The common Thread -or the spinning of a good yarn -a work in progress

Alass, this is not a Novel, but my way of using NaNoWriMo to get myself to writing about what i know.

And what i know is tailoring.

So this is a book about Fashion and History as well as a practical guide to the basics of classic tailoring.

If you read this during the writing process you might encounter errors. It is after all a lot of technical writing to get right when english is a second language.

Excerpt

The Common Thread
-or The spinning of a Good Yarn

Introduction

In my family it’s common practise that any child with an interest in crafting is encouraged to learn.
And it’s hard not to be interested when you are surrounded by knitting, crocheting, sewing, drawing, painting, welding, whittling, a wide variety of music and great cooking.

So before i reached the age of ten I was proficient with the tools and the basic knowledge in several of these crafts.

This has lead me to a lifelong loveaffair with crafting, an exam in classic tailoring and patterngrading nut first and foremost the desire to inspire others.

And whether you want to do classic tailoring, aspire to design your own fashion-line or just want to make the coolest cos-play costume ever, – the basic principles behind creating patterns, cutting fabric and stitch it all together are all the same.

In some countries dressmaking and tailoring are seen as different trades, but in Denmark where I live and was born and trained as a tailor you learn both the female and male traditions of the trade.

But this book is mainly about tailoring and patterns for the Ladies and a few tricks about patterning for men, with anecdotes and fashion-history thrown in just for kicks and giggles and because I want it there.

Don’t look for patterns for kids in this book, this is for adults only ( though you should be able to adapt the concepts of the patterndrawing to kidsclothes without too many issues.)

It is inspired by the traditional Danish household Tailoring and Crafts books from throughout the ages that I collect and read with great joy.

It is also my way of answering any question anyone has ever asked me about tailoring, and hopefully an instruction for crafty people who wants to learn how to get their creations to be a cut above the rest.

I have based the order of the chapters and the models in each chapter on the way i received my own training as a tailor, starting out with the type of patterns, cutting and stitching that are most accessible to the beginners and gradually adding complexety so the last patterns are aimed at the experienced crafters.

I have also tried to include as many tips and tricks as possible for creating patterns based on your own fashionstyles and creative inspirations.

Hopefully i’ll add some awesome illustrations at a later point when i figure out how i want them to look.

Clothes
The making of cloth and clothes is one of the oldest crafts. It’s so old that archeologists use the tools of clothes- and cloth-making as one of the signs that a culture is considered civilised.

In the bible it is mentioned, that after Eve and Adam ate the apple and gained forbidden knowledge, they covered their naked bodies – maybe in shame but most definitely in some sort of clothes.

Clothes have always been used to signify social rank or religius beliefs.
Throughout the Ages certain colors and cuts have been reserved for the social, military and religious elite, with due punisment for the culprits who dared to impersonate.

The desire for certain fashions and materials has created international trade, restrictions and taxation. Just think about the Silkroad trade-route and modern day cotton-subsidising.

In medieval Denmark the noble Ladies was at one point forbidden by royal decree to own more than two pairs of french jeweled sleeves, as the costly fashion led to a massive loss of national revenue.

Our History is full of clothes – and our clothes are full of history.

Costumes
This detailed historical knowledge about clothes can be and is used in alot of ways in modern media.

In books, comics, film, videogames and theater alike – the costumes tells us who and what we are looking at before a word is spoken out loud.

We know if we are presented with a Historical drama which era we are in and
we recognize the different archetypes from the cut and color of their clothes as well as from their behavior.

The Hero wears the white Hat – the Villain wears the black Hat.
The Virgin and the Bride wears a white dress – the Temptress and the Devil wears red – the Widower and the Witch wears black.

At least this is how we have learned it in western european culture. Go to Asia and you will need to relearn the significanse of the colors.

There are alot more archetypes and genres than i have mentioned but a complete listing would have to be a book on it’s very own.

Fashion
Modern commercial textile fashion changes each year with the seasons.

Colorpalettes, shapes, patterns and accessories are deemed in and out of style , as Brand-designers looks for inspiration in historical eras, contemporary movie block-busters and urban subcultures alike.

Classically fashion is divided into three categories, named :

Haute couture is the height of the designers artistic expression. It’s the essence of the patterns , materials and shapes that inspires the designers collection, and though beatiful often impractical and impossible to wear.

Couture, also called high fashion is what you see on the fashionshow runways. It’s the wearable version of haute couture, with a high level of details and craftmanship and expensive materials.

Pret-a-porter is the fashion most of us can afford to buy. It’s a simplified version of couture often made in a simpler cut with a lower level of details and with cheaper materials, but bearing the Brand of your favorite designer or fashionhouse.

Tailoring
Tailoring is the practical trade of making cloth into clothes. Classic tailoring is usually done in wowen fabrics, but the techniques have been developed to work with elastics and knitted fabrics as the materials have appeared.

A tailor may work for a designer or in a factory, make high fashion or repair your heirloom weddingdress – the basic skillset is the same.

Tailors are trained in various types of hand-stitching and embroidery, as well as the classic pattern-styles of the tailoring trade.

They are trained in individual and industrial measuring and fitting, basic design, pattern-grading, fashion-history and are expected to be proficient in at least pret-a-porter and couture.

A good tailor knows what will fit the individual custumer when it comes to cut and colors.

You might call them the engineers of the textile industry with the designers as the architects.

Bodytypes

One of the most important basic things in tailoring is a good eye for the human anatomy.

We come in all shapes and sizes and no matter wich one nature has equipped you with there are some cuts suited for you.

Rule 1
Vertical lines and openings will make you appear taller and slimmer
Horizontal lines will make you appear shorter and wider

This should be considered the cardinal rule to follow when you choose the cut you want – and not least in what cuts to avoid.

Read through the descriptions of the bodytypes take a long look in your full sized mirror and identify where you fit in.

If you have bodyissues this might be difficult, as our mind affects our perception, but if nothing else trust in your measuring tape if you have a hard time deciding your bodytype.

And remember, these bodytypes are not size-dependant – its a matter of the ratios of hips to chest to waist, not a specific dress size.

I
The I-shaped figure has hips and chest of equal width and a waist around 90 percent of the hip and chest width.

Y
The Y-shaped figure has slender hips when compared to the chestwidth.

A
The A-shaped figure has wide hips when compared to the chest width.

X
This is the classic hourglass shape. The X-shaped figure has hips and chest of equal width and a waist around 70 percent of the hip and chest width.

O
The O-shaped figure has a waistline that is wider than the hip and chest width.

Tools of the Trade.

This is a basic list of the tools you will need to start out at tailoring your very own clothes.

