Sunday 14 December 2014 

A new sewing pattern in my Etsy shop!  The Eliza T.shirt, for curvy women!
I know! So this is what I've been up to in between client meetings for freelance work this last few months! (I'm sure you've all been wondering what I do in the Studio all day, apart from chat with the cat - who'd rather chase paperclips..and sleep in the sun).  Well, this is the start of a new line of sewing patterns for women with curves. What a concept, curvy women garment designs...I love it!  Actually I've been fighting my whole professional ragtrade life, over 20 industrial years, for fashion shapes that fit and flatter and work for women who measure above a size 12 (Australian sizing), it appears it's just not 'fashionable' to create and make for our curvy sisters, and I feel they are missing out!  I've set about designing and patternmaking for women with curves, starting at a size 000 with a bust of  101cm (39 3/4"), and progressing up 9 sizes to a size 6,  bust 141cm. All sizes are included in the one sewing pattern file!

 I've used a new process for the development of this PDF pattern which is hugely exciting. Well, it's exciting for me as I've drafted and graded this Studio pattern on my computer (technical pattern maker excitement~!). This results in a nice and  tidy sewing pattern for the home sewer which can be immediately downloaded in PDF format then printed at home on A4 or US letter sized printer paper (home user excitement!). = lots of all round excitement!!!

I also include instructions for making adjustments to the pattern, for length and width, across multiple sizes through bust, waist and hip if your body measurements fall across multiple sizes on our size chart. Here is a comment from one of the Studio testers about my adjustment method and instructions:

“This was an easy sew! I started with a 00 at the bust and graded out to a 1 at the hips. Easy to do following the instructions and I end up with a very wearable top! Thanks for a great pattern!”
As part of the Studio sewing pattern development process, the Eliza T.shirt has been tested by a bunch of independent home sewers, which has been a really fantastic experience.  I've gotten to know sewers from around the world who have beavered away testing this style and their feedback has been totally wonderful, I've included some of their comments here:

“I found the Eliza tank t-shirt very simple to sew up, and it is such a cute shirt! Thanks for making such an easy to understand pattern that is also really flattering.”

“This pattern came together very quickly easily. I look forward to making more of these to add to my wardrobe!” 

“The Eliza top pattern is a great staple pattern I'll be using again and again. The armholes are shaped with lots of wiggle room and the length is great for pants.”

 “The Eliza Tank Tshirt pattern will be a staple in your wardrobe. It was easy to sew and has a great fit. I highly recommend this pattern.”

“I will let you know-loved the pattern!  So easy to make to my size. Great instructions on how to do this  :D”

“I loved the pattern and found it a very flattering t-shirt”

“I’ve just finished my top and I’m really happy with it…. I ended up using some stretch tulle and will be perfect over my bathers.”

“I'm definitely making a couple more of these for work!!!  I usually fight with knits while I'm sewing them, but I have to say your directions were stellar!  I followed them to the letter, including all the pinning where I normally cheat, and I have to say the end results are amazing!  I tucked my serger tails in, too, for the first time ever, and I have to say it has a very professional finish to it!  This was a super-thin "burnout" type knit that would normally roll and I had no issues following your directions. You did an awesome job with this pattern for us pluz-sizers!!!”

“The Eliza Tank Tshirt pattern will be a staple in your wardrobe. It was easy to sew and has a great fit. I highly recommend this pattern”.

So, here is the new pattern in my Etsy store!

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Form-O-Matic Dress Form

The gasping excitement upon opening the mystery box.
Just what every girl needs! a "Form-O-Matic" Dress Form. Sigh.
Not just any Dress Form, this baby has been made from 'Alpha Cellulose material impregnated (no less) with Dupont Neoprene for long life and durability.  another sigh....Someone actually thought this unit up, and manufactured it! 
The 60's &70's are responsible for some amazing product development and combinations (cardboard with neoprene? anyone). The cardboard does feel a bit like neoprene, it's rather lovely actually. In great condition considering it's age and really interesting. A bit space age 'The Jetson's' meets industrial chic.
Love the graphics too.

Ok, the concept is that you use little expanding pins to fasten all the bodice and hip areas of the stand together, which makes a 3D body model which can be set up on the accompanying stand, with tripod feet...brilliant yes?
Even more brilliant is the adjustable part of the story. "the form adjusts to regular and half sizes and many figure variations from 8 to 20 (bust sizes 30" to 41").....So Easy To Use. Even a Beginner can sew Custom-Fitting Clothes the first time.....Reduces and Gains Right Along With You. Can be used in sections or Full Figure.  Strong! Won't easily Crack, Chip or Break. Stores away easily in shelf or drawer.  More versatile than dress forms costing many times more."

My studio, unfortunately, does not 'Reduce and Gain' storage as I desire. So the 'Form-O-Matic' is for sale in my shop!
Discovered in the bottom of a cupboard still in its original box. All parts present and correct. 
All the Fronts and Side Fronts
All the Backs and Side Backs

Tuesday 22 July 2014

The Golden Dressmaker

It sounds like a 1950's film title.
Instead it's a 1950's text book for "cutting your own patterns which will save you pounds in cash and hours in time"...sigh, I love this! 1st you will need to work out how to use the obscure tiny ruler that is the key to drafting all the patterns in the book.  It's rare to find the book and the ruler together, yet here they are, having lived 50+ years in my MIL's bookcase.

I confess this kind of 'challenge' is the perfect rainy weekend afternoon for me. Add in a coffee & old movie in the background & it's a happy studio bunny up here in the hills!

But what to make first?  The classic mens BBQ shirts on p128, or the petticoats, which I'm sure will be useful, on page 72  or cocktail frocks p 65.

Not since plotting out 5th scales at uni have little pattern diagrams looked so strange.  While studying pattern drafting we worked our trial pattern designs to 1/5th of full scale . Mostly my fellow students disliked this immensely, it's fiddly and exacting. I found it strangely calming. I love pattern making and am possibly a bit strange this way.  Like nutting out instructions for furniture construction, or indeed, working through the occassional Ikea instruction booklet...this little ruler is perhaps the equivalent of an Ikea allen key!  and the pictures are delightful.  I cannot decide -  to keep the book (300 pages, 275 'illustrated models') or let it go to a new home.  I'm drawn to letting it live on my bookshelf for a while, it's just too much fun!

Enjoy the pics.

Tuesday 18 February 2014