Showing posts from May, 2008

Pattern drafting with PMB4

I have been using Pattern Master Boutique since early 2001. I have made several jackets, sheath style dresses, tops and skirts using this program. Recently they upgraded the program I purchased the upgrade-PMB4.
Since then, my age and thus my shape and size have changed. So I tweaked my measurements. This new upgrade has some nice new features and I really want to use it again. But dang! I am having a hard time getting a good fit. I spent time last weekend drafting several versions without good results.
I have a tendency to get a little obsessed about getting something like this correct. So I spent most of the afternoon again trying to figure out why the pattern is drafting the way it is. The issue is this-- the side seam for the dress bodice is not hanging straight from under the arm down. Instead the underarm seam is more toward the back side and then about midway from underarm to waistline it straightens and hangs correctly. Below is a rough idea of what is happening. Imagine the l…

Jacket photos

As promised photos of the completed jacket.

Side view in the mirror.

Front view.


Button loop and button.

Jacket is complete

I did complete my jacket after sewing my finger. I am pleased with the outcome. I took photos and will post them tomorrow.

I drafted a dress pattern using PMB4 and having to tweak the bodice pieces a little before I cut out my dress fabric. I hope to get the fabric cut out and start sewing it tomorrow. I am not making as much progress sewing as I had hoped or visualized. My DH is off as well. Enough said!

Sewing accident

Today I did something while sewing that makes it the third time I have done this. I suppose when you consider that I have been sewing since the 1960's that one is bound to do this. The first time I did this though was when I lived in Florida in 90's. I have since done it twice since I moved here to Roanoke.

I sewed my finger!!! Ouch!!!!!!

It really does hurt when you do this. And I am always amazed and stunned when it happens. Fortunately I did not bleed on my fabric. I was topstitching the front edges of my jacket and in trying to ease/smooth the fabric so as not to pucker, I just put my finger in the wrong place. Now I have a finger trolley and another gizmo that is designed to do what my finger was doing! Perhaps I will start working with them again!

Long weekend ahead

It is Saturday morning and I am back from CURVES! A shower awaits, some shopping to do and a jacket will get finished today!

Next is my dress and I have it visualized how it is going to look. I have two choices in mind with one being PMB pattern and the other being New Look. Stay tuned.

Not much sewing going on

Another fantastic work week that is occupying my life full time plus! I have not been able to touch my jacket and truly there is not much more to complete. I wanted to work on it some during the evenings this week but either I have brought work home or worked late and then have no energy to go into my sewing room to actually sew.

The best I am doing sewing wise is thinking about it. I have planned my dress to go with this jacket. It will not be the Vogue designer dress as I don't think the neckline of the dress works with this jacket. I am planning a sheath style dress, shoulder or princess seams, and will use piping along the seams. The piping will be made from the jacket fabric.

After the dress, I am going to sew up some knit tops for immediate gratification! Plus I am participating in the Coat Sew Along and have to finalize my decision for the pattern and fabric this weekend.


Sewing during the weekend

Saturday and Sunday I was able to get some sewing in. Again I have taken a simple pattern and added some degree of difficulty-adding a lining, using the Hong Kong seam finish, and a really difficult/ravelly fabric as well. I do love a challenge.

All seams are finally completed. I love the Hannah Silk Ribbon I used for the seam bindings. The ribbons are on the bias and the colors are like ombre in that they go from a shade of green, fading into a lighter or darker shade. Some of the ribbons have some rose and purple shades blended in as well.
I like the fit of this jacket. The back pleat is a nice feature and design for this jacket. Here is a photo of the jacket on Alma Marie.

And here is the back pleat:

You can go here to see a few more photos of the jacket in progress

A few more comments regarding fit

Another Linda wrote the following regarding shoulder slope and fit.

