Take it away, Kathy!
Welcome, My name is Kathy and I normally post on SewMuch2Learn but Diane has graciously invited me to host a day for her. I am also excited that I am guest hosting on one of my favorite blogs, Vintage Zest. This is my first time hosting so bear with me as I ramble on. I am collector of vintage sewing items, where it be buttons, spools of thread, thimbles I love them. I have managed to collect a few packets that claims to make the perfect pattern, fitted just to your body. I thought I would give them a try.
Pattern Drafting Series
The Magic Seamstress
It hails as a home sewing dream come true, an easy way to a perfect fit pattern, all with up to date fashion styling.
My booklet is copyrighted by the American Fashion Institute in 1971
The introduction says that Cinderella solved her fashion problem with a fairy godmother and now Magic Seamstress solve yours.
In essence it is a simple measurement system, using the dot to dot system. It only uses two measurements, bust and hip. It claims that it helps you create a basic pattern, but also offers five variations to create your own fashion styling.
In the back of the book there is a special enlarging rule and a french curve rule.
You will be using these rulers to create your basic shift dress pattern.
Meet Stef, my dress form. She is going to be my partner during this series.
First Step: Measurements
It is important to use accurate measurements.
Place your tape over the bottom part of your shoulder blades and bring forward to measure across the fullest of the breast.
Place the tape over the largest part of the behind and bring forward to measure across the fullest part of the stomach.
Now that you have your measurements you are ready to begin the process of creating your pattern.
Lets get our rulers out of the book and set up to use.
Join your long ruler together using invisible tape. I recommend also using invisible tape on both sides and adding an additional piece that you will be pushing your pin/tack through at the pivot points.
Remove pattern number 001 from page 9 and center it on a large sheet of paper. It recommends attaching it with thumbtacks but I just grabbed my weights to keep it from shifting.
Lay out your paper on a large table or the floor. It is important that you can insert a thumbtack into the table or floor because you will be using a pivot point. I added a large cutting pad under my paper to accomplish this.
Luckily I have a daughter that works at a local grocery store and has brought home a few yards of butcher paper. I used 1 ½ yards for the front and 1 ½ yards for the rear.
The process is simple actually, it is pin, rotate and make a dot.
Note the pivot points on both the front and back pattern.
Push your tack or straight pin through your ruler at the bust size. Attach to the pivot point on the pattern, using the front pattern.
Note that my bust measurement was 35 and the straight pin pushes through that number and sticks into the pivot point on the pattern.
Note that all around the pattern you will lines with numbers above them. Numbers beginning with B apply to the bust measurement and H numbers are for the hip measurements. Using only the B numbers let's rotate your ruler to each line. The number on the corresponding line is the number you will use to measure with.
The example below shows that I have used B49. Rotating my ruler to that line, and locate the number 49 on the ruler. Make a dot at this point. Note the red dot.
A special note that some lines have numbers that have a dot ( ie - 67* ) this dot means that the number is 67 ½ and should be marked accordingly.
Pivot to all of the corresponding lines marked B until you have completed a series of dots on your paper.
Now you are ready to use your hip measurement and mark dots on the hip lines. There are only two of those.
Once you have completed this you will have a series of dots.
I have numbered the dots for illustration only. These are not required or recommended.
Now all we have to do it connect the dots.
Once all of the dots that form straight lines are connected we are ready to make the armholes. Grab the French Ruler that came with the kit.
You will notice that are two choices, with or without sleeves. Using the appropriate mark and create the armhole curve.
Once you have completed this step you should have a complete front and rear dress pattern. Now it is
time to add seam allowances to the pattern. I selected 5/8” but the choice is yours.
I have now successfully created the front of a shift dress. Repeat the process for the back.
Once finished cut your pattern pieces out.
At this point all you have to do is lay your pattern pieces out on your selected fabric and cut. I took a shortcut here and did not cut out two separate pieces for both front and rear but opted to lay the center front on the fold of my muslin.
Here are my results:
Side Seam (Excuse my pressing on this)
Overall this is not a bad fit, the shoulder seams are in the proper place, the apex at the bust are correct, the girth of the bust fits and the hips on spot on. It is certainly a shapeless shift and while the pattern we drafted from shows back darts I could not find anywhere in the book that shows how to transfer them to the pattern I made.
There are also variations of the shift dress as you read through the booklet but I did not work with them. I have scanned and downloaded the entire booklet and will be posting it to my blog as a PDF file if anyone is interested in giving it a try.
Stay tuned next week when I try out yet another booklet, called Magic-Fit.
So what did you think? Are you going to draft your own pattern? I love this series, and I'm looking forward to the next one on Kathy's blog!
Remember to pop on over to SewMuch2Learn to say hello and keep up with Kathy on Bloglovin'.