Patterns and Plans

I was struck down last weekend by the dreaded stomach flu and then by a case of lethargy that lasted until this weekend. Although I didn’t manage to get in any blogging done, I did spend some time sewing (or rather drafting). Several of you asked in my last post whether I’d be using self drafted or commercial patterns so I thought it was time to give you some more details on where I’m headed with these garments.

Before I get started, I want to take a moment and thank Alexandra once again for such an amazing guest post. I love that she arranged the assessment chronologically and I’ll admit I had never given much thought to the order that I go about making alterations. I think it will help me from feeling overwhelmed and drastically cut down the time I spend assessing a garment! If you enjoyed her post, be sure to check out her blog where you find more great tips and tutorials on fit!

Now for some plans:


  • Clover from Colette Patterns – I’m both nervous and excited to make pants. Since I’m unsure if they’ll be flattering, I don’t want to spend too much on fabric. My first fabric purchase had some lovely yellow stretch herringbone twill yardage but unfortunately I was notified that it was sold out a few days later. I’m still hunting around for a similar fabric but I’m having doubts that I’ll find some especially in my budget.


  • Self Draft – I realized I haven’t used my skirt sloper in ages so I’ve dusted it off and drafted a straight mini skirt. I’ll be using a teal wool blend gabardine purchased online. I was pleasantly surprised that the fabric was the exact color I’ve been looking for but unfortunately it has a terrible feel to it – really plastic-y. Yuck! Luckily I’m planning on adding a lining attached at the hem with a jump pleat and I think this will make the skirt more comfortable to wear.


  • Self Draft – For this garment, I’m on the hunt for a lightweight silk with the same hue as my wool gabardine but in a lighter shade. (Am I using my color terminology correctly here? I tried at least.) I’d like sleeveless blouse with a flare at the bust that extends to the hem. The back will feature a keyhole opening to add a little detail to the otherwise plain garment. It should be something airy and perfect for those late spring days.
  • Self Draft – Last summer I made a sleeveless blouse from cotton lawn while studying dart manipulation at school. The front features a yoke with gathering at the bust with a simple back. It’s been well loved and I’d like to make another one but this time with tencel jersey. I’ve never drafted for a knit fabric so I expect a bit of a challenge!  Although the front has more details, I think it will be the back that gives me the most trouble.
  • Banksia Blouse from Megan Nielsen – I made up a muslin two weeks ago for this blouse and am having a horrid time fitting it. The first muslin correction focused on shoulder seam placement and high dart. I’m rather perplexed by this dart – if you look at the blouse on the model you’ll notice that the dart is high on her as well. I know others have mentioned something similar with the Darling Ranges Dress so perhaps it is intentional but I’ll admit that  I can’t figure out why it would be drafted this way. Is there a reason for having the legs and apex higher than the actual bust? Out of curiosity I contacted Megan so we’ll see what she has to say on the issue. Anyways… the second muslin corrected the back armhole length (lengthened at the cross back) and shortened the waist. Even after all this work, I’m left with a very uncomfortable garment and I’m about to pull another Truffle and draft the thing myself. I’ve decided that I wouldn’t regret purchasing the pattern because Meghan does include two ways to add a button placket and I’ve been wanting to know how to do this for a while now.

Once I have the patterndown I plan to make two versions:

    1. A sleeveless version in the linen fabric I purchased recently. By the way, I was extremely happy with this purchase. The background is more pink than I had been expecting but the print is lovely and it’s a very nice linen. I’ve washed it once and it already started to soften so I only expect it get more comfortable. I have enough of this to make more than one garment.
    2. A long sleeved version in red. I’d love to find a silk and/or cotton fabric for this.


  • Self draft –  I’m planning on drafting a sleeveless, knee length dress for the rayon challis that I’ve purchased. The bodice will have a curved v neckline with gathering at the waist and shoulders. A curved waistband will give way to a gathered skirt. The rayon is nice with a good drape so I expect it to behave well with this plan, however, the colors weren’t quite what I was expecting. The purple is more dominant than the other colors and the dark pink is less of a red than I had anticipated but I’ll still use it. I’d be singing a different tune if I’d been planning a blouse or skirt (something that needed to pair well) but since dresses are rather autonomous, I’m not too worried that the colors aren’t perfect.

Wild Card

  • I’m purposefully waiting on this one until the majority of my garments are completed. I’d like to see what would help tie the collection together so perhaps a jacket or a cardigan. Who knows!


That was a bit long winded but there you have it – my spring wardrobe plans. I know many of you are working on similar plans – how is your planning going?


32 Responses to “Patterns and Plans”

  1. Sounds like a great list. Interesting about the Banksia – I’ve got the pattern and was hoping I could get away without making a muslin – looks like I was wrong! Am looking forward to seeing your finished blouses, the both sound gorgeous. x

  2. So sorry you were ill, and hope you’re on the mend now. Thanks for sharing your plans – you know I live vicariously through the plans of others, since I tend to just float!

  3. Glad you are better! I love ypur plans, cant wait to see progress……

  4. I can’t wait to see it all!

  5. Ugh! Stomach flu’s and lethargy! I feel like stomach flu’s should give you a “get out of jail free” card on illnesses for the rest of the year!

    Love your plans – it looks like it’ll be a nice little capsule wardrobe. Do you feel like it will integrate well with your existing closet?

    • No kidding – I hadn’t had the stomach flu in about ten years and I hope it’s at least another ten before it comes around again. Hope your feeling better as well, Sallie!
      I don’t have a lot to wear for spring so I’m looking forward to having some choice finally. I do expect these pieces to integrate well with my closet – especially my black and white challenge garments.

  6. Sorry to hear bout the flu – that certainly does hinder one’s creativity 😦 Nice to hear you’re back on your feet again – I totally admire your planning – it’s really inspiring me to get going on my own spring palette! 🙂

    Also, I have awarded you the Liebster Blog Award, check it out here:

  7. Hi Lizz! Thanks for visiting my blog 🙂 I really enjoy the thought you put into planning, and the systematic approach you take 🙂 It’s great. Also I added your blog to my favourite blogs sidebar- lol, yes you are one of only four at this point! So congrats!

    You sound ambitious with all your plans of drafting- I have to admit the idea of drafting is a scary one for me! I bet you’re going to make some fantastic stuff!

  8. Wow, you’re going to be busy! especially with drafting.

    I noticed the high dart on the megan neilsen shirt, too, however when I made the darling ranges dress the dart fit perfectly. that dart is one of the reasons why i’m a little skeptical about trying that top pattern.

    i’m glad you’re feeling better!

    • Oh – interesting! I have both of the patterns and the darts hit in very similar locations so if the Darling Ranges worked, this one should too. You’d look wonderful in this blouse!
      Thanks, it’s nice to be out of the sick-hole.

  9. That looks like a great plan. I do love reading your planning posts – they always inspire me to think about actually doing some planning myself (until I get distracted by something else instead!!)

  10. I think your instincts are right Lizz, the dart position is odd. Perhaps the dress form Megan is using has a very high bust or it is