Archive for the ‘sewing technique’ category

Pant/ trouser sewalongs

November 9, 2013

Love the extra support from following a sew along ?
I like following detailed instructions with lots of illustrations and demos the first time I do something. I also like instructions from a friendly encouraging voice, even if written !

This is the last of my sewalong series, links to the others are listed on this page.
And no, I’m not planning to post on sewalongs for dresses or blouses :D

If (like me !) you only ever wear one style of pants, here’s a couple of styling ideas :

If you wear casual pants, but want to get away from jeans, YouLookFab has a post full of suggestions.

Once you’ve got a good basic pants pattern, here’s a Craftsy class about altering a pants pattern to make many other pant styles.

I have a couple of posts with ideas on pant fit :
Pant patterns and body shape
Fabric wedges below the waist

In this post, I’ve put the sewalongs in 4 groups :
– pants/ trousers, in 2 sections – on written tutorials and videos/ DVDs,
– jeans,
– sweat pants,
– elastic waist pants – not mentioned here, there are links to several sewalongs in my post on making pyjamas.

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Written tutorials with photos

Colette Clover

”coletteclover”

tissue pattern with side seam zip
sewalong

Sewaholic Thurlow

”thurlow”

tissue pattern
sew along from Ladybird (scroll down for links)

Burda Style 07/2010/ 127 vintage style pants

”burda127”

download pattern
sewalong by A Fashionable Stitch

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DVDs and on-line videos (not free)

Sandra Betzina
pattern Vogue 2948 is oop but supplied with class

”v2948”

Craftsy class (associated class on fitting pants)

The Sewing Guru
Ladies trousers with no pockets, invisible zip, faced waist.
The Sewing Guru course tells you how to draft your own facing pattern so you could adapt Butterick 5391, which is also used in The Sewing Guru skirt course.

”b5391”

pattern
sewalong on-line videos in Collection 10

The Sewing Guru
Men’s trousers with slant pockets, fly zip, waistband.

”v2836”

pattern Vogue 2836, also used by The Sewing Guru in his courses on men’s jackets.
sewalong on-line videos in Collection 5.

Palmer-Pletsch
The pattern they mention is oop.
Their current pants pattern, McCall’s 6567, has more difficult pockets.

”m6567”

There’s also a Palmer-Pletsch chinos pattern, McCall’s 6361 (includes skirt).

”m6361”

‘Pants for Real People – Sewing Techniques’ DVD (also a DVD on pants fit)

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Those instructions suggest specific patterns, though they can be used with many other patterns.
These 2 are more general, just suggested style elements :

eSewing Workshop
self drafted pattern
sewalong – online videos, can be used with other patterns

You Can Make It
pattern : pants with side pockets, fly zip, fell and welt seams.
sewalong : teaching DVD. These DVDs are cumulative not stand-alone. Level 5 assumes you know the skills taught in Levels 1 to 4.
Level 5 DVD (scroll down page for information)

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Jeans

Kwik Sew 3504 men’s jeans

”k3504”

pattern
sewalong by Male Pattern Boldness (free online written instructions with photos and discussion)

Palmer-Pletsch McCall’s 5894 misses jeans

”m5894”

pattern

2 sewalongs for this pattern :

Palmer-Pletsch
‘Jeans for Real People’ DVD

The Sewing Guru
this is the current version of the jeans pattern used in his
Collection 12 (online videos)

Pattern Review class from Jennifer Stern
Blueprints to Blue Jeans
uses her own jeans pattern.
Includes videos, fitting, styling, sewing.

There are 2 Craftsy courses on making jeans, not linked to specific patterns.

Kenneth King Reverse engineer your favorite jeans

Angela Wolf Sewing Designer jeans
recommended patterns listed in class

I don’t usually mention ‘chat and encouragement’ boards, but there’s a huge amount of useful information about sewing jeans in this one :
Pattern Review Jeans Tips and Tricks

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Sweat pants

Hot Patterns Fast and Fabulous tailored trackpants

”hp-track”

tissue pattern (use drapey fabrics, knits not necessary)
YouTube demo

Silhouette patterns 3400 3-piece yoga pants

”sil3400”

tissue pattern
free webcast

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Whew there are a lot of these. Any of them right for you ?

Many thanks to all the people who post the free sewalongs – those do represent a huge amount of generosity and work. Isn’t the internet marvellous !

