Well Suited

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 - Pattern Puzzle - Waterfall Jersey Skirt.  In this post, I'll discuss construction and be looking for solutions to some of the issues.

Now that the first sample has been made and fitted I'm able to bring you all the pattern alterations I have made to get this new design to work.  I'm still fascinated with this design and hope the final pattern is something worthy of all this sampling effort.  If you'd like to see the original pattern puzzle post you'll find it here:  Flare & Gather Dress

And now I'm ready to return to this little wonder!  From the original Pattern Puzzle post I've made an initial sample in calico to check the design and fit of this new design. Throughout this post I'll share each stage of the pattern alterations that I hope will end up in a delightful pattern.
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