Drafting a Bodice Back

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Today we're going to draft a Bodice Back pattern to go with the Bodice Front that we made yesterday. If you already made the front bodice, then the back will be simple. They are made exactly the same, just in reverse. If your paper is large enough, you can even use a single A-B line to make the back and the front at the same time like this...


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If you are not using the chart and are taking the measurements directly from your child, you will need some of the same measurements that you used for the front pattern. Only this time you measure your child's back instead of their chest.

#4 - Center Length - Measure from the base of the neckline down the spine to the waist. 
#5 - Full Length - Measure from the side of the neck where it meets the shoulder straight down to the waist.
#6 - Shoulder Slope - Measure from the outside tip of the shoulder diagonal to the center back of the waistline.
#7 - Side Length - Measure from under the arm (where an armhole would begin, not up in the armpit) straight down to the waistline
#8 - Shoulder Length - Measure from where the neck meets the shoulder across to the tip of the shoulder
#9 - Across Shoulder - Measure from the tip of one shoulder across to the tip of the other.
#13 - Back Arc - Measure from under 1 armpit (armhole point from side length above) across the back to the same point under the other armpit.

(I have decided to take pictures of each measurement so it is easier to understand, but haven't had an extra pair of hands around to help me out. In the mean time, if you have any questions, please send me a comment or e-mail and I'll do my best to help!)

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If you are not taking your own measurements, use this chart as your guide. 

Step 1: Draw a vertical line A-B = Full Length + 1/16" (#5 on the chart)
Step 2: A-C = Across Shoulder (#9)
Step 3: Square a short line down from C
Step 4: B-D = Center Back length (#4)
Step 5: Square a short line in from D
Step 6: B-E = Back Arc (#13) + 1"
Step 7: Square a short line up from E
Step 8: B-F = Shoulder Slope (#6) + 1/8" (The F point should be on the line coming down from point C.)
Step 9: F-G = Shoulder Length (#8) + 1/4"
Step 10: Square a line down from the FG line at point G
Step 11: B-H = 2 1/2"
Step 12: H-I = 5/8"
Step 13: H-J = 5/16"
Step 14: Square a line up from J equal to the Side Length (#7), minus 3/4". Label this point K.
Step 15: Draw dart legs from K-H and K-I
Step 16: E-L = 3/4" Mark L point
Step 17: L-M = 1/8
Step 18: Draw a slightly curved line from M-I
Step 19: M-N = Side Length (#7)
Step 20: Square a short line in from N
Step 20: F-O = 2"
Step 21: O-P = 1/2"
Step 22: With your french curve touching D and G draw the neckline curve. (3/8" above to point where line D and line G meet)
Step 23: With your french curve touching F, P, and N, draw the armhole curve. (The curve may align with the short line just before touching point N.

Then once you have everything cut out and cleaned up, your pattern should look like this. Make sure you label the front and back so you don't accidently confuse them later. You might also want to write the size on each pattern too just in case you make multiple sizes one day.
Go ahead and measure the side seams and shoulder seams from the back bodice with those of the front bodice. They should match up almost perfectly. Now all we need is to make a sleeve and you're on your way to designing patterns for any outfit you'd like!

Thanks for Visiting!
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Drafting a Bodice Front

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

In case you missed yesterday's post. We are jumping right into the kids pattern-making series today with the Front Bodice, but first I'm going to show you the tools of the trade. I hope it is obvious that we will be using paper, pencils and a ruler, but there are a few other things that make pattern-making simpler. 


The first (and also my favorite) helpful tool is a french curve. They come in many different shapes and sizes, but the one you will need has the curved shape of an armhole.

PGM Plastic Transparent French Curve
This is the one I use. ($2.99 from amazon)
The next helpful tool is called a hip curve and it's purpose is exactly what you'd think. It is a ruler with the shape of a hip that enabled you to get the perfect curved line for pants and skirts. (I lost mine in one of the moves and have made due with just my french curve, but it really is handy.)

Or, You could just get a combination ruler that is both the hip and the arm in one. 
This Dritz ruler (from Joann's) is a straight edge, armhole, and hip curve all in one. 
So, now that we have all the necessary equipment assembled, let's make a bodice!

