Monthly Archives: July 2017

5 advantages of printing your pdf sewing pattern at a copy shop

When you buy pdf sewing patterns, most of the time you have two print options: print at home or print at a copy shop. So far I’ve always printed my patterns at home and assembled them with glue. While planning my Summer sewing I got the idea to try printing patterns at a copy shop. I’m so glad I tried. Now, after a month I can only express the advantages of printing your pdf sewing patterns at a copy shop. Read below which they are.

printing pdf patterns copy shop

#1 It saves time!

Looking at the patterns I wanted to sew this Summer, if I had printed them on A4-format, as usual, I would have had to print and assemble 143 pages! That would have cost me a lot of time. Printing the patterns at the copy shop took me half an hour. I searched the Internet and found a copy shop that could print the A0-format two streets from my home. Of course, living in a university city helps you with finding one nearby.
I put the pdf-files on a USB stick, went to the copy shop and half an hour later I was back with a carbon box with seven beautiful pattern sheets. The price was 3,40 € per sheet. I found that a fair price.
One tip though: read the print instructions beforehand. (I didn’t!) Little did I know that the Laminaria Swimsuit pattern consisted out of two pages. Accidentally the paper roll of the printer was finished after one page and I thought that it was OK.

printing pdf patterns copy shop

#2 It is easier to work with

I don’t know about you but my glued and assembled pattern pieces are not always that smooth; the lines don’t always correspond neatly.  The A0-format pattern sheet is flat. This makes it is easy to trace the pattern pieces, to grade between sizes and cut out the pieces  (if you want).

printing pdf patterns copy shop

#3 You can use the leftover parts for lengthening your pattern pieces.

Those who read my blog on a regular basis, know that I am a #sewingtall girl (1,81m). I have to lengthen every pattern I sew. After cutting out the pattern pieces of the Ogden Cami I had long strokes of leftover paper. Very useful and handy to use for lengthening the pattern pieces.

#4 It is a good work mat!

In our holiday house, I sew on a garden table, the kind of table that has space between the wooden slats. Not very convenient for pinning and cutting your fabric. The pattern sheet, which is sturdier paper than the usual pattern paper, functions very well as a cover

printing pdf patterns copy shop

#5 It gives joy!

It is such a good feeling when you kick off a new sewing project that you only have to unroll your pattern sheet. No gluing and assembling. No ironing your pattern when you use a store-bought pattern.  You can start immediately either with tracing or cutting your pattern.

printing pdf patterns copy shop

 

So, a big thank you to all these indie pattern designers who give the option to print your pattern at a copy shop. I will never go back to gluing my pdf patterns.

And you readers? Do you print your pdf pattern in a copy shop?

Laminaria Swimsuit

The Laminaria Swimsuit from SeamstressErin Designs

I love going to the seaside and I love swimming in the sea. Hence, I needed a swimsuit. I sewed my last one, the Burdaystyle Alison Swimsuit, three summers ago and I was a bit tired of it. So no wonder that, when SeamstressErin launched the Laminaria swimsuit, I was immediately drawn to this pattern. I even sewed two already: one for me and one for my daughter.

Laminaria Swimsuit SeamstressErin

The Laminaria Swimsuit pattern

For the Laminaria Swimsuit pattern, I went—for the first time—to the copy shop to print the pattern on A0 format. I didn’t read the accompanying information in advance, so I didn’t know that the pattern consisted of two pages. When the paper role of the printer was finished after one sheet I told the shop assistant that it was perfect. As we are now staying in our holiday home in Italy it isn’t possible for me to get the second page printed. This means that I could not sew view A of the swimsuit with the sinuous inset panel. Of course, that’s the view I love the most. So I chose view B with a soft v-neck and the crossed straps.

The pattern for the plain swimsuit consists out of 2 pieces: the front and the back. Plus two rectangles for the straps.
According to the body measurements table of the pattern, I have a different size for the bust, the waist and the hips. So I graded between these sizes and being a tall girl, I lengthened the pattern with 2 times 2,5 cm and the crotch seam with 1cm. That is what I like about sewing your own swimsuit: the possibility to lengthen the torso to give you a comfortable fit. As I am 1,81m tall, this was always a struggle for me with RTW swimming suits. (I did the same adjustments for my daughter’s swimsuit.)

The fitting of the swimsuit

After grading and lengthening the pattern I had some issues with the cup size. According to the instructions, I had to trace the pattern with the D-F cup—I have 5 inches difference between under bust and full bust measurements—but it turned out way too large. I found it a little confusing because I never had more than a C cup for my bra’s. Anyway, I was able to resize the pattern to the A-C cup and it came out perfect.
For my daughter—who has 6 inches difference between under bust and full bust measurements—the D-F cup pattern was spot on.
When I mentioned the fitting issues on IG, Erin reached out to me and reassured me that after sewing in the elastic the gapping would vanish and the top would clinch to the body. She was right.

The fabric

I had some leftover from the previous swimsuit I sewed and also from my Moneta Dress. But both pieces were too small to cut out the plain suit. Being already in our holiday house in Italy without access to fabric stores in the immediate vicinity this was a small problem. Luckily there was the monthly market in Castel Del Piano where I bought two cheap dresses—one with the chevron pattern and one plain black— with 5% spandex in the fabric. So sewing these swimsuits also became a refashion project. I even could use the small belts from the dress as straps.
For the inserts and the straps of my daughter’s swimsuit, I used leftovers from the chevron fabric.

The sewing process

This is the first time I sewed a pattern from SeamstressErin Design and it was a joyful sewing. With the pattern come extensive and plain instructions, illustrated with clear drawings. On top of that, there are helpful tutorials on the site with step-to-step pictures. I basted the lining and the suit together all around. This was a great help for sewing in the elastic.

