Tea & Crumpet Sew-Along
OK stitchers – let’s get going! Today we are just talking about, and putting together, our dress pattern. Before jumping into creating your pattern, make sure you’ve done your homework. Use the first weeks in March to read and review our supplies post, and watch the videos I recommend there! And if you have any questions, please email or comment!

I am an early adopter of Bootstrap Fashion patterns and likeminded programs: custom patterns drafted to your measurements, and drafted according to the fit you like and the fabric stretch you will use. Initially skeptical, I have now sewn several of these patterns (for several different bodies) and they have fit beautifully. Not to mention they are customizable in a large size range: a height from 4’7″ to 6’6″; bust 17″ to 58″; waist 16″ to 56″, and hip 18″ to 56″. The made-to-measure patterns are about $2 a copy apiece; the custom-build designs closer to $7. Given the customizable nature of these patterns and the instantaneous WIN of them, I am completely thrilled!

To create any pattern in Bootstrap, you first need to sign up for a Bootstrap account, and I’m going to walk you through it. First, visit their website and select “SIGN IN” at the upper-right:

Sign In / Sign Up
Next, decide if you want to build a personal or business account. I chose “personal”:

Business or Personal?

Next, go through the account set-up window. I chose to connect through Facebook:
Create Account
All set? Now you can simply either of these links to purchase the pattern!  Here are the links to the dresses I’ve built:

Tea & Crumpet Dress, version 1:

Tea & Crumpet Dress, version 2:

 

Click “Buy Pattern” – and in a moment, we get to the super-fun part! We now customize our pattern. This is the part that is so fun! We  take our measurements and enter them! Don’t forget, we’ll also be adding the type of fabric we plan to use, and the garment fit. Here’s an example of what your screen looks like:

Bootstrap - Customize Fit

You will note each field has an indication – marked with a question mark – that will show you how to take the measurement, if you are confused. For example:

Bootstrap Fashion - How To Measure
Besides our measurements we are including the garment fit, the fabric type, the output (print or CAD; CAD files will be supplied in a digital format, including Adobe Illustrator), seam allowance (the program either adds a 3/8″ seam allowance or includes the patterns without an allowance) – and the size of your print canvas. In my case, I selected a fitted garment, a woven non-stretch, a seam-allowance (I will be adding a bit more seam allowance to a piece or two), and a 36″ print format to reflect the copy center options. If you have any questions about these – please ask in the comments!

And before you purchase the pattern – note you can also save the custom measurements to your account! This works beautifully for future orders.

Bootstrap Fashion - Save These Measurements

Bootstrap Fashion - Save My Measurements 
Now, checkout. Review your measurements and conditions, then pay!
Bootstrap - Checkout
In a few minutes you will receive an email. The email will include a ready-to-print pattern, a technical drawing, and a 3D avatar. Don’t worry too much about the instructions – as that’s what my sew-along is for!

You may notice that Bootstrap Patterns tend to create full, instead of halved, pattern blocks, even when the pieces are symmetrical – as for the bodice front. At first I didn’t care for this, but now I really do. For one, we often need or enjoy a full bodice piece if we’re cutting single-layer, or if we’re trying to match patterns at the waist.  I’ve also found it’s easier to halve a pattern piece than double a half a piece.

Now – I know you’re excited, but take a break! In our next post, early in March, I’ll be indicating how to add additional seam allowances and do a few other things to prep the pattern. In April the sew-along begins in earnest. For now, I assume you are putting together all your bits and pieces to be ready – and doing your extra credit: watching the videos on making a muslin, and working with sheers. Remember to sign up for the Facebook group (to share your pictures and to engage in discussion), email me if you want to be on the email alert system, and enjoy your fabric shopping!

Tea & Crumpet Sew-Along