Sunday 30 June 2013

Fitting with the Palmer/Pletsch method

When I started to sew 3 years ago, I gave up soon afterwards because the clothes did not fit. I was de-motivated and did not wear anything I made.

So, when I took up sewing again, I wanted to learn how to fit properly. I spent many hours on the web and learned about the Palmer/Pletsch fitting approach. Using it, you mainly fit a tissue pattern and not your fashion fabric. Also, you do not need a muslin, which is great!

This is the Palmer/Pletsch book that explains the basics of the approach. It was originally published in 1995 I think, so the pics/clothes are a bit old fashioned. But otherwise, it is a great book.

Quickly summarised, here is the Palmer/Pletsch approach to fitting:
  1. Fit the tissue pattern on your body (as you would a muslin).
  2. Transfer the changes to your tissue and try on again.
  3. Repeat step 2 until you are happy with the result.
  4. Cut your fashion fabric (no need for a muslin here!) and fit it again. At this stage you can e.g. deepen darts or take away fabric at the site seams.
  5. Sew your garment. Congratulations, you have your fitted garment!

So, that's the theory, but as always it is not so easy if you try it yourself. Doing some more research on the web, I found an instructor teaching the Palmer/Pletsch approach in the London area! Mandy has her fitting and sewing school "Fit2Sew" in South London and is teaching in a lovely bright sewing room in her home. Her classes are small---only 3 students---and if you are lucky you might even have a 1:1 tuition :) I have attended two classes already: Fit For Starters (the basics of the Palmer/Pletsch approach) and Fit And Sew The Perfect Shift Dress.

In my next post, I am going to review the Fit And Sew The Perfect Shift Dress class, so keep following!

Friday 28 June 2013

Ela sews and doesn't sleep

Do you know this situation, where you are so excited about a new sewing project that you can't sleep? I am in this situation for the last six month - and I am just excited about sewing and quilting in general!

Usually, I need my 8 hours of sleep, but not on the weekend. Then I am wide awake and you can find me already at 6 am sitting on my sewing machine. And that after only 5 hours of sleep, because I just wanted to finish that little seam the night before.

Sewing is the first thing I think about when I wake up, it is the thing I am dreaming and talking about. Imagine my poor boyfriend.

During the week now, I try to stop sewing or doing anything sewing related (blog, flickr, pinterest) one hour before I go to bed - just to come down from my sewing high :)

Do you know these feelings? Can you actually become addicted to sewing?  

I think I might be...

Wednesday 26 June 2013

Look, what the postman brought...

Are you taking part in the Hawthorne sew-along from Colette pattern?

I am :)

I thought quite a bit about it and I am still not sure, if I will be able to finish the dress in time for the contest, but at least I will try! It might prove interesting to work under a deadline.

And just in time for the sew-along to start, I got my pattern today. At a first glance, I was a little shocked after discovering that you have to cut the skirt on the bias - I have never cut anything on the bias! So, I hope that will go well.

My Hawthorne pattern :)

I am going to make view B, but with the sleeves from view A - I hope. As for the fabric, I am not sure yet. I do have a linen and some cotton lawn in my stash. But as for the linen, it is medium weight and so I am not sure if that will be right for the pattern as the instructions state light weight linen. As for the lawn - I do not have enough!

Did you also get the e-mail from Colette with the first instructions? Fabric choice and muslin? Are you going to make a muslin or are you cutting directly into your fashion fabric?

I will definitively sew a muslin, because out of the envelope patterns never fit me. So far, I traced the front and back bodice - size 0 as I go after my high bust measurement - and made some adjustment on the tissue:
  • I moved my back shoulder seam forward to fit my sloping shoulders 
  • I graded the pattern up to size 4 towards the waist and made the front dart a little bit smaller to add even more ease to the waist
I might have to do a SBA, but that I will see on the actual muslin.

Have you started yet? Have you decided on your fabric?

Monday 24 June 2013

Colette Pattern Sew-Along - Are you participating?

