THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

November 22, 2009

Hot Patterns Free Slinky Shrug Download Simplified

Filed under: Mary Beth,Pattern Reviews,Patterns,Technology — Mary Beth @ 3:40 pm

Free Pattern HP's Slinky Shrug

The Slinky Shrug is available through yet another collaboration between Hot Patterns and the folks at Fabric.com.  The link to download the pattern is http://csi.fabric.com/shrug

This could be such a quick and easy gift done in elegant fabrics :) and a wonderful bed jacket for reading in bed or shoulder warmer to wear while hand sewing in a chair by the window.  Imagine how pleasing that would be for your special person to receive.

Having cut my 21st century pattern using teeth on a pattern drafting software program I might have a trick that can make it easier for you to procure this free pattern.

I downloaded the PFD file and saved it to my computer.  Then I examined my printer’s settings carefully.  We want the printer to make no amendments to the pattern size or shape.  We’ll even sacrifice some of the cutting lines to make sure nothing changes.

First, let’s make sure the printer doesn’t distort your pattern.   Turn off the page scaling!  Don’t allow any setting like  fit to printable area!  Don’t have it shrink to printable area.  Make sure all other boxes that might affect the size of the printing are unchecked.

You can print out all the 27 pages like I did

That’s 4 columns of 7 pages each, plus the cover page and 2 pages of instructions…

Or you can take the easy way out, benefit from my compulsiveness, and print only those pattern pieces you really need.

Because the page notations made by the pattern drawing software doesn’t match the page numbers that the printer will print I had to do lots of counting and recounting but I’ve printed everything out using the following commands and got all the pages needed to make up the 2 pattern pieces.  You can see my confused and confusing notations below, but please ignore them and focus instead on the shape of the pattern

The Front

and the Back.

To print the front “cover page” and instructions:   make 3 separate commands to your printer.  Have it print page 1, and then page 8, and then page 15.  Done and there is no need to tape these together although you can see I did tape the first 2 together…Sigh.

To print out the main pattern pieces (there are only two)

Back (cut 1 on fold) make 3 separate commands that your printer print pages 5 – 7, and then 13-14, and then 20-21. These pages will show you sizes 6 through 22.

You’ll need to print page 25 if you are cutting a size 26 and want the reassurance of having the line to cut on.  The cutting line for size 24 lies right on the edge of the page so it doesn’t even print out at all.

No worry, all you have to do is measure the incremental increase between the other sizes and add that much to find the cutting line for size 24 and size 26.

Butt the edges of the pages together and tape.

Front (cut two pieces) print pages 10-11,  and then 17-19, and then pages 22-25.  Tape them together and you are all done with the tedious paperwork.

Butt the edges of the pages together and tape.

Now you can cut out your main fashion fabric.

To make the ribbing cut straight pieces with the fabric stretch going the length (long wise) of the piece being cut.

Remember that the exact length may have to be adjusted to suit the “stretch” of your ribbing so cut long and stretch test!

Front ribbing piece.  Cut one piece on the fold:  11 3/4” wide x 22 3/4 for size 6, add 3/8″ for each size you go up from size 6.  So size 10 would be 23 1/2, etc

Back Hem Ribbing piece:  again 11.75″ wide, cut on on the fold.  The incremental on the back is 1/2 inch so size 6 is 8 5/8″,  size 10 is 9 5/8, etc

Cuffs pieces are 5 3/4″ wide, size 6 is 10 7/8, and sizes up by a 3/8ths increment.

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All that said: I cut the pieces all extra long so I could adjust  for easing and stretching.

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All seam allowances are 3/8″.  I used the serger to join the wool boucle pieces together at the shoulder seams and side seams.  It’s too easy to do it any other way.  Of course you can also cut a lining and bag the ribbing with just a little hand stitching to close it up.

And might you have trouble finding ribbing, you can also experiment with knitting some ribbing or even using a stretch fabric that coordinates with your fashion fabric.

I pretended I didn’t have my stash of rayon ribbing to use because so many of us do not (to your great relief, believe me!) and I looked around for a knit to use.

I found knit faux fur!

It has a stiffening finish on the knit side that can be loosened by steam so I steamed and stretched to match the curves of the shrug:  stretched the cut edges around the neck area and stretched in the fold area around the bodice to the hips.  I also eased in the fur through the rounded front pieces:

I used the exact widths for the cuffs and edge ribbing so you can see the results.  I cut a size 14 throughout but adjusted the lengths of the faux fur since it does not stretch as much as ribbing would stretch.

Woven wool boucle with faux fur knit

Front of Shrug with Faux Fur for Ribbing

Outside our day has turned dark and rainy so I had to seriously alter these photos to show you any details at all

So wouldn’t this pattern make some great Holiday gifts?

