Learning pattern making

My dream is to draft my own patterns rather than spending hours trying to get a commercial pattern to fit me.

Enter Sarah of Workspace Fashion and Design Studio.

Sarah was the magician, who wrapped me up in duct tape for the dress form. She helped me create a bodice and sleeve block and now she is teaching me how to draft patterns using my personal blocks.


We have spent a lot of time playing with paper and Sarah taught me how to rotate darts and how to create a lot of different designs simply by manipulating the darts.

It is so much fun!

We have also looked at contouring and my bodice block now have all the contour lines for future reference, like avoiding gaposis on necklines or creating more fitted designs.

These lines helped us design a fitted bust section for the cover for my dress form.


Today we made a half scale pattern for a dress I would like to make. It is loosely based on a sketch I have seen on the internet. This is the result made up in paper and pinned to Sarah’s half scale dress form.


I feel happy with the result and my next challenge is now to make the pattern using my blocks, and of course then make it up. This may take me a while, but I’m really excited about it all.

By the way, I totally love the half scale dress form for trying out a pattern or a design before committing and using a lot of paper testing various options in full scale.

They are so cute 🙂

Did you notice the pretty pale blue corset in the background? Sarah runs classes teaching corset making. Can you be too old for pretty corsets such as that one? It would certainly help to keep some of my extra ‘fluff’ under control.

I think I will enroll in her next term of classes. It will be a lot of fun, and who knows, my husband might even approve of such pretty underthings. 🙂




Birthday dress – or vintage overkill?

My birthday was nearly a month ago, and the dress was ready in time for a great night out, but I have been very slow in taking photos.

My birthday dress

I was the lucky winner of a giveaway by Winnie at Scruffy Badger Time. The prize was New Look 6000 …… but that happened in February! It has taken me a few months to actually make a dress from that pattern.

Actually, I started making a dress from a lovely cotton to wear in summer, but then the autumn and winter came and it was put aside as a UO. It is nearly there though, and soon 🙂 I will be able to post about that dress too.

Back to what is finished. The birthday dress. I made it from a stable knit and I decided to line the dress. It is not something I normally do with knit fabrics, but I have noticed that expensive designer knit garments are lined.

I decided to omit the pleats as the fabric was too thick to get a nice outcome. I added the collar and longer sleeves but omitted the cuffs. Those cuffs are too much retro for me. Being of vintage age I don’t feel comfortable dressing in clothes that are too vintage inspired. I fear I would look like someone who has been asleep for 50 years and just woken up! One bit of vintage (me) is OK but add the clothes and it would be overkill in my opinion.

It turned out to be a very comfortable and warm winter dress. Great for our cold evenings in Perth.

First one was OK – I’ll try another

The first dress turned out Ok I think – so why not make another?

Indeed, I used the same pattern on a white, red and grey abstract pattern that had just come into the shop. I was the first to buy I was told.

I love the colours and I am happy with the result. This time I used self fabric for the neck and armhole binding.

This dress is just so easy, but I need to ease myself into sewing again. I can’t start with failures now, can I?

I have a few other items I have made over the last six months that I wanted to blog about, but somehow never had the courage.

Now that I have started blogging and found it is not that scary (in fact there are wonderful friendly people out there, who say really nice things in their comments) I want to show all those items. Once that is done, I will show what I am working on at the moment. Much more challenging and interesting things ……

Stay tuned..

My first dress

So now I am up and blogging!

This is exciting and thank you for the comments. Frankly, I didn’t think anybody was reading my blog so soon – so what a wonderful surprise.

I began this year with a simple knit dress. Knit fabric is so forgiving and my fitting issues were mostly hidden. I used a couple of patterns – took the bits out that i liked and deleted things I didn’t. Then I added a bit of my own idea and came up with this very simple dress.

The fabric came out of my stash. The print design is black jeans inspired. I wasn’t very fond of the fabric and only chose to make it as a muslin. However, I have really come to love it – even though Mephistopheles doesn’t like the red trims. He thinks it should have been boring black. Oh well!