There is alot of other special equipment you can buy but these are the bare essentials to get you going.

First and foremost, get a full sized mirror. A smaller mirror will not give you the right impression and might trick you into chosing a cut that doesn’t suit your figure.

Measuring.
An experienced tailor like the lady I trained with can almost read your measurements at a quick glance at your figure but don’t try that at home.

1 measuring-tape in your prefered scale – being european I prefer the metric scale.

A narrow belt ( 1 centimeter wide or as close to that as you can get ) or ribbon to tie at the waistline.

Pattern -making

ordinary and colored pencils and a good eraser

1 large straight-line ruler

1 set square ruler

a french curve if you can get one – or just practice hand-drawing a nice curve.

1 pair of paper scissors

transparent adhesive tape

pattern paper of choice – i like to use paper with a 2 cm grid for my basic-patterns and transparent paper for the finished models.

a large table for pattern-making and cutting, most dining tables will do just fine.

Large A4 envelopes to keep the pattern pieces of each model together when stored.

Cutting
1 pair of fabric scissors, never use them for anything else.

Chalk or other non-permanent textilemarker.

Pins

needle

thimble

thread for markings

Weights – any small, heavy clean object will do

a freshly ironed sheet

a clean well-used cottonsheet to make your basic skirt-pattern from

Sewing
needles – not too long 5cm (2 in) is fine

thimble – get the right size , the thimble should fit your middle finger

thread that matches the fabric

pins

– and if you don’t want to do all the sewing by hand-stitching you will also need a sewing-machine. It isn’t neccessary but it will make the work go alot faster.

Pressing
Pressing iron – with or without steam

Cottoncloth for pressing, a clean well-used pillowcase will do fine.

Normal Ironingboard plus one smaller for sleeves

a water vaporizer

Part 1 – Skirts

The simple Skirt.
The simplest form of skirt is a square piece of wowen material or leather tied or pinned in place around the waist, maybe folded in rough pleats to account for a better fit.

More and less sophisticated versions of this design was used in the ancient civilizations of the greeks, celtics, romans and egyptians alike, worn by both male and female members of society. Some of them were extremely adept in the art of draping, folding and pleating.

Even today we wear the Sarong to the beach, a colorful linenweave square of cloth wrapped as a skirt around the hips, and the Kilt signifies the proud scottish heritage.

The basic skirt-models in modern day tailoring may look a lot more sophisticated but they are still very close to these ancient skirts in design.

Measuring for a simple tailored skirt.
To create a personal pattern for a simple skirt you will need a couple of measurements.

If you plan on wearing any kind of shape changing underwear or corsetting with a certain skirt or dress make sure to wear the same underwear for the measuring and fittings as well.

Waist
This measurements is relative to your skeleton, so no matter if your outer bodytype is lowwaisted or highwaisted to look at – waist-measurements are taken relative to the hipbones and not nescesarily at your slimmest point.

If your slimmest point is not your waistline this is very important to remember – if the pattern is based on a width measured higher or lower, the skirt will slide to this height when you wear it.

The waist is measured by tightening the measuringtape around your middle and pressing is down until it rest atop your hipbones. Untighten and read the measuringtape.

— after taking the waist-measurement, fasten the narrow ribbon or belt around the waistline.
You will need this to take accurate length measurements later.

Hip
The hips are measured at their widest point to assure that there will be adequate width in the finished skirt.

This is not a question about being an ideal size but about being exactly your size, so don’t ”cheat”. A wrong measurement will just give a bad end result.

Hold the measuringtape loosely together at your waist and widen it as you slide it downwards as if you were taking of a skirt or a pair of pants.

Read the measuringtape when it doesn’t widen anymore, this will usually be approx. 20 centimeters below the waist. Take special note and measure again if the widest point is higher or lower than this, as it will affect the drawing of the hip-curve.

Higher will usually mean that more of the width are on the front, like in maternitywear – lower that the width is around the backside. This is important to note for later when you have to add darts to your pattern.

Hip II ( control-measure)
The second hip-measure is a control-measure.

The measurement is done in the same way as the first but 10 centimeters down from the waist-line.

Skirt length
Mini-skirts, coctail-dresses or floorsweeping trails on wedding-dresses, skirts come in all widths and lengths. The rise and fall of the hemline , lowcut or highwaisted – the shape and silhuette has always been a subject for the fashionistas and designers of their age.

Skirt-length are always measured from the waistline down and the basic skirt-patterns always starts out with a standard waistline.

When you decide on the length of a skirt keep these simple rules in mind :

Never make a hemline at the widest part of the calfves or thighs – unless you really want to draw appention to this spot.

Never choose the same length as the width of the finished skirt – unless you want your skirt to look boxy and square.

Mini-skirts are skirts with a lenghth of 40 centimeters below the waistline. If you on top of that adjust the pattern to a lowcut version, a miniskirt today can be a 30 centimeter wide strip of cloth around the hip-area.

The classic pencil-skirt has a standard above-the-knee length, between 55-61 centimeters below the waistline, depending on height.

If you want the skirt to cover the knee , 65 centimeters below the waist is the classic length in Danish tailoring.

Full-length skirts floats between 2 and 5 centimeters above the floor, approx. 100- 109 centimeters below the waistline, depending on height.

Drawing the basic skirt-pattern.
The first thing you need to do is to create a standard skirt pattern that you can change into anything you like later.

The better the fit of this pattern, the better the fit of all the fancy designs you really want to create, but bear with me – this is after all the practical application of tailoring, not the creative process of design.

And the practical knowledge of tailoring will help you be a more thoughtful and deliberate designer later on.

Preparation

Get your paper, rulers and pencils ready – I also like to have a big soft eraser too erase my mistakes.

Make sure you have room to get around the table, to much time in a bad angle makes for a sore back. The ideal drawing table is height-adjustable but a dining table works for most.

I prefer to draw my basic pattern on paper with a 2 centimeter grid. The grid makes it easier to be sure that you have true angles.

As the simple skirt, the basic skirt-pattern starts with a square.

ex. hip width 102 centimeters , ½ a hip width 51 centimeters.
Waist line 86 centimeters, ½ a waist line 43 centimeters

Basic patterns are drawn as halfpatterns also called blocks, so the square needs to be ½ the width of the hips wide and the desired skirt-lenght in height.

Make sure to draw on paper that are wider and longer than the pattern you are making.

I usually recommend a skirt-length of 65 centimeters for your basic pattern, as you will use it as the base-pattern for all skirt-models.

The top horisontal line is the waistline (WL) the bottom line is the hem-line (HL).

The left vertical line in the square will be the middle of the front (MF).
The right vertical line will be the middle of the back (MB).

Divide the square vertically in two halves, mark the dividing line as the side seam.

Now you need to measure the height of the widest point, either the standard 20 centimeters or what you have noted while measuring.

Measure this length from the waist-line down the lines of middle-front, side-seam and middle-back, and draw a line through the marks horizontically across the pattern.

The pattern should now look like a square with a cross in it.

Make sure at this point that it is not an even sided square as this will, as mentioned earlier, give the finished skirt a boxy square look.

Fitting the side-seam and waistline with hip-curve and darts.
We use darts to remove excess fabric and to transform the two-dimentional material we are working with into a three-dimentional shape fitted to the human body.

They are called darts because they look like arrow or spear-heads, and the point of a dart is always pointed towards the widest spot.

When we change basic patterns into complex designs, the darts from the original pattern decides the placement of seams, pleats, pockets, zippers and so forth.

In this pattern we will add one dart to the front half and one dart to the back half.

To get the mesurements we need to construct the darts we need to do some simple math.

First subtract ½ a waistline from ½ a hip-width to get the difference.

ex. hip width 102 centimeters , ½ a hip width 51 centimeters.
Waist line 86 centimeters, ½ a waist line 43 centimeters
difference 16 centimeters 8 centimeters

As we work with a half-pattern, the 8 centimeters are the excess width we need to remove from the waistline.

Skirt darts should be no wider than 3 centimeters, the hipcurve no wider than 6 centimeters.

Differences larger than 12 centimeters can be handled by adding more darts, not wider darts.

Hip-curve
The hip-curve is drawn symmetrically on front and back piece of the pattern mirroved around the side-seam.

The top of the hip-curve will end 1 centimeter above the waist-line – the tip of the hipcurve is at the widest point – the center of the cross. The finished hip-curve will be the top of the new side-seam.

Using the measures from the example, and deciding to do front and back darts that each are 2 centimeters wide, this leaves 4 centimeters for the hipcurve.

On the waistline, make a mark 2 centimeters on each side of the side-seam. Raise the mark to 1 centimeter above the waistline.

You can use a French Curve to help with the drawing if you have one but a nice handdrawn curve will work just as well with a little practice.

Fold the paper along the seam-line and draw one half starting at the tip curving very little the first third then more at the second third and most on the last third of the curve.

Mirror the curve around the side-seam line as the back and front-curves needs to match when stitched together.

The finished result should look like a spearhead with concave sides and a needlethin tip pointing down at the center of the cross, with each curve flowing smoothly into the straight line of the original side-seam.

Last you need to reconnect the top of the hipcurve – that is now floating loosely – with the waist-line on the front and back ½-patterns..

On each side, use the set square to make a tiny perfect 90 degree corner with the new side-seam and after that curve the line gently until it connects with the waistline.

The 90 degree angle is to insure that the front and back will stich nicely together in a straight line.

Mark the new pattern-outline
Draw with a colored pencil all the way around the back and front ½-patterns, clearly marking the new side-seam and waist-line.

Make sure the new curves flows smoothly into the straight lines.

Front darts
Front skirt-darts are drawn curved, much like the hip-curve, to accomodate the natural female curves.

Front darts are placed approx. 4-7 centimeters from the new side-seam, depending on size. If you need to make more than one dart, this is where the first dart is placed.

Additional darts are placed inwards toward the middle-front but still on the outer half of the front ½-pattern, leaving the front of the skirt free of darts.

In this example-pattern the center of the front skirt-dart is marked on the waist-line 6 centimeters from the new side-seam.

Use the set square to draw a downwards line from the center of the dart at 90 degrees to the original waistline.

Continue the line all the way down to the hem-line, it will come in handy when you want to redesign your skirt pattern later.

Mark the tip of the dart on the line 8 centimeters below the waistline.

As the finished dart has to be 2 centimeters wide at the top, make a mark 1 centimeter to each side of the center of the dart on the waistline.

Finally draw a nice curved dart mirrowed around the center-line – just like when you drew the hip-curve.

Back darts
Back skirt-darts are drawn with straight lines frop the top to the tip of the dart, right throught the middle of our natural assets.

Back darts are placed at a 1/4 of a waistline from the middle-back, in the center of the back ½-patterns new waistline.

Make a mark on the middle of the waist-line on the back ½-pattern and use the set square to draw a downwards line from the center of the dart at 90 degrees to the original waistline.

Continue the line all the way down to the hem-line, it will come in handy later.

Mark the tip of the dart on the line 14 centimeters below the waistline.

As the finished dart has to be 2 centimeters wide at the top, make a mark 1 centimeter to each side of the center of the dart on the waistline.

Draw a line from each mark to the tip of the dart.

Additional dart is best placed towards the sideseam or mirrowed around the central dart.

Control-measure
Use the measuring-tape to check the control-measure (Hip II ) by measuring across the finished pattern 10 centimeters below the waist-line, subtracting darts and hipcurve.

If your measure is lower than the control-measure you will need to redraw the hipcurve and maybe raise the tip of your darts or the skirt will be to narrow at this point,.
If your measure is a little higher than the control-measure you can leave it for now and adjust it in the fitting.

And that is your basic skirt-pattern, the stardard pattern you need to model any skirt-fashion you might imagine.

The basic skirt-pattern is also used as the pattern for lining the skirt.

To preserve the pattern, redraw the front and back on transparent paper as separate pieces, splitting the pattern along the side-seam.

Make sure you redraw all lines, as some will be used for cutting-markers others for keeping your pattern straight with the grain of the fabric.

Cutting the basic skirt-pattern for fitting

Preparations
One of my favorite materials for fitting basic patterns is well-used cotton-sheets as they are softer and more like clothes-fabric that the stiff cotton fabrics many use for this.

They can usually be bought cheap from a thrift-store or donated by friends and familymembers.

Start by making sure your cutting-table is accessible from all sides, as you will need to be able to get around it while cutting.

Next, cover your cutting-table with a freshly ironed sheet held down with weights at the corners. This will give you a non-slippery surface to work on.

As a rule, all fabric should be ironed before cutting, so make sure your well-used sheet is wrinklefree before you begin. Also, any stitched edges should be cut away as they might draw the fabric crooked.

The front of the skirt will be cut in one piece, the back of the skirt in two pieces.

To cut the front in one piece, the fabric will need to be folded along the grain.

Just folding the sheet lengthwise down the middle might seem the easiest way, but will mean that you will waist alot of fabric – which is a bad habit reserved for lazy tailors that ends up poor – as my teacher used to say.

Instead , fold the fabric lengthwise at a width of 1/4 hip-width + three times the seam-allowance.

