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The tug of war between our creative drive and our ethical aspirations can be so confusing.  How can we adjust our own consumption of fabric/fashion so that we can satisfy our creative needs, alongside supporting our social, ethical and environmental ideals?
To begin with we're so fortunate if we can sew.  Already we're able to side-step the ugly world of fast fashion when we have the skills and resources to make our own clothes.  So what are the key issues we need to consider if we are to grapple with our creativity and still hold some ethical views on consumption.

What do you do when you're between workrooms?  When you're used to a large cutting table, a number of specialist sewing machines and all the materials and trims you could ever desire.  It’s quite devastating but not impossible to work around.  Just imagine you're a creative on a long journey, traveling the countryside with very little space to store creative materials or equipment, but still wanting to expressive your creative self.

It all began when I came across this fabulous Dior Dress from 2012, and decided it was the perfect idea for a classic dress design.  Imagine a stretch bodice, that fits easily and is very comfortable to wear.  Then add a very special skirt, using signature fabric.  The simplicity of the idea was just so attractive to me.  And simplicity is something I really admire in both the design and construction of fashion clothing.  And now that classic simplicity is available to you with my new sewing pattern:  The Dior Dress, available in 6 sizes, including detailed cutting and sewing instructions.

If you have a single retro bone in your body you will have come across a circle skirt at some point in your sewing life.  And they are fabulous, no question.  However they have two possible drawbacks in the making.  They are:  you waste a lot of fabric and you always have to level the hem and in some fabrics that can be an ongoing process. In this post I will only be dealing with the waste fabric from cutting circle skirts.  You'll find more information about Circle Skirts in my other blog posts.

We've all seen this particular style over the past few years on the catwalk and in the shops.  But unlike many fashion trends I think this one will be good for quite a while.  It's so flattering with the distracting diagonal drape across the tummy and hip area.
I've featured this particular pattern making move twice on this blog:  Twist and Turnback Top 2013,the Twist Jumper 2013 & Turnback Thinking 2014.  I've also made a number of samples in the past few years, testing different materials and design details.  I'm going to share those samples here and let you know which of the features and fabrics work the best for this design.

Although it may appear complicated, grading sewing patterns is based on a few simple rules with definite numbers added to very specific parts of the pattern for each size up and down the size chart.  These rules are used in repeat for all garments within a category (mens, women's or children).  The image below is of a black fitted dress block graded from Size 8 to Size 10 by cutting through the crucial grade points and adding the extra required to go up one size in the pattern.  The white lines are these crucial grade points where the extra is added.  It is the example I use in my pattern making classes to assist in the understanding of where patterns grow between sizes.

This is where it all started...  The Off-the-shoulder Twist Top from so many years ago.  This design was originally inspired by one of the dutch designers in a mens silk knit tee.  It has graduated from a mens tee to an off-the-shoulder model to finally a boat neck tee style.  It's this final version that I'm now preparing as an online PDF sewing pattern to add to the website.  Make sure you're subscribed to my newsletter so you're the first to hear about the pattern release.  You'll find the sign in box in the footer of my web pages.

The Retro Wrap was one of my earliest Pattern Puzzle patterns and easily one of the all-time favourites.  I've made the original pattern and all the adjustments necessary to prepare it for conversion into a PDF Sewing Pattern.  And I do admit that working out the grading plan for this style was a huge challenge.  When the grade document is returned I'll let you know if it was successful.

 

The Twist Tee pattern puzzle was always one of the easiest versions of jersey twist patterns I've ever produced.  You don't even need your own garment blocks to make this pattern.  Any simple top or tee shirt shape pattern is a good place to start for this project.  The sample I have posted here is the double twist version.  It's possible to make this as a single twist pattern from the original post if you have access to the appropriate fabric.
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