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The Emporia => In the wardrobe => Topic started by: Pearl on January 10, 2018, 14:58:56 PM

Title: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: Pearl on January 10, 2018, 14:58:56 PM
So I have a pattern (Simplicity 4149) and I'd like to make the tunic.  I've started to look at fabric.  I love this (the blue floral one).  Would it be suitable?  https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3-Meter-Indian-Hand-Block-Print-Cotton-Fabric-Dress-Making-Fabric-By-The-Meter/322815524201?hash=item4b294dfd69:m:mls66XgOq-WKSXajchk8Axw

Also, what do I do with the pattern?  Do I just cut it along the solid lines. TIA
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: Bodgeitandscarper on January 10, 2018, 15:11:33 PM
If it's an all-over random-ish pattern, than that's no different to using plain fabric.
You need to decide what size you are using, then see which lines on the pattern correspond to that size, then cut along them.  There are those who trace the pattern onto paper then cut that out, but personally, I've never done that in my life.  I handle pattern pieces carefully and have used the same ones over and over again.
Good luck, and I'm sure there will be others along as well to help  0_0

Edit:  Just seen your edit, that fabric looks lovely  :)
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: UttaRetch on January 10, 2018, 15:12:32 PM
(https://images.patternreview.com/sewing/patterns/simplicity/4149/4149.jpg)

If you don't know this, establish your PATTERN size (not the same as ready to wear) by looking at the measurements on the

(https://i.imgur.com/gqwrEr1.jpg)

back of the envelop.  Don't be upset if it turns to be two or even three sizes above what you normally buy, this is normal. I prefer to trace off my pattern, but you can cut along the size indication lines.  As there aren't too may seams, a patterned fabric would be okay, but be guided by the suggested fabrics.
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: Pearl on January 10, 2018, 15:15:12 PM
Thanks, both.  Fabric ordered!
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: Sewbee on January 10, 2018, 15:15:38 PM
So I have a pattern (Simplicity 4149) and I'd like to make the tunic.  I've started to look at fabric.  I love this (the blue floral one).  Would it be suitable?  https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3-Meter-Indian-Hand-Block-Print-Cotton-Fabric-Dress-Making-Fabric-By-The-Meter/322815524201?hash=item4b294dfd69:m:mls66XgOq-WKSXajchk8Axw

Also, what do I do with the pattern?  Do I just cut it along the solid lines. TIA

Hi Pearl. Yes, solids are easier than patterns but it doesn't really matter so long as its not a one-way design (where there's a definite right way up) because you wouldn't have to match it.

When cutting out the pattern, if you have a multi-size pattern, cut along the size that fits you. If it is not a one-way pattern and there is only one size in the envelope, then cut along the solid outer line. Some like to preserve the pattern itself and put tracing paper over it and trace it.

I usually measure the bust, waist  and hip measurements on the paper pattern and compare to my own before cutting. If I need to add a little bit, I might try to do it on the tissue pattern and draw a new side seam line - and then cut. It really depends on the style, though, and what you are making as to whether you can get away with making the adjustment on the side seams.
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: Bodgeitandscarper on January 10, 2018, 15:16:01 PM
I would also check the size of your cut out pattern pieces against a similar garment - dunno about other people, but I often find them a bit wide across the shoulders.
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: Vegegrow on January 10, 2018, 15:17:32 PM
I think you should make a toile Pearl.. this is a trial garment using an old sheet then you could check the fit before you cut into your nice fabric...
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: Pearl on January 10, 2018, 15:21:19 PM
Thanks, Vege.   I can do that while I'm waiting for the fabric to arrive.

If I wanted to trace the pattern, do I need special paper? 
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: Sewbee on January 10, 2018, 15:33:26 PM
How about Swedish tracing paper.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Swedish-Tracing-Paper-Dressmaking-wide/dp/B06Y5TRTVV/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1515598375&sr=8-1&keywords=swedish+tracing+paper
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: UttaRetch on January 10, 2018, 15:38:51 PM
@Pearl: tracing paper is ideal - I buy mine on a big roll - but so long as you can see through the paper to the pattern underneath, it doesn't have to be anything special.  I have heard of freezer paper, but have never had to investigate this option.
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: Pearl on January 10, 2018, 15:48:46 PM
I have heard of freezer paper, but have never had to investigate this option.

