A Crafts Community For Craft Ideas & DIY Projects - Craftster.org
Help | About | Contact | Press | Advertise | Cookie Policy | Terms | Site Map
Welcome, Guest.
Please login or register.
Random Tip: You can organize your bookmarks into folders!  Read more here.
Total Members: 314,282
Currently Running With Scissors:
528 Guests and 4 Users
Home Craftster Community Crafting Articles Craft Tutorials My Craftster Crafting Calendar City Guides Craft Shop

Pages: [1]
Jump to page:
  Show Images Only     Send this topic  |  Print  |  Bookmark  
Topic: Modifying patterns, weird fabrics and other things  (Read 835 times)
Tags for this thread:  Add new tag
Share the love... Pin it Submit to reddit
« on: June 14, 2012 01:53:54 PM »

Hey everyone, I'm new here and I've been aving a good ol' gander through the forums, some really great info and projects!
I apologise in advcance for what I am sure will be an epic long post...

I need a little help with a few things I have in mind, so here we go!

I'm not new to sewing, ten years of making and modifying my own clothing and I can manage commerical patterns pretty well, but I have grand ideas of having my own made-to-order clothing line which, in some small way, I have been making a few prototypes for

I have never modified a pattern, and by that I don't mean simple things like shortening a skirt length or changing a collar (which is easy and I don't consider really 'modifying')
I mean full on modification! ie: using a basic pattern as a base and completely altering the overall outcome
For example, taking a basic zip up hoodie and ending up with a 3/4 pointed hem fleece tailcoat with flared sleeves, a pointed hood and clasp fastenings with PVC piping detailing
I want to be able to add buckles/lacing detail to trousers as I also want to do menswear and have my boyfriend on hand to be my guinea pig, make cut-out panels in items without it looking like I hacked it with blunt scissors and completely change the ultimate shape and design of things

This scares the life out of me, but looks oh-so delicious in my head!
I am fully aware that the best thing to do would be to draft my own patterns using a basic block/sloper... but this I have never tried and wouldn't know where to begin
And it will obviously need to be available in sizes other than my own
Basic patterns seem to make much more sense to me, so I can (hopefully) add and take away with ease

Another thing is sewing with more.... 'unusual' fabrics, like clear vinyl (think the 'Drastic Plastic' line by Lip Service)
My first thought would be to invest in some leather needles for my machine, but then again I don't really know as my machine has never had anything stranger than long-pile monster fur through it!

I need some fancier parts for my machine other than the basic presser and zipper foot, this is easily sourced though!
Oh, and ballpoint needles, I sewed lycra for the first time over the weekend and by the end of it I wanted to throw my machine out the window... worked all right though!

Any info, tips, links and general encouragement are much appreciated!
I'm aware I'm taking on a lot here and will probably drive myself to an early grave, but it's worth it Smiley
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2012 07:21:08 AM »

I can't help too much with modifying patterns because I tend to just wing it, but a couple things...
If you don't want to start with a sloper, look for patterns that have similar seam lines to what you want to make. It's not too hard to move seams, but if you don't have to then that saves you time to focus on more complex mods. Trace the pattern you're using so you can keep the original to trace again in case something goes wrong (and it probably will, don't get discouraged, happens to everyone).
If you break up the ideas you have into smaller changes then it becomes less overwhelming. A pattern book can help you figure out the basic shapes and techniques to use, but you'll need trial and error to really know how different things work with different fabrics. (for example here's a book section on sleeves. This is my favorite resource though the page is now archived. http://web.archive.org/web/20070204015930/http://vintagesewing.info/1940s/42-mpd/mpd-04.html It's info for vintage styles, but the same techniques apply to anything you want to make).

I've sewn a good bit with vinyl. The biggest challenge is that it probably won't feed through your machine without a fight. I like to layer it between two pieces of tissue paper to get it going. Unless the vinyl is super heavy (think upholstery), I don't think there's a need for leather or heavyweight needles. Medium weight needles have always worked fine for me and leave smaller holes in the vinyl. When you're sewing it,the bigger/closer together the holes the more you weaken the vinyl so using a bigger needle might not be best. You also usually only get one chance at a seam because any stitching you remove will leave holes (pins will too, so either don't pin - use paperclips, tape, etc., or pin inside seam allowances.) Each "unusual" material you use will have it's quirks (heck, each "normal" fabric does too) but you can often google "sewing (type of fabric)" to find tips.

Modifying patterns and using weird materials can get really frustrating when things don't work, but it's also really rewarding when they do work, so don't give up!
Threads you might like:
Pages: [1] Jump to page:
  Send this topic  |  Print  |  Bookmark  
Jump to:  

only results with images
include swap threads
advanced search

Latest Blog Articles
@Home This Weekend: Give The Dog A Bone
September 20, 2017 Featured Projects
Tute Tuesday: Suit Jacket Purse

Support Craftster
Become a
Friend of Craftster

Buy Craftster Swag
Buy Craft Supplies

Craftster heartily thanks the following peeps...

Follow Craftster...

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
SimplePortal 2.3.5 © 2008-2012, SimplePortal
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!

Copyright ©2003-2017, Craftster.org an Internet Brands company.