Off-the-Rails Sewing Patterns Tag

When you'e making your own clothes the first and most important bit of information is what size pattern you'll be using.  To work this out you need the Size Chart (body measurements used to make the patterns), your own basic body measurements (bust, waist and hips), and if possible the pattern measurements as provided by the pattern company.  My Pencil Skirt Sewing Pattern has been designed for woven cloth with no stretch and I've allowed 5cm garment ease in the fit of the hip on the skirt.  So once you know your own hip measurement it's important that the pattern you use is at least 5cm (2") larger in the hip.  This 5cm (2") is added to the pattern as garment ease for basic comfort and good fit.

It was over ten years ago that I designed and made this shirt for sale and I've had so many different versions of it in my wardrobe since.  The fit of this shirt is tailored and body conscious with a back yoke, panel seams front and back, a two-piece collar and tab, and a dinner shirt style bib in the front.  There is a short and long sleeve version with the option of cutting the sleeves on either the straight or bias grain.  The Dinner Shirt Sewing Pattern is so versatile in design as to be both a conservative work shirt and fun party shirt in the one pattern.

The Pencil Skirt Sewing Pattern is an absolute classic for your wardrobe.  The complete sewing pattern has a full lining pattern included in the download.  However when you first receive the pattern it is my recommendation that your first make is an unlined version so you have an opportunity to test the fit and make of this new pattern.  For an unlined skirt, I would recommend a medium weight woven fabric and have made myself several version using both quality cotton prints from heirloom cotton patchwork fabrics and stunning African print cotton.  These skirts make the most ideal summer skirts.

If you'd like to get yourself a classic Tee-shirt pattern, my Boat Neck Tee pattern is not overly tight, with soft shaping on the side seam, a boat neckline and three-quarter sleeves.  For most of us the first pattern alteration, depending on the weather, will be sleeve length alterations.

This pattern is one of my 'Off-the-Rails' sewing patterns that I've worked with for many years.  The Boat Neck Tee is a wardrobe classic when cut in a plain cloth and seriously quirky when you mix your print and plain knit fabrics. Although the image below is of a half sleeve tee-shirt, the pattern comes with a three-quarter sleeve.  I'll be adding a post to the blog very soon showing the sleeve pattern alterations for short and long sleeves.

At last some sewing patterns are making it onto the website!  The first in the 'Off-The-Rails' series is the Drape Gather Skirt.  This is a design from many years ago that has been a favourite in my wardrobe ever since.  It's also the first skirt my students cut in my Drape Skirt Patterns workshop.  It has a straight grain centre front panel with a joined side front and back skirt panel that's cut on the bias.  Included in the back seam is a fishtail flare and an invisible zip.  The wait finish is a strap waistband and included in the zip opening is a zip guard for a quality skirt.

I've put together some diagrams for cutting out the Drape Gather Skirt sewing pattern.  I've considered fabric widths of 110cm, 130cm and 150cm for the shell of the skirt, across all the sizes 6-22.  I'll deal with the cutting of the lining for this skirt in a separate post.  I suggest that your first sample is an unlined skirt so you have the opportunity of finessing the fit before making a fully lined version.  One constant feature of cutting these drape patterns is there is always what I would consider a lot of waste fabric.  I tend to keep the larger pieces and use them in future projects.  I've found that a pattern with a number of smaller pieces works really well.  I use a paneled waistcoat design that has 5-6 pattern pieces that use the waste from the skirt design very well.
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