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The Barcelona | lining tutorial – part 1

How to add a lining to the Barcelona Dress | part 1

| the lining pattern |

I had really wanted to include a lining pattern in with the Barcelona but there is only so much I can fit into a pattern and had to abandon that idea, but I decided to keep the idea for a lining tutorial. By adding a lining it means the Barcelona pattern can be made in a wider variety of fabrics, some fabrics just deserve a lining. Adding a lining can protect your modesty if your fabric is a tad sheer, or it can elevate a casual summer dress to a grand gown, just through the choice of fabric! And as you know, I’m all about getting the most use and variety from your sewing patterns.

I decided to make the Barcelona dress pattern in velvet and started to hunt around for some fabric as you do on the internet but was being quite lazy about ordering any swatches, so actually made very little progress. And then I found it – in Ikea! A pair of lovely green cotton velvet curtains – £40 for 5m. I shouldn’t have been surprised as I have bought quite a lot of fabric from Ikea over the years. Now, of course, a velvet dress really does deserve a lining, so a lining pattern was my first task.

Abbreviations |

SA | seam allowance    RS | right side    RSU | right side (of fabric/garment) up    RST | right sides together    CB | centre back    CF | centre front    WB | waistband   SELF | main fabric

TRACE | The first step is to trace off your original pattern and then put it away safely.

You need to trace these pattern pieces, but don’t cut them out yet.

  • front & back bodice (whichever version you wish to make)
  • the front & back skirt
  • bodice zip interfacing

The pocket bag pattern (to be cut in lining), pocket mouth interfacing and skirt interfacing patterns don’t change, so they can be used without alteration. You won’t need the binding pattern pieces!As the original pattern has a bound edge, we need to add a seam allowance (SA) to the neck and armhole to attach the lining. I always use a 6mm (¼”) SA on any seams that will be bagged out, or enclosed. That is a standard industry SA, if it’s bigger you just end up cutting it down again! If you make the lined version without adding any SA, the shoulder will be narrower and the armhole lower.

MAIN PATTERN | On the front and back bodice of your traced pattern add the 6mm SA and cut out the bodice patterns. These will be cut in your SELF (main) fabric to make the outer shell of the dress. Annotate the patterns with the name/LINED VERSION, the pattern piece – state clearly these are the MAIN pattern pieces to avoid confusion when cutting out your dress later, the size, cutting instructions and the date (helps keep track of alterations!). It would read something like this;

LINING PATTERN | Now trace another set of bodice patterns from your newly traced MAIN pattern with the SA, but don’t cut them out yet.

To make the lining roll inside of the dress at the shoulder, the lining pattern needs to be narrower than the main pattern. We are going to reduce the shoulder width by a total of 3mm (1/8″).

Mark the shoulder SA of 1.5cm (5/8″) on the pattern. Now make 2 marks on the shoulder seam, 1.5mm (1/16″) from the edge of the neck and again from the edge of the shoulder.

Then it’s just a case of drawing a new line, joining the marks to the neck and the armhole. You can use your MAIN pattern as a template, place on the mark at the shoulder and pivot it to draw and blend the line in further along the curve.

DART TUCK | Extend the lines of the dart tuck so they intersect with your new SA. The dart tuck in the lining will be pressed in the opposite direction to the one in the main body to keep bulk at a minimum.

SIDE SEAM | As lining fabric tends to have no ‘give’ like most fabrics it’s good to have a little extra ease. That’s why jackets have a pleat at the back, but that’s going to be too bulky for our fitted dress, we need just a little extra ease for movement. A lining that’s too tight is really uncomfortable and can rip quite easily too!

To add a bit of ease, measure out 5mm (or ¼” for imperial users) from the waist and then redraw the SS blending back in at the armhole point.

Repeat for the back bodice.

BACK DART | On the back bodices, the dart will be replaced as a tuck to give a little more movement. That’s not complicated, ignore all the dart markings except the notches along the waist line. The tuck will be made with the bulk towards the side seam, so it sits in the opposite direction to the dart of the main body.

