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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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The Rochester – a new pattern!

MAVEN PATTERNS_THE ROCHESTER_DRESS FEATURED IMAGE

We have a new pattern release to share with all of you lovely sewing ladies… MAVEN PATTERNS_THE ROCHESTER

MAVEN PATTERNS_THE ROCHESTER_DRESS

I’m so pleased to put this style out, I’ve loved working on this new pattern so much!

The Rochester has been designed with simple, understated styling in mind. She’s an easy to wear style with a relaxed fit and a slight A-line shape, but fitted at the shoulders for a flattering look. She has a deep centre back pleat, curved hem and side splits with stitched facing and elbow length sleeves.

You have the option to make a top (approx. mid hip length) and a knee length dress. The neckline is elasticated and gathered, so NO ZIP needed – you’re welcome! The top has a small frilled edge on the neckline and the dress has a clean edge but as the pattern is exactly the same and the difference is in the construction they are totally interchangeable – even as you are making them!

We’ve set the sewing skill level as intermediate, the tricky bit is stitching the hem (see the tutorial here) but if you have a little experience and like a challenge, do join in the fun!

MAVEN PATTERNS_THE ROCHESTER_DRESS

MAVEN PATTERNS_THE ROCHESTER_DRESS 05

MAVEN PATTERNS_THE ROCHESTER_DRESS

 

DESIGN FEATURES:

  • SEWING SKILL LEVEL: intermediate
  • Version A: The Top (mid hip length approx)
  • Version B: The Dress with tie belt  (knee length approx)
  • Elasticated and gathered front neckline
  • Elbow length sleeves
  • Curved hem and side split with feature topstitching
  • Centre back pleat
  • In-seam side pockets (dress only)
  • NO ZIP!
  • Easy to shorten or lengthen, with guides on your pattern
  • Unlined

PATTERN FEATURES:

  • LAYERS FEATURE: select and only print the size(s) you want
  • MULTI SIZE PATTERN: UK SIZES 8-18
  • SEE PHOTOS FOR SIZE CHART & FABRIC REQUIREMENTS
  • Illustrated guide (ENGLISH ONLY) to printing your pattern and sewing your tunic
  • Fully supported with PHOTO TUTORIALS
  • Includes seam allowances.
  • Can be printed on either A4 or US letter paper, using ADOBE ACROBAT READER
  • A0 copyshop file (2 sheets)

MAVEN PATTERNS_THE ROCHESTER

MAVEN PATTERNS_THE ROCHESTER_DRESS

This lightweight linen has worked really well for the top, choose a woven fabric that will be happy to accommodate that gathered neckline…linens, chambrays, lawn or viscose. The dress is made in the most wonderful crepe but it wasn’t happy with the frill – hence the 2nd neck option.

MAVEN PATTERNS_THE ROCHESTER_DRESS

MAVEN PATTERNS_THE ROCHESTER_DRESS

This hem detail is one of my most favourite things – there is a template included in the pattern to give you a topstitch guide line to make life easier! I’ve also added ‘length/shorten your pattern here’ guidelines on the pattern for The Rochester so you don’t have to worry about the curves and the facing if you need to make any length adjustments. The dress is approximately knee length (Eve is 5’4″ as a guide).MAVEN PATTERNS_THE ROCHESTER_DRESS

Oh and pockets…always need pockets in a dress. Looks good without the tie belt too!

MAVEN PATTERNS_THE ROCHESTER_DRESS

I hope you all love our new pattern, The Rochester, as much as we do xxx

You can get 20% off the usual price until midnight (GMT) on Sunday (21/5/17)

no code needed, just head straight to Etsy!

MAVEN PATTERNS_THE ROCHESTER

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Sewing The French Dart Shift in jersey!

|SEWING THE FRENCH DART SHIFT IN JERSEY |

I may have mentioned I like to get some mileage out of my patterns and when I was asked about sewing The French Dart Shift in jersey, a Ponte Roma knit to be specific,  I thought let’s see! (And Elfi did make a rather splendid jersey one.)

A few things to remember…

Firstly, this pattern is not designed for a jersey. So the darts are staying and the knit fabric is more for cosiness and comfort, rather then body con type fit!

Second point…I bought this Ponte online and I’m not a huge fan of it. It feels very acrylic-y but for a toile type garment, it does the job. This particular Ponte reminds me of my girls’ school uniform sweatshirt fabric, although it actually sewed up quite nicely.

