Tag Archives: Tailoring

There’s a first time for everything

26 Jul

Working on bespoke orders introduces me to new ideas and pushes the boundaries. I got an order last week for a simple maxi kaftan with waist belt. After searching all the local shops we came to the conclusion that it is impossible to find a soft belt to match the sea blue colour of the fabric. This resulted in me making the belt myself from braided cord and swarovski crystal balls to add some detail to the dress and compliment the colour.

What do you think of the end results?

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A junior bespoke order

13 Mar

I recently got a request for a dress for a 4 year old girl. At first I was hesitant as I specialise in ladies wear and was not really familiar with the construction or sizing of children’s clothes. But I guess a challenge is the best way to learn something new. So after some research I started drafting out a basic children’s block from which I can adapt to make a dress.

Check out the tutorials section for a step by step guide on drafting a children’s block.

I chose a light champagne colour satin and a simple bodice with a full circle skirt. And added an off white lace peter pan collar for a bit of detail. To achieve more fullness in the skirt I gathered some netting and sewed it onto the lining at the waist.


I’m pleased with the outcome and actually really enjoyed working on this piece. Perhaps this might inspire future children’s wear pieces.



What do you think of the final look?

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Drafting a children’s basic bodice block (back)

12 Mar

This is a tutorial demonstrating how to draft out a basic childrens bodice block (back). Click here for the front bodice tutorial.

Square a line and mark A on the top right corner.

A-B= full length plus 1/16 inch.20130310_184701

A-C = across shoulder.20130310_184814

Square a line down from C.20130310_192556

B – D = centr back length.20130310_192652

Square a line in from D.20130310_192717

B-E = back arc. Add 1 inch for ages 3-6 and 1/2 for ages 7-14. 20130310_192856

Square a line up from E.20130310_193002

B-F = slope measurement, plus 1/8 inch.20130310_193135

F-G = shoulder length plus 1/4 inch ease. 20130310_193302

B-H = 2 1/2 inches.20130310_193328

H-I =  5/8 inch (1 inch for ages 8-14).20130310_193402

H-J = one half of H-I.20130310_193419

Square a line up from J.

J-K = side length minus 3/4 inch.20130310_193618

Draw dart legs.20130310_193640

E-L = 3/4 inch.20130310_193713

Square a short line down from L.

L-M = 1/8 inch.20130310_193859

Draw a slightly curved line from M to I.20130310_193924

M-N = side length.20130310_194023

F-O = 2 inches.20130310_194053

Square a short line in from O.

O-P = 1/2 inch.20130310_194137

With a french curve touching F, P, N draw arm hole curve.20130310_194305


With a french curve touching D and G draw neckline curve.20130310_194350 20130310_194408

And now you have a back bodice!!20130310_194418

Your front and back bodices should look like this.20130310_194438

Drafting a children’s basic bodice block (front)

12 Mar

This tutorial will show you how to draft a basic bodice block for children. You can use this block as a basis for creating different designs.

Measurements needed:

1 – Shoulder slope: measure from shoulder-neck to waist centre (front and back).

2- Full length: measure from shoulder-neck to waist (front and back).

3- Centre length: measure from centre neckline to waist (front and back).

4- Across shoulder: Measure from shoulder to shoulder (front and back).

5- Bust or chest arc: measure front from side seam to side seam.

6- Waist arc: measure waist from side seam to side seam.

7- Back arc: measure across back from side seam to side seam.

8- Shoulder length: measure from shoulder-neck to shoulder.

9- Side length: measure from below arm to waist.

childrens bodice block measurements

Now lets get started!

Square a line and mark A on the top left corner.20130310_180857



A-B = Full length + 1/16 inch20130310_181159


A-C = Across shoulder…now square a short line down from C20130310_181344

B-D = Centre front length minus 3/8 inch, now square a short line in from D20130310_181601

B-E = Bust or chest arc. Add 1 inch for sizes 3-6, or 1/2 inch for sizes 7-14. Now square a line up from E.20130310_182101

B-F = Slope measurement plus 1/8 inch.20130310_182227


F-G = Shoulder length. 20130310_182410

Now square a line from the F-G line.20130310_182445


B-H = 2 1/2 inches.20130310_182556

H-I = 3/4 inch ( 1  1/4 inches for sizes 7-14)20130310_182649

H-J = Half of H-I.20130310_182735

Square a line up from J.

