So have y’all heard about Named Patterns? There are so many indie pattern companies now (its so awesome, dontcha think?) and this company is one of the most recent. They sell PDF patterns – something that you all know that I actually kind of loathe, but by the same token, their pattern offerings are rather amazing. Anyway, Named first caught my eye from Rachel over at House of Pinheiro. Immediately, I snatched up 3 of their patterns (this coat, this tee and of course, the Tyler shirt).
This is the Tyler shirt from Named’s current offerings. I love it. The raglan sleeve thing is what drew me to the pattern in the first place (though its hard to tell from my printed version). Then there’s the little cuffs and collar too. I love little things like this instead of the always oversized details from the big 4. I love a good raglan sleeve on really, just about anything and so I decided to take the plunge and make it up first. I made up a muslin. I made my usual broad back adjustment – I can’t wait for the day when I don’t make this dumb alteration. I had to add a good 4 inches back there. Seriously this is actually pretty normal for me. I also shortened the sleeves an inch. Next time around I’m also going to raise the armhole as its a little too low for ultimate comfort. This is definitely not going to be the only version I make (already have a silk print cut out!!). These alterations all resulted in the most comfortable button up shirt I have yet made or ever owned. It’s simply delightful to wear!
The pattern itself is quite well drafted. Especially the sleeve. Usually on a raglan sleeve I experience some wrinkles that point upward toward the tip of the shoulder. This is normal (I’ve read that in several places) and I usually don’t do anything to adjust it, but on this pattern, there is no fitting wrinkles (for me) in the sleeve at all. Beautiful sleeve draft. All the pieces went together without a hitch and it wasn’t too difficult to trace the pattern off after putting the PDF sheets together. They only sell two sizes at a time which is actually kind of a godsend considering how crazy some patterns can be to trace. The only thing that I would say would make it even easier is to leave out the seamlines – all patterns include a 3/8″ seam allowance.
I ended up extending those 3/8″ seam allowances to 5/8″ seam allowances in the body of the shirt because I wanted to do flat felled seams. Made all the more awesome by this rather amazing Liberty print that I picked up some time ago at lowpricefabrics.com (my go to for Liberty’s as they have the best price around for them). It’s got an asian theme and I love the color combo. Liberty’s get me every time. I love these fabrics. However, I confess that I didn’t take the time to print match. I can be bothered with plaid matching, but print matching is something else entirely. I hail those who have the patience for such things. Seriously, all hail. To be honest, print matching can be kind of hit or miss with me. Sometimes I can definitely tell when someone went to the trouble of print matching and other times, I just think, why? Why torture yourself? Especially when I would never have been able to tell unless you told me. Still, I can see its value, I guess. While we’re on it, you can probably see there is a big difference in a print for this particular pattern than a solid, like the original has. I love both for their difference, but this pattern totally works both ways. Great pattern for both prints and solids.
Additionally I paired my Liberty with a scrap I had for the inner collar stand, sleeve placket and inner cuff. Speaking of, I used my own sleeve placket. I don’t bother with trying to do it a different way because this one works like a dream every time. Its the one from this Thread’s article.
I decided on snaps here in lieu of buttons. I love me some snaps people. I can like rip out of my shirt now! Yessss! Plus, I used the Snap Setter, and if you’re still in the dark ages and putting on snaps with that rotten Dritz plier, let me enlighten you. These things really work, they ain’t too hard to use and I have yet to break any of the pearl snaps. Win. Worth it. Plus they have every color of snap and snap type under the sun. What’s not to love here?
This pattern is not for beginners. And actually, now that we’re talking about that, just so you are aware, while the pattern comes with instructions, it does not come with illustrations. I’m totally cool with that. I would rather have an excellently drafted pattern than sewing instructions any day. I have a much different way of a constructing a button up shirt – more in line with David Coffin’s excellent book on the subject – than any pattern instructions I’ve ever seen really offer. Speaking of, I also really really like this book on sewing shirts too.