Oh, I have freezer paper that I use for FPP patchwork.
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: Holly Berry on January 10, 2018, 16:25:56 PM
I would also recommend a great book not only for beginners but also for when you become a bit more advanced, it’s Alison Smiths The Sewing Book.

I use Burda paper to trace off patterns https://www.amazon.co.uk/Burda-Tissue-Paper-Dressmaking-110x150cm/dp/B01N0487NR

Good luck and remember we are all willing to help
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: Madame Cholet on January 10, 2018, 16:35:11 PM
I looked at the pattern envelope pic in UR's post, and got really excited - I thought the skirt drawings were really funky flares, and I thought 'ooh so they're trendy again! I'll have some of those'.... then I put my reading specs on....   :S :fish:

There was a discussion recently here about tracing paper, here's a link to the thread:
http://thesewingplace.org.uk/index.php/topic,2801.msg40588.html#msg40588

The medical pattern paper roll mentioned in the thread is 75 yards long, and I am really very happy with the roll I bought, but perhaps you don't need that quantity right now!

Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: Sewbee on January 10, 2018, 17:07:45 PM
I looked at the pattern envelope pic in UR's post, and got really excited - I thought the skirt drawings were really funky flares, and I thought 'ooh so they're trendy again! I'll have some of those'.... then I put my reading specs on....   :S :fish:

There was a discussion recently here about tracing paper, here's a link to the thread:
http://thesewingplace.org.uk/index.php/topic,2801.msg40588.html#msg40588

The medical pattern paper roll mentioned in the thread is 75 yards long, and I am really very happy with the roll I bought, but perhaps you don't need that quantity right now!

I think a medical paper roll is better actually, but where do you find it in the UK? In the USA a friend who was a nurse gave me a roll and it lasted years.
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: Madame Cholet on January 10, 2018, 17:18:10 PM
I think a medical paper roll is better actually, but where do you find it in the UK? In the USA a friend who was a nurse gave me a roll and it lasted years.

I clicked on the link to Amazon.com in UR's post in the thread.. which took me to this:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007AH74VO/ref=od_aui_detailpages00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Edit: link was in Hachi's post, not UR's, sorry.
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: Madame Cholet on January 10, 2018, 17:21:51 PM
So my roll of medical pattern paper wasn't from the UK, but from the US. It only took 2 days to arrive though.
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: Sewbee on January 10, 2018, 17:23:28 PM
Going to order some. :D
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: Madame Cholet on January 10, 2018, 17:26:03 PM
Going to order some. :D

Fab!  :)
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: Pearl on January 29, 2018, 19:56:35 PM
Okay, so I have medical roll paper and a sheet and am ready to start working on my toile in the next couple of days.

Silly question alert - does the pattern include the seam allowance?
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: Surest1tch on January 29, 2018, 21:40:42 PM
Simplicity patterns usually include the seam allowance, if you read the envelope it will tell you how much, it's usually 5/8" but do read it and double check.
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: Pearl on May 07, 2018, 13:40:59 PM
I have measured myself and am a size 14 on top and 18 below :o :S.  I'm going to trace my pattern.  What size do I do or do I need to merge the two together? Or go on a crash diet.
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: wrenkins on May 07, 2018, 13:48:04 PM
Oh goodie. Dressmaking for dimmies dummies darksiders.  0_0 I've just ordered a pattern.  :toast:
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: UttaRetch on May 07, 2018, 14:00:54 PM
I have measured myself and am a size 14 on top and 18 below :o :S.  I'm going to trace my pattern.  What size do I do or do I need to merge the two together?

I think that size 14 is in the next size range up, so you should be able to 'blend' the sizes.  I haven't had to do this, but there will be those who have.
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: Pearl on May 07, 2018, 16:03:23 PM
Thanks, @UttaRetch .  I've watched a YouTube video (whatever did we do....).

Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: Bogwoppit on May 07, 2018, 19:32:53 PM
On your sheet version you could mark the size 18 and 14 sides, tack a line starting at the 14 bust, moving towards 18 waist/hips and see how that fits.

