Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Drop Shoulder and Knit Designs Well Underway.

I have been taking a break from the classic dolly designs to play with some more modern designs. I found the plans for a drop shoulder dress with a different coloured yoke.

This is my second test. The first one didn't have the sleeve length quite right.  From looking at this one, the sleeves are perfect but I have drawn the side seams in a fraction to make it fit more snuggly around the waist. I haven't made the final dress yet.
This is the guide I used. I have been collecting lots of people fashions and drafting ideas on Pinterest.

I got side tracked thinking it would make a great knit t-shirt. Well, actually I was keen to make a cowl neckline for it. I had a drafting guide picture from Pinterest for that as well.

The red dress was my first dress test. I draw up the pattern pieces on loose leaf lined paper. They are just firm enough to trace around when I want to make changes and thin enough so I can trace through the paper for inside lines. The top was my first go at the cowl neck.

It looks great with a tank top underneath. I have tried a higher cowl neck but no matter how soft the fabric is it doesn't hang like a human size cowl. I took out a lot of the ease so the knit stretched around the doll and fit snuggly. It is still just done up with velcro in the back.
I can't wait to make a dress with this neckline out of some slinky knit fabric that I have.

Next I drew the seam lines much wider to suit a bulky knit to make a sweater type top. I used some test fabric thinking it would be too dark to look good but it turned out really nice with the white skivvy underneath.

I haven't even named this design yet. I am tentatively calling it 1501 because it might be the first pattern I publish in the new year. I hope to get the open neck blouse or maybe the skivvy out before the end of the year but I will just see how I go.

Now I am playing with raglan sleeves! I have just got the coverlocker set up to do the hems and neck band for a raglan t-shirt.

Visit Craftsy to see the patterns I have published so far.


Monday, December 8, 2014

Snugfit Donna is out. Just in time for Christmas.

There is still time to make a nice Christmas pinny, top or vest. These designs come together so quickly and only use a small amount of fabric.


Visit my Craftsy Shop for all my patterns. Just $2.00 USD

Download some sample pages from this pattern to see what you get.


Friday, December 5, 2014

Tip for putting a yoke on an existing blouse pattern

I always love an easy way to get a great look, and doing intricate piecing before you cut out the pattern can make things a bit easier.

I want to put a fancy yoke on my open neck blouse so I drew a line where I wanted it to go and worked out how big my fabric rectangles needed to be to fit the pattern on later.

I then cut out rectangles for the yokes and rectangles for the back and fronts.

I pieced them together adding a few details to the back and then cut out the pattern piece.

This is as far as I got this morning but I can see it is going to look so cute. I am using my open neck blouse pattern that is still on the design desk but coming up next for publishing. I am going to use an almost straight sleeve so I can get a soft gather that won't get in the way when the sleeves are rolled up a bit.

I worked a lot on my Snugfit Donna Versatile Vest pattern instructions yesterday so it is very close to being published. I have used some Christmas fabrics in the samples.

I also sat and drew up some ideas for Fashion File 3 which will be mainly about using Snugfit Donna. There are lots of cute drop waist designs that work with it because it is straight sided and skims over the hips when you make it longer.

I am still perfecting my instruction format. After six patterns I have made a few improvements along the way. I really want all my patterns to have exactly the same feel when you work with them because that is what I would want. This means I will be spending some time changing the first patterns so they match the latest pattern instructions in look and layout. Not sure how long that will take me because cutting and sewing is much more fun, but I won't be completely happy until I get it done.

I would also like to say thank you to all those people who have bought my patterns so far. It is very exciting to have my work 'out there'. It is very encouraging to see that people buy one pattern and obviously look at it then come back and buy the others.


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Progress on Flounces and Circle Skirts

The beauty of working for myself on a hobby business I can change the deadlines on a whim. At first I wanted to finish off the last photos and instructions for Snugfit Donna Versatile Vest but for some reason I started wanting to make things.
I transferred the vest necklines to Snugfit Anna Blouse and Snugfit Carol Dress because I wanted to make a V-neck dress but somehow that idea morphed into a v-neck blouse with a flared neck flounce. I got busy making up a pattern for the flounce. I had a picture in my mind of how it was done for a blouse I made for myself. It was a sort of spiral.

I wanted it to fall softly so I chose a printed chiffon style fabric. When I made up the flounce it didn't look how I wanted it to but sometimes you just need to finish the sample before making judgements.

It didn't flounce enough and the stay stitching I put in gathered it all up. I also decided the v-neck didn't come down quite low enough.
I wanted the sleeves to look soft and floppy so I made them 1/4" longer. It looks OK but the sleeves probably need a flouncy cuff.

At this point I decided that I needed a nice skirt and since circles were the shape of the day I made a circle skirt pattern and a circle flounce pattern. I love using maths and measurements and rulers so making the circles was very satisfying.

So now I have made a great navy skirt to go with this blouse but this blouse design is probably not going to make it onto the shelf so to speak. I want to test out my circle flounces and flouncy cuffs and lower the v-neck a bit. To save me having to make another skirt straight away I need to find some fabric that goes with the navy.

I have a box of fabric leftovers from things I have made for myself over the years as well as some nice fashion fabrics in my stash. I don't think quilting cotton is going to sit right.

I was really excited when the circle skirt fit exactly on the waistband and I started to wonder what patterns for circle skirts are already out there, because it seemed to work quite easily. Surprisingly there isn't very much, so I am going to keep working on it to make up some variations. I may publish it with a dress I have been working on that has a half circle skirt. If the flounces work I will add them in as well.

This is how she looks tonight. Very grown up. Maybe going to the theatre or somewhere nice for dinner.