The Savvy Sage of Sewing Stimulation

Class Schedule

New classes are set up, and I’m featuring a new category.  Because so many have asked for it…I’m doing a beginning sewing class.  I am going to jump start students directly into dressmaking, cause why futz around with it.

We’ll do that wonderful blouse from Simplicity 2339 – it has great fitting seams, great variations and goes together beautifully.  This is one of my favorite current blouse/shirt patterns.

This is a great fitting pattern, and this class will be very structured, featuring instruction on sleeve head insertion, inserting a collar into collar band/stand and that onto shirt, housetop sleeve plackets, marking patterns, measuring and how to cut out a pattern.

Because we will be covering so much in such a short time, this class is limited to 5 students.  And we may need to schedule a pickup class if we don’t get everything covered.

For a head start – here’s how to take your measurements so that you can purchase the right pattern size.

I ALWAYS  use the shoulder measurement.  ALWAYS!!!  Why?  Because it’s the hardest measurement to alter.  Think about it….to bring the shoulder in or out, that means you have to redraw the whole armscye (armhole) on the blouse bodice, and then sometime readjust the sleeve head.  You know, sleeve heads are hard enough to insert when they are cut straight from the pattern, let’s not get into that headache, and let’s go straight to something easier to alter.

Now, I know you’re used to buying your clothes by other measurements (stomach, bust, hips, whatever), but buy your patterns by your shoulder, then we’re going alter the rest.

BELIEVE ME – the other parts of the shirt are much easier to alter than that dang shoulder.

OK – now that we’ve gotten that solved, let’s take some measurements.


Yeah, I know that’s a small picture of the sizing chart, but click it and download a better one, or a pdf here.  Notice that the shoulder measurement here is “half” the shoulder.  I like to measure from the bump on the back to the tip of the shoulder.  This is the “tipping point” of the shoulder where if your bra strap was, it would slip off…just a little more on the shoulder and it would stay.  Don’t fudge on this and stick it out too far or in too much.  This is an important point on your body for fitting. (I’ll explain why at the bottom of the email).

NOTE:  This is the good shoulder measurement (from shoulder point to bump of neck to shoulder point), however the pattern company measures from the shoulder point to base of neck.  To be honest this base of neck is a highly variable point, depending upon your preference and the place on your spine.  That why I choose a set point.  But you need to know that this measurement (between pattern and what I take) are different.  My recommendation is to measure your shoulder from point to point and then divide it in half.

The class will be February 7th & 8th from 10 – 4pm

OK – talking about shoulder line and why you don’t want it to be too big….here’s a very nice lady in a very professional position, looking very professional.  But you and I all know that she’s bought this jacket just a little too big because she has to cover the front, and only a large shouldered jacket will do that for her.

When you design and make your own jacket, you can do something that RTW can not ever do – you can tailor it to fit yourself….here I’ve done a little morphing…the first photo (on the left) is the original…in the middle photo are arrows to all the troule spots – drooping shoulder, folding pockets of extra fabric under the arm, and not really enough room to close the jacket it front.  On the far right photo, I took out the buckling under the arm (notice how smooth it is) and the buckling around the shoulder area (because we moved the shoulder in, however that would make the jacket not big enough, so we added the FBA to the jacket which took away the extra underarm fabric, but also made more room in front.)  What I didn’t show here that does also happen is that the FBA also adds more around the circumference of the bust, so that the jacket can close and look very tailored and nice on this professional person.

Another thing is that notice the line from the top of the shoulder seam/armscye and follow that down the armscye and then down the side to the waist area.  Notice how clean and un-buckling that is in there – it’s a nice smooth line that curves in a little under the bust, but is clean and not wrinkly.

This is the greatest benefit of that shoulder-fitted jacket.

This is why we fit the shoulder on patterns.

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