Now for the PDF thing. This pattern was actually brilliantly put together for PDF printout. The pattern pieces are all overlapped on top of each other (like a Burda Mag) and since you really have to trace off these types of patterns anyway, this is really really awesome. Yet, since there are only two sizes, the pattern lines were easy to see and everything worked out pretty much like a piece of cake. I’m totally sold. Pattern makers take a cue!!!! I only had to print out 12 pages. This compared with something like 75 for a jacket from Burda Style that I did once. So dumb!
I’m seriously, seriously loving the semi androgynous look of this new pattern company. While I love many of the cuter, more ladylike patterns that many of the other indie’s offer, I admit that I have to be pretty careful with stuff like that. I just look really weird in some of those styles. So, I did have some misgivings about this small size of the collar and cuffs here. But since the style is a bit more masculine-ish, it totally rocked my world. Named – you’ve got my attention. Love. at. first. stitch.
This is a follow-up post to this post and again, if you don’t have Easy Guide to Sewing Linings by Connie Long, you need it and you should buy the e-book right now! Today, I wanted to share my online resources plus a few tips on what kinds of fabrics can work as a lining. Sometimes ideas from others make a big difference in how we view the usefulness of a fabric. So here goes.
bemberg rayon lining
First let’s talk lining fabrics and what kinds of fabrics work as linings that aren’t labeled “linings.” So there are the typical “lining” fabrics that you can find at a fabric store. They are usually labeled “linings” or a sales associate will most likely point you in that direction when you say you’re looking for a lining. You probably already know what I’m talking about too. Usually the “lining” fabrics are all solid colors, many are polyester or acetate and they all have that “slippery” quality. But let’s say you’re pretty much tired of these low-grade low-quality, unbreathable crummy linings and you’ve decided to expand your search for something else. What do you do? Well, there is a great lining that is called bemberg rayon lining or ambiance. It comes in a variety of solid colors, its breathable, it high quality and lasts and feels wonderful against your skin. I use bemberg for most of my lined garments. I have easy access to this fabric and quite frankly its the lowest cost/highest quality lining “lining” fabric out there. But wait, there’s more!
silk charmeuse solid & printed
Let me acquaint you with my favorite luxury lining – silk charmeuse. Yes, you can use silk charmeuse as a lining. I find it very interesting that people get so turned off by this idea or that they laugh in my face because yes, the price is a little astronomical, but I’m telling you, you have not lived until you have a garment that is lined is silk charmeuse. There is a very valid reason that couturiers use this fabric as a lining. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that you should line everything in silk charmeuse, but when the lining really counts, silk charmeuse is the ticket. Plus you can get printed silk charmeuse for extra special garments. And it is worth every. single. cent.
silk crepe de chine, printed & solid
There are other types of silks that work great as linings as well, including crepe de chine and china silk. Crepe de chine is a crepe silk that looks like the matte side of silk charmeuse. It works great as a lining in jackets, I think, but its not as slippery as a charmeuse, so keep that in mind. China silk is very very lightweight and has a plain weave to it. It’s great as a lining in garments that are delicate.
hammered polyester charmeuse
I’ve had a lot of people say that they would love to use “printed linings” more often if they could only find them. Wouldn’t we all? Printed linings can be really really fun. Surprisingly, I’ve found some pretty high grade polyester charmeuses at Joann that would do the job of a lining quite well. No they aren’t as fabulous as actual silk, but especially in a jacket, polyesters can do really well. So keep your eyes open for polyester silky prints at your local fabric store and expect to be surprised at how much nicer they are in comparison to the actual “lining” fabrics you find there.
from left to right, knit lining and two stretch woven linings
What about linings for stretch fabrics? Stretch lining can be practically impossible to find. Seriously. We carry a few a Yellow Bird Fabrics and I always tell customers about them because of their rarity. When looking at a stretch lining, there are woven stretch linings and knit linings. I have a great resource for both below. Be aware that these linings are rarely, if ever, all natural fibers. But that’s OK! Stretch woven lining should have lycra (or spandex, same thing) and you can use it with stretch wovens or knits. If you need more stretch, go with a knit lining. These are like swimsuit linings – the kind that are slick and fairly opaque. If you are wanting more of a luxury stretch lining, opt for stretch silk charmeuse. Yes, stretch silk charmeuse! It’s got a little bit of lycra in it and makes a wonderful stretch lining for say something like a ponte knit jacket.
rayon crepe back satins
Last, but not least, coat and outerwear linings. There are a few options for lining a coat. You’ll want something substantial. For the money, I like rayon crepe back satin. This is a heavier weight than say, a bemberg rayon lining and you can also find linings that have flannel backings which are very nice. If you’re looking to line something really special you can opt for silk crepe back satin which is a heavier, more substantial version of silk charmeuse. It still retains a slick surface in addition to being drapey too.
