Sunday, May 2, 2010

Madras Patchwork Dress

I am sewing patchwork madras dress.  Isn't this such cheerful fabric?  I fell in love with Ann's skirt and promptly bought some for myself.  Thank you Ann for posting about sewing with this unusual fabric.  I am not sure I'd have taken the plunge without a few tips on sewing with it.

I was honestly surprised at how fast Maggie's prom dress went together and decided I need a closet full of dresses.

I heard from Laura and the sequin dress is just a little too big.  (I know she didn't want to tell me, but I dragged it out of her).  I think I'll go to Korea so I can alter it for her :)

I used Wild Ginger Pattern Master Boutique to get myself a pattern for a dress with a midriff section.  I sewed a mock-up and from the waist down, it fit perfectly (yay!).  The top half was good enough to show me that I would really like this style on me.  But the shoulders didn't fit and I simply swapped out my TNT bodice block to make a frankenpattern.  Fast and easy.
I still haven't sewn a fitting sloper from PMB; I like to just get a mock-up going and make manual adjustments.  I figure, you need to sew a mock-up every time you try a new style anyway, so ... let's just cut to the chase, kwim?

oh oh oh - I got a GREAT book on pattern making and it didn't cost eleventy gazillion dollars!
Professional Pattern Making for Designers of Women's Wear by Jack Handford.

I found it used for $32 (via Amazon) and it is exactly what I was looking for.  I already have good blocks and I want to make design changes using paper and pencil.  Ha ha, in the end that is really the fastest and easiest way, now that I have some idea of what I am doing.  I still love Bernina My Label and I have gotten several great garments out of Wild Ginger PMB, but now I can explore more using pencil, paper and a ruler.

THANK YOU for your comments about the car.  Yes, NancyK's husband is right about the unibody.  DH had told me that, too.  And several of you told me to get it towed to a reputable auto body shop: done.  It's all going to work out.   Luckily for me, I am not much of a car person.  It's not like they wrecked my Bernina
*happy sewing*


  1. Wrecking your Bernina would have been a tragedy for sure.
    I did some reading and research a few years ago about whether or not I should buy one of the pattern drafting programs and decided that I really needed knowledge and understanding of drafting patterns for it to work, so in the end I didn't buy. What I really want to know how to do is how to draft a block and then how to change it into a pattern. I feel really frustrated sometimes when I can't find a pattern for what I want to make.

  2. Oh I'm so happy that you are making more dresses this summer! You are going to love them! And I think it takes some work and patience to figure out which method or compilation of methods works best when drafting a pattern for yourself.

  3. You are going to line the patchwork, right? I LOVE madras and wear lots of it. I THINK you are going to want to line the dress with some lightweight muslin or batiste or similar fabric. If not, it will stretch out in areas. I have pants and shorts that are unlined, but I did line the skirt I made. (I haven't gotten a picture of the skirt yet.) The really nice pair of madras pants I bought many years ago that have stood the test of time are lined.
    I'm stepping down now!! Yes, wrecking the Bernina would be a tragedy!!!!!

  4. ..eleventy gazillion dollars! lol that is a lot of money :) at $32 the book was a good deal.

    I really like your dress style and fabric colors. I actually have two patchwork fabrics, in blues that I bought for my husband and son, but never used. So now I have to get on board with you all and make something for me ;)

    Glad to hear your car issue is working out.

  5. Now that you have your blocks/slopers, it will be easier to just use pencil and ruler. That books looks like a good find too.

  6. It's wonderful. I can't wait to see the outcome of your work.

  7. Do you mind telling how much fabric did you buy for the madras? I'v heard gorgeous fabrics is generous and am wondering if the fabric is going to be enough for my dress as I ordered only 1 1/2 yd


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