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Making the grade

Most of my posts have been focusing on designing fabric.  I also am working on designing sewing patterns.  One of the first patterns I designed was my zig-zag dress.

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I started with a sketch, draped the dress, and converted it to a paper pattern.  Once I made up my first version of the dress, I was in love.

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The pattern was easy to make and flattering to most figures.  I decided to use it for my first Renelope pattern.  I digitized my original pattern and began the instructions. There are a lot of  steps involved in creating a pattern!  I made another version in a silk charmeuse during the process.

Then I started grading the pattern.  This took an number of tries because of the diagonal pattern pieces.  I probably created well over 10 versions until I got one where all sizes lined up correctly.  I created some half-size pattern models to true the pattern once it was graded.

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Once I had a good working copy, I asked a number of members of the Haute Couture Club of Chicago to test the pattern for me.  Each of them made up the pattern in a different size. Their feedback has been very helpful in tweaking the design.

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It’s exciting to see how how the pattern has been used to create so many different looks.    I made another version with fabric painting, sequins and beads.  Here’s a version by Susan Gerbosi with a dramatic lace overlay on the waist panel.  I love the version Antoinette Eugene is working on using the Alabama Chanin technique.  Mary Kay Blaschke used two versions of the same print and added a back coral trim at the neckline.

I have created a pdf version of the pattern and a printed version.  The printed version includes all sizes and is printed in color.  The pdf version can be printed in black and white and either taped together or taken to a copy shop.

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I’m also working to complete the instructions for my wide-leg jeans and puffball blouse patterns .   I hope to have both patterns available for sale shortly.

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