VIDEO TURURIAL | Alya Skirt Part A: How to pattern make a 1/4 circle skirt with front side split.

Well……… it’s finally done!  My first ever video tutorial. Boy this has been a journey full of learnings and laughter.

Part A is how to self draft a 1/4 circle skirt with a front side split. Part B will be released in a few days which is an in depth tutorial on how to sew your skirt.

I hope you enjoy this one. All feedback is welcome so I can look to improve my video content for you moving forward. My mission is to teach an inspire as many people as possible in the art of patterning and making your own wardrobe. The inspiration and learnings I get from this community in return is so vast and for that I am grateful.

I would love to see your versions of this skirt so please share your makes using the hashtag #alyaskirt and tag me @taree.marsh

Happy patterning!

Olya Shirt by Paper Theory Patterns

Olya Shirt

Well…. this was a sewing experience that pushed my brain cells to a new level. I have sewn for years and can practically sew with my eyes closed and with minimal instructions, but this pattern put a spanner in the works. In a good way…..

Olya Shirt

One of my greatest loves in life is learning new skills and to be challenged. So as dramatic as my last paragraph was it was “the best” feeling for my sewing brain to be challenged. I loved that I had to stop and think, to read and re read again before sewing the sleeves of this shirt.

Olya Shirt

I was initially drawn to and inspired to make this shirt when I spotted it on the feed of Gyasti. I have been looking for an oversized button front shirt pattern for a while and to be honest I really struggled finding the perfect pattern. The Olya Shirt by Paper Theory Patterns was pretty close to the look I was chasing.

Olya Shirt

I went up one size and cut a size 12 in a gorgeous Silk Noil gifted to me by the lovely Trin from A + R Fabrics. I absolutely love the colour and the rawness of this fabric. In hindsight I wish I had added about 10 to 15cm in length to the shirt. I really like the oversized width but proportionally wished it was quite a bit longer.

Olya Shirt

Although some of the techniques in this make are slightly tricky, or more to the point are something I have never done before, I do feel the instructions are very clear once you get your head around them. My recommendation is to sew one side and check it is correct before sewing the other. Don’t presume it is correct and sew both sides up at the same time.

Olya Shirt

The way the sleeve is set into the shirt is really clever so congratulations to Paper Theory Patterns for creating a pattern that is little left of centre. There is no seam at the front armhole. The front sleeve is part of the front body.

Olya Shirt

I finished my shirt off with some wood buttons from Spotlight Stores to keep in with the raw, natural vibe I was going for with this make.

I have worn and washed this shirt and the Silk Noil fabric washes up well. I did wash mine in the washing machine because I can’t deal with clothing that is to precious to wash is a machine….

Olya Shirt

I will definitely give this pattern another go in a different fabrication like a printed crinkled Viscose crepe when I find the perfect print. And hopefully cut my sewing time down by a third now I understand how to construct this beauty.

Happy sewing this one. You will learn a few new techniques which in my books in a win all round!

Olya Shirt

The Fabulous Intrepid Boilersuit by Alice & Co Patterns

Intrepid Boilersuit
Intrepid Boilersuit

Every garment I make I pretty much full in love with these days but this one is extra special. The Seaweed color Lara Linen from Potter & Co is next level beautiful. It was the perfect washed back blue hue that I had been dreaming of.

Intrepid Boilersuit
Intrepid Boilersuit

I had been eyeing off the Intrepid Boilersuit by Alice & Co Patterns for sometime and it was a done deal for me once I spotted Gyasti version of it on good old Instagram. It was the soft neutral tone of her suit that inspired me.

Intrepid Boilersuit
Intrepid Boilersuit

My measurements were close to the size 6 and this is what I proceeded with for my toile. I made my toile in the brightest Purple plain weave linen from The Fabric Store. I also made my toile with a button front tab and elastic casing through the back and side front.

On review of my toile I made the following adjustments.

