Loading...

Follow Elewa Blog • Pattern Drafting Tutorials and All Things Sewing on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
Or

Valid


Happy Valentine’s Day!

For once I made something that I’m at least 80% happy with. I thought this would be the most confusing thing I’d ever have to make because I just couldn’t imagine how all the little pieces would be drafted and put together, like the loops for the tie back and the slit down the centre back. But I prevailed and I succeeded. I’m genuinely proud of myself for this sexy little number that I made.

The tutorial to make yourself one of these cuties is also available and it’s pretty straightforward because I show you how to do everything, from drafting the pattern to putting the dress together.

I’m quite surprised because it is so well put together and I’m actually wondering how I achieved such level of perfection. I’m such a messy sewer that the fact the stitches are straight is even a mystery to me. But I did well and I’m glad it looks good and fits.

To be honest, to draft a bodice that wasn’t too revealing but looked sexy and fitted well was a bit of a challenge. I made no less than 10 toiles to actually get that part perfect and once I had created a flawless version, I was ready to sew!

My toile looked so good that I couldn’t wait to see how the real thing would look. The toiling fabric I used is from Minerva craft. It really did help give me some insight as to how the dress would potentially look.

The process

The steps I’d take to create a finished garment, without any instructions but the ones I’d create for myself, was something I pondered over extensively. I wrote done bullet points of the process and pictured the progression in my head to check if what I was thinking would work or not. Many questions went through my head, “Should I add the lace trim after or before I stitched the bodice together?”, “Should I create a separate facing to hide the loops behind?”, “How will I even get into the dress, should I add elastic?”

Eventually I settled on something that would work for everyone. The back ties meant that even if you got your measurements wrong you could always fit the dress around your body by tightening the ties. So now fit wouldn’t be an issue. Getting into the fabric, however, was something I was stuck on for a long while. I eventually went with a little slit that would leave a little peekaboo at the back, which only adds to the sexiness of the dress.

Putting the dress together was very straightforward. I’ve never used lace or lace trims to make a full garment before but I loved making this. It was so fun and so easy. Even the chiffon behaved! Ok, I struggled to cut it out because it kept moving, but apart from that, everything was brilliant. I even found a non-strenuous way to hem it!

There was also the added the pressure of getting everything right first time because I was recording the whole process for the tutorial, but I made no major errors except for when I accidentally stitched the lace trim on upside down, but that was a minor. Having dabbled in a bit of bra making, I was familiar with how lace is used in lingerie, so that helped.

I even used my overlocker! Albeit badly, but I still used it!

The front

I was so nervous for my photo shoot. I’m not so keen on exposing my body but, to my relief, it was actually a little less revealing than I thought it would be without taking anything away from the sexiness.

The bodice is pretty. I really like the lace trim I used, I think it really helped in covering up more boob than what would have been if I hadn’t added the trim. I used the same trim for the waistband (can you call it a waistband? It’s more of an under-bust band, but anyway), leaving it unlined so some skin could show through, to obviously up the sexiness levels.

One of the finishing touches I added, because detail counts, were little bows to cover up the stitches from the straps. I used the same ribbon found on the back of the bodice, which means, yes, I tied those cute little bows myself.

The back

The back of the bodice I love. The whole tying concept and the gorgeous lattice I created, which stands out brilliantly across an exposed back, are my favourite. Even that cheeky little slit plays its part.

I added sew-in interfacing at the centre back to keep the loops strong and secure so that the pull from tying the dress up wouldn’t rip my oh-so delicate fabrics. The best decision I ever made. I even included some of the interfacing to the join between the dress and the straps – you can never be too careful.

As a pattern drafter and designer, its things like this you need to think about; the functionality of what you are making, because there are no instructions to tell you these things. I knew the back tie would apply pressure to the fabric, so to combat that, I added stronger material.

