Burnside Bibs pattern description

pattern review: the burnside bibs by sew house seven

Sew House Seven:

I had quite a week, and it cheered me immensely to sew up the Sew House Seven Burnside Bibs. I think of these as “Rosie the Riveter”-style overalls, and as far as I know mine are the first pair in existence to be made out of a knit fabric. This involves the extremely judicious use of interfacings (I used two different types), and in this case – a lot of stripe matching and fussy-cutting.

The pattern features two versions. Version one – the version I made – features a slightly curved front bib, and a slimmer-fit trouser with deep back darts and an invisible zipper at the side. Version two features the standard straight bib, and full back legs. Both versions feature an option for a cropped or full-length leg, and long ties that can be worn a variety of ways, to pass through belt carriers in the back. You can see several versions on the site’s pattern page.

Burnside Bibs pattern description

I may or may not have gone mad with stripe-matching power. If there are stripes, I have to make them match perfectly. I also used the lengthwise, crosswise, and bias grain in ways that were not indicated by this pattern, nor are typical for knit garments.

At the pant leg: a deep blind hem. This gives the pantleg a wonderful weight. I find sewing a blind hem very satisfying!

Sew House Seven:

Sew House Seven:

Shown below: the center-back seam and the back pockets (cut on bias, and fuse-lined). The pockets on the pattern are too low for my body, so next make I will shift them up.

Sew House Seven:

Sew House Seven:

The front pockets are also fuse-lined, and finished with a knit strip rather than the shaped facing in the pattern:

Sew House Seven:

Sew House Seven:
The side invisible zipper, perfect and bump-free as you see here. Version two of the pattern has a looser pants back, and can be pulled over the hips. The back will have a fuller gather at the waist.

Sew House Seven:
I pieced the front bodice on the bias, and used the crosswise grain for not only the pant leg, but also the front waistband and the straps. I think I only used the knit grain “correctly” twice – the bib facing/lining, and the front pockets.

Sew House Seven:
The back of the pant has an internal facing, and six tie carriers. I cut everything out fussy af so my carriers would all be identical, and placed in identical locations on either side of the center back:

Sew House Seven:
Belt carriers, with the chambray tie passing through. These long ties were barely able to be pulled through using the tube method, and I used pretty lightweight fabrics. Save yourself some trouble and either cut a wider tie, sew a narrow seam allowance, or do a test run of loop turning.

Sew House Seven:

I like a lot about Sew House Seven, including the geometric but feminine shapes within the patterns, and the simple fabrics often used to showcase the garment lines. But I recommend them for their instructions, especially. There is a really great methodology to the patterns, and it is a bit different than other indie designers. The methods are very persnickety and precise in a way that I absolutely love, and allow for a really gorgeous clean-finish on the inside of the garment. I think the patterns are miniature tailoring tutorials in and of themselves, and I recommend them to any committed beginner, or intermediate stitcher who wants to up their game.

This pattern comes in bust/hip measurement 31″ / 34″, to bust/hip 47″ / 50″.

Sew House Seven:

boostrap dress form (misses size)

bootstrap dress form tutorial: cutting and marking your fabrics

I barely have my toe in this dress form and I can already tell it’s going to be great! 

Last post, I covered how to take your measurements and record your body build, generate your pattern, and gather your supplies. Today, I will be covering fabric preparation, cutting, and marking.

The four parts of this tutorial:
Post 1: Preparing your pattern
Post 2: Cutting and marking your fabrics
Post 3: Constructing the shell
Post 4: Inner support, stuffing, and mounting

A recap: Bootstrap’s dress forms are custom-drafted patterns that you generate, sew, and pack, then mount on a stand. They come with an inner sleeve and support structure, and include cardboard and foam to bolster the base, arm, and neck. Bootstrap offers two versions: a misses size, and a plus size. They are both sewn by an identical process. Both forms correct for posture, shoulder shape, belly protuberance, and buttocks shape. There are also additional measurements you can take to customize the form: neck circumference, shoulder width, bust height, front length, back length, and back width.

If you are just now finding this series, you can find out how to generate the pattern and collect supplies in my first post.

boostrap dress form (misses size)

boostrap dress form (plus size)

So let’s get started!

¡Vamanos!

Today, we are preparing our fabrics (by prewashing and fusing), cutting, and marking. This is part of the process of sewing I used to dislike. But now, I really enjoy it. It gives me an opportunity to familiarize myself with the pattern.

So first, I cut out all eighteen pieces of my paper pattern.

Bootstrap Dress Form: Prepping Fabric, Cutting, & Marking

In this case, I labeled how many of each piece I want to cut out (note there is an error on the PATTERN PIECES page of the instructions: under piece #15 “Back Inner Support”, we want to cut out two). Two images down, I also prepared a schematic so you can tell how many pieces, and of what medium, you will be cutting.

