Sunday, 18 December 2016

Moving Bust Darts, Tutorial

This Wednesday will be my final session of a 9 week Pattern Drafting course lead by the wonderful Leann Marie Marshall here in Sheffield. It's been an absolute whirlwind of learning, every lesson has had it's very own lightbulb moment where something in my brain has clicked and I know I've just discovered a new lifelong skill.

I've learnt much too much to sum up in a blog post. We started off with taking measurements then following a guide with some crazy maths to plot out our very own block. We considered style lines to make our own design from the block then transferred onto pattern paper so we could cut out dress pieces to make our toile.
The block we created features a dart from shoulder to bust point. In later classes we played around with this dart placement to create different styles of bodice. So this is my quick guide to moving dart placement! I'm not sure if the same principles can be applied if the dart is in a different place to being with, but here goes....

*1. Trace bodice between current dart lines onto paper

*2. Cut out the shape (This involved cutting a straight line to join dart point to dart point)

(Imagine I haven't cut into this paper, that bit comes later)

*3. Draw on a straight line where new dart is to go. This could be from the side seam pointing diagonally or horizontally or potentially from the arm hole. This line should reach the bust point of the current shoulder dart

(For this example I have decided to create my new dart from the armscye)

*4. Cut along new dart line to make two pieces

*5. The bottom piece stays fixed in the original position. Move the top piece to meet the outer dart line of the shoulder dart. This will open up a new space. Make sure the bust point stays fixed.

*6. Trace the new piece as a whole (inc. neckline right up to centre front) to create a new pattern piece. Trace the space of the new dart, *but move back the bust point by about 2cm*. Add a little triangle at the side seam of the dart to ensure there is enough fabric to meet the seam allowance. I just guessed the angle of my triangle and it seemed to work! What I mean here is maybe a little clearer in my last image.

*7. Cut out the new shape. Yay! You've moved your dart placement! Welcome to an endless world of potential!!

Here I have cut out the darts and separated the pattern with a curve to make a side panel. Don't forget to add seam allowance to these pieces!

For this piece the dart was moved to the under arm side seam for a traditional looking bust dart. You can see what I mean about adding a little triangle at the end of the dart at the side seam, and the point of the dart is 2cm back from the original bust point.
I've marked on the bust line from my block- as you can see it goes a bit crazy but once the fabric is sewn this line appears horizontal on the body... Magic!

It looks a bit daunting but it really isn't! Once your know your bodice fits there's a whole world of dart moving fun to be had! I have just toiled up my first self-drafted dress using an armscye dart/panel design and it's looking really good! Dying to share it with you but it's still top secret!

Please let me know if there's anything I could have made clearer and I'll try my best to explain. If there's a pattern drafting class going off in your area I strongly encourage you to sign up. If you are in or around Sheffield I suggest you get in touch with Leann with the details on the flyer above as she has been absolutely outstanding.


Currently listening to: Tumbleweave, Black Moth

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Prima Wrap Skirt II

In my last post I told you November has been busy, and it was no lie! Aside from the fabulous Sew Up North event in Leeds, I've also met some of my fellow Simple Sew Bloggers in Manchester and spent my Wednesday evenings taking a pattern drafting class. It's also been busy busy with gigs and mental at work... I don't know how I've kept up!!

In class last week fellow pattern drafter Gay told me she'd checked out my blog (Hi Gay!) and spookily the Prima Wrap Skirt was next on her to-sew pile!! What a coincidence! I'd already decided I wanted to make another when I picked up this leopard print jersey from B&M in Leeds at the start of the month. My me-made wardrobe has definitely been lacking leopard print because lets face it, it's up there with Houndstooth isn't it! And handily doesn't require pattern matching!! Wehay!!!

So I've worn my black Prima Wrap Skirt A LOT, and the scuba is starting to go a bit bobbly which is a terrible shame! I've had the de-bobbler on it a few times but it just keeps bobbling! For this skirt I wanted to extend the waist so I could wear it a little higher. My black one sits just below my belly button, and I think it's my only item of clothing that does! I find wearing things a little higher on the waist creates the sneaky illusion that I don't have a tummy, so I'm sticking with it!!

To alter the pattern I measured the distance between where I would wear my skirt and where my black one sits which equalled about 2inches. I added this on to the BOTTOM of the pattern as I freaked out and thought I'd make a mess trying to reshape the facing band and extend the darts. Thinking about it now and writing it down it doesn't sound that difficult, especially as I ended up extremely reshaping the side seams anyway! But it seemed like the easier option to add 2 inches onto the bottom when cutting out.

I cut out on the fold as there was no pattern matching to do! So much speedier. NEXT TIME if I'm using jersey again it might be a good idea to take a few cms out of the center front and center back so I don't have the massive chunks to slice off the side seams!!

Once all my pieces were prepped, front panel tacked onto the front skirt and center back zip put in, I took a wild guess and pinned my side seams with a 2.5 inch seam allowance. I know it seems pretty crazy, but the pattern is designed for wovens not knits and I also planned on wearing it higher on the waist than the pattern intended. I tried on and it made my bum look amazing!!

But on the whole, past the hips it was a little too tight. I eased out the seam allowance to about 1.5 inches at the bottom... Then back to 2 inches to get a bit more bum shape back!!

I tried on lots of times. With it in mind that the facing band would make it a little tighter still at the waist, I wanted to make sure I had enough ease to still zip it up!! I made these changes to the facing band so that it would fit then stitched it up.

I know it's pretty chilly for miniskirts, but since getting my hands on this awesome leather jacket, the boots and miniskirt combo has been a fave!

Stay warm guys! Chilblains are no fun.


Currently listening to: Sugar Beat, Las Kellies
Location: Sylvester Street Car Park, Sheffield