A Slow Month

June was a very slow month. To-do lists have grown instead of shrunk, personal deadlines have not been met and I am looking back now and thinking to myself "What did I actually get done?" 

When I started this project I had very high hopes (obviously much too high) of getting a piece made each week and the associated tutorials up online to follow, but looking back I can see this was a totally delusional goal! Good old hindsight strikes again. 

But instead of focusing on what I did not get done, I must focus on what I did get done and also start thinking about my next projects (and the ones that still need finishing off). 

One tutorial I did get done was “How to eliminate dart” using the 'cut and spread' technique to provide an alternative (or addition) to the 'pivot' technique tutorial posted previously.

Darts are used to shape a pattern to the contours of the body. If you are drafting a pattern from the basic bodice, you may want to move or eliminate the darts all together, to change the fit of your garment or to make your design more interesting.

There are two common methods for eliminating darts - the pivot technique, which I outlined in a previous tutorial, and the cut and spread technique -  I use them both, depending on the pattern I am making. When drafting directly from the bodice block I prefer to use the pivot technique, while if I am making changes to a commercial pattern, I use this technique - although it really is up to you which method you prefer.

I’m not really a fan of darts (probably why most of the pieces I make resemble a hessian sack) and try to eliminate them whenever possible. This technique is great for getting rid of darts, but can also be used to add fullness to a skirt, or a sleeve or anything really.

I also added a tutorial on making a pattern for gathers. Gathering fabric is a way to draw in the fabric, to change the shape, loosen fit, add fullness or add interest to a design (and perfect for all the summer dresses and tops that are on my mind at the moment!)

It's a really simple process, with very effective results.

And the final tutorial I managed to get up on the site this week was on dart shaping. Quite a dry topic, I know! But makes the world of difference and can save you from ending up with a very scary looking seam once the dart is sewn.

So ‘What’s coming up next?’ you ask (or is that just my mum again?) 

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The plan is to get some buttons on this top and get it up on the site (before it misses another summer - I have clearly lowered my expectations for the month of July), some tutorials on sleeves – I’m thinking of a raglan and a kimono... and last but not least, hopefully a basic pattern for download! (Watch this space though, that last promise might take a while) Although I definitely have enough clothes - especially dresses - I think the beautiful summer weather that has finally hit London (better late than never, right?) will inspire a couple more dresses to add the collection too. I will worry about how to get them all back to Australia later!