This is important: if you plan on topstitching your center front and center back seamlines, you will likely want to add a larger seam allowance to these seams. This is especially true if you aren’t sure if you can sew an exact 3/8″ seam.

Bootstrap Dress Form: Prepping Fabric, Cutting, & Marking

Now, we need to determine how much main/self-fabric to cut. We will need to interface all of these pattern pieces. You want to take the pieces in the top section “CUT FROM SELF-FABRIC (INTERFACED)”, and lay them out on your self fabric. In the schematic below, I’ve kept the orientation along lengthwise grain. The bottom two pattern pieces are cut from cardboard so grain does not matter. Here is a PDF if you want to download and print this guide, and make notes.

Bootstrap dress form, pattern layout

 

[ PDF link ]

Bootstrap Dress Form: Prepping Fabric, Cutting, & Marking

Shown below, my woven interfacing. As per the pattern’s instructions, you want to pre-shrink all fabrics. You may want to pre-treat the interfacing too. Battles rage over the issue of interfacing pre-treatment! I always say, “follow the manufacturer’s instructions”.


Bootstrap Dress Form: Prepping Fabric, Cutting, & Marking

My thirteen year old son fused all my self fabric for me! What a doll. This process takes a bit of time. Make sure to get a very good fuse, aligning the grain of the interfacing with the grain of the fabric!


Bootstrap Dress Form: Prepping Fabric, Cutting, & Marking

Once your self yardage is fused properly, it’s time to fold, pin or weight, and cut! This part gets so exciting! In general, for this pattern it’s a good idea to leave the paper pattern pieces pinned to the fabric pieces even after cutting, and you’ll see why in a moment.

Bootstrap Dress Form: Prepping Fabric, Cutting, & Marking

There are many notches in this pattern – to help you line things up beautifully. I clipped 1/8″ into the seam allowance for all notches.

Bootstrap Dress Form: Prepping Fabric, Cutting, & Marking

Now let’s talk about those awesome horizontal lines at bust, underbust, waist, and hip! They not only will help with fitting issues – they look pretty swanky on the dress form! I marked mine immediately, using a tracing wheel without a tracing medium, and very firm pressure. This makes a near-invisible line on the fabric – but depending on your eyesight, you may want to use a tracing medium. If you plan to re-use this pattern, tape these areas with clear tape before you use the wheel.

Bootstrap Dress Form: Prepping Fabric, Cutting, & Marking

Bootstrap Dress Form: Prepping Fabric, Cutting, & Marking

Bootstrap Dress Form: Prepping Fabric, Cutting, & Marking

I then went over these faint lines with some white chalk:Bootstrap Dress Form: Prepping Fabric, Cutting, & Marking

I set aside all my pieces, with the paper pinned to each. The armhole cover will have two self fabric pieces, and two interlining pieces:

Bootstrap Dress Form: Prepping Fabric, Cutting, & Marking

Once we’ve cut our self fabric pieces, it’s time to cut our interlining. This interlining and sleeve, forms the inner structure to keep the from stable. The interlining pieces – front and back supports, and the pipe sleeve, are all cut from sturdy interlining fabric.

When it comes to the pipe sleeve, there are several marks for sleeve width depending on the diameter of your pipe. My pipe is 1 1/2 inches, which corresponds to 3.8 cm. I cut a sleeve piece from the 4 cm width, by tearing my fabric along the grain. Don’t worry too much about this right now, because when we get to sewing up this sleeve we will be checking for fit. You mostly do not want to cut a sleeve that is too narrow!

Bootstrap Dress Form: Prepping Fabric, Cutting, & Marking

Cardboard times! We are cutting the two pieces without seam allowances – the base support and armhole cardboard (17 and 18). I elected to trace using carbon paper, and cut with a fresh razor blade.

Bootstrap Dress Form: Prepping Fabric, Cutting, & Marking

Bootstrap Dress Form: Prepping Fabric, Cutting, & Marking

Make sure to cut and mark the armhole cardboard as mirror images. I suggest doing them one at a time, rather than in layers:

Bootstrap Dress Form: Prepping Fabric, Cutting, & Marking

Bootstrap Dress Form: Prepping Fabric, Cutting, & Marking

Bootstrap Dress Form: Prepping Fabric, Cutting, & Marking

Shown below – all of my pieces! Cardboard pieces are at top-left, and interlining at top-right. All the remaining pieces are interfaced self fabric. The two neck pieces – the circular top and the neck itself – only have one copy per paper piece.

Bootstrap Dress Form: Prepping Fabric, Cutting, & Marking

So there we have it! Great job!

Awesome!

Next up, we begin sewing! If you have any questions, please feel free to comment here!

