It seems that nothing stymies the home sew-er's potential for beautiful, well-fitting clothing more than confusion about pattern sizing. Here are a few pointers.
--Please measure yourself at the bust, waist, and hips. However, if your bra cup size is a C cup or larger, you should measure your chest rather than your full bust. (Research how and why to make a "full bust adjustment"). Write down these measurements.
--Try to erase your ready to wear store size from your thinking. These sizes vary greatly from vendor to vendor and have become "vanity sizing" through the years. For example, Jacqueline Kennedy is said to have worn anywhere from size 8 to 12, depending on the designer, but that was then. Now those sizes would be equivalent to today's smallest size labels (00, 0, 2, 4). That is how drastically the measurements on the size labels have changed in ready to wear clothing, while pattern size measurements have remained relatively the same since the 1960's.
--Knits are more prevalent than ever. Depending on how fitted (tight or loose) you wear your clothing, the amount of stretch, and the style, you may find that a size small tank top is what appeals to you, even if you would wear size 14 jeans. Wovens follow more conventional fitting rules.
--Back to pattern measurements. There are sizing charts used by the pattern manufacturers which could vary from company to company. Consult those for the size pattern closest to your measurements. Simplicity offers additional tips on selecting pattern size with their downloadable pdf.
--Take note of the "ease chart" for the patterns you are considering. This will help you to know how much design ease is included.
--Once you are ready to fit the pattern to your measurements, take note of the measurements of the actual pattern pieces, which include "wearing ease" and "design ease." You can analyze your own clothing in similar styles and fabrics to determine if the intended "design ease" appeals to you. This part may take some patience, practice, and experience. Do this before you cut into your fashion fabric!
--Initially you can "tissue fit" the pattern to your body.
--Ideally, the first time we use a pattern, we make a "muslin" or "toile," of an inexpensive fabric, at least of the crucial fitting or styling points. If in doubt, cut larger.
In the mists of time, my back-to-school outfit
was always either a Black Watch plaid or a Red Stewart cotton dress. Later my grandmother helped me to make a cute culotte/jumpsuit of a blue and white tartan from Dan River Fabrics (dress code was vague about whether we could wear them so I risked it...living dangerously).
One particularly matchy matchy period had me carrying a lunchbox like this, which is replicated for today and available through Orvis.
Now I just cannot envision the autumn season without at least one plan for a plaid piece. My plaid fever lasts through the holidays of course, and then through winter.
Recently I fell in online love with a red plaid Burberry slicker...and it is nowhere to be found. Often with Burberry, you snooze you lose. This trench is now on some of the after-market sites like Net-a-Porter, but you know...
Plaids fabrics are notoriously hard to match, so McCall has come up with a pattern with the front insert on the diagonal to make that problem a little easier to deal with. What do you think about this for a "beginning of fall" dress? It's McCall 7187. Thank you McCall!
The color blue is 30% off during our Sunday/Monday Sale!
Use coupon code BLUE on our new website: exqfabrics.com
Those of us who work with color have probably been mystified or frustrated by colors in our imagination that just cannot be duplicated in life!
I used to see beautiful, vivid colors that might occur in nature but do not seem to replicable with dyes, paints, textiles, or other media.
Sometimes it's evident that color is elusive...just hover around the paint counter at your local Home Depot long enough and you'll hear frustrated customers who cannot find the right shade of white, or husbands and wives disagreeing whether a color is blue or green.
So when a "new" pigment is discovered and released for commercial use, its pretty exciting!
Crayola held a contest to name the vivid color, and the winner was "Bluetiful."
(The scientific name for the pigment is YInMn).
Do see color or patterns as you fall asleep? There is a name for them: Phosphenes. They are thought to occur because of the natural electrical charges that occur from normal body/brain functions. While we are awake, the inputs to our eyes and brains just distract us from perceiving them!
The Metropolitan Museum
The University of Oregon
How to survive Crazy Work Life...
Seen any good movies (or television series!) that feature fabrics, fashion, or design?
Here's one of my impressions from the past year or so.
Phantom Thread (2017)
Forgettable. Weird. It was fun to think that Daniel Day Lewis did actually make that dress though, as he immersed himself in the role. He always does!
We've decided to close the Culpeper storefront and concentrate on our online business. It's fun to have a storefront, but it's also practical to use our resources wisely. We've been getting our warehouse ready and as soon as our storefront inventory is liquidated we will be expanding our online store exponentially!
In the meantime, if you are in the Culpeper area (between Washington DC and Charlottesville), visit our store on weekends to get big savings and help us liquidate our storefront inventory! There's plenty here to make your sewing dreams come true.
Minimum one yard purchases or whole piece. Inventory at the storefront will not be replenished, so first come, first served!
FABRICS: 30% to 50% off as marked.
SPECIAL FABRIC GROUPINGS: $3.50 to $5.50/yd (no further discount)
TRIMS: 20% to 30% off.
NOTIONS, SEWING SUPPLIES: 30% off.
SPECIALS: discontinued carded buttons 10 cards/$1.00 at entrance (no two alike) (no further discount)
TRUNK SALE: remnants and "goody bags" $1-$5 (no further discount)
These sales discounts apply to our brick and mortar inventory located in Culpeper, Virginia only.
Don't be sad, just come and have fun!
We have cotton bunting in red, white and navy/white star field stripes. Get ready for July 4th with this patriotic extra-wide fabric for your picnics, or display it along the railings at home!
This fabric is 100" wide, with three repeats along the width of the fabric. Each repeat can be used as a strip with a red, white, and blue (the blue has white stars).
To make a bunting effect, use about 2.5 yards. Separate the fabric lengthwise into three strips, each with red, white, and blue included. Gather across one long edge to form a half circle. Each half circle will be about 54" wide and will hang about 20" long.
Racks and racks of European cotton shirtings, linens,
imported cottons, silks, modern fibers, and more,
store hours: Wed-Sat noon to 5 pm
Virtual table, real fabrics!
Here are a couple of beautiful jewel tone taffeta fabrics for your next project. Use them for evening skirts, party dresses, a sample garment, lining, or whatever.
Hot pink, and jewel teal.
Reg. $8.99/yd, now 4 yards for $10.00!
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