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If you are not using the chart and are taking the measurements directly from your child, you will need:

#4 - Center Length - Measure from the center of the neckline (that little dip in the collar bone) to the waist. 
#5 - Full Length - Measure from the side of the neck where it meets the shoulder straight down to the waist.
#6 - Shoulder Slope - Measure from the outside tip of the shoulder diagonal to the center front of the waistline.
#7 - Side Length - Measure from under the arm (where an armhole would begin, not up in the armpit) straight down to the waistline
#8 - Shoulder Length - Measure from where the neck meets the shoulder across to the tip of the shoulder
#9 - Across Shoulder - Measure from the tip of one shoulder across to the tip of the other.
#11 - Chest Arc - Measure from under 1 armpit (armhole point from side length above) to the same point under the other armpit

(I have decided to take pictures of each measurement so it is easier to understand, but haven't had an extra pair of hands around to help me out. In the mean time, if you have any questions, please send me a comment or e-mail and I'll do my best to help!)

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The diagram below is essentially a map of what we are going to make. Your finished bodice should look exactly the same as the one below just with different measurements. Each line is marked with a letter which is referred to in the instructions. This way you know to connect point A to B and then B to E, etc. So long as you plug the numbers from this chart into the proper place, everything should be pretty easy. Just go one step at a time. Let's get started! (Feel free to print out the diagram since it may be easier than scrolling up and down on your computer screen.)
Step 1: Draw a vertical line A-B = Full Length + 1/16" (#5 on the chart)
Step 2: A-C = Across Shoulder (#9)
Step 3: Square a short line down from C
Step 4: B-D = Center Front length (#4), minus 3/8"
Step 5: Square a short line in from D
Step 6: B-E = Chest Arc (#11) + 1"
Step 7: Square a short line up from E
Step 8: B-F = Shoulder Slope (#6) + 1/8" (The F point should be on the line coming down from point C.)
Step 9: F-G = Shoulder Length (#8)
Step 10: Square a line down from the FG line at point G
Step 11: B-H = 2 1/2"
Step 12: H-I = 3/4"
Step 13: H-J = 3/8"
Step 14: Square a line up from J equal to the Side Length (#7), minus 3/4". Label this point K.
Step 15: Draw dart legs from K-H and K-I
Step 16: E-L = 3/4" Mark L point
Step 17: Draw a slightly curved line from L-I
Step 18: L-M = Side Length (#7)
Step 19: Square a short line out from M
Step 20: F-N = 2"
Step 21: N-O = 3/8"
Step 22: With your french curve touching D and G and falling 3/16" to the left of the G line, draw the neckline curve.
Step 23: With your french curve touching F, O, and M, draw the armhole curve. (The curve may align with the short line just before touching point M.

Did that make any sense? If it helps at all, this is what mine looks like.


And when you cut it out and have it all cleaned up, it'll look like this...
Wow, We're half way to having a shirt! I know it is a lot of information, but if anything is confusing, please send me an e-mail and I'll help however I can. Tomorrow we'll get to work on the back bodice, which is really easy once you've made the front!

Thanks for Visiting!
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Standard Measurements for Kids Clothes

Monday, August 29, 2011

**Update: There is now a printable for sizes 3t - 12.**

Ta Da! I'm finally ready (maybe) to get things started on a series that I'm really excited about. I know most of you who make clothes for your children already know how to trace an existing piece of clothing to make a pattern. The problem is that not every size 3 is actually the same size, and most of the time I imagine you would want to make a copy of something because your kid has outgrown the garment. Then knowing how much to add to make a new one can be a pain in the tush.

So, for anyone who is interested, I'm going to show you how to draft patterns to specifically fit your child. You can use the standard measurements from the chart below, or take your child's measurements and plug them into the table. Once you have the 3 basic patterns adjusted to fit your little one, then I'll show you how to customize them for almost any style pattern you can imagine! 

Here's an example: 

Once you have a pattern for this...


You can very easily make any of these...


I know it may sound a bit difficult, but it's really not! To me it's kind of like putting a piece of Ikea furniture together. There are a lot of connect A-B and E-G type of instructions, but with a ruler and pencil instead of wood and screws.