Late getting started? Pick up your pattern here: MISSES or PLUS

boostrap dress form (misses size)

boostrap dress form (plus size)

 

upcycling t-shirt upgrayedd

upcycling t-shirt upgrayedd

upcycling t-shirt upgrayedd

There are an awful lot of t-shirt upcycle/t-shirt surgery posts online, and it’s wonderful. Today, I wanted to put together something that gets to the heart of the process – an overview, as well as a few couture details.

I’ve known several stitchers who got started with t-shirt recons. After a few successes they’d run into frustrations – popped stitches, wonky shirts, puckered neckbands, shirts that didn’t quite feel right. I want to help with that.

So in that spirit, this last week I sewed up seven t-shirts in a row – modeled here by my thirteen year old son. Every original shirt was fifty cents (or free!) and all of them were men’s L or XL, with no undersleeve, stripe, or hood detail. Both the resizing and colorblocking and hood details were added by my magic!

Upcycling T-shirt Upgrayedd (on the blog)

Upcycling T-shirt Upgrayedd (on the blog)

Upcycling T-shirt Upgrayedd (on the blog)

Upcycling T-shirt Upgrayedd (on the blog)

Upcycling T-shirt Upgrayedd (on the blog)

Upcycling T-shirt Upgrayedd (on the blog)

Upcycling T-shirt Upgrayedd (on the blog)

And here we get into the main advantage of t-shirt upcycles – perfect fit. Whether you are sewing for yourself or a client, you can create a master pattern that can be used time and time again. My model here is tall and slim – a shirt that fits his girth is usually about three to four inches too short. I have a master pattern for these seven garments: the Flashback Skinny T by Made by Rae with some extra added length. I’ve also drafted several extra details – colorblocking, stripe detail, and cowl hood, to use at will. Below, I’ll talk a bit about when and how to add these details.

So let’s get this post started!

1. Learn knit fabric 101.

Knit fabrics (think: “stretchy” garments like t-shirts, hoodies, and leggings) are a whole discipline separate from woven fabrics (think: what a quilt is made of). T-shirts are almost always made of knit fabrics – and every t-shirt I’m talking about here is made with a knit with 2- or 4-way stretch (more about that in a moment).

What’s the difference between a knit and a woven? Mostly, the difference is in the structure of the fabric’s weave. Knit fabrics are made in a series of interlaced loops while woven fabrics are made with warp and weft fibers on a loom.

In general, knit fabrics will drape well, while woven fabrics may drape, or they may be crisp. Knit fabrics are associated with being stretchy, and woven fabrics are not.

That said, there are exceptions. Some knit fabrics can have zero stretch – and some woven fabrics can stretch.

But when it comes to t-shirts, almost every t-shirt you find will be a cotton, or a cotton polyester blend. You may see some bamboo out there, too. Compression/sportswear shirts include fibers like spandex (also called elastane or lycra) and nylon, but for graphic t-shirts you are likely to see cotton, poly, a blend, with maybe a bit of spandex for stretch and recovery. Graphic t-shirts are constructed in a knit weave that stretches either 1-way (across the crosswise grain), 2-way (across both the lengthwise and crosswise grain), or 4-way (across both directions, with excellent snapback and recovery). Don’t get too fixated on 1-, 2-, or 4-way as, sadly, this language isn’t really standardized. Even fabric stores won’t be clear about the stretch of their fabrics and sometimes you have to order swatches or write an email to ask!

Moving on.

How do knits handle, to sew on a machine? It’s a mixed bag. I love them – but there is a learning curve, and beginners may find them frustrating. On the plus side, the fabrics’ stretch and drape mean that you are more likely to get a fit you like, than when making a fitted garment from woven fabrics.

Some people love sewing with knits; others are scared to do so. I’ve written several tutorials on the topic of knits, including more than one introductory post where I put forth some great resources. I’ve also archived the Timmel lessons (and posted them with permission here). Feel free to read up – and you can always ask questions here on this post.

There are several different technologies that will help you work with knit fabrics, and some of these bits of tech are expensive indeed. I could write a chapter or two on that alone! But without going into detail I’ve already belabored before, at bare minimum you will want a sewing machine that can form a good zig-zag stitchan appropriate needle (a ballpoint is a good start, in the right size), and a polyester or poly-based thread. When you’re ready to upgrade your kit (and in order of expense) you may look into stretch or wooly nylon thread, a serger (for either seams or seam-finishes), and a coverstitch machine (for fast and  professional hems and/or decorative seams).

Shown below: poly thread in the needle, wooly nylon (for more stretch in the seam) in the bobbin:

Upcycling T-shirt Upgrayedd (on the blog)

But listen – don’t worry if you don’t have any fancy gear. You can sew t-shirts on old machines – every shirt you’re seeing here was sewn on machines no younger than a 70s vintage! All except the goldenrod shirt were sewn with regular poly thread.

