Tuesday, July 1, 2014

How To Replicate A Garment

If you own a piece of clothing that you would love to have an exact copy of, whether the original is just past its prime or you simply lust for a duplicate made out of a different fabric, you, my sewing friend, are in luck because I’ve got a few tips for you!
Before you begin prepping your project, keep a few things in mind which will assure you have the least amount of speed bumps along the way.



PATTERN

You can easily make a new pattern out of your existing piece without taking the garment apart by transferring it onto paper. Carefully use a tracing wheel to trace around each panel, label the pattern pieces and add seam allowance, and you’re good to go! The pattern is, of course, reusable, which is an added bonus.   

FABRIC

To ensure the new garment you will sew will drape the same way as your already existing one, plan accordingly. If you are thinking of making a total copy of your garment, choose a similar fabric. On the other hand, if you want to sew the new garment out of a different fabric, pick any fabric, just similar in weight.

TOOLS & MACHINE SETTINGS

Research your fabric to find out if you require any special tools or notions, then grab them on your next fabric store run. Adjusting your machine settings for the kind of fabric you are using will make a significant difference in the final product. You can test the tension and thread length on a test piece before you begin.



Hope your cloned garment comes as close as possible to the one you already own!



Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sewing Clothes For Your Body Type

Whether you follow the latest trends or set your own, knowing which garments suit your body shape is key to feeling comfortable in your own (clothed!) skin.  And if you just happen to sew your own clothes, then you absolutely know that every pattern may not be the right fit for you. Since everyone is a different shape and size, identifying which styles of clothing will complement your frame comes with ease if you are familiar with your body type.

The most common body types are pear (or bell), apple (or triangle), banana (or straight), and hourglass. Next time you’re picking up a pattern, keep a few things in mind according to your body type:



APPLE

If you have a larger bust and/or broader shoulders than your hips, make darker coloured blouses and jackets. Pair that up with a pant or skirt with interesting patterns to create an overall balance. 

PEAR

Hips broader than shoulders? Sew brightly coloured tops and dark or neutral bottoms. Give strapless dresses a try – to show off your petite shoulders, of course!  

BANANA

If your waistline is not defined and the top and bottom of your body are almost the same size, add dimension by making voluminous clothing such as gathered skirts or shirts with puffy sleeves. Include a belt with your outfit which can help create an illusion of a more distinct waist.

HOURGLASS

You have a defined waistline and even width of shoulders and hips, which means  you can wear patterns on top and bottom to keep a balance throughout. Try sewing a pencil skirt to flaunt your curves.   


The tips mentioned here are nowhere near “rules” you have to live by. You can simply follow them to enhance your figure by giving it some balance. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Learn To Sew At Your Own Pace

Now that you’ve completed the Introductory Sewing class at The Sewing Studio, are you wondering which course to take next? Introductory Sewing 2 could be just what you need!



Building confidence on the machine and honing your skills is your main goal and Introductory Sewing 2 offers just that! You will get guidance and assistance on new patterns and explore a variety of garments. Your instructor will review topics you’ve covered in Introductory Sewing such as: fabric fundamentals, laying out, cutting, and marking your fabric, as well as adjusting a pattern. Once you’re ready to go, you can jump into making a skirt, a pair of pants, a jacket or even a dress! A list of recommended patterns will be provided so that you can choose a style all your own.  And who knows – if you’re dedicated enough, you might even complete more than one piece in class.

Introductory Sewing 2 allows you to dictate the pace and difficulty of the project. Since you are used to the sewing machine and can pretty much kind-of-sort-of navigate your way through a pattern after completing Introductory Sewing, IS2 is a great stepping stone before you try to tackle an advanced class.


Register for an Introductory Sewing 2 class today and sew up a storm!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Repurposing Your Clothes

Who doesn’t love shopping for new clothes? You get to try on skirts, pants, and tops and figure out how these brand new items will fit in with the rest of your wardrobe. What if I told you to skip the store and go shopping in your closet?! Crazy, right? Not really! Everyone always has clothing waiting to get dumped right around spring cleaning time, exchanged at a clothing swap, or lent out to a BFF – and you know those clothes are probably never going to be returned (maybe years later, if you’re lucky!). Repurpose these forgotten garments and turn them into something you’ll wear over and over again. Here’s how:


KEEP SENTIMENTAL ITEMS
You and your denim button up shirt have been through so much: windy summer days, casual Fridays at work, and don’t forget about the great recovery from that hot sauce stain! Keep that baby around and recreate it into a skirt with an elastic waistband or a fringed vest. You’ll get to keep a piece of something you already love and wear it as a totally new garment.