Hope you enjoy these :D

No guarantee of completeness or quality. This is another use of the internet which is happily growing.

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Links and patterns available November 2013

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Shirt sewalongs

October 19, 2013

Many people feel making a shirt is a step too far beyond sewing a top or blouse.
But there’s a good variety of support available, so it can be worth going for !

These are sew alongs which give detailed extra guidance to supplement the shirt pattern instructions.
I’ve chosen to focus on ones which include a band collar. (The word’ shirt’ is a bit ambiguous, and there are many shirt patterns which don’t have a 2-piece collar.)
Some of the sewalongs, but not all, also include a classic ‘steeple’ shirt sleeve placket.

The free written tutorials are linked to specific patterns.
But most of the on-line videos and DVDs are not pattern specific, though they make pattern recommendations.

The classic shirt has such standard features that the Big 4 pattern companies all have several basic shirt patterns for women.

Kwik Sew are particularly known for their men’s shirt patterns.
This is Kwik Sew 3883.

”ks3883”

As usual, I haven’t read or watched through all of these sewalongs, let alone worked through them – so no guarantee about quality !

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On-line free written tutorials with photos

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Wiksten Tova

”wiksten-tova”

This isn’t a shirt, but it has a collar band, so I’ve included it here.
Easier than making a two piece collar – perhaps a good starter piece ?!

pattern download

sewalong from verykerryberry.

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Grainline Archer

”grainline-archer”

(Those back gathers are optional !)

pattern download

sewalong
days 1-5
days 6-14

There’s even a ‘chat and encouragement’ group at Pattern Review, for people who promised to sew one of these a month for a year !

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Colette Patterns Negroni for men

”colette-negroni”

pattern

Oh, this pattern doesn’t actually include a collar stand, ah well. . .

sew along from Peter Lappin of Male Pattern Boldness
page 1 of posts
page 2 of posts

This pattern was one of the challenges in the Super Online Sewing Match.
Here are the Entries, which all show creative options (one of them added a collar band, which is what confused me !).

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On-line videos (not free)

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Craftsy

The Classic Tailored shirt class by Pam Howard

Suggested patterns for men and women in Lesson 2

class here

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eSewing Workshop

They use their own pattern draft for the shirt, but you could use many other patterns.

bodice drafting
sleeve drafting

Shirt Sewing sewalong

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The Sewing Guru

the Gent’s shirt video collection
Collection 9

[There isn't much open access information at The Sewing Guru site, but you can sign on free for 2 days and have a look round. It's easy to cancel from a PayPal account. Tailor's methods.]

Instructions also apply to making a woman’s shirt.

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DVDs

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Palmer-Pletsch

The latest version of the Palmer-Pletsch unisex shirt pattern is McCall’s 6613, with sleeve, hem, pocket options.

”m6613”

sewalong in ‘Learning to Sew a Shirt or Blouse‘ DVD

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You Can Make It

Level 6 of their sewing course.
The course is cumulative, Level 6 is not stand-alone, it assumes you know all the skills taught in previous levels.

sewalong : Level 6 teaching DVD (scroll down).

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Would you like this sort of extra help with the instructions while you make any of these patterns :D

Feel more confident that You Can Indeed Make A Shirt :D

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Patterns and links available October 2013

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Favourite books – sewing

June 29, 2013

Chosen your style and lovingly crafted your pattern ? Now on to making the garment.
Here are some favourite books on sewing technique.

Previous favourite booklists were on the books I keep by me which are about :
Style and wardrobe
Pattern altering
Pattern drafting, Fit

Several limitations on my sewing book list :
– Many beginners sewing books have a lot on home dec. Square shapes, simple to sew and fit – easy cushions/ pillows and curtains/ drapes. But except for patchwork that doesn’t much interest me, so I don’t notice those books.
– I like learning by being guided through a specific sequence of projects, carefully chosen to introduce new skills. I know many people don’t like that. You have to be willing to make things that aren’t your ideal choice !
– I love wardrobe pattern books. But there are many with patterns for dresses, which I don’t wear. So I haven’t got those books.
– Books on tailoring – none of those either as I don’t wear structured clothes.
– There also are many more advanced books on embellishing clothes, sorry I’m not expert on them.
– And I’m no help when it comes to the best guidance on specialist techniques like sewing lingerie, or advanced and couture technique.