2. Find the shirt grain!

Just a few days ago I had a student over, and I demonstrated the grain of fabric on the quilting cotton we were working with. While she has sewn a bit over the years, she had no concept of fabric grain. The grain of a fabric is so important it would be impossible to cover all of the implications here. Let me do a bit of bare-bones illustration.

Almost every fabric has a grain (the most notable exclusion is felt, which like paper is made of fibers pressed and dried in a random orientation). In general, even though woven and knit fabrics are different, their grain is similarly named. If you are looking at fabric coming off the bolt at the fabric store, below is a demonstration of the crosswise grain, lengthwise grain, and bias grain – as well as the selvage edges which are important in understanding fabric mechanics. (We won’t be talking about the bias grain in this post – another important and awesome topic for another time!)

Fabric Grain, SelvageIn general (except for bias-cut garments), you want the pieces of a garment to hang off the body such that the lengthwise grain of each piece in the garment, is perpendicular to the surface of the planet! Put another way, the lengthwise grain should run corresponding to gravity. The centerline of your t-shirt, from neckline to hem, should run right along the lengthwise grain. This helps the garment hang and perform well.

So how does this pertain to t-shirts, and especially t-shirt upcycling? It is relevant when it comes to selecting a suitable shirt to work with.

A t-shirt is not going to come with selvage edge for clues as to grain – but it is very easy to see the grain of a t-shirt. The lengthwise grain looks like long channels and are quite beautiful: here is a close-up of a (gorgeous) monster hoodie I made a few years ago. You can see the grain of the knit fabric quite easily in the striped hood lining:

Monster Hoodie For Megan

In general, a knit fabric and therefore a t-shirt will stretch more across the grain than along the length of it. This is no coincidence: this is why and how the knit stitch was developed, to provide clothing that moved with our bodies.

Oops! I got back into fabric theory! Back to t-shirts.

When you get your t-shirt, you are not going to have a lot of options! Your motif will be printed on the shirt, and if you want the motif centered and to take advantage of the fabric in the t-shirt, you are not going to get to be picky about the grain. You have to trust the shirt is printed more or less on the grain.

So are (ready-to-wear, likely sweatshop-produced) t-shirts printed properly on-grain? In my experience, none of them have come close to my results in my studio. But most are decent enough. About 40% of t-shirts in a thrift store have good grain. Some are abominable and unless you are DYING over how lovely the print is, leave them be. If you select a shirt with very poor grain, the final result may hang crooked, or a side seam may creep alongside the body.

There is one other consideration for grain. If you are going to be using the body of the shirt to cut your neckband (like the Treasure Island shirt three photos down), or cuffs, you are going to want to cut these bands on the crossgrain. For that reason, a shirt with a good grain is a better choice than one that is sub-standard.

Shown below: finding the grain and lining up logo placement. The shirt is folded in half, the grain straightened, and carefully smoothed before cutting my front pattern piece on the fold.

Upcycling T-shirt Upgrayedd (on the blog)

Upcycling T-shirt Upgrayedd (on the blog)

Upcycling T-shirt Upgrayedd (on the blog)

3. Think about (vertical) logo placement.

One of the biggest issues with re-sizing t-shirts, is you often end up with a skewed logo. Many examples you will see online either feature a printed motif right at the neckline, or even partially-truncated entirely:

Treasure Island T-Shirt Redesign

This factor is complicated if you want to transition your t-shirt to a deep neckline – say a scoop or v-neck. When you lay your front pattern piece on the vertically-folded t-shirt, the shoulders will extend up and usually intersect the original neckline. Things get crowded very fast!

There are many ways to get around this. You can colorblock your t-shirt, as I’ve done in this example:

Upcycling T-shirt Upgrayedd (on the blog)

You can also make a cold-shoulder top, using a band of identical, similar, or contrasting colors. You can add a saddle-shoulder effect (below and – yes, this is the same child!), which does wonderfully at dropping that logo lower on the shirt body. These solutions involve a bit of time and a bit of pattern-drafting knowledge – available with a Google search, and patience on your part. But they are considerations if you want a good-looking logo instead of one chopped to pieces.

Askance4. “It’s gonna get weird… TWO t-shirts!”

Sometimes you find some cute t-shirts at the thrift store – and there are multiples! Or perhaps you find one awesome shirt – but with some searching you can find another that is made from a similar fabric. This offers you up some awesome possibilities – namely, hoods, undersleeves, cuffs, or saddle/raglan sleeve details!

Upcycling T-shirt Upgrayedd (on the blog)

Below: the original shirt. Notice that even as big as it was, I still needed to use another shirt for the undersleeves, cuffs, and cowl hood! 

