Sep 25, 2012

It won't rip your Master Patterns!

I have just recently been introduced to Scotch Brand Removable Tape.  This is the most exciting thing since sliced bread!  I absolutely love it and it's perfect for taping the tracing vellum to the SFD Master Patterns.

I've had numerous customers email asking what tape to use when laying the tracing vellum over top of the Master Patterns.  Regular plastic tape will often rip the top layer of paper fibers off the Master Pattern.  I'm sure many of you have watched some of my educational videos showing you how to use the SFD patterns, and have noticed the blue tape I've been using.  That is the blue painter's tape.  I still use it to secure the Master Patterns to the wall (so that I don't take the surface of the paint off the wall when I remove them).  This blue tape also has worked well enough when taping the vellum to the Master Patterns.  But in a recent hands-on fitting class I just gave, one of my students brought this Removable Tape.  It was the first time I'd ever seen it.

In this photo, I know you can hardly see it, but the Tracing Vellum is taped on to the Master Pattern in the upper right corner.  (And don't you just love this tracing vellum?  It really is so clear, durable and see-through that it's difficult to take a picture showing you that it is laying on top.)  When I took the display down, the tape pulled off like magic - no rips or tears.  I know they can't call it magic tape, since that name is already used for another product.  But it certainly works well for our SFD purposes.    You should be able to purchase this Removable Tape in most office supply stores.


Sep 18, 2012

Adding a Shoulder Dart

There have been a few ladies with rounded shoulders (not just rounded backs) who have asked how to add a shoulder dart to either the Dress Kit Back Bodice or to the back of the Shirt pattern.  Here's a simple technique for adding a shoulder dart.

Step 1.  Draw line A to B as illustrated.  This line should be at a level where the most rounding or protruding fullness is on your back.  Then draw line C to D as shown.  This line does not have to be at a right angle to A-B, but the angle that you choose will affect the final position of the dart therefore, it should be at a pleasing angle for your specific body shape.  You may need to sew a couple of tests to make sure you’re pleased with the results.
Step 2.  Cut from A to B and from C to D, leaving a paper hinge at the armscye and at point D on line A-B.
Step 3.  Spread the shoulder area of the pattern open as shown always maintaining the paper hinge points.  This will open up a small dart shape in the shoulder seam line and will automatically lengthen CB.  Often people with rounded, protruding shoulder blades also have some rounding at the upper back and this extra length will help the bodice/top to sit more comfortably.  Additionally, depending on how rounded your entire back is, you may also want to add a CB seam which is shaped/curved to suit your body contours.  For Rounded Back instructions, see Page 14 #3 in the Minor Tune-Ups section of the Dress Kit Instruction Book.
Step 4.  This technique for adding a shoulder dart shouldn't distort the armscye significantly. However, if the armscye appears too angled at the armscye hinge pivot point, make sure to blend/true to create a smooth curve.

Sep 11, 2012

Sheer Experiences

Sheers are quite popular right now.  I love animal prints, and this particular piece kept saying ‘Buy Me’.  So I did.  It’s a drapable sheer which I thought would be pretty sewn up as the Asymmetrical Wrap Blouse.  This design has a turn-back lining and then cascades down to the hem.  So far, so good!

Then I underlined and lined this top.  Here’s where I think I made a bit of a tactical error.  I underlined in black, then, lined it with fashion fabric.  When the front drape is flipped back, of course, you see the fashion fabric.  Ultimately, I think it would have been prettier and more dramatic to simply have lined the entire blouse with the black.  Then when the front flipped back, the black would have cascaded downward.  It definitely would have added more drama.  So when it was all said and done, I decided the next best thing was to use a contrasting black belt.

I ended up making my sheer blouse opaque.  This was partly by design because I’m always cold no matter whether we’re in the heat of summer or the dead of winter.  I didn’t want a flimsy, see-through top.  I didn’t want to feel cold.  And I didn’t want to have to think about wearing T-shirts underneath for this to feel comfortable.

The other issue that popped up once I donned the finished blouse, is that the fabric had a gold thread running through it.  I loved the sparkle, but forgot the ‘scratch factor’.  My skin is very sensitive.  Oh well, for short periods of wearing, I likely can survive.

The pattern is actually Style #3 – the Asymmetrical Wrap Blouse – from my latest book/DVD, Sew Sensational Shirts.

To see all the tips and techniques of working and sewing with a sheer, please follow this link to the extensive article ‘Sheer Sew-How’ that I’ve recently added to the Article Library in the SFD Learning Center.

Now, take a look at Margaret.  Her sheer blouse is just that – SHEER.  She is wearing it over top of a complimentary colored tank top.  Change the color of the tank top and present a totally different effect.  It’s beautiful, Margaret, and you look so comfortable in it.  Well done!
(Permission from Margaret and Joyful Expressions)

Sep 4, 2012

Sew September! National Sewing Month

September is National Sewing Month (in the USA).  I thought it might be a nice idea to brainstorm with you as to why you sew.  I'll start the list and I invite you to add your comments and reasons why you sew.
  • Sew because nothing fits to your liking in R-T-W.
  • Sew because it provides you a creative outlet.
  • Sew for the fun of it.
  • Sew because you love it.
  • Sew for fellowship.
  • Sew for inspiration.
  • Sew for style.
  • Sew for comfort.
  • Sew for unique, distinctive clothing.
  • Sew for quality construction.
  • Just sew...because you can!
Please feel free to add your comments.