Posted in Design School

Final Project Decision

I finally settled on a copy of this Orquiedea dress  from Anthropologie for my final project. We’re supposed to draft on the 1/2 scale sloper first. Get that approved and then move on to our full scale sloper.

I haven’t seen this in person, but it looks like a basic bodice with a faux wrap skirt. To make the bodice different than my two-dart sloper, I’m using armhole princess seams for the bodice and changing to a one dart skirt. I also want to add frills to the sleeves. I love me a frill. Hopefully it won’t be too much.


Hmmmm, I forgot to alter the neckline. And, I think I’m going to shorten the shoulder….  So, this probably took me about two hours I think.  Tomorrow, I would really like to make up my pants sloper again and make some tweaks. And now, I leave you with this week’s colors. I get so excited on Monday when Shannon swatches colors (especially this week because she showed a color I was wearing at the time), I thought I would join the fray.


Posted in Design School

Dress Sloper

Yes, I am still taking pattern drafting classes. I am little behind. We had spring break two weeks ago and I was too busy at work to slip away for classes this past week. But, I’m going in today. So, very early this morning I got up and altered and sewed up my dress sloper (due last week — yikes).  This is based on a Butterick (can’t find the number right now).


Overall, I’m pleased! I have NEVER considered wearing a pencil skirt before. But, I like the shape of this! I see some basic sheath dresses in my immediate future. Right, back to the sloper.

The center front line is pulling (as is the center back). But, I think it has more to do with how little ease is in the sloper.  Using my measurements, I

  • made my sway 1.5 inch back adjustment to the back skirt
  •  added about two inches of width for the thighs 
  •  widened and lengthened the sleeves (we’re not adding those yet).

Very minimal alterations needed. Based on what I’m seeing, I think I still need

  • a swayback adjustment to the bodice back
  • deeper darts to the skirt back and skirt front.

I have since added a zipper to the back.


I’m open and welcome to thoughts! I’ll also let you know what my professor has to say.

** ETA: My instructor said I needed to lengthen my front  skirt darts and take a tuck from the upper front bodice. She said the rest, was good. So, I cut it out of oak tag and she’s grading it now. I’ll make it up again when I get it back.

Posted in Design School, sewing

Pants Sloper 1.2

I made up my first pants sloper over the weekend and took it in to my instructor yesterday. I don’t have photos of it on me, because I left my camera at home yesterday.

Here were the three problems:

1. The grain lines were bending inward above the thigh from about the hip to the waist

2. Small whiskers at the crotch

3. Swayback and short/ dipping at center back

  • * Gotta love good old fashioned ‘Paint’. For the most part, red shows new lines (except for the new grainline which I made blue for some reason)



1. Redraw the grainline. She marked the straight/ creaseline/ grain on me while I was wearing them. Now, I’m not sure this is correct! In the front it was off about half an inch, the back a full inch (2.5 cm). I talked to Marji after class and we’re both curious about how this is going to work out. It just seems too easy! Generally, the pants fit well. But, it seems to me that the grainline never changes and  I should be altering the pants to get the line to fall correctly. But. I’m willing to see!


2. Added 1/2 inch to the bottom of the crotch line while shortening the crotch 1/2 inch.


3. Took in 1/2 inch for swayback and raised the back by 3/4 inch — tapering to nothing at the sides. I also copied the same 1/2 inch crotch shortening exercise from the front.

Hopefully I can make these up tonight for tomorrow’s class. The pattern is due!

BTW, does anyone know how to *draw* on photos with a Mac?

Posted in Design School

I present to you…

A pants draft:


Do you hear angels singing? Because I did when I was done. Well, I’m not quite done. On Thursday, we are going to blend, true and equalize. Next week, we trace it off and make the pattern. Then, I will sew it up myself and see how they fit.

Interesting things of note:

12 inch difference between my waist and hip (well, my big a%% thighs as much as my actual hip). That means two darts in the front and back. Back darts have 1.25 intake and front darts are a 5/8 inch intake.

The Questions:

Will this draft account for my swayback? Or is that a fitting issue? I think it’s a fitting issue. Feel free to dissuade me.

Will this draft account for my large / muscular front thigh? Yes, I think so, right?

Will I ever draft a pair of pants again once I get this sloper done? Absolutely not.

Now, the room. You guys ROCK!! Ok. So, I’ve mentioned this before. I really need to move my sewing room to the basement. It’s hidden. It has more room, and a good 1/3 of my sewing supplies are down there anyway.


But, I think I need a pro or a neat freak to help design that space. And, I think I have GOT to put in cabinets. So, it’s a summer project. But, I’m going to get some boxes and start moving things. I need to peace of mind! Maybe a staycation come June.

Posted in Design School, Tools and Notions

I don’t sketch

Do you remember on Project Runway Season 3 when Angela Kessler (Keslar?) presented to someone and said, ‘I don’t sketch’?  I always thought that was odd. How do you sell your designs to someone if they can’t see it on paper? But, then again, I can’t draw worth a lick. At any rate, for class, we always have to use a croquis and sketch our design. The instructor says that it’s a good way to visualize what you want to do.

So, for my final project I kind of know what I want to make.  We can make a dress, blouse or skirt. I have an idea of at least one dress and one blouse I like. The first dress is this one by Helen Rose in ‘A Designing Woman’. I’ve wanted to make this dress ever since I saw it in the movie 10 years ago when my sewing skills were limited to straight lines and off-grain skirts.


We owe three different design sketches in two weeks and I decided to take a stab at my first idea:


Using the croquis makes it FAR easier. I still don’t sketch, but, I can trace. Not that this croquis is really scale to my shape! I have a beautiful red wool from ‘The Carol Collection’ that I could use. But, I actually think we’re only allowed to use wovens for class, certainly not this double knit. Hmmm, I forgot to add darts to the design above. Must remedy before Tuesday.

I’m just not sure how the bottom back goes. It looks gathered in this photo, with the tabs of fabric imitating the front tabs. Or possibly two or three rows of fabric with the tabs. I may have to rent the movie again. It’s been a good 10 years since I’ve seen it.


On Monday we’re measuring to draft our own pants! We’re not supposed to sew them up. But, if we do, the instructor said she would critique the fit. You better believe I’m sewing mine!

Darn those Japanese magazines. Something new I’ve seen and decided my life is incomplete without. Pink and red pattern weights from Bunka.

** Thanks Ginerva for providing the link to Bunka! My friends. Try not to get sucked in. Now, I am dreaming of red, pink and blue pattern weights.