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Could use some sewing advice

Could use some sewing advice

Old 04-21-2011, 11:11 AM
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Tomorrow I'm going to attempt to make a blouse for myself. I have no pattern but will be using an old blouse to use as a pattern. The last time I sewed a piece of clothing for myself was 30 years ago when I was pregnant with my youngest son. I made a couple of maternity smocks.

The blouse I'm using as a pattern has only two parts the front and back and the fabric is somewhat stretchy. When you lay it flat it looks like a T so the sleeves are not set in to armholes. I'm using regular cotton fabric. I know so little about sewing clothes but the simplicity of this blouse makes me think I can do it.

So now to the question............Do Ii want to cut this blouse out on the grain or do I want to cut on the bias. If I want to cut on the bias how do I do that exactly.

I appreciate any suggestions, I would love to be able to wear this on Easter.
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Old 04-21-2011, 11:19 AM
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I by no means am an expert, but I believe that if you are using a woven you should cut the fabric on grain.

Lightweight jersey is often cut on the bias particularly when making a Diane Von Furstenberg type wrap dress. I makes the fabric drape into nice folds. But in my experience, when I have mistakenly cut woven fabric a bit off grain, it would not drape correctly and would twist and pull.
Don't start cutting quite yet. Wait for some of the more experienced garment sewers to weigh in on this question. You are sure to get the right advice.
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Old 04-21-2011, 11:20 AM
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if the blouse u r using for a pattern is stretchy, im not sure using a non stretchy fabric will work... unless the pattern blouse is over sz'd.....
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Old 04-21-2011, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by bluteddi
if the blouse u r using for a pattern is stretchy, im not sure using a non stretchy fabric will work... unless the pattern blouse is over sz'd.....
Yes, Blueteddi is right. I missed that part. The blouse you are using as a pattern fits because it has that stretch or ease. If you duplicate it in a woven, chances are the new blouse will be too snug. I do not know how you could alter it to make it work.
Are you anywhere near a JoAnn's? If so, you might want to look at the patterns. There are many that are "quick and easy". That, or you might want to find a knit fabric with the same amount of stretch of the blouse you plan to use as a pattern.
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Old 04-21-2011, 12:06 PM
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I see what you're saying. I think I'm going to have to bite the bullet and use a regular pattern. I have one I bought a while back. Putting in the sleeves scare me a little but I think if I take my time with it they'll turn out o.k.

Thanks ladies.
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Old 04-21-2011, 12:23 PM
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Don't forget to use 5/8" seam allowance as opposed to 1/4" we use for quilting!

I have made clothes before and it's always been recommended not to use something ready made to make a pattern from it. Patterns go on sale at JoAnn's all the time and I think it would be a good idea to use a pattern, especially if you haven't made clothes in a long time.
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Old 04-21-2011, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Quilter7x
Don't forget to use 5/8" seam allowance as opposed to 1/4" we use for quilting!

I have made clothes before and it's always been recommended not to use something ready made to make a pattern from it. Patterns go on sale at JoAnn's all the time and I think it would be a good idea to use a pattern, especially if you haven't made clothes in a long time.
I have made duplicate Jersey blouses for a customer using an old blouse that she provided for me. It was hectic taking that old blouse apart because of the serging seams sewn on it. After I took that old blouse apart (and it was about 20 something years old ~the blouse) I then used tailors chalk to trace out the pattern sleeves, the front, back, and the front yoke.
She wanted Jersey, and instead of the jersey she bought me some cheap polyester from Joann's, I had to go out and look for some good Jersey at Han cocks and Hobby Lobby to complete her blouse.

The fabric she brought was made into a practice blouse, plus I already had some pretty Jersey knit which I also improvised to amend for her cheap fabric.

So after all this has been said and done, she had (3) blouses made; (1) using her cheap fabric, (2) my Jersey print, and (3) the fabric that I had to purchase to make the color she wanted. For all this trouble, she was satisfied with the look, style, and fit of all three blouses and the replicated style; she gladly paid me $40.00 and requested another Jersey blouse in Eggplant.

If possible, take photo shots of the blouse you're taking apart so you know exactly where the parts are supposed to fit back. Like puzzle pieces. This helps tremendously when you take photos before and after and this is what I usually do.
Just wanted to share this experience.
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Old 04-21-2011, 01:06 PM
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Since I don't see it mentioned, I'll add that it's important to use the grain lines as they were in the original. You should be able to see if the fabric was cut on bias or not. Patterns we buy have arrows to indicate how pieces are to be placed on the grain, and I would do the same - find the grain and use a ruler to mark it on your pattern, which you should make out of non-woven interfacing (so it will hold up and be worth your effort). I would also use the same type of fabric, whether knit or not, and if knit, one with a similar amount of stretch.

Also, unless there is something unusual about the piece, such as a folded in facing, there is no need to pull the stitches of the item you are trying to duplicate (unless you plan to sew it back together!). Just cut as close to the edges of each section as possible and add the 1/2" seam allowance to your pattern. That should be much easier.

Set in sleeves are much easier to sew if you sew the shoulder seam of the garment, then sew on the sleeve without sewing the sleeve seam, and finally sew the side seams from the bottom edge all the way to the end of the sleeve. A lot of patterns have you actually set in the sleeve after the side seams are sewn, and that's for the birds!

Good luck!
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Old 04-21-2011, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Rose_P
Set in sleeves are much easier to sew if you sew the shoulder seam of the garment, then sew on the sleeve without sewing the sleeve seam, and finally sew the side seams from the bottom edge all the way to the end of the sleeve. A lot of patterns have you actually set in the sleeve after the side seams are sewn, and that's for the birds!

Good luck!
This is very true. Put the sleeve in and then sew one long up the side and down the sleeve. Much easier. Most quick and easy patterns instruct you to do it this way.
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Old 04-21-2011, 07:06 PM
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Thank you so much ladies, you've all been very helpful.
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