Pattern magic start

I’ve been admiring the Pattern Magic work that Melissa and Carolyn have been succeeding with for a while.This year I bought all 3 Pattern Magic books and they’re all in English but I have a habit of not reading the drafting instructions too closely. And since I started dabbling with the first book I found the Flickr group and Tracy of ‘the material girls’ work. Yippee!

What I didn’t realise was that once I showed Renata the first Pattern Magic book, she bought a copy too. So was spent a Saturday at The Remnant Warehouse drafting as best we could.

Below are the 3 drafts I attempted so far.

Pattern Magic page 60:
I tried my hand at the collar with two distinct expressions first. It looked simple but a casual observer noticed that the top collar is slimmer than the bottom collar. A head slap moment ensued. I’ve used Connie Crawford’s blouse (Butterick 5538) for this collar because I had used this pattern at a workshop recently.  

Marked cutting points on both sides of the collar.
It was later pointed out to me the top collar is skinnier that the bottom collar.
The collar pieces have been cut and is ready to be spread to size.

This was the first version so you can see what the resulting pattern piece is like.
I was lucky enough to play with a fabric toile version and I made a few more tweaks at the time.

The top collar now has a squared collar point and the top collar is much skinnier than the bottom collar with the help of Angie Zimmerman. Angie was fascinated with Pattern Magic because she has been sewing for others and teaching sewing for a long time and the designs in the book inspired her creativeness too.

Here’s a close up of the collar in the finished toile. The front and back yokes are fake. This is where I took out some room below the shoulders on the front and back bodice pieces. I forgot to take the same amount out of the sleeve head, hence the gathers at the top of the sleeve. Voila, design feature:) The buttons were from my stash. After the bust cup adjustment workshop and the inclusion of the Pattern Magic collar my view is the blouse is baggy but comfortable.

The white eyelet blouse below uses the intented fabric. After many years of wearing close fitted knit tops and jackets I think this blouse pattern could be closer fitting using a stretch woven and with a centre front zipper. I think I’ll look at Pattern Magic for a new sleeve style too. What do you think? 
When I make this collar again I’ll interface all the collar pieces so the top piece stands up. I love this feature so my view is this Pattern Magic collar was worth trying.
PS: When I wore the green shirt to the Sydney sewer meet up, the cuff detailing hadn’t been added. I ran out of time to finish this bit of sewing but sewed on the cuffs, buttons, buttonholes the very next day🙂
The green blouse and eyelet blouse reviews are on Pattern Review.

Pattern Magic page 13:

Then I tried my hand at the Deppari shirt but I used the princess line shirt and did the Deppari detailing on the Front Side piece only.
I’m a B size on a good day so the detailing is not as pronounced but may turn out to be a good laugh. I’ve used Connie Crawford’s blouse pattern for this feature. I’m ready to test this out in the New Year.

Pattern Magic page 57: Then I had a go at the Bamboo shoot pattern. This was fun. I enjoyed analysing the design lines, when to start cutting and then “what do I do now” set in. I’ve used the Peony bodice for this trial.

This is the front piece showing the cutting lines. I numbered them to keep tracke of where I was working.
This shows the spread of the cuts.

The piece is now on a paper to draw the final front pattern with the folds marked and numbered.
Now to test this work…
This kinda worked. I did this test piece with Angie Zimmerman.

On closer inspection, the top right  fold was missing.

Here’s the inside stitching. This needs a bit more work. So I now have another draft to test in the New Year.

Fitting fatigue – Minoru jacket

There’s no way I’ll let this jacket beat me. We spent the weekend with Angie’s getting the fit sorted. Those sleeve lines don’t happen with a standard fitted sleeve but because there isn’t the same sleeve head room built into a raglan sleeve, a couple of us had to build in the sleeve head room that was missing. Then I was able to take the 2″ out of the collar that I had added previously. Phew. Collars are not the sort of adjustment I’m comfortable making so returning the collar to its original length was a relief. As you can also see below, this raglan pattern is all in one. There isn’t a separate front and back raglan sleeve pattern piece so the changes in the Big Red book Fitting and Pattern Alteration: A Multi-Method Approach to the Art of Style Selection, Fitting, and Alteration (2nd Edition) didn’t help.

So the sleeve has been cut and spread 2″/5cm to add in the additional sleeve head room. I’ve also readjusted the length so it’s only 3/4″ longer at the top of the arm. Now that I’ve had a fitting expert check the raglan twist (Angie), the solution was to add more space at the shoulder head. So we cut and spread the pattern open and added at least 2″/5cm at the shoulder head and graduated it back to the original size at the wrist.


The front and back pieces have been adjusted based on the increased sleeve head length (3/4″) and all pieces have been shortened to suit my body length (or lack of length).
To come…the trial garment is mushroom colour in a stretch woven shower proof fabric. The lining is a polyester chiffon (lots of movement) that I bought for nix and there’s plenty more of it in the stash. The zippers were bought at Ferriers in Fullarton, Adelaide. I’m building in zippered pockets on the front with a single welt and zippered pockets inside the jacket, replacing the velcro opening. I know, who else would be silly enough to ask for more hoops to jump through with this jacket?
February 2013 edit: If you add the wrist band with elastic, there won’t be a twisting on the sleeve. The gathers at the top of the sleeve and at the wrist will overcome this fitting issue.