Upcycling T-shirt Upgrayedd (on the blog)

Note that you do not have to have a fabric that is exactly like the original t-shirt, to use it. In general you want a similar weight and a similar degree of stretch. You can grab up cheap shirts that are plain, wash and dismantle them while watching telly, and store them folded. Not that I do that! (I totally do!)

And this leads me to my next point:

5. Stock up on jersey fabrics.

If you’re a little little upcycle freak like me t-shirt aficionado, you might consider collecting and keeping jersey fabrics in your stash (besides the aforementioned extra t-shirts). These fabrics are inexpensive and wonderful. This will also extend your ability to upcycle for larger bodies.

T-shirts can come in so many fibers, but 100% cotton jersey or 50/50 cotton/poly in mid- to heavyweight are the most common t-shirt blends and weights. Remember – always prewash your new yardage before combining it with a thrifted t-shirt. The thrifted t-shirt has likely been washed many times. Personally, I’d pre-wash the t-shirt itself, too.

The strips of t-shirt and jersey you stockpile like a post-apocalyptic hoarder collect can be used for collars, cuffs, stripes (as seen below on this upcycle), and other colorblocked or appliquéd detailing. When I have enough high-quality scraps from a t-shirt upcycle, I take a few moments and cut strips with my rotary cutter, to use on the next shirts I mess with.

Upcycling T-shirt Upgrayedd (on the blog)

Shown below: a Mario shirt re-sized and amended with undersleeves in a soft periwinkle interlock.

Upcycling T-shirt Upgrayedd (on the blog)

5. Re-use & Co-opt

These days I almost always reuse the neckband, sleeve hems, and (when possible) shirt hems of the original. This makes for an extremely fast sew-up. It took me much longer to write this post, than it did for me to make any one of these t-shirts, for instance.

Let’s talk about those sleeve and shirt hems. With careful pinning and tidying of your thread tails, the end result looks great. And while you may not be able to use the shirt’s hem for your resize, you can almost always use the sleeve hems if you’re making a short-sleeved shirt, as you simply fold the sleeve and cut as low on the sleeve as you need do . Shown below: a photo tutorial of how I tidy up the thread tails (in this case, a serge-finish) to keep these sleeve hems looking good.

Upcycling T-shirt Upgrayedd (on the blog)

Upcycling T-shirt Upgrayedd (on the blog)

Upcycling T-shirt Upgrayedd (on the blog)

Upcycling T-shirt Upgrayedd (on the blog)Upcycling T-shirt Upgrayedd (on the blog)

Gorgeous!

Upcycling T-shirt Upgrayedd (on the blog)

So as for the neckband: in the seven new shirts shown at the top of this post, I re-used the neckband for all the shirts except the cowl hoodie and the GBO shirt.

When removing the neckband, oftentimes you can just tear it out. Be careful here, however. If you aren’t rather nimble-fingered and experience you can end up tearing right into the shirt. When in doubt, carefully cut this neckline out and use a seam ripper to clear the ribbing! Go ahead and get all those little bits of thread off the neckband before applying.

The new neckband will likely be too large for your new raw neckline – but that all depends on the neckline you have cut and selected. The ribbing of neckbands usually stretches well with good recovery – a good rule of thumb is you want a neckband about 80% of the neckline it is affixed to. After I have my neckband I usually pin the center front of the shirt to the band, stretch firmly and evenly, and pin toward the center-back. At that point I will get a good feel for how much of the original band to cut off. I then cut the neckband to size at the center back, sew the center-back seam of the band, finger-press this seam open, re-pin, and sew up. It is incredibly fast!

Upcycling T-shirt Upgrayedd (on the blog)

Upcycling T-shirt Upgrayedd (on the blog)


Upcycling T-shirt Upgrayedd (on the blog)

Upcycling T-shirt Upgrayedd (on the blog)

Upcycling T-shirt Upgrayedd (on the blog)

Upcycling T-shirt Upgrayedd (on the blog)

 

Upcycling T-shirt Upgrayedd (on the blog)

Upcycling T-shirt Upgrayedd (on the blog)

Upcycling T-shirt Upgrayedd (on the blog)

Upcycling T-shirt Upgrayedd (on the blog)

Upcycling T-shirt Upgrayedd (on the blog)

Upcycling T-shirt Upgrayedd (on the blog)

I like to give a steam press of this neckline, on a tailor’s ham. Some people finish this neckline with topstitching but I generally omit that.

If you can’t use the original shirt’s neckband or don’t want to, you can use a contrast ribbing, a self-fabric neckband. Tthe Timmel lessons I mentioned above, go into detail here on neckline finishes.

