Petite Sewing – Love To Sew Podcast
In this episode, Helen and Caroline chat with three amazing petite sewists: Simone Nelson, Shontae Buffington, and Lauren Digby. They share their petite sewing strategies, tips, and stories to help other sewists find their perfect fit!
The transcript for this episode is at the end of the show notes on this page.
Leave us a voicemail with your questions, comments, and feedback: 1-844-SEW-WHAT (1-844-739-9428)
Helen: We are recording today on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Coast Salish and Kwakwaka’wakw peoples, including Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish, Musqueam, and K’ómoks first nations.
Helen: Hello and welcome to Love to Sew. I’m Helen the designer behind Helen’s Closet Patterns.
Caroline: And I’m Caroline, the owner of Blackbird Fabrics.
Helen: We’re two sewing buds who love to sew our own clothes and want to encourage you on your sewing journey, too.
Caroline: Join us for today’s topic: petite sewing.
Caroline: Hi, Helen.
Helen: Hi, Caroline.
Caroline: How are you?
Helen: I’m great, thanks. How are you?
Caroline: I am very good.
Helen: I don’t know about you, but I have been really looking forward to this episode.
Caroline: I have, too.
Helen: Uh, yeah, we know that there’s a need for petite sewing information out there because we’ve gotten a lot of requests for it. And because we’re not petites ourselves, we decided to have not one, not two, but three amazing guests who can speak to the petite sewing experience today.
Caroline: Yes, we have some great interviews coming up, but before we get into the guests, let’s talk a bit about what petite means. So petite, of course, is the French word for small. In the garment and sewing industries, petite is typically a category for people who are short statured, usually below five feet, four inches. That covers a lot of people. But as you’ll hear in the rest of this episode, sewists who identify as petite are not all one shape or size; there’s a huge variety, and each individual will have unique measurements and sewing preferences.
Helen: Yes. Okay. Let’s get into these interviews.
Caroline: Let’s do it.
Helen: Hello, Simone. Thank you so much for coming on the show today.
Simone: Hi! I’m super excited to be on here.
Helen: We’re so excited to chat with you. Can you please introduce yourself to our listeners?
Simone: Yes, I am Simone. And you can find me on Instagram @intenselydistracted. I’m a mom of two from Utah, and I just recently opened a label shop.
Helen: Yeah, we are so into your labels. Can you tell our listeners what the name of the shop is?
Simone: It’s just my Instagram handle, Intensely Distracted. I thought about changing it to something that was more like funny and sewing friendly, but, uh, I think Intensely Distracted, kind of, sums my personality up quite nicely.
Helen: That’s awesome. I know it’s hard to come up with a good sewing pun these days that isn’t taken.
Simone: Yes, very true.
Helen: And can you tell our listeners a little bit about how, and when you learned how to sew?
Simone: I first learned, like, the very basics in junior high. We had to take a year long class of, like, life skills, and a third of that class was home ec stuff but only a small unit of that was sewing. And so I learned, like, you know, you have to back stitch and stuff like that, but like, that was it. And so I didn’t start again until after I had my first baby and we just, I just, kind of, like, figured things out as I went along, and then it wasn’t until I, kind of, realized I could actually do more with sewing and that there was a whole world of sewing patterns that were outside of what I was finding at my local store that I kind of delved in and realized there was more to it. Um, and that was when I learned more technical skills. So, I usually like to say that I started my handmade wardrobe in 2018 cause that was when I actually started really following patterns and actually learning skills outside of what I was making up.
Caroline: Awesome. And what was that like in 2018? I mean, you already knew how to sew, but then you discovered this whole world of sewing patterns. Was it super exciting? Did you get really into, like, wardrobe planning and that kind of thing?
Simone: Um, I was. I’m not a big planner. I just, kind of, like, delve into things when I want to do something. So I did get into wardrobe planning, but it was, kind of, like this door opened, and it was super exciting to see that there was so much out there. And I was shocked that I had, kind of, been, like, hanging out outside of the, outside of this sphere, but to see that there was so much more and that there was, like, a lot of styles and, like, an online community that could help me figure things out was really exciting.
Caroline: Yeah, and our episode today is all about petite sewing. So that is definitely one of the reasons why we wanted to have you on to chat about this topic, and even in your Instagram profile, you identify as a petite sewist. So, I wonder when did you come to think of yourself in those terms?
Simone: Um, that’s a really good question. I actually, I had to Google and search what, like, what it meant to be petite because before I even claimed myself as a petite sewist, I wasn’t sure if, that if being petite actually fit what my body type was just because I always thought that petite meant being, like, on the smaller end of everything. And so I’ve always been on the smaller end. I’m only five feet tall, and usually, like, nothing in the stores fit me. So I just kind of, just assumed that’s what it was. But as I’ve gotten older and I’ve had my kids and you know, your body changes with age and I wasn’t, I’m not, like, the same size I was obviously when I was younger and it was really hard for me to decide whether or not I was still petite. And so I did have to look it up and I realized, Hey, petite sewing, being petite, actually encompasses a lot of different sizes.
Caroline: Yeah, it’s so true. I think there is a common, kind of, misconception that petites, quote-unquote petites are tiny all over but really, like anything, there’s a range of body types within that category. I wonder how you think this affects petite sewists or how that has affected you and, kind of, your mindset.
Simone: Well, for me, I always was on the smaller end of, like, store sizes, you know? And when I started making clothing from patterns, I was really surprised to see that I was not on the small, smallest end of the size ranges. And I actually, I’d go back and remeasure myself, and I was just completely shocked by it. And it was, kind of, like, this weird, like, Am I, the size that I think I am? Am I measuring myself incorrectly? And it was kind of eye-opening because I was just shocked at that, I was not on the smallest end which is not a bad thing whatsoever. And it’s taken me some time to, obviously, understand and understand my body better and realize that it’s not about the number.
Helen: Yeah, I think that’s a hurdle that a lot of beginner sewists face because the sizes and the size chart don’t often match the sizes that we’re used to buying in ready to wear. And every ready to wear store has a little bit of a different sizing. So it is a little disconcerting when you go to make a sewing pattern and you’re not the size that you thought you were, and then you start questioning what even is sizing. And in the end, I think that’s a good thing because, like you said, it’s really not about the number, and sewing is all about making things that fit you well. So I wonder if you can take us through your fitting journey. Did you immediately start making those petite adjustments to your patterns when you started sewing or was there a bit of a learning curve there for you?
Simone: There was definitely a bit of a learning curve, but part of it was because I’d never actually had things that fit me well, but I didn’t realize that at the time. And so a lot of my earlier makes I would do certain, maybe I would, like, shorten things, but just because, like, if the pattern told me, Hey, if you’re shorter than 5’5” or 5’7”, whatever the pattern is drafted for, shorten it, right? And so then I would do that, but I would only do what it told me to do. And so I didn’t realize that generally I actually want things to fit me better, but I didn’t know what it was. So it took me a while to, kind of, understand that a lot of things that I had were oversized.
Helen: And are there certain adjustments that you typically make to garments now?
Simone: Yeah, so I almost always shorten things right off the bat. I really suck at making muslins. And so I generally do two inches. Like, that’s my magic number, in most cases. I usually shorten two inches in pants and sleeves. Um, and usually if I, if there are darts in the pattern, I try to do a small bust adjustment.
Helen: Right. That makes a lot of sense. And when you’re shortening things, that two inch magic number, how did you come up with that number? Because I know a lot of times it seems like it’s the height it was drafted for minus your height, and then there’s your magic number. But, of course, our height is distributed throughout our entire body, from our toes to the top of our heads. So how did you figure out that magic number?
Simone: I actually learned how to adjust for height in the York Pinafore pattern from Helen, and that was where I, kind of, learned that. And then, just from there, I realized that, for the most part, a lot of the patterns that I’ve used, that two inches just from the inseam works best for me.
Helen: Oh, that’s awesome. I’m glad to hear that was helpful. Yeah, I like to recommend that people take the number that it was drafted for minus their height, and then divide that by two, just so they’re not lengthening or shortening too much right off the bat. And then, of course, adjust from there for your personal preference and the way that your height is distributed too, because some of us have longer torsos than others or longer rise or longer legs. So it’s all an individual process.
Simone: Yeah, and I’m still learning actually. I don’t do a lot of fit adjustments because I’m, kind of, more trying to focus on building my skills, and then, eventually, when I have more energy to do so, I would like to get into better fitting.
Caroline: Do you have any, uh, favorite pattern companies out there that you think are, kind of, serving you as a really good starting point for making your fitting adjustments, any pattern companies that you tend to gravitate towards?
Simone: Helen’s Closet. I’m not trying to be, like, a total fan girl, but I am. And so, uh, the York Pinafore actually helped me a lot. I learned a lot of technical skills, but then also with the height adjustment. I had not tried any other pattern before that even told me how to adjust for height, and so that one, I always recommend. Sinclair Patterns is also a good one because they actually include petite sizing in their sizes, so you don’t have to do any guesswork. Um, and I really liked that because sometimes I just don’t have the energy to try to figure things out. And then Itch to Stitch is another good one because they have the different cup size, so it’s a little bit more like mix or match.
Helen: Yeah, I like that Itch to Stitch has, I think they have A through DD, at least. I can’t remember exactly, but they actually do include that A cup which is rare in sewing patterns.
Simone: Yes, and if you don’t know how to do a small bust adjustment, or if you just don’t want to deal with it, then I like that I, it’s right there for me.
Caroline: Awesome. Um, so I think we’re going to have a lot of petite listeners tuning into this episode. So I wonder if you have any advice that you would give to them if they’re thinking that they want to make clothes that really fit them well.
Simone: My recommendation is to try out different designers and to see which ones work better for you. For some designers, you know, you’re going to have to do a lot of mods while others are going to do just a couple, you know, some really small, easy mods. So really, the more that you do and the more that you make for yourself, you’ll discover what works best for you and what you prefer. Cause I’ve got, of course, what you prefer for your body is very relative.
Helen: Yeah, that’s good advice, I think for any sewist. Um, and we also want to share some of your garments that you’ve made in our social this week. So can you tell us, maybe, some of your favorite garments that you’ve made recently?
Simone: I usually really like my last make, but I haven’t been making as much lately just because I’ve been dealing, trying to get my shop running. And then also, because I’m kind of satisfied with everything that I’ve had, I have. So really, my current favorites are probably my Free Range Slacks because I wear them, like, every day.
Helen: They are so cute. I really love your outfit combos. I mean, definitely go follow Simone on Instagram, everyone, because you have this window, you stand next to where the lighting is just perfect. And you take all these beautiful pictures of all your makes. So I really enjoy following you for your styling. And I also noticed recently that your sister has been popping up on your IG. How is learning to sew going for her?
Simone: It’s so fun because she had never really expressed any interest in learning how to sew or make your own clothes. And she had basically the same education that I had from junior high. And so when she, she was here for, you know, we were quarantine bubbling for vacation. And she was like, you know, since I’m not going to do anything for a couple of weeks, like, let’s, maybe, I want to learn how to sew. And I was like, and I completely jumped into, like, all the different things. And then I had to stop myself and be like, Okay, don’t overwhelm her. But it’s been really fun because she actually, like, texts me now and tells me what she’s up to or asks for advice. And it’s really nice to have, like, someone in real life that I know that I can talk to about this.
Helen: Yeah, it’s like talking to somebody who speaks the same language as you in a way, when it comes to sewing. I always find when I’m chatting with my sewing friends and you can just drop names of patterns, and you don’t have to explain anything. It’s just like, they just get it.
Simone: Yeah, it’s so true. And so she’s definitely gotten way more into it than I, I didn’t know. I was like, Let’s see if she’s actually going to continue with this. Um, but she has, and so it’s been really fun to see her, her growth.
Caroline: That’s so awesome. And okay, we have to talk a little bit about your new shop selling garment labels for home sewists. Can you just tell us a little bit more about why you decided to start the shop, kind of, the journey before launch because you just launched recently, right?
Simone: Yeah, so I launched at the end of March, and it’s been really fun. I’ve always been interested in running my own shop, and I like the flexibility that comes with it. And so I’ve done different things in the past, but I’m really, really excited about this one because I feel like it encompasses everything I’ve ever been interested in. I once heard, uh, Alton Brown talk about, like, the unique career that he’s had and he, that he’s created for himself and how he says that every random thing that he’s done ultimately led to where he is now which I have really liked because a lot of the things that I’ve done have not been connected, and they don’t make any sense, at least, you know, at the time they don’t make any sense. But then, at this point in my life, I realize that every little skill that I learned in those things have led me to here. So I’m really excited that, it’s, like, my level of interests have all accumulated into a label shop.
Caroline: And the labels are so cute and fun. I really encourage our listeners to go and check out your shop. There’s even a Mandalorian themed one that says, “This is the way.” So can you tell us a little bit more about some of the other labels that you have in your store?
Simone: Yes, so I have cotton labels and woven labels, and there’s, like, a geeky spin on half of them. And then, like, slow fashion slash mindfully made, for the others. It’s like a, like I said, it’s an, uh, it’s a very good representation of my interests where I love the slow fashion and I love making things, but I also am a geek. And so it’s really nice to be able to incorporate the two.
Helen: I laughed out loud when I saw the “This is the way” one. I just thought it was so clever. And I also love, love, love “The ironing is overrated” tag.
Caroline: Oh, yeah.
Helen: It’s perfect for all the linen out there. I mean, it doesn’t get better than that.
Simone: Yes, and or for just anything, like, I only use my iron when I’m sewing.
Helen: It’s true. It’s, I have mine set up all the time, and yet it never gets used after my clothes come out of the dryer.
Simone: Same. I actually was really excited to move to my new house so that I could have a full ironing board, but it never gets used other than what I’m sewing. So I don’t know what I was thinking.
Helen: Well, now you have these labels, so you’re good.
Caroline: How long did it take to get this project off the ground?
Simone: Um, from actual, like, announcing that this was actually going to happen and, like, talking with my family and, you know, deciding whether or not this is going to be the right fit for us. It took several months, but that’s, like, all we did, was, like, heads down, let’s do this. And it was actually, it took longer for production than it took to actually design everything. So I design everything, but, like, I had these ideas in my head, and so that was actually really quick to do.
Caroline: I love that it’s kind of like a family affair. Are you going to have your kids help you ship out orders and stuff?
Simone: They don’t, they’re like, my kids are, kind of, old. And so they’re like, No, we’re good, mommy. Um, but my, they, they actually really liked “This is the way” this is their favorite one. We’re a big Star Wars family. And so when that came in, I’m like, Hey, who wants this on their backpack? And they were like, Yes, all of us. So it’s nice to be able to share this with them and, like, have them, kind of, help out with the ideas and just see what goes into a business.
Caroline: Awesome. It’s so inspiring. Um, we finally wanted to touch on another thing that you’ve shared on your Instagram a little while back and that was your amazing sewing notebook that we’ve seen in your stories. It’s super inspiring. So we were hoping you could describe it a little bit to our listeners and just tell us how you use it in your sewing practice.
Simone: I like to document things a lot. Um, I’m the person that, like, takes a zillion photos anytime I go anywhere. Um, so having this sewing notebook has actually been really wonderful because I like documenting things, but I also have a really horrible memory. So I write down the pattern, the fabric notes, the fitting notes, and I, kind of, keep track of different things as I make a project so that I can look back at it later and see what changes I did or, um, just to reference back to it.
Helen: It’s such a smart idea. And it’s becoming one of my go-to pieces of advice for beginner sewists because I wish I had done this right from the beginning. I mean, I have my blog where I showcase some things, so I have notes there. But more detailed notes about adjustments and sizes because if you want to recreate that later, you know, say it’s like two or three years later, there’s no way you’re going to remember what you did to your pattern or what size you made. So it’s so, so handy to have it documented. And through that documentation process, you can learn so much about your sewing and about the garments that you like to make and wear.
Simone: Yeah, and it actually has helped me a lot in understanding my body size as well. Because in the beginning, I would not, I wouldn’t even write down what size I made. I didn’t even remember what size I made because again, I was still, kind of, like, unsure about all of that. So to actually be able to, like, put it down, and it’s just numbers, it’s not a big deal. Um, so then I, it’s, it’s really helpful to actually understand when I’m making new things.
Caroline: Awesome. Well, thank you so much for sharing that. And thank you for coming on the show. Simone, before we wrap up, can you let our listeners know again where they can find you online?
Simone: Yes, you can find me online, uh, on Instagram @intenselydistracted and my website is intenselydistracted.com.
Helen: Amazing. Thank you again, Simone for coming on. Have a great day.
Simone: Thank you so much.
Helen: Hello, Shontae. Thank you so much for coming on the show today.
Shontae: Hi, thank you so much for having me today.
Helen: We’re really excited to chat with you. Can you please introduce yourself for our listeners?
Shontae: Sure. My name is Shontae Buffington and, um, I love sewing. That’s why I’m on this podcast and, um, I’m a native of Atlanta, Georgia, but I’ve lived everywhere. And everywhere I go, fabric and sewing goes with me.
Helen: Amazing. You sound like the perfect guest for our show. And how and when did you learn how to sew?
Shontae: I learned how to sew about 23 years ago. My husband thought that, as a new wife, I needed a hobby. And so his idea of a hobby was for me to learn how to make all the clothes that I was buying. So he took me to Sears and bought this little, I don’t know, some, some kind of sewing machine. And I couldn’t even thread the needle. He said, Well, did you put the VHS in, you know, that, did you watch the video? So it was like pre-YouTube and, you know, pre, pre, like, real internet and that sort of thing. People were only sewing in really small circles. So I put the video in, learn how to thread the needle, and made a button up shirt. That was, like, literally the first thing I made, and the button placket was backwards, but he still wore it. So I’ve been sewing ever since with tubs of fabric and tons of patterns and all that kind of stuff. So that’s me learning how to sew.
Caroline: That’s so ambitious that you made a button up shirt first…
Caroline: … as one of your first projects. Tell us more about the patterns and garment styles that you tend to gravitate towards. Can you describe your style a little bit for us?
Shontae: So I guess my style is pretty much anything I can’t buy ready to wear, or it would be difficult to get ready to wear. So I always tell people I’m, like, sewing, I’m, like, sewing, bling, you know? So I like sequins, I like fur, I like velvet, any kind of stripe, something that you have to match up, prints that you have to match up. I love Ankara. So I love bright colors and fabrics and things like that. I, lately, have really been into organic types of fabrics because I live in a very hot and humid climate, and polyesters really stick to your skin. So I’ve been searching out fabrics like that. In terms of finding patterns, I love indie patterns right now. I’m really into that. The PDF patterns, trying to support, um, smaller pattern companies, smaller newer designers, but I have made everything from a jean jacket, fur coat, a pair of pants, leggings. Right now I’m into bras, so, you know, sort of all over the place, which is, which is good and bad.
Helen: And how has sewing shaped your style? Like were you into those kinds of bling, bright color garments before you started sewing? Or was that just something that came with your discovery of all the beautiful fabrics out there?
Shontae: Um, I guess I would say yes and no. So I’m a southerner, and if you know anything about the South, um, as soon as you cross the Mason-Dixon line, things get brighter and louder. Purses are orange and yellow and all that good stuff. And so, probably I’ve always liked color and pattern, but I had such a difficult time finding the, the right style for my body type. So I think the sewing just allowed me to express myself and really get the fit down. So I noticed when I started sewing my own clothes, people would say things like, Oh, I really like your outfit. Oh, that was so cool. Oh, that’s really cool, where’d you buy that from? And I was like, Oh, I didn’t buy this. I made this, thanks. So I think I learned what, how clothes were supposed to fit and because I’m so small, I could never really just pull something off the rack and wear it. I always had to do something to it. So the color and the fit sorta just mish together. I think it just expresses where I’m from, which is, you know, the, southerners tend to wear a little bit brighter. When I went to California, I remember my college roommate saying, uh, she, she didn’t see me yet, what she saw was my shoes and the clothes I had laying out. So I walked into the room and she goes, Oh, I, I, I couldn’t figure, I knew you were a smaller person cause your shoe was so small. But when I saw the clothes, I was like, she must be from the South. So she knew, just from, like, the clothes that were there that I clearly was not a Californian. So I came to California and I learned how to, you know, mute things down and, you know, maybe don’t put those colors together, like a little bit of a, a mix of all of that. It’s like Gap meets the South altogether.
