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November 18, 2019, 04:26:44 pm


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Turquoise's Go With The Flow SWAP

Started by Turquoise, November 01, 2019, 01:44:56 am

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This year the rules seem so flexible that I've decided to go with the flow and see what develops. 

I took a pattern making class 2 years ago and haven't really had a chance to do much with it, so I'd like to use the energy and motivation that always comes out of watching everyone's SWAP journey to make my blocks and draft some of my own patterns.

At the moment I'm thinking of this scarf as inspiration for colours - but that might change  :)


I finished work early today and decided a good start on SWAP would be to have a go at my poor sewing room that has been neglected for ages and is in a really untidy state.  Oh my goodness - what have I started! 

Currently having a tea break as it now looks like a tornado has hit it.  After tea I'm going to try and be strict and bag up scraps and fabrics I'm unlikely to ever sew for the textile bank/friends/charity shops as appropriate. We have high winds forecast for tomorrow so I'm going to keep at it tomorrow and try and achieve a nice, calm ordered sewing room.  Wish me luck!  :) 


Well I had a good clear out and tidy up in the sewing room and looked through all my fabrics.  Have put potential fabrics for SWAP on shelves in wardrobe and have started looking at Pinterest and favourite clothes web sites for inspiration.  To try and encourage me to keep the sewing room tidy I've snapped a photo with the chair without piles of stuff and put it here ;) :)


One of the fabrics I'd really like to get sewn up as part of SWAP this year is this faux suede double faced scuba type fabric.

I bought it during the last SWAP I took part in two years ago and was intimidated by it due to its lack of drape (wondering how to control it and choosing a pattern that would work with it) and reading that it was an unforgiving fabric if you had to unpick stitches.

I've been looking for examples of RTW jackets using scuba type fabrics and think it will have to be either a design that is fairly boxy or one where the darts/shaping have been carefully thought out to work with this very structured fabric.

I've also found a great article on EmmaOneSock where Kathryn Brenne has made a wonderful dress using scuba fabric and has some great tips.  Her work is always lovely to look at - just so beautifully done.



I've pulled out some more fabrics that could work with the faux suede scuba.

I'd like to make some sort of variation of a French jacket with the plaid but am undecided at this stage what I want to make with the other two.

I've been re-watching the Craftsy class "Fitting solo: From measurements to muslin" by Linda Lee this evening and now I'm wondering whether to just try and re-fit the basic shell on my dress form to my new measurements to see if I can get to a block/sloper quicker than going through the Suzy Furrer class on making the moulage and then blocks. 

Hmm I'll sleep on it - probably in the morning I will see problems with this approach but I think I'm itching to get going and so that feels like a quicker way to get to my own blocks.  I *think* I still have the pattern tissue I used to create the dress form shell.


I had my first attempt at drafting a moulage as per Suzy Furrer's class instructions this evening.  As you can see from the photo below it didn't go exactly to plan and I realised I'd made some sort of serious measuring or drafting error when I saw I had so little space left for my armscye   ::)

In the class discussions lots of people seems to have problems with this stage and it was suggested to recheck the front length measurements and side measurements.  I did have the front length measurement wrong, so hopefully better luck tomorrow.  I can't understand how I got that one wrong though as it seems one of the simpler measurements.


I did have more success though this evening with tracking down a suitable fabric to use for toiles for the faux suede scuba.  I found some double sided scuba fabric that was very inexpensive - presumably because the very loud pattern isn't very popular.  Thankfully the back side of the fabric is plain grey so shouldn't be too distracting when I make the toile.


Awesome! I feel like I'm moving backwards compared to your speed! Lol

Nice job!

sewist, artist, quilter, musician, computer programmer, girlfriend, Grandfriend to one sweet baby, mom, gym rat


I've found a couple of pictures of coats/jackets with styles I like that I think would work for the stiff drape of the faux suede scuba.

I would probably wear the shorter jacket more and if I made something more like that I might have enough fabric to make a bag similar to this.


I had another go at drafting the moulage this evening and it looks more realistic. 

Hopefully I'll get time tomorrow to run up a toile and critique/correct it from there.  I think @Morzel was spot on when she talked about draping - I think taking the measurements correctly is very difficult and it's going to be easier to correct whatever comes out via draping.

The cheap scuba arrived today and it is quite similar in stretch and drape to my faux suede scuba, so should be good for making toiles.  The patterned side is thankfully not quite as loud in real life as in the photo and the grey side is actually a really nice colour.

I've been spending happy hours looking on Pinterest at scuba jackets and coats and this jacket has an interesting shape that would suit the stiff drape of my fabric.


