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1  Ombre Fringe Top in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by katyisthebest on: July 04, 2013 08:29:13 AM
I designed and started making this top over two years ago! After carefully painting the fringe by hand I realised that there was no way that my sewing machine was going to tackle the chiffon bodice fabric that I had chosen. Now that I have a wonderful new machine I have been able to sew the chiffon and finally finish this top.

The fringe trim that I used was synthetic so I couldn't use the dip dye method that I had originally planned. Instead, I mixed different concentrations of blue fabric paint and carefully painted each strand of fringe! I then realised that my sewing machine was not going to sew the chiffon and so I had to leave this project for a while. I recently got a new machine and this top was still on my mind so I finally finished it. I drafted the pattern myself from my own custom sized block. After attaching the fringe to the neckline I covered the edge with bias binding and inserted a navy metal zip in the back. I used tiny french seams for the darts and side seams and a pin hem (tutorial here: http://www.katywarland.com/#!tutorials-pinhem/cbry).

Washing the fringe trim after painting


Pin hem

Finished Top

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2  Re: Help with lining and inner corsets in Clothing: Discussion and Questions by katyisthebest on: June 02, 2013 04:14:14 AM
Hi Staci,
I always create inner corsets for my strapless and more structured gowns. I'm pretty terrible at explaining but I shall have a go. I have learnt through research and trial and error to develop an inner corset method that I like to use so this may not be exactly how it 'should' be done but I find that it works really well. I've also worked in a couple of couture bridal shops where they use very similar techniques to this:

An inner corset is sandwiched between your self fabric and lining. They are typically made out of a twill weave fabric called coutil and have boning. I like to use spiral boning as it gives great support but is also flexible allowing the wearer to move. I create boning channels from the seam allowance and insert the boning. With strapless gowns I assemble the self fabric, lining and inner corset separately and then attach them at the neckline and zip. You can also tack the coutil onto your self fabric and then assemble the self fabric and coutil as one attaching the lining separately as you would if there was no inner corset involved.

With an inner corset you can either create the same structure as your self fabric or have a much more contoured structure incorporating underwires, cups, overwires etc. I don't use commercial patterns so I don't know of any to recommend but it should be relatively simple to draft an inner bodice pattern from a princess seamed commercial pattern using the first aforementioned method. This would involve tracing the bodice section of your pattern pieces down to the hip section and using this as your pattern for the inner corset.

I like to use inner corsets to enhance the figure so I also incorporate coutil panels with eyelets into the side back seams 9you could also use the side seams) so that they can be tightly laced up before the back fastening is closed. This will only really work if you are making a garment with a centre back fastening and side back or side seams (most commercial patterns will have these). I draft my lacing panels to be about 6cm lower than the back of a strapless gown and about half the width of the side back panels (approximately 4cm wide). I then sew these panels into the inner corset structure by sandwiching them between the side back and back panels and constructing the side back seam. The panels should be on the inside of the corset structure so that they can be laced up underneath the back fastening. This is how the structure would look with the panels before the lining and back fastening is inserted:

If you are incorporating lacing panels then the lining will need to allow the panels to come through to the inside of the garment. I do this by constructing the lining as normal until I come to the side back seams. For these seams I construct the seam above and below where the panel will come through leaving the length of the panel un-seamed. I then attach the lining to the inner corset and self fabric at the neckline so that when it is turned in the right way the coutil will be sandwiched between the self fabric and lining. I then pull the lacing panels through the gaps in the lining and hand stitch the lining around the panels to secure it. Finally I finish off the garment with the back fastening.

I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any questions or if you would like me to clarify anything.
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3  Adorable Shirred Chiffon Summer Dresses​​ in Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects by katyisthebest on: June 01, 2013 03:47:02 PM
This week I have been working on summer dresses for two adorable little girls aged 6 and turning 9 next month. The older girl loves purple and butterflies so when I found purple butterfly chiffon in my local fabric shop I just had to make something for her with it! I also bought some yellow chiffon for her younger sister and decided to make them each a cute summer dress. I shirred the bodices, over locked the seams, cover stitched the straps and hemmed the chiffon with a perfect tiny pin hem (pin hem tutorial: http://www.katywarland.com/tutorials-pinhem#!tutorials-pinhem/cbry )

Finished Products



Beautiful Pin Hems!

Almost Finished...