"Hi Linda,
I hope you don't mind if I give you another possible reason for this. But it could be your shoulder slope is off, and this makes a huge difference on how the back neck lays. If the fabric is trying to lay against the shoulder instead of standing straight up at the neck, it will bunch behind neck. This will happen on fabric that does not have a stiff hand. If it hits the shoulder before it hits the neck it will gap in the back. Without going into a novel here on the comments, let me just say that I found this out too. I should post on my blog some photos of what I did to find this. Of course it would not be on my body because the photos are too revealing to publish, but I found out that a 1" shoulder slope works for me. Find that magic number for your shoulder slope and a lot of other "problems" will disappear"

Beth, also added a few more comments on shoulder slope and fit.

Angie wrote the following:

"Linda, what DOES make the back neck stand away like that? I've had that
problem in most sheath type patterns. I've had to take as much as 4 inches
from the back center seam at the neck before. Does my head/neck shift way
forward like a goose? Do I have a hump I'm not aware of? Am I narrow and dainty in the ONE place on my body I have no feasible way of viewing? Inquiring minds want to know!! "

In "Fit For Real People", when the garment neckline stands out or gaps open in the upper back neckline, the book refers to this as a high round back and has a fitting technique for this. Years ago I use to make this adjustment all the time and not sure why I decided I did not need it. At that time I did not make forward shoulder adjustments but now I do. So part of my theory on this, and by no means is it necessarily the correct one, I think that I may need to do both now. AND, I probably should take a shoulder dart as well.

I have Pattern Ma…
Dawn wrote the following:
I was watching your progress with interest, as I too was intrigued by the
dress , and the tops others had made out of this pattern - so I bought the
pattern and made the dress for a party, doing my usual sizing adjustments - 14
to the bust and a 16 from there down. The whole upper part was tight - I had to
scoop out the armholes and even then it was too tight and didn't really fit
well, therefore, from there on down.It seems like you had the same problem.Would it behave better in a size up? Maybe. But it isn't such a great pattern that I
would be going for that. I look better in a V neck, I think, and while the
pleats are cool - they aren't Wow.So I am moving on. The jacket however, I am
going to try.....Thanks for letting us know how it went

I appreciated the comment. I used size 14 for shoulders and upper chest tapering to 16 at bust to dress bottom. I also made a FBA as well. Maybe a drapy fabric would work better. I am not sure I look better in a V…

Second thoughts!

I have had some second thoughts about my recent dress I just completed. As I noted in that post, I had some issues about the fabric. I decided to try on the dress again and I just do not like the look of it on me. I think that the bust area may still be too snug and I wore a different bra with it today and it still fit rather snug. The snugness makes the pleats pull strangely. When I look at it from a side view, those pleats are pulling above the bust area giving it a strange fullness above the bust and then the bust area looks like it is pulling. There is not really any more seam allowance to let out in the princess seam or side area.

I feel like one of those examples of "what not to wear". Darn it, I really like those pleats at the neckline but they are not working well for me. I thought about cutting it off to make a top but that is not going to change the fit of the bust area. The upper back also stands away from neck area, that may indicate I need to do an upp…

Hong Kong and Hannah Silk Ribbons

Slow progress on the jacket with Mother's day last weekend and activities around that. I was able to do a little sewing Sunday evening and a little yesterday evening prior to DH arriving home and fixing dinner.

I decided to do a Hong Kong finish for the jacket seams. I underlined all fabric pieces and played around with serger for a seam finish. But after acquiring the bias ribbon mentioned in my previous post, the green shades in most of the ribbons match the green specs in the jacket material. I decided that these will do great for the Hong Kong seam finish. Here are shots of the jacket with seams being enclosed with the ribbons. Still a work in progress and several more seams to go.

The bottom photo is a true color of the jacket fabric and lining. The close up was really washed out and I could not seem to capture the colors even when editing in Photoshop.
I hope to get another 10 minutes or so this evening to continue the work on the jacket.

