I wasn’t going to put this up on the blog, but, I just couldn’t rob you all of this beautiful dress. You see, I don’t like to make muslins unless I really need to. So most of my “first” are really wearable muslins. You see, I can make wearable muslins anytime, because I have someone that will fit whatever I don’t like and love it. You know that kid? “Mikey” Well, that is my Mom and Sister… Although, they have their own peculiarities about fit, they are taller and shorter than me in the torso. Both, wear the same size 14 as me. However, one has a long torso and the other has a shorter torso. One has a “B-butt” and a foxy figure and thin thighs, and the other has a “B-butt” and thick thighs. I am a “DD-Butt” with thin thighs. Thus, we can interchange outfits made from knit and they will look different, fit different, yet still “fit” each of us pretty well.
I did this video some time ago and wanted to refresh your memory since the patterns have been on sale so much lately. It is a youtube video. Please enjoy.
|How to Measure and choose a pattern size…The image is clickable….|
SEW-To-FIT the BUTT Workshop This Week!!!! Is your skirt hiking up in the back, does your store bought dress hang too long in the front?
- Multiple ways to solve your issues.
- All skirt styles will be covered, including the dreaded circle skirt and skirt with a yoke.
- Step-by-step directions for each technique will be demonstrated and explained with practice skirts for you to try yourself.
- All handouts will be provided to you for use during the workshop as well as for practice afterwards.
- Understand how patterns are designed so you can become well informed and learn your options.
- A FREE PDF Pattern- Customized to your own personalized measurements.
- You get to keep ALL your class videos to download and review anytime.
- All the handouts used during class.
- A 50% off a personalized One-on-one Skype fitting session with me to be redeemed anytime up to 60 days after you take the live class.
Early in June this year, I had a conversation with my daughter. It went something like this…..
Child- “Hey, Mom, your Mini-Me is going to a summer camp!!!”
Me- “That’s great, I remember you going to camp. She is going to have so much fun!!! “When is she leaving?”
Child- “In about two weeks!”
Me- “Great, does she need anything?”
Child- “No, I got it all taken care of, thanks though.”
Me- “Okay, great!”
.!!!!!!…………………..FAST FORWARD 2 WEEKS……………………..!!!!!
Child- “OH, Hey, Mom, your Mini-Me leaves Sunday. She needs something simple for a “Disney Princess Ball” they are having at summer camp. Can you throw together a cape or something to go with her princess wand.?”
Me- “(((((!!!!!! WHAT!!!!!!)))))”
She actually made sure I got the colors correct. I just made sure the fabric was proper for the outfit. JoAnn’s Casa collection always is there for these type of costumes. They always make sure the right colors are in stock for the Disney princess costumes.
It was photoshoot time. I have all the backdrop and camera with tripod setup in my sewing room so I don’t need to run out chasing the sun. I like to sew more than I like to take pictures, but you cannot tell by these shots. I was having so much fun with my photographer and assistant- the remote control, and my granddaughter. BTW….she told me to pose with the jeanie prayer hands.
This dress could easily be considered my favorite. How I never gave a full blog post to it, only shows how much I sew, that I pay little attention to scheduling blog post for every item. During the summers, I love wearing dresses and skirts much more than I do shorts. I threw this one on for a Womens Networking Social with my model daughter.
The sheath dress fit-along has come to a close. If you are on my YouTube channel and are part of my IRL fashion sewing group, you are well aware of all the work and fun that has been had in completing this dress. I did a complete fitting tutorial and multiple instructional videos on changing the necklines, adjusting the pattern and working your way through fitting the dress. This all began last summer (2015) with the white shirt, then the pencil skirt, then the denim jacket. I wanted to thank all of you for continuing to follow along with this “one-woman” shop. I have been through a few ups and downs on the road to bring you these tutorials, and have tripped up a few times. But each time I have reached out to you via social media, you have not let me down. My list of to-dos, and in-completes is really long, as long as my heart is big, for sharing. My husband is probably the most patient man in the world. He knows how passionate I am about sewing and doesn’t complain. Am I a “Stedford” wife? I would say not! Because if I were, you all would not see very much of me at all….here’s to my husband for his kindness, love and unwavering patience!!