As the seam-allowance for the side-seam is always 2 centimeters, to allow for later adjustments, this gives us a width of 1/4 hip-width + 6 centimeters to work with.
(following the example this would be 25,5 + 4 = 31,5 centimeters – this may be rounded up to a nice even number. )

A often cited tip for making it easier to find the grain is to remove a thread lengthwise in the pattern fabric and fold along this line.

This should NOT be done when you work with a fabric intended for the finished skirt.

You should also NOT iron along the fold to make it stay in place.
If the fabric contains artificial fibres the fold might be impossible to remove later.
This is used intentionally when choosing a fabric for pleated skirts.

So with all this in mind, fold your sheet lengthwise on the cutting-table at the desired width, with the narrow side of the fold upwards.

In patterned fabrics and velvet it is very important to have all pieces of your pattern oriented the same way.

As most sheets has no discernible up and down in the grain just decide which end of the sheet is up.

And as a sheet is quite long you can place the back-piece of your pattern below the front-piece. As fabric for clothes are produced in a variety of widths you will often need more than one skirt-height of fabric when you shop for a new design.

Align the middle-front line of your pattern with the fold in the fabric . If the fold is drawn, insert your straight line ruler between the layers of the fabric and adjust the fold line.
If you have been observant in folding the fabric correctly this will insure that the front piece is flush with the grain of the fabric.

Make sure to make room at the top of the pattern for 1 centimeter of seam-allowance.

You dont need extra room at the hemline, as the basic skirt-pattern will not be hemmed .

Place a weight or two on the pattern to hold it down while you get it in place.
Pin the corners of the pattern loosely to the fabric.

Align the back-piece of your pattern with the fold in the fabric and make sure to make room for 2 centimeters of seam-allowance along both middle-back and side-seam of the pattern – the back of the skirt is cut in two pieces and stiched down the middle-back line.

Remeber to use the middle-back line to control that the pattern is correctly aligned with the grain of the fabric

You also need room at the top of the pattern for 1 centimeter seam-allowance at the waistline but none at the hemline.

Use a weight or two to hold the pattern down while you get it in place and pin the corners of the pattern loosely to the fabric.

Drawing the line
Use chalk or another non-permanent textilemarker to draw along the pattern with 2 centimeters seam-allowance at the side-seam and middle-back , 1 centimeter seam-allowance at the waist-line and none at the hem-line.

Draw marks inside the line of the seam- allowance at the tip of the hip-curves and 20 cm down the middle-back .Mark the outer edges at the top of the darts at the waistline as well.

Thread a needle with a long piece of thread, stick the needle down and up through both layers of fabric at the tip of the dart and draw the ends of the thread to the same length. Do this at all dart tips.

The cutting edge.
We all know that we shouldn’t run with scissors, but that is not the only rule.

If you cut with your right hand you walk left around the cutting-table – If you use left hand you walk right around the cutting-table.

You always cut straight which means holding the scissors straight at a 90 degree angle to the table and with the bottom blade parallel to the table, to make sure layered cutting is done identically in all layers.

And respect the seam-allowance – in tailoring you should cut within a 1 millimeter tolerance of the original pattern lines.

This is not nit-picking, this is to make sure you don’t stich to far from the lines of the pattern because the seam-allowance is cut too narrow or too wide.

Start by cutting the pattern free from the eccess fabric along waist-line, side-seam and hemline. Walk around the table while you cut to get at the lines from a comfortable angle.

When you are done cutting remove the left-over fabric from the cutting table.

Next, make a tiny cut through both layers in the seam-allowance at the marks you made at the hip-curve, dart edges and 20 centimeters down the middle-back.

Finally, gently separate the layers and cut through the marking threads at the tip of the darts between the fabric layers, leaving clear marking threads in all layers.

Stitching the basic skirt-pattern for fitting
Basic rule for stitching – All vertical seams are stitched from the top down.

If you handstitch be sure to wear a thimble – it protects your thin-skinned fingertip when you push he needle trough the fabric and helps you avoid unwanted bloodshed. If you have ever had to handstitch a weddinggown without a thimble you know what I’m talking about.

The thimble is worn on the middle finger, keeping thumb and index-finger free to handle the needle.

The first thing to do is to stitch the darts.

The darts on the back skirt pieces are the easiest to start with as they are straight-edged.

Fold the fabric along the center of the dart and align the marks you cut at the dart edges in the waistline. This should make the marking thread at the tip of the dart stick out nicely at the fold.

Keep the fabric in place with one or two pins .

Repeat the procedure with the dart in the other back-piece and control that both darts will end up on the inside of the skirt before you start stitching.

Now stitch the dart together in a straigth line, starting at the top and finishing at the tip. Do not stretch the fabric when you stitch. Make the very last stich right in the edge of the fold.

Then pin the back pieces together – from the mark you cut in the middle-back seam 20 centimeters below the waistline and down towards the hemline.

We keep the top 20 centimeters open to be able to get into the finished skirt – and this is where the zipper will be in the finished basic skirt model.

Control that the seam-allowance will end up on the inside of the skirt before you start.

Now stitch together the back seam beginning at the top pin and ending at the hemline.

Continue to the darts on the front piece of the skirt. Pin them in place using the cut-marks and thread-marks like you did with the darts on the back pieces.

Remember that the stitches should form a nice curve and end out running parallel to the fold for the last couple of stitches at the tip of the darts. Make sure you dont stretch the fabric while stitching.

If the tip of the dart is stitched to wide it will make the fabric bulge and create wrinkles across the stomach.

A pressing matter
One of the things that makes all the difference between tailoring and store bought cloth, is correct pressing.

You should never try on a skirt of dress for fitting without first pressing all seamlines. You will not be able to be sure the fit is correct if the garnment is not properly pressed.

Some steps in this process is most easily done during the stitching proces before the shape becomes too threedimensional.
Before stitching the skirt together along the side-seams, the front and back darts and the middle-back seam needs to be pressed.

Set your iron to a low temperature (wool) , unfold your ironing board and get your pressing-cloth and vaporizer ready for a little action.

The difference between ironing and pressing is, that while ironing you glide the hot iron across the cloth to remove wrinkles – while pressing you rest the hot iron on a seam or fold you wish to flatten and press together or apart.

Use the vaporizer to dampen your pressing-cloth.

Start by pressing the darts on the back of the skirt flat one by one.

Place the damp pressing cloth on the seam and the hot iron atop of it – make sure you only press the dart seam and not the fold below the tip of the dart as this might leave a permanent crease – and hold the iron in place for ten seconds.