Caroline: That is awesome. We also wanted to talk more specifically about petite sewing today, and you touched on fit a little bit just now. So can you tell us about your journey from beginner sewist to making the well-fitting garments that you make now? Like, what did that look like for you?
Shontae: So in the beginning, you know, when you first start sewing, you don’t understand that pattern. So I was looking on the back, really teaching myself how to sew from the, literally, the instructions. And so I was using the size thinking that that was my size. So initially, I just thought I couldn’t sew because. I didn’t understand that, oh, if you’re a four in ready to wear, maybe you’re not a four on the pattern. So initially I thought I couldn’t sew. Then when I figured out, oh, I’m using the wrong pattern size, I still thought I couldn’t sew because things would be too big or too small or too tight or too long, mostly too big. Mostly everything I made was way too big. And so the first adjustment I learned how to make was the back to waist because I didn’t understand that when I buy a shirt, my middle section is just small, it’s just smaller. And then after I had kids, my midsection, my front to back was smaller, but my breasts were bigger, right? So then I, I learned how to make the full bust adjustment with the back to waist. So for me, it really started with learning how to adjust the bodice, getting the bodice, like, really perfect. Like it’s the one thing people are always like, Oh, your shirt, it fits so nice. Like, yeah, cause the darts are pointing exactly where they’re supposed to be. And so I really learned how to get the top part right.
Helen: Yeah. It’s interesting listening to you talk because it makes me think about how there are so many adjustments out there and no matter what size you are, whether you consider yourself petite or plus size, you might still have to do some of these adjustments like a full, bust adjustment or a full seat adjustment. Do you think that there are adjustments that are specifically for petite sewists or is it more just finding the adjustments that work for your figure?
Shontae: So most of us will always, always, always have to do a length adjustment period. You will almost never find a standard, even the misses pattern which is really like the juniors, like, it’s like Macy’s juniors. You will always, always have to make a length adjustment. So I’m, I’m what you call super petite. So I’m 4’11 ½”. So it’s so funny when I see people, like, at, like, a sewing conference or something, Oh, my god I know you, but I thought you were so much taller. And I’m really, really, really short. So when I make pants, I already know five inches is coming out. If I make a maxi dress, which the only way I get a maxi dress is if I sew it. It’s the only way I get it. So I know that I have to take a solid five to seven inches out of the dress, which is tricky, right? Because you can’t just chop five inches from the bottom of the dress. Sometimes you can, but you may have to kind of take it out in chunks. So I may take two inches here, two inches there, an inch there because otherwise you’re going to get something that looks like a baby doll dress. You don’t want that. You still want the shape of the garment. So length is something petites, we always struggle with, skirts, not so much skirts, but like a maxi dress or dress. And then the sleeves. It is always a problem. So if it’s a long sleeve garment, it will get three inches chopped out. Right away, which is a lot, you know, if you were thinking three inches that’s a lot, somebody else, that’s a crop, you know, three quarters. So, yeah.
Helen: I’m curious too, when you’re making length adjustments, do you like to just chop off from the bottom or do you prefer to use the lengthen and shorten lines on the pattern? Or do you like to make your own lengthen and shorten lines to distribute all of that length that you’re taking out throughout the pattern? What’s your process like for that?
Shontae: So it depends on what it is. If it’s a pair of, like, cigar pants, you might completely mess those up just chopping off five inches from the bottom. Now you’re going to have to taper the leg, you’re going to have to taper the calf part so that it still looks like a cigar pant. So it really is very, very pattern specific, style specific. And the straighter the garment is, the easier it is to just chop it off from the bottom. But something like, I cannot think of the name of this pattern, but it’s almost like a gown, like something like the Ivy gown or there’s another gown that’s out there, it would take me two hours just to do the length adjustment, because I have to be careful about where I take it out. Otherwise you lose the entire design of the pattern which is exactly what you don’t want. So a lot of times I’ll make a muslin, and I will make all of my major adjustments to the muslin, and then I’ll cut the precious fabric. Because if you, you know, you can generally always make something smaller, but trying to make it bigger is much, much harder or almost impossible.
Caroline: Yeah. We often recommend that too, on the show, making a muslin, especially when you know it’s a new pattern to you and you know that you’re going to be making a lot of adjustments. I wonder if you have any other advice for petite listeners who want to make clothing that fit them well.
Shontae: So when I first started making adjustments, there were a few brands who were doing a few things well, and I had a few pieces and what I did was I learned to deconstruct. So this was back when Craftsy was everything, it was just like, there was nothing like it. And I took one class where I learned to deconstruct. And then I feel like I went and did something with Kenneth D. King, and I learned how to deconstruct the pattern and retrace it so that I could make that thing. And that taught me where the standard pattern was not fitting me properly. So if you really, if you have one or two garments that you love, but they’re on the recycled sustainable sewing list, like, you’re like, Oh, I don’t think I can wear this, but maybe I can do something with. But that’s the, that is the ready to wear item that you use. Just deconstruct and work backwards. And that really got me started like, oh, okay. This, even things that have really long zippers, you have to be careful with because where the zipper is going to fall on a girl that’s 5’9”, it’s different than where the zipper, the back zipper falls on somebody who’s 4’11”. So, so I would take a ready to wear garment, deconstruct it well, make yourself a pattern, put that on pattern making paper, Swiss tracing paper or something like that, and that can be your personal sloper and then work backwards. Because you know, there weren’t, it’s not like every pattern is a new adventure. Sometimes you can look at a pattern if you’re petite and go, okay, I’m going to take that out, I’ll take that, move that, maybe even take a dart out sometimes. But yeah, that, that ready to wear deconstructed pattern will really help you out.
Helen: That’s really good advice. Thank you. I also wanted to come back to something you said earlier about, you know, wearing your me mades out in the world and getting compliments about how well they fit. And I wonder how that has affected, you know, your self-confidence or your day-to-day. Do you feel like a superhero in your me made garments that fit so well?
Shontae: Yeah, it’s kind of funny because I’m in a fairly large practice and sometimes the way people introduce me is, Oh yeah, this is Dr. Bevington. And you know, she made that dress, right? I’ll go, No, no, I didn’t make this one. I know she makes all of her clothes. And I’m thinking. Okay, you didn’t say, like, Oh, she’s a great doctor. You know, it’s, like, the first thing they say. Oh, she does this thing. Oh, she has this great hobby. Um, I think when you wear clothes that make you feel good, whether you’re, you know, 4’11” or 6’1”, cause no matter what size you are or how tall or small you are, if your clothing fits well, and people notice that. So they don’t notice, for example, the worst is pants that are too long because I feel like that’s such a simple adjustment we can all make, but it makes a difference when your pants fit well. You have a different confidence about yourself. So yeah, not tripping over your pants going up the stairs has made me more confident for sure.
Helen: We’d love to share some of your work on our social media channels. So do you have any garments that you would like our listeners to see, garments that you’re the most proud of?
Shontae: Um, recently. Okay. So I did this pattern, but I, I took one look at this pattern and I said, I am not sewing that like who, who is gonna, no short girl, this is discrimination against short girls cause, you know, short girls can’t wear that, but I made this Vogue pattern, but it’s a jumper. And it’s Vogue 9075. It’s uh, I, I liked the, um, Very Easy Vogue cause I can do them in a day, but every time I wear that, people are like, Oh, it’s so pretty, it’s so pretty. But it’s huge. It’s palazzo pants. A girl my size should not wear palazzo pants ever. Like, as a matter of fact, if you go to a style book, it’s going to tell you if you’re my size, just forget about the palazzo pants, but it is palazzo pants. It’s a palazzo pants jumper, and it looks great. People are always like, Oh my goodness, where did you buy that? I didn’t buy it; I made it, but thanks. So yeah, that’s, that’s probably one of the ones where I thought I was going to have to crumble it up and throw it away, but it turned out great. It really did.
Caroline:I think that’s one of the cool things about sewing is that we think so much about the clothes that we wear and the fit and how they look. And it makes us feel confident to push the envelope of, like, what people might say you can or can’t wear. And it’s really fun to experiment in sewing with styles or types of garments that maybe you’ve been told are not for your body, but really like who cares about those rules, right? We should just wear what we want to wear. And I think that’s one of the coolest things about sewing is that we can actually experiment and, and, and try out different styles and we have so much control over the fit, right?
Caroline: And you’ve talked pretty openly about sewing being a huge stress reliever for you, but I’d love to know, kind of, specifically what it is about sewing that you find so calming and relaxing. Personally, I also find sewing relaxing, but sometimes it can also be challenging and frustrating. So what is it about sewing that kind of calms you?
Chontae: I think it’s that, it’s the exact opposite of what I do in real life. So I have to be very analytical in both things, but there’s a certain freedom I don’t have with medicine, right? You know, if you have this disorder, then I do this. Believe it or not, you know, doctors get bored, too. We, we get into this mode where it’s like, okay, you know, I, I need a vacation. I need to take a break. I need to disconnect from that. And I absolutely love what I do, but I never really get to be creative in that mode, right? So I’m a scientist in that way. So my sewing is, is a science too, but I get to jump out of it. At work, I have to wear certain colors. I, there’s certain colors I probably wouldn’t wear to work, certain shoes I wouldn’t wear to work, certain fabrics. I’m not wearing, you know, my fur to work. I might wear it to the grocery store though, but just not to work. But so, so, you know, like when I sew I don’t have that limitation. I can go in a fabric store and say, I love purple sequins. And that’s what we’re doing this weekend, the date night, so purple sequins. And it’s interesting because sometimes people will see me outside of work. I live in a very small town. I live on St. Simon’s Island, which is off the coast of Georgia. It’s about the size of Manhattan. And there are about 30,000 people that live in this area. So the chances that I’m going to see a family that I know out is very, it’s it’s going to happen. So if people have seen me out and go, Oh my goodness is that you, you know, not that I’m a different person, but I get to, I get to express myself in a way that I would not get to express myself at work. So it definitely allows me to use a different side of my brain. I have seasonal affective disorder. So in the winter, my husband put these, these lights in this, in my studio that really helped me not have seasonal affective disorder. So the sewing, believe it or not, was, like, the first thing that I was, like, maybe it’s sewing that makes it so that I don’t have this seasonal affective disorder, but it was legit the lights. It was the lights from, you know, the, the white lights that are on your like boat lights and all that? Those lights help, um, reorganize your brain to say it’s daylight. And when you’re working in a hospital or you’re in a building all day, and when you go to work, it’s dark, when you come home, it’s dark, it’s dark in your life. But then I would go upstairs and I would sew and I would turn on my lights, and my ring light would be on, all this kind of stuff. And my husband was like, You should sew. It makes you happy. But it was actually the, it was the lights from the sewing room. So yeah. All kinds of benefits from sewing.
