THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

December 27, 2006

Book “Sewing for Men and Boys”

Filed under: Els,Sewing For Children,Sewing For Men,Sewing Library — Els @ 7:28 am

By Diva Els 

Last month I won a book on ebay called “Sewing for men and boys”. I had no idea what the book was about, besides sewing men clothes but the title sounded interesting enough to buy it.
I received the book today, it is a soft cover with 97 pages published in 1973 by Simplicity.

I was very pleased to see that a lot of tailoring sewing techniques I learned from a Dutch tailor are clearly described with a lot of pictures/ diagrams.
This is the first time I noticed that real tailoring techniques are available for the home sewer.

I have other tailoring books but this one is very well written and does have great accompanied pictures so you can see what to do.
Also pressing techniques and the specific pressing tools are described very well.
The sewing and tailoring information can also be used for sewing for woman like jackets and coats.
You can see the index

This book is OOP ( out of print) but worthwhile to search for if you want to learn more about tailoring techniques.

July 21, 2006

Sewing Better Looking Children’s Clothes

Filed under: Fabric,Sewing For Children — phyllisc @ 5:20 am

As the rest of the Divas know, I have strong opinions about sewing children clothing. If you go onto Pattern Review, the vast majority of projects are from Moms making clothes for their kids – a wonderful expression of love. Children’s clothing is also a good way for beginners to learn sewing. Children’s patterns are simpler than adult patterns, and the little ones will still wear your project proudly event if your skills are still developing.

But let’s be frank – nothing suffers from the “happy hands at home” syndrome more than home sewn baby and children’s clothing, and this distressing fact is not always related purely to sewing skill.

But there are a few things you can do to make you children’s sewing look as good as your adult sewing. The shirt above incorporates several concepts I apply when making clothes for small fry:

Print Scale & Pattern Repeats – Originally, I wanted to make this shirt from a black cotton festooned with chilies. However, as you can see, the motif size and pattern repeat on the chili fabric was just too big for such a tiny size garment:

No Cheap Fabric – Everyone loves a bargain, but using poorly made fabrics just makes your project look cheap. If you wouldn’t wear the fabric yourself, don’t make children’s clothes from it. Last year I made a wool/cashmere coat for a toddler, which sounds ridiculously extravagant; but remember these are tiny garments that use so little fabric you can often use remnants or less than one yard of new fabric. Plus you’ll create something special that will definitely be handed down gratefully.

No Juvenile Prints – children are so beautiful that they don’t need to be adorned with dinosaurs, soccer balls and ballerinas. Expand your fabric choices and consider looking beyond traditional kids prints.

Sew it Like an Adult Garment – We sewists think nothing of changing pattern details we don’t like, and the same concept can be applied to children’s clothing. The pattern for the shirt above is Butterick 6030. I really liked the sport shirt styling, but the pattern collar piece was pretty crudely drafted and it didn’t give me the sport shirt look I wanted. So I modifed it to this:

…which gave me the more RTW-looking collar you see above. Also, as with an adult garment, good sewing habits get results – so press as you go during construction, and clean finish your seams.

These concepts will make your childrens sewing as impressive as the garments you do for adults. You can read a full review of this shirt on Pattern Review.

June 16, 2006

Ritual Cloth by Sewing Diva Els

by Diva Els 

Back in the eighties there was a US cartoon about Turtles, broadcasted every wednesday afternoon on Dutch television. My oldest son, then 6 year old, was a huge fan of these so-called Ninja Teenage Mutant Hero turtles.
I made a summer jacket on which I applicated one of the Ninja teenage turtles, the one my son particularly liked (there were 4 of them but my son had one special favourite “Donatello”). The jacket had to be green and blue because that were his favorite colors and I found some Turtle cotton for the lining. The turtle I copied from a coloring book and I bought some small tubes of textile paint and went at work, precise cutting of the small parts from cotton fabric and painting them in the right colors, used doubble sided fusible tape and meticulous sewing around the edges. The look on his face when he saw the finished jacket was worth all the trouble I went trough. Now 17 years later I am still thankful for keeping his jacket which brings back nice memories.

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