Then flatten the middle-back seam , pressing the two layers of fabric together along the seamline by moving cloth and iron down along the seam pressing one piece at the time. Remember – don’t iron, press.

Next place the back skirtpiece with the outside down and use the cloth and iron to press each dart outwards so the excess fabric of the dart is pressed towards the side-seams.

Then still with the skirtpiece outside down, press the seamallowances of the middle-back seam apart.

At last, press the darts on the front-part of the skirt in the same fashion as the back-darts, first flat on the seams then outwards towards the edges.

And finally you can stitch the sideseams of the skirt together.

Pin the front and back-piece together and make sure to align the cut-marks at the tip of the hip-curves as well as aligning the waist and hemline.

Stitch from the waistline and down – taking care not to stretch the fabric while stitching the hipcurve, as it is possible to strech it longer which gives unwanted wrinkles and a poor fit..

Finally. Press the side seams together, then apart . Turn the skirt the right side out…- The skirt is now ready for fitting.

Fitting the basic skirt-pattern
For the first time put on your skirt and pin the opening together along with the 2 centimeter seamallowances.

Stand straight but relaxed in front of your full length mirror – not to close, you need to be able to see the overall picture – and take a good look at the result of your hard labour.

The skirt should fit snuggly at the waistline and around the hips, without wrinkles across the skirt or excess fabric at the hip curve.

In profile the sideseam should be a nice straigth vertical line that doesn’t lean forwards or backwards.

If it is a perfect fit you can skip the next couple of paragraphs, if not – identify your trouble areas and follow the instructions in the following text.

First, control whether the issue is even sided or primarily at the right or left side of the model – and not the result of standing slouched or with overstretched knees.

Don’t be to nit-picky – a tiny difference between right and left is not treated as a onesided issue.

Normally if the problem is evensided – like excess fabric at both hip-curves – you can continue working with a ½-pattern.

If on the other hand the issue is onesided – skirt seems shorter at one side than the other, for instance due to a handicapped leg – you might need to work with a full-pattern to account for the differences.

Excess fabric along the hip-curves.
Pinch the excess fabric together along the seam-line and place pins following the shape of your hip so you remove an equal amount of fabric from the back and the front piece of the skirt.

Remember, the hipcurve has to end up being symmetrical to be stitched together nicely.

Wrinkles / Excess fabric across the front of the skirt.
The skirt is to narrow and you will need to add width at the sideseams.

This often happens if you try to ”cheat with the measuring tape”, because they want to fell slimmer, or if you have been negligent in checking your controlmeasures.

You will need to redo your measurements and add the missing width at waist and hips.

Wrinkles / Excess fabric above the buttocks.

Side-seam leaning forward

Side-seam leaning backwards

Changing the pattern
So, finally to the fun part – the making of an actual tailored skirt. I have included several models for inspiration and tried to choose models that representent a variety of agegroups and with different levels of details.

My favorite way of devising new models from the basic pattern requires moe pattern paper, paper-scissors and transparent adhesive tape.

Start by picking a model and decide the skirt-length you want for it.

Next step is copying the front and back of your your basic skirtpattern separately – with all lines and darts – on transparent pattern-paper .

Leave some extra space on the paper along the middle-back line to make room for changes.

The middle front line is usually used as a foldline and can be drawn aligned with the edge of the pattern paper.
Make sure to add extra length to the side-seam if required.

Do not cut the parts of the pattern free from the paper yet.

Put your original pattern safely aside so you don’t get it cut up by accident, and follow the instructions for your chosen skirt model.

MODEL 1
A pretty Mermaid
The mermaid-skirt is one of my personal favorites. Following the hip-curve smoothly and then flaring out at the knees it is a gorgeous cut for the mature curvy woman, accentuating her natural shape.

This is also the simplest of the models with very few changes to the basic pattern and a very simple waistline and lining. The skirt is closed with a zipper in the middle-back seam and a tiny hook at the waistline.

Changing the side-seams
The major change from the basic pattern in this model is the line of the sideseam.
The line is tapered slightly from the tip of the hipkurve to right above the knee and then flared out from the knee to the hem-line.

MODEL 2
Paneled full-length Y-skirt with fitted waist-line and invisible zipper in the side-seam.
In this skirt we take advantage of the skirt-darts to create seams on the front and back that gives a nice Y-shape that accentuates the hips.

The model is slightly flared , cut in six panels – and looks good in everyday fabrics for work as well as in satin and velvets for evening wear.

It is also a great model if you want to work with more than one color material in a design.

The skirt has no waist-band and is closed with an invisible zipper that will disappear in the sideseam and a tiny hook in the waistline. The invisible zipper part can be a bit tricky but gets easier with practice.

Moving the darts to change the seam-lines.
The Y-shape of the middle-panels of this skirt is achieved by moving the darts from the waistline to the sideseams.

Measure the length of the front dart and make a mark the same length down the hipcurve on both front and back of the pattern.

With each dart, mark the side closest to middle line – the curved line on the frontdart closest to the middle front and the straight line of the back dart closest to the middle back – this line is used as the first cutting line when changing the pattern.

Draw straight lines from the marks on the hiplines to the tips of the darts on both front and back. This is used as the second cutting line when changing the pattern.

Grab your paper scissors and cut

Changing the side-seams

Facing the Lining

MODEL 3
Pleats and Buckles, the female wrap-around-Kilt
Pleats is one of the oldest ways to make a fitted skirts and it is represented far back in old egyptian murals and in and out of style, the Kilt has served as inspiration for a variety of skirt-models in modern fashion.

This model is draw as a miniskirt with a slightly lowered waistline, 16 rough pleats and the skirt is closed at the side with a hidden zipper on the inside – but with decorative straps and buckles on the outside.

If you feel a bit to shy to wear a mini, just lower the hemlime to an appropriate length.

Pleated skirts consumes alot more fabric than a smooth skirt.

The rule when working with pleated skirts is to have 3 times the width of the hipline at the height of the hipline.

Lower the waistline
Lowcut waistlines are made by removing the top of the basic skirt pattern.

Drawing the pleat lines.
First you need to divide the Pattern into 8 pieces ( this is a half pattern so 8 becomes 16 in the finished skirt ).

Divide the hipline and hemline into 4 pieces on the back and 4 pieces on the front. Draw vertical lines through the markings all the way to the waistline.

Don’t worry if your lines collide with darts, this will be fixed in the next step.

Move and divide the darts
Now you need to divide your darts and move them to the two pleat-lines closest to the sideseams on both front and back of the skirt.

First mark the length of the dart on the two pleat-lines. Measure the width of the dart at the top, divide that measure into halves and mark the half of each on each side of the pleatline.

