Friday, April 6, 2012

Sewing Your Own Digital Pattern You Drafted, Printed And Cut Out

I cut my lemon tulip lingerie pattern out yesterday and looked it over,  going about the task of sewing it in my mind (yes I'm a little apprehensive,  I haven't sewn in a while,  about 2 years and don't know how well my machine is going to handle the work).   Aside from that though,  working with a pattern you've drafted yourself is an indispensable learning experience and this won't be the only time I do it.   I'm going to sew my own samples once I get started.

So what did I learn about patternmaking for this exercise so far?  Okay,  2 things at this time:  Take a look at the picture below of my pattern's sleeve pattern...

1.  Most of the cap on the finished sleeve to this to-be bias cut block is going to be gathered to hopefully create a bit of a "puff" to enhance the tulip shape.  So;  The area to be gathered should be marked from beginning to end,  and in this case with the top of the sleeve cap being notched on both sides of the sleeve overlap.  And oh oh,  I forgot the little arrows at the ends of my bias grainline.  And where are my annotations?   Ughhh,  well,  the patterns I did for my client have been getting a lot more professional since I did this one a while back,  so I won't get too mad at myself.

Next lesson:

Take a look at the original pattern this sleeve was drafted from.  Because the spread from the central underarm area isn't spread evenly (see the highest notch on either side nearest the center of the underarm),  with the difference in the degree of the spread between the front and back of the sleeve cap,  there will be an uneven ratio of fabric to gather.  One side is about 8" and need to be gathered to 4 1/8" and the other side is 5 inches and need to be gather to about 3".  Next time I'll know better.  So the rule is this,  make sure there's a uniform distance between each spread so your gathers will also be uniform.   I do think I read this before,  but now it's definitely crystallized...nothing like hands on you know.

Now,  I spent the morning preparing for my first portfolio piece.  I want to get everything right,  so I pulled out all my sewing books,  organized my sewing equipment,  dug up some old sewing machine needles,  cleaned my sewing machine,  pulled out my lovely fabric and ironed out all it's creases (see the photo below, I didn't buy this non-eco fabric, however,  it was given to me about 15 years ago and I never knew what to do with it till now) 

Photography tip here,  to take a beautiful shot of a piece of satin jacquard hang it off of something and put another light source on it to show off it's double textures and shine.

So,  now,  I'm going to take the little bit of fabric I took off the ends of this material and figure out which stitch length,  thread tension and thread size to use.   I'm thanking God that I won't have any top stitching to do because I don't have any yellow thread.  I'll have to use one of my white threads.  All the edging and hem work to do is going to be faced for a clean smooth edge.  I'm thinking about blind stitching the facing to the garment if necessary though.

Oh,  yeah,  I also have to cut out the pattern blocks.   I don't want to tailor tack the darts though as I don't want the fabric marred,  so I'm going to make a piece of graphite paper and trace the interior of the darts onto the fabric,  lightly though so it won't show up in the finished garment.

Also,  because I want everything to turn out perfect,  I'm making this an industrial sewing exercise,  I've got my books out and open to make sure:

-  all the seams are sewn in the right direction in orientation to fabric grain and garment block
- all seams are graded to the correct width
- everything will be pressed properly
- and all the right finishes are applied

This little project may take me a while to finish though as,  hey I'm scared,  but I love this project so much,   I got to do it,  but I want to do it totally right.

I'll be keeping you posted

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