Saturday, June 23, 2012

Only The Buttons Left To Do On My Lemon Tulip Pattern

Okay,  I've got to fess up,  this post is a week late as I did all this work last weekend and simply wasn't able to write a post for the life of me due to housework.   It's a shame,  but here are the photos of my finished look. My only complaints about the finished design,  is that I think I should have made the waist and midriff band half the width (I just had to say that),  I wish there was at least an extra 1/2" of ease in the waistband and the sleeves,  although every bit as beautiful as I wanted them to be,  should have been a bit shorter by at least 2".  I'll be sure to put in all these tweaks when I re-work the pattern.

Other than that,  there are only the buttons left to put in and those are going to be the metal ball buttons.  I still liked them after I had the garments sewn up,  they're a little quirky for the design,  I know,  but I like them,  it fits anyway.  I'm not so sure about the lingerie part though actually,  lol,  after watching a few Tinkerbell movies,  great 3D movies there,  I think my design is more of a fairy costume,  so funny.  I'll have to do some serious lingerie another time, Oh hold it,  I had an idea for a piece a few months back,  I should work it out for my portfolio...!  Awesome idea there.  I think I want to do my jacket design anyway though.  Now to decide which one I'm going to work on first.   

It might have to wait till next weekend though because I've got a pile of dishes sitting in the kitchen (note,  I didn't restrict it to 'sink'  eeeck!)  and unfortunately my article writing suffered this week so I've got to make that up too.

I've got another confession to make as well,  out of all the "how to" fashion books I've read,  pattern making,  sewing secrets,  couture sewing,  designer details,  pattern grading and even various book on the fashion industry but .... after all is said and done,  I realized last week that I've never actually read a book on Fashion Design.  Isn't that crazy?   I've got to get another book on pattern making,  either dealing with women's suites,  specialty patternmaking or patternmaking for lingerie,  but my next book purchase will have to also include a book on Fashion Design,  as in the design process that goes into collection development.  I've already got a list of books I'm going to be picking from.

I'll have to choose between a book that focuses on the process itself from the perspective of a fashion school professor or another that focuses on the history of fashion design and the process.  (I'm a sucker for history so this is a tough choice).   Soon as I get my web cam up and running, or get a real camera,  I'll start making book reviews of all the cool books I've been reading,  or rather have read on fashion and patternmaking.

Any way,  I didn't eat anything yet since early this morning either so I better get busy with my non-fashion work for now :(

If you'd like to read more about fashion, information on the industry and online schools check out my site at:

If you're a designer or home sewer and you'd like to find some cool eco-friendly fabrics and more check out my resource page at:

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Only A Bit More Work Left On My Lemon Tulip Lingerie Pattern

Okay,  I've been letting depression getting the better of me,  but today I was a bit more victorious, putting aside everything to do a few hours work on my lemon tulip lingerie pattern for my portfolio.   I reminded myself this morning that when you're depressed an important thing to do is just conquer you fear by doing one of the things you're afraid of.   JUST DO IT!  Like in the 80s,  remember those days?  

Any way,  I sewed the curved/petal ends of the sleeves,  clipped and pressed the seams,  then went to work on the bodice waistband,  adjusting the length to fit the bodice's alterations I did a few weeks ago.  Turns out,  I had made it about in inch longer than I intended even if the pattern didn't need alteration.  A new rule to remember popped into my head at that point...that I better use CurveCalc to measure and compare all edges that are supposed to be sewn together,  I don't know what happened,  I think that when I was drafting the bodice's darts I must not have taken the amount out of what was needed for it's waistband.

I ended up having to make the center back seam anyway though and clipping the remaining additional amount away from the ends.  Everything turned out great though,  the sewing was a lot better than it was on my skirt as well.  Practice makes perfect.  The other thing to though,  that's always been on my side,  is whenever I'm not satisfied with my work,  I mull over it in my mind about how I should have done it and I'll do this over and over.  It seems to add to the actual practice I put in.  So now all I have to do is slip stitch in the wrong side of the waistband,  gather and sew in the sleeves then put in the buttons.  Then I'll be done :) . Here's a picture of the piece so far...

the waistband only needs to be slip-stitched in now

As for the buttons I'm thinking now that I want to use those light weight steel foil ball buttons.  I'm not going to be sure though till the other sewing is all done.

