Tag Archives: cal patch

striped tunic shirt

I’ve been seeing stripes everwhere and I really wanted to draft a tunic pattern next.

The neckline finish is again with yellow bias tape. I rolled the sleeves up because I’m into that look right now but of course it can be worn with the sleeves rolled down as well.

And the obligatory picture of me wearing it (somehow they always turn out awful and the colors are way off, I am so much better behind the camera than in front of it!!). Nevertheless, it fits me really well, yay 🙂

I added a little gathering in the back as well, to make it less plain:

The pattern is not yet perfect, I will be changing a couple of things for the next shirt. Sewn as always on my vintage treadle (I know, I keep repeating myself, but I really really do love my treadle!).

handmade blue shirt

Ever since I bought Cal Patch’s Book on how to draft patterns I have been totally hooked. There’s quite a few things I want to show off but since this is newest and I took pretty photos of it today, here’s my new blue shirt:

It was sewn again on my Great-grandma’s trusty treadle. The blue fabric is the same clearance fabric I made the skirt of (and I still have lots left), so I could experiment a little with the pattern and some pleating.
The buttons are vintage from the flea market. I am especially proud of the bias tape finish at the neckline because the last time I tried it it didn’t work and I am glad it did this time 🙂

The buttonholes are by hand, as always.
Here’s a pic of me wearing it. I decided to tuck it in since I feel it is a bit big on me otherwise (though I might be imagining that, I don’t usually wear loose fitting clothing).

And a back shot. The pleating is actually straight (not crooked like it appears in the photo) and I wore it all day today, so that’s why it’s all crinkly.

I am totally on a roll sewing clothing at the moment, I even went ahead and did some serious splurging on nice fabrics (as in, buying nice soft 100% cotton fabrics at a price I can absolutely not afford). But oh, can you imagine the tunic style tops and Peter Pan collar shirts? I sure can!

dressmaking – my first dress

Dressmaking is FUN! Even though it took me many many many hours to draft a pattern (see this post here) and a lot of patience and seamripping and improvising to get this finished I am thrilled by the end result and can’t wait to make another item of clothing! I have never really sewn clothing before so on this project I not only learned to make patterns but also to make necklines, armholes, sleeves, buttonholes, darts and what not!

This dress looks pretty close to the vision I was trying to recreate and I love it! It has two darts at the back (not visible in the picture) and the skirt part is just a big rectangle which I ruffled to fit the length of the bodice (I prefer wearing it with that belt to emphasize the waist more).
It is made out of a silky soft blue poplin (which at 8€ a metre was pretty reasonable for german prices). It doesn’t wrinkle and you hardly have to iron it at all. It was lovely to sew with also.
I sewed it on my vintage Phoenix treadle machine which worked like a dream. I think treadling is it for me…at this point I find it hard to imagine ever sewing on an electric machine again!
I had to use my mom’s Pfaff to make the buttonholes and finish the inside seams with zig-zag stitch and found it so hard to adjust back to electric.
By the way Cal Patch suggests french seams in her book ‘Design-it-yourself clothes. Patternmaking simplified’ which I used to make the pattern. I just haven’t done french seams before and was already overwhelmed by all the new techniques I was learning making the dress…I’m saving the french seams for my next dress 😉

To the end I never managed to make the sleeves fit the armholes… no matter how often I altered the pattern they were always too big. I ended up making three pleats on each sleeve but in retrospect I should have ruffled the ca. 5 cm on top…would have looked neater I think.
The part that I really screwed up on is the neckline…I tried making my own bias tape and finishing in neatly but it just didn’t work at all! I came out all wrinkly 😦 Also it kind of creases between the neckline and the armholes rather annoyingly. I don’t mind too much though…all in all this dress is a raging success for me and I am so happy with it!

patterndrafting adventures

Wow, has the weekend flown by! Can’t believe it’s already over again. I had planned to finally tackle Cal Patch’s wonderful book “Design-it-yourself-clothes” and make a top pattern for a dress. For one I am totally in love with the gorgeous dress Anna did based on that book and also I need a paririe dress for a charity event which is planned at the barn in June (1880’s country fair). I haven’t got any fabric for it yet but figured I could already draft the pattern and make a muslin on Saturday morning.

Two days and three handbasted muslins later (thank goodness for all of those old Ikea pillow cases, or I wouldn’t have had enough cheap fabric!) I was getting pretty frustrated because it just wouldn’t fit and the armhole was making me cry. My boyfriend said ‘Well, you didn’t think it was going to be easy, did you? Why did you think nobody does it anymore these days?’ to which I stammered ‘I thought people were just being lazy’.
Fast forward to a fourth draft and muslin and things are looking a whole lot better. Still not super duper perfect but good enough to be a satisfying finish to the weekend.

Totally unrelated but we’ve also been having a terrible storm today and all the way to the barn the streets were littered with branches and leaves. I took the highway on the way back but even there it was pretty scary with the sudden strong gusts of wind…I was glad to be home again and watch the rest of the storm from my cozy living room!