I am so excited (again). I just saw that Colette pattern is hosting the Hawthorn Sew Along! I do love Colette patterns and have made a few clothes (not posted yet, but soon to come) already.

 There are two version for the Hawthorn: a dress with a semi-circle skirt and a blouse with a peplum. Both have a flat collar and look absolutely stunning.

The recommended fabric are lightweight ones, such as lawn, cotton poplin and linen. They are nice fabrics to sew with and I even have a few lawns in my stash, yeah. I am not sure so, if they are long enough - I have to check when home. Such a pity, that I just made my picnic blanket skirt from polka dot linen. I can image the linen and polka dots would go so well with the dress. The collar would be in red or white, so beautiful.

The skill level is intermediate, but Colette patterns say that also a confident beginner could tackle the sew-along! Am I a confident beginner? What makes you a confident beginner? I mean I am able to fit a little, to sew straight lines, to attach sleeves and bias tape.    

They are having great prices as well! $250 at Hart's fabric - imagine how much fabric you can buy with this! And also some Amy Butler fabrics, swoon.

What do you think? Are you going to participate in the sew-along?

I am definitively still thinking!

Sunday 23 June 2013

My new Picnic Blanket Skirt

Having been on Tilly's blog, I found this wonderful and easy to follow tutorial about how to make a Picnic Blanket Skirt by using my own measurements. When I saw the skirt I got really excited and wanted to make it immediately. But there was no fabric in my stash that would be perfect for the skirt.

So, off I went to Goldhawk Road to hopefully find some nice linen. At first I couldn't find anything, but then in the last shop, hidden away behind bolts, I found this beautiful navy blue polka dot linen. It was perfect for a summer skirt. I also found some cotton lace in Shepherds Bush Market which would be perfect to sew on the hem of the skirt.

I thought linen is an easy fabric to work with, but when I was ready to lay it out, it was really slippery! It moved around a lot and when I had straightened one end and tried to straighten the other one everything slipped again. Eventually, having spend an hour on the floor with the fabric, I started to cut out and could finally start sewing.

In comparison with the cutting, sewing was quite easy and it took me only one afternoon to sew the skirt together. I wanted to use some white buttons from my stash for the front, but realized that they looked quite boring. Luckily, I had gotten some vintage buttons in a surprise bag the week before - which, I thought, I would never use as they were not my taste at all. But, let me tell you - they were perfect and now I love them! The only problem was that I had only three and needed at least nine! I checked on the web and they were not available anymore! I was disappointed - but luckily I found similar ones on ebay. Saved!

Left: the one I wanted. Center: the one I bought. Right: I just had to have it! 

That's how the buttons look on the skirt.

My next problem was, that I had not bought enough lace! It was 5 cm too short! I could not believe it. As the Market had already closed (and to be honest, I really wanted to wear the skirt the next day), I stretched the lace quite a bit. It was resistant at first, but I managed to make it 5 cm longer, puh. It is not the best solution, as the lace stretched back after I had sewn it on the skirt. But as the skirt has gathers, it is not obvious anyway.

The cotton lace. Can you see that it is stretched? No?

I am so happy with how the skirt turned out. I love the embellishments and it feels so great wearing it and knowing that I have made it! Thanks a lot Tilly for your great tutorial!

Me on the phone with my mum. And see, matching shoes!

Saturday 22 June 2013

My first POST - exciting!

Here I am, asking myself what I should probably write into my first post on my new blog. Maybe it will be a good start to tell you why I decided to share my thoughts with you and also what you can expect to read and see in the future.

I am thinking for quite a while now about blogging and especially about blogging about my new passion :) which is quilting and dressmaking. I have seen that there is a great sewing community on the web - everybody is showing off their creations, sharing tutorials and giving tips. I thought, "I could do this as well". I would love to show what I have made and to talk about it with like-minded people - I am pretty sure my family and friends are bored by now of my sewing talk.

That's it for today. At least for this post - writing further for the about me section.

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