So this sewing booklist is like my other lists – very affected by personal preferences. There are many books which are much loved by other people and have good instructions, but which I don’t mention.

As we all have different styles of sewing and learning, there’s no guarantee these will work well for you too !
I like project based books for learning, though I also really like videos demos for the practical aspects of sewing, to feel secure that I know what to do (see right hand menu). I can learn from good books, and like to keep them by me for a speedy easy-access reminder.

There are several other books I like, but these are the ones I return to more often.

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Complete beginner

Little Course in Sewing
Gentle lead-in with project sequence for hand then machine sewing (not much on clothes)

Kate Haxell Me and My Sewing Machine
Basic sewing machine processes, For reference, not project based.

Jane Eayre Fryer The Mary Frances Sewing Book
This is the 100th anniversary edition with patterns included for 18 inch dolls – hand sew a sequence of early 20c styles.

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Advanced beginner, project based instructions

Kerstin Martensson Easy Sewing the Kwik Sew Way
Simple basic wardrobe – full size traceable patterns included for tee, dartless blouse, 2 skirts and pants with elastic waist, with simple instructions for pattern alterations.

îks-wardrobeî

Kay Whitt Sew Serendipity
3 basic full-size tissue patterns included. Variations with ideas for fabric combinations and added trims. Instructions have hand drawings in the style of this illustration. A bit more advanced than the Kwik Sew book (includes zips, trims).

”kay-outfit”

The next book is full of embellishment ideas. There must be hundreds of books with little crafty projects, most of which don’t appeal. This town has good libraries and bookstores so I can check out many of them (sadly no full-scope fabric shop !). So I know only a very small number of these books are to my taste. This must be a very individual matter, so there’s no guarantee the ones I like will suit other people.
For some reason I do return to Get the most from your sewing machine by Marion Elliot, inspires me to have fun with my sewing. Being inconsistent, I don’t actually use the projects in this book. But there are so many suggestions for other things to do with the techniques.

out of print

Garments for beginners
An alternative to the Kwik Sew book. Project sequence of similar garments, though no patterns included (and these days there’s no simple wardrobe pattern for wovens). Simple jacket and vest but no basic blouse. A bit easier than the Kwik Sew book as it doesn’t include collars or pattern alterations. The advantage is this has photos of technique, which I prefer.

Patricia Moyes Sewing Basics
A technique book but organised by type of garment, e.g. all the techniques you can choose between to make pants. No jacket linings or notch collars. More advanced than the Kwik Sew and Kay Whitt books, photos and line drawings.

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Intermediate – wardrobe pattern books

Alison Smith Dressmaking
12 basic patterns supplied for classic styles, with 19 simple pattern variations, excellent detailed technique photos. Could be used as a project sequence. Patterns have to be enlarged from squared diagrams, or downloaded.

”tops”

”skirts”

”pants”

”dresses”

(P.S. There can probably never be one sewing book that’s ideal for everyone, as we all have different clothing and learning styles.
The patterns in The Great British Sewing Bee book by Tessa Eveleigh are prettier, and it includes beginner projects and home dec.
But the technical instruction in Alison Smith’s Dressmaking book is very much better. And it goes 3 sizes bigger.)

I also enjoy the style of Japanese sewing books, available from Simply Pretty.
Slouchy crafter casual.
Very visual presentation of technique. Full size traceable patterns included, though usually only small sizes (Extra Large has 38 in. hips !) I have several of these but none stands out as ‘the’ one. Several have been translated into English but none of my favourites.

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Intermediate – Pockets

A specialist little group. Apart from changing fabric or trim, changing pockets is the easiest way to make the same pattern again and make it look different. There are several out-of-print books on sewing them.

Patricia Moyes Just Pockets
Claire Shaeffer Sew any patch pocket
Claire Shaeffer Sew any set-in pocket

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Intermediate – reference books on general technique

Cole & Czachor Professional sewing techniques for designers
High-end RTW boutique sewing. Mainly written instructions, so not for beginners.

Sandra Betzina More Fabric Savvy
Practical details of needle sizes, stitches, threads, technique. for sewing many fabrics.

out of print

Threads magazine Easy Guides (Sewing Companion Library)
Full of information and inspiration.

Vogue Sewing Book 1970 edition
Vogue Sewing Book 1982 edition
Famous tomes.

