goes from apex to the side seam (I don’t know how far down it should go – I just imagine where my dart would be).

Line 3 is placed on the centre front side of line 1, perpendicular to line 1. I like to put it just above the waist line.

Now it’s time for the paper scissors: Cut line 1 until the arm hole (you do not want to cut into the seam allowance!) and cut line 2 from the seam allowance and until just before the apex.

{Cut line 1 and 2}

Anchor the pattern piece with pins – I use a cardboard cutting board to pin in to (and align the centre Front line with the line on the board), but you could also use a folded out card board box or an ironing board.

To determine how much room to add to the front piece (i.e. how much to spread the paper apart), I calculate like this (again, this is not scientific, but it works): The size I’ve cut is meant for a 84 cm bust. My bust is 89 cm – so I need 5 extra cm. Since the front piece represents half of the front, I’ll round down to 2 cm – to count the stretch in (5 divided by 2 is 2.5).

I add this by spreading line 1, making sure to keep the two edges of it completely parallel. This makes line 2 spread open (as to form a dart) and also creates a small fold in the arm hole seam allowance. And it’ll make the hem uneven. We’ll deal with the hem and the dart in a minute, and we’ll just tape down the seam allowance fold. It’ll be fine.

{spreading line 1 – and anchoring it with pins}

To make the hem even again, I cut line 3, and slide the bottom section of the centre front side down until the hem is even again (that’s why I like to do it above the waist line, it’s more lines to align with). Remember to anchor it well.

Now I’ll fill in the gaps with new tissue. Just slide pieces in and tape from the top.

{Adding tissue – except to line 2}

I don’t add tissue to the dart formed by line 2, and here is why. I don’t want my t-shirts to have darts – and I don’t mind the little drag lines that you can see in the picture of the striped shirt. Now. If you have made a very big FBA, you might want the dart, and in that case – leave it there. Fill it out with tissue, mark it on your fabric and sew the darts before you sew the side seams.

I do this: I simply close line 2, ignore the little bump it creates (I just tape over it) and let the dart move to a centre front swing.I don’t add tissue to the centre front (all though I could) but just know that it’s there. I also don’t sew the centre front dart!! (that would be weird!)

{I will place the pattern on the fabric as I had filled until centre front with tissue}

When I then cut my fabric, I pretend the tissue at centre front is there (and continues the centre front line). This also adds fabric to my centre front waist, which is good for me, as I need more fabric around my tummy fluff.

That’s it – that’s all there is to it. It’s much faster and easier to do than it looks – and it makes a lot of difference. Not only to woven fabric garments, but also to knit fabric garments!

Give it a try!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BIRGITTE BASIC TEE

Finally!

 

Today I have released the Birgitte Basic Tee t-shirt pattern on the MariaDenmark | ShopONION.com shop and on Craftsy.

It’s a .pdf download. that you print on your home printerand it has the choice of two neckline styles (U and V) and three sleeve styles (short, 3/4 with slight flare and long).

The pattern is what it says on the tin (eh front): A basic t-shirt pattern, that can be made into many different styles of tops.

I love that I can wear a t-shirt with everything. I made a 3/4 sleeved U-necklined teal version, which is perfect for wearing with wool dress trousers or a nice skirt for work in winter, and I’ve also made short sleeved v-necks which works great with cut off denim shorts for a summer day in the garden. And then of course, all can be worn with jeans…

{A few of my favourite t-shirts}

 

Can you tell I’m excited?

 

 

ALMOST THERE

120805B by mariadenmark
120805B, a photo by mariadenmark on Flickr.

The new t-shirt pattern is almost ready for release – I’m just waiting for the final proof reading and then I have to do a bit of editing.

Good thing that I’ve had time to deal with other stuff – we moved our washer into the newly renovated mud room/laundry room, and that has been a little bit complicated. But today I could finally go to IKEA to get the last bits and pieces for the rooms.

And I wore one of my new t-shirts, made from the Birgitte Basic Tee (the new pattern, coming soon!).This version (with 3/4 length bell sleeves and a deep U neck) is made in a very nice cotton/elastane jersey.

And here’s a sneak peak of the sketches for the Birgitte Basic Tee:
Birgitte Line Drawing

I am so excited about releasing this pattern!