Saturday, May 2, 2015

Clone your Clothes

Do you have an item of clothing that you absolutely love and can't part with??   With some knowledge of pattern making and garment construction you can make an exact copy of that item and re-work it to make it even better!

What you will need is some pattern making cardboard or paper,  an awl or tracing wheel a tape measure some weights and other tools you feel that may come in handy.

If you haven't done it before start by tracing something simple like a t-shirt.  What you will need is enough paper to lay your t-shirt on then lay your t-shirt flat in front of you on top of the paper.  You can use weights to keep it down and stop it from moving if that helps.

With a pencil draw around the outside of the t-shirt, start tracing around the side seam down to hem and across to the other side seam, trace shoulders and back neckline. For the front neckline you can measure the difference from back to front neck and then draw it in when you remove the t-shirt.
To trace around the armhole use a tracing wheel or awl to punch through the seams to get the outline of the armhole.  Take away the t-shirt and start to put the lines together.  You'll need to establish the centre front/back to make each side symmetrical. Draw in your front neckline and then start to add your seams.   For a t-shirt I usually add 6mm seam allowance all over as the side seams are usually mock stitched and only require about 6mm.  If you're going to be doing it for yourself you may want to add 1cm seam allowance if you think that 6mm isn't enough.  For the hem add about 2.5cm as the hem is usually cover stitched. To trace sleeve lay sleeve flat and draw around the sleeve and punch through armhole and then add in your seams.

When you finish tracing and adding seam allowances and making symmetrical pattern pieces you should have 3 pattern pieces for a t-shirt, a front pattern, back pattern and sleeve pattern.  To finish the neck you can put binding or a rib bind.

You can now start cutting out your fabric and putting your t-shirt together.  Next time try tracing a simple skirt and just keep going until you are confident enough to try something more complex.

Monday, January 26, 2015


 AUD$55:00 + s/h
 Denim and Fur Trim with centre front Zip and fleece on the inside to keep you warm.
"Made In Italy"
Size: Medium

AUD$25:00 + s/h
Gorgeous Top in Olive Green with Wooden Beads
"Made In Italy"
Size:  Small

AUD$25:00 +s/h
Gorgeous Orange top in stretch fabric with Sequins and Lace
"Made in Paris France"



Monday, November 24, 2014


Ease is the difference between body measurements and the measurements of a finished garment.
The amount of ease added to a pattern will affect the look, fit, style and comfort of a garment.
In clothing manufacture there is usually a small amount of ease added to patterns just to give the right amount of comfort and movement. For example a skirt may have 3cm ease added to the hip and 1 - 2 cm ease to the waist, this would provide a minimum amount of comfort and movement. Each manufacturer would have their own standard set of ease measurements depending on who their client base is. For example if they are manufacturing garments for the older person they would most likely add more ease around the waist and hips to provide a certain look with greater comfort and movement.
Then there are the knitted fabrics that would not require any ease at all as these garments would stretch to fit the shape and size of the person. However, there are certain knits that may require some ease as they don't have much stretch and need to be treated similar to woven fabrics.
When buying a commercial pattern you don't have to consider ease when cutting out the fabric as the pattern company would have already calculated and included the ease to each pattern. If you like the silhouette and style of the pattern and think that enough ease hasn't been added then you can always add the extra ease that your require yourself. Commercial Pattern Companies usually have a standard set of ease measurements that they adhere to just like clothing manufacturers.
When adding ease to patterns first consider the type of garment your wish to make. You need to consider the function and style of the garment and the fabric that you intend to use. Also how is this garment going to be worn, do you require a zipper opening, in that case it may require less ease, etc.
Will you be making a loose fitting garment or a tight fitting garment? In both cases you will require a different amount of ease. What type of fabric will you be using?? Soft fabrics may suit a more loose fitting garment, for example an A-line skirt. A heavier and thicker type fabric may require a tailored type of garment, for example a jacket.
Adding ease is not difficult and it all comes down to experience and trial and error. As you become more familiar and experienced adding ease will become second nature.
Be confident and start experimenting and soon you will figure out the right amount of ease to add to each pattern.!!

Thursday, August 28, 2014


A Seam may be defined as where two or more layers of fabric are held together by stitches. There are many types of seams that have been developed over time to be used with different types of fabrics and different types of uses.

There are seams that are used in the production of industrial goods, for example tent manufacturers, upholstery manufacturers and seams that are used in the production of clothing. Whatever the use, seams play an important role and deciding which seam to use will depend on the fabric the end use and the type of finish you want.

There are many kinds of seams produced by many types of machines. Some more common seams are the straight stitch, zig zag, overlocked seams, mock stitch, coverstitch, felled seams, french seams, etc. In my next post I will go into more detail about each seam and how to pick the correct seam depending on the end use of the garment and fabric type.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Free sewing patterns

It's been so long since I've posted I can't believe how time flies but I've been so busy working that I haven't had much time for anything else. I promise that in the coming weeks I will be posting heaps of information, so for anyone following my blog please stay tuned for futher information. In the meantime I came across an interesting website. They have heaps of free sewing patterns to download and print at home. .

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Introduction to Collars

When we think of a collars we don't really think to ask ourselves, "Why is there a collar?"
We usally just buy a garment because we like it or because it's fashionable. But did you know that when collars were introduced they had a purpose and that was to be either functional or decorative or both. When used for warmth it would then become functional and decorative. When it was used as a decorative feature it enhanced both the garment and the owner.

There are two broad classifications that collars fall into;

Separate set-in collars such as the "Peter Pan" and "Mandarin" collar

Collars developed in part or whole in one with the waist, such as the
"Shawl" collar or "Notched" collars.

Regardless of classification, all collars fit into one of the following categories:

1. Flat Fitting

2. Rolled

3. Stand-up

A flat fitting collar, regardless of width, rolls over from the neckline seam and either ripples or lies flat on the body.

A rolled collar, regardless of width, is a collar that has a stand. a stand is the material under the collar at the center back which extends upward from the garment neckline to the point where a collar rolls or folds over.

A stand up collar is a collar that has no roll back.

Collars may be cut on the bias, lengthwise, or crosswise grain depending upon the pattern or texture of fabric and the effect desired.

In a few days I will be posting more information and pictures of types of collars and collar rules.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Manual or Computer Pattern Making

In the Age of Computers and Technology why would you want to learn manual Pattern Making?? Well for one thing it's a good skill to be able to do it manually and not rely on computers and software for making a pattern. You get a better fit and you can actually be proud to have done it yourself. A Pattern Maker in the true sense of the term is not a pattern maker if he/she relies on software for making patterns and is unable to produce a pattern without this aide.

It's also an important skill to have for altering patterns purchased from commercial pattern companies and important if you are a dressmaker and designer.

Computer pattern making technology can be a bonus in the manufacturing industry particularly when they produce the same type of design over and over again. It speeds up the process of production saving the companies time and money.

Personally i've not really done any computer pattern making nor does it really interest me. I think that as a Pattern Maker it is important to be able to draft a pattern from scratch using measurements. You have better control over fit and proportions and appreciate the art and skill of pattern making.