I chopped my dress pattern shorter (by 12″) so it would be a hip-length top without pockets and made with a 3/4 length sleeve (tutorial here). I had ideas of looking Audrey Hepburn-esque. I stitched the hem in red so it would show up, but school uniform Ponte combined with red stitching actually makes this top look less Audrey in Paris and a little more like British Airways crew outfit. Enough of the styling tips and on with the tutorial…

Sewing The French Dart shift in Jersey

| SEWING JERSEY TIPS |

jersey machine needles

correct-needle-fds-jersey-tutorial

  • Always use a ballpoint needle so you don’t get skipped stitches.
  • I used a walking foot, which helped but I don’t think it was essential.
  • Use a stretch or ballpoint twin needle to create a faux coverstitch for the hem.
  • Use a stretch stitch.
  • Test your stitching on a scrap bit of fabric first. Stitch in both directions, along the selvedge and across the width of the knit, to make sure your stitches don’t crack when you pull them. Tension and stitch settings will vary dependant on your machine and your fabric. Sorry, but you need to get friendly with your manual!
  • Don’t pull and stretch your fabric as you sew.
  • If your seam goes a bit wavy after stitching, very gently steam and press flat.
  • My machine tried to swallow the garment into the footplate at the beginning of a seam, so I placed a piece of paper under the garment before stitching. I had some heavy tissue paper handy but the off-cuts from printed Indie sewing patterns would be perfect!

| STITCHES |

jersey-stitches-fds-tutorial

There are a couple of options for stitching your seams.

  • stretch stitch (sometimes called lightning stitch)
  • zig zag on a narrow width and 2.5-3mm length (I used this as was quicker than the lightening stitch, and set my stitch width to 0.5 and stitch length to 2).
  • I also tested just using a straight stitch, and it was OK on this fabric, but probably not very reliable on a stretchier jersey.
  • Overlocker – you can cut, sew and neaten your seams all in one go.  3 threads are usually just used for neatening seams, 4 (or 5) threads for all in one seam stitching as it makes for a stronger seam. The pattern has 1cm allowances for the body and 6mm at the neckline so be sure not to cut off more than you should!
  • To neaten your seams either use a zig-zag or overlock together. You could in theory just stitch and leave them raw as the fabric doesn’t really fray, but it seemed a bit lazy.

| Sewing The French Dart shift In Jersey |

| METHOD |

RST: right sides together  CB: centre back  S/A: seam allowance  

FDS: French Dart Shift  WS: wrong side

(Refer to your Maker Instructions for detailed descriptions of general methods.)

 

FDS JERSEY TUTORIAL

Pre-wash and press your fabric, lay up and cut out carefully.

The collar would normally be cut on the bias for a woven cloth. For a knit fabric cut instead on the straight of grain with the shortest edge of the pattern parallel to the selvedge.

Tape the neck as described in your FDS Maker Instructions. (This style has a wide neck and we don’t need (or want) it to stretch. If you are ever making a t-shirt style that stretches to pull over the head DO NOT TAPE the neck!)

Make all the darts.

| TAPE THE SHOULDERS |

fds-jersey-tape-shoulder

Measure a piece of stay tape against your pattern by laying on the shoulder line, including the seam allowances. Pin the shoulders with RST and place the tape in place on the stitch line and stitch the shoulders together through the stay tape. Press the shoulder seam open.

Close the side seams and underarm sleeve seams. Neaten together.

Set in the sleeves.

| ATTACH THE COLLAR |

THE FRENCH DART SHIFT JERSEY TUTORIAL

Stitch CB collar seam, do not neaten. Press seam open.

Fold collar in half with WS together, so raw neck edges are aligned and the seam allowance is enclosed inside the collar.

THE FRENCH DART SHIFT JERSEY TUTORIAL

With RST pin collar onto the body, align collar and body notches and CB collar seam with CB neck.

THE FRENCH DART SHIFT JERSEY TUTORIAL

Stitch together with a 6mm S/A, neaten and press S/A towards the body.

| OPTIONAL |

fds-jersey

Ready to wear t-shirts and sweatshirts often have a row of stitching at the neckline to hold the seam allowance flat. You can twin needle or edgestitch the neckline to mimic this if you wish. Confession: Proceed with caution, I broke my only twin needle when I hit the CB seam, so I continued with an edgestitch. Both look good!

| HEM |

The pattern has a 3cm hem allowance, press to the WS.

