By Mavis Cox, author of
'Sewing 101 A Step by Step Guide
to Sewing Basics'
This week is where I'd like to discuss what
you most want from sewing, that is, being able to make the type
of clothing that best suits you. After all, we want to
look and feel good in what we wear, and better still,
have people compliment us at the same time!
After all, it's all part
and parcel of the fruits of our efforts!
So, this week I'd like to talk about patterns,
and following on with fabrics next week. That's because
patterns and the fabric
go hand and hand with each other. And for starting out,
there are some fabrics that are easier to work with than
others, which is also going to affect your pattern
when we start talking about patterns and fabrics,
we could simply use the word fashion to describe
them as one. Fashion is what makes us feel good about
ourselves when we go to a party, socialize, and generally are
out in public.
And if you didn't know it,
fashion statement takes place in our springtime during
October-November, culminating with the running of our most
famous horse race, The Melbourne Cup.
America, you have the Kentucky Derby, and
England it's the Grand
National, but I'm sure that not even those great
horseracing events literally stop the nation like the
running of the Melbourne Cup does here in Australia. Not only
that, but fashion comes alive as I'm going to show you
with some of the links below.
You can probably now see why patterns and
fabrics are at the two vital components that go into making
fashion what it is. Let's talk about patterns, and what
you as a beginner
should be looking for when
choosing a pattern that
best suits your skill level. I have dedicated a whole
chapter to patterns in
so today's newsletter will only be an abbreviation of what I
cover in the book.
Fortunately when selecting a pattern,
the package will give a written description of the
design, and importantly, the level of difficulty in order
to do it.
Don't think that an advanced pattern means
that it is better, as it may just mean that it is more
straightforward to complete with perhaps fewer pieces.
There are many elegant,
yet simple garments that can be made using an easy pattern with
the right fabric selection.
Because we all come in different shapes and
sizes, you are going to need to know the body measurements of
the person that you are sewing the pattern for. The pattern size
that you select will be based on these measurements, so don't
start looking at patterns without this information.
measurements that you need to take will be:
1. Around the fullest part of the bust,
high up under the arm and around the back;
2. Around the waistline, where a belt
would naturally be placed;
3. Around the widest part of the hips;
4. Down the back, from shoulder level
at the neck down to the waistline; and,
5. The height from head to foot with no
Of course, no one person will fit one pattern
exactly, which is why pattern sizes have some degree of
flexibility for you to alter the fit accordingly. However, you
may wish to consider
select a pattern size by the bust or upper-bust on
blouses, tops, jackets and coats. For garments like
pants or a dress, for example, then of course the
waist measurement will
be more relevant.
Because you are connected to the Internet, this wonderful tool
means that you can find so many patterns to browse online, and even
without having to leave the comfort of your own home. Below
is a link to such a website that I thought you may find helpful
for you with your pattern selections.