BACK BODICE ZIP INTERFACING | The original pattern will now be too short as we have added a 6mm SA, so just add you SA on, and then check it against your pattern.

CHECK! | Compare your LINING pattern against your MAIN pattern, by laying it on top. The shoulder should be narrower and the waist should be wider.

Now just check your front lining bodice pattern against the back lining bodice pattern. Check the shoulder and side seams are the same length!

ANNOTATE | Remember to write all the relevant pattern info on your lining pattern pieces, especially that they are to be cut in lining!

SKIRT LINING | You can use the original pattern to cut your SELF fabric.

Take the traced skirt pattern and add 5mm at the waist so it will still fit onto your bodice! Blend the line down smoothly to the hip curve. Often linings have extra ease over the hips to allow some ease of movement, but it’s not really a concern with a bias cut skirt.

Move the notch on the CB seam, that indicates the base of the zip, down 1cm.

You obviously won’t need pocket bags in your lining layer, so you can block the lower pocket notch and use the top notch to help match your side seam.

Shorten the lining pattern by 3cm, this will give us a 2cm hem that we can double turn and stitch. This still may need to be shorter if the lining drops more than the main fabric after hanging.

So that’s the pattern done!

Go grab yourself a cuppa and biscuit and then on to the LINING TUTORIAL – part 2!

Not got the Barcelona pattern yet? Click below!

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The French Dart Shift – BOILED WOOL

The French Dart Shift | BOILED WOOL

MAVEN PATTERNS_FRENCH DART SHIFT_BOILED WOOL

Lovely Nicky (@nickynackynoo_) sent me an Instagram message back in the middle of November asking would the French Dart Shift work in Boiled wool? Now, I always get quite excited when someone asks or suggests a pattern variation/hack I hadn’t thought of – oh, the delights and benefits of sharing ideas on the internet! That particular day was freezing here in the UK, and as I had bemoaned frequently that I never find any jumpers that I like, I ordered some fabric that very day and did a test.  And it worked beautifully if a tad itchy, but absolutely fine with a skinny t-shirt underneath. And was just perfection on a recent trip to Paris (in a chilly January!). It was très Chic, in fact!

THE FABRIC |

MAVEN PATTERNS_FRENCH DART SHIFT_BOILED WOOL

Boiled wool is a knitted fabric that has been washed and agitated, so the fibres have a tighter felt like finish. There are lots of options regarding fibre content and weight.

I used a grey boiled wool from Backstitch in smoke. (Weight: 368gm², 60% viscose, 40% wool – 142cms wide.)

The care instructions on the Backstitch website are to dry clean (but it is meant for a lined jacket or skirt, so fair enough). And the general advice for pre-washing boiled wool is not to wash and just give it a really good steam to shrink it, and then allow to cool. Which is fine if you’re making a coat or something similar. (You generally should allow stuff to cool after pressing to help stop it stretching and creasing while still warm.) The Colette blog recommends a damp towel and a tumble dryer method, but I don’t own a tumble dryer so not a method I could test, but sounds a good plan.

I eventually decided to ignore the general advice and wash it in the machine. My theory being I was making an everyday jumper style top, I knew this fabric would shrink (probably a lot) and I knew I would NEVER be bothered to handwash it, and I really wouldn’t be bothered to dry clean it – I would, in fact, chuck it in the machine when I had to. And my friend Maria told me to do it.MAVEN PATTERNS_FRENCH DART SHIFT_BOILED WOOL

So I did as I was told and chucked it in the machine on a short wash at 30°. It felted up a little more, so felt slightly thicker, but was still quite delightful! I did get a few of these bobbly bits, but they pulled off easily enough. What I didn’t do at the time was check how much it had shrunk. A post-cutting garment calculation puts it at about 20cm on 1.5m length (roughly 14% length shrinkage, never thought to check the width shrinkage!) I didn’t allow for that much shrinkage when I bought my fabric, but I managed to squeeze my top out. I had to do ¾ length sleeves rather than the full length ones I intended but hey-ho, such is life!