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Other media for advice on sewing ?
There are a lot of suggestions for on-line videos and DVDs in my posts on learning, if you prefer demos to books (see Index page 8). And many links in the right-hand menu.

I also collect 19C sewing books so yes, I’ve got many sewing books I like !

Hope you find pleasure, supportive guidance, inspiration that is right for you :D

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Links available June 2013

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Fun fashion and sewing links

March 26, 2013

I don’t think I’ve ever done a purely “have a look at these” post. But here are some starting points for inspirational Weekend-Web-Wandering over the holiday. Links to links !

Enough for two weeks of this – first on fashion and sewing. Later on personal style.

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Fashion

Here’s a list which claims to be the top 99 most influential fashion blogs.

It’s a good season for remembering the difference between style and fashion. Have been looking at a UK magazine issue for this month. Which says this summer we must wear black and white, or bright colours in big florals or blocking. Emerald, sunflower, red, bright blue, fuchsia.
Well, those will only flatter people with ‘Winter’ or ‘Spring’ type colouring.
And within those colour groupings, only people with some colour personalities and some personal styles would be happy wearing them.
Also apparently neutrals (grey, navy, dark brown) are a no-no this season.

Actually that leaves out a big colour story this summer, the pale beiges and pastels (see Cos) – good for some ‘Summers’.
‘Autumns’ ? – how about some gold or bronze metallic, or tangerine, greyed jade, chartreuse.
Here’s the Pantone spring 2013 colour report.
And there’s the grey/ silver metallics and sheers.

Happily other sources have a wider range of ideas about this season’s possibilities.
Here’s the Style.com US Vogue spring 2013 trends.

YouLookFab lists must-haves for spring/summer 2013.

And have a look at what M&S thinks we should be wearing this summer. Set the occasion on the left, the current ‘look’ at the top, and see what they suggest !
Fashion of course, no allowance for personal style. Plus lots of videos of models wearing the outfits. I don’t find them at all tempting (they might not mind this – I doubt I’m their target customer :D), but they are entertaining.

Yet more delight from looking at clothes ? explore the outfits at Polyvore.

While Style.com have already listed all the RTW fashion shows for winter 2013.

And Style.com’s pre-season report says the Fall 2013 trends (click on ‘The pre-fall Guide’) are :
Candy coloured coats
Leopard print
Quilting
Plaid
Turtleneck sweaters
Modest coverage evening wear
Big proportions
Oxfords and saddle shoes

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Patterns and sewing

Sewaholic patterns come out top pattern company in the Pattern Review of top patterns in 2012.
Good instructions, and some patterns have on-line sewalongs (sorry, they’re for pear shape people).

There are many easy free download patterns from Hot Patterns, if you’re looking for an ‘instant gratification’ project quick enough to make over the weekend.
(well except that assembling a download pattern isn’t instant gratification. . .)

Dozens more quick free sewing patterns at AllFreeSewing. Though no guarantee of the quality of the patterns or instructions.

Or look through the Hot Patterns videos – they are intended (and effective :D) to get you to buy their main pattern line, but there’s a lot of useful information as well.
They actually have a ‘channel’ on YouTube.
Click on the words “Uploaded Videos” in the button.
(The Favorite videos are something else entirely.)

Or explore FashionSewingBlogTV if you like to watch easy videos about technique.

Get inspired by the wondrous wardrobe sewing at Stitcher’s Guild. This year’s Sewing With A Plan contest ends in April. Use your Tried ‘n True patterns and there’s still time to take part if you enjoy speedy sewing :D
Or do it without pressure and follow the seasonal capsule sew along – always one in progress.

And if you get to the end of the weekend and find you’ve made a wadder – make a special sewer’s frustration tool from Shirley Adams at Sewing Connection. Make it from the worst bit of your wadder :D

Back to serious – you can sign on free for a couple of days at The Sewing Guru (it’s easy to cancel the instructions at PayPal).
You might manage in one weekend to watch all his videos on making a tailored jacket, but would you remember it all :D If you get hooked you may want to stay a member so you can watch them slowly.

At the advanced end of the technical skills scale, couture companies like Chanel give more details about what underpins their collections.

Hermes have videos about the work of their expert artisans.

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Second post planned on links for exploring personal style.
Following up all this could take weeks not days !
Have leisurely relaxing fun over the holiday weekend :D

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Links available March 2013

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