The hem

I hate hemming. I’ve said it many times and I’ll say it even more. I hate hemming. I’m actually really bad at it, and that’s even with crisp cottons that iron flat. Now add a sheer, slippery fabric to the mix and we have disaster. There was no way I was going to hem by rolling the bottom of my chiffon inwards. It just wouldn’t work for me and I’d end up ruining all my hard work.

So I found an ingeniously lazy way out of it – a tutorial from Threads, which allowed for sheer fabrics to be finished with some zig-zag and blanket stitches. Amazing! My hem looks professionally done and that is why this project will easily get a 9/10 from me.

To conclude

It was successful. Being able to practice by making toiles really helped and actually having a plan meant that what I was doing was well thought through and could be executed meticulously.

If there’s anything that I learnt from this, it would be that nothing is impossible. I had a vision but I didn’t know how it would turn out, either way, I gave it a go and it worked out!

I’m really excited for my next projects now. I get anxiety when I sew because I have to produce something that I need to basically show to the world, but now I feel like I have the ability to create anything that I feel may be beyond my abilities.

So here’s to successful sewing projects!

More pictures!
Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Cut it. Cut it. Cut it.

I’ve been saying I need a new cutting mat for about a million years. And so I finally splashed the cash and bought one. I’ve never cared much for my green one – it’s really ugly and the colours are harsh on camera.

Most of my YouTube tutorials feature this ugly green mat and to be honest I’ve never really liked the whole ambiance of my videos. Its presence is pretty jarring and it doesn’t give sewing the air of beauty that it deserves.

In fact, my green cutting mat is way past it’s use-by date. Ok, it’s only two years old but I’ve basically ruined it. Some of the top layer is peeling off and the lines have started to rub off because I keep spilling acetone on it (girl’s gotta paint her nails).

So I bought myself a grey cutting mat and I’m hoping it will do my videos some justice.

I wonder if anyone will notice…

Subscribe to My Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to my blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Email Address

The post My New Cutting Mat appeared first on Elewa Blog.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
How do you even pronounce it?

Tool? Twa-lay? Toyol? To-lez? Twarl?

/twɑːl/ (according to the dictionary).

Creating toiles, aka muslins, were something that I didn’t do and I’d cut into my fabric first time and end up messing everything up. But what can I expect when I did everything last minute?

Well I’ve changed my wasteful ways and I now make toiles before I cut into my lovely and not-so-cheap fabrics. My new disciplined self created one for my Christmas 2017 dress. I was trying out a new design and wanted to see if it would work. The good thing is, it did work. The bad thing is the red fabric I chose didn’t.

There are obvious reasons as to why you would create a toile, all of them positive, unless you’re lazy and don’t want to waste time creating one. For me personally, especially as a pattern drafter, the most important reason is to be able to test out my patterns to see if they fit and are drafted well.

Mind you, sometimes there is no point in creating a toile, specifically for garments using knit fabrics. Firstly, because knits tend to be stretchy, they should be able to easily accommodate your body even if measurements are slightly off. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t create a practice garment using a cheaper knit fabric with similar stretchiness to your main fabric.

I rarely work with knits, so creating a toile is important for me (or should be important for me). Most of the garments I make are close fitting with little to zero stretch in the fabric. Calico (unbleached cotton) tends to traditionally be used for toiling, therefore toiles are typically created for non-stretch, fitted garments. You can get great toiling fabrics from Minerva Crafts. They have a range of fabrics of different weights. The one I personally use is their medium weight calico fabric.

So, why else should you create a toile?

Testing for fit

For those of you who buy your patterns, testing for fit would be the obvious reason for why you would create a toile. We’re all uniquely and wonderfully made and no two bodies are the same. Buying a pattern therefore means you won’t automatically be getting the best fit for your shape. Creating a toile will help you test for fit and make any necessary adjustments.

For those of you who draft your own patterns, you’ll know that drafting is a pain and 9 out of 10 times you’ll get something wrong. A measurement will be too small, the waistline will be too short, something will be too something. Whatever it is, something will go wrong – guaranteed. Putting together a toile will show you exactly what has gone wrong and allow you to make amendments to your pattern.