The fabric was provided by Sew Much Fabric in support of my idea to bring to you this Sew-To-Fit Along.” Of course we all need a great fitting basic sheath dress. I sure needed a new one in my wardrobe, but breaking down and making one took some work from me, and of course some prodding and direction from my great Wardrobe Consultant, Roz Ghaither, the owner and operator of Sew Much Fabric. I’m not all sappy about her y’all, I just love working with people who put customer service at the top of the list. I’m a sucker for good customer service. I named this post “I Am Not a Stedford Wife!!” because that is the mold I felt I was being forced into when told to “stick to the basics”. EWWWW!!!
A great deal of participation, help and support came from my fun loving loyal fans and followers over on periscope for this endeavor. I know YOU ALL are very loyal and very supportive of every single thing I do. However, I must admit these ladies help me with my to-do list, and are constant reminder “bells” to keep me focused and on track. That live connection is just so gratifying for me and really motivates the creative genius that I am. As I prepared for this photo session, I asked myself: “Can I vamp this dress up a little.” …it just reminded me so much of my “corporate” days. I almost felt like I should have splashed a little paint on the front. Then I decided to do a little Peri-photoshoot and get help from my live viewers. They encouraged the pie plate and bowl ensemble. I loved every thing about this shoot. Even the relation to the elusive “Stepford Wife” icon.
My granddaughter was the stylist in all this to make sure I had to right shoes and jewelry for the shoot. You know how it is when you prepare to go somewhere…it is easy to get dressed and prepped. However, doing a photoshoot takes practice and skill. This area is not my strong suit, so I seek help wherever I can find it, even if it means trusting my “Mini-Me.”
The apron will be reviewed more in a later post. It has its own story to tell. WendybyDesign was the one to host an apron Sew-Along back in December that got me to sew this one. I love it. Thanks Wendy.
- Pattern is Vogue 9025, size 14
- Alterations: FBA, Broad back, waist lengthened, Armhole made smaller, hips adjusted for larger rear end.
- Zipper excluded because fabric stretches so well.
- Lined completely
- Lowered and reshaped the neckline- video here.
- many more…..
- I don’t mean to send you on a wild goose chase. It’s just easier at this point to direct you if you have questions, rather than go into trying to determine what might be a good topic to discuss with the dress fitting and pattern work.
Thanks for understanding. Much appreciation to you all!!!! Please enjoy the pictures!!
About a month ago I agreed to be added to a pool of folks for a fabric swap and be randomly paired with a swap partner. We were required to exchange any piece of fabric from our stash. We were to sew it up in any way we felt best represents us and our esthetic. This group thing is bringing forth some serious sewing mojo out of me. Because, I need, absolutely need, human interaction, not just online contact. Combined with Periscope, this group provides the interaction of an IRL sewing group. Okay, I think I have done my fabric justice, as well as made my swap partner proud. I present to you #thegreatfabricswapsmt finished garment.
To my “fabric swap” partner, Kimberly: Thanks very much for the fabric.
I admit, I was apprehensive about working with this chiffon, with hopes I could produce something that would give it life beyond your imagination. I had an idea immediately when I laid eyes on it for a shirt dress. But, as I began manipulating it and considering my options, I decided that a shirt dress would make the fabric a little too “business” and take away from my style choices of “fun and frills”. I wanted some type of frills added in to soften the hard stripes while at the same time maintaining its true nature. So by juxtaposing them with chevrons and ruffles throughout, I felt I was able to get that fun feminine look with an obvious “manly” print. Something, I learned, is normally a fashion faux pas. The fashion world is not my go too place for making decisions to fit my own since of style and taste. There just may be too many limitations for me. So, thank you for challenging me to think outside the box.
|OOps…forgot to hide the bra straps.
The pattern is Vogue 1245 made into a dress. I cut a size medium and lengthened it in the bodice by 1.5 inches and about 16 inches on each flounce/peplum piece. All seams are french, and the hems are all machine rolled.
The neckline and the waistline are finished with a banded channel for the drawstrings, which I cut on the crossgrain to give it a contrasting affect. I really like how that came out.
Until next time, you can always find me hanging out at Periscope.tv/Sewtofit. What skirt design and underlay would you have chosen?