Here's the chart I'll be working from. Feel free to copy and print out the image. It will make following along a bit easier later if you don't have to flip back and forth between different pages. I wish I had enough info to give you the 2T numbers, but I really can't find them anywhere! Sorry. If you are trying to make clothes for someone that is size 2T/24 months you can either take the measurements for that child, or make a 3T pattern and shrink it down when we get to the fitting stage. That is up to you. Before you start anything though, I would check at least the chest, waist, and hip measurements on the chart to make sure that they are close to your child's size. 
So grab a tape measure and sharpen your pencils. By the time this is over, you should be able to make a pattern for almost any kids outfit you can come up with! (Or knock-off that outfit you've been drooling over, but know you'd never really spend that much on ; )

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Mommy Needs a Time Out!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Ok, so here's the deal. I've been working on this really great series and have been planning for awhile to kick it off today. The only problem is that this is me...

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A little while back (sad that I can't pin point when) we all got sick. But everyone knows, that when the whole house is sick, Mom still has to fight through it and make everyone else feel better. So the illness passed, and everyone moved on with their lives. Or at least that's what I thought! It must have been building a little at a time, but this past week, I am EXHAUSTED!

You know, we are all a bit tired from chasing the kids, pretending to clean the house, running the errands, cooking the meals, doing the laundry, and (if we are masochistic) trying to get a blog post up each day. And I'm going to freely admit, all that is kicking my butt! So before this happens to me...

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Or I need to print out one of these...

source
I'm going to be smart enough to take a much needed break! Will it screw up the next 2 months of blog posts I had planned out? Sure it will. Do I feel like I'm letting people down? Absolutely! But, I know, that if I don't take a week off to catch up on some much needed sleep and focus on getting myself back to normal, I'm not going to be any good to anyone!

So this weekend we did all the errands, all the laundry, and cleaned the house, (more or less) and I'm going to be a terrible Mother and let my kid watch waaaaay too much TV this week while I try to recuperate. Hopefully nothing throws a kink in my mini vacation, and I'll be back next Monday with a great new series.

I know that most of you are Mom's and will understand my problem. Thank you all so much for following along! I'll be back soon, and hopefully in much better spirits that I've been in lately. Have a Wonderful week!
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Bookworm Wednesday - Sewing Guides : Part 3

Friday, August 19, 2011

If you missed it, don't forget to check out Part 1 and Part 2 for the books that you can get by with, and those you don't need to waste a lot of time on.


☆☆star Sewing Guides





The Complete Book of Sewing
by DK Publishing - © 2003 (1996)


I would give this book 2 and a half stars, (if that didn't involve too much effort with photo-shopping text and all) but 3 will have to do. This book is very good for learning about the tools of the trade, and also the many different types of fabrics, but the technique pictures are on the smaller side, and sometimes hard to make out because they don't use contrasting thread. It is however very thorough, and focuses mainly on sewing clothing rather than home decor. So if you are interested mostly in making clothes for yourself and your family, this would be a book to look for.







The Sewing Bible
by Ruth Singer - © 2008

This guide is broken into 3 sections: Practical, Decorative, and Use of Techniques. It is very in-depth without being dry and boring. If you want to know EVERYTHING, this is a good book for you!













Me and My Sewing Machine
by Kate Haxell - © 2010

If you are new to sewing, and just want to learn enough to make a few simple and basic things for your home and children, this is a perfect book for you! It is very informative without adding any extra "fluff". The pictures are clear, and the  projects at the end are all really cute. Definitely worth looking into.











The Sewing Book
by Alison Smith - © 2009

This was my absolute favorite of all the sewing guides I looked through. There are awesome close-up pictures for everything, and the pages are uncluttered. It covers everything from measuring your body and altering patterns, to mending common damages in your clothing. I especially loved the pages covering 15 of the most common presser feet. (Who doesn't get confused by those?) Unfortunately this book is on what I'd call the pricey side, but I think it's worth it!






If you live in the states, and are in the market for sewing guides, (or any books really) I highly suggest taking a trip to your local Borders since they are all going out of business. I am heading there this weekend to look for my on copy of The Sewing Book! (fingers crossed) During my last visit, I spoke with a sales associate who let me know that the final days of the brick and mortar stores would be the end of September, so don't wait too long trying to get a great deal. In those last few weeks, most of the books really are gone!