Coverstitched Straps

Thank you for looking!
I have posted my first tutorial of my new favourite technique on my website: Pin Hems

And there are even more pictures and details of the making process on my blog here:

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4  Jersey Cowl ​Top in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by katyisthebest on: May 27, 2013 06:00:32 AM
I have been wanting to make a cowl neck top for a while and finally found the time to make it yesterday morning. I created the pattern from my custom sized block and then altered it slightly to get the front to drape nicely.


I used a viscose jersey knit fabric because it drapes well and therefore is ideal for creating a cowl neck. I cut out the back and waistband on the grain first and then draped the cowl on the bias. I finished the back neckline and armholes by overlocking the raw edges, pressing under and then stitching with a single coverstitch.

Thank you for looking!
If you'd like to see more pictures and details of the making process head over to my website http://www.katywarland.com/#!blog---jersey-cowl-top/c1kpw
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5  Funny Puppy Birthday Card in Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General by katyisthebest on: April 10, 2013 09:19:07 AM
It was my cousin's birthday yesterday and I had such a good idea for her birthday card. She loves it when our dog sits on the chair like a person so I took a photo of him and used it to create a card using Adobe Illustrator. I added some 'Happy Birthday!' text and put a little thumbnail on the back. My printer is kind of crazy and decided that it needed a huge green stripe down the side (all of the inks are full and it prints perfectly on the testing thing so I don't know what's up with that  Sad Angry Huh ). Eventually I ran out of patience and paper so the green stripe prevails. I picked out a pair of the largest googley eyes that I could find and stuck them onto the card and tada!


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6  Re: drafting a bodice with the breast circle in Clothing: Discussion and Questions by katyisthebest on: March 27, 2013 05:08:28 PM
Yes, ease should be very very minimal at the most. If you're making a garment where the cups are separate then the darts are moved to converge at the bust point like this:

I hope this helps Smiley
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7  Re: Making My First Bridal Gown in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by katyisthebest on: March 24, 2013 06:36:29 AM
I will be making my own wedding dress from scratch in a couple of months. Any suggestions? Pattern books to read, sewing books to read? Any tips? This dress is stunning! I want something with that kind of reaction. I have some pattern drafting experience and a lot of sewing experience. In my family, making your wedding dress is kind of a tradition.

If you are drafting your own sloper pattern I'd really recommend incorporating an inner bodice to give the bodice a more sturdy structure especially on strapless designs. I make the inner bodice up out of a fabric called coutil and use spiral boning. I also like to make panels on the inside so that the dress can be laced up under the zip taking the strain off of the zip and pulling the waist in by a couple of inches. Before the zip or back fastening is done up the inside will look like this:

My favourite pattern drafting book is 'Pattern Cutting and Making Up' by Martin Shoben and Janet Ward.

I hope this helps. Good luck with the dress!  Smiley
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8  Making My First Bridal Gown in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by katyisthebest on: March 05, 2013 12:38:14 PM
I have been dressmaking for several years and have always wanted to make a bridal gown so I was absolutely delighted last July when I finally found my first wedding dress client. Over the past 8 months or so I have been working with her to create her dream gown. I have been so lucky to have such an amazing bride to work with; she has such a great sense of style and it has been an absolute pleasure to work with her and her ideas.

The gown is made from silk dupion with a silk habutai lining and has a fishtail silhouette with a sweetheart neckline. I created an inner corset to give the bodice a more rigid structure. The entire dress was covered in a hand made Belgian lace which was embellished with sequins and beads to give it a subtle sparkle. The lace on the bodice was cut out from the tulle net that it came on and each flower was individually hand embroidered in place. The lace on the skirt was a separate overlay with carefully calculated applique seams to ensure that they were not visible. Only the best couture techniques to be used on this dress! The hem was finished with a scalloped lace trim. I also made the lace top but this was a last minute request finished the day before the wedding so I literally did not have time to take pictures of it! This has been the most involved and challenging project that I have undertaken to date but by far the most exciting and rewarding. I can't wait to find my next bride to do it all again!

Anyway, on to the pictures...

The bride and I

Drafting the pattern for the inner corset from block

Marking out lace overlay panels

Finished Dress

Bodice Front

Dress Back

Dress Front

Inner Corset Panel

Lace Embellishment
(Every single flower was cut out and stitched on by hand!)


Train Bustled Up for Evening Festivities

Back of Lace Top

Thank you for looking!
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