Redraw the darts – straight on the back side and curvy on the front side of the skirt.

This should leave you with 2 new darts on each piece, each dart half the width of the original ones.

The hidden zipper

Straps and buckles

Facing the Lining

MODEL 4
Pencilskirt with walking slit and straight waistband with belt-straps
This is the classic librarian or suit-skirt. It’s never really out of fashion, the shape has stayed the same for generations and it’s stylish in most colors and fabrics.

This pattern is still very close to the basic skirt-pattern so it is a great skirt to work with for beginners that wants a fair amount of challenge.

Changing the side-seams :
The classic pencilskirt has a slightly tapered shape from the hip-curve to the hemline.

This is achieved very simply by tapering the side-seams equally on the front and pack pieces of the pattern from a bit below the hipcurve to 4 centimeters above the hemline. Make sure the last 4 centimeters are at a 90 degree angle to the hemline.

Adding the walking-slit:
Slits are usually added to make room for movement in narrow skirts. The walkingslit in the classic pencilskirt is an overlapping slit that splits the last 20 centimers of the back seam.

This is the most complex part of this model to stich, so take extra care to get it right on the pattern.

Start by making a mark on the middle-back seam line 20 centimeters above the hem-line. Use you set square to draw a 4 centimeter line at a 90 degree angle to the seam-line away from the pattern.

Elongate the hem-line 4 centimeters in the same direction. Connect the end of the lines so you have a 20 times 4 centimeter rectangle stuck to the lower par of the middle-back seam line.

If you encounter a lack of paper, simply tape on an appropriate patch at the right place.

Waist-band and belt-straps:
The waistband pattern for the classic pencilskirt is 3½centimeters wide and ia made as a straight piece the length of the waistline – plus 4 centimeters to make room for a single buttonhole.

Facing the Lining

The Devil is in the details – original vintage skirt-designs.
These designs are from my collection of antique household Tailoring manuals.

1900
A perfect sun and other circlular cuts
Circular cut skirts is a tiny chapter on it’s very own. The only mesurements you need for need for one of these are your waist-measurement and skirt-lenght.

The rest of the work is done by the magic numper of pi and a few simple calculations.

There is no use for darts in these models as there is more then adequate room for the curviest figure.

This pattern is simply put two cirkles – one small circle with the circumference based on the waist- measurement inside a larger circle with the circumference defined by the radius of the inner circle plus the skirt length.

The perfect Sun skirt is made from two full circular pieces where the inner circle has an circumference of ½ waistline, the half Sun is made from one full circular piece where the inner circle has an inner circumference of 1 waist line – and so forth.

1948 –
In 1948 Denmark was still reeling from the war, but at least fabric-rations were a thing of the past. This meant that the skirt-length went to the ancle and the shape was wide to show of the amounts of fabric.

1950
In the 1950’s the household tailoring manuals are becoming more fashion inspired.

Pockets
Pockets in the sideseam, on the inside or the outside.

Waistline variations
Should the waistline be a classic straight waistband, a fitted waist-line , high-cut or lowcut?

Fashions change all the time and the waistline and silhuet with them.

Made from the right Fabric

Warp

Weft

-linen weave or plain weave is the simplest and strongest form of weave.

-twill weave

-satin weave has a nice smooth, shiny surface very popular is eveningwear and weddingdresses but should be kept away from Velcro at all times. In satin the

Charmeuse is lightweight satin, great for draping.

Duchess(e) satin is a particularly luxurious heavy, stiff satin-type -great for tuxedo and dress-collars and corsets alike.

Falling in Love with a difficult fabric.
Sometimes you will encouter fabrics that looks absolutely amazing but requires extra thought in preparation, cutting and stitching.

I have cursed at slippery silk velvet that just wont stay put , gritted my teeth while adjusting pleats in striped and chequered fabrics and spent hours first removing and then reattaching beads and pearls to cover up seamlines.

Some of these fabrics even require that you change your pattern into one that fits the fabric.

-pile fabrics
As mentioned earlier velvet has a clear difference between up and down, and if you by accident get one of your pattern pieces turned the wrong way( or due to lack of fabric because you forgot to take this into accounts when calculating the amount needed for the model ), it will show in the finished result.

When you run your hand along your velvetfabric you will notice that it is kind of like stroking your hand with or against the fur of a soft animal. In your finished model running the hand downwards should be against the fur – this direction will present the velvet in a deeper richer color. Turn it the other way around and the coler will seem shiny instead of deep. This can be used on purpose.

If you decide to work with silk velvet be prepared for further trouble. Covering your cutting table with the freshly ironed sheet will help you keep it in place, but you will need to stich every seam instead of using pins before sewing.

Patterns.
If you choose a patterned fabric velvet you will have to take special care when calculating how much fabric you need and when placing the pattern on the fabric for cutting.

If you are working with a floral or repetitive abstract pattern, make sure to take notice if the pattern has a clearly defined up and down as well as the scale of the repeat in the pattern.

Lace, pearl-embroidery and Bridal-fabrics
When you work with bridal and eveningwear, certain fabrics are almost unavoidable.

Lace looks absolutely lovely but it is usually patterned with the challenges this presents, and it might even have a wavy or curvy edge that just wont fit at the seams unless you change your pattern to fit the fabric.

Beaded and pearl-eambroidered fabrics are beatiful, expensive and a pain in the something to work with. Make sure you have a small container handy for the pearls you will have to remove so you wont be missing them when you do the final coverup, and don’t try to do this in a hurry.

When you have decided how to lay out your pattern on the fabric and carefully drawn seam-allowance , start by removing alle pearls that will be in the cutting line.

Fabric sciccors are not constructed to cut through glass – metal – plastic or whatever material the beads are made from.

Cut the pattern carefully from the excess fabric, remove the extra material and collect any loose beads from the table.

And then you need to remove all beads in the seamallowances and darts plus an extra ½ centimeter into the pattern to make room for sewing. This is especially important if you are working with glass beads and a sewing-machine as the tread of the machine will crush the beads into tiny glass splinters.

Wool, silk, cotton and polyester – the pros and cons of natural vs. synthetic fibres

Cutting on the bias

2 Shirts, blouses and simple dresses.
The simple dress.
A long square piece of cloth folded along the center with a hole or slit cut for the head and maybe stiched along the side leaving opening for the arm or simply tied around the waist – and voilá, a simple poncho or tunic is created.

Add two smaller squares stiched on to cover the arms and depending on length you have a shirt or a dress.

Of course there is a bit more to it in the fitted tailored version of the pattern – just like with the skirt pattern.

These are the basic ideas behind dresses, blouses, tunics and shirts from the beginning of fashion history to the present day.

