Well Suited

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.

For a very long time images of the elizabethan shirt as a pattern or garment have fascinated me.  I've always favoured patterns that use every bit of fabric as they speak of a time when textiles were considered to be of great value.  A time when your household was valued by the quality of the textiles produced in the home and worn by the family and often sold to generate income.
 

Inspo from Butterick 4486 - especially the lace-up front.

Fashion Corset v Historic Corset

There's a lot of talk around the negative aspects of wearing corsets but be assured that's not the whole story.  My experience with corsets is strictly fashion industry and what I share here in the blog and through the product I have listed on the website is all derived from that experience.  The articles and papers listed below will help you develop your own understanding of the debate around historic corsets if this issue is of interest.
History of Corsets:  the first wave of feminism - A reasonable introduction to the debate.
The Kurious Kase of Kim Kardashians Korset - A more thorough and academic investigation of debate around corsets.

Bust supporter and corsets. Copyright The Museum at FIT. Courtesy Google Arts and Culture.

One of the biggest pitfalls in being a designer/pattern maker is the making and testing of sewing patterns, and the continual accumulation of sample garments related to these patterns.  For the on-going operation of my business I have to make these samples to test my patterns.  But personally I don't really ever need more clothes, but many of these samples end up in my wardrobe.  Many designers have regular sample sales to pass on these items to a more useful end or send them to the local charity shop for resale.  Clearly I'm having trouble distinguishing between personal clothing needs and the output of my creative work.
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