The thigh and seat area felt a little tight in comparison to the rest of the suit. I decided to add 1cm to each side seam through the hip along with 1cm through the inleg but only at crotch point for about 12cm down the leg. I also remove some of the hook from the back rise shaping as it felt like it was going up my butt a little. Below are images of the pattern alterations I made.

Back Rise
Back Rise
Front pant adjustment.
Front pant adjustment

I also felt it was pulling up at the back waist so I add 1cm into the back rise. Again pictures below of this adjustment.

Back rise adjustment
Back rise adjustment

I decided not to add the waist casing and instead 7 belt loops and a self fabric belt.

Belt loops and self fabric tie
Belt loops and self fabric tie

The hardest decision for me was the front closure. I thought I wanted a concealed button front but after further consideration I opted for a lap front zipper opening. This decision was based on ease of wear. It so much easier to unzip a onesie than unbutton a million buttons when needing to use the loo!

I also knew I didn’t want the zipper to be a feature as an exposed metal zipper so I used a dress zipper and the lapped zipper technique. And I am so happy with the outcome.

Front pockets are a little to high
Front pockets are a little to high

I think I was so caught up in the front closure and pant adjustment that I overlooked the front chest pocket positions. I think they are a little to high and not quite positioned right. Next time I will take greater care to review all features.

Back view
Back view

I love the way I can style my Boilersuit with sneakers for a daytime look and heels for an evening look. I am genuinely really happy with this make and I will be using this beautiful washed linen from Potter & Co on another project in the not to distant future.

Making your own shoes with The Shoe Camaraderie.

I have not long finished reading a great book called The One Thing by Gary Keller. It was a timely reminder that great things and big dreams occur over a long period of time one small step at a time. And that every small step you take is so important to the overall process.

Making a pair of shoes is no different. It’s all the small steps that come together to make a pair of shoes.

How to make the Cosette
The Cosette

Making your own shoes is not the cheapest way to acquire new shoes but it is certainly the most satisfying. Last weekend I attended a workshop hosted by the magician shoe maker Lisa from The Shoe Camaraderie . It was held at the Kylie And The Machine head quarters is East Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. And camaraderie it was. We were a small group of 6 students that supported each other through the shoe making process.

The shoe I selected was the Cosette but there is a variety of shoe styles and shoe making kits that can be purchased from The Shoe Camaraderie if you are not able to attend a workshop.

Hoe to make the Cosette
The Cosette

The day began at 9.30am with preparing our soles and heels for finishing stages of the shoe making process. It involved a couple of layers of smelly, sticky glue.

Next we cut our shoe pattern from the leather. There is a choice of 4 colours for your shoes and I went with the dark tan. Cutting the 24 stripes was a little fiddely but got easier each time. My advice here is to not go to thick and try to stay at the 6mm width to make weaving easier in the next process.

Weaving was the next task which required some patience and perseverance. It was the last hole that was the most difficult every time. I personally don’t mind repetitive task like this weaving phase. I find them quite therapeutic and soothing. In saying that I was also happy when that phase of the project was over.

Weaving the Cosette
Weaving, weaving and more weaving!

The next stage is to attach the top of the sandal to the shoe base. We used a last (shoe mould) to help in this process.

This is done one side at a time to ensure symmetry. And I got to practice one side before completing the other. The glue used is magic. It is easy to correct mistakes and adjust fit.

This was a bit of a high five moment for me as the shoes actually look like shoes. And shoes that fit well and looked OK.  The next step is the sand the leather on the shoe base to create a porous surface to attached the trim.

After the trim is attached it’s time to join the sole. This is when you really know your are on the home stretch to having a beautiful pair of me made shoes. The glue applied to the soles first thing in the day is heated until it becomes tacky again.  Then the sole is attached. The lovely Lisa trims the sole back and then it’s onto the last bit of hard work before finishing your shoes.  This involves sanding back the sole to attach the heel.