K = Side length minus 3/4 inch.20130310_183015

Draw dart legs from K to H and K to I.20130310_183050

E-L = 3/4 inch.20130310_183120

Draw a slightly curved line from L to I.20130310_183214

L-M = Side length.20130310_183318

Square a short line in from M.20130310_183419

F-N = 2 inches.20130310_183456

N-O = 3/8 inch.20130310_183547

With a french curve touching D, G draw a curved line.20130310_183652


With a french curve touching points F, O and M draw armhole curve. The curve line can blend with the square line before touching point M.20130310_183825


And thats the front finished.20130310_183956

Check out the tutorial for the back bodice here.

Suit yourself

31 Jan

I recently came across this photo and just thought it was genius!


I think it is so true!! Menswear and especially tailoring has become very popular recently. Although I am a womenswear designer I adore menswear in particular traditional tailoring, there is just something about a well crafted 3 piece suit. Ironically one of my favourite TV shows at the moment is suits, partially because of this guy…

tumblr_mhgo7tbIbQ1rpzhh9o1_500Who doesn’t love Harvey Spector? His character on the show and his dress sense is amazing! Iv put together a few photos of my favourite outfits from the show…


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Gucci Pre-Fall 2013

29 Dec

I have been researching into next autumn/winter fashion trends and what to expect. Something that really caught my eye was Gucci’s pre-fall 2013 collection, I have to admit I’m not generally a fan of Gucci but this collection seemed different to previous collections. I loved the clean cut tailoring combined with rich autumn colours, here are some photos of my favourite outfits.



Make a copy of your favourite trousers

17 Nov

I have these trousers with the perfect fit, iv had them for a few years now and unfortunately I struggle to find trousers that fit me perfectly. Do you have the same problem? Iv decided to make a tutorial on making a pattern based on your favourite trousers or jeans. It’s a great way to have the same fit but in different material and colours and off course you can use your creativity to adjust the pattern to create different designs.

What you will need:

– Paper, I use pattern paper to make up my patterns because its a large roll, alternatively you can use large pieces of paper and tape them together.

– Tape measure

– Pencil and rubber

– Ruler

– Scissors

– Tracing Wheel (you should be able to find these at habedashery shops or you can get one from http://www.morplan.com/Product_10053_10001_15074_-1_10766)

Step 1: Lay one leg of the trousers on paper with the front side facing up like so…

Step 2: Pin in place

Step 3: Using your tracing wheel trace round the front of one leg…

Step 4: For corners or parts difficult to get a tracing wheel in use a sharp pin to mark on paper (press the pin through the material making sure you have marked the paper) Dont forget to trace round the front pocket.

Step 5: Mark out the hem with a sharp pencil.

Step 6: Once you have traced round the whole leg remove the trousers and you should see the shape of the trouser leg marked out in small dots. Using a sharp pencil draw over these to make the pattern more visible. Measure the seams on the trousers to make sure you have the correct measurements.

Step 7: If you traced round the front pocket it should look like this. You will now need to draft out the pocket facing, measure 1.5 inches all the way round like so…

Step 8: Next mark out the pocket bag depending on the size you want it.

Step 9: You will now need to draft out the fly zip, I have marked out the fly zip facing. It is common to have the fly zip facing as a seperate piece then sew it on, I like to have the facing as part of the front leg pattern. If this sounds confusing check out this tutorial to make it more clear.

Step 10: Now for the tricky part. As you have probably noticed the back leg does not lay out flat because it is bigger than the front. The best way is to lay it down so the inside seam is on the edge and the outer seam is folded over. Pin the leg in place.

Step 11: Trace round the back seam and top seam that connects to the waistband.

Step 12: Find the outer seam and pin it in place like so..

Step 13: Measure how much the outer seam is folded over then mark out this measurement, the photo should make this clearer.

Step 14: The trousers have a back pocket with a nice design which I would like to include. If you’re not interested in including a back pocket skip this step. I have pinned the pocket in place and placed pins through to mark them on the paper, this will leave 4 dots on the paper to indicate the placement of the pocket.

Step 15: Draft in the pocket like so…

Step 16: Draft in the bag pocket.

Step 17: Draft in the seam and hem allowance, I like to use a 1.5 cm seam with 3cm hem.

Step 18: You now need to create the patterns for your front pocket. This is what they should look like, and also what your front trouser pattern should look like.

Step 19: And then the back pocket patterns.

Step 20: Draft out your waistband by tracing round the waistband of the trouser.

Step 21: This is what you should end up with.