SPRUCE UP CLASSICS
That pencil skirt is your trademark, but let’s face it – it sure could use a little special something to freshen it up. Sew a fun belt to add to your classic skirt or add side seam slits to make it more interesting.

MODERNIZE    
I don’t know about you guys, but I definitely have a retro section in my boudoir. I love mixing oldies with current pieces for a one-of-a-kind look. You can even try utilizing pieces of your old school gear to add character to modern ones.


Repurposing your clothes can be a fun way to explore your imagination and get creative with your wardrobe. You’ll get to keep your favourites and make (somewhat) new pieces. Well, I’m off to use my Fresh Prince of Bel-Air shorts to make funky lining pockets in a jacket. Gotta go! 



Thursday, May 1, 2014

Beginner Sewing Workshop

If you are looking to learn sewing essentials, but don’t have a lot of spare time on your hands, Beginner Basics might be just what you need! Beginner Basics is a one-time three-hour based Specialty Workshop offered at The Sewing Studio. You will learn sewing basics such as: threading a machine, winding and loading a bobbin, sewing straight seams, and installing a regular zipper.



Beginner Basics is appropriate for beginners (duh!), but also those who have not sewn in some time and need a refresher. It’s also great for sewing enthusiasts who may have a machine at home and have no clue how to go about tackling it. In this workshop, you are sure to get comfortable on the machine and will be sewing in no time! Once you’ve completed the workshop, you will be a proud owner of a zippered toiletry bag. 

And guess what? You workshop fee includes: use of machines and sewing tools, all supplies, as well as a  gift card to use for any future course you want to take at The Sewing Studio. Great deal or what?!


Register for a Beginner Basics workshop coming up on May 10th! This workshop is suitable for all sewing stars 15 years of age and up. Seating is limited and pre-registration is required, so make sure you save your spot.  See you there!



Thursday, April 24, 2014

How To Adjust A Pattern

As most of you sewing fanatics have come to find out, purchasing a commercial pattern in your size is not always a safe bet. Even though the pattern guarantees the piece of clothing you will make will fit like a glove, sometimes, this “glove” ends up fitting more like a mitten.
Since most commercial patterns usually need some alterations, knowing how to adjust a pattern prior to construction is a useful skill and very much a necessary one to have.  The steps listed below will outline the essentials of adjusting a pattern.  Let’s get to it!


MEASUREMENTS

Accurate body measurements are key  when selecting a pattern. Take and record your measurements periodically to ensure your sizing will be correct before buying a pattern. In relation to the type of garment you will be sewing, keep a chart of your measurements and the date and update it once in awhile.

PATTERN COPY

If you need to make any pattern modifications and want to preserve the original pattern, trace a copy! This way, you will always have the original as a reference.  

EASE

For wearability, each pattern has a certain amount of ease. Although the amount of ease is not always specified on the pattern envelope, it should be noted on each pattern piece. This will tell you how much “allowance” each garment has, so you can subtract and/or add accordingly.

WHERE TO ADJUST

Knowing exactly where to adjust the pattern exclusively for your body type is crucial when attempting to achieve the ideal fit. This skill takes time to develop, since you will need to sew a few garments (or muslins) in order to take note of which areas need improvement. Great news is, once you have figured out which revisions you need to make, you can apply this to most patterns in the future.


 Follow these four fundamental steps and slowly but surely, you’ll have garments that fit you just right in all the right spots! Send me your questions and comments about adjusting patterns below!


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Make A Shirtdress From An Oversized Shirt

Use an oversized denim shirt to make a dress! Add an embroidery detail for a super girly effect.




SUPPLIES

1 oversized denim button-up shirt
embroidered fabric to add on (or you can use decorative stitches on your machine to create your own design)
piece of lace trim (for collar detail)
½” wide elastic (length of your waist + 1”)
pins
seam ripper
marking pencil
scissors

INSTRUCTIONS

STEP 1
Armholes & Sleeves: Since the shirt is oversized, check if the armholes need to be brought up to sit on your shoulders properly and if the sleeves need to be taken in. If so, using a seam ripper, take apart the sleeves from the armholes and adjust the armholes to your measurements. Take in the sleeves, adjust (if need be), and then sew back into the armholes.

STEP 2
Mark the waistline on the wrong side of the shirt using the marking pencil.

STEP 3
Place the elastic on top of the waist marking. Slightly pull the elastic as you stitch along each edge.

STEP 4
Place the embroidery detail fabric on your shirt, pin, and then edge stitch along each piece. 
* To create an embroidery design instead of using fabric, use the decorative stitch options on your machine.

STEP 5
Pin the right side of the lace trim to the wrong side of the collar edge, then edge stitch. 


#DIYeverything