Lisa again trims the heels back to fit the shoes before giving the edges a final sand while we finished the day of with a glass of wine and cheese.

The Cosette
The finished product!

The process of making shoes was sometimes frustrating but extremely rewarding. I can’t wait to make my next pair, The Freya. A fun fact…. all of my garments are finished with a woven label from Kylie And The Machine and my shoes where finished off at the Kylie And The Machine headquarters….

Trend Patterns TPC1

Trend Patterns have just released a new pattern which is TPC25 Paper Bag Trousers . I am so excited to make this pattern but first I’m going to share with you my experience with TPC1 Oversized Sleeve Top.

TPC01

This was another design that I discovered on the Instagram feed of Adaspragg. It’s no secret I find Sophie’s style super inspiring. I am drawn to garments that play with proportion and this Oversized Sleeve Top fits that brief perfectly. The fitted bodice is perfectly disproportioned with its bellowing oversized sleeve.

TPC01

Through clever pattern making, the team at Trend Patterns have created a pattern that has an edgy designer feel while being relatively easy to sew. I was surprised at how simple and easy this pattern was to cut and sew. It is marketed as a difficult easy pattern and I think they are spot on with their sewing level categorization.

TPC01

From a sizing perspective my measurements were very close to the finished measurements of the size 10. I used some left over yardage from a previous project to make my top. It was a Viscose Linen Noil in Almond from Blackbird Fabrics. For me this fabric was the perfect fit as it is soft making the sleeves a little more relaxed and easier to create an everyday look.

The right size zipper was not available so I did purchase a zipper that was shorter than the recommended length. Luckily I can just get the top on over my shoulders. Any shorter and I would have been in trouble. So make sure you buy the correct size zipper for this project.

TPC01

The pattern is well notched and fits together like a dream. The instructions are brief but sufficient and easy to follow. The written instructions are complimented by photos. I wore this top a few times on my recent holiday and will be wearing it to work Monday with some jeans.

TPC01

I love that you can dress this top up to create a more edgy designer look as well as wear it with shorts and jeans to create an everyday look. Pull the sleeves up to create that peasant look that is so on trend right now. And it will look perfect with the TPC25 Paper Bag Trousers that I will be making in the not to distant future. Just wishing the Aussie exchange rate was a little better to purchase UK patterns……

Drafting your own patterns from blocks is so much fun!

Side view

There is something very rewarding and satisfying about drafting your own patterns from blocks. I hope I am not repeating words from an earlier blog on this topic but self drafting is something I am very passionate about.

It is a dream of mine that everyone who would like to draft their own patterns has access to a good block set without having to go through the tedious task of developing them from scratch. It is a dream of mine to be able to share how I create my self drafted pieces from blocks so that you too can do the same.

Creating a pattern from blocks

My latest sewing project was inspired by Faithfull The Brand. They have the most gorgeous dresses, however, the price point is a little on the high side and I am on a mission to buy less and make more. It is my aim to end up with a wardrobe that is 90% me made one day.

My fabric choice for this project was inspired by Lily Sage & Co . And thankfully I was able to purchase some of this gorgeous abstract stripe from The Fabric Store .

I used my 2 dart front bodice, back bodice, front skirt and back skirt blocks to create this pattern. Self drafted projects do take longer to complete than using purchased patterns. This dress involved creating each pattern piece through slashing and spreading, pivoting and reducing. After each pattern piece is created roughly they need to be re traced and seam allowance added. I also keep the original pieces without seam allowance so I can easily make any adjustments after the toile stage.

Basic Blocks

Once the initial pattern is drafted it’s onto the toile. I like to make a neat toile so I can really check and analyse the fit of the garment. I don’t overlock my toile unless it is in a fabrication that I am hoping will end up being a wearable toile. I write on my toile with a sharpie all of the adjustments I am going to make.

My Toile

The next step is to adjust any pattern pieces that need adjustments post toile stage. It is so important to adjust pattern pieces without seam allowance. If you don’t, you are not actually adjusting the pattern in the correct place and the full adjustment will not be actioned.