Hopefully this has helped you find a sewing guide that you can use as you continue your adventure in this crazy land of sewing. If you have a book that you love  (or not) let me know so I can look for it and add it to the list. I know there are still few left at the library that weren't available when I was there, and I'll be adding reviews for those as I get a hold of them.

Happy Reading,
and Have a great weekend!
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Bookworm Wednesday - Sewing Guides : Part 2

Thursday, August 18, 2011

If you missed it, yesterday was Part 1 of my mass review of all the sewing guides available at my local library. Today I'm sharing the "OK" books that I discovered. All of these will get you through the basic techniques, but aren't good enough to be my favorites.


☆☆star Sewing Guides

The Encyclopedia of Sewing Techniques





The Encyclopedia of Sewing Techniques
by Wendy Gardiner - © 2003

This book contains all the pertinent information necessary for a sewing beginner, but was presented in a list form that was a bit difficult to follow. The pictures are also rather tiny.














The New Sewing Essentials
by Singer - © 1984

Even though this book is as old as I am, (and is obviously a bit dated) it covers all the necessary basics without any extra fluff. Let's just call it an Oldie but a Goodie.











The Ultimate Sewing Book
by Maggie McCormick Gordon - © 2002

I guess my definition of ultimate is a little different than the publisher of this book. There is very little information on sewing "tools", but the technique pictures are clear enough. The second half of the book is completely devoted to home furnishings, and the projects that are related to clothing look rather dated and slightly unprofessional. So I guess your interest in this one should be determined by what types of projects you would like to accomplish.










A to Z of Sewing
by Kathleen Barac - © 2008

This is another book that covers all the basics, but has tiny little pictures that might not be helpful for everyone. I'm sure most people could manage with this copy though.





The Complete Photo Guide to Sewing
by Singer - © 2008

From the title, I thought this would be the perfect beginner's guide. It is divided into 3 sections: Getting Started, Clothing , and Home Decor techniques. The basic topics are all covered, but the pictures seem to have been taken in the 70's or early 80's. That isn't exactly a big deal, but looking at this book makes me feel like the stuck a new cover on an old book and re-published it. Maybe Singer borrowed few of the pictures from the Sewing Essentials guide above ; )






Thanks for visiting, and don't forget to stop back tomorrow to see my top 4 sewing guides!
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Bookworm Wednesday - Sewing Guides : Part 1

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What? Another multi-part post? I know, I'm getting sick of them too, but I promise this one will be helpful, and also the last for quite awhile. So please just humor me!

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I was thinking the other day..."What is the best advice that you can give to someone who is new to sewing?"

- Get a great sewing machine?
- Clean your machine?
- Only use your fabric scissors on FABRIC?
- Pre-wash your fabrics?
- Change your machine needle more than once a year? (Oh wait, you should tell ME that one ; )
- Just be creative?

I think the best advice I could give would be to...

find a really good sewing book!

Sure, you could goggle everything you wanted to know, but when you are first starting out - You don't know what you don't know! I love that phrase, but it's so true. I kept telling my husband that when I started designing this blog. He would ask me why I didn't do "yada, yada, something computery..." and all I had to say was "I didn't even KNOW I could do that!"

Sewing is the same way. You know bits and pieces from just wearing clothes for most of your lives. (I hope ; ) It's hard not to know by now what a ruffle is, or what kind of fabric denim is, but do you know that there is a special presser foot that only makes ruffles? or what kind of seam holds those jeans together? (I didn't know about the ruffle foot until a few months ago, and I've sewn my whole life!) Here is where the book comes in. You might not learn everything there is to know, but you will at least know the basics, and have a place where you can look up the new terms and techniques you hear about while trolling the interwebs.

The biggest problem is actually finding the right book, so I have checked out every sewing guide I could find at my local library, and graded them for you. This way you'll know right away if THAT book is really stuffy and dry or THIS one has super great photos. I know it won't cover all the sewing guides out there, but at least it's a start!