Now about my patternmaking portfolio,  I'm still thinking about what kind of pieces to put it together with.  So I was checking out of Joey Johannson freelance pattern making service,  taking a look at the kinds of pieces she put in her online portfolio called "photos of work".  She's got photos of the Dresses,  Jackets, Tops,  Skirts and Pants she did patterns for as they were worn on the runway,  beautiful shots.  As for the designs themselves,  they're a combination of simple to more complex pieces that demonstrate her ability to make a well fitting garment regardless of how many style lines needed to be drafted into the pattern.  

She's not a nobody either, she's worked for the likes of Betsy Johnson, Rebecca Taylor, LAMB, Alice and Olivia and many other big name designers.   A good example to model my own portfolio from.  She also included the flat sketches with the jackets she did.   I want to include design illustrations with mine though,  I think it reveals an ability to interpret a design better than a more blueprint flat sketch would.  Not to criticize her choices though,  I love her site,  her work and her story,   very inspiring.  If you'd like to check it out here's the link:

As for my own portfolio pieces, I've got to design something that illustrates those kind of skills, but doesn't require me to purchase anything other than what I have already.  Soon as I'm done with this I'll have to do some brainstorming about it.   Hmm,  that's kind of exciting...

If you'd like to read more about fashion, information on the industry and online schools check out my site at:

If you're a designer or home sewer and you'd like to find some cool eco-friendly fabrics and more check out my resource page at:

Sunday, June 3, 2012

What Buttons To Use On My Lemon Tulip Skirt And Other Considerations

Okay,  I'm faced with the decision of which buttons to use on my design.  I don't have that many and don't want to buy anything that isn't eco friendly.  So here are the following options I've got to choose from coming out of my old button can...

I love these buttons,  and there wouldn't actually be a decision to make if I had two more  smaller versions of these buttons,  but I only have two and one large crystal flower button.

I like these marble,  crystal buttons but they're a bit heavy for the fabric and don't quite suite the design or the fabric color.

These metal ball buttons are a little quirky for the design,  but there's something about the combination I like a lot,  can't quite put my finger on it

These buttons match and all,  but they don't add any character to the design and all though they're the right size and weight,  I don't care for them too much.

After all is said and done,  I think I'm going to actually finish the bodice portion of the lemon tulip look before I decide which buttons to use.

I've got to decide how I'm going to go about trimming down the ease for the bodice bands,  however,  and then transfer the changes to the digital pattern.  I'm going to make the digital changes later,  as for the actual fabric pieces with the interfacing sewn in and things,  hmm.  I don't actually want to cut into that.  If I sew a seam down the center I guess that could fix the problem but there'd be a bulk issue and a new seam.  Or,  I could figure the amount to take off the sides,  cut off the necessary amount,  while making sure to include seam allowance. That way I could preserve the center notch.  This means I'll be taking off 5/8" off each side seam of the bodice bands.

After that I'll have to stay stitch the double sided tulip sleeves after taking in 6/8" from the under arm seam I'll have to create.  If I sew this pattern up again,  it won't have that seam though.  I'll be putting in the gathering stitches too and prepare to sew the sleeves into a french seam.   Can't wait to see how the french seam is going to work with the double sided tulip sleeve.  I hope the shape and curve of the sleeve will turn out the way I wanted too.

As for the interior closures for the design,  I'm going to leave it to a couple pairs of hooks and eyes since they'll be out of sight.

Any comments and suggestions about the buttons I should use are welcome,  thanks.

If you'd like to read more about fashion, information on the industry and online schools check out my site at:

If you're a designer or home sewer and you'd like to find some cool eco-friendly fabrics and more check out my resource page at: