Tag: pattern

Pattern Review: Ruby Jean’s Closet “Fashion Play Take-Along”

 

This Post is full of photographs which are upside down: viz –20140804-192602-69962683.jpg

This is a pattern by Ruby Jean’s Closet, a digital download, for a folder that is designed to allow young and not so young fashion and sewing fans to keep their tools, projects and inspirations all in one place. I have to confess that I made it a year ago for Wee Bear’s 6th birthday present – a brand new Janome 9020 sewing machine. You can use a UK lever arch file, easily bought in a stationary shop (go for something plain and light colour if you are using a light colour fabric print!) without too much fiddling, in spite of US folders being a different shape.20140804-192604-69964299.jpgAbove you can see the little pockets that are there for (left to right) pencils, glue stick and scissors – I didn’t bother buying special fabric scissors. Below, you can see the clear plastic fronted fabric zip pockets – these are GENIUS and so easy to make. I bought the ‘plastic fabric’ on ebay, and used normal quilting weight cotton and zips from John Lewis. I know, I am so frustrated at the lack of decent patchwork fabric in Edinburgh it’s crazy.20140804-192605-69965885.jpg

Here is Wee Bear concentrating VERY HARD on her first sewing lesson – we are in the amazing David Drummond Sewing Machine shop at Haymarket, Edinburgh. His staff are very kind and knowledgeable about the machines. She was shown how to thread the machine, do stitches in a straight line and stop at the beginning and end of the lines.20140804-192641-70001848.jpg

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I used my new embroidery machine (also from David Drummond!) a Brother V3, to edit and make a little patch for her front pocket, so that it meant i could use my new toy too.20140804-192637-69997888.jpgI’m tempted to make another for myself – they are incredibly handy for small projects and great to keep bits and pieces together – I can imagine that if you were taking a patchwork or similar technique class then they would make life easy AND have tons of scope for customisation. I liked the techniques and didn’t have any false starts, as I would expect from Ruby Jean’s Closet, whose patterns are clearly written and easy to follow. Recommended.

Monday Digital Download

One of the things I love about the internets is finding images to add to my historical clothing library. In the past, pre-offspring, I designed and made women’s historical corsets and wedding outfits, usually a customised corset and skirt, with matching bag, shoes or boots. Oh how I loved playing with the silk, satin, browsing for hours around images to inspire my wedding ladies. One of my favourites was an astonishing lady called Jean who chose a shot turquoise and black dupion satin to coordinate with exquisite brocade and had a bolero jacket, corset, long skirt with a contrast hidden pleat, bag and teeny tiny boots in turquoise made for her wedding to her long-term partner…

Jean 1

customised silk covered boots

customised silk covered boots

or another incredible Jean, who wore a crushed velvet corset with detachable sleeves, long velvet skirt and silk cape, matching bridesmaids ribbon laced frocks and arrived at her wedding on a white horse, complete with jacobite warriors. No I’m not kidding.

Jean K 1

She had a double layered silk and velvet skirt in the most incredible colours – and completely rocked it.

Jean K 2

So the point is: I couldn’t do any of the things I do without an internal visual library of source material, inspiration, pictorial cookies, to get my imagination moving. I’ve managed to collect images over the years which are unique and too cute to stay stuck in my files. Along with these, I’ll be sharing tiny patterns for things, other snippets that I hope you enjoy and want to keep. Most of these will be sold for the princely sum of…. ONE DOLLAR! I know, I’m based in the UK but I’m very happy – delighted – to say that some of you astonishing folk visit from all over the globe. And people wonder why I am rarely lonely, even though my travelling has been seriously restricted these last few years!

So, for your delectation and enjoyment, I’m delighted to offer my inaugural Monday Digital Download: a 1914 illustration of comfortable Winter doll clothes – and then I’m going to make y’all some PDF patterns to sew them up! As this is the very first, I’m going to offer it for $1 with those signing up to my email subscription list before the 20th of January 2014 getting a bonus PDF detailing pre WWI hair care! Just click [purchase_link id=”408″ style=”button” color=”inherit” text=”Purchase”]. You can get an idea of what’s included below. Please let me know what you think! I’d love to hear from you.
Winter Doll Clothes

Vintage pattern sites: blurry eyes

A really, really super brief post: I’ve been looking high and low for what I think of as a ‘bog standard’ day dress pattern. I’m suspecting that something later 40s or 50s would work for me, as I like longer and fuller skirts. Let’s say “alice, rabbit hole, down” and leave it at that? Anyway, a morning when I should have been working has left me with a big old pile of links that I want to share and at a future point add into a very helpful ‘widget box’ for vintage pattern sources. In the meantime, for your enjoyment and perusal.

And now I have to run and paint, quickly. Another house bound afternoon with grumpy five year old darling beckons.

A Proper Party Dress. Part 2: modifying the pattern & cutting

Once the fabric arrived and we had plenty of fun rolling the net and tulle onto long cardboard tubes, I had a serious look at the Chloe pattern.

The two main pieces, bodice front and back, are very simple and taper slightly in at the waist. My child doesn’t. She has a tummy that is perfectly normal, from looking around her ballet class, and her sensory issues mean that she can’t stand to wear things sitting at certain points on her body.

Getting out our trusty ‘Swedish tracing paper’ from Gloriarty we copied the pieces out & pinned – carefully – onto her body.

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Obviously it doesn’t have the same handle as fabric but there are a few obvious issues: length, tummy, armholes.

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Even taking off the seam allowances, it was going to be uncomfortable (and go unworn, no matter how pretty).

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You can see how much I have taken off the armholes front and back here – even with our dodgy floor as background! (I promise to get nice white matboard soon).

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And in comparison to the ‘standard’ pattern (which is beautifully drawn & clearly marked) – her shoulders are narrow and delicate while she broadens out in the middle. As for an adult pattern, I added length to the centre front but blended it back in to match the side seam length.

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Finally, I used the transparency of the pinable, sewable tracing paper to centre the design on a flower. This is an incredibly wasteful way to use fabric & the opposite of my usual “squeeze ’em in” technique, but for special occasions & large print, it’s worth doing. I did the same across the back and sash, so that when buttoned up the back flower would look unbroken too. This was mostly by eye & I pretended I was putting a zip in to get it right.

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Finally, I cut the same pieces from a smooth & soft lining (once we had confirmed it was smooth enough), and the huge pieces of net and tulle: each layer is made from two panels roughly 16 inches by 2 & 1/2 yards, joined at the sides and gathered into a tiny waist…

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Next part: assembling the dress or ‘how I learned to love tulle’.