Category: Pattern Making

Dear Maddie: Altering Garments

In my opinion, both altering a garment and making one from scratch requires skill. One is not harder than the other, rather, each one requires different techniques and methods. Also, each one is suited for different types of sewers. While one sewist loves bringing life to a worn and outdated garment, another hates messing with something that is already constructed. One aspect of my sewing career that I’m especially grateful for is that started by getting my feet wet in both fields. When I worked at Mishka’s tailor shop, I helped create patterns and make garments from scratch (I remember replicating this dress for one client. That was fun!), but I also hemmed jeans (keeping the original hem) and shortened cuffed, men’s sleeves (that was a hassle!). Specifics… specifics… you want specific examples on what I’m talking about, right? From my experience working at Mishka’s and the trickling of alterations I’ve done since, here are my pros, cons, upsides, downsides, viewpoints, or whatever you want to call it, for altering and making clothes.   There is a different order of operations when altering clothes. When sewing a garment from scratch, the sequence is 1, 2, 3, 4 and so on, but when changing a garment after it’s been made, the sequence can be backwards – 4, 3, 2, 1 – or mixed up – 4, 2, 3, 1. Let’s pretend you have a pair of pants that fit everywhere except the back waist – it sticks out and let’s places that the sun don’t shine, well, shine. What do you do? Well, what Mishka and I did was add 2 darts on either side of the CB seam. Detaching the waistband from side seam to side seam (don’t remove the entire thing!), we added darts mid panel. If there were pockets, we…

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tags: Construction, Pattern Making Comments: 17

Bra Making: Finally, A Bra Pattern That Fits

I finally have it! I finally have a bra pattern that fits me perfectly! Well, almost perfectly (nothing in this world is one hundred percent perfect, right?). It has taken me many readings of Norma and Beverly’s books/manuals to wrap my head around the concepts of bra making. Silly as it may seem, I also made flashcards so that I’d remember what the point of most strain is and how to reduce cup volume on a dime. Through all the treachery (bra making is tough!), I am happy that I stuck with it and foraged on. Also, a huge thank you to Norma and Amy for answering all my questions! I’m still trying to find a conservative yet creative way to debut my bra as I want to show me wearing it rather than the bra lying flat, but until then, I thought I’d share the steps I took to get to today’s pattern. The key to achieving this pattern was correcting each fitting error one by one and then measuring the cross cup seam and total cup volume after each pattern correction. Why did I do this? Because when it comes to bras, and especially the cups, one correction will affect another one. An example – during my first fitting, I needed to reduce the cup volume and cross cup seam. But when I reduced the curve of the cup (reducing volume), this also reduced the cross cup seam. So once I reduced the cup volume, I needed to reduce the cross cup seam by less than pinned out in my first fitting. Putting this into practice: for a good fit, my cup volume needed to be approximately 4” inches and my cross cup seam needed to be approximately 6”. The cup volume of my initial pattern was 5”…

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tags: Fashon, Pattern Making Comments: 19

Dear Maddie: Pros and Cons of Wired and Non-Wired Bras

Every woman likes and wears a different type of bra. Just like ordering a hamburger or a cheeseburger, whether she takes lettuce, tomato, and/or onion on top of her meat depends. Fit, support, comfort, and fabric all play a role in how she dresses both her breasts and her burger (enough with the synonym, Maddie!). There are pros and cons in the construction, patterning, and fit of each type of bra and when Brigid reached out to me with her question above, I thought it would be the perfect question for a ‘Dear Maddie’ post. Because I wear an A or a B cup and have only worked on bras this size, I reached out to two other expert bramakers to help me answer Brigid’s question – Amy of Cloth Habit and Norma of Orange Lingerie. Even though we three “take” our bras differently, a couple of things rang true for all of us. The obvious being comfort and support, but the not-so-obvious was that without an underwire, the bridge at the center front, or point of most strain (POMS), will stand away from the body. In other words, without the underwire, it is hard for the bridge to sit back on the chest wall. Pros of soft cup bras without underwires: Comfort – many women have not found an underwired bra that fits them satisfactorily. Some women like the looser, “freer” feeling of a non-underwire bra. Special needs – great for and sometimes medically required for special situations such as post surgery around the breasts or breast area. Cons of soft cup bras without underwires: Support – This is by far the number one issue. For A and B cups this is not much of an issue, but any cup size larger than that will not get the lift…

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tags: Pattern Making Comments: 6

Disparate Disciple Pattern Release + Giveaway

  The fact that the sewing and blogging worlds are filled with people who come from different backgrounds, continents, professions, and histories is not new or something I haven’t talked about. With our busy and varied lives, it’s hard to develop a wardrobe that suits all our needs. In this day and age, we all needs clothes that function just as well as their looks. We want to dress well, but we also want to be able to move around and not feel constrained. Lucky for you, Mari, the owner of Disparate Disparate Disciplines Sewing Patterns, is giving everyone just what weneed – a garment that can be worn on the go. Here today to talk about the pattern and it’s development is Mari and at the end, she’ll be giving away one of her patterns! Hi everyone! My name is Mari and I run Disparate Disciplines Sewing Patterns. It’s a new indie pattern company that launched this year. The first thing you’re probably wondering is why did I pick that name. It describes how I think about sewing bloggers & wardrobes. We all come from such different (or disparate if you will) backgrounds. Not only do we hold very different jobs, we live in all different parts of the world with different customs & religions. Sewing is the thing that brings us together. As for wardrobes, I love history. It seems like never before have people taken on such disparate roles; for example; being a mother, scientist, runner, and sewist all in one. Not too long ago it was near impossible to be all those things at once. Yet in our modern lives we can run around doing very different things. Sometimes it seems like we need entirely separate wardrobes for the varied roles we take on. That’s where…

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tags: Pattern Making Comments: 28

Bramaking: The Point of Most Strain

Along with understanding the difference between a partial band bra and a full band bra, the concept of “point of most strain” was something that took me a long time to wrap my head around, but by reading and rereading Beverly Johnson’s manual, it finally sunk in and and stuck. I spent so much time getting the cup volume and seam lines just right that I neglected the area in between my “girls.” But this area is just as important to perfect – because of the location, which is front and center, the point of most strain (POMS) is an eye sore if it’s not right, even if the cups fit perfectly. So what is the point of most strain (POMS)? It is the area on the bridge that carries the weight of the breast. If you ever wondered how a partial band bra with a teeny tiny piece connecting the cups supports the breasts, it’s because it has been placed at just the right spot – the point of most strain (POMS). If the piece was placed above the POMS, the cups would ride up, and if the piece was place below the POMS, the cups would tip over. But, if placed in the right location, which is level with the bust point, the bridge will provide maximum support and the cups will be able to handle a very large amount of weight. So, how do you find the point of most strain? Lay a ruler over the bust points – the line between is exactly the POMS. But the POMS also extends below it for approximately 1″ (if you click here, the area highlighted in pink is the POMS). Consider this 1″ area a “do not touch” zone – you can drop the top of the bridge or…

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tags: Construction, Pattern Making Comments: 9