Now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for! Yay! Here are my online sources for finding these great lining fabrics:
Bemberg Rayon Lining (also known as “Ambiance”): Vogue Fabrics, Low Price Fabrics, Sawyer Brook
Silk Charmeuse: Mood Fabrics, Thai Silks (for printed silks), Emma One Sock, Gorgeous Fabrics
Silk Crepe De Chine: Fabric Mart, Mood Fabrics, Emma One Sock, Gorgeous Fabrics
China Silk: Mood Fabrics, Gorgeous Fabrics
Silks you can dye yourself!: Dharma Trading
Printed Polyester Charmeuse: Low Price Fabrics
Knit & Stretch Linings: Emma One Sock, Gorgeous Fabrics
Stretch Silk Charmeuse: Mood Fabrics
Coat Weight Linings: Vogue Fabrics, Denver Fabrics, Mood Fabrics
Cotton Batiste: Organic Cotton Plus
I get a lot of requests on how to create linings for various types of garments. Friends, I could write a book on this subject because there are so many different types of garments out there and there are so many different lining treatments. Luckily though, I don’t have to because there is already a book that should be in every garment sewer’s library: Easy Guide to Sewing Linings by Connie Long. This is my go to book for creating linings in every type of garment/lining conundrum.
It covers everything from creating a lining for a jacket or a coat (great for when a pattern does not come with one, or if it did how it can be improved) to lining sweaters (that’s right! sweaters!) to 3 different solutions for lining a vented garment + so much more. So just to be clear, this book shows you how to create the paper pattern for the lining, how to sew it, in addition to providing outstanding info on how to pick a lining and what kinds of fabrics work for various lining treatments. If you don’t have this book, and you like lined garments, then all I have to say is “what are you waiting for?”
I have the real life book for my reference and at this point in time, I do believe this book is no longer in print. You can get a used version but the price can fluctuate quite a bit and probably more so since I’m posting about this today. However, guess what? There is a downloadable e-book and I can’t tell you enough that it is worth every single penny.
Later on this week, I thought I would also give you my insider resources for where to find great linings online and locally, in addition to my favorite linings and the kind of fabrics I use the most.
Do you have this book? If you do, isn’t it wonderful? It truly is one of the most amazing little books I own. Definitely a must have!
Hip Hip Hooray! We are finally to the stage of making final decisions about planning the jacket. In this video, I’ll be showing you how I went about planning my jacket. Its kind of lengthy, but I feel that I’m giving you a ton of info and ideas here for how to plan a jacket of your own.
A few key points to get from this video: Identify the three main pieces of the jacket which are the jacket front, jacket back and the upper sleeve and visualize the “T” shape in the pattern. The video goes more in depth with this and explains it a lot better, so definitely give it a watch. These are the first pieces that you’ll cut and hence the most important. I’ll be going over how to prep your pattern, layout and cutting in upcoming episodes, but just know that utilizing those three main pieces will make your life so much easier.
From these three main pieces, the other pieces will be matched and cut. This sounds so much harder than it really is so I’m going to show you my fast and dirty way to do this!
Think about where you want the dominant stripe to be placed whether that be along the center front/center back or along the bust/shoulder blade line. Remember that the front and back should mirror each other so if you put the dominant stripe along the bust line in the front, it should match along the corresponding shoulder blade line in the back.
Use bias pieces to your advantage. Keep in mind that when working with unbalanced plaids, the bias won’t create perfect chevrons which may affect whether or not you choose to utilize this idea. Also keep in mind that bias pieces should mirror each other so that if one side front is cut on the bias the other side with be a perfect mirror image.
