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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Bringing it Down to Size…


My mom’s birthday was a few weeks ago and of course, no holiday, birthday or other special event can pass without the making of a handmade gift. I mean, that’s like not bringing my mom flowers in the summer time. It’s my mom. My mother’s sadness over Petite Sophisticate closing a few years ago still persists however, and so upon finding a really pretty purple and white floral print and then with luck on my side, a matching purple fabric to go with, I just had to make her a nice new petite outfit.

Now, the problem with making my mom an outfit is she is the itty bitty size 4 petite (I know, crazy right? I come from a long line of petite people. How I ended up so tall I will never know. If I didn’t look so much like both my parents I would think I was definitely adopted). Anyway, one of the things about having all of these sewing patterns is they are all various sizes, and since so many of them are older patterns, I find they are in a lot of cases a size 10 and above. I think the older sewing patterns offer a really nice range of adjustments for scaling patterns up or down, and you will find a long line of books that will help you do that as well. In the end the skirt was purple, brought down from a size 10. This was a newer pattern and one that actually came from my mom. The only things I changed were I doubled up the patterned fabric with the solid purple, and I didn't clip the sides.

I was just looking for a basic elastic skirt styled skirt so she should wear it to work and look nice, but feel cool and comfortable in the heat. The purple and white patterned fabric was sheer though so I backed the skirt in a solid purple, and then I used the same fabric for the top. The skirt pattern was really simple and I would say my attempt to scale this down to her size (tough since I didn’t have her measurements on hand when making this set) ended up with this skirt more of a size 3 but my mom said she liked it kind of tight, it gave it a nice slimming look so she was happy. The top was a new pattern for me and the first time I have made a top with thin straps and adjustable straps so it was a fun one and I really liked that pattern. I scaled it down too much so it fit but was more like a size 2 top, but it was a really nice pattern to work with and I have since worked out the sizing issues so you will soon see lots of new tops in all styles in this pattern soon. I’m off to the shop in a few to make new ones. Definitely a favorite!

Next was the jacket, and though I sew a lot and have sewn a fair range in clothing, I have never sewn a jacket with a collar like this before. This was the second collar I have ever made really, except for something like the trek blouse but it’s an entirely different collar so I don’t really count it. Anyway, I just had the hardest time with this one because of that wonky collar. I got it all wrong a few times and it took quite a bit of patience to work out the kinks. I forgot to get a picture of the pattern but I will when I’m in the shop later and post it soon but holy time consuming! Now that I’ve made one I think I can speed the process up, but my mom said she thinks it’s more the pattern and not the sewing work (whispers) but I think she’s just being a sweetie and that’s not really true. I should test that out one day and try an entirely new jacket pattern and see how well it goes. I do have a pattern post coming up soon, it wouldn’t be bad to include a collared jacket test there

The jacket turned out ok in the end though I had the hardest time finding a decent belt to go with this. I went to at least 3 shops and no white belts that were in her size so I just put together a little flower belt together for the pictures but I knew she had a really nice white belt so she didn’t need the flower belt but I wanted to show this belted because that was how I intended the outfit to look. It worked for the pictures though because since my mom is so petite, cinching that jacket up really gave it the look I wanted. When I took photos of the jacket without the belt I felt like it was looking a bit lab coat like but my mom said she hadn’t thought that at all so that was nice.

For altering the size on a pattern, the general rule I like to keep is to maintain the length but alter the width as needed for each piece. If in doubt, do this with paper and take it and see how it works. Yes, you can even sew paper. And why on earth would you want to do this? Because it's a lot more fun when you've finished your outfit and found it fits! Once you have the width changed as needed, then for petites, the pattern might have it market, but you usually will find you would fold up the pattern horizontally from about 3/4-2" usually and that's how I do that. It;s not always perfect, you really need the persons measurements unlike my not having them to compare when cutting the pattern and fabric, but all in all it was nice to work with a few new patterns and the jacket was a really learning experience and that blouse was a nice one I will definitely be making more of. My boyfriend also just made me adjustable strap pieces in different colors from his 3D printer so I'm in the process of testing them through the wash on a top this weekend to see how it goes. I will keep you posted because..well..who doesn't get excited when a little at home plastic factory can make you all sorts of cool stuff like that?!

So, that’s about it really. Just thought I would share some breezy summer work clothes. I should have new photos soon-she is willing to model her new outfit so the next time we meet I will have some photos to share of it on a human ;)

Of to the shop now. I know it's the weekend but I can;t just turn off the crafting button when the weekend comes you know. I'm working on woven rugs, baby kimono sets and ohh...just an amazing amount of new items so definitely check back soon. Up Next for blog posts? I definitely think Chewbacca Slippers!

Hope you’re having a fabulous day!

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