I'm the other way up measurment wise and did the reverse on a tunic, found out the 16 was fine all the way round so made that on my nice fabric.
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: sewmuchmore on May 09, 2018, 21:51:03 PM
I have measured myself and am a size 14 on top and 18 below :o :S.  I'm going to trace my pattern.  What size do I do or do I need to merge the two together? Or go on a crash diet.
As a general rule if you are making a dress, blouse or jacket then you go with your bust measurement and grade to your hips. If you are making skirts or trousers choose the pattern according to your waist measurement. You may find this (https://www.simplicity.com/on/demandware.static/-/Sites-simplicity-Library/default/dw1718eed0/pdf/Fit-Guides/SimplicityFITGUIDE_Brochure_2017.pdf) useful.
Just to complicate things don't forget fashion ease. i.e. the amount of "spare fabric" in a garment over and above your body measurements. These will be printed on the pattern piece where you see the symbol a cross in a circle, usually at the bust waist and hips, or on the pattern envelope depending on the make. You may find that your pattern is large enough with the ease built in to choose a different size if you wanted a more fitted/looser fit. Another resource you might find useful is this ease chart (https://butterick.mccall.com/size-fit-charts/ease-chart) You will soon get the hang of it.
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: Pearl on July 26, 2018, 05:16:54 AM
Well, today's the day.   :ninja:


 :fabric: :snip: :sew: :frock:






Pics later (hopefully).
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: wrenkins on July 26, 2018, 08:30:40 AM
 :o  :o  :o  :o  :o  :frock:?  :trousers:?  :shirt:?
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: Pearl on July 26, 2018, 08:33:19 AM
 :frock:
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: wrenkins on July 26, 2018, 08:36:30 AM
Go big or go home eh?
I'm very excited. I hope you'll be charting your progress and I can't wait to see how you get on.
Good Luck!
Ready! Steady! Sew!  :sew:
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: Pearl on July 26, 2018, 09:22:19 AM
I'm going on a course, @wrenkins .  Sew a dress in a day.  I've never done anything in a day!  If it isn't finished, you get to go back free of charge on another day!   I asked what I need to bring and they said, "Just yourself."  Sounds too good to be true but they only have positive reviews. 
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: wrenkins on July 26, 2018, 09:45:27 AM
That sounds brilliant!!!!
West Midlands has an airport hasn't it? I'll be over in a bit. I wish I could find something like that here. There are no classes of any description that I can find.  :(
I once did a log cabin Christmas tree workshop in a day. It was brilliant and I very nearly got my wall hanging finished. Still to put the binding on...it's been more years than I can even work out!!!
Have a great day!
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: Kwaaked on July 26, 2018, 10:37:19 AM
On tracing, I use graphite paper and a wheel onto newspaper from a roll (no printing).  So we all use what is easiest for us in tracing stuff, too.
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: Pearl on July 26, 2018, 18:26:31 PM
That sounds brilliant!!!!
West Midlands has an airport hasn't it? I'll be over in a bit.

Great, @wrenkins .  Fly in to Birmingham.  I'll pick you up.

I forgot to do "pretty hands".

It is called the 'Date night dress' and is by April Rhodes.  It has a box pleat at the back and French seams, which are good because you sew with a 1/4" seam allowance.  I know what they look like.
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: wrenkins on July 26, 2018, 18:46:01 PM
YaaaY! You made a dress!  :toast:  :flower:
I'll bet you're a lil bit pleased with yourself.  0_0
It looks great!  :loveit:
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: Pearl on July 26, 2018, 19:52:30 PM
Thank you.  Not perfect but...     :toast:
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: wrenkins on July 26, 2018, 19:56:43 PM
Well done!
I took delivery of a mountain wee bit of fabric today so I really must do something. Anything!!!
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: Pearl on September 09, 2018, 21:33:53 PM
Round 2

Okay so I have more fabric and would like to make a dress like this one, but with a higher neck/shoulder.  How do I find a pattern?  Preferable something aimed at a beginner.  TIA
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: Renegade Sewist on September 09, 2018, 23:48:23 PM
Lovely dress. How like it do you want? The general feel of it when you look at it or very similar. Here's a link to a retailer who had it (https://www.jaypore.com/blue-orange-box-pleated-handloom-ikat-cotton-dress-p114887?s=US)-sold out now.

This is very fitted, buttons down the back, has multiple pleats front and back and will need a light weight cotton or linen to get a similar hang. I've seen dress patterns with this feel that are for knits, are fairly simple and pull over the head. A few wovens too, but you want a higher neck so in a woven you'll need either a zipper or buttons in the back.