Fabric purchases this month

While I was on vacation last week I did purchase some fabric from Les Fabrique in Charlottesville, VA. I purchased a black knit crepe fabric and a pretty rayon fabric that has a yellow background with coral flowers.
In addition I purchased some silk ribbons that came in various color schemes. I went with the green color scheme. In the April or May Sew News there was an article about these ribbons, thus I was surprised and happy to see someone carrying these. These ribbons are cut on the bias and I decided to use them for the Hong Kong finish on the Simplicity jacket that I am currently working on. The photo below does not really do them justice. I also received fabrics that I ordered on line from
I failed to post some fabric I acquired in April from Gorgeous Fabrics. The green and pink floral fabric also arrived last week from Fabric Mart.

Happy Mother's Day!

I hope all of you who are Mother's have a great day. For those who's Mothers are still with you enjoy your time with them.

DH and I are going to visit his mother tomorrow and will be taking flowers to my Mom and Grandmother's grave site. I truly miss them both!

Back view of skirt with KS cardigan/tank

Back view of skirt with KS cardigan/tank
Originally uploaded by Danvillegirl A back view of the outfit. Got lots of compliments from my staff and my ASG sewing friends.

Front view of skirt

Front view of skirt
Originally uploaded by Danvillegirl Here is a shot of the front of the Burda skirt with KS cardigan and tank.

Wearing cardigan and tank

Wearing cardigan and tank
Originally uploaded by Danvillegirl I thought I would post a photo of me wearing the KS cardigan and tank. I wore it to work on Thursday and to our ASG meeting that night for show and tell.

Also wearing the Burda skirt.

S2938 Jacket

I started working on my jacket this AM. I was going to use the Stitch 'N Flip lining method, but due to uncertainty of fit, I decided I would treat the lining as an underlining and sew it all as one piece. I will either use a Hong Kong seam finish or serge finish. Undecided.

Here is are shots of the work in progress:

Front with button loop attached.

This is the back piece with pleat in center back.

This is one of the pieces with underlining attached. I basted the underlining to fabric by machine.

Simplicity 2978 Dress

The dress is complete. I am not sure that I am going to like this fabric. If you look at it crosswise it wrinkles! Here are some photos:

If you click on the photo you can get a better idea of the neckline pleats.

This is another almost full length view of the dress. It was pressed before hanging. There are still wrinkles!

You can go here to see more photos.

Dress is complete

My dress is finished except for a hook and eye and sewing the sash. It took me most all of the weekend to complete. Mostly due to my complicating a fairly simple dress pattern.
I decided that I wanted to line the dress though not offered with this pattern. I had to use the dress pattern pieces to cut out a lining. I wanted to attached the lining to the facings, so redrafted the necklines of the lining pieces adding 1/4 inch seam allowance to attach the facings. See below:
I then attached the lining unit to the fabric unit at the neckline.
I sewed the neckline, then sewed the linings at the armscyes and then pulled the lining inside out through the shoulder. I then inserted the zipper at the center back. The pattern called for a side zipper but I preferred using the center back. I was able to acquire a perfect matching invisible zipper for this dress. The next steps included sewing the center back seam below the zipper, sew the back seam of the lining up to the point where zipper bottom …

Thursday evening looking to Friday

Yes, my final budget for my departments was handed over to our CFO this evening. But, budget season is still not over. The CEO will next review with her next week, which normally means, more revisions. But until then, my vaca starts now!!!!!!!!

The front of the dress that I started and pinned to AlmaMarie (dress form) has been staring at me every morning and evening. Tomorrow, the rest of the dress will be sewn to the front piece that has been waiting patiently for attention.

I failed to mention that when I started to cut out this fabric, what I had been thinking was the right side of the dress has now become the wrong side of the dress. One side is flat or matte while the other is more of a sateen with subtle shine. Much like what I keep seeing in Macy's and Belks here locally. I normally go with the matte look in most of my clothes but I decided that my wardrobe needs a little modernization within my fashion zone.


Show more


Show more