Well our little community class was Tuesday and I think it went OK other than my slip was hanging out the whole time and I talked too much and interrupted Lynette all over the place.
We ended up not recording the presentation, but we've split our parts up on our blogs.
So you can read about what we taught at the class, then hop over to Lynette's where she shows you how to draft a basic block pattern from scratch for a bodice.
I talked about using clothing as a pattern and had three ways you can do that:
The first method, cutting the garment apart is probably the most accurate. You'd trace each piece and add seam allowances. But this would also destroy your garment, so I never really use this method.
The second is to trace each piece carefully with tailor's chalk or pencil, then add seam allowances. You can carefully pull the actual garment away as you trace to get a pretty accurate tracing.
The third method is the least accurate, but is the fastest and what I do most often,
just plopping the garment on my fabric and hacking out the pieces, eyeballing the seam allowances.
In the class I demonstrated a pair of leggings, but you can see how to use a pair of pants to duplicate here and leggings here:
So for a shirt and/or dress:
Fold both fabric and shirt and line them up on the folds.
You're cutting the shirt back in the image below and can see the seam allowances cut on the side seam, neck and shoulder.
Also notice a larger seam allowance on the bottom for a hem.
Next you'll fold the shirt over, and carefully pull the shirt away until you can see the shoulder seam.
Because it's curved, work slowly pulling the fabric away as you trace/ cut.
To cut out the sleeve uses both cuts in the above photos:
Straight cut up the underarm seam, then carefully work around the curve again at the top.
We briefly talked about designing around the kid's head.
Obviously it's a bigger issue for babies and toddlers when their head is proportionately larger than the rest of their body. I've made a few things that were meant to pull over the top and found the neckline was too small to get over their head, so we just listed some quick ways to design around the head:
Recently my favorite opening for a toddler dress with non-stretch fabric was the back keyhole:
The last slides were tips:
Lynette made the coat for Ellie but had 2" hems for the sleeves and bottom so it will fit again this winter.
Next to take advantage of small scraps when sewing for kids as they don't require nearly as much fabric.
My tips included how to sew a sleeve into a small shirt.
Rather than sewing the shoulder and side seam in the body, and the underarm seam in the sleeve and easing the sleeve in--which makes a tiny circle you're sewing around--it's easier to to sew the shoulder seam then sew the sleeve in, sewing a rainbow shape rather than a full circle.
After your sleeve is inserted you can hem it and then sew up the underarm seam, pivot at the armpit, then sew down the side seam of the bodice.
I also mentioned how I love inserting my own buttonhole elastic when I make pants or shorts.
I bought mine at sewtrue.com in 30yd bulk roll, but people in the class mentioned they found it at JoAnns and Hancock Fabrics in the packaged elastic.
The last tip was to get input and let kids make decisions on projects, like picking the fabric for the lining/ pockets of the Real McCoy Suit and picking out the features on the monster hat.
My last one
Here's a few links to answer questions from the class:
TIPS TO SEW WITH STRETCHY/ KNIT FABRICS via threads magazine
ANOTHER KNIT TIP LIST via sew mama sew
HOW TO SEW A PIN-TUCK VIDEO
HOW TO USE A FACING FOR NECKLINES via Shwin and Shwin (there are more great tutorials for beginners in the Sewing 101 collection)
Thanks to those that came to the class, hope there was something to learn.
I had fun meeting people and getting to chat a little at the end!