Experiment with designs or modifications

I have an upcoming tutorial for Valentine’s Day – I’ll be teaching you all how to make a babydoll dress. I’ve never made a babydoll before. In fact, I’ve never even worn one. The pattern is one I had to make up and it took me numerous attempts to get a version that looked good and fitted well. I drafted and sewed together about 10 toiles – not even an exaggeration. But because of this, I was able to produce something that looks amazing. And that is why toiling is important for pattern drafters. You may think you can get it right first time but it just doesn’t happen like that. That’s why for drafters, toiling should be something you do. Don’t be naughty like me.

Also, you may have a design in mind without knowing exactly what the pattern should look like. This is your opportunity to experiment to see what works!

For those of you testing the waters of pattern drafting or who like getting a little creative you probably modify your bought patterns. This is a fantastic way to get a good fit while still being able to execute your own design. Toiling allows you to try out your ideas and create something new and wonderful.

Practice skills

Does anyone here sew for fun? You put together a garment, not because you want to wear it but because you just want to practice your sewing skills? For drafters and non-drafters alike, toiling is a good way to refine your drafting and sewing abilities. Want to learn how to insert an invisible zipper into skirts? Create a toile. Don’t know how to sew in a neckline facing but want to try it out? Create a toile. Just learnt how to slash and spread but want to see what the dart will look like on an actual garment? Create a toile!

There are many things you can practice by creating a toile. Even if it’s just that you’re a little bit nervous about cutting into your beautiful fabric and want to create a practice version first to figure out the complexities of the pattern.

Whatever reason you have for creating a toile, when possible, you should be creating one. It’ll save you a lot of time and stress before starting on your actual garment. And what can go wrong with a toile? Nothing. Because mistakes are allowed!

So happy toiling. May you never go back to your untoiling ways.

Subscribe to My Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to my blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Email Address

The post Why You Should Make a Toile appeared first on Elewa Blog.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
I have new dress forms!

And I’m not going to lie. I have no idea how I’m going to use them. I bought one for garment hanging and photography purposes and the other for fitting purposes but I haven’t really used them. They’re sort of a nice addition to make my sewing space look pretty.

The black dress form is adjustable and I can rotate some dials to make certain areas of the form bigger and smaller. I’m yet to figure out how to actually make it my size. There are so many dials and when I adjust each of them to my measurement, the circumferences end up bigger.

To be honest, I didn’t have to buy one (or two), but it’s been two years since I’ve been sewing and every seamstress needs a dress form. I’ve gotten used to sewing without one but maybe they’ll be the best things I never knew I needed once I’ve given them a chance, let’s see.

I have some exciting new tutorials coming your way. I’m going to go back to teaching how to draft a full garment. Recently I’ve been focusing on drafting techniques but it’s time to push boundaries and be a little bit more creative with my videos. I’m ready to put in the hard work for you guys!

So what next?

My next tutorial will be a Valentine’s Day special; a sexy babydoll dress for you to wear for your special someone. I have my lace and chiffon all ready and I will start working on this for release one or two weeks before Valentine’s Day (I’m still deciding what would be best, maybe two weeks will give people enough time to make it before 14th Feb? What do you think?).

Another project will be the Day and Night Dress Challenge 2018! I took part in this last year and although it was a bit of a rush the dresses came out lovely and I’m excited to see what I can put together this year.

Anyway guys, definitely stay in touch! I’ll try my best to keep you all updated and actually put myself in front of the camera so that you can see my face. In fact, my last YouTube video was of me sitting in front of the camera participating in the Five Questions One Take tag. So check that out and have a good week!

Doja x

Subscribe to My Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to my blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Email Address

The post My New Dress Forms appeared first on Elewa Blog.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

First tutorial of the year!

2018 really does feel like it’s going to be a good one! Well to kick things off I have a tutorial that is literally so important I only wonder why I haven’t done it earlier.

