I’m writing this as I sit in our store. Here’s what’s happening:
Carolyn (lovely customer) is finishing up her Ginger Jeans; hemming, pulling back topstitch threads, victory is close!
Jane (delivery specialist) is showing LuAnn how to use her new Evolution. LuAnn describes herself as a serger virgin- she’s going home with a Baby Lock Evolution, and she’s going to be in heaven. She’s already been trying to sew yoga pants and whatnot on her Baby Lock Sofia, and the Evolution is really going to make her garment sewing go from 30mph to 150mph.
Becca (lovely employee) is sewing up a pencil skirt pattern in her usual fashion: ignoring the directions with reckless abandon. We’ve shortened the skirt (she’s 4’10”) and nipped in the side seams, and we’ll need to nip in the back seam. She just said to me, “You know, none of my hemlines match, that might be a bad thing.” Classic Becca.
I am in the midst of writing trying to keep up my New Year’s resolution of writing more blog posts, and filling out my Self Sewn Wardrobe series. I’m excited. The live broadcasts in the Self Sewn Wardrobe Facebook group have been a success, and we’re all going to be comfortable and fabulous in our clothes. All the women here in the shop are different sizes, heights, and shapes. We all have different levels of sewing experience and different types of experience. But we have one thing in common- we’re pissed about how ready-to-wear clothing fits us.
In fact, I’m often mad about how the patterns I buy fit me and fit my customers.
Have you ever participated in a sew-along? I haven’t participated, but I’ve lurked and looked for advice from people like Heather at Closet Case Files- she’s fab.
One thing I notice in the sew-alongs and when I use commercial patterns, is that I have to make adjustments. I have to make adjustments for myself, for my customers, and for my employees like Sam and Becca. All the sew-alongs include a whole series of posts on “full bust adjustments”, “small seat adjustments” and the like, where you basically redraft the pattern.
My mom has been saying to me for years and years “I never use commercial patterns” (for herself or for other people). And I never really got it. What the heck did she mean? Where do you start?
Then I got into drafting. I watched my mom, I read some books. I got to take my mom’s t-shirt class, and I was amazed at how things could just fit. And, like, duh- they were made to your measurements.
Now, I’m not hating on all commercial patterns, but I do believe that the knowledge of drafting your own patterns based on your measurements can be really useful. There’s no way a commercial pattern maker can accommodate everyone’s exact size- but that’s the vicious cycle that we’ve all fallen into- when we’re consistently dissatisfied with fit, we get frustrated and feel bad about how we look and feel.
So, sometimes, I think, why don’t we just draft our own patterns?
Well, you can!!! That’s what the Easy T class is all about. It’s an introduction to pattern drafting using YOUR measurements. I show you how to measure yourself, make a few calculations, and plot points on tracing paper to make a pattern. I discuss construction techniques and show you how to make the shirt.
This is our first online class and I think that it really speaks to the motivations of The Self Sewn Wardrobe podcast and group. We’re making our own clothes that FIT US! I think it’s going to help the ladies who are here in the shop right now, and all you fabulous people following along online too!
P.S.- I figured out why Becca’s hemlines don’t line up- she forgot her front darts on her skirt lining. Classic Becca!