Monday 23 April 2012

Sin or no Sin

I had planned on having this post ready to go up on Thursday last week but unfortunately managed to strain my subscapularis muscle (big one under the armpit) last weekend meaning my arm has been really sore and painful since. It is slightly better now and I even managed to do 20min of sewing on my Colette Violet muslin. And speaking of that did you notice anything sinful and shocking about the photo?
I know the topic of tracing vs cutting sewing patterns has been exausthead on the internet but I needed to put my thoughts down and document the moment I stopped tracing and started cutting.
Actually it happened a few months ago, but then I decided to only cut patterns from the big companies, like Vogues and McCalls. I would continue to trace Colette Patterns, as they are ultra cute and precious and they have to be preserved... then the above happened! I've cut a Colette Pattern!
All tracers out there might empathise with that moment when you're raring to start a new project and pull the pattern out to trace and decide to do something else/ leave it for later, etc. I'm in there right now, I do not want to spend time tracing. Whilst there is some level of impatience going on here, I feel this does not have an impact on the fitting and sewing of the garment. I still plan on doing a muslin to check fit and take my time ensuring the project is beautifully sewn.

So I'm being very pragmatic about this!

I would trace a pattern to:

  • Preserve the original in case I change size (if I change size I probably would change style)
  • Preserve the original to sell or donate to someone else (not really a priority)
  • Preserve the original to make for someone else (not in my plans)
  • Preserve it to make millions in many years time when it's a vintage rarity (Ah! Someone else would make the millions as I will probably be dead).

However, tracing a pattern does not:

  • Make me more productive in my sewing
  • Ensure I achieve a perfect fit
  • Ensure the fabric selection is appropriate
  • Ensure it is beautifully sewn and finished.
There we go, so why do it? Makes perfect sense to me, but why do I still feel a bit guilty?

Saturday 21 April 2012

A Green Linen Antoinette

I want to share with you the beautiful Antoinette Dress Esz made. Isn't it a beauty?
Esz was one of my pattern testers and I am forever grateful to her for helping me suss out sizing issues. I think she did a fantastic job and especially love the fact she used lace for the sleeves as well. You can read more about this make and see more photos here.

And if you don't follow Esz's blog I strongly suggest you race over to Kittys Drawings and subscribe. She makes gorgeous clothes and is gorgeous herself!

Monday 16 April 2012

In Construction and Fabric Acquisitions

I am so excited and also relieved to have finally released my first sewing pattern. So what's next? Sewing for myself, of course. I am taking the wonderful The Couture Dress by Susan Khalje from Craftsy and loving how detailed and labourous it is. I'm using a raw silk underlined with silk organza and happy to say it's all from existing stash.
I also started working on the gorgeous pattern below a while ago and all I have to do is hem it. I initially planned on sewing the bolero as well but have since changed my mind. To be honest I don't think I would wear it enough to justify making it...but, I am planning on making the Starlet Suit Jacket from Gertie in black so I think it will be a good substitute (and get more wear).
I don't think I'm alone in being constantly attracted to sewing beautiful dresses but if I'm honest, I hardly wear these dresses. Because they're not suitable for work or more commonly, because it's never hot enough for me to wear them. So, I decided to sew a bunch of separates, specially blouses and shirts. I am starting with Violet from Colette Patterns and currently sewing a muslin to check fit (I know it will be huge on me and also have been warned it's quite boxy). Nevertheless I am making a version without changes to see fit. Using a not so loved floral I have in my stash.
Can you spot what I've done with my beloved Colette Violet pattern? More on that soon.
My stash has also expanded recently but I'm proud to say I have spent very little money and bought fabrics that I do not have on stash (lightweight cottons). It was last weekend, the fantastic Walthamstow fabric bonanza, which many have already written about and provided photographic evidence. It was such a fantastic day, I love meeting up with fellow sewists :)

From the fabric swap, a gorgeous red floral from Kat, a stretch denim from Marie, a lovely checkered green from Camilla and an ultra awesome green houndstooth from Karen.
This is what I purchased (with very, very little money). A very soft but slightly crisp (if that's possible) navy cotton type fabric, more soft cotton type fabric, in my favourite colours (including black which I almost never sew) and some very soft checkered cotton.
But what about Suzy Patterns?
Well, I have already started designing my next pattern but will take my time to make sure lots of improvements happen and the end result is fantastic. If you want to receive more regular small updates you can like my FB page, where I blurb more about it.