Helen: That’s a good tip though. I want to put some of these lights in my studio now.
Shontae: Yeah, yeah, yeah. You should. And they’re good for the environment too. They’re, they’re expensive. They’re maybe like 20 something dollars per light. But, um, because I only have two windows in my studio. I had to have those lights in so that, you know, it’s not fluorescent, it’s LED light, but it works. It does work.
Caroline: I love your husband’s investment in your sewing practice, like getting you the machine, getting you the lights. I’ve also seen on your Instagram, you shared some photos of him like sewing or like cutting as well. So is that something that you do a lot with your family? Involving your husband or your kids in your sewing practice?
Shontae: Um, so it’s such a part of our lives that, because my kids don’t know anything else. So we’ve been married 22, 23 years, and my children are 10 and 15. So they don’t know anything but mom having sewing machines, my, my youngest would fall asleep under the presser foot all the time. She, I mean, like in the little sewing area, she would fall asleep right there all the time. So it’s literally part of their lives. My husband is, um, the guy who, we go somewhere, like we went to Europe two years ago and he’s like, okay, so this is your suitcase for your fabric. And I was like, what? It’s empty. I know, it’ll be full. And you know, yeah. So, and he doesn’t get a lot out of it. He, it’s not like I’m sewing a lot of menswear or anything like that. I really don’t like sewing menswear; it’s a different animal, but he’s good for, like, holding fabric. He’s good with that wheel, you know, the rotary cutter. Oh man, he’s so good at it. And he can hold fabrics or sometimes I need an extra hand if you’re cutting really thick things This past year we made, we all made masks. So I brought out every sewing machine I had before, you know, masks were out. And we literally spent like six days in my studio making masks for days and days and days. So they don’t know anything else. The kids don’t know anything else. And my husband thinks it’s the best thing ever. So he adds to the addiction all the time, like literally all the time. It’s kind of bad, but, um, yeah, it’s kind of a family thing. It definitely is a family thing.
Helen: Yeah. That’s so cute. We love that. You’re sewing with your family, and it’s been really wonderful hearing a little bit more about your sewing journey and your adjustments that you make to make these amazing clothes. We’re definitely going to share some of it on our channels. Where can our listeners find you online if they want to follow along more with you?
Shontae: So online, I’m on Instagram @sewingformysanity. Facebook is also Sewing For My Sanity, and my website of course, is www.sewingformysanity.com.
Helen: Wonderful. Shontae, thank you so much again for joining us. This was really a pleasure.
Shontae: You are very welcome.
Helen: Have a great day. Bye.
Shontae: You too. Bye.
Helen: Hello, Lauren. Thank you so much for coming on the show today.
Lauren: Hello. Thank you so much for having me. It’s just so exciting.
Helen: Oh, we’re so excited, too. Can you please introduce yourself for our listeners?
Lauren: Yeah, sure. Hi, I’m Lauren. Um, I’m normally based in London. I sort of grew up in the sewing blogging community. Cause I started sewing when I was sort of about 14, 15 in school and I learned how to sew from all the lovely ladies who were also sewing their own clothes and blogging about them. And I liked it so much that I decided to go to university, and I went to drama school to study costume, and now that’s my job. So, but also I still sew all my own clothes because once you start, how can you go back?
Caroline: That is so cool. I want to know more, more about, kind of, your early sewing journey. Like how did you discover the online sewing community? What inspired you to even think about starting to sew and how did those early days go for you?
Lauren: Uh, they were full of adventure. I basically have a lot of thanks to give to my mum because she’s a very creative lady, and she was the one who went, Oh, well, we’re going to put the sewing machine in front of her and see what happens. And obviously wonderful things happened. So yeah, once I had that in front of me, I haven’t stopped since really.
Helen: Yeah, you are actually one of the first sewing bloggers that I discovered and started following when I got into the sewing community. So it’s really a pleasure to chat with you today and learn a little bit more about your petite sewing. Cause that’s obviously our topic for today, but can you tell our listeners what the name of your blog is If they want to go follow you there?
Lauren: Yeah, for sure. Um, it’s called Original Digby because my last name is Digby, and everything I make is, in fact, an original, but actually it’s the second blog name that I’ve had. Um, the first was Lady Sew a Lot which I, which is the one that I started in, I think it was maybe, 2014 or 2015. Yeah, I graduated to Original Digby when I was at uni and that’s now my Instagram name and my blog name.
Helen: Amazing. Okay, so we’ve noticed from looking at your blog that a lot of the things that you make, you’ve designed yourself and they’re all based off of, or not all, but many of them based off of a block that you’ve made. And for our listeners who might not know a block is sort of a base pattern that’s made to your measurements which then you can adjust and design different things from. So how did you go about designing and making your own block and how do you use it now?
Lauren: Well, it’s a very good question. There’s been various iterations of my block over the years, and I’ve had different blocks. So the first one I made when I was, I think, maybe 14 or 15 or pretty near to the start. Because the patterns that I was finding, most of the ones I had access to, were the big four patterns and they were a size eight, 10, 12, and of course, big four patterns are notorious for being four sizes bigger than they actually were. And as someone who’s, uh, yeah, as you would say, petite, uh, they didn’t fit. And so the best methods to get things to fit me seemed to be by drafting a block. So I was like, right, well, I guess I’ll do that then. Um, and I did, and I didn’t really know what I was doing. I used Helen Joseph Armstrong’s pattern cutting book, and I found that some of the instructions maybe were wrong or I wasn’t very good at following them, or they didn’t actually work for a bust as small as mine, cause they use certain formulas and certain bits of maths to work out the measurements for how the block is drafted. When my bust is as small in proportion as mine is to everything else, it seems to throw things off a bit. But I managed to, sort of, get it to, kind of, work. And so I used that for years and years. And then when I was at uni, I had to choose what I wanted to do for my dissertation. And because my course was such a practical one, we made things all the time and all of our assessments were based on sewing things. We had to choose a dissertation topic, and I got to do mine in a practical way. And that meant that I got to make things. And then I only had to write 5,000 words instead of 10,000. And for my dissertation, I wanted to do something that would benefit me as much as possible. Um, because I knew I’d be spending a lot of time on it, and I didn’t want it to be one big costume that I spent a lot of money and time on and then never use again. So the best use of this time for me, seemed to be making blocks for myself. And the way that I managed to work this into a big project was what I called a British Outfit which was actually inspired by Nicki from This is Moonlight. So I set myself a challenge of making myself a complete outfit of clothing, uh, made from entirely British materials. So this meant no chemical dyes. Everything had to be grown and manufactured in the UK. Um, so this was quite a challenge, but the very, the very basis of it all, it meant that I needed to have a bodice block that fit me, a trouser block that fit me. And that meant that I was setting myself up for whatever I wanted to do in the future, because so many of the things I sew would be based on either of those two things.
Helen: That is so smart. And this British Outfit is absolutely amazing. I mean, really head to toe, like you made the undergarments, the clothes, and also the shoes, like, it’s incredible.
Lauren: The shoes, the shoes just were brilliant because I was looking at different options and clog bases seemed to be the way to go. And I can’t remember what type of wood it is now, but it’s wood that we use to make cricket bats. And my dad is very big into his cricket. So he took me to the local cricket bat maker, and I said, Hello, do you have any spare wood that I can make some clog bases from? And he took me to the bits of wood in his workshop that he wasn’t actually going to use for cricket bats and said, Would any of those do? And I was like, Yeah, yeah, that’s perfect. And then he seemed to take it on as his own project. And so he’s, I had a template to my foot with me. So he drew around that and then he used all these tools to make me my very own custom pair of clog bases. Um, they were definitely sisters, not twins. Um, not at all practical for wearing in any circumstance. I did wear them on the walk to uni one day as part of the research, and my feet were very bloody by the end of it.
Helen: Oh no.
Lauren: So I wouldn’t recommend it, but it was a brilliant experiment. So, nonetheless.
Helen: Yeah, I mean, they were your first pair. There could be future clogs for you.
Lauren: For sure.
Helen: Yeah. Well, it’s really cool. We’ll definitely link it in our show notes and show it on social, like you dyed things using elderberry and cabbage and made your own buttons. So it’s worth checking out, and our listeners should go take a look.
Caroline: I’d love to talk more about blocks cause I’m so interested in this process. Um, personally, I don’t use blocks, and I don’t do a lot of drafting for myself. So I’m curious, when you start with a block, kind of, what is that process that you go through to design and then, sew that garment and, you know, are you having a lot of success with that or are there challenges as well with working with blocks?
Lauren: I love working with blocks cause it’s a completely blank canvas. And then my chances of success in the end product, I feel are a lot bigger because I know that the base fit is going to be right. I have lots of different blocks for different things. So I have one a bodice block or, um, so it’s like bodice and hips. And so if I’m making a dress I’ll start with that. Or if I’m making trousers I’ll start with that. Or if I’m making something like a t-shirt or a jumper. I have a separate one for each of these things which is my starting point from going on to design. And then when I’ve got to design, I’ll choose the applicable one. And then adapt that to make it into whatever I want which is just amazing. It’s brilliant to have that amount of creative freedom.
Caroline: Yeah, absolutely. I am sure that it must be so fun because you can just, like, dream up whatever you want and then draft it yourself and, and make it, and then you have it, and you don’t have to rely on the indie pattern world to create the things that you want. Do you have any advice for any of our listeners out there who want to make their own bodice block or any type of block to, kind of, help move them forward in their sewing practice?