Twin needle the hem (I overlocked the raw edge first), again follow your machine guideline and test. My machine and a twin needle meant not using the walking foot and sewing at a slower speed.

| POCKET |

fds-jersey-pocket-1As I made a top it was too short for pockets. Side pockets in jersey generally ring alarm bells for me. It’s perfectly possible to do the pockets but also possible the weight of the jersey bag will be lumpy or droopy under the dress or the pocket mouth will stretch and not sit flat. The final result is really going to depend on your fabric and your sewing skills.

If you made a dress version and want to add pockets, I did a test sample. I’ve followed the basic instructions for the FDS pocket but overlocked the side seam together rather than open. I also didn’t fuse the pocket mouth, unlike the woven version, just to see what would happen really. It was OK but this Ponte is very stable, although next time I would put a small spot of interfacing at each pivot point for extra reinforcement. Again test your fabric to see what works for your jersey, and remember to use the knitted kind of interfacing.

FDS JERSEY POCKET

  • Attach the pocket bags to the body, but don’t overlock.
  • Understitch the front pocket bag
  • Pin front and back with RST and stitch side seam and around the pocket bag. Reinforce at pivot points.
  • Neaten the side seam and around the pocket bag together.

Overall I’m rather pleased with sewing The French Dart Shift in jersey. The collar is lovely in knitted fabric and it makes a very cosy and comfortable little top now that Autumn is upon us!

Sewing The French Dart shift in Jersey

 

 

 

 

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How to Grade Between Two Sizes

How to Grade Between Two Sizes

We are a unique and amazing bunch of individuals, all different shapes and sizes. Even those of us with the same measurements can be different shapes! You’ll understand them, with the best will in the world, it’s not possible to create a pattern that fits everyone straight off. The best course of action is to arm ourselves with enough fitting knowledge and skills to adjust, as necessary, our patterns to create great fitting garments.

So, what is a girl to do when she falls between different sizes on the size chart? This is where you need to know how to grade between two sizes. This method is also known as blending sizes, and it allows you to use the top half of one size and join to the bottom half of another size.

How do you know?

Once you’ve checked your measurements against the body measurement chart, may well find you cross 2 sizes, perhaps your bust is measuring for the size 12 and your hips are measuring for the size 14.

Take a look at the garment measurement chart – a looser fitting garment may give you that extra you’re looking for. I often find, that for me, this is the case for the waist on a less fitted style – no alteration needed!

You made a toile: perhaps your dress is a little too snug on the hips but great on the bust… then this one’s for you.

WARNING: If your toile is pulling because of a fuller tummy or bottom, or because you actually need to do a full bust adjustment this alteration may not do the trick, this is really just to add a bit of extra wiggle room.

How To Grade Between Two Sizes Tutorial_MAVEN PATTERNS-36

Tools:

  • your nested pattern
  • contrast coloured sharp pencil
  • french curve/pattern master (optional)

GRADE BETWEEN SIZES 01_TUTORIAL_MAVEN PATTERNS-01

If you have a pattern that is layered, use that option to select and print only the sizes you need.

Then all you need to do is draw a line from one size to the next, use a contrasting colour so you can easily see which line to follow later.

In this case I’ve used the bust from the UK size 12 and the hip from the UK size 14.GRADE BETWEEN SIZES TUTORIAL-03

It’s important to make a nice smooth line, remember bodies are rounded, so keep your lines curved rather than joining to each other in a point. A french curve or a Pattern Master is really useful and a good investment for the long term. But, you can also use the pattern as a guide by copying the side seam shape on to a piece of paper, cutting it out and using it as a template between your sizes. It will need pivoting between points, and the line will change but it does give a good starting point.

GRADE BETWEEN SIZES 01_TUTORIAL_MAVEN PATTERNS-01Of course it works the other way, to allow for smaller hips / larger bust combination too (but sadly not instead of a full bust adjustment).

Good To Know:

  • The Chain Effect: Alter all corresponding pattern pieces so they still fit together and the pattern stays balanced.
  • Front and backs need the SAME treatment.
  • This dress has a side seam pocket, as the side seam shape has changed, the pocket pattern needs to be checked against the side seam to make sure it still fits and adjusted if not.
  • Make sure the correct size sleeve pattern is selected, it should be the same size as your selected bust size, so it still fits into the armscye (Fancy word for armhole. Don’t ever get put off by terminology – that is possibly the first time I’ve ever actually used the word armscye , & I’ve been doing this since I was 16!)

NOW CHECK YOUR PATTERN FITS TOGETHER: nice smooth line? side seams the same length? 

Well done – NOW, YOU NEED TO DO ANOTHER TOILE! 

But, it’ll be worth the effort because you are going to have a beautifully fitted pattern you can use again and again, now that you know how to grade between two sizes!