Take note of the contrast hem facing, which I think is a lovely detail we could all use more often. I've started using it on pants hems.

I always start in the everyday clothing sections of the Big 4 companies, and also in the easy section if they have it.

Let us know if you want to be doing a zip or buttonholes and we can proceed. I ask as you called this Dressmaking for Dummies and don't know if you've been tackling them yet or want to. I've successfully avoided zips and buttonholes for 20 years because I don't want to fiddle with them anymore. You might love doing them. Some folk do.
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: BrendaP on September 09, 2018, 23:53:57 PM
To browse the patterns of the 'Big 4' and a few others, Jaycotts website is as good as any.
https://jaycotts.co.uk/pages/sewing-patterns (https://jaycotts.co.uk/pages/sewing-patterns)

If you see something you like click on it and you'll see other views, the sketch which shows all the seam lines and the fabric requirements.
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: Pearl on April 30, 2019, 18:59:44 PM
I’m reviving this thread and I’m just off to my first dressmaking class.  I’ll let you know how it goes. 
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: wrenkins on April 30, 2019, 19:07:12 PM
Oh goody @Pearl. Well done! I do like an adventure.  :ninja:
I wish there was some/any kind of class here. I'd join in a heartbeat.  :snip: :sew: :trousers:
Good luck.  0_0
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: Pearl on April 30, 2019, 21:40:37 PM
The good news is I'm not as odd as I thought I was.  I've cut out my tunic (and have enough fabric left to make another 2).  Next week - seams.
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: Manuela on May 01, 2019, 01:31:11 AM
Oh brilliant @Pearl, I am very much looking forward to your adventures in dressmaking  :)
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: Pearl on May 07, 2019, 21:43:12 PM
 Lesson 2. I’ve done a French seam, two bust darts and made a front facing (because I lost the pattern piece).  Doesn’t look like I’ll have a whole new wardrobe any time soon.
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: wrenkins on May 07, 2019, 21:52:40 PM
That's brilliant @Pearl. Small steps.  :)
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: Lowena on May 07, 2019, 22:17:21 PM
Good for you girl, I really couldn't be ar**s mucking about with facings, interfacings, darts etc. I'd love to wear vintage style dresses like Kirstie Allsop has, but I'd never be able to manage it in a million years
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: NatalieSews on May 15, 2019, 13:47:53 PM
I have measured myself and am a size 14 on top and 18 below :o :S.  I'm going to trace my pattern.  What size do I do or do I need to merge the two together? Or go on a crash diet.

If you have a curved ruler you can draw a pencil that crosses from the 14 size line and 18 size line and will be nice and seamless.
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: Pearl on May 15, 2019, 18:15:40 PM
Thanks, @NatalieSews .   :flower:

When I took my pattern to class, it transpired that the hip measurement was not significant, so my teacher advised me to cut a size 14.  I'll definitely need a curved ruler when I make a dress or I could join the gym.
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: NatalieSews on May 16, 2019, 09:25:43 AM
@Pearl Have you joined a class?
Theres a class in my area that teaches dressmaking and quilting and I really want to go.

Good luck and remember to show us pictures once you have completed it!
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: Manuela on May 16, 2019, 09:34:41 AM
Thanks, @NatalieSews .   :flower:

When I took my pattern to class, it transpired that the hip measurement was not significant, so my teacher advised me to cut a size 14.  I'll definitely need a curved ruler when I make a dress or I could join the gym.

@Pearl, garments are fitted from the top down. Your start at the shoulder/neck hole and then slowly work your way to the bottom. The logic here is, that everything you change at the top will inevitably result in changes in the rest of the garment.
It is also much easier the make amendments at the waist or hip than, let's say, at the bust or arm hole. Hence, your instructor recommended to start out with a size that fits you at the shoulders.
Title: Re: Dressmaking for (Dummies) Beginners
Post by: Pearl on May 16, 2019, 17:48:12 PM
@Pearl Have you joined a class?
Theres a class in my area that teaches dressmaking and quilting and I really want to go.

Good luck and remember to show us pictures once you have completed it!

Yes, @NatalieSews .  I'm doing a 10 week course in dressmaking, although I'm really a darksider.  I also go to quilting classes once a month and a quilters group once or twice a month.  In fact, I'm always out.   :D