Self-drafted shirt version 2.0

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Full view of shirt as worn

I remember learning at University about the intricate mechanisms involved in embryonic development. So many processes have to happen at just the right time, in just the right order, and in just the right amount to produce — for example — five separate digits on the end of the hand that it amazed me that any of us are born with the ‘standard’ body plan at all. Since I started fitting patterns, and more recently drafting patterns myself from scratch, I’ve been experiencing the same kind of wonderment: how did I ever buy anything ready made that even vaguely fitted me, when there are so many variables to account for?

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Carolyn pyjamas

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Carolyn pyjamas

My latest sewing project has been a lot of fun: Carolyn pyjamas. I’m normally a t-shirt and jersey pyjama trousers kind of person, but I was taken with this pattern for ‘posh pyjamas’. I bought the pattern, and then around my birthday, I made a special visit to John Lewis to get some fabric befitting of such fancy night attire.

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Self-drafted shirt

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This past week, I finally finished a sewing project that has taken a long time, but which will hopefully be just the start of new sewing adventures: I finished making a shirt from a self-drafted pattern. Apologies for the terrible quality of the photos below. The light has been terrible for photography today!

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Drafting Hobbit trousers

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When I last wrote about drafting patterns, I had made a muslin of my first draft and adapted the pattern to take into account my oddly-shaped legs, but had run out of muslin to test whether the modifications had worked1. In the intervening period, I’ve made a second muslin, drafted a long shorts pattern from the resulting sloper, and made the shorts. It all went swimmingly.

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Drafting patterns

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When I started sewing, I never thought that I would have a go at drafting patterns, but that’s exactly what I’ve been doing for the past few days. When you draft a pattern, you start with your measurements (or the measurements of whoever you are making clothes for), and a blank piece of paper, and you create a pattern from scratch. It has always seemed like a really daunting process, but I came across a series of classes on Craftsy.

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Latest sewing projects

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I haven’t written much about sewing recently, but that’s mostly because I’ve been too busy doing it to write about it! I thought it might be time to do a round up of what I’ve been making recently, as much to remind me what I have made as anything else. Earlier in the year, I attended a wedding. Some of you may remember the extreme reluctance with which I approached the prospect of having to go clothes shopping when I found myself in a similar situation a few years ago.

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Abracada-Bra

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I was planning to give everyone a break from my rattling on about sewing this week and write about something else, but then I went and made a bra, and apparently, I can’t shut up about it1. If you wear a bra, you know that all bras go bad. It may start the day feeling comfortable, but by the end of the day, you feel as if you’re being pinched and stabbed by tiny, bad-tempered demons.

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A second pair of jeans

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After getting a bit of confidence with my last pair of jeans-style trousers made in cotton twill, I was keen to tackle a pair in real denim. I got some dark indigo, non-stretch denim from the Fancy Silk Store in Birmingham, and planned the changes I would make from the last pair. Real jeans have a yoke rather than darts to shape the back, so I decided to modify the Thurlow pattern a bit to convert the back dart to a yoke piece.

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Making jeans

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Before I started making my own clothes, I lived in jeans as much as possible. Not that it was easy to find jeans to fit me — it certainly wasn’t — but I have always felt comfortable in jeans, and they were my fallback position for clothing my southern slopes. Now that I’m making clothes, I’ve started wearing more skirts and even dresses1, but I still love jeans. Unfortunately, I’m down to my last pair of intact ready-made jeans, so the situation was a bit desperate.

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