To be honest, facings are always something I draft when I want to finish my neckline or armholes without a lining. I’m not too keen on bias binding finishes so these are usually my go-tos.

And the thing is, they’re so straightforward, it doesn’t take a lot to create one. As long as you have your bodice pattern piece, you’re good to go. I usually like having my seam allowance drawn on my bodice pattern first, that way I don’t have to add them to the facing patterns.

That gives me an idea. I should create a tutorial on adding seam allowances. I always speed through them in my videos that people don’t really get to see how I do it. Plus, I’m sure it’ll help knowing where and when to use seam allowances.

That being said, here is the tutorial! Enjoy!

And feel free to comment, share, like and SUBSCRIBE!

Pattern Drafting Tutorial – Neckline and Armhole Facings

Pattern Drafting Tutorial - Neckline and Armhole Facings • Elewa - YouTube

Subscribe to My Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to my blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Email Address

The post How to Draft Neckline and Armhole Facings appeared first on Elewa Blog.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Happy New Year Comrades!

Is it me or was 2017 such a year of complacency? I don’t know what happened. I had all these big plans and suddenly it was 31st December 2017 and I’d done nothing.

To be honest last year was a mixture of good and bad. I went through a lot of changes, many of which demotivated me to the point where my sewing machine went untouched for months.

But life goes on!

I have a good feeling about 2018. It feels like it’s the year of stability and progression. Good things are coming all our ways!

I’m going to start off by releasing a YouTube video once every two weeks and if I feel comfortable enough doing it on a weekly basis then I’ll switch up the frequency. But fortnightly should suffice for now. At least that way I’ll have at least one tutorial a month coming out.

Speaking of tutorials, I have one coming out today! It’s going to be on neckline and armhole facings because they are important pieces in pattern drafting!

And I turned 25! I’ve never felt so old in my life! I remember when I was youthful and limber. The good old days of being 22. Now I’m 25 and I can barely walk without my cane.

But I’m growing, my YouTube Channel is growing. Everything is growing. So I extend to all of you wishes of exponential growth in every aspect of your life.

Subscribe to My Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to my blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Email Address

The post It’s 2018! appeared first on Elewa Blog.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Helllooooooooo!!

First tutorial for a while and it’s a good one (I hope… well it’s an important one because no one wants a gaping neckline).

I like contouring because it’s easy and it can save you a whole load of constructional trouble if you do it right. I’ve had times when I haven’t contoured and I’m left with a whole load of excess fabric that I can’t get rid of, rendering the garment unwearable and it’s annoying!

This tutorial will probably make a lot more sense if you watch my more in depth tutorial on contouring! It’s not a prerequisite, but it will help.

I also used this technique to get an uber flat V-neckline in my last sewing project.

Fabric used in this tutorial is from Minerva Crafts. I use it for practice projects because I’ve quit cutting straight into fabric without actually making a muslin first (see, I’m a changed and better person).

So do it once and do it right. That’s what I say! I hope you find it useful!

And feel free to comment, share, like and SUBSCRIBE!

Pattern Drafting Tutorial – Prevent Neckline Gaping with Contouring

Pattern Drafting Tutorial - Prevent Neckline Gaping with Contouring • Elewa - YouTube

Subscribe to My Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to my blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Email Address

The post How to Prevent Neckline Gaping with Contouring appeared first on Elewa Blog.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

And I was too busy being depressed to notice!

It’s actually amazing how far my little blog has come in a year! Thanks guys!

I should ideally do some sort of giveaway, but nah! Me returning with more zest than ever is the giveaway and you all win! I am, however, turning 25 this month and that definitely warrants a giveaway.

So I will be giveawaying the promise to be a more consistent blogger, vlogger and seamstress person. Yes! This is my promise to you!

I also have a tutorial coming out today on how to prevent neckline gaping so keep an eye out for that on YouTube!

Also, I’m not getting married anymore! But shit happens.

Okbye!

The post My Blog Turned a Year Old! appeared first on Elewa Blog.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free year
Free Preview