Thursday, October 1, 2015

Selecting A Pattern

The first project in our fall wardrobe sew-along is a skirt. We will be using a commercial pattern from Butterick; the Lisette B6182. This is a simple skirt with invisible back zipper, front pleat and side-front pockets. There is a range of sizes for this skirt and the suggested fabrics are easy to work with. The sizes are grouped into A5 (6 to 14) and E5 (14 to 22).

Choose your pattern size

Using the waist and hip measurement you collected on your body measurement chart, choose the pattern size grouping (A5 or E5) you need. The finished length of the skirt in all sizes is twenty four (24) inches, so be sure to measure where this will measure fit on you. You can lengthen and shorten the pattern if needed.

On the flap of the pattern envelope (see below), locate the numbers that represent your waist and hip measurements (a). If your measurements are between two numbers, then I suggest measuring the pattern pieces, minus the seam allowance and determine what the finished garment will measure. You can also transfer the pattern using tracing paper and sew a muslin for an initial fit. Alternatively you can start with the larger size and alter if needed. This skirt is not a tight fitting garment, which suggests that there will be some easement.

Gather fabric and notions

I have chosen to use a linen/cotton blend fabric. You can choose to use a twill, linen or poplin as suggested (b). To determine how much fabric and interfacing you will need, refer to the chart on the back of the pattern envelope (c).

You will also require a 7” invisible zipper and thread. I was unable to find a 7” zipper, therefore I am using an 8” zipper. I am using 100% cotton thread. Ideally you will want to match the colour of your zipper and thread with your fabric or match one of the colours in the print. Once you have gathered your fabric and notions you are now ready to prepare your fabric and cut your pattern pieces.


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Fall Wardrobe Sew-Along

Thursday, September 24, 2015

How to Take Body Measurements

Taking correct and accurate body measurements can ensure a great fitting garment and is well worth the time and effort. It is recommended to take your body measurements prior to purchasing your pattern.

Body Measurement Chart
Create a body measurement chart that you can use as a reference. The measurements you get can then be used to purchase the correct size pattern. The measurements can also aid in purchasing the right style pattern to best suite your body type.

I recommend updating the body measurement chart on a regular basis to document any changes over time. Always use your measurements to determine your pattern size versus going by what size you wear from an off-the-rack garment.

Ideally; however, it is not a requirement.
  • Take your own measurements in front of a mirror, or
  • Have someone else take your measurements for accuracy
  • Do not measure over bulky clothing

There are several areas of the body you can measure for a perfectly tailored fit; however, for the garments we will be making in our sew-alongs only the standard measurements will be needed. On the back of a commercial pattern or in the pattern book your will see a list of standard body measurements, which you can use as a guide for which measurements to take. Remember that the under garments you are wearing will affect your measurements. This is particularly important when you are making a fitted garment.

What you will need:
  • Dressmaker or tailor’s measuring tape
  • Writing materials


Full Bust – Measure around the fullest part of your bust with the measuring tape around your body.

Back Waist – Measure from the base of your neck to your natural waist along the center of your back (you might need help with this).

Waist – Take this measurement around your natural waistline. Generally this is the narrowest part of your waist; usually near your belly button.

Hips – Several inches below your natural waist line and is generally the widest point.

Crotch Depth (seated) – Measure down from your natural waist to the seat at the side seam while you are sitting.

Pant Length – Measure down from your natural waist to the ankle while you are standing. You can also add a second measurement to the floor.

Back Bodice Width – Measure from arm hole to arm hole at about 4 inches down from center shoulder.

Sleeve length – Slightly bend your elbows and measure along the back of your arm from the shoulder to elbow and elbow to wrist.

*Please note that for a completely tailored garment you can take more measurements in addition to the ones mentioned above.


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Fall Wardrobe Sew-Along

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Fall Wardrobe Sew-along

Starting from today through to November 30, we’ll be going through the process of creating several pieces for a fall wardrobe. Photographs and instructions will be posted as we walk through the process of making five pieces. You can ask questions in the comments section or join us on Instagram and Facebook. I will do my best to address your questions and you are free to share with each other.

Join the sew-along or simply apply what you learn to other projects. Our first post will be next week, so keep an eye out for pattern details and the next step in our sew-along!


Fall Wardrobe Sew-Along

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