Friday, December 18, 2015

Tips for Creating or Altering Patterns...


For me creating patterns from scratch is deceptively challenging. Even with a simple idea -- like a Christmas stocking -- you can be surprised at the outcome. Often when I make up a pattern or take an existing pattern and alter it, I first make a "test" product with inexpensive muslin before I create the real deal with more expensive fabric. That's what I did when I created the Christmas stockings for the hubs and I a few days ago...


I began by printing out the stocking pattern from Fabric Worm, then I altered it by making the heel a little more pronounced and a few other small changes. I also used a smaller seam allowance to make it a little more stout. Finally, I made a stocking out of muslin to see if I liked the end result before I went ahead and used that pretty fur and wool.

One of my daughters-in-law, Meghann, is coming over tomorrow morning for a sew-fest. We're going to be making some Christmas stockings for her and my son. She decorates in whites, creams, and silver/grays at Christmastime, so she showed me these stockings as an example of what she likes...


She wants their stockings to be longer, a little thinner, with a long cuff. The swoop on the cuff on the stockings below also appealed to her...


Yesterday I whipped up a new pattern with these styles in mind. We may still make a few nips and tucks here and there, but it's a place to start. I began by using the pattern from Fabric Worm. The pattern was made longer, and I used a wider seam allowance {from 3/8" to 5/8"} to make the boot part a little smaller and the length a little thinner. It's amazing how much 1/4" on all sides changes the shape something. I also made a swoop on the cuff and finished it off with bias tape. Here's the muslin version of the new pattern next to the stocking I made earlier...


As I said when Meghann comes tomorrow, she may decide she wants it a little smaller here or larger there, but this muslin version will give us a reference point. For example, I think the toe end of the boot needs to be a little longer. That part of the pattern can be easily altered tomorrow morning. The muslin test stocking cost less than $2 to make, which is pennies on the dollar and well worth the effort. I'll try to take a few photos of the finished stockings. Meghann is such a talented girl when it comes to creating and decorating, so I'm excited to see her fabric choices!

No comments: