Monday, March 30, 2015

Lengthening a Short Sleeve: Sew Chic Tia Dress

 Hi Everyone, time for another alteration request. This tutorial shows you how to lengthen a cap sleeve. I'll be using the Tia Dress Pattern to demonstrate.
 The easiest way to lengthen the sleeve on a cap is to draw a straight line from underarm to underarm. On this pattern, it lengthens about 1 3/4". Be sure to also extend the sleeve markings.
If you need more length beyond that, extend the underarm seam the same distance on each side and then draw a line across, perpendicular to the grain line. Add in the sleeve markings to the seam line as before. 
(not shown).

This alteration will change the fit of the sleeve band. You'll want to measure your arm and change the size of the sleeve band to fit your arm at this new length.

And if you want to make a complete pattern size adjustment, try Pattern Resizing Tutorial Part 1: Small to Large or Pattern Resizing Tutorial Part 2: Large to Small!

Enjoy! Best to All-

Sunday, March 29, 2015

How to Resize to Plus Size Sewing Pattern: The Sew Chic Spin Skirt

Hi Everyone! I often get requests to resize my sewing patterns for the vintage curvy girls- and while I would LOVE to do that, there are just too many hurdles of every kind to tackle that type of expansion right now. In the mean time, enjoy this easy to do DIY tutorial for resizing the Sew Chic Spin Skirt, #LN1209.

To start off, we need to do a little math. It's very handy that the waist/hip ratio in my example is exactly the same as the waist/hip ratio on my chart: 10" difference. If your ratio is different, I will mention what to do about that in a few steps, but for now we are going to need only the waist numbers.

We  need to find out how much difference there is between the waist measurement and the chart. Subtract the chart size 18 (38") from your measurement and divide the difference by 4.


The result is how much we need to add to the pattern, both front and back.

Make a long strip, 3 3/4" wide (per my example, your number may be different) that we can tape to our pattern. I used my cutting board grid to draw the first line, and then I'll measure across and make some dash marks to follow all the way down. Don't trust your board to measure for you. They are great for making straight lines, but as you can see, the squares on my board are not accurate.

Now connect your dash marks, creating two parallel lines.

Here are my two lines with 3 3/4" between them.

 With the yoke front, match up the first line with the center front line on the yoke. Tape in place.

Using the grid board and your ruler, square off the top and bottom, extending the yoke pattern.

 Relabel your pattern markings. Cross out the old labeling so you will know what to do if you use this pattern again in the future. Your pattern should look like this. In my example, I need to cut from the extension and follow the size 18 cut line.

If your waist hip ratio is smaller than 10", cut the size 18 and make any needed changes during fittings. If your waist/hip ratio is larger, it is at this point you would reshape the hip curve at the side seam, adding width to the bottom of the pattern (1/4 of the
ratio difference), tapering from nothing  at the waist. For example, if your waist/hip difference is 12" (2" more than the 10" pattern ratio), 2" divided by 4 = 1/2" needs to be added to the hip at the side seam.

Follow the same procedure for the back yoke. Use the grid board and the ruler to line up and move the notches to the new location.


The grain line stays the same.  Cross out the old center back and cut line. Make any needed adjustment to the hip at the side seam as you did with the front yoke.

 Now we move on to the skirt pattern. I've taped on the 3 3/4" strip to the pattern center front.

In order to keep the skirt flare evenly divided, I'm going to split the extension more or less in half by drawing a line down the middle. Mine is divided into 2" and 1 3/4" strips.
 Cut apart at the line. I'm going to add this cut away piece to the side seam.If you have altered the hip at the yoke, be sure and add this additional amount to the side seam also. Square off the extensions at the hip and hem as before.
 Here is what my skirt front looks like. Repeat this procedure to complete the skirt back.

To sew the skirt, I recommend a different order of operations from the booklet that comes with your pattern. Sew the skirt front to the yoke front, and the skirt back to the yoke back first. Then sew the side seams and center back seam so that you'll be better able to test the fit and alter it at the side seam in one step. I also recommend a full 9" or 12" zipper, which will provide for easier access in and out of your spin skirt. 

And for another post on resizing small to large, go to;postID=145088865645792885;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=3;src=postname

I'm excited, so sent me photos! Let me know this tutorial was useful to you.
Happy Sewing Day!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Sewing and Stitchery Expo 2015

This year I took a little bit of a "vendor" break and went to Expo to network and help my friend Dana Marie, designer at Dana Marie Designs. If you aren't familiar with her work, it's part wearable art and part rock 'n roll. I know her through my affiliation with the Independent Pattern Company Alliance. Visit her site here:

 The first day of the show I wore the new Pendleton design. I got so many lovely compliments and gave out a whole lot of business cards.  

However, my dress wasn't nearly as popular as my shoes! Many people commented- mostly about how comfortable (or not) they thought they must be. One woman came by and said "They told us to take pictures"  so she took a photo of my shoes. I wear a lot of black and white and red combinations, so it's true- these shoes are my all time favorites. I hope they never wear out.
The second day I had more opportunity to get out of the booth and wander. I wore Ginseng, a new spring design that will be out sometime between now and the end of March. So many people stopped me, swarmed, commented. It warmed my heart to know that people liked it.

Of course my affiliation with Simplicity meant I wanted to go to the fashion show. I enjoyed it very much. Stopping by the booth, I found they were giving away Simplicity clothing labels! The labels give you a space to write the pattern number, and then it is sewn into the garment. Years ago, they would give those away at the pattern counter. Would you add a label if they made them easily available again?

The business cards represent all the great people I met and talked to, like Carley Struve, instructor at Sew Good. It's wonderful to connect with the many people that do their part to keep the love of sewing alive! See you all at Expo next year!

Happy Sewing!