Lauren: Yeah, absolutely. So the most recent block that I made is actually over this last summer. And it was from Suzy Furrer’s book, and I actually came on to her through listening to your podcast episode with her. So thank you so much for that, but yeah, so I made a new block using her method which I found really, super useful. And the book she has is so informative. That was one of my projects over the summer, is just to sort of go through her book and because she tells you everything you need to know, and because there’s a section on necklines, and there’s a section on sleeves, and there’s a section on collars. So you can just go, Okay, I want this sleeve and this collar, and you can just go to that relevant section in the book and then it’s just step by step like that really.
Helen: Oh, that’s great. We’ll have to link that one in the show notes. Yeah, I remember that interview with Suzy. She was so inspiring just with regards to making your own block and being able to have your own starting point. Like you said, it’s such a great way to go about it. And you’ve spoken before about being sized out of indie patterns and how challenging that can be. What has it been like for you finding patterns that fit or clothes that fit and how has sewing your own garments that actually do fit you well affected your relationship with your body?
Lauren: Oh, it’s been so good for me because I always forget about it and to, like, go into a shop when I am in a changing room, and then I’m a bit sad because that’s so rarely is the circumstance for me anymore. Because from a very young age, I’ve been able to go, okay, I’m standing in front of the mirror with a toile pinned onto me or something that I’m in the process of making, I go, Okay. Well, it doesn’t fit, but that’s okay cause I can make it happen. I’m, that’s completely within my power to make it whatever I wanted to be. I mean, you can’t ask for more than that really. And it means that I don’t have to look at numbers or dress sizes because once you’ve got a block, you’re not looking at any size charts ever. You’re just going, okay. I’m starting with my block. So I forget, in some patterns I have, the best of the girls age 12, it’s just not relevant anymore.
Helen: Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. And I wonder if you have any other advice for our petite listeners out there who are maybe struggling to find the right fit or right patterns that fit them other than making a bodice block custom to them. Is there anything else that you’d like to say to them?
Lauren: Yeah, so I found that the indie pattern companies that have sort of the closest size to me, cause I think my bust is about 29 and a half inches, and most companies start maybe 32 or 33 inches, but yours, Helen, that starts at 30 and a half, basically yours and Closet Core Patterns, both of them have a, a bust size, sort of the closest I can get. So they’re both good starting points. And also, small bust adjustments, are your friend, and the, um, I only actually did one for the first time, pretty recently on the, um, the Closet Core blazer to get it to where I wanted to be. But really a pattern is only ever a starting point. It’s never the end, you know? So if it’s not there, when you first try it on, then you can get it to where you want to be with a bit of research and a bit of perseverance.
Caroline: Yeah, and a little birdie told us that you are planning to start a pattern company. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?
Lauren: Yes, of course. Um, it’s actually always been in the back of my mind ever since I was a teenager in school. It seemed like the best thing in the world to me to, to be able to help change people’s lives in a way to help, help empower people and go, you can be whoever you want to be. And you’re part of that journey for that person. And it’s just a matter of, you know, building up the skills to be in a position to do that. And I think I’m finally getting that actually. It’s been a, it’s been an interesting year because I’m normally working in theater and theaters have been shut, I mean, over a year now. So the first part of this year, it was very quiet for me. And so it was wonderful to concentrate that time onto something that I can develop in the future.
Helen: Yeah that’s so exciting. We can’t wait to see what you come out with. I’m curious to hear, like, what has the process been like for you so far, as far as starting this company? What does it look like for any of our listeners out there who are curious?
Lauren: Well, it’s frustrating because I haven’t been able to get as further forward with it as I wanted to because I started working on a film in November, and I spent most of the summer waiting for Lauren Dahl’s course to come out so I could get the necessary skills for Illustrator and InDesign and all of that. So, yes, I’ve had lots and lots of thoughts, and I’ve been trying to work out what’s the best pattern to start with? What kind of size range do I want? Because I wanted to be as inclusive as possible. How can I learn the skills to make sure that I’m making it as inclusive as possible in the most informed way? How do I want to grade it? Do I want to grade the patterns myself or do I trust someone who’s more skilled at that? So there’s lots of thinking points that I’m trying to eventually coerce into a final product.
Helen: And are you planning to serve the petite audience with your pattern company?
Lauren: This is the thing I’d like for the patterns to serve as many people as possible. Helen, you did a very interesting survey, I think, over the last couple of years, looking at what sizes people in the community are. And it seems that the majority of sizes, but correct me if I’m wrong, they’re, sort of, middle of the range. Um, and so my size, which is sort of a size zero, or even below that, is a very small proportion of the same community. So financially, it wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense to concentrate lots of efforts into that portion of the community because actually you’re not serving the majority of your audience. But then, as a petite person, myself, I think it’s important that I would be able to make my own pattern. And so I haven’t quite decided how I’m going to resolve that yet, but I’m thinking maybe about doing a broad range of cup sizes because then, at least, you’ve got the opportunity to serve as many people as possible. Also, I’ve been trying to work out how I could possibly size down from where everybody else has stopped because there must be a reason that the size chart’s stop with that 0 or 00 size, and I’ve looked at sort of the crossover from girls’ sizing or teenage girls’ sizing to women’s sizing. And I’m trying to work out how that overlaps and whether I could go down even further. But then what would the drawbacks or the costs be?
Caroline: Yeah. Yeah, I’m sure it’s when you’re in these early stages, it’s difficult to pin down exactly where you want to come to it from. But I think one of the cool things about being in this stage is that you can bring your own kind of unique experience and perspective through your pattern company. And I really look forward to seeing what you do with that because I think that if you are having this issue when sewing or this challenge in sewing, where you’re not able to find patterns in your size, there are probably so many other people out there having that same challenge. You just have to find them, right? So hopefully, hopefully you’ll figure it out. And I’m just really excited to see what you come up with with this pattern company. It’s so exciting that you’re going on this new venture.
Lauren: Thank you, me too. I’m pretty glad that I talked about it with you guys. Cause now I’ve actually got to follow through and make it happen.
Caroline: Oh, you will.
Helen: Our listeners will hold you accountable.
Lauren: So, um, yeah, I’m really excited to see what it could become because it’s just been so brilliant. Especially just seeing all these women in my Instagram feed and my blog feed who are working for themselves and are helping people. And everyone’s been such good role models to me really. And I couldn’t have asked for better really then, with everybody setting the example that they have to me. I appreciate that.
Helen: That’s really sweet. And I think another interesting thing about what you were saying about sizing is just that sometimes there isn’t a good reason why things stop at a certain size or why things are the way they are, and especially in the fashion industry and when it comes to sizing, a lot of the decisions that are being made are based on data that’s really out of date. So, you know, talking about my survey and not seeing the numbers represented for the smaller sizes. I mean, that survey was geared towards plus size people. So that’s obviously a reason why there might not have been those numbers represented, but also, you don’t really have access or have the audience of those people, unless you’re already serving those people. So it can be a challenge to get feedback about certain things, if you’re not already serving those people. And we’ve seen that a lot in the last year with the plus size sewing community and fat sewists wanting patterns in their size and companies saying, Oh, but there isn’t the data to support that, but that’s because they’re not asking an audience full of people who support that data. So it’s kind of like a chicken and egg situation. So I think you might find that they’re actually, as an audience, like Caroline said out there, who’s interested and it’s especially good to come at these project ideas from a personal experience so you can bring your own excitement to the table and you can serve the petite sewing audience as a niche, as well as everyone else at the same time. I believe in you
Lauren: Thank you so much. I appreciate that. I appreciate that a lot.
Helen: I love that this is turning into, like, a business advice podcast.
Caroline: I mean, we have thoughts. We have thoughts, Lauren.
Lauren: I mean, you’re both such good examples. Thank you.
Caroline: Yeah, like I said, we’re so excited to see what you come up with. I’m sure whatever you end up landing on with your pattern company, it’s going to be wonderful, and we support you. So this is very exciting. Okay. Well, let’s talk a little bit before we wrap up, I want to hear more about your career in costuming and what is it like and how is sewing there different from sewing for yourself? I feel like we have to get into this a little before we wrap up.
Lauren: No worries at all. So, I’ve actually done a couple of different jobs now, and they’re all very different. So I’ll start from the beginning, cause that’s a good place to start as Julie Andrews puts it. Yes. So when I graduated, I started dressing in a West End theatre. So the London theatre district is known as the West End, and so that’s where the big shows go. And I was a dresser on Aladdin, uh, which is the big Disney musical. And my job there was, whilst the show was going on, to make sure everyone’s costume was in the right place, to do quick changes with people, uh, throughout the show who needed to quickly go from one costume to another, uh, often misinformed poppers. And very, some of these were very quick, you know, less than a minute to go from one thing to another. Um, and so it’s very adrenaline filled, but it’s also, you’ve got 20 minutes then some tracks that you just sort of, you sit for. And then it’s go, go, go, go, go. And then you sit for a bit and then it’s go, go, go. Um, so our show schedule was, we had eight shows a week, and you have evening shows from Monday to Saturday, and then you also have matinee afternoon shows on Thursday and Saturday. And then I also did a laundry call on one of the day that week. And so I’d make sure everyone’s pants and socks were clean and in the right places, essentially. So that was really fun. It was really fun to work on because you’re right in on all the action. And you do get to see the magic of theater, literally from the wings.
Helen: That’s so cool.
Lauren: That was very exciting.
Helen: Have you ever had, like, a wardrobe malfunction moment where you go to do a quick change with somebody and, like, a zipper breaks or something?
Lauren: Oh, absolutely all the time. But it’s okay because you learn how to handle it, and you’re going to do the same show exactly the same tomorrow. So you can see, you’ve always got another try.
Helen: I love that.
Caroline: How do you think sewing for, kind of, costume and theater has affected your personal sewing practice? Has it given you any, like, good or bad habits or do you think it’s had an effect on, on that for you?
Lauren: It can go either way. So I actually managed to, sort of, break into the world of film, uh, this year, which is super exciting because this has always been the dream. So it’s, it’s just brilliant to actually be doing it, but the hours are fairly long. It’s from, uh, 8:00 AM to 6:30 PM, Monday to Friday, and sometimes Monday to Saturday. So it’s pretty intensive. I find that when I get home and I do sew it can be very scrappy just because I spend so much time during the week making sure that the sewing is as good as it can be and up to the standard that it needs to be, that when I’m at home, I just, I can’t redo it with any of that, and I just need it to be held together. But sometimes the habit sort of, sort of carries through and I go, okay, actually, this isn’t good enough because if I can do this for other people, then I definitely deserve to have the same for myself. So it can go either way.