6. Finally: make it your own!

Phee + T-Shirt Surgery, 6
Seriously? the possibilities for t-shirt upcycle are endless! An inexpensive and unique screenprinted patch (below), stripey sleeves and gathered necklines (above), slot seams, asymmetrical detailing, double-hoods (with or without ears!), cold-shoulder tops – after you do a few t-shirts you are going to find a lot of inspiration out in the world and eventually from your own little braincase! And let me tell you – it’s pretty special to go out and about and have people stop you to say – “I love your shirt! Where did you get it?” 

Close up of Siamese twin patch

Sparrow patch closeup.

Upcycling T-shirt Upgrayedd (on the blog)

Fabulous!

bootstrap dress form tutorial: preparing your pattern

Bootstrap’s new dress form pattern is incredible, and I am here to help make it a reality for you!

Fabulous!

The four parts of this tutorial:
Post 1: Preparing your pattern
Post 2: Cutting and marking your fabrics
Post 3: Constructing the shell
Post 4: Inner support, stuffing, and mounting

So many dressmakers struggle with fit when they sew for themselves. It becomes obvious relatively early on, that a body double would be a wonderful helpmate – and that is where dress forms come in. You can purchase standard dress forms, and those help a great deal. Standard forms can be expensive, and they are not shaped for realistic posture and distribution of body fat for the vast majority. There are other options: custom forms that are more expensive still. You can make your own through various DIY processes, but these methods can be arduous and can result in an ugly mannequin which for some, is a dealbreaker. Some people who want a form don’t want to have a “buddy” measure and wrap them in duct tape.

You get the idea.

The new Bootstrap pattern eliminates all these issues! I am very excited for this project as it is not only a great boon to my own studio, but making one is the perfect gift for another seamstress! And I already know who is first on my list! 🙂

So for those new(ish) to sewing, this project is easy enough for a committed beginner, but it also is a bit of a detailed process. My advice is to carefully read through this post first, before starting. Don’t worry if you get too overwhelmed when reading ahead. The instructions provided in the pattern are second-to-none, and I will be blogging my efforts over the next few days. You can also post questions here at my site.

Today, I will be covering taking measurements and body build, generating your pattern, and gathering your supplies.

Bootstrap’s dress forms involve two versions: a misses size, and a plus size (I will be creating a misses size for this sew-along; the processes are identical, however). The plus size version is shaped with a bit more curvature, as you can easily see from the site’s photos. But both forms correct for posture, shoulder shape, belly protuberance, and buttocks shape. There are also additional measurements you can take to customize the form: neck circumference, shoulder width, bust height, front length, back length, and back width. In short, this form includes every posture variance you can imagine, for a torso.

boostrap dress form (misses size)

boostrap dress form (plus size)

You will first need to create a Bootstrap Fashion account, before proceeding. This is very simple (just in case, here is my walk-through on the Tea & Crumpet sew-along from 2016). Next, select the pattern: misses size, or plus. You will notice immediately there are a series of fields you need to fill out, as well as a “fit adjustments” tab that includes more measurements. I will first go over the measurements listed under “customize”, as those are all that are needed to generate your pattern.

bootstrap dress form sal measurements

Before starting, I find it helpful to tie a string around one’s waist (where the body creases, if you bend to the side. If you do not have a prominent C7 vertebrae at the base of the neck, you can put on a necklace and the point where the necklace naturally hangs, will serve as that location.

Height is self-explanatory; most of us know our height. If you do not, or if you are making for someone else, simply stand in sock feet at a wall and use a pencil to make a mark flush with the top of the head. Then, step away from the wall and measure, with a tape perpendicular to the floor, the height. Let’s move on.

BUST

bootstrap measurement bust

Bootstrap Dress Form: Measuring, Printing Pattern, & Assembling Materials.

UNDERBUST

bootstrap measurement underbust

Bootstrap Dress Form: Measuring, Printing Pattern, & Assembling Materials.

WAIST

This measurement is taken directly over the string you tied.

bootstrap measurement waistBootstrap Dress Form: Measuring, Printing Pattern, & Assembling Materials.

LOW HIP

Measure around the fullest part of your hips and buttocks. If you have a large bum and also a protruding tummy that is higher up on the body than this measurement, don’t worry – we’ll be adding another metric in to account for belly ease.

bootstrap measurement low hip

Bootstrap Dress Form: Measuring, Printing Pattern, & Assembling Materials.

BELLY PROTUBERANCE, BUTTOCKS SHAPE, AND POSTURE

I put these three together as one full-body side profile picture will tell the tale here. Please take a photo rather than relying on your own “sense” of your figure, or your client’s figure.

bootstrap measurement belly protuberance bootstrap measurement buttocks shape bootstrap measurement evaluate posture

Bootstrap Dress Form: Measuring, Printing Pattern, & Assembling Materials.