There were so many books to look through that I actually had to break them down into groups by how I rated them. Today we'll cover all the one star books, and why I didn't care for them. Then tomorrow will be the 2 stars... (You get the idea.) Here we go!

star Sewing Guides





Get the Most out of Your Sewing Machine
by Marion Elliot - © 2010

I wasn't sure whether or not to include this one, but I figured if the title fooled me, I'd better warn you just in case. This looked like a how to book at first glance, but is more of a cross between a sewing guide, a refashion book, and a regular sewing projects book. While it covers things like types of stitches, needle sizes and a few presser feet, there isn't enough basic information to really get you started.











Fabric Sewing Guide
by Claire Shaffer - © 2008

This was a comprehensive book with neat little "Claire's hints" scattered throughout it's pages. Unfortunately there were virtually no pictures to help you understand the techniques being described.











Sewing Techniques & Patterns
by Marie Noelle Bayard - © 2006

Another sewing guide that is very comprehensive, but lacking in pictures to help you understand. I feel that pictures are a must to help new sewers follow along more easily. There is no need to get frustrated with a technique if a simple picture would clear everything up.











Encyclopedia of Sewing
by Donna Kooler - © 2009

I was expecting this to be a very helpful book since I already own the Encyclopedia of Knitting, and use that one all the time. Instead this book contains lots of "extra" information to sift through, and is very dry and boring. It covered what you would need to know for basic home sewing, but just seem dated for such a recent publication. I was a bit disappointed.








Have you come across any sewing guides that really weren't worth your time that you think should be added to this list? Do you own any of the books above, and have they been helpful? I'd love to hear your thoughts on what helps/helped you learn how to sew.

Everything I Know About Bias Tape : Part 3

Monday, August 15, 2011

Wow! My movie maker program was being an extra big pain in the tush today, but I finally finished Part 3. The 3 videos below are all about adding binding to knit garments/projects. Now I know I said that I would also make a video about how to finish off the ends of a piece of bias tape, but it didn't seem to fit with these videos on knits. I'll just have to go back and add that video to Part 1Part 2, or make a Part 4 post with all the other tips that I've forgotten. I'll be sure to let you know whenever I decide.

One tip that I forgot to mention in these videos is the benefit of using spray starch when you are trying to fold knit into a double fold type "bias tape". (Option B) I didn't have any on hand, but it can be helpful.

OPTION A - The Fold and Flip Method



OPTION B : The Double Fold Method



OPTION C : The Loop Method



As always, Please let me know if you have any difficulties or questions.
Thanks for Visiting!

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Snapshot Sunday - Sleep In

Sunday, August 14, 2011

I know this is an awfully late post, but considering what we did all day, it's pretty amazing I made it to the computer at all. It was just one of those lounge in bed days!  

If I pretend I'm sleeping maybe it'll lose interest and go away.


Maybe NOT!




I just wish I had gotten a picture of us all laying in bed reading the funny papers. It was hilarious though that Ant thought I was actually getting some rest. lol. Who ever has a "restful" time with a toddler in the bed? At one point she was even giving me a pig nose and looking for boogies. How relaxing! :P 
I hope your weekend was more peaceful than mine!

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Everything I Know About Bias Tape : Part 2

Friday, August 12, 2011

If you missed it, yesterday was Part 1, all about how to cut bias strips and fold them for both single and double fold bias tape. Today I'll be showing you how to attach that new tape to a project or garment. Let's get started with the single fold tape.

I know it's a bit long, but this video will show you how to use single fold as a trim, casing, facing, and how to turn a corner. I also share my own trick for how to evenly attach a bias strip that does not have the creases ironed in. (Skip to 9:30 for that part.)




Now that you know everything that I know about single fold. Here is a video for double fold. This one will cover 1 step and 2 step application, 3 methods for finishing corners, and also how to use it for facings. The down side? Oh yeah, it's even longer than the last one. Sorry! (I realized later that I didn't explain the mitered corner too well, so if you need extra help with that check out this tutorial. Scroll half way down to get to the mitered part.)




Information overload? Too bad,because I may even have a Part 3 for Monday. You need to know how to make binding for knits right, and it also might be helpful to know how to finish off the two ends if your working in a circle. We'll just have to see if I've got it in me this weekend. Maybe if I take a nap in preparation...

Thanks for visiting and have a great weekend!
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