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Getting a Better Fit

Jul 22, 2014

We asked Kate Grusauskas, our contracts manager, to share some of her thoughts on one of her loves—sewing. Here’s Kate:

Jumper made from Roman shades purchased at a church rummage sale, with veggie fabric to line the bodice.
White blouse in pieces on top of a quilt made by the author.
I love to sew—clothes, home dec, quilts. Up until a few years ago, the clothes I made were from commercial patterns. Sometimes the resulting garments fit, sometimes they didn’t. It was a frustrating roll of the dice. Then I took two pattern-making classes at my then local fabric store in Albuquerque, New Mexico, taught by a retired professional pattern maker. I now have shirt and pants patterns to my measurements. I don’t use the pants pattern much, as I don’t like working with heavier weight fabric and can get pants that fit well without too much problem. But the shirt pattern is fabulous! The shoulders, bust, waist, and hips fit perfectly. I have three different sleeves, two different button plackets, and two shoulder/yoke options. This makes it possible for me to create just the right shirt or blouse to suit each fabric I work with.

Earlier this year, I went to the local fabric store to buy a zipper and came out with fabric for seven shirts and blouses. Four of them will be out of lighter weight fabric for summer and the others will be made out of flannel for next winter. The one I am working on right now has little flowers embroidered on it. A friend says it reminders her of Downton Abbey.

Stitch Summer 2014

Stitch Spring 2014

 

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Even with my perfectly fitted pattern, though, that isn’t the end of all the steps and knowledge needed to create a beautiful end product. I am lucky to work at Interweave because I have access to all the current and back issues of Stitch magazine to look up particulars to help me with my clothes making. I have Amber Eden’s explanation of the whys and wherefores of underlining marked with a sticky tab so I can find it quickly as well as some great information about creating better buttonholes.

To learn more tips and keep up to date on the latest in sewing, subscribe to Stitch!

Happy sewing,

Kate


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Comments

dancejunky wrote
on Jul 28, 2014 7:10 PM

I would love to find a pattern-making class like that. My experience with purchased patterns was a lot like yours. I had plenty of sewing experience, but the patterns were often way off. And they're expensive to boot.

Nowadays, I'm having great fun repurposing clothing from Goodwill: cutting down an oversize top to make a skirt; cannibalizing a long flowing skirt to make a top; unraveling lush merino, lambswool, and even cashmere sweaters, dyeing the yarn, and making brand new handknits from them. All for a fraction of the cost of buying new fabrics and yarns.

Craft on!

Cheers,

Carol Roberts