Well Suited

Since I've been online (6 years now) I've become aware of an enormous love for vintage style out there, and in particular vintage patterns. And in some strange way, these patterns are so familiar to me.  I must have used some of my grandmother's patterns when I was younger because the lack of instructions and complete absence of print on these vintage patterns doesn't confuse or put me off at all.  Somehow it appears to me as a secret code I have to solve to uncover the exact intentions of the designer/pattern maker.

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.

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.

After so many pattern alterations to the first sample pattern, I'm excited to show you how the second sample turned out.  Below you can see the pattern alterations (brown paper) I made to the first sample pattern.  And I've selected a cotton/linen blend for the second sample.  You will find all the first sample and pattern alteration detail in this post:  Sampling the Flare and Gather Dress and Pattern Alterations - Flare and Gather Dress Pattern.

I'm beginning to love this skirt pattern - as long as I can find the right fabric to make it work.  Sometime last year I made this first sample and learned a lot about construction issues with drape patterns.  You'll find the original Pattern Puzzle post on the well-suited blog - Waterfall Jersey Skirt.  In this post, I'll discuss construction and be looking for solutions to some of the issues.
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