*I feel like I should put a disclaimer on bunging your boiled wool in the machine…it worked out fine for me, but I wouldn’t want you to ruin some hideously expensive cloth. Consider carefully how you will treat the finished garment, is it something you’ll chuck on the floor (me: “yes”) or is it one of those garments that you’ll hang up carefully and cherish. Be warned there are no guarantees when going against the stated care advice!

SEWING WITH BOILED WOOL | tips

Boiled wool is quite an easy fabric to sew with but there a couple of things to be aware of.

The thickness of the fabric: it’s bulky, so best not to have too many seams and details. Also, it’s easy to overpress it, which can lead to shiny marks or a stretched garment.

*Stabilise seams to prevent stretching

*Use a ballpoint needle

*Longer stitch length (I usually stitch on 3 and went up to a 4, test on a scrap of fabric for your machine)

*Walking foot: I tested on a scrap first without a walking foot and my sample was fine. Then as soon as started to stitch the garment – it wasn’t a happy bunny, it just didn’t want to feed through so I had to do a quick machine foot switch-a-roo! (My machine is pretty knackered now though, I’ve had it since 2001 and the stitch length is, shall we say, is inconsistent at best.)

* Boiled wool doesn’t fray, so doesn’t need neatening! Wahoo!

*Boiled wool doesn’t fray, so it doesn’t need hemming either!

*PRESS on a low heat, press gently and sparingly. Use a pressing cloth to help protect the fabric as you press. 

*Do not drag the iron (you may stretch the fabric) – that’s why it’s called pressing your garment and not ironing your garment.

*Press all the seams OPEN and trim/grade the bulky bits.

KEY: FDS | French Dart Shift   S/A | seam allowance   RST | right sides together   CB | centre back

FOR REFERENCE | what I did

 I cut a Size 10 (my usual size) with a finished CB length of 60cm with no hem allowance as I was leaving it raw and unfinished. 

¾ sleeves with a finished length of 46cm and 3cm hem allowance. I’m short – you’re going to want to check those measurements for you, measure something that you like to wear. (tutorial for lengthen a sleeve here!)

I left out the back darts: I marked the darts with tailor tacks, but didn’t stitch them so I could try on the top first. The shape was nice without, so left them out to reduce bulk.

Changed the collar pattern (see below).

COLLAR | cuttingMAVEN PATTERNS_FRENCH DART SHIFT_BOILED WOOLThe collar for the French Dart is normally cut on the bias grain and then folded over – giving you 4 layers of fabric. I think we can all agree, in boiled wool, that was going to be a smidge thicker than comfortable so I cut it half the depth to eliminate the roll-over part of the collar. (Keep the length of the collar the same but you can make it any depth you fancy: pattern = finished depth of collar x2 + 6mm S/A to attach & 1cm S/A on the other edge). With boiled wool being a knit fabric that has been felted, I cut it on the straight grain. And I only cut the notches on one side of the collar (the one with the 6mm S/A to attach at neck).

STABILISE THE SEAMS |MAVEN PATTERNS_FRENCH DART SHIFT_BOILED WOOL

 

The neckline of the French Dart is taped to prevent it stretching, but when making in boiled wool you will also need to tape the shoulders and the armhole to prevent them stretching. To find the measurement – mark your seam allowances on the pattern and measure the stitch line/finished seam lengths. We don’t want to tape into the S/A as we don’t want to add any extra bulk at the seams.

