Thursday, May 26, 2011

Pattern Review McCalls 6319, View A

Abby is a member of our local Sewing Fashionistas group and a Home Ec teacher at a local area high school. She slipped this sewing project in while working on a more complex dress and this is her pattern review.

Kaleidoscope Print Knit
 97% Rayon 3% Spandex
This really was the perfect weekend project.  I didn't make many changes.  I cut a larger size than my usual but I was envisioning a loose fit with a little flow to it.  I sewed a casing on the inside for the elastic.  It just felt wrong to me to have it in the seam not attached-it's very possible I was reading the directions wrong.  I didn't really look at them too much to be honest.  I think I like having the small gathered section visible on the outside for now.  If I decide I don't like it, I can just change it up!  I guess that's a benefit of being able to sew. 

The lining was easy to work with and feels like its not even there.  It was easy to understitch and stretches nicely. I may add a skirt lining later because I'm afraid the fabric may ride a little up my leg.  We'll see when I actually wear it in public.

 I cut the shoulder pleats down to three instead of four.  The fourth one stuck out too far on my narrow shoulders.  I do wish the underarm was a little higher.  I'll keep that in mind for future cap sleeve designs.

Accessorized with a belt

and with a cardigan and belt

Great fabric to work with, steamed perfectly, washed perfectly, feels great, stretched great (and that's using only a sewing machine).

Thanks Abby for sharing your pattern review with me!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Guest Blogger Talks About Bernina My Label 3D Fashion Pattern Software 
Part I

Ronnie* is my guest blogger and will be sharing in a series of posts her experience  with Bernina My Label.   You can visit Ronnie at It's a Stitch to get an up close and personal look at the program.

My interest in the Bernina My Label software was born from my frustration in fitting commercial patterns.  Numerous pattern fitting books led me to question what adjustments I need to make-forward shoulder or rounded back?  Why can't I move my arms freely?  On and on it has gone until I purchased the software.  The My Label software has taken the headache out of pattern alterations for me.  Although I have successfully used the software to make the T-shirt, tunic, flared pants and tailored shirt, I am just a novice using the software.  Let me share a few things that I have learned so far about the software.  

In the software there are 6 drawers- models drawer, styles drawer, fabrics drawer, stitches drawer, embroideries drawer and a buttons drawer.  The models drawer is where you measurements are stored.  You can save up to 99 different sets of measurements as different models.  

The Styles drawer is where the different garment styles are located and selected from.  You can change the design ease of a garment in the styles drawer.  Any change in measurement in the styles drawer changes the garment and not the model.  Meet Nina, the model built in the software.  The large grey area is the work table where your pattern will be located when you choose a style.

We can select garments from the styles drawer to dress Nina and see how they will look with her body style.  In the next screen shot you can see that I selected a dark indigo denim for the flared pants and a white linen for the yoked jacket to dress Nina.  We can also rotate Nina to see how the garment will look from the back.

There are 43 measurements that need to be taken.  It is critical that accurate measurements are taken to achieve a good pattern fit.  This can be accomplished by using the measurement accessory kit and the on-screen guide in the software to tell you exactly how and where to measure.  I found that metric measurements gave the most accurate fit.  

I am sure by now that you are curious regarding the designs incorporated in the software. There are a total of 20 classic pattern designs.  These include a 3/4 length coat, 5 jackets, 5 tops, 1 vest, 3 skirts, 3 pants and 2 dress patterns.  There are an additional 6 free designs to download from a link on the Bernina USA website  The download designs include a trouser, a 5-pocket jean, 2 shirt patterns, 2 jackets and 1 skirt pattern.  Even with a limited number of designs in the software your options are unlimited. There are numerous educational presentations on the Bernina website that show how to modify these design to produce endless style variations and how to use your custom My Label pattern to modify commercial patterns to achieve a perfect fit without a lot of guess work.  I am looking forward to altering my next commercial pattern with one of My Label patterns.  I just wish there were more hours in the day or that I didn't need much sleep!

The program also allows you to add placement lines to the pattern for embellishment or style variations.  There are many fabrics, buttons, embroider and stitch choices in labeled drawers that you can select for your pattern style and dress your your personal 3D model just like you would a paper doll.  This allows you to visualize how this garment looks on your body type.  If you would like to see the garment made in your fabric, you can scan in your fabric and view the garment with your specific fabric.  The optimum size ranges for the best fit with the software are as follows.  
Height 5'-6'6"
Bust 30"-50"
Hip 33"-51"
If your measurements fall outside of these ranges, you can achieve fit by adding ease in the style measurement properties (this is where you can add design ease to your garment if you wish).

There are certain hardware requirements for My Label due to the 3D modeling for the model.  The minimum requirements are as follows. 
Operating System:  Windows XP SP2 or Vista
Processor Speed:  Intel Pentium IV @ 2.4 GHz
RAM:  1024 MB
Graphics Card (with 3D accelerator) SVGA card 128 MB or higher (no shared memory)
Display Resolution: 1024 X 768
USB Port for Dongle Security Key
HDD Free Space:  1 GB min.
Service Pack 1 needs to be downloaded from hhtp:// for Vista or Windows 7 to run the software.  I am currently running My Label on a 64 bit Windows 7 PC with a non-intergrated graphics card and I have had no problems with the software.  

I am looking forward to sharing more of my experiences with My Label in future blog posts.  Can't wait to show my T-shirt I made with one of Roz's gorgeous knits from Sew Much Fabric!

*Ronnie's Sewing Background 
My mother taught me to sew around the age 10.  We made Barbie doll clothes-a whole wardrobe for my sister's Barbie for Christmas.  She was one stylin' doll!  I would like to sew all my clothes, but am just not organized enough to have the time.  My current passion is couture although I also love to make capris and cotton shirts for summer casual.  I sew because it is a creative outlet and I can't afford the expensive clothes that I prefer in the stores.  I am a fabric snob and very tactile with a preference for natural fabrics.  It has to feel good.  All of my sewing machines are Bernina's.  I don't have a favorite item to sew and go with whatever I am inspired to sew or need.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

New Fabrics for May 2011

Marigold Floral Print
100% Italian Cotton
Colors: Marigold/Dark Brown/White/Red

Swiss Coffee Floral Print
100% Italian Cotton
Colors: Swiss Coffee (a taupey-brown)/Black/White/Red
Cool and breezy cotton lawns are what you need for the long hot summer.  The large flowers are 3" in diameter and the smaller flowers are 1-1/4".  Make a dress with a full skirt, a maxi dress or tunic top.

Sewl Mate
Pima Cotton White
100% Cotton

Black T-Shirt Knit
95% Cotton 5% Elastic

Construction in Progress
Buttons: Natural Wood Ridge Circles  5/8"  $.85, 1"  $1.10
Dark Brown Wood Toggle  1/2"  $.55
Gutermann thread #862, 596, 410, 020

Buttons: Java  11/16"  $2.75, 7/8"  $3.10
Gutermann thread #525, 410, 020, 010

Sweet Inspiration

Burda Style 5/2011 #114

Pattern Suggestions: Butterick 5216, 5486, McCalls 6202, 6346, Simplicity 2175, 2226, Vogue 1043, 1245

Sewing Tip: Use silk organza for interfacing.

Sku #C2127
Turquoise/Kiwi Tribal Print
100% Cotton
Colors: Turquoise/Kiwi/Dark Brown/Mocha Brown/Beige/White

Sku #C2128
Rust/Turquoise Tribal Print
100% Cotton
Colors: Rust/Turquoise/Dark Brown/Mocha Brown/Beige/White
These are gorgeous cotton lawns from Italy.  The multi tribal prints are perfect for weekend attire.  Sew a maxi dress, tunic or wrap skirt.

Sewl Mate
 Sku #2106
White Linen
100% Italian Linen

Sku #S10409081
Dupioni-Burnt Orange Silk

100% Silk Dupioni

Construction in Progress
Buttons: Pistachio  5/8"  $.50
Sea Island Blue  1/2"  $.25
YKK Invisible Zipper #547
Gutermann thread #621, 776, 594, 534

Buttons: Tiger Stripe  1/2"  $1.40
Half and Half  9/16"  $1.60
YKK Invisible Zipper #K045
Gutermann thread #472, 621, 594, 534

Sweet Inspiration

Burda Style 4/2011 #110A

Pattern Suggestions: Butterick 5217, 5613, McCalls 5591, 6119, Simplicity 2587, 2615, Vogue 8469, 8645

Sewing Tip: Use a Universal size 9 needle.

Sku C2131
Pool Blue Stretch Poplin
97% Cotton 3% Lycra
Bright colors abound this season and this pool blue stretch poplin plays nice with other brights like yellow and coral.  This is a dress weight fabric with nice drape.  The hand is soft with a subtle sheen.  Make a dress with pleats, a skirt or jumpsuit.

Sewl Mate
Turquoise/Kiwi Tribal Print (see above)

Construction in Progress
Buttons: Silver Sundial  5/8"  $.70, 3/4"  $.95
Ykk Invisible Zipper #547
Gutermann thread #621

Sweet Inspiration

Burda Style 5/2011 #120

Pattern Suggestions: Butterick 5504, 5600, McCalls 6083, 6320, Simplicity 2178, 2359, Vogue 1219, 1221

Sewing Tip: Use Bosal-Sheer Fusible Tricot  interfacing.

Sku #C2130
White Cotton Stretch Faille
97% Cotton 3% Lycra
White is everywhere for Spring/Summer 2011.  This dress weight stretch cotton has a fine, faille weave and is crisp but not stiff.  The color is a true white.  Make a shirtdress, a light weight summer jacket or a great pair of shorts.

Sewl Mate
Sku #CW2076
Black/Ivory Dash

Construction in Progress
Rayon Hem Tape White
YKK Invisible Zipper #501
Buttons: Pearl Cluster  11/16"  $4.00
French Lace  11/16" $1.00
Gutermann thread #020

Sweet Inspiration

 Burda Style 3/2011 #131A Shorts

Pattern Suggestions: Butterick 5599, 5616, McCalls 6246, 6318, Simplicity 2475, 2894, Vogue 1154, 1239

Sewing Tip: Use a Stretch Needle size 11.