Future Directions

Inside the mending by Aimee Shelton on behanceI’ve been feeling some serious sewing discontent lately (no, I’m not going to make up new words/ afflictions with the word sew in them nor will I be utilising pre-existing made up words with the word sew in them). I’ve had the better part of three weeks to trace, cut and sew everything my little heart desired, and I have traced and cut a lot of stuff but there hasn’t been much sewing. A lot of the stuff on the wait list is stuff that I’ve been really excited about for a while. Seems to me I should be more gungho and just getting on with it. Part of the reason for this malaise is the misplacement of an envelope of over 50 brand new YKK invisible zippers (in all the colours I could ever need-from the land of freedom, French fries and people getting killed/ maimed while shopping).

I don’t want to buy any more zippers but without zippers I can’t finish the garments I’ve sewn up. Existential dilemma.

sewing by Luiza Kwiatkowska

I’ve hunted high and low and it is pissing me off no end (YKK are a b*tch to find here. You end up paying $5 for cheap China crap that miraculously self-disassembles just from being in proximity to an invisible zipper foot). So the routine lately has proceeded thusly: sew up a storm, almost finish a garment, hunt high and low for the zipper bag, clean up a cupboard/ room, give up, start sewing the next thing. Repeat ad infinitum. I hate unfinished stuff just sitting around waiting for that one last little bit to go in.

Sewing by Liza Corbett

The other component of perfect dissatisfaction (I have awesomely high standards, where the f*cketyfrack are my f*cking zippers for f*ck’s sake XS) with sewing at the mo’ is the sheer lack of (eventually surmountable) obstacles. I’m at that point in my skill development where everything just seems-for lack of a better word-easy. There’s no challenge at all, nothing special to attain, and the sheer boredom of more of the same is dispiriting to say the least. So it’s time to up my game.

Which brings me to, Grading and Draping.

The following books will be involved. To varying degrees. Reviews soon. Meanwhile re-read this.


From Left to Right: Concepts of Pattern Grading, Grading Women’s Garments, Patterngrams, Patternmaking in Practice, Draping, The Party Dress, The Little Black Dress.If you can only get one, get Patternmaking in Practice. It has basic draping, pattern drafting, and a couple of makes to practice techniques on. I’ve reviewed another one of Lucia Mors de Castro’s books here.

Obviously there will be some pattern drafting and manipulation involved but I’ve been doing that intermittently (in a somewhat half-hearted, lack-lustre fashion) for a while now. I’ve been using iDraw to vectorise patterns on my Mac Book Pro. Or should I say pattern. Because I’ve only finished the one. The collarless blouse from Pattern Drafting Volume I by Kamakura-Shobo.

Collarless blouse

I’ve picked up a print-out from the copy shop but I haven’t tested it yet (the vector is here if you want to have a play with it-it’s in pdf format so you can open it in iDraw, Sketch, Illustrator or any other Vector program). Wait, I also did the shopping bag from this book (see below, it no longer looks anything like that). There’s a story here (bear with me here, it’s hilarious).

Scanner of hideosity..

Every pattern in this book is like this, on a grid you’re meant to replicate on pattern paper (or directly onto fabric. I recommend the latter) like in the past.

A friend gave me that book two Christmases ago with, “Because I know you like sewing-I’d like that bag please”.

Now.. my normal response is ‘hahaha NO. Never. Speak. Again., but she’s one of those friends that says what she thinks and does what she says (and I respect that) + it’s an easy bag so I went, ‘sure’. And forgot about it.

Set scene: Last Christmas.

“Oh this is awesome thanks. Where’s my bag?”


Have you sewn anything from that book?


Why not! (Not a question. She is a mom. She doesn’t ask questions, she makes statements. Because she already knows the answer).

It has no patterns. It expects you to draw everything. Everything. Also I couldn’t find handles. Also I thought you were kidding.

Draw it. Find them. (Yea we know each other well enough for abbreviated conversations of this sort). I’d love a bag like that (Carl was cracking up. In front of her. Meanwhile her husband was cracking up. Facing the wall.).

6 months later: I found the handles and the insides weren’t sanded down-damn you Etsy (it-sucks-y hahahaha)-you’re just another ebay in hipster clothing, re-selling cheap China crap.

4 months later-er I found a nice pair of unpolished, light wood handles.

2 months later OMG iDraw! Let’s test it with a bag pattern. zOMG it works.

So I should probably get to sewing the bag now..

I might also slot some illustration into my plans by doing fashion drawings to replace the eye-searingly hideous crap in this book (the patterns are cool though).

Stitch House, Shirt and Blouse

By early Americans they mean Neanderthals..

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