My model here is a belly protuberance B, an “average” buttocks shape, and a straight back.

SHOULDER SLOPE

This is another metric best served by a photo. You can see my model has between a “square” and “normal” shoulder slope.

bootstrap measurement shoulder slope

Bootstrap Dress Form: Measuring, Printing Pattern, & Assembling Materials.

Those are all the measurements you need, to print your pattern! You will be selecting the method of deployment (I select a 36″ pdf to print at the copy shop, as I dislike printing and taping). If you like, you can “Get a Free Pattern Preview”, in order to look at your pattern first before purchasing it:

bootstrap free pattern preview

For this preview, you simply proceed as if making a purchase – you will be “charged” $0.00. After you complete your purchase and the pattern builds (this takes no longer than 15 minutes), you can view the preview either via the Bootstrap email that will be deployed (check your Junk Mail folder if you do not see it in your Inbox), or under your “My Account” page, by clicking TO ACCESS YOUR PATTERNS, PLEASE CLICK HERE>>. Bootstrap stores all your patterns and instructions in this kiosk.

bootstrap to access your patterns

Once you are satisfied, you can purchase the pattern as per the above steps.

Now, I will speak to the “fit adjustments” second tab. These measurements are not required to generate your pattern. You should only add them if you are sure. You can also get a free preview of your pattern to check to see that things look good; however if you are a newbie, you may not even know enough to know if your generated pattern is off, or not! In that case, I’d suggest sticking with the measurements in the “customize” feature only.

So here are the fit adjustments:

bootstrap measurements fit adjustment

NECK CIRCUMFERENCE

bootstrap measurement neck circumference

Bootstrap Dress Form: Measuring, Printing Pattern, & Assembling Materials.

SHOULDER WIDTH SPAN

This is measured between bony shoulder points. Most people have a curvature here, so go ahead and measure directly atop this curvature if so.

bootstrap measurement shoulder width span

Bootstrap Dress Form: Measuring, Printing Pattern, & Assembling Materials.

BUST HEIGHT FROM CB NECK POINT AND FRONT LENGTH FROM CB NECK POINT

I’ve said a mouthful! I include these together as you can take them at the same time. You are measuring from the C7 bony point at the neck, around and atop the bust apex, and down perpendicular to the waist. The number on the tape at the bust apex, is your bust height measurement. The number at the wait, front length.

Bootstrap Dress Form: Measuring, Printing Pattern, & Assembling Materials.

BACK LENGTH

This is a measurement familiar to many of us. We measure from the C7 neck point, straight down to the waist.

bootstrap measurement back length

Bootstrap Dress Form: Measuring, Printing Pattern, & Assembling Materials.

BACK WIDTH

This is measured across the shoulder blades, right where the skin of the arm meets the skin of the back.

bootstrap measurement back widthNote in this photo below, it looks like the measurement is too low; it is not, it is just that by bending their arms back, the model has effectively lifted the crease height up. This is the one measurement here that is best-served by having someone assist you – you can take the measurement with your clothes on, and let your partner feel for the crease.

Bootstrap Dress Form: Measuring, Printing Pattern, & Assembling Materials.

Having taken our additional measurements, we can add the pattern, preview, and purchase.

Now let’s talk about our supplies!

Once you’ve purchased your pattern, you will note (in both your email and your My Account patterns files) that the pattern includes a very thorough series of directions, that detail supplies. Read through your directions – don’t worry if you’re a bit confused, as the instructions are thorough and will help you through the process.

Here are my supplies, and a few notes about them:

Bootstrap Dress Form: Measuring, Printing Pattern, & Assembling Materials.

I will be using a main fabric (mid-to-heavyweight with drape cotton twill), an interfacing to interface the entire shell of the form, and an interlining fabric for structural support (a mid-to-heavyweight duck). The instructions talk a bit more about fabric requirements. I will also need cardboard for the neck, armhole, and bottom of the form. I need a PVC pipe from 36″ to 48″ long, sized at a diameter that will fit over the stand I plan to use (this is important, as we will cut an inner sleeve to fit snugly over this PVC. I also need two zippers for the bottom closure, adhesive to glue the interlining to the PVC, cutting implements to cut the cardboard templates, and poly-fill (2 kg to 5 kg or 5 to 12 lbs).

So there we have it! I will be blogging my progress through the form through early August. If you have any questions about the process, please feel free to comment here! If you have any issues with Bootstrap, do email Yuliya (you will get an email from her when you buy your pattern) – she is very responsive.

So let’s get to it!

Rock and Roll!

