Tuesday 27 February 2018

In search of the perfect T-Shirt - Pattern drafting and an approximation (and lots of sheep)

Self drafted T Shirt! Nobody should look this stern with a self drafted shirt full of sheep. I don't know how I managed!

(If you just want the instructions for drafting a t-shirt and not so much talking: Here it is  How to draft Jersey shirt pdf)

And here is the talking:

Because my body is unique, I usually have problems with store-bought clothing:

1. the waist line is too low on me (sort of "on the hip", looks silly), because I am smaller than what standard clothes are made for. (if you want to know more about standard sizes in clothing  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clothing_sizes)

2. I have a comparably small waist  and bust in relation to my hip measurement (compared to standard sizing).

3. My hip point is lower than average.

4.  My shoulder width is rather small.

5. I have a sway back nobody seems to want to have anything to do with

Vogue Patterns calls this gallantly "triangle shape", I think it used to be called pear shape? :)

So, all in all with off-the-rack clothes, they are too long, the waist is in the wrong place and the hip width is too small, so if I wear e.g. a T-Shirt, that fits my upper body, the waistline is just a tad too low and the hips small (even with stretchy fabric) so everything is travelling upwards to the waistline with movement and I end up pulling shirts down all of the time, even if they seem to fit ok at first glance.

To cut a long story short, I decided to draft my own t-shirt pattern.
It is really easy, if you just follow instructions!

There are a lot of  tutorials on youtube, I used this one (in German) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQ3kdhVyMNM.

The thing you have to know about pattern drafting is this: It will give you a close approximation (probably closer to your body than any of the off the rack clothing is though...) and you have to make the fine tuning with a muslin on your body. Then you transfer the changes to your pattern. If you've made a lot of alterations or big alterations, I recommend making another muslin. Is is a lot of work and a lot of fabric potentially going to waste, but in the end you will have the perfect jersey shirt pattern. Which you will be able to use for all sorts of Jersey shirt variations.

And you will know a lot about you body and clothes fitting.

When you have a pattern finally, bear in mind, that changes to the neckline might need more changes in the upper bodice than just cutting the neckline. Jersey fabric is rather forgiving, but still, everything you change in the fabric might have consequences in fit overall (Dorothy Moore is dedicating a whole chapter on neckline changes... but I will write about that another time)

Also the amount of stretch of the fabric influences the fit (and also the recovery...)!

My first muslin was made from a piece of cotton jersey without much stretch. So I accepted it would be a little tight. There was pulling above the chest towards the armpit. That's the fabric asking for a dart. Hm. And the basic pattern has a very high neckline.

First I cut out the neckline the way I like T-Shirts, which changed the whole appearance of those wrinkles. But they were still there.

I also found the shoulder width was a bit wide, so I reduced it by 1 cm on each side. And changed the paper pattern accordingly.

I also have lots of wrinkling in the lower back, because I have a sway back.

There are several options how to deal with a sway back in knit shirts.
1. Ignore it.
2. Make sure it's not a too small hip width which makes the shirt travel up.
3. Introduce a seamline in the center back. Or two. Or just two darts. Those can take up the excess fabric.
4. You can try to remove about 2-3cms (1inch) just above the waistline on the back pattern and when you assemble the shirt you stretch the side seamline about 10 cm (5inch) around that area. It works sometimes.

Oh, and those wrinkles in the front could  be removed if you introduce a side dart, either to the side seam or to the armhole.

Has anyone else got good ideas to seal with wrinkling and sway back on knit fabric?

I chose to go with option No 1 this time. After transferring all the other changes to the pattern, I made another muslin. This time I used a mad fabric which I bought years ago because I wanted to make shirts for the children from it. It's nice quality stretch jersey (i guess 95% cotton and 5% elasthane) and has a nice weight to it, which I bought in a sale because most people probably found the pattern a bit too busy. I even made a shirt for the children for it, but even on them it is a bit busy. So I had enough left to make this shirt.

I like the fit despite the wrinkling in the back and that little bit of pulling in the front. And there are a lot of sheep on this. A lohohot. I might use it for pyjamas, which makes just the right amount of sheep. I might need pyjama bottoms with dogs now, i suppose.