Have you bought (or somehow acquired/ earned/ received) any exciting fabric recently?

Saturday 14 April 2012

Antoinette Dress Pattern Release

The Antoinette Dress Pattern is here. Ready for you to download, print and sew!
Illustration by the talented Danielle Meder

Hop over to The Antoinette Dress Pattern page to access download link.

Note: You might remember I was looking to launch a Suzy Patterns website around the same time, but I didn't quite managed to do it as yet. For now, the pattern will live on my blog on a page of its own. (see horizontal bar above.
In the meantime, you can get more regular updates on Suzy Patterns on my Facebook Page!

Thursday 12 April 2012

The Antoinette III and the last

This is my latest and also the last version of Antoinette I am sewing. For those who know me and my blog a bit, the fabric choice won't surprise you.
I sewed this version in the original fabric I had planned Antoinette to be sewn on from day one. I love how it turned out. This is also the version I used to take in progress photos for the pattern instructions. I opted to encase the sleeve raw edges in black bias binding and quite like the result.
I used the multisize pattern to make this version, instead of my personal pattern. I've cut a size 8 at bust and hips but had to taper to a 10 at waist. Again, this is because the grading was not done according to my measurements. The fit turned out fine, although it does run small all round and it's quite close fitted.
I have Saturday 14th April marked as the release date and plan on having supporting fit posts to help you choose your best size and make a dress that fits and you love.

Tuesday 10 April 2012

Me-Made May'12

'I, Suzy from, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '12. I endeavour to wear one self stitched garment each day for the duration of May 2012'

It's my first time participating in Zoe's Me-Made Challenge and I look forward to it. I think it's a great opportunity to explore the garments you have made and ways of dressing/ styling them. The overload of posts during these challenges can be too much so I planning on posting weekly.

I also want to make the challenge a bit more...well, challenging and interesting, so will use the below to document my month.

Sunday 8 April 2012

Cutting Layouts and an update

Thank you so much all for your comments regarding cutting layouts, both here, on my Twitter account and on Suzy Patterns Facebook page.
General feeling I got: Cutting layouts are really not followed but attention to grainline is still important!
This is very, very true! You can cut up your fabric pretty much however you feel like but you cannot loose sight of the grain line and must always ensure you are aligning the fabric correctly (either straight or on the bias). I would add to that attention to nap or fabric pattern direction.
Some of you like cutting layouts:
 Alice said:
"I like the cutting layouts. I like to arrange my fabric and then make sure there wasn't a better way!!
Oh, also, I do like to check that I have put the pattern pieces the right way up for nap etc. Sometimes I get confused."

And Marina, whom I am a huge fan of said (on twitter):
"yes, absolutely - it helps even if i want to change the way it's laid out"
And for the extreme beginners out there, having a cutting layout is essential not to feel lost with a sewing pattern. I can totally sympathise with this, when I started sewing I never did without one but I do confess that I quickly learned that there was a better way to lay my fabric and started ignoring them.

Like I previously mentioned, the Antoinette Dress pattern will not have cutting layouts, but not because I do not use them myself. As this is a first pattern, of a almost experimental nature to be available for free, I limited the work I sourced elsewhere, and as I did not have a vector graphics programme I decided not to include them.  I am now in the process of self learning Illustrator and plan on having both cutting layouts and instruction diagrams and illustrations on next pattern (Antoinette has photographs). 
I am now in the process of finishing the pattern instructions and will have final version ready either tomorrow or Monday. I will them have it proofread and after that, it'll be ready to go. It's definitely taking me longer than I wished or thought but I'm loving the process.

I'll leave you with a (bad) photo of the last instalment of Antoinette. I'm sure the fabric choice won't surprise you!


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