You may need to toile for a second time, however, in the case of this dress I was confident in moving straight to my final fabric.

Given the sheer nature of the fabric the dress is fully lined.  It features a faux front button placket with entry to the dress via a back invisible zipper.  Ties at the sleeve cuff and waist, a hook and bar for modesty at the front neck, side slant pockets and side seam splits.

I’m positive this dress is going to get some solid wear time this summer and I’m also going to turn this pattern into a jumpsuit sometime in the future.

The back.

 

How to make V1507 a little easier.

V1507
V1507

It is no secret I adore my V1507. Thinking about it I adore most of my me mades! It is the first pattern I’ve made using one of the big pattern brands in probably twenty years. This make was completely inspired by Sophie at @adaspragg. Her style and the way she plays with proportion is next level. And she can pull it off. Although I could never mirror that style and dress sense, I love to do my version of makes that inspire me.

V1507
V1507

I attempted to cut this pattern from various fabrics in my stash with each choice coming up short in fabric yield. This pattern takes a whooping 2.2 to 2.8mts of fabric depending on the width of your fabric.  The amount of fabric is due to the layers and large curved pattern pieces.

V1507
V1507

I picked up a cotton dobby in Hong Kong that had just enough fabric to fit all the pattern pieces.

This make was a little bit fiddlely with all the roll hemming required and the pattern had additional seam allowance on the lower edges to sew a fold line, then trim, then fold and sew the hem. Personally I found this process quite time consuming and un necessary if you are used to sewing double turned or rolled hems.

V1507
V1507

Next time I will reduce the pattern pieces on the rolled hem edges by 1.5cm and use a roll hem foot to finish the edges. Segway here, if you don’t own a roll hem foot for your machine do yourself a favor and invest in one. They are amazing once you get the hang of them. It’s my favorite bonus foot.

V1507
V1507

Once all of the roll hemming is out of the way the top did come together quite quickly. Do double check when joining your sleeves that you have the overlap the same way around on both sides.

V1507
V1507

To get the tie looking great on the back, I tie the top before putting it on. It slips on easy with the tie done up and you don’t have to be a contortionist trying to tie the back once it is on.

V1507
V1507

V1507 is a beautiful warmer weather top that can be worn with jeans, shorts or a skirt. The back detail is super cute and covers the bra strap which is a must for me.

V1507
V1507

The Frisco Jumpsuit by Theadbear Garments.

Frisco Jumpsuit

Woop woop! I have officially been a pattern tester for the very first time. I was so honored when Threadbear Garments selected me as one of their pattern testers for the Frisco Jumpsuit.

 

Leslie has designed a jumpsuit that is super easy to wear with its elasticated waistband and super flattering shape for a variety of body types. Trust me on this one. I had the privilege of seeing this jumpsuit on various body types throughout the pattern testing process and it looked fabulous on everyone.

Frisco Jumpsuit

The pattern recommends cutting the size that is closest to your hip measurement given the jumpsuit pulls on and off over your hips. Personally I cut the size 6 C/D which was slightly smaller than my hips but matched my waist & bust. I’m not a fan of excess fabric around my hip area and I like a good fit at the bust and waist. I also think it’s easier to grade the hips out slightly if required than to grade in a bodice.

Frisco Jumpsuit

BUT before taking my advice, changes where made to the fit of this pattern to slim down the pant slightly prior to release. Please remember that my jumpsuit was made from the original pattern.

After making my toile in calico I was really happy with the fit except for the excess blousing of the fabric at the back bodice. For my final jumpsuit I curved the back bodice waist seam up about 1.5cm at centre back maintaining the side seam length as per the pattern. I’m so glad I made this adjustment and now love the fit of the bodice.

Take care when sewing on your straps to get the angle and length correct. There is nothing worse than straps that slip off and gap. When I make the Frisco Jumpsuit for a third time I am going to reduce the strap length ever so slightly.