April showers did indeed bring May flowers, even though it took me a while to get pictures in this dress. I initially made this dress to wear for Easter on a cruise back in April. Yes, I did wear it on Easter, and I had all intentions of using the pictures taken on the ship for my blog post. Well, that did not go over very well. The photographer was lame, I mean terrible!!! The next day, when I excitedly went to see my pictures on display… I was floored by such awful pictures. My coloring was horrible, my hair looked like crap, and the neckline and armholes were disgustingly oversized and ill-fitted. I had not done this beautiful cotton sateen justice. When I downloaded the pattern from the Bootstrap, “Fashion Design WIZ Pro“, I was supper happy to have something “fit” my chest. But, totally forgot to take time to thoroughly analyze the fit in the most important areas, the armholes and neckline.
This dress was constructed in true—ready-to-wear fashion. Meaning, I sewed the entire dress on the serger. I used the regular sewing machine to complete 3/4″ hem along with making the alterations for the neck and armholes. The facings were included with the pattern in this case, since it is considered a “fashion” pattern. If you recall the one I did for Jennifer…did not, because it was a sloper. The fabric was purchased by me from Sew Much Fabric, the online “fine” fabrics store I deal with mostly for any of my “online” purchases. I love working with the owner, Roz. She is very interested in making sure I get what I need. You all really should check her services out. Occasionally, she will sponsor one of my post. Which, can get blurred at times, since I purchase a large majority of my fabrics from her when I don’t go out of town or to the only ONE fine fabrics store we have left here.
A little about why I have been using Bootstrap is in order. You see, lately, I have been testing these patterns up against my Cameo Fashion Pattern Design software, by Wild Ginger (not sponsored) in an effort to determine which one produces the best pattern to give my students who take my fitting classes. So, lets get one thing straight. Bootstrap is THREE (3) systems in one!! The “Fashion Design App” and the “Made-to-Measure Sewing Patterns” and an industry marketplace. (More on those in another post.)
They use a system created by an engineer based out of Russian using algorithms that can get some really good results, not withstanding plus-size. The jury is still out on that one for me. This system is the EXACT SAME AS “Lekala Sewing Patterns- Site” , and is no different, except for the website layout. Bootstrap offers everything on one website, to be used copyright free, and royalty-free, in multiple ways, by designers, sewing enthusiasts, pattern makers, teachers, etc., all with the desired outcome of creating “custom-sized” patterns to your measurements. All their systems will get you pretty close to a decently fitted pattern. But, this part of their offerings, the Fashion Design app… right now, will not take up my time EVER!! AGAIN! I’m serious y’all. It seems to have created the same problem I told you all about in my YouTube video on how to choose the right size pattern. Check it out if you want.
Don’t get it twisted, this dress fits “around” all the important places, but I had to work to get the dawn neckline and those armholes right. Those armholes are still in need of some manipulation..(aaahhh, I didn’t do a muslin…I was in a rush). I’d rather start another dress. Truth be told, we wear this kind of stuff all the time from the store with no concern. It’s when we sew it ourselves that we create big deals and hee-and haw over every little detail. Those times when faced with sharing with the world our fashion fit-flaws, and risking telling the public and our “students” in my case, that we didn’t get it right!!. I am human y’all, and I am honest too. Honestly, I am gonna wear the threads out of this dress this summer, fit issues and all, regardless of what I say here on this blog.
I think that considering so many are in desperate need of patterns that fit, this system can be a welcome change and a very good option for those who want to at least start with a “pretty” good pattern, less the major expense of a computer system such as Wild Ginger or PatternMaker. Also, consider, this program gets you some pretty decent designs straight out the gate. Whereas, with Wild Ginger, you are working with libraries of “plain” base pattern blocks, which require “vision” to conceptualize. Most people are not at that point, or just would rather have designs already worked out on the front-end. I can be that person at times when I “just” want to sew, not design…or worry about all the major fit issues presented with standard pre-packaged pre-sized patterns.
After all the alterations I did to get the neckline to fit, I will be going back to the pattern and redrawing all the lines to get my fit, albeit, it is a lot of work. Work I really hate to do in circumstances like this. I really despise having to redraw and redesign necklines for fit, even though I have done several videos explaining necklines to you how to get it done. It’s just a lot of work, you already know!! This parting shot will show you that I really didn’t concern myself with matching. Oh well….shoot me. I must have shifted that pattern a slight amount when I was cutting, because this is enough to drive your OCD tendencies up the wall and need medication. So, when you are standing behind me, keep it to yourself, “Connie!! and Beckie.” LOL. (I adore you ladies.!)