Heln: That makes a lot of sense. I could see how you would just want to so quickly when you’re home, especially given that it sounds like you don’t have a ton of free time. How are you supposed to get any sewing in?
Lauren: Well, I make it happen because yeah, I find that, I’m working away from home at the moment. I’m actually moved to Belfast for a few months and I didn’t bring very much with me. And so now I’m like, I need new clothes, but I only make my clothes, so I’m going to have to make some clothes. Um, but it’s all good.
Caroline: That’s so exciting though. Congrats on breaking into film.
Lauren: Thank you. I honestly can’t believe it. It’s been such a bizarre year, but obviously, some good has come out of it, so I’m super grateful for that.
Caroline: Aw, that’s so good to hear. Well, tell our listeners where they can find you online.
Lauren: Oh, absolutely. So, um, I’m on Instagram @originaldigby, and that’s where I do most of my interacting with the sewing world. Occasionally, I’ll log on originaldigby.com if, and when I’ve got something interesting to say. Yeah, that’s pretty much me.
Helen: Perfect. Well, it’s been a real pleasure getting to know you, Lauren, and I hope our listeners go check out your British Outfit, as well as everything else that you’ve got on your blog. And we can’t wait to see what you come up with for your pattern company. We’ll be watching.
Lauren: Thank you.
Helen: Take care, Lauren.
Caroline: Take care, Lauren.
Lauren: Thank you so much for having me. It’s been brilliant.
Caroline: We’d like to thank our guests, Shontae Buffington, Lauren Digby, and Simone Nelson for sharing their experiences and advice with us. Before we go, we want to share a few more petite sewing resources.
Helen: First up, we have SBCC Patterns which is a pattern company focused on petites. They have a graphic called “A Visual Guide to Petites” that is super helpful. It shows some different body types, short torso versus short legs, or short torso and arms, small frame and short. It really shows that there are just so many ways to be petite. And there are infinite variations on body types, especially when you consider that a person can be any combination of those things. SBCC also has some great pattern adjustment tutorials, including one called “The Number One Easiest Way to Reduce or Increase Shoulder Width” which could be really useful for some petite sewists out there.
Caroline: Yes, definitely go check out SBCC Patterns. And there are also a few Instagram tags that are in use, including #petitesewing which has over 5,000 posts, #petitesewists with an S which has over 1,000, and #petitesewist without an S which has over 500.
Helen: Yes, and Instagram user @sew.wendy has a story highlight called “XXS Friendly Patterns” where she lists the smallest size for each pattern company that she highlights. This info is so useful for petite sewists on the small end of the size spectrum. Thanks, Wendy.
Caroline: So that’s it for petite sewing. It’s like a whole world that is just opening up for us, Helen.
Helen: I know, I hope we can have more petite sewists on the show in our future seasons. Petites are an important part of our sewing community. And it’s so nice to spend a whole episode focusing on them.
Caroline: That’s it for today’s episode of Love to Sew. You can find me Caroline at blackbirdfabrics.com and Helen at helensclosetpatterns.com.
Helen: We’re recording in beautiful BC, Canada, and you can get in touch with us and get links for everything we talked about in this episode at lovetosewpodcast.com.
Caroline: If you’re loving the show and you want to help us out, you can support us on Patreon. Contribute $5 or more a month, and you’ll get access to our bonus episode feed. Contribute $10 or more a month, and you’ll get a 15% discount code for both of our shops plus lovetosewshop.com and a bonus mini episode. Go to patreon.com/lovetosew for more info.
Helen: Thanks to our awesome podcast team. And thank you all so much for listening. We will talk to you next week.
Petite and Sewing
I am finally wearing my new silk boatneck top that I started in 2018 with Susan Khalje.
|That tuck disappeared during the day.|
Back in 2017 when a group of us were discussing what we would make if Susan made it back to Australia again, I always said it would be the Ann Klein Womens Peacoat V1467.
When we heard that Susan was coming to Australia again in 2018 I realised that my wrist was still not 100% and I didn’t think all the tailoring involved in this project would be a good idea.
Talking to my sewing friends about a suitable project, Wendy mentioned Susan’s new Boatneck top that CissieW had mentioned on a Pattern Review that she had worn when she reviewed Susan’s Skirt. Once I read the description of the top I emailed Susan and she organised for the pattern to be sent to me to prepare my toile for the class.
Susan made some adjustments to the neck and shoulder and felt that this was the best starting point.
For the class I had purchased some gorgeous burgundy silk from Tessuti Fabrics.
One of the design challenges we had was that I wanted long sleeves but not a zipper down the centre back, but on the left hand side of my top. This is not an issue if you have short sleeves, but as I wanted long sleeves Susan came up with the use of a placket.
When sewing the left sleeve, I stopped 2″ from the top. At this stage I basted a strip of silk organza selvedge along the stitching line on one side only. This then gets folded back so the press studs can be sewn to it.
For the 2nd side a placket is sewn to the seam allowance.
Then the the clear press studs are sewn in place along both edges.
The sleeve has a large dart at the sleeve head which gives it a beautiful shape.
The neck facing had been sewn, trimmed and pressed and then it was time to trim the neck facing and armhole excess fabric. I trimmed this on my tailors ham and then basted the neck facing edge and armsyce edges together. When I tried it on there was something not quite right so I undid the basting and got out my shoulder stand and realised that I had trimmed off too much of the neck facing, so the edges weren’t meeting up evenly. I was only able to stitch 3cm together along that edge, whereas the other side I could stitched 5cm on each side of the shoulder seam together.
I also left the armhole on the shoulder stand to baste the seams together so it was all sitting correctly.
Then it was the small bias binding on the sleeve hems.
Another feature Susan and I had decided on was to put a 7.6 cm (3″) French Bias on the hem of my blouse to give it some weight. The challenge was that when I measured one of my tops that I have finished, I am 29.5cm on the left hand side and 31 cm on the right hand side. So I marked these spots on the top’s hem and drew a chalk a line from each spot and then basted this line so I could try it on and get my friends to fine tune it for me during one of our weekends away.
The photo below shows the re-basted (adjusted line) and cutting off the excess fabric. Now the basted line is the finished edge of the top. I will need to mark up another 7.6 cm (3″) and baste another line as this is where the French bias will have it’s first stitching.
So to prepare for this next step I have made the bias binding and have it rolled on a toilet roll to stop it from being creased.
During another sewing weekend away the 2nd basting line was sewn in place,
and the bias was machine stitched along the blue basting thread, pressed, the excess fabric was cut away and the bias was folded to the inside to be slip stitched in place.
|Thank you Jenny for the sparkles!|
A press and I have a new top to wear for winter.
|oops forget to pull it down|
The photo below shows the picked zip and the underarm gusset when worn.
Now to find time to finish the 2 x Little French Jackets and Couture Skirt.
2019 Stash Out: 3.3 m
2019 Stash In: 3 m
How To Make A Pattern Petite: Part 1 by Maddie | Technique | Sewing / Alteration/Fitting | Pattern Drafting
I recently participated in a Instagram photoshoot where I and several other women modeled petite clothing. As I was having my photo taken, I thought, “how are normal patterns converted for petites? Maddie, you know this. You know this!” I did know this and it’s because somewhere over the past seven years, I got my hands on a chart that showed how widths and length were reduced for petite woman. During one of my moves to Philadelphia, to Savannah, to Miami, or during one of my sewing projects, I shoved it in a folder, book, or binder somewhere and now I had to find it. So that weekend, at the top of my to-do list was to find this chart. I retraced my steps and mentally backtracked until, AHA!, I found it! Every petite woman is petite in her own, unique way and these are standard reductions but I’ve used them as guidelines when working on my own patterns or helping petite women who email me with questions.
What is petite and who fits into this category? Well, let’s take a step back and define what is “normal” or “regular.” Regular female clothing is designed for a woman at least 5 ft 5 in (165 cm) tall (without shoes). Therefore, petite female clothing is designed to fit women of shorter height, typically less than 5 ft 3 in (160 cm) or 5 ft 4 in. Regular women’s clothing will not fit a petite woman because vertical measurements such as front length, back length, bust to waist, sleeve lengths, and leg inseam lengths are shorter and must be altered significantly to fit well. Unfortunately, non-petite clothing cannot be altered to be petite without introducing an unsightly seam, which is why the pattern, and not the garment, must be changed. In most cases, changing a pattern to be petite calls for width reductions as well but that’s not always the case. A women is an XL petite would need to add width. Therefore, some critical thinking must be done when using this chart – what applies to you and where? Again, this is a guideline (but a useful one!).
Click here to check out more pattern making posts on my blog.
Upcycled Cotton Petite Floral Sewing Project
Smocking is a timeless trend and one of our specialties. Try making your own statement smocked dress that’s customized just for you. Choose between two strap options, go strapless, or get creative!
- Materials + Featured Photo
- What You’ll Get
- What You’ll Need
- Video Tutorial
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- 100% Cotton Petite Floral Print
- Upcycled Fabric
- Featured Dress is Strapless
- Model is 5’10” | 32″ bust
- Machine Wash Cold, Do Not Bleach, Hang to Dry
- 2 Professionally Smocked Panels
- 4 Precut Pockets
- 2 Shirred Straps
- 4 Precut Fabric Tie Straps
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- Sewing Machine
- A Drop of Patience
- Our Dakota Dress Kit includes generous smocking panel lengths to accommodate a wide range of sizes and will fit up to a size 60” bust.
- All Kits are 43” long from Top Ruffle to Hem
*Please note that all THREADYMADE Kits are made-to-order, so please allow approx. 7-10 days for your custom-made smocked kit. We’ll keep you in the loop with order updates + shipping confirmation.
*Full Returns & Money Back Guarantee
We’re new to you and you’re new to us. That’s why, even though each kit is custom, we’re still allowing full returns so you can feel stress-free when you order your Threadymade Kit. We 🖤 questions. If you have any concerns or need help when you receive our kit, simply email [email protected] and if you’d prefer a phone call or email and we’ll get you taken care of.
My Standard Pattern Adjustments – Petite Font
This post was updated in June 2020.