Frisco Jumpsuit

My final Jumpsuit was made in a linen blend that I picked up for $8 at a local label’s sample and fabric sale a couple of weeks ago. It is a mid weight fabric with a nice handle and drape that works well for this pattern. The only other adjustment I will make next time around is to reduce the length of the tie. It’s a little long for me to wear untucked.

This is definitely a pattern I recommend toiling first before making in your final fabric. It’s impossible to create a pattern that fits all body types, bodice lengths, leg lengths, hips / waist proportion and waist / bust proportion but with a little tweaking here and there you will have the perfect Jumpsuit in no time.

Frisco Jumpsuit

The Persephone Pants

Persephone Pants

I have been doing a lot of reflection around fear lately and in particular the fear of failure. I have missed so many opportunities due to my fear of not being enough, not knowing enough and the fear of failing. It’s taken me a few years and a ton of self reflection but I am slowly changing my relationship with fear. Unless a situation is truly life threatening I am learning to embrace fear and seeing it as a catalyst to change. Fear is my friend. It means I am on the cusp of learning something new, even if it doesn’t go right first time around. Step into fear….. It’s where the magic happens ✨

Persephone Pant

Now for my thoughts on the Persephone Pants. Every time I see a pair of these pants in my Insta feed I go Gaga! And they didn’t disappoint. They have been a little bit of a roller coaster sew and I don’t think I have them quite right yet but they are edging closer to being a great fit.

Persephone Pant

For my toile, I cut a straight size 6 in a 10oz stretch denim from The Fabric Store in a yummy cream colour. I omitted the front pockets, replaced the button fly with a zipper fly front and after reading a few comments I changed the waistband to a curved waistband. I was able to use the waistband and fly front pattern pieces from The Dawn Jean.

Persephone Pant

The Persephone Pants are a high waisted pant, however, I found them to be sky high in the waist. I reduced the rise by 1.5cm through the lengthen and shorten line and then took an additional 0.5cm from the centre back rise at the waist to accommodate my flat seat. I really don’t like when pants buckle a centre back before the waistband and this small adjustment solves that problem for me.

Persephone Pants

I also found the size 6 to be a little big on my toile. This was the adjustment that cause me the most concern. I have read many blog posts on these pants where makers have sized down and then their pant was too tight. Against my better judgment, I made a rookie error and graded down a full size for my final version. And my final version was made in a beautiful black rigid 10oz Cotton Twill from A+R Fabrics.

Persephone Pants

That right there was my rookie error and I absolutely should know better. From a toile with some stretch to a rigid final, what was I thinking! Even as I was cutting the pattern down to the size 4 I was questioning every snip. In hindsight I should have graded down a half size and graded the waist up ever so slightly given the waistband would now be sitting down lower on my waist.

Persephone Pants

Anyway……. after a long Friday night of sewing I finished my second version of the pant at around 11.30pm. I tried them on and they were tight! Particularly in the waist. I would not have been able to eat a single pea without popping them! But I had to rescue them because the rigid 10oz Cotton Drill fabrication was amazing.

Persephone Pants

I decide to sleep on a solution and when I woke I had a plan of action. I unpicked the waistband and tried on the pant without the waistband and hallelujah they fit. I measured the top of the pant while they were on my body to work out the waistband length required so that the pant would fit comfortably.

Persephone Pants

I recut the waistband adding 4cm to its length, let out the back darts and centre back rise a smidge gaining an extra 1.5cm to the waist of the main pant. With these adjustments I now have a Persephone Pant in a 10oz Rigid Cotton Drill that fit beautiful.

My learnings from this project for my next pair are only grade down a half size, keep the rise adjustment and grade the waistband up a half size. If you are reducing the length of the rise so the pant will finish lower on your waist it’s important to increase the length of the waistband as it will sit on a slightly wider part of your waist. It’s going to be third time lucky with this pattern.

Persephone Pants