Customize your pattern here: MISSES or PLUS

boostrap dress form (misses size)

boostrap dress form (plus size)

 

P4P Slim Fit Raglan SAL

slim fit raglan sew-along: cuffs, waistband, & curved hem

P4P Slim Fit Raglan SAL 

 

Thank you for joining us for our final post, in our Patterns for Pirates Slim Fit Raglan sew-along! 

For each sew-along post, I like to recap what we’ve already accomplished. First, I posted a bit about the pattern and supplies last month. On the 15th of this month we got started: cutting and marking our fabrics. Then, we created our triangle patch and our elbow patches. On the 19th, our most recent post, we created our side seams and neckband. Today, we finish our shirt: with cuffs, waistband, and curved hem options.

And a reminder – Rachelle has been working away making up a few awesome pattern hacks. Today’s post features a kangaroo pocket for a men’s hoodie version. Make sure to visit her blog and give her some love!

Remember – if you have any questions, you can post them here, email me, or message me through Facebook (either my personal page, or my sewing page – The Vegan Tailor). Even if you are getting up to speed a little late (or a lot late!), please feel free to contact me for any help you need.

P$P SFR badge

Ready?

Let's Rock & Roll!

P4P Slim Fit Raglan SAL

slim fit raglan sew-along: seams and neckline

P4P Slim Fit Raglan SAL

 

Thank you for joining us for our Patterns for Pirates Slim Fit Raglan sew-along! 

To recap: I posted a bit about the pattern and supplies a month ago. On the 15th, we cut and marked our fabrics. Then, we created our triangle patch and our elbow patches. Today we’re creating our side seams and neckband (page eight through ten in the pattern)!

Remember – if you have any questions, you can post them here, email me, or message me through Facebook (either my personal page, or my sewing page – The Vegan Tailor). I want to make sure to help everyone who is participating, to have great results.

P$P SFR badge

And before we start, a reminder the sew-along posts and itinerary are as follows:

Save-the-date: supplies and pattern
March 15th
: cutting and marking
March 17th: triangle patch & elbow patches
March 19th (today!): seams and neckline
March 21st: cuffs, waistband, and curved hem

Ready?
Let's Do This!

P4P Slim Fit Raglan SAL

slim fit raglan sew-along: triangle patch & elbow patches

P4P Slim Fit Raglan SAL

 

Thank you for joining us for our Patterns for Pirates Slim Fit Raglan sew-along! 

To recap: I posted a bit about the pattern and supplies a month ago. On the 15th, we cut and marked our fabrics. Today, we are putting together our triangle patch, and our elbow patches (pages 5 through 7 on the pattern). Remember – if you have any questions, you can post them here, email me, or message me through Facebook (either my personal page, or my sewing page – The Vegan Tailor). I want to make sure to help everyone who is participating, to have great results.P$P SFR badge

And before we start, a reminder my itinerary is as follows:

March 15th: cutting and marking
March 17th (today!): triangle patch & elbow patches
March 19th: seams and neckline
March 21st: cuffs, waistband, and curved hem

Ready?

Milk!

P4P Slim Fit Raglan SAL

slim fit raglan sew-along: cutting and marking

P4P Slim Fit Raglan SAL

 

Today is the big day! We start our Patterns for Pirates Slim Fit Raglan sew-along! If you are getting here late, no worries. I posted a bit about the pattern and supplies a month ago. And if you have any questions, you can post them here, email me, or message me through Facebook (either my personal page, or my sewing page – The Vegan Tailor). I want to make sure to help everyone who is participating, to have great results.

A reminder: my sew-along partner, Rachelle Weiler, is also hosting several wonderful hacks for this pattern. She is making a wonderful lace sleeve with grommet-placket hack, a men’s hoodie, and a FST mashup dress with flared sleeves! Between the two of us, we are sure to cover a wonderful top that’s just your style!

Shown below, my oldest – modeling a bamboo jersey version with elbow patches, long sleeve cuffs, and waistband:

Slim Fit Raglan Sew-Along

Before we start, a reminder my itinerary is as follows:

March 15th (today!): cutting and marking
March 17th: triangle patch & elbow patches
March 19th: seams and neckline
March 21st: cuffs, waistband, and curved hem

Ready?

Go Get 'Em!

P4P Slim Fit Raglan SAL

save the date: slim fit raglan sew-along

P4P Slim Fit Raglan SAL

 

It is amazing to me I am coming up on the final entry in my year’s project: one sew-along a month. It has been an incredible amount of work, and I still have little housekeeping bits and bobs to finish (I am also in the middle of an update on my Vegan Tailor site). But it has been a glorious journey and I have met and been inspired by many lovely stitchers!

Our sew-along itinerary is as follows:

March 15th: cutting and marking
March 17th: triangle patch & elbow patches
March 19th: seams and neckline
March 21st: cuffs, waistband, and curved hem

OK!

Enough talk!