BBQ shirt for DH

I think DH has been waiting for a shirt from me for a while now. He never asks for anything custom made, I find shirts with a missing button appear in my sewing room from time to time, or a tie that needs mending, but he never asks for new clothes. His eyes sparkled when he saw the fabric I chose for his shirt because he loves to travel, he loves to plan travel and is always ready to do a BBQ.

So I then chose an easy shirt style (Simplicity 5581) that I know DH would wear. Sewsewboy on PR has done many of these shirts in some amazing prints.

I did buy extra fabric to see if I could match the patterns but this didn’t happen. The patch pocket was not going to work so I ended up opting to put a welt pocket onto this shirt.

The main pattern adjustment was shirt length and as I’ve now seen this pattern is quiet full so next shirt will be small and not medium. Sewsewboy mentioned this in his pattern review.

As my friend Alison (Goosegreen) knows, it’s very difficult to match aqua fabric let alone get the matching thread. She kindly gave me the aqua linen piece I needed for this pocket. The aqua welt stands out and DH loves it. I’ve reinforced this pocket throughout construction and also finished the pocket edges with a single fold and tight zigzag stitching. Using Sandra Betzina’s Power Sewing book and having Angie Zimmerman’s guidance at her Sydney workshop helped me get this pocket detail right.

White thread and covered buttons are this shirt’s finishing details. I’ve also used armoweft for the interfacing and flat felled seams because this shirt will need as much reinforcing as possible because it’s a bloke’s shirt. DH asked for wooden buttons that I’ll now start looking for.

At some point, I’ll attempt the shorts when I do some more research on sewing for men. What have I created? I think DH loves this shirt.
I’ll also add single welt pockets to the Minoru jacket that I’ve finally cut out after 10 hours of muslim and adjusting the sleeves and collar fit. It’s been ages since I’ve done welt pockets so like fly fronts, the more you do, the easier the result.

Silk sensation

On the weekend I did a silk top workshop at Rhodes ASG and we had Angie Zimmerman as our tutor. She’s just great with the theory, sample finishes and individual assistance. Nothing is a hassle for Angie and we love having her run classes for us, when she can squeeze us in.

Here are the two tops I started. The first one Vogue 8118, I’ve sewn before without the front tie piece but I found that my waist and hips are smaller so I’ve cut it to fit. I also played with the tie piece and reduced the width by a third. The fabric is a soft silk, but I felt that the tie still needed to suit my frame.
The fabric print was a bit tricky so I had to be careful to place the white flowers around my bust and not on top of my bust, like headlights. I’m thinking of adding white piping on the tie piece, so that’s going to be something to consider, just to bring out the line of the tie piece. I’ll do a fine fold over hem on the sleeves and the bodice hemline.

The second tunic top McCalls 5556, has been in my pattern stash for a while. Here’s the thing. I checked my sizing on the pattern envelope and I came out to a 14. When I checked the pattern pieces and ease, I cut out a 10.

From Angie’s notes, I’ll need to do a straight stitch seam with a closely sewn and small zigzag finish (1 width, 2 length zigzag). I’ve also got to cut out the collar and trim pieces in another fabric. The pink I’ve used is a toile, that I hope to wear. I doubt that I’ll do a contrast hem finish but I will attempt this in the same pink fabric. It’s worth practicing on.

chanel jacket

On Saturday we had a useful session with Angie Zimmerman at the Rhodes sewing group as part of a chanel jacket workshop. Everyone got at least 15 minutes with Angie, to get their jacket pattern fitted correctly and ask any questions that they needed.

I’m using the collared version and I’ll fit the jacket so that it’s not too boxy.
I’m using this fabric as my toile. It was a remnant at Pitt Trading so I’m assuming that it’s not silk, but I could be wrong. There are some purple pieces in my wardrobe so I’ll just have to see how this turns out, before I attempt this with the chanel type fabric and finishes.
Here’s the fabric I found in my stash. Bright isn’t it.
So the challenge here is there:
– enough fabric to make a chanel jacket?
a trim that can be used to give it a chanel finish?
If there isn’t enough fabric, I’ll use this old easy burda but I will need to take out the ’80s shoulder pad sizing in the shoulder seam and in the sleeve head. Challenges all around.
I also saw an article on SMH about wearing powersuits but the options provided were really tragic. Anna Wintour is wearing a powersuit and you’d expect her too, but the stylist who put the options together missed the point.


Here’s the dress I’m currently adjusting to fit my body shape. This pattern is fitted and conservative but can be changed to suit the occasion or fabric choice.

After checking my measurements, I found that I needed to do a full bust adjustment or FBA. This was because the difference between my chest measurement and high bust point measurement was more that 5cm difference. This is something that only an expensive minimiser bra could overcome.

I had to keep remembering that I was with a sewing guru, Angie Zimmerman, and my aim was to relearn tailoring basics. As you can see, there is a new side bust dart, but I reckon, it’s got to fit well or why bother.

This shows you the full derriere adjustment or FDA I needed to cover my seat. I also needed to increase the back width. More to come…