I've reread the article that @Philippa linked to in the main thread by Kathleen Fasanella today


and realised that this advice is exactly what Peggy Sagers advises in her webcasts and in her patternmaking class.  Peggy always says that she has to keep repeating things, as some people seem to need to hear information several times before it sinks in - clearly I'm definitely one of those!  :))

I think, as Kathleen alluded to in that article, there are a lot of sewing skills that many of us aspire to that seem to be completely different to how things are done by practitioners; as she says drafting from scratch takes a great deal of time and doesn't necessarily help us get the results we are looking for.  It's really given me food for thought - thanks again @Philippa  :thumbsup:  I think you've saved me from getting caught up in wasting hours of valuable sewing time and from missing the wood for the trees.  My real goal is to get some suitable pattern blocks that suit me, not work out how to draft from scratch.

Today I've gone back to the book I used a while ago to get a fitting shell to make a rough approximation of me for my dress form and have printed off a smaller sized version of their full-busted block. I've made changes to the muslin from that and I'm much, much closer to getting that close fitting block that I wanted.  Hopefully I'll get a chance tomorrow to test out those changes with a second muslin, but it's very close.

I've also thought that I will dig out the Silhouette Patterns that Peggy Sagers refers to as her base patterns and will make muslins for a basic blouse with the ease I like, basic jacket, knit top etc. and once I've fit them to my liking make my basic blocks for the different types of garment from those. 

I'm done with plotting out from my measurements using the techniques from Suzy Furrer classes - I just can't seem to get the accuracy with the measurements and after reading that article it doesn't seem the most constructive  use of my time to reach my goal of getting some personalised blocks so that I can create my own patterns. 

I think that's following my goal to "go with the flow"...


Muslin number 2 corrected the length issues and the front darts fit much better with the bust point moved closer to CF and up a bit. 

The shoulder angle is not quite right and needed taking up a bit and a little bit more circumference was needed to the lower hip after the length changes.  I need to lower the neckline about 1/4" at CF as I know I won't ever want to wear a neckline as high as on the muslin even if it "fits".

Now going to transfer these changes to my paper pattern and make muslin 3 to check the fit/double check my changes.  Think I'm nearly there for the basic close-fitting version.  Fingers crossed  :)


November 10, 2019, 01:34:27 pm #12 Last Edit: November 10, 2019, 01:41:02 pm by Turquoise
Muslin number 3 is good to go and so now I have a version of the very close-fitting moulage the drafting process was intended to make but via draping.   

I really appreciate everyone who added comments about their experience in making blocks etc, as that prompted me to change how I was approaching this and has helped me get this first stage done much more quickly. 

I made up this third muslin in a sturdy twill fabric so that I can use it to pad out my dress form to some approximation of my figure - which will hopefully be useful for visualising details and design lines for future garments. 

I've got a busy week ahead but hoping to do a little bit each day and gradually make up some blocks with added ease to this "moulage" type version.  I have some books I purchased on patternmaking so I will have a read of those as well as looking at the rest of the Suzy Furrer classes.  I will also look at the finished garment measurements of clothes I like to help decide the ease I want for the different types of blocks.


I've made a start on padding up my dress form with the "moulage" muslin I made and it's going to be good for visualising details on me.  The dress form is much shorter in the torso than me so it's taken a bit of fiddling around with the batting and just when you think you've got it right something moves  :))  - I think I'm going to have to stitch batting in place in stages.

Last night I pulled out lots of fabrics from the stash to try and get something cohesive and then went back and read the rules.  I think the rules are invaluable as I always want to sew everything on my list and of course that's not possible, so the rules and reading everyone else's thoughts on planning help to bring me back down to earth.  This is one of the things I love about the SWAP process - the energy generated by the group and the opportunity to read the thought processes of others and reflect.  Reading what @BinMI wrote helped me to buckle down and focus on what I need right now. I really need some well fitting tops and jackets and will use a RTW pair of skinny jeans as the piece that everything else goes with and then I will make tops and jackets. 

Last time I took part in SWAP I learned a lot more about what colours work best for me, so I am going to put that into practice in this SWAP and focus on a narrow range of colours.  This will help me fill out my wardrobe.

These are the images of clothes that I am hoping to use as inspiration to create tops and jackets.


I've been going through my pattern stash this evening, especially looking at the patterns from Silhouette Patterns. 

Peggy always uses the same base pattern for each type of garment, so her woven blouses all come from her base blouse #600, jackets from a base jacket pattern etc. This means if you get the fit sorted on one of these base patterns then it's quite easy to get a good fit on another pattern of the same type by making the same changes. 

One of tops I'd like to make is very similar to her "Fisher's Blouse" pattern #418, so I'm planning to use it as a starting point.  I hope to make a muslin before SWAP sewing starts.