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Topic: I can sew, just not clothing  (Read 1600 times)
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Colorado Deb
« on: February 15, 2013 07:09:30 PM »

I have a question and hope someone will take pity on me and offer an opinion.  At the sewing expo I spyed some killer lobster fabric and just knew it was calling my name and wanted to become a sundress.  Seriously, it is the best dress fabric I have ever seen.  I would like a sundress, something with a bit of a flared skirt that I might be able to do a small crinoline under, but that really is my only need to have.  It is cotton and I bought 5 yards, totally guessed on the amount. 

So, how do i choose a pattern?  What I have seen at a quick peek at walmart just made me think of ill fitting, looks like I made it dresses.  How do I get a not too challenging but looks ok when I make it dress?  I can sew and have made several halloween costumes.  I am just not aware of how to make clothes fit well.  Is this too much?  How and where do I measure?  If you live close to me and want to help I'll make you a quilt Smiley

It's never too late to have a happy childhood.-  NuClia Waste
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2013 07:35:22 PM »

A book on altering for fit will answer soooo many of your questions! I own the Time Life Art of Sewing books, and Basic Tailoring and Classic Techniques are pretty good. Also, I borrowed the Singer Sewing Reference Library book called The Perfect Fit from my local library and it's just as good.

But yeah, overall, you might want to start with a Vogue pattern. I tried both a Simplicity and a McCalls, and they've got waaaay too much ease. Supposedly, Vogue has a much better starting fit, though you still need to make adjustments for your particular figure.

Hopefully someone else will come along and add their two cents, I'm very tired at the moment and having a hard time being helpful Tongue

« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2013 09:43:09 AM »

Ignore the size chart on the back. Measure your bust, waist and hips. The finished measurements will be printed on the tissue. I choose the size that is two inches bigger than my measurements, which makes a fitted dress. You can also measure a dress you already own and compare it to the measurements. This size will be larger than the size you would buy in a shop. You'll need to make a muslin (practice dress) first to work out all your fitting adjustments. I suggest getting a flat sheet from the charity shop to cut up for this.

As to choosing a pattern, never pay full price. Joann's will eventually have them for cheap, check your local sales flyer: http://joann.shoplocal.com/joannsalesflyer/Default.aspx?action=entry&pretailerid=-99845&siteid=228&storeID=2412188

I suggest a Very Easy Vogue pattern: http://voguepatterns.mccall.com/very-easy-vogue-pages-856.php
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2013 10:27:57 AM »

Me three, Vogue is best. Vogue patterns labeled "easy" usually are.

Ignore the pretty photos, look at the black and white line drawings on the envelope.

Yes the sizes on the back of the envelope can be misleading. I agree, pick a garment non-stretch garment that you already own, and measure it. Compare it to the pattern pieces - remember to measure seam lines not cutting lines.

I won't lie to you, making a mock up out of an old sheet first adds a lot of time and effort to the project. But it for new sewers, or if you are using very expensive or one-of fabric, it is totally worth it. It much better to cut a mock up wrong than to cut your only piece of fashion fabric wrong!!! I've been sewing since the early 70s and still make partial mock ups when I'm not sure how a design idea will work.

I know how you feel about the lobsters! I bought a remmenent of bird print drapery fabric, that's going to be a top like this Kwik Sew 3575, I wanted something very simple to emphasize the print
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2013 12:39:38 PM »

Can't you find a pictuer somewhere of the kind of dress you wanna make ?

I'm pretty sure someone will be able to tell  you what patern you should get  just looking at it
Colorado Deb
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2013 05:28:42 PM »

Thank you for all the help!  I think I am at least heading in the right direction, not sure where I'll end up on this project but I am pretty sure I'll enjoy the ride. 

It's never too late to have a happy childhood.-  NuClia Waste
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« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2013 04:10:10 AM »

I started dressmaking less than a year ago. I always make a mock up out of old sheets first, adjusting the sizing of old patterns that I was given.

Don't rush it either. Understand each step as you go!

And good luck!
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