Cuffs and collars, pockets and buttons – used ”correctly” they are all details that makes the difference between standard storebought clothes and unique tailoring.

These are the basic principles behind the dress and shirt pattern, one is a longer version of the other so it is two patterns in one.

Measuring for a simple dress.
Measuring for the skirt might be possible to do on your own, but its a bit different with the dress pattern – taking your own measurements for this would require some twisting and turning that makes the measurements less accurate.

So enlist the help of someone you don’t mind getting pretty close to as measuring is done in our personal space.

As a tailor you are trained to measure all widths from the clients side, this way only the measuring-tape needs to touch the more personal areas on the front and back.

You can reuse some of the measurements from the skirt-pattern, or if you skipped that chapter spend a few minutes to read through the instructions now.

Remember to wear the belt or ribbon at the waistline after doing your waist measurement as there are a lot more height measurements required for the dress pattern then for the skirt pattern.

Waist, page x
remember to breathe deeply as you take this measurement – if it is too tight the finished result will also be to narrow

Hip, page x

Hip II ( control-measure), page x

Skirt length, page x

Chest / Bust width
is measured around the widest part of the chest, ( at nippleheight).
When viewed from the side the measuring tape should follow a straight horisontal line and not dip to the front or back.

Collar / Neck width
is measured around the neck with a couple of fingers inside the measuring tape to insure a comfortable fit in necklines and collars.

Neckline height

Shoulder-width
This measure can be a bit tricky in the beginning. To find the inner tip of this measure, place your hand flat on the side of your neck and wriggle your shoulder up and down to find the point where your neck meets the shoulder.

Place and hold the end of your measuring tape here.

Thebach shoulderseam is drawn at least ½-1 centimeters wider than the one on the front. This is to accomodate at dart at the beck that insures room for movement across the back.

Back width
is mesured across the shoulderblades, stand with your arms along the side and measure across the widest part of the shoulderblades from arm to arm.

Upper arm width
is measured at the widest part of the upper arm. This is used as the measure for the width of the sleeves.

Upperarm width height ( control measure )

Cuff / wrist width
is measured around the wristbones and used as the width of the finished sleeve
bottom and for cuffs on shirts

Shoulder-height (control measure)
is measured across the outer tip of the shoulder from the front of the waistband to the back of the waistband.

This is used to decide where to place the shoulder seam ( balancing the figure ).

Chest height
is the distance from the inner tip of the front shoulder-seam to the widest point ( again, nippleheight )

Arm length
Is the distance measured from the outer tip of the shoulder seam at the shoulderbone to just below the wristbone.

Drawing the basic dress-pattern.

Preparation
Get your paper, rulers and pencils ready again.

The Bodice
Like the skirtpattern the dress pattern starts with a square – this will form the bodice of the finished pattern.

The width of the bodice square is half a chest width plus 1 centimeters for movement, the length is the dress length.

Depending on the difference between your chest width and your hipwidth this might end out as an overlapping pattern – with hipcurves drawn overlapping. This will be addressed in the pattern making.

Make sure to leave extra room – about 10 centimeters at the top of the pattern paper for adjusting shoulder seam lines.

Side-seams

Mark the new pattern-outline

Front darts

Back darts

Control-measure

Finish of by copying the front and back pieces separately on transparent patternpaper and remember to redraw the waistline and darts.

The Sleeves
As you by now have discovered, pattern starts out with a square.
The square for the the basic sleeve pattern is the arm length in height and the upperarm width plus two centimeters for movement in width.

Cutting the basic dress-pattern for fitting
Prepare the cutting table in the same way as with the skirt (page x ) and remember to to iron your fabrics.

Drawing the line
fold the fabric and align the front part of the pattern along the foldline with no seam allowance like described with the skirt pattern.

The seam allowences along the side seams and middle back seam is 2 centimeters, along the shoulderseams and armhole 1 centimeter – and no seam allowances along neck and hem lines.

Mark all dart tips and the widths of the darts along the waistline with marking threads through the layers.

The cutting edge.

Stitching the basic dress-pattern for fitting
Start by stitching the darts on the front and back parts of the pattern.
Fold the fabric along the middle line of the dart straight with the grain of the fabric, and check that your marking thread at the waistline are aligned.

Use needle and thread to stitch the dart roughly together along the dart outline – the stitches are marking stitches – check the pattern and make sure that the lower part of the frontdart is curved as drawn on the pattern.

When you are sure about the shape, stitch the darts properly together using the rough stitches as an outline.

All vertical seams – side seams, middle back seam are stiched downwards from the top of the pattern. This is to make sure that any irregularities in the seam-allowance from cutting will end up at the hemline.

The back seam should be kept open from the neckline to 20 centimeters below the waistline.

A pressing matter

Fitting the basic dress-pattern

Excess fabric along the side-seam.

Wrinkles / Excess fabric across the front of the dress.

Wrinkles / Excess fabric across the back of the dress.

Side-seam leaning forward

Side-seam leaning backwards

Changing the pattern

And now for the fun part, making something to wear.

Dresses
One day I am going to do an entire book about dress-patterns.

The dress combines all the possible variations of the skirt with all the possibilities of the bodice.

The first two patterns are dress patterns, a simple summerdress with shoulderstraps and a classic little black dress that is great to have in the closets when nothing else suits the occasion.

Copy the two halves of the bodice and the sleeve on transparent pattern paper, transferring all lines and marks, you know the drill.

The ”royal” cuts

the Empire-waistline
Napoleon and josephine, fragile fabrics ( so delicate and sheer that the ideal dress was said to be able to be drawn through the opening of the Ladys fingerring ) and noble ladies with chestcough.

With the high waistline moved to just below the bust makes this a great basic pattern if you are designing maternity wear.

the Princess cut .
The Princess cut is based on cuts following the placement of the darts in the basic dress pattern and all the way through to the hemline.

This creates a model in six panels, three on the front and three on the back.

In a very popular version of this cut the upper darts in the bodice are moved to the arm line and curved, much in the same way as described with the skirt darts being moved to the hip line in the Y-skirt ( page x ).

MODEL 1
A simple sleeveless princess cut summer-dress with V- neckline and button opening in the front.

This model is cute in floral prints, pastels and bright colors. The skirt is flared and great for twirling.

For the summerdress we will use the upper darts to create a curved princess cut and split the dress pattern down to the hem line through the centerline of the darts to create the width in the skirt – and along the center front line to allow for buttons.

Creating the curved Princess cut.
Start by moving the top-darts on the bodice to the armholes.

The first cutline is the outer edge of the top dart.

For the second cutline you need to find the most pleasing point to draw the curve.
I do this by using my straight ruler placing one end at the tip of the dart and moving the ruler around the curve of the arm hole, looking for a pleasing line to form the curve around.

Remember

Flaring the skirt.
The best result is achievd by flaring the skirt equally along all vertical cutlines – except at the center front where the straight edge is kept for the buttons.

You can flare the skirt as much as you like, just remember each centimeter adds to the amount of fabric needed to make the model.

Facing the lining
Most dresses and shirts requires some sort of facing at the neckline and in case of this sleeveless model facing is also required to line the arm holes.

The Buttoned opening and the front of the neckline lining can either be drawn in one with the front panel or as a separate piece to conserve fabric.

The linings are drawn 4 centimeters wide.

MODEL 2
Coctail-dress with waterfall-neckline side darts walking slit and zipped at the side.

The Little Black Dress – everybody needs one.

Before the 1920s black was mostly used as a widowers color , and as such not approved of when worn outside this social norm.

But in the roaring twenties a lot of things changed, the female role in society not the least.
Emancipation was expressed externally with a farewell to the restrictions of the whalebone corsets and a hallo to hemlines way above the knees.

And Coco Chanel introduced the concept of The Little Black Dress worn not for mourning, but as a basic part of the wardrobe that could be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion.

This was not seen as a fashionrevolution, but The Little Black Dress had made its debut and less then a decade later the phrase ”The Little Black Dress” was so common it was used for advertising purposes.

Fashions have changed since, but The Little Black Dress has adapted and is still seen as an essential part of a good wardrobe.

This Little Black Dress is based on classic designs from the sixties worn by fashion icons like Audrey Hepburn in ”Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.

Facing the lining
Most dresses and shirts requires some sort of facing at the neckline.

MODEL 2
Simple single-breasted short-sleeved shirt with convertible collar and simulated cuffs.

Facing the lining
On this simple shirt the facing at the single-breasted button opening is drawn and cut in one with the front bodice.

The front bodice can not be drawn along the foldline of the fabric in this model, remember to take this into account when calculating how much fabric you need.

The collar is a simple reversible collar drawn as one pattern piece.

MODEL 4
Classic tailored shirt with two-piece collar, cuffs, shirt band opening and front-pockets.

The perfect shirt to wear with a pencilskirt for that sexy librarian look. The cut is a feminized version of an originally masculine design.

The Devil is in the details – original vintage dress and shirt-designs.
One of the wonderful things about fashion history is that you learn that there is no perfect bodytype, just the preferred bodytype of a certain age.

In 1948 the household tailoring advice for skinny people is long-sleeves and high necklines ”so you do not show the unattractive bonyness of the figure”.
This is a far cry from the bodyview in the seventies where Twiggy , -who’s name says it all – was considered the ideal fashion-model.

So if you feel that your figure is overlooked by the presentday designers, look to another age for inspiration, there is plenty to be had.

1900

1948

1950

Pockets

Collars and cuffs

A simple reverse collar.

Jabot

Sleeves
Short sleeves long sleeves, skinny sleeves and puffy sleeves

3 Corsages and red carpet- dresses.

The simple corsage.
The corsage is most easily described as a light-weight corset. It really describes the inner structure of the garnment as the outside is often richly decorated with draped fabric , silk-flowers etc-

But remember, this is not real corsetting – it needs to fit your measures and should not be expected to do the job of an actual shape changing corset (which i could write yet another and rather advanced book about).

If you want the real corsetted shape, buy a good corset and wear it beneath the dress and during measuring. Even though many of the corsets you can buy today are decorated and meant to be worn for outerwear.

One of the really great things about corsages is that you don’t need alot of fabric.
This makes it a lot cheaper to create stunning eveningwear as you can splurge on the material in the corsage and choose a cheaper fabric in a complimentary color for the skirt.

Measuring for a simple corsage.
Measurements for corsages are tight measures. This is a garnment meant to stay in place and made with enough rigidity to carry the weight of quite elaborate decorations on the outside, plus in the case of the full length corsage dress the weight of what ever skirt you choose to combine it with.

Make sure that you wear the same underwear for measuring as you intend to wear with the finished model, different bras can change the shape of your figure significantly.

Waist

Hip

Hip II ( control-measure)

Chest / Bust

Under the chest

Shoulder-width

Shoulder-height

Drawing the basic corsage-pattern.
You can use most of the priciples from drawing your basic dress pattern when drawing this.

Preparation
Get your drawing equipment handy – remember the eraser for this project unless your are very skilled.

Side-seams

Mark the new pattern-outline

Front darts

Back darts

Control-measure

Cutting the basic corsage-pattern for fitting

Drawing the line

The cutting edge.

Stitching the basic corsage-pattern for fitting

A pressing matter

Fitting the basic corsage-pattern

Excess fabric along the side-seam.

Wrinkles / Excess fabric across the front of the corsage

Wrinkles / Excess fabric across the back of the corsage

Side-seam leaning forward

Side-seam leaning backwards

Changing the pattern

MODEL 1
A simple strapless corsage zipped at the back.

This is the corsage for beginners. The model is simple and you can decorate it in any way you like, it’s cute in satin or corduroy – as evening wear or to spruce up an everyday outfit.

MODEL 2
Cute corsage-vest for jeans-wear

MODEL 3
Princess cut Corsage with upright collar and heartshaped neckline zipped at the side.

My own favorite model, and with a bit of imagination the base of your very own Evil Queen cos-play dress.

MODEL 4
Wedding-dress corsage with lowriding shoulderstraps

The Devil is in the details – original vintage corsage -designs.

Origin of corsetting

1900

1930

1950

Pockets

3 Jackets and coats

The basic jacket
Capes, cloaks and coats – cool outerwear for cool weather.

Measuring for the basic jacket

Waist

Hip

Hip II ( control-measure)

Chest / Bust

Shoulder-width

Shoulder-height

Drawing the basic jacket-pattern.

Preparation

Side-seams

Mark the new pattern-outline

Front darts

Back darts

Control-measure

Facings

Cutting the basic jacket-pattern for fitting

Drawing the line

The cutting edge.

Stitching the basic jacket-pattern for fitting

A pressing matter

Fitting the basic jacket-pattern

Excess fabric along the side-seam.

Wrinkles / Excess fabric across the front of the corsage

Wrinkles / Excess fabric across the back of the corsage

Side-seam leaning forward

Side-seam leaning backwards

Changing the pattern

MODEL 1
Simple jacket with one seam sleeves two button closing and shawl- collar

MODEL 2
A-shaped coat with fly front opening, sewn-on pockets, one seam fitted sleeves with elbow dart and Eton collar