Mpressive Threadz Studio Blog

Sharing my love of sewing

Another Sunday – Another sewing lesson

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Another Sunday, another sewing lesson for Kira.  Today’s lesson covered a few things.  First part of today’s session was spent pinning and sewing the shoulder seams of the lining on her Chanel style jacket using the fell stitch. 

Wednesday was the first time I had Veterans’ Day off, and I spent it printing a pattern and stitching a muslin for my Chanel style jacket.  I drew horizontal lines on my muslin pieces before stitching the jacket to see how the horizontal lines would match.  The shape of the front side piece caused the stripes to tilt in the shoulder area, creating a funky look at the princess seam in that area.  I experimental with the pattern piece and did not improve the look.  As well, I needed more ease everywhere and the shoulder seams tilted too much toward the back.  So I tossed the whole thing, tweaked the measurements in my patternmaking software, reprinted the pattern and cut a new muslin, which I stitched today while Kira worked on her jacket.  I tried on the muslin of the jacket and this became the second part of her lesson.  She watched while I let out the seams in the back across the hip area and lowered the front neckline.   We evaluated the horizontal lines.   The horizontal lines are better and the fit is good.  I explained that I would move the shoulder/princess seam intersection 1” closer to the neck, which will improve the look of the horizontal lines. 

Now to the next part of today’s lesson. Kira asked if I kept my paper patterns after making the garments.  I explained that I did keep some.  I lectured on tried-and-true patterns and slopers, and why I would transfer the bond paper pattern of my jacket to oaktag or poster board.  I sketched a princess seam jacket, the Chanel styled jacket, and gave it a military look by sketching upper flaps and lower patch pockets with buttons, epaulets and belt loops with a tie belt.  Cut it from wool gabardine for the winter and linen for the summer.  Extend the front overlap and add two lines of buttons, and you have a double breasted jacket.  Add a horizontal seam line and you have a yoke.  Overlap the front and back at the shoulder, trace the neck area and center lines, draw a shape from the front to the back and you have created a collar.  She had that sparkle in her eyes, which told me she got the point.  I demonstrated dart manipulation of the side dart on a bodice front, turning it into an armhole princess seam.  I next demonstrated how to turn a long sleeve sloper into a short puff sleeve, using the slash and spread method.  Her smile told me her mind was working, envisioning the possibilities when I sketched the princess seam dress with a puffed sleeve.  She also learned how to draft a flounce and how to add flare to a straight skirt.  Now she knows why I don’t have an abundance of patterns; I change what I have by drafting the pieces I need.

We closed out the lesson making lap zipper samples.  She understands how to improve her lap zipper installation and we will do it again next week.  While she worked on her lap zipper sample, I finished baking a banana pudding for her to take home.


Author: Mpressive Threadz

I started sewing when I was 11 years old, and had my own clients when I was 12. I graduated from the H.S. of Fashion Industries, majoring in fashion design. I expanded my technical background by attending evening classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology and working many years at a major pattern company. I have been creating custom wedding gowns and evening dresses for more years than I care to count. I LOVE WORKING WITH FABRICS. I love fine sewing techniques. I love creating beautiful dresses.

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