Sewing Instructions

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.

The fabulous thing about this pattern is that for many it can be made in a woven or a knit fabric.  The Drape Back Tunic sewing pattern is available as a one-size only pattern with instructions to increase the size and length printed on the pattern.  These images are for the sewing instructions for woven fabrics but I will make notes regarding the sewing instructions you need for knit fabrics.  If you cut this pattern as it is in a woven fabric it'll fit up to Aus Size 12.  If you cut it in a two-way (four-way in the US) stretch knit fabric that has some elastane content it can fit up to a Aus Size 22.

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 Japan Skirt has it's origin in Japanese folk costume.  It's based on a simple rectangle of fabric, wrapped around the waist.  In this case I've finessed the fit on the waist by including a dart shape in the zip/drape seam.  Even with the dart you'll find the waist of the skirt is positioned more in the low waist area, and is not a tight fit.  If you would like to create a closer fit on the waist you'll find all the details at the end of this post.

The Hip Twist Sewing Pattern has been a long time in coming, and I thank all of you for your patience.  The past few months have been less than usual and I've had my focus diverted on other projects closer to home.  Now it's such a pleasure to get back to business and deal with all my wonderful patterns.  You'll get the best results with this pattern by using two-way stretch knit (four-way stretch in the US) that has elastane content (Lycra, Spandex).  I have achieved the best results with rayon, polyester and wool knits with elastane.  Some cotton knits may work if they are not too stiff.
Hip Twist Top Sewing Pattern (PDF download)

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.

The beauty of this stretch, ponti skirt is the simplicity of its make.  The Drape Tube Skirt pattern has only two pieces: one main pattern piece for the front and back skirt, and one for the narrow waistband.  And for the sewing, there are the drape tucks, two seams, a waistband and a hem to worry about.  Be sure to clearly mark the width of the drape tucks and be aware they need to be sewn about 2.5cm (1") into the skirt to make sure they behave well when you wear your skirt.

Now that this pattern has been released on the website, it's time to put up some sewing instructions.  At first the pattern shape appears weird and unusual, as it did for me when I first found this little beauty at the US patent office.  When cutting your own Patent Blouse, please make sure you use two-way stretch knit for the best results (four-way stretch knit in the US).

I simply can't believe that I've never shared my sample makes for this amazing top. I suppose I was so busy turning it into a workshop that missed the obvious.  So you may remember the original post from January 2015 - Pattern Insights - Jersey Twist Patterns.  I used my Women's Knit Block to demonstrate the simplest way to achieve jersey twist patterns.  The same method makes both single and double twist patterns.  This is not the only method for making jersey twist patterns and you'll find other examples on my 'well-suited' blog.

I recently had to come up with a crafty Christmas idea that I could demonstrate at the Wagga Wagga Spotlight store.  Once a year they have local makers demonstrate in the fabric department, and this year it was my chance.  So in a moment of inspiration, I came up with the Christmas Bow Tie as an alternative to the usual party hats.  I had the choice of all their Christmas prints and I selected four different prints in a red and white theme.
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