That Perfect Fit

ImageAn interest in costuming brought me into the world of sewing, and so the majority of my own projects include original and replica designs for renaissance faires, theatrical productions, comic conventions, and of course, Halloween. (Example on the right is me and some of my male friends as Nintendo Characters.)

Sometimes, I work from a sketch as a reference, and the artist is forming the garments in a way that are pretty on paper, but a bit of a challenge to fabricate. Especially since some of the shapes need to be made from altering existing patterns. There are times when the alterations to the in the finished products end up working well and looking good, but I don’t actually alter the size.

I alter the form, which gives me the shape that I need for what the garment needs to look like..but it’s still not 100% custom fitted to the person wearing it. Rather, it still falls into a fit that is made for a range of sizes.

The numbers we see for measurement ranges on a pattern may not be a perfect match for everyone, because we are all different sizes. It is part of being beautifully diverse as humans. Just going by bust, waist, and hip measurements might not always work the best for what we’re trying to accomplish.

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Enter Fitting for Every Figure (A20783) from the editors of Threads magazine. This book passed my desk, as most of our new items do, and it had me as soon as I read the back description. I knew in an instant that this book was the cure to my pattern-drafting dilemma.

ImagePaying close attention to all skill levels, this book takes you through the many different ways to make your stitched garments fit like a glove. True to its title, it also covers several different body types in a detailed way, showing how to custom fit nearly any shape. It moves from altering manufactured patterns to drafting your own patterns. Image

One of my absolute favorite tutorials in this book was where it shows you step-by-step how to make a custom dress form out of duct tape!

The fact that they also explain a few different ways of how to make patterns from Imageexisting garments without ruining them was the selling point for me. I didn’t know that you could make a pattern out of painter’s tape, either! I now know that I don’t have to take apart clothing that I still love and wear with a seam ripper because I want to make something similar.

This book is an amazing reference for any sew-er at any skill level. Hundreds of detailed, color photos and easy-to-read instructions really help avoid any misunderstanding.

With Halloween coming up fast, maybe this might help you make some custom-fit costumes!

ImagePhotos are from Fitting for Every Figure.

 (To find an item on our web page after clicking on the highlighted words, hold down the “Ctrl” key and touch F. Enter the item number in the box, press enter, and you’ll be taken to that item. Some of the images on this post are also links!)

Remember, you can see What’s New at Erica’s almost every day! Any page of our website has a column on the left that tells you where to find things, and all you have to do is look for “New Items” in purple, and click to find out.

Steam-A-Seam, Take Two!

ImageAs Crafters from all different reaches of the creative world, most of us have heard of and used Steam-A-Seam. For those of you who haven’t, it’s an iron-on adhesive for applique and all kinds of other things, even hemming!.

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Personally, I’ve used it on many of my costume projects, (one is shown at the right) and have found it very useful. It’s really a go-to product line for any applique needs. Though I remember having to be really careful when ironing, since it separated a bit easily, sometimes before I’m finished ironing..which did not turn me away from the product by any means, but I did have to take extra care while working with it.

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The Warm Company now has a totally new and improved line of Steam-A-Seam products, some in stock and some coming soon.  The problem before, as I said, was keeping the paper liner firmly attached to the fusible web.

New and Improved, these great products became even more convenient. They’ve replaced the paper backing with a much friendlier material. It’s thicker, for easier, more accurate cutting, and you can clearly mark on it with a pencil without smudges, so you can see what you’re doing! Also, if there’s a bit left over, you can put it back on  the paper liner to use later on.

I got my hands on some of this last night, since we sell it for a very affordable price here at Erica’s. You can get it in packs or by the yard, and both come with detailed instructions. It’s a hundred times easier to work with, and I am so excited to use more of this in my future projects! Believe me when I say I will have some pretty neat pictures for you next time!

Image(To find an item on our web page after clicking on the highlighted words, hold down the “Ctrl” key and touch F. Enter the item number in the box, press enter, and you’ll be taken to that item. Some of the images on this post are also links!)

Remember, you can see What’s New at Erica’s almost every day! Any page of our website has a column on the left that tells you where to find things, and all you have to do is look for “New Items” in purple, and click to find out.)

Book Review – Girl’s World by Jennifer Paganelli

Girl's World by Jennifer Paganelli

Today I read Girl’s World (A14194) by Jennifer Paganelli, the creator of Sis Boom Fabrics, and the first thing I noticed when I picked it up was its beauty. Let’s face it, friends, I’m a sucker for a beautiful book.

The book begins with some basic sewing and crafting notes which are helpful for beginning sewers such as myself. I also really appreciate the included size chart, since I know my five year old princess is sometimes a size 5 and sometimes a size 6.

All of the necessary patterns are also included in the lovely pink pocket at the front of the book.

I’m pretty sure my first project from the book will be No. 8, the Hadley Headband. It’s a quick and easy project I can accomplish in an afternoon and make in lots of pretty colors for coordinating outfits.

After the accessory section I plan to practice my sewing skills on the Home Section, beginning with No. 21, the Birthday Banner. Think I can get it done in a single night? I’ll let you know. Then I’ll move on to No. 17 the Genevieve Patchwork Square Quilt. Because really, nobody ever has enough quilts.

Maybe then I’ll be ready to move on to the dresses. More advanced sew-ers than myself could just start in the Dress-Up section. I’m thinking I’ll start with No. 2, the Tallulah Halter Dress.

Really? I want to make all the dresses. And I want to up-size them for myself. Maybe a mommy/daughter matching outfit? Or maybe the same dress in different fabrics? Yes, that would suit our style better at our house.

I love the names of the projects, too. “Georgia, Annabel, Olivia.” I want to make the Molly Patchwork Memory Board for the sweet Molly who lives down the street from us. And it has my brain churning for the perfect project to create and name after my own princess, Sarah. What project would suit her personality and her style perfectly? Again, I’ll let you know when I come up with it.

That might be the best thing about craft books in general, the way they get your creativity working. Girl’s World includes “21 sewing projects to make for little girls” and is really a fantastic jumping off point for anyone who loves to create for a young girl in her life. Older girls will be able to help with the projects. The projects in this book would be perfect for using to teach your little sweetie some beginning crafting and sewing skills.

You can get more information on the book and the author at Sis Boom Fabrics. Please let us know if you’ve completed any of the projects from the book! We love show and tell!

Jennifer

(To find an item or event on our web site after clicking on the highlighted words, hold down the “Ctrl” key and touch F. Enter the item number in the box, press enter, and you’ll be taken to that item.)

You can see What’s New at Erica’s almost every day! Any page of our website has a column on the left that tells you where to find things, and all you have to do is look for “New Items” in purple, and click to find out.