My standard pattern adjustments have to be done to almost every single sewing pattern. Maybe you do too? Lucky is the unicorn that doesn’t need to adjust a pattern.
I am not a unicorn. Unfortunately.
When it comes to sewing from a pattern, whether it be commercial or independent, I know I will ALWAYS need at least 3 adjustments. But it can be many more.
Most commercial (and lots of indie) patterns are drafted for a 5’6” (1.7 m) woman with a B cup bust. As a 5’3” (1.6 m) woman with a D cup AND short-waisted to boot, I’m already at a 3″ (7.5 cm) deficit in height against this “standard” woman.
My Standard Pattern Adjustments
So what do I do to overcome these fitting challenges? At the very minimum to I do the following two things:
- a full bust adjustment: usually 1-2″ (2.5-5 cm) depending on the pattern ease
- raise the waist: this can be up to 3″ (7.5 cm) or the difference between 5’3″ (me) and the 5’6″ pattern model
Raising the waist also adjusts the overall length for me as well.
My bodices, after adjusting for the bust and the length, tend to look something like this:
It looks like cubist art, if you ask my husband.
Not pictured here is the narrow shoulder adjustment. This is tied to the full bust, too.
Typically choosing a pattern size by your high bust measurement (as opposed to the full bust one) will give you a better fit in the shoulders. You just do a full bust adjustment from there to make it fit in the boobs. Except I still need to make the shoulders even narrower than that.
Typically I chose a shoulder 2 sizes smaller than the bust I’m going to adjust anyway and blend out. That mostly works.
More Standard Pattern Adjustments?
So those adjustments make the front fit, then it’s time to conquer the back of a garment. I also always need to adjust my back height.
First, there’s the high round back adjustment. I’ve spent too many years in front of a computer developing bad posture. This adjustment also shifts my shoulder seams forward.
Then I’ve had to admit that I need a swayback adjustment, too. This happens when the extra fabric around the waist pools or bunches up just above the butt.
Sometimes this is due to a shelf booty (which try as I might, I don’t actually have). Or, according to Skinny Bitch Curvy Chick, because your hips are too large for the pattern.
Neither of those apply to me. I’m just shorter in the back length than the pattern calls for at my size. So fabric bunches up in that area. I’ve tried to ignore it, but my short waist is probably responsible for this too.
Aren’t I so lucky?
My height, or lack thereof, has become particularly challenging in trying to make pants. Actually, pants are a whole other level of challenge. It’s more like a warrior quest!
Being petite, I’m overall shorter in most areas of the body. This includes my pelvis, which makes for interesting crotch adjustments.
I get extra fabric right at the crotch because I’m a good 2″ shorter there than the typical woman. I’ve tried all kinds of fixes. I think my standard pattern adjustment in this case is going to become simply cutting the front smaller than the back. I hope that works *fingers crossed!*.
Pants in general can be a tricky garment to fit, requiring a Ph.D. in garment fitting as well as some mystical alchemy for good measure.
Then there are my shoulders. It turns out that my shoulders are 2 sizes smaller than what my bust needs in pattern sizes. So I can either start at a typical size 16 and blend out to a 20 (that’s a great way to cheat at a full bust adjustment),
Neverending Standard Pattern Adjustments
Once you start seeing fit issues, it’s kind of hard to stop. The quest to perfect the fit can feel neverending. I’m always learning new things!
Like the petite adjustment I learned about thanks to Whitney of TomKat Stitchery. You can see how I used it for my Misty Cami.
I’ve also recently noticed that my shoulder seams aren’t in the correct alignment with my shoulder point. So it looks like I have to figure out my shoulder slope.
Argh. Like I said, it feels like it never stops!
ALL of My Standard Pattern Adjustments
To recap, I make all of the following adjustments to most sewing patterns:
- full bust adjustment: at least 1-2″ (2.5-5 cm) depending on the pattern ease
- raise the waist: this can be up to 3″ (7.5 cm) or the difference between 5’3″ (me) and the 5’6″ pattern model
- narrow the shoulders: about 2 sizes difference
- high round back adjustment: 5/8″ (1.6 cm)
- swayback adjustment: 2″ (5 cm)
- petite adjustment: can be up to 1″ (2.5 cm) depending on the pattern
And one soon I’ll figure out the shoulder slope issue, too. Here’s a great resource:
So I’m basically too short overall, have bigger boobs, a bit of a “dowager hump,” and narrow sloping shoulders (yay weightlifting) for the patterns I choose. There’s nothing actually wrong with my body. It’s just I’m not in the “standard” mold that the patterns are drafted for.
And that’s okay!
Once I recognized what my standard pattern adjustments are, I’ve been able to make them immediately when attacking a new pattern. And I’ll instantly have a better fit. This is true even when I make a toile or muslin. That first test piece will already fit better than if I hadn’t made the adjustments (and I can sometimes—rarely—skip the test piece completely!!).
Of course, there’s the opposite problem. My #sewingtall sisters have to ADD length to almost every place I remove it from. They need longer hemlines and sleeves while I’m over here lopping 4″ off a sleeve lest I look like a child in my older sibling’s too-big hand me downs.
That’s the story of my sewing life and that’s okay. Patterns are just starting blueprints. The map of my body requires a set of changes to better fit ME. And why else am I making custom clothes if not to fit my body precisely?
Do you know what your standard pattern adjustments are? Let me know in the comments below!
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The Hands That Sew the Sequins
And yet to view the handworkers as quaint anachronisms would be a mistake, say the defenders of French fashion. Their skills are still central to French design. “Louis IV’s minister of finance Colbert said that fashion could be for France what the gold mines of Peru were to Spain,” explained Valerie Steele, the director and chief curator of the Museum of the Fashion Institute of Technology. “Fashion isn’t necessarily about concept but about craftsmanship. You need the people to make the best ribbon, the best lace, the best hats. This is essential to keeping French fashion prestigious and creative.”
The number of artisans is diminishing for familiar reasons: the market for couture is contracting, crafts workers are dying off, a younger generation is unwilling to carry on family tradition, and cheaper labor is available overseas.
To guarantee the future of at least some artisans, Chanel has bought six of the oldest workshops that no longer have heirs to run them: Lesage; Massaro; Lemarié, a designer of flowers and feathers; Michel, a milliner; Desrues, a button- and costume jewelry maker; and most recently, Goosens, a goldsmith and silversmith. For the last four years Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel’s designer, has paid tribute to the ateliers, which he dubbed the Chanel “satellites,” by designing small clothing collections that showcase their handiwork. The most recent was shown in New York in December at the Chanel boutique on 57th Street.
Though Chanel subsidiaries, these ateliers can accept work from other houses and other clients. “Chanel bought us to preserve the knowledge and standard of what we do,” said Tanguy de Belair, the chief operating officer of Michel. “They have the security of knowing they can get what they want from us, but they don’t prevent us from working for others. We set our own prices. Lagerfeld tells us what to do for his show just as Marc Jacobs does for Louis Vuitton.”
But not all designers are sanguine about the new ownership. Since Chanel bought Lesage in 2002, the American designer Ralph Rucci said, its work has at least quadrupled in cost, requiring him to be judicious in employing the venerable embroiderer and to branch out to other suppliers. At least one haute couture designer, Jean Paul Gaultier, has much of his handwork done in India.
On Rue Ste.-Anne, a street near the Palais-Royal once bustling with milliners, there is now only Michel, founded in 1936. The atelier employs 11 workers, who produce 4,000 hats annually. The process involves multiple steps: three seamstresses use a 19th-century sewing machine to stitch together strips of fine straw from Italy. Two hat makers add stiffeners to the straw and felt, blocking them with pins and strings on one of 3,000 wooden head forms. The hats are dried in a large oven to maintain their shape. Six milliners then assemble the brims and the crowns, garnishing them with ribbons, lace and tulle. And all of this starts from a mere sketch by a designer.
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brooch, owl, cloth, crafts, sewing, buttons, miniature | Pikist
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Portable sewing machine, miniature handheld electric sewing device, household tool with measuring tape for fabric and clothing
Description and reviews
Portable Sewing Machine Mini Hand Sewing Machine Electric Stitch Household Tool With Measuring Tape For Cloth Clothes MK3814
It is a portable, compact, lightweight and practical quick strike tool, an invaluable tool when you need quick repairs and changes.Ideal for tricky positioning that conventional machines cannot do. Meets various sewing requirements in daily life. A perfect gift for moms, girls, teenagers, friends and family.
[Perfect for all materials] Great for fabric, clothing, silk, wool, leather, hem, crafts, etc. Repair your curtains without removing them; Repair clothes without removing them; Renovate the beding without removing the bed and so on. You can also use it to sew on hanging curtains.
Attention: Please note that its sewing thickness is 1.8mm, too large or too strong at this point, the laser engraving machine can be sewn.
[How to operate?] Requires 4 AA or 6V DC batteries (batteries and adapter not included). He can do some repairs that regular desktop machines cannot handle, such as sewing curtains on a pole or sticking on a torn bag without taking off his pants. It’s easier and more convenient than desktop machines, saving you time and money.
[Suitable for beginners or craftsmen] is a simple, convenient machine, easy to use and carry, suitable for beginners or sewing master. It can develop children’s working habits and train sewing skills.
|Payment||T / T, Western Union, Paypal|
|Shipment||DHL, UPS, EMS, Fedex etc.|
|Price||Depending on the number|
|Delivery time||2-3 working times|
|Warranty|| 1.Warranty depends on products
2. 100% high quality assurance
3. Full inspection before shipping
4. Best after-sales service
Miniature felt toys / Sewing / Handicraft
Funny and miniature toys made by hand from colorful felt will appeal to kids and adults.They can be used in the form of keychains for keys or a mobile phone, suspended from a mobile over a crib or used for a mini home theater, having come up with an interesting story for each soft character.
To make miniature toys you will need:
– Multi-colored felt, 1-1.5 mm thick;
– Sintepon or synthetic fluff for stuffing;
– Sewing thread matching felt;
– Floss threads;
– Pattern of all details transferred to paper;
– Plain pencil or tailor’s chalk;
– Tailor’s pins;
– Scissors with fine and sharp blades.
