My Very First Outfit

I would like to start by making a public announcement:

*** I know the fabric is hideous but I didn’t want to use nice, expensive fabric for my first proper attempt at sewing. Please don’t judge me! haha ***

Ok, so now that I was armed with my personal bodice and skirt pattern, it was time to copy it onto fabric and get sewing. I was taught soo many techniques with this really basic outfit. I learnt how to:

  • sew darts (really easy but I hate doing it)
  • attach facing to a neckline
  • get a curved neckline to lie flat
  • cut and attach sleeves
  • sew a zip
  • slip stitch
  • top stitch

Top and skirt made from my ‘personal fit’ basic patterns

Inside of the top showing the facing

Top stitching on the inside of the neckline

The picture on the above is a zoomed in picture showing how I top-stitched the facing of the neckline.

*** It’s a technique used to make sure that when you are wearing the top the facing doesn’t stick up and show ***

The picture below is what lies beneath… very ambiguous I know (ha!). I learnt that the way to get a curved neckline (or any curved edge) to lie down flat is to nip the fabric. Basically cutting the fabric up to the seam at 1″ (or less) intervals. And if you’re wondering about the white stuff, its sew on interfacing. It just stiffens the fabric to give you a more sturdy neckline.

Nipped neckline of the top

I think this skirt has been the first and only time that I have used this type of zip and attachment method. As soon as I discovered the concealed zip… IT WAS OVERR! The look of a concealed looks so much nicer and polished in my opinion. Unless maybe your sewing pants, that’s a mountain I’m yet to climb though.

Back of the skirt with sewn in zip

Wrong side of the skirt

For the hemline of the skirt I learnt a hand-sewing technique called the slip-stitch. As you can see you don’t see the thread anywhere, not even on the wrong side of the skirt. I personally think its better to use this method than the blind hem stitch function on a sewing machine. Luckily, it isn’t a tedious process so i really don’t mind.

Hemline of the skirt

Of course, I made quite a few mistakes along the way. Some of them were easily corrected (like when i stitched to far away from the edge) but some of the mistakes I left so that I could remember what not to do next time. For example, with the skirt I stitched the waistband down before attaching the front and back skirt pieces together. You can see below that the finishing isn’t as nice as it could have been, if I had attached the pieces before sewing the waistband.

Side seam (top view)

Side seam (side view)

*** NOTE: as you can see I could really do with an overlocker machine, I am readily accepting donations…haha ***

Me wearing the full outfit

Until next time.

Much love,

Emefa :* :*


First Day of Class

It’s funny… when I was younger, I would take my measurements and draw out my body shape on the fabric. Thats’s how I thought you achieved a perfectly fitting garment! I didn’t know there was such a thing called a DART.

So on my first day of “class” I took down my measurements (I realized I look smaller than I actually am… haha) and drafted a basic bodice block and also a basic skirt pattern.

***Because there is a 2.5″ difference between my front and back torso (going over my breasts) I have 2 darts at the side. 2.5″ is wayy too big for one dart, so I made one dart and shared it by slashing through the armhole.***

Basic Bodice (back)

Basic Skirt

Just because my Aunty was the one teaching me didn’t mean I could escape homework! She gave me a book called “Patternmaking for Fashion Design” by Helen Joseph- Armstrong. I would say it is hands down the best book I have come across for sewing. Some of their methods are a bit extra but you can always modify them. That’s what I did for my final basic bodice block, I used some techniques from both my aunty’s method and the book’s method to create a method that worked best for me.

Patternmaking for Fashion Design by Helen Joseph- Armstrong

That’s all for now.

Much love,

Emefa :* :*