Use a solid color throughout your jacket. Splashes of solid color help to break up a plaid to soften the strong look of such a bold garment. I mention several ideas for utilizing this idea.
Alrighty! I hope you enjoy this edition of the Plaid Jacket Chronicles. More to come! Yay!
So far, here are all the posts in order:
Head of the Class – my recent plaid jacket make
a Peek into my Plaid Stash & Balanced vs. Unbalanced Plaids
Finding the Dominant Stripe
Picking a Pattern for Plaids
Several months ago, I was gifted a Boden catalog from a lady I work with. It was love at first sight! This clothing company has the cutest, most tasteful and wearable clothing I’ve seen in awhile. I love how there is an abundance of flat shoes and comfortable, yet stylish clothing with color! whenever I look at their catalogs or website. It’s like real life, my life, stuff that was designed with me in mind. It inspires and makes me giddy. I received their fall catalog a couple of weeks ago and carried it about with me for a week
for fear of someone stealing it while I schemed about knock-offs I could make for my own wardrobe.
This was one of the first dresses that caught my eye from the catalog. Oh so sixties inspired and oh so cute and yet, comfortable. Its a knit dress and that friends, equals comfort in my book. After mentally torturing myself that I didn’t have the money to purchase said dress from Boden, it finally dawned on me that I had just the pattern and fabric to make my own version instead. This is vintage 1960s Simplicity 8381. Isn’t it awesome, I mean a gas?
I scored this pattern from one of the ladies at Yellow Bird who was getting rid of some vintage lovelies. This one was a couple sizes too small for me, but I loved the design so took it home with me. Little did I know it was the perfect size for a knit! Yes! I love it when fate and fortune meet and end up with a happy snazzy result. I took the liberty of changing a few things about the pattern here. I hacked off the sleeve to make it 3 /4 length and turned the vertical darts in the back to a princess seam. Also chiseled out the neckline a bit and opted for a neckline binding instead of the facing situation the pattern had going on. As far as the fit is concerned, I just compared the bodice area to my favorite knit t-shirt pattern, just to make sure it was in the ballpark of where I needed it for a knit. And fantastically, it was. I made some small changes to the sleeve cap from my t-shirt pattern, but otherwise, this pattern is straight out of the envelope.
Aren’t those silly little pockets, the best? I think they make the whole dress and weren’t even apart of the original Boden inspiration. I didn’t have the heart to not include them. Additionally, I have to state, that this dress is full of mistakes. One thing I’ve found is that mistakes and risks can lead to creative solutions. All the frustration that comes from doing one thing when you should have done another can bear some interesting results. Could not be truer in this dress. The center back, that was going to be an exposed zipper. Well friends, that zipper didn’t end up working like I thought, so instead I decided to improvise with an appliqued tab. I think the tab is a little on the long side – sadly it couldn’t be any shorter because there’s slashes in fabric from the zipper, but I still think it works. Same idea at work in the shoulder seams. The princess seams from the front and back, though the middles match up, the topstitching lines do not. I folded one princess seam one way and the other in the opposite direction. So to fix this eyesore, I added applique strips and topstitched. Now that mistake is not quite so obvious and this ends up just looking like a fun added detail to the overall design. Hopefully this gives you some ideas as you sew. When working with mistakes, its always good to think outside the box or even get a second opinion from someone else.
The fabric here was from the stash. Oiy. My stash is so big and so I’ve finally determined that I must be better about using it up first before even thinking about aquiring more fabric. This is a ponte knit and if you don’t know about pontes, you should. Its a double knit and the way rad thing about double knits these days is that they are kind of like stretch wovens, except better. You can end up using them instead of wovens for woven patterns and just go down a size or two and they can be unbelievably comfortable. Pontes in particular are also easy peasy to sew with as far as knits go – a great transition from working with wovens to working with knits – and they can be easy to wash and care for. I think I’ll do a special post on this great fabric for y’all!
It’s far too hot at the moment to be wearing such a dress (and this is the dress that I have to wear a slip with!) so it’ll be a great addition the fall line-up in my closet. I really, really want a red one. We’ll see. Do you like knit dresses? Ever heard of Boden?