MAVEN PATTERNS_FRENCH DART SHIFT_BOILED WOOL

For the neck and armholes I used a lightweight stay tape (I always trim the width in half for the neckline), follow the instructions how to tape the neck. Tape the back shoulder seam and position the tape so when you close the shoulder seam you will be stitching through the tape. MAVEN PATTERNS_FRENCH DART SHIFT_BOILED WOOLFor the front and back armhole, I cut some ½” wide (1.2cm) strips of knitted fusible interfacing on the bias and ironed them into place. Because it’s cut on the bias it follows the curves nicely. I purposely made them a few millimetres wider than the seam allowance of 1cm so when stitching the sleeve into the armhole you will be stitching through the interfacing to control the seam. (Actually would have been OK to cut them a smidge wider at 1.5cm.)

BUST DART | sewing

MAVEN PATTERNS_FRENCH DART SHIFT_BOILED WOOLStitch the French dart, and cut open the S/A a bit further towards the apex and gently press OPEN. (The pin marks the end of the dart.)

BODY | sewing

Close shoulder seams, side seams, underarm seams of sleeves.MAVEN PATTERNS_FRENCH DART SHIFT_BOILED WOOL

 Trim the bulky bits away! This is where the dart intersects at the side seam. Press open.

Set in the sleeves.

HEMMING | sleeves and the hemMAVEN PATTERNS_FRENCH DART SHIFT_BOILED WOOLMAVEN PATTERNS_FRENCH DART SHIFT_BOILED WOOL

If you are going to hem the sleeves and/or the hem, trim away the bulk and blind hem by hand. (Follow the instructions in your pattern for hemming, but leave out the neatening stage.)

MAVEN PATTERNS_FRENCH DART SHIFT_BOILED WOOL

Or Just leave your hems raw and unfinished.

COLLAR | sewing

MAVEN PATTERNS_FRENCH DART SHIFT_BOILED WOOL

 

Close CB seam of the collar and gently press open.

With RST attach the collar to the neckline (as described in instructions). Press neckline seam OPEN.

NOTE: I edgestitched the seam allowance on the body side of the seam, to flatten it a bit. Personally, I prefered the look of the garment without the edgestitching, but if you have bouncy seam allowances that won’t behave, edgestitching them flat is going to be the answer. You could actually twin needle the seam, with a row of stitching either side of the neck seam.

MAVEN PATTERNS_FRENCH DART SHIFT_BOILED WOOL

Fold the free edge of the collar to inside side to cover seam and allowances. Stitch in the Ditch of the seam from the right side to hold the collar in place.

MAVEN PATTERNS_FRENCH DART SHIFT_BOILED WOOL

Tah da!…..Or……
MAVEN PATTERNS_FRENCH DART SHIFT_BOILED WOOL

just leave the collar to flop over!

MAVEN PATTERNS_FRENCH DART SHIFT_BOILED WOOL

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The Frill Sleeve Pattern Hack

 

FRILL SLEEVE PATTERN HACK_MAVEN PATTERNS

Sleeves and frills are apparently the ‘thing’ this season.FRILL HEM PATTERN HACK_MAVEN PATTERNS

source images: gingham / pink / black / navy / stripe / ivory

As you can see from the mood board, frill sleeves are all the rage and anything goes! All you need to do is look for inspiration and decide the length and fullness you want. Take a close look at them…what will it be? The ivory one has a shorter sleeve length and longer frill compared to the black top which has a long frill and full length sleeves. Or the contrast stripe direction with a Breton feel. Maybe a double layer of frilly-ness is your thing. Personally, I love the gingham and the seam stitched to create a ruffled top edge. If you look carefully you can see a peplum at the waist done in the same style. If you want to create this yourself it is the same principle as the method below – a rectangle gathered up and just stitched on. This is a very simple pattern hack that will give you extra mileage out of  The French Dart Shift pattern (or indeed any pattern). And here’s the real joy…when you are fed up with frills at your elbows, just chop them off and you are left with a classic top that you will be able to continue to wear for years. No wasteful transient fashions for us!