Sorry for not taking any pictures during the process of making it. I just assembled it.
1. Match shoulder seams. Sew.
2. Insert sleeves, Make sure front part of the sleeve is in the right place.
3. Close sleeve seam and side seam.
4. Insert neckline binding.
5. Hem sleeves and bottom.
6. Iron carefully.

  Here's the resulting pattern and shirt though.

Actually I think the shirt fits better in real life than on this picture.
Less wrinkles around the chest.

see the wrinkles in the back -> not adapted for sway back. I can feel another muslin coming...
(And also quoting The Fast Show: "Does my bum look big in this?")

Below you will also find the description and drawing for drafting this shirt. Don't be put of by the instructions, you'll end up with you own personal shirt pattern.

Enjoy! Bah! Bah! Baaaah!

How to draft your own jersey shirt pdf

If you have questions, leave a comment!

On fitting t-shirts for FBA (I don't really need FBA, but it is interesting anyway and maybe you want to try this out!)


Friday 23 February 2018

Martha Mania (Milchmonster)

A Martha Mania Collage

I've made these Marthas aaaaages ago. Years.  I've been wearing them a lot, i really love them. The pattern is great and it is perfect for busy patterns (I think...).

There are several option to the Marthas, small and big hood, shawl collar, pockets or not, sleeve options, several different top versions. I even think the Marthas are so great, they can distract from the stupid door backround. :)

Here ist the  Link to Milchmonster's Martha

The size is quite accurate, I just find the shoulders are a bit narrow, I added about 1cm at each size of the shoulder seam (towards the arm, both on back and front piece). I shortened the upper length about 1 cm.  Obviously these are individual measurement that depend on everybody's body, so it's not the patterns fault. Overall the sizing is very accurate.

The instructions are really good, I've got them in German, I don't really know whether she offers other languages, BUT I think it's easy enough to make it even if you don't understand the language, if you've made a shirt before.

Here is the Martha Parade:

Lillestoff jersey

It reminds me of Disco somehow...
the knit fabric is from www.michas-stoffecke.de - brilliant shop. 

also knit from Michas Stoffecke

Lillestoff - Monster Drops

I did the picture editing with pixlr.com, which is (at least for the moment), free and easy to use. They have some fun stuff there.

Tuesday 20 February 2018

Dirndl for Little Miss No 2

Yes, that's an Octopus!

I've been sewing a little because I had a few days off and I wanted to try out a new pattern for the girls.

It's the Dirndl "Vroni" By Mondbresal (here's her page http://mondbresal.blogspot.de/) and I really like the pattern.

It went together well, the measurements are very precise and the instructions are good. I didn't use the recommended button closure but inserted a zipper and did a few other things differently than the instructions said (apart from the zipper those shortcuts cost me a lot of time and I should have just followed instructions, that's what they are for...). I've not made the blouse from her patternpackage yet, but I am planning to.

The fabric is entirely from the stash. The top is a remnant of a red and white spotty cotton, the skirt part is from a lovely green fabric with birdies (which I initially planned to make bedding from but never got around to it...). And the blue apron used to be a curtain...

Just in case you don't know what a Dirndl is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirndl

we do pugshots here, too. (sorry, couldn't resist this bad joke)

Tuesday 13 February 2018

Pattern drafting and sewing tutorials

This is a German video by a very talented lady who is also drafting her own patterns. I think she is explaining it very well and I also really like her style.

Kleider für Julia - by Andreia


Saturday 10 February 2018

The February Table 2018

Admittedly, our February table doesn't look significantly different to the January one. Only I managed to change the postcard to February. And there are a few more stones that the kids found and I desperately long for spring and colours and flowers so I put a few small grape hyacinths on the table, too. Last week we've had a few snowdrops, but I didn't manage to take a picture before the wilted. And it was snowing yesterday. And 75% of the family have the flu.

Tuesday 6 February 2018

Ileana Dress - for Little Miss No 1.

I've had this pattern lying around for some time, because... I forgot about it. There was some sort of sale or so at Compagnie M a few years ago and I bought Ileana, too. I was given this lovely leaf patterned fabric (rather heavy) and I knew immediately, it should be a dress for Little Miss No 1, with a circle skirt. She's totally into wide skirts that "turn" at the moment. I am not really in time for the season (or much too early, depending on which way you look at it).

I printed the pattern and then chose the size according to her measurements - which meant a 2 year old in width and a 5 year old in height... uh... I wasn't sure whether that would work out. I took the shoulder measurement and the armhole for 5 year olds, too... But it turns out, her measurement tables are correct (silly me...) which is SUPER! Not too much ease but not too tight, either.

It turned out really well and went together easily. The only thing I didn't really like was the zipper, which ends at the waist, so the little one has to sort of squeeze her bottom through the waist opening measurement. If I make the dress another time, I would choose a slightly longer zip and extend it into the skirt section (which would have to be split in the center back then, too, but that's not too bad).

All in all I really like her patterns, also this one, which is really versatile. I like the different collar options.


Initally I had planned to paint a few of the leaves and fruit on the dress with fabric  paint, but little Miss No 1 objected. She did agree with the yellow bias tape for hemming it. She wants to wear the dress every day now (which will be a lesson for me: don't make dresses in the wrong season - or keep them to yourself until the weather clears up...). We've got storm and freezing temperatures at the moment...

Material: none, as was given and from stash
Pattern: Compagnie M, Ileana dress, circle skirt, cap sleeves, collar with bow. Already had that.

Sunday 4 February 2018

A Ruffled Skirt for me!

Yes, this is actually me. 

I've finally managed to make another skirt for myself. I had been wanting to make this ever since the weather had become colder (so for about 2 months...). And finally I managed.

I took the pattern off a skirt I had made before "The forest skirt" (that's 3,5 years now...). Back then I had taken the pattern off a RTW skirt, had extended the skirt (more pronounced, or broad-legged A shape). What I didn't do was to adjust for sway back, so on that skirt I still had to make to darts in the waistband back after finishing it, because it was gaping. Hm. Nevertheless, that skirt with its flounce and that supercute pattern became one of my favourite skirts. So I decided, I should make another one. Because I am in a "I should wear more skirts"-mood at the moment.

I still had a nice piece of wool twill from my husbands wedding suit in the stash (matured 7,5 years...) that I initially had planned to make into a Victorian riding habit but never got around to it.  uckily I should say, because when am I going to wear a Victorian Riding habit? I can't even ride horses...
I also had this black cotton voile sitting around for some years (I had planned to make a Regency gown from it... which also never happened...). These fabrics are perfect for my purposes.

I didn't find the pattern for the forest skirt any more, so I just copied the skirt itself (which means I sort of automatically adjusted for sway back because I just included the waistband "as is" and not with those darts). It worked perfectly well.

The fabric was behaving very well, even the voile, and in about 3 hours the whole thing went together. I still have slight trouble with "invisible" zippers - despite the correct zipper foot they are never really invisible. I probably don't stitch close enough to the little zipper teeth. Also the zipper is not black, but dark grey, which was all I had in my stash and it HAD to be done that day.... :) Also, my zippers hardly ever match...

For the finishing of the seam of the wool overskirt I used a cotton checkered bias tape that was lingering around in the cellar. I love finishing hems with bias tape. They come out so neat and tidy and also you can add "hidden colour" to a skirt. They also give thin fabrics a bit more substance and they have a nicer drape. I've always wanted to try out horsebraid in that aspect, but haven't managed yet.

So, nothing breathtaking this time, but a quick and easy supercomfy and very girly skirt. The ruffles are swinging with every step around my legs, I nearly feel like a princess.

I'm sorry you can't see much on the pictures - black in bad lighting ....

Friday 2 February 2018

I'm a fan - more sewing and pattern drafting!

Although I've not been sewing a great lot recently, and didn't really make a lot of progress with the pattern drafting (non whatsoever...), I've been researching patternmaking and stuff. Dreaming sort of... And in this lovely blog -> Sewing galaxy (german and russian) I came across this lady, and it's just great. I love looking at what she's doing (because of the kids I am mainly watching on mute...)

 Looks at this!

The Channel of Paukshte Irina https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_VhfmP15VMjJhha5TRtTPQ

Try out her "no pattern 10 min summer dress" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8M0VwfF7r1A 

If you know russian, go to her russian channel (or learn from watching only...)