First, redraw on paper the patterns of all the necessary parts for the toy, if necessary, increasing or decreasing their size. Cut out all the parts, place each part on a piece of felt of the desired color, draw a contour of the paper part on the felt with a pencil with a soft lead or tailor’s chalk and then cut out all the felt parts.
Carefully sew the necessary decor onto the calf part (for example, sew each spot by hand on a giraffe), then fold the calf parts together with the wrong sides to each other so that the parts do not fidget – fasten them with tailor’s pins.Sew the details along the edge with a stitching seam, leaving a small area unstitched, through which fill the body with a small amount of padding polyester or padding polyester, then sew this area.
Sew on the muzzle detail on the head detail, sew on beads for the eyes and nose or embroider them with floss threads. Also embroider eyebrows, mustaches or eyelashes with floss threads. Sew the beak or ear pieces together and fill them loosely with padding polyester. Fold the details of the head together with the wrong sides to each other, place the edge of the beak or ears between the details of the head and, so that they do not move, secure them with tailor’s pins and sew them to the details of the head.
Then sew along the edge of the head part, leaving a small area unstitched, fill with padding polyester and then sew the remaining area. Align the body and head together and sew them neatly. If desired, tie a satin ribbon bow around the animal’s neck.
All images were found on the Internet, all copyright logos are preserved. I propose to consider images without signs of authorship as folk. If you know the name of the author of an unsigned work – write in the comments and in the near future I will definitely sign his authorship.
The author did not add information about himself
Theater of Cutting and Sewing – Newspaper Kommersant № 138 (5648) dated 04.08.2015
The exhibition “Theatrical costume at the turn of the century. 1990-2015” is being held in the Bakhrushinsky Theater Museum. EKATERINA ISTOMINA tells about the conservative entertainment exposition.
“Theatrical costume at the turn of the century. 1990-2015” – this is a tightly knit large-scale exhibition session: 230 artists, 1.5 thous.sketches, professional color photographs and high-quality video clips, as well as ready-made tailored suits of various sizes. Plus a truly planetary geography of the participants: the countries that showed their scenographic exercises in the miniature Bakhrushin Museum are alphabetically distributed from Australia to the United States, and the exhibition ends with a secluded corner of the Russian Federation.
The exhibition lacks any sublime scientific, long-range theatrical meaning. However, you can try to come up with something like “modern scenography is still going through a turbulent era of postmodernism, where absolutely everything is allowed – from baroque to urbanism” do not converge.But on the other hand, you can make sure of the worldwide pluralism of scenographic handwriting.
This is how, for example, fierce adherents of the national costume live and thrive on the stage. And these are primarily artists from Asia. Chinese scenographers rely on the rich ancient promises of the national opera – and they even dress the heroes of the classic “Troubadour” by Giuseppe Verdi in oversized Chinese robes made of red and gold silk (even the gypsies from the aforementioned opera wear such spicy outfits). Scenographers from Taiwan, Kazakhstan and Japan also gravitate – as far as can be judged from the displayed exhibits, not devoid of sparkling color and sincere abundance of folk details – towards frank national decisions.
The faraway countries of Latin America are also listening to national peculiarities: Brazilian scenographers powerfully press on the folk archaic; in ethnic costumes, Mexican actors appear on the stage, determined to take on the unbearably bloody early Shakespearean tragedy “Titus Andronicus”. American scenography is shown primarily by Broadway performances with the appropriate pop style and savory nuances of natural American pop culture. However, one of the curators of “Theatrical Costume” – Igor Rusanov (his affectionate greeting, typed in large print, greets numerous guests of the exhibition) was able to provide several stitched artifacts that testify to the presence of both concrete historicism and the classical scenographic line overseas.In this case, we are talking about ballet costumes invented by Mr. Rusanov himself: these are tutus for the “Sleeping Beauty” and “Swan Lake” ballets (for the South Birmingham ballet troupe), as well as costumes of the traditional European genre for Moliere’s “Misanthrope”. Not at all outlandish, but popular art traditions are also present in the Russian segments of “Theatrical Costume at the Turn of the Century”. Extensive folk tailoring for the “Russian Song” ensemble, titanic gold-leaf outfits from the play “The Plague on Both Your Homes” (Mayakovsky Theater, artist Ksenia Shimanovskaya), as well as two special mannequins dressed in the Tsar’s and A sleeping bag from the Little Humpbacked Horse (folklore Cyclops arrived at the museum from the archives of the Pushkin State Museum).On the other hand, the scenic avant-garde sprouts seamlessly on the territory of European theatrical thought – in the countries of Scandinavia, Germany, Italy, as well as “advanced” theatrical Poland since the socialist times. Scandinavian set designers (and among them it is necessary to highlight the Danish Lisa Klitten, whose works are shown not only in photographic, but also in a real key – these are woven minimalist things, as well as wonderful technogenic urbanism like ballet tutus made of colored polyethylene). The Danes are focused on a redrawn “fishing” baroque, while their colleagues from the Netherlands (in particular, Rick Beckens) – on an urban doll costume.Norway is represented by hyperrealistic, and therefore chilling scenographic tales: the characters of Annie Hilmo Teig’s “Perfect Pear Shape” (2012) look like clumsy village trolls. Most Polish theater artists choose the genre of eccentric clownery – as if in memory of the Frenchman Alfred Jarry’s puppet guignola theater, while Italian stage designers are oriented towards cubism and even cubo-futurism (Kateryna Chanu, Six Characters in Search of an Author, 2013).
Russian scenographic life is represented by big names – Alla Kozhenkova (and above all her costumes for the legendary “Maids” by Roman Viktyuk), Tatyana Barkhina (there are her works dating from the mid-1980s), Yuri Kharikov (Dido and Aeneas, Garden : 1st regeneration “).However, the sketches of the famous, now deceased set designer Igor Popov, who worked, in particular, with the “School of Dramatic Art” Anatoly Vasiliev, are of indisputable value. The exposition presents not only drawings for “Uncle’s Dream” (directed by Anatoly Vasiliev, Budapest, 1994), but also the Knight’s costume from the same legendary performance – a two-meter metal, robotic, made of springs and discs, a human being half dressed in an elegant canvas suit.
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Course of cutting and sewing for beginner dressmakers in patterns
Patch pockets are an integral part of many outerwear and light dresses. Some clothing models, for example, jeans, we cannot imagine without them.
The double stitch is most commonly used in burlap pockets.Can be used to join seams in unlined or non-lined garments.
The seam stitch belongs to the group of joining stitches.
A lock seam is performed on a special two-needle machine. The fabric is placed in the seam using tools. Performed in clothes without lining. The lock seam is considered a classic denim seam.
Butt seam for joining garments
Butt seam is mainly used to join non-adhesive gasket parts (bead and the like).Also used for sewing darts on the lower collar and for attaching strips of fabric for finishing seams.
Anyone who once downloaded the scheme for constructing men’s trousers according to the method of Mueller and his son, probably saw the line “Carrying out the WTO MANDATORY !!!” Yes Yes Yes! If your pants did not fit the figure, then this means that this line was ignored by you.
How to sew trousers: tips, techniques and recommendations
When they ask me how to sew trousers, I answer – you need to connect six seams, sew on a belt and hem the bottom.Professional terminology is not used so as not to scare away those interested.
Our project does not provide recommendations for fabric consumption. Firstly, due to the fact that this is too much work for which we cannot spend time. Secondly, because everyone can independently calculate the consumption of material for the pattern without our help.
How to sew a dress with your own hands
Dress is the favorite clothes of women. If you want to sew a dress yourself, then you need to choose a model.This is one of the most important points, because it depends on what material the new dress will be made from and what kind of finish it will have.
Asymmetry in jackets
Turning to the conversation about symmetry and asymmetry in jackets, the first thing I would like to say right away is that jackets, as well as all such clothes, primarily carry a functional task.
Asymmetry and symmetry in blouses
Blouses in women’s wardrobe are usually present in large quantities.Blouses made of a wide variety of fabrics can be of any style of clothing: classic / office, romantic, and sporty.
Asymmetry and symmetry in women’s trousers
The figures of men and women are different. Hence the conclusion: the cut of men’s and women’s clothing is also different. In terms of the number of materials used in sewing of those and others, women’s trousers are undoubtedly the leader.
Symmetry and asymmetry in clothing
In home sewing, the pattern itself is only half the battle, bringing closer to the cherished dream – new clothes, but not guaranteeing its appearance.You can get stuck literally at every stage, be it the choice of fabric or the sewing itself.
Whatever sewing machine, pattern or fabric you have at your disposal, a home-sewn thing can always be distinguished from clothing created in production. And there are many signs indicating home sewing.
Learning to sew on a typewriter
It is necessary to clearly distinguish between the concepts of “learning to sew” and “learning to sew on a sewing machine”. In the first case, we are talking about the entire sewing process, about the coordination of manual, machine and wet-heat work in general.
Technique for cutting burlap pockets in trousers and skirts
Very often in magazines with patterns you can find trousers with a sacking pocket of an unusual shape (Fig. 1). In the standard technology of sewing clothes, as well as in the design of clothes of this type, burlap is not found.
What is Shoulder Balance
The patterns that you can download on our website are based on typical shapes and need to be adjusted to the shape, and here we are faced with the concept of product balance.Any tailored garment that fits well to your figure has the right balance.
What to do if there are shape defects and deviations from the standards
Speaking about defects in the figure and correcting clothing patterns for a specific person, and this is the main focus of our project, you should still remember that typical figures are rather arbitrary.
Two-sided patch seam
An overhead seam with two closed cuts is used to connect details of cuffs, collars, sides, stitches, belt loops, straps, stitching of drawstrings.
Closed-cut patch seam
Closed-cut overlay stitch is used when sewing small parts into larger ones. Frequent details of use: patch pockets, patches, belt loops. Adjustable sections are ironed with an iron before the operation.
Open-cut patch seam
Open-cut overhead stitch is used when joining interlining and sewing on tapes or ready-made patches. When joining the top parts with a patch seam, the allowances will be wrapped and crumbled.
Topstitch, two-way sewing
A topstitch is a type of machine stitch in which the allowances are pressed to one side and secured with a finishing stitch. There are two types: open-cut and one closed-cut.
A stitching seam is made in two ways
A seam seam can be seamed when seam allowances are ironed or pressed to one side.