MAKE A FRILL SLEEVE – METHOD

S/A: seam allowance | RST: right sides together

FRILL HEM PATTERN HACK_MAVEN PATTERNS

Trace the sleeve pattern. Decide the length you want the sleeve to finish without the frill. I wanted my frill to sit just above my elbow so I made my pattern 24cm nett (without seam allowance) in length and then added a 1cm hem allowance to attach the frill with. Check you like the hem circumference width, if you need to adjust it, now is the time but remember you need to be able to bend your arm.  I made the size 10 pattern with a 36cm finished hem circumference. (I’m 5’2″ so you may need a longer sleeve than me :/ Just measure your overarm or a garment you like.FRILL HEM PATTERN HACK_MAVEN PATTERNS

FRILL HEM PATTERN HACK_MAVEN PATTERNS

Next, decide how much fullness you want in your frill. I worked on a 2:1 ratio so there is twice the length of fabric for the frill compared to the NETT hem circumference of the sleeve. You can add more if you want, it depends a little on your fabric. A finer fabric might want a bit more gathering than my linen. I did a test to check what it would look like before I cut out my garment.

The one on the left is 2:1 ratio (20cm length gathered onto a 10cm piece of fabric) and on the right 2½:1 (25cm length gathered onto a 10cm piece of fabric)

To make your frill pattern:

It’s not complicated, it’s a rectangle and you’ll need to cut 1 pair.FRILL HEM PATTERN HACK_MAVEN PATTERNS

To calculate the width of the frill pattern:  take the NETT sleeve hem measurement (without seam allowances) and multiply by the ratio amount of frill.

The depth of the pattern is how deep do you want your frill to finish – I made mine to finish 10cm.

EXAMPLE:

In my case with a 2:1 ratio –  PATTERN WIDTH is 36cm (nett hem width) x 2 = 72cm and depth is 10cm.

or  for more fullness with a 2½:1 ratio –  PATTERN WIDTH is 36cm x 2½ = 90cm and depth is 10cm.

Then add 1cm seam allowance all the way around the pattern piece. The grainline runs in the same direction as the sleeve, so along the shortest side of your pattern. You can change the grainline to run along the width if that works better for your fabric. If you are cutting stripes, they would look very nice running around, rather than down, the sleeve.

FRILL HEM PATTERN HACK_MAVEN PATTERNS

MAKE:

Make your garment up following your usual instructions. We will make the sleeves completely before setting them in.

SLEEVE: With RST, stitch the underarm seam, overlock and press open.

FRILL: With RST stitch the fold the frill in half so the shortest seams are together. Stitch with a 1cm S/A, overlock and press open.

Run 2 rows of gathering along one edge and pull up evenly to the sleeve hem measurement. FRILL HEM PATTERN HACK_MAVEN PATTERNS

FRILL HEM PATTERN HACK_MAVEN PATTERNS

Divide sleeve hem and frill into quarters, by folding in half and then half again and mark these points. With RST pin frill to sleeve hem, line up the at seams and the marks you just made to keep your gathering spread evenly. Attach the frill to sleeve hem with 1cm S/A. Check its all even and lovely before overlocking the seam and pressing upwards towards sleeve.

FRILL HEM PATTERN HACK_MAVEN PATTERNS

Overlock frill hem. Turn and press overlocking to the wrong side and edgestitch hem.

FRILL HEM PATTERN HACK_MAVEN PATTERNS

Give a press and then carry on and set in your sleeves and finish your garment.

And don’t forget when this frill sleeve trend has passed, don’t hide your French Dart Shift in the back of the wardrobe – chop off the frills and give it a new life!

 

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Inspiration – The Kitty Dress

inspiration | the kitty dress

inspiration | the kitty dressinspiration-the-kitty-dress

Inspiration | The Kitty Dress

Just the loveliest little bit of sewing inspiration for the Bank Holiday Monday .

Mandy has embroidered roses on her Kitty Peter Pan collar….and they are so perfect!

I have had a plan to embroider a Kitty collar for months, so I’m basically living through someone else’s sewing right now!

Thanks to Mandy for sharing her work in progress, I can’t wait to see the finished collar.

Follow Mandy’s progress through her Instagram @mandycan42