Is it a quick sew?

The sewing itself didn’t take that long although sewing in the elastic isn’t something you can do in a rush.  It was the tracing, the grading and the alterations of the pattern pieces that took me some time.
Sewing a swimsuit is not difficult and I would recommend it to anyone who has trouble finding a suitable RTW swimsuit.

Conclusion

I heart my Laminaria Swimsuit. The fit is so comfortable and it came through the sea test with flying colours. I swam, jumped and dove into the sea and not once did I have to readjust it. Now I am only waiting for Burt…..

Eye-catchers #15

An eye-catcher is a person or a thing that attracts the attention

The online sewing community is very visual. So, every day I see heaps of sewing related images on social media and blogs. Some of them catch my eye because they make me think or they give me inspiration. Here, I want to share these eye-catchers with you.

eye-catchers sewing

Follow below what caught my eye recently:

The pillowcase dress from Aida

pillowcase dress

When recently Europe was suffering from a heat wave Marilla Walker whipped up a pillowcase maxi dress. Basically, it consists of two rectangles and a shoulder strap. Aida got inspired immediately.  I just adore her version. Maybe I am going to ‘whip one up’ too.

The Edith dress from Nancy

Edith Dress Maria Denmark

Also made for hot weather is this Edith dress by Nancy from ‘Sewing in Surf City‘. It is a mid 50’s-style inspired shirtdress from Maria Denmark Patterns. You can also sew it as a shirt.  I love Nancy’s stylish version. It would also have been a good entry for the Sew Together for Summer Challenge —whose deadline I didn’t meet.

Melisha Simone’s shirtdress

Carolina Herrera

Speaking of the Summer of the Shirtdress: look at this astonishing one Melisha sewed. I am totally in awe! She let her be inspired by a Carolina Herrera dress she saw at Neiman Marcus. By hacking two patterns—M7351 and v1534—she made her own version of it. That’s also something I would like to do: hacking existing patterns to create a new one.

The cold shoulder top from Zoona Nova

African Waxprint Cold Shoulder top

Two beautiful tops in African waxprint, designed and sewed by Tamara from Zoona Nova. She lives in Malawi, so she has easy access to all these beautiful fabrics. I also like the sleeve detail. This could be an idea for the #sleevefest2017 that was launched last week.

Vera Venus’ 1930s dress

Vera Venus Dress

When I saw this dress sewed by Vera Venus my mouth dropped to the ground. For me, this is the ultimate vintage-style dress. It is hard to believe it was only sewed this week and not 80 years ago. I envy Jeanne’s (the woman behind Vera Venus) skills.

Did anything catch your eye this week?

 

The Chari Dress from Schnittchen Patterns

Last December 2016, Silke from Schnittchen Patterns asked for test-sewers for the Summer ’17 collection. I volunteered, as I am always in for a challenge.  When the different patterns were suggested I noticed that several of them had ruffles. Ruffles are very in-fashion this Summer. Normally it is not my thing but I decided to give it a chance and chose the Chari Dress to test. I am glad I did because the Chari Dress is a charming dress that I love to wear.

Chari Dress Schnittchen Patterns

The Chari Dress Pattern

I received the pattern on A0-format, by mail. I found this a very thoughtful gesture of Silke. The pattern for the sleeveless Chari dress consists out of four major pieces: the front, the back, the ruffle and the tunnel case for the elastic. You can also sew the dress with sleeves and as a shirt.
I cut out a straight 44 based on my measures. Being a tall girl (1,81 m) I put some 5 cm extra above the waistline. It came out perfectly. Furthermore, I took off 1 cm of the armhole at the shoulder point to avoid gaping.

Chari Dress Schnittchen Patterns

The fabric

I used a very soft rayon from my collection. (Yes, I speak of my fabric collection instead of my fabric stash!) I bought it more than a year ago on a big fabric fair ‘Stoffenspektakel‘ in my hometown. The fabric has a nice drape so it is very suitable for the ruffle and the elastic waist.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough fabric—which is often the case when I want to use a fabric I own already.  I cut the front piece in two at the waistline where the elastic tunnel is sewed. It is not noticeable because this seam disappears in the gathers.

Chari Dress Schnittchen Patterns

 

The sewing process

For the testers, the sewing instructions were rather brief. This is not the case for the released patterns. They have detailed instructions with designs.
Overall the sewing went smooth. There are only two less obvious sewing techniques needed to put together this dress.
1) Finishing the armhole with bias binding.
Although I used this technique before I relied on this very clear tutorial of ‘Sew Over It’.
Finishing the armhole with bias binding. Here you see the seam where the front is cut in two pieces.

2) Finishing the v-neck with bias binding.
This was the first time I used this technique. Therefore I relied on this extremely clear tutorial of Sonya Philip.

Sewing a v-neck bias binding with a little dart. I finished the ruffle with a small zig-zag. I like the frayed edge.

The finished v-neck binding.

Is this a quick sew?

Well, so and so. Sewing the Chari sleeveless dress is not that difficult! As mentioned above the finishing of the armhole and the v-neck are two moments you have to take your time for. But it is worth it.

Chari Dress Schnittchen Patterns

Conclusion

I  never thought that I would jump on the ruffle boat but I did. More, I adore it. I finished the Chari Dress mid-May and due to the extremely hot weather in our northern country, I wore it a lot so far. If you want a comfortable dress for hot days; sew a (sleeveless) Chari Dress from Scnhittchen Patterns.

Chari Dress Schnittchen Patterns