Category Archives: Project Planning

Discussing planning for upcoming projects

Make My Hoodie, Part 1

Though I like the challenge of working on intricate shirt projects, I also love to make more casual wear, especially hoodies.

For the fall, I’ve started a hoodie making project with several goals in mind. The first, of course is to make hoodies. The second is to try out MakeMyPattern.com, a free online service that drafts patterns for you based on your measurements, and provides them as a print/cut/tape PDF download.

And the third is to develop a hoodie pattern I can use in a course to teach beginning sewists. The Sips N’ Sews studio offers a bootcamp course to complete newbies.  It teaches basic machine operation, measurements, fabric, and patterns. The students leave the class ready to work on their first project. I think a hoodie can be an ideal first project for a new sewist. And the MakeMyPattern.com hoodie is ideal in several respects:

  • It is free, so students don’t have to spend extra money on a commercial pattern.
  • It is drafted to the student’s measurements, so this makes an end-run around finding the proper size for a commercial pattern.
  • It is a pullover, rather than a zip-front, so there are no zippers for a newbie sewist to cope with.
  • It has raglan sleeves, so attaching sleeves means sewing six nearly straight-line seams.
  • Sweatshirt fleece is a relatively stable knit fabric, so it won’t pose too many difficulties to a beginning student.

The only difficult parts are attaching the hood to the neckline, and attaching cuffs and waistband which are made from rib knit. Constructing the hood does requires sewing around curves, but this is not as challenging as attaching a sleeve to an armscye and there is no easing involved. Continue reading

The Pink Shirt, Part 3: Collars

When I made the Blue Gingham Shirt, I intended mainly to test the fit of my pattern draft in a real garment.  So I wasn’t worrying so much about the collar.  I just used the collar I had traced off the original shirt, and didn’t think much of it.

Now that the shirt is done, I’m not happy with the collar.  It doesn’t roll properly, not like the shirt it was copied from. Perhaps I got something wrong when I traced the pattern, perhaps I used too much interfacing and the collar blades are too stiff.  I tried to tame this by making it a button-down, but so far, that hasn’t been successful.

But the main issue with the collar is that I don’t like the style; it’s too large and draws attention away from my face.  So I wanted to find a collar I would be happy with for the Pink Shirt. Continue reading

The Pink Shirt, Part 2

For this installment of the Pink Shirt project, I’m covering (almost) all of the style decisions that are going into the project.

As was apparent from Part 1, if I want a nice pink shirt Brooks Brothers is happy to sell me one for $49.50 – probably less if I can find a discount coupon somewhere.  So, I’d like to come up with a unique item that distinguishes itself from something I can buy off the rack at the store.  That, along with a custom fit, is one of the advantages of being a home sewist.

(You can click or tap any picture for an enlargement).

Pattern and Fit

The Brooks Brothers shirt is a sport shirt.  In the online photo, it has some pretty straight sides.

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I’m planning to use my dress shirt pattern from the Blue Gingham Shirt project, with no major changes to the silhouette.  Coming from a dress shirt origin, mine has more tapered sides (see the screenshot below).

I’m thinking some of the styling will place this shirt somewhere between casual and dressy. Continue reading

The Pink Shirt, Part 1

Many, many years ago I had a pink shirt in my wardrobe.  It was a little too pink, the fabric was a little too heavy, and the shirt was a little too loose fitting.  And somehow it ended up with ballpoint pen marks on one of the sleeves.  So out it went.

I’ve been thinking again about making dress shirts in pastel colors – light green, yellow, blue, and pink.  And then I started seeing these little ads in my Facebook feed.

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Continue reading

My First Client

I’ve been very delinquent in contributing to the blog lately, because I’ve been pouring my attention into sewing!

Part of the reason I have been so busy was Paul Gallo’s course in patternmaking and draping I took in January, plus time I spent outside the class absorbing the material.  But another reason why I’ve been so busy is that I’ve been engaged in another project, with a deadline: I’m sewing for a client.

Sewing For Others

So, first a confession of sorts.  As I’ve been developing as a sewist, I have been toying with the idea of sewing for others.

It’s part of the reason I’ve taken the long, difficult road of learning fitting and pattern alteration, rather than just tracing off a garment that already fits, or making minor alterations to a commercial pattern and hoping for the best.  I’ve wanted to develop a skill set that I could apply to others as well as myself – but to what end, I’ve never been sure.

I also knew I would have to approach sewing for others as a business, and not as a “for free” or “doing a favor” type thing.  I’ve read too many horror stories from other sewing bloggers. People think it’s easy for you to give up your time to “whip up” a quick something that they know you’ve been sitting around, just waiting to create for them.  Generally, most people are completely unaware of the amount of work that goes into creating a well-made garment, and are unappreciative of the effort.  I know a lot of other bloggers have an unstated rule that they will not sew for people who ask.

And that has also been my stance on the matter. Until now. Continue reading