Wrangling in this child for this photoshoot/pattern review, was not as easy as I thought. Since I was sewing a dress for her, I thought she would show up ready and willing to fit and take pictures whenever I wanted. OOOOOhhh….but no!! Going “live” on the internet for review and scrutinizing of her clothes isn’t something your average person wants. Everything has to be perfect, her hair, face, nails, mood, weight, and everything else you can think of when presented with the idea of being put on a quasi-chopping block. This model-child doesn’t have a problem walking a runway for designers. Neither does she have a problem with self-esteem. However, presented with a “sewing” blog and still shots that are there to be reviewed and analyzed is a game changer for sure. I present to you my review of the Bootstrap Fashions Jersey Dress for Jennifer…..please be considerate and remember this is a HUMAN Child you are dealing with!!!
Nothing beats the feeling of a garment that actually fits just you. Being plus-size and sexy-curvy does not mean it is easy to find clothes that are perfect, even when they say the garment or even the pattern is made for the plus-size woman. That is a mis-norma. My child is “fine as all get out!” and is NOT the average plus-sized woman. She is “CURVY!!” but still proportioned based on the “normal” pattern making standards and “grading” rules that have cropped up for “plus-sized” folks. Truth be told, she and I are built pretty much the same. We both have “cinched” waist and well rounded butts. I do say right now….she already has a long list for me to sew for her. I’m glad she is back to being interested in me sewing for her own style.
Look at that skirt tail…I lengthened the back by 2″ inches to make sure it didn’t ride up as she walked. I did take in the center back seam more than normal, but using a strip like this continues to skew the lines a little more than I wanted in order to get around these awesome curves. The shoulder could have been taken up a tad in order for the “horizontal” balance line above the shoulder blades to stay “horizontal”….but!! I would have needed to adjust the sleeve. Which is something this person here, didn’t want me to waste time doing. She wanted this dress NOW!! It is way better than anything she has ever bought in the store!
Construction and Pattern Details:
- The dress is based off of a custom fitted block/sloper I got off of BootStrap Fashions as a tester they provided me in the form of a store credit worth $6.95. Normally, I create slopers from my Cameo Pattern Design software, which I have owned and used for about 7 years.
- Disclaimer here: NO Flat pattern will give you 100% fit, no matter if you draft it yourself or have a computer aided draft done…you will still need to “do some fabric draping” to get the perfect fit whether on a body or a dressform.
- To create this I made it pretty close to the base design in order to test the fit of their patterns. (I did not made a muslin because I was confident with my measurements going into the project.
- In the photo here, you can see that we have wings, although, the “block” was listed as “no ease” or negative ease in the bust, waist, and hips, it still was 4 inches too big. Look at those wings. I don’t understand how that happened. I measured the pattern after I taped it together and still this is what I ended up with.. so you see…85-90% on fit. Now that is awesome still, especially when you are short on time.
- The picture below show the pattern layout on the PDF with drawings showing you the changes that I needed to make…. Red is my changes to get the fit you see on the first go-round. Since, this doesn’t have darts, I can tell where the shaping was automatically moved to in order to make this fit…ie- The under arms are huge and baggy. I have seen that on a lot of “so called” plus-size patterns when they have been graded up over the average of size 16, although, this is “custom”, the darts had to be “put” somewhere.
I still may go back and pinch out some on the shoulder points in order to get those birds to fly straight across her back. For now, she really didn’t want me to do anything else. She took the dress and wore it right out.
The pattern didn’t include any facings, neckbands, or instructions, rightly so, since this is a “base/block” pattern used for patternmaking. I drafted the neckband using my own formula for determine the stretch factor and length of the neckline opening.
Basically I would say this is a success. The pattern is only delivered to you as ONE chance. Which means, if you make a mistake in measurements, you will need to pay an additional fee (60cents or so) in order to have a new pattern emailed to you. You can also buy the pattern as a digital download in any format for use on another pattern drafting software that you can use for manipulation. Something, I like most..since, what’s the use of a “base block” if you can’t manipulate it any way you see fit. I like patternmaking, but, I don’t like tracing and retracing patterns when designing.