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21  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Re: Skirt into pants? on: October 05, 2008 09:50:21 PM
Just as long as the skirt isn't tight on you, then you should have enough fabric.

I suggest that you go and find a nice comfortable looking pants pattern and buy it and then unpick the skirt into sections and cut it up using the pattern.

Pants need extra fabric in the front to curve under the body so if the skirt is too tight, then it just won't have enough fabric to make into pants.

I highly suggest buying a pattern - trying to work out pants from scratch is a very complicated business.
22  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Re: Embroidery and beading-- on tights on: October 05, 2008 09:47:21 PM
I think a soluble backing would be a good idea - I've embroidered before, but not onto tights or a sheer fabric.

I would use a small/thin ball-point needle - you don't want to break the threads in the knitwear otherwise it will run and use a thin embroidery thread also.

Yes, I think a hoop, but a small one - if the fabric is pulled too taut it will stretch out of shape.

Maybe try embroidering onto a knit fabric piece, before trying tights (like a rayon/lycra or some such just so you get a feel for the fabric). Just buy some yardage from a fabric shop and try it out.

Plus you could always try gluing on the beads - fabric glue is used for that and is quite hardy.
23  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Re: Finishing chiffon edges on: October 05, 2008 09:42:18 PM
Depends on where you are putting them:

1. French seams are great as they enclose and cover any seams - they are easy to do and is all straight stitching, so you don't need a serger.

2. Babylock - this is a nice finish to raw edges - it's a very small overlocking and most overlockers/sergers can either do it or be set up to do it.

3. Rolled hem - as it sounds, the hem is folded over and then again (usually very small hems). If you have a rolled hem foot then this is easy peasy.

My number one suggestion however is that you make sure that your machine is set up properly.

If you have the wrong needle, the fabric won't sew properly regardless of what you are doing - use a 9 or 11 (9 is preferable). Use the correct thread and make sure your machine is threaded properly.
24  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Re: half circle cloak - 1 piece vs 2 on: October 05, 2008 09:36:11 PM
The more circular fabric you have then the more swirl or drape you will get.

If you think of it this way - a circle skirt (1950's style) as opposed to an a-line skirt. The only difference is that the a-line skirt is more similar to a 1/4 circle whereas the other is a full circle so has more fabric and movement.

The seams may make a bit of difference, but the amount or volume of the fabric, would be the biggest difference.

When I last made a cloak I just folded the fabric in half and cut in a semi-circular shape with the hem being a wide semi-circle and the 'neckline' being a much smaller semi-circle - that way I avoided seams. But you can only do this if you are making a hip length cloak - any longer and you will have to put in seams as there just isn't enough fabric.
25  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Re: Problems with drafting a sleeve block/pattern on: October 05, 2008 09:30:41 PM
Hi, I've drafted this block a few times.

The sleeve should always be bigger than the shirt armhole.

The reason for this is that the shoulder juts out of the top of the sleeve and you need the extra space to curve OVER the shoulder. If you take it out then it will be too tight and you won't be able to lift your arms up comfortably.

That excess fabric is called EASE (so that you can wear the garment with ease - that is, comfortably) and is common in all woven fabrics but not knitted garments.

You can take out a little bit of it if you feel that there is just too much ease, but beware that you may end up with fit problems.
26  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Re: I'm looking for the easiest skirt pattern there is, no zippers or buttons. Any+ on: May 26, 2008 02:35:07 AM
Look for the Simplicity ones marked Easy - they usually have elastic in the waist so you end up with a nice gathered skirt.
27  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Re: How would I make this dress... on: May 26, 2008 02:33:14 AM
This is a cowl but is placed on the side of the dress rather than in front of the neck (where it's most common).

This is based on the bias-cut with the bias cross-over in the middle of the cowl (or the fold of the fabric) which is what gives it a nice drape.

It's best if you do this on a stand - just get some fabric that you want to use (or something similar) make sure it's perfectly on the bias and then pin with the drapes at the side of the thigh/leg (pin the fabric to the front and back of the hips of the dummy. Just move the pins, and play with the draping til you have the look that you want

It may take a bit of playing around with as this is advanced pattern making stuff.
28  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Re: patterning/grainline question for drag gown on: May 06, 2008 04:32:14 AM
My two cents worth:

Cut it on the straight grain or you will have awful stretching happening.

The bottom of the flared section will probably be made out of heaps of godets stuck in there - make the straight grain down the middle of the triangle. It'll give it more strength and stop the stretch.
29  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Re: Empire waist + vertical gathering? on: May 06, 2008 04:28:07 AM
I think it will look ok, but you can always pin up the section first and if you don't like it, take it out again.
30  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Re: Help with making binding for knits? on: May 06, 2008 04:24:01 AM
I was just sewing some of these at Uni today.

Unfortunately (for you) we actually use a binding machine that sews the binding onto the neckline.

The binding strips are long bias cut pieces of fabric - these were 3.5cm (that's about 1 1/2 inches) wide and then as long as you need (they just sew the cut strips together to make long enough pieces).

The machine folds the binding so that you just stick the neckline (or edge of the top) into the machine and it folds and double stitches the binding onto the neckline.

If you are doing this at home, I would probably fold and iron the binding first, then pin it in a couple of places and then sew it double-needle.

If you are doing a neckline or cuff, etc., I would leave one shoulder seam open so that you have a start and exit point for the binding, then once the binding is sewn on, cut the ends and overlock the seam shut again.
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