Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year!



Wishing one and all a beautiful, abundant and enriching 2017!

The fireworks are still going off in my city...
I guess the partying still hasn't ended for some ☺
And why should it?
Every day is the start of a new year ahead; we should always rejoice in the fact that we get to start over with the dawn.
In fact, every moment in time is an opportunity to start afresh.


2016 was a time of awakenings and beginnings for me, and I'm ever grateful for the shake-downs I've had in the past year.
It's too sad to grow through daily life in a rut of mundane routines and over-scheduling.
The past is a has-been, and the future is still an illusion.
Plan for the future, yes, but LIVE in the moment!
Make every minute count; listen to bird songs, smell the fresh air, smile at random passers-by...you've really got nothing to lose but only joy to gain.
And most importantly, follow your instincts.
They are God's/the Universe's way of nudging us towards the 'good' stuff.

I'm grateful for the lessons I've learnt in 2016, and I'm grateful for yet more to learn in 2017.

On that note, you can look forward to more tips and tutorials in the coming weeks and months.
And I'd like to invite you to follow me on Facebook too for some eye-candy.

Lots of love and light to you!

Friday, December 30, 2016

How to Make a Basic Kaftan Top





A kaftan is a loose fit blouse or dress.
It is a favoured garment in hot climes for obvious reasons.
Thus, it is somewhat of a traditional wear in various cultures across the world; from Malaysia, to India, to Africa.
Some may have open sleeves, while others have regular, seamed but loose sleeves.
The picture above is a kaftan blouse with open sleeves, and a boat neckline.

It is made from a square piece of cloth that was at first a scarf. Yes, a scarf.





To make a kaftan blouse, you will need the following materials:

  • a squarish piece of cloth measuring at least 45" by 45" (114cm by 114cm)
  • a pair of scissors
  • a sewing machine (although you can also do this entirely by hand)
  • sewing thread
  • ready-made bias binding (optional-depending on your choice of neckline shape)
Measurements to take: 
  1. bust circumference + 4"
  2. Bust height (from base of neck on shoulder, to bust point)
  3. shoulder width - from left shoulder point, across the front neck, to right shoulder point
  4. shoulder length - from left or right shoulder point, to side of neck on the same shoulder
Ready? Let's go 😊



Steps;

Hem the raw edges of the cloth first.
A narrow rolled hem is preferable but any neat double fold hem will do nicely.
If you are using a ready-made scarf, then of course, you can skip the hemming.

 fold the cloth into 2


 and fold again into quarters



from the top of the foldline, measure and
mark out half the shoulder width




from the end of the shoulder width,
measure and mark out the shoulder length
to make a boat neck, measure down 1"
from the top of the foldline.

for a round neck, measure down 
at least 2" from the top of the foldline.
for a V-neck, measure down about 5"-6"
from the top of the foldline.

for the boat neck, measure and mark 2"
from the end of the shoulder width.
for a round neck and a V-neck, measure and mark 3"
from the end of the shoulder width.
draw a smooth curve from the marked point 
on the shoulder to the point on the foldline.

OR
mark accordingly for other neckline shapes



from the top of the foldline, measure down
and mark the bust height



then from the marked point, measure across 
one-quarter of (bust circumference+4')
and mark the point



use a chalk or water soluble pen to draw a line
down from the point marked above



if you prefer a wider hip, slant the line out 
about an inch or two.

pin the layers together and 
mark the other side as well.



now cut out the neckline


unfold once and you should have your kaftan
marked and ready for some sewing.


To finish the neckline, use the ready-made bias binding to wrap around the cut edge.
I recommend you do this if you have opted for a round or V-neckline.
For the boat neck, you can do a narrow rolled 'hem' finish.



this was rolled by hand and hand-stitched with a simple running stitch.


The next step is to stitch the 'side seam' to create the open butterfly sleeves.

as it says, pin through both layers and sew along the line.
You can definitely do this by hand with a simple running stitch as well.


And that's it.
Simple, no?

The same method applies to a kaftan dress.
Just measure your body length from shoulder to the floor and multiply that by 2 to get the length of cloth necessary.




If you do try this out, feel free to share your kaftan project on social media and tag or link back to me 😎.

Happy sewing, everyone!


Thursday, December 22, 2016

On my drafting table(2) - Romper pattern for women



Drafting the romper pattern turned out to be more straightforward than I first imagined.
The diagonal colour-blocking were really a non-issue and I knew that.
Draft the romper pattern first, then draw in the lines for colour-blocking, cut, add seam allowances, and voila!
I ended up with just 5 main pattern pieces (facings were later drafted).


The cloth was not cut on the bias in the end.
I left it on grain, and cut the bust darts into the seam at the top of the V.
Waist darts were completely eliminated for a loose and relaxed fit, as per the client's instructions.

She loved it in the end.
I'm proud to say it took only one fitting, and that was to determine the length of the shoulder straps.
Everything else fit...but then again, I've worked with this client for such a long time and for so many garments that I've had sufficient practice where drafting for her body is concerned.

It was a fun project.
Wish I had pictures to show you of the finished garment, but alas it didn't look like anything on a hangar...
I'm awaiting pictures from the client, however.


Friday, December 9, 2016

On My Drafting Table...

Wow...I've had so many late nights this week that midnight is beginning to sound early to me!

Yes, it's midnight now and I'm up blogging 😂...

...about the thing I love doing - pattern drafting!

I prefer it over sewing, hands down.
Sewing itself gets a bit tedious at times.
Especially when it's mass production work.
But I know some people who like the auto-ness of mass production (I'm looking at you, LiEr!)

Pattern-drafting, on the other hand, is all about the engineering; melding fit and design into creating something that works.
What a turn-on!

So on my drafting table this week is this:


It's a jumper obviously, or romper, depending on which part of the world you are reading this.
What else is it called? (leave a comment on that, won't you?)

There must be a more grown-up word for something a woman would wear.

It's for a lovely friend of mine whose creativity is a thing to behold.
She's an architect by trade and I'm not surprised her talents extend to fashion design as well.
That's how it is with creative people...they can do just about anything if they want to :)

I'm only just starting to think about the right fit to draft and if I should cut the black on the bias, to eliminate the need for waist darts...don't want to mar the lines.

The back of it repeats the same diagonal lines and V-dip 'neckline'.

Oh here are the cloths to use:


Black and nude-coloured silk crepe....hurray (no really, I'm working on positive thinking *wink*).

The fabric will work great though with a body-skimming relaxed fit, bias cut.

Yes...it's the perfect fabric :)

----

Well, time to get back to work.
It's still only 12.30am 😏


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Free Pattern Download!

Hello and Season's Greetings :)

I just wanted to say a quick but heartfelt 'Thank you' for your support over the years.
The Measuring Tape has just passed its 8th year as a blog and its 9th year as an online digital pattern store and I'm excited to mark the occasion with a Free digital pattern!
To show you my appreciation, I want to give you my Versatile Blouse pattern & complete instructions - for FREE!

Click here to claim your GIFT.

And don't forget my ongoing SALE of all PDF patterns  - now going for only $2! (custom patterns not included)
It's only on for a limited time so go grab your favourites to make for the holiday season before the sale ends!

All e-patterns come with detailed instructions and illustrations, not to mentioned great tips on layout and sewing how-tos.

Go have a look and browse as long as you like :)

Happy shopping and I'll see you all soon!
Related Posts with Thumbnails