November 16, 2009

Dressmaking class in Mago Kenya

Filed under: Dressmaking,Els,Machines,sewing,sewing notions — Els @ 11:22 am
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Last month my HB and I were traveling in Kenya for 3 weeks and I was lucky to visit a dressmaker’s class in Mago, a small village in Western Kenya.

The Dressmaking/Tailoring class  is a department of a Polytechnic school that was built and financed in 2005 by some Dutch people.

We stayed for 6 days in the guesthouse http://www.magoguesthouse.com/

The stay in the guesthouse  guesthouse provide the needed income for the school. Our oldest son is doing an internship for 6 month there together with his girlfriend Linda, as part of their final year of study of Tourism and Management. They will do the marketing and manage the guesthouse .

The Catering & Hospitality students provide services at the guesthouse .

Our son went to South Africa last April to do some shorter studies and internships at a school in Port Alfred for his  Tourism and Management major.  He bought a Toyota Hilux 4×4 and has driven the old jeep through Swaziland, Tanzania, Lesotho, Zambia, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Zanzibar to Kenya where he started his internship late August and we have missed him terribly.  It was a joy to see him again and to see where he is working now.

The polytechnic school has several departments for students (age 18-28) to get an education for 2 years in  Motor Vehicle Mechanics, Carpentry & Joinery, Building & Construction , and Tailoring & Dress making.

Motor Vehicle MechanicsCarpentry class

Building and Construction classsewing classroom

dressmaking students at work

I knew beforehand that the school had a dressmaking/tailoring class so I stuffed some possible hard to get fabrics like stretch lace, sewing notions, books: Fit for real people , Sew Any Patch PocketSew Any Set-In Pocket and some  pattern magazines like Burda, Knip and Diana in my suitcase.

I had the pleasure to see the students at work and was welcomed by the teacher and students as a colleague dressmaker.

There are 36 students in the dressmaking class and they learn  pattern drafting and sewing.

The students learn to sew and make samples not using muslin  fabric but they draft a pattern on brown craft paper and learn to sew that paper garment made on ½ scale and this way they learn to know which steps are going to be sewed first.

The students are working in two classrooms, one is for the theory and the other classroom has 24 beautiful Singer treadle machines.

singer treadle machines

Sewing sample

I spend a day at the Dressmaking/tailoring School and shared some sewing techniques, for example I made a sample of a bound buttonhole on a treadle machine that was for me a new experience, since I am used to an electric sewing machine.

I have some vague remembrance of sewing once on a treadle machine in grammar school but since that did happen a long way ago I felt such a beginner sewing on such a machine.

The Singer machines they use are beautiful and well-maintained.

All the dressmakers/tailor shops I saw when we drove through the villages in Kenya are using treadle machines since only a few people are lucky to have access to electricity.

The Dressmaking/Tailoring School is well equipped by Kenyan standards but they could use some better scissors and from my point of view more notions as I happened to find out when I needed to use scissors for cutting some fabric.

As a dressmaker I know that good tools are such a pleasure to work with and will make the sewing part so much more enjoyable.

I tried to find a notion/sewing store in the big cities like Nairobi and Mombasa but I could not find even one.

So once we were home again after our fantastic 3 week vacation traveling in Kenya, I was planning to do some serious shopping for the dressmaking/tailoring class.

I told my parents and sister about my shopping plan and they spontaneously donated money too, so I could buy 36 scissors, thread nippers and seam rippers, plus a large dressmakers shear and pinking shear, plus some other notions which I thought they could use.

notions A

I had some red upholstery leather in my stash from an old leather couch once owned by my sister so I made sheets to protect the scissor blades and made an extra pocket so the seam ripper and thread nipper were all in one place.

sheath36 hoesjes klaar a

It was a lot of work but fun to make since I knew beforehand that those notions would be for a good cause.

Since it is very expensive to ship the 5-kilo scissors to Kenya I was very lucky to find out from one of the Dutch founding member of the board (who started and finance the school)that friends of him would travel to Kenya and could pack the scissors in their suitcases.

So the 165 km drive to another town to hand out the scissors was well spent and was cheaper than shipping with no worry that the scissors could get lost during shipping. The scissors were accepted with great appreciation and will help the students to accomplish their work to become a dressmaker/tailor and start a dressmaking business to earn a living.

The other notions, dressmakers ham and pattern book  Modelling and Flat Cutting for Fashion by Helen Stanley are traveling with the parents of my son’s girlfriend Linda who are leaving tomorrow for their Kenya vacation.

I wish I had the opportunity to do some volunteer work at the Dressmaking/Tailoring school but since that will not be possible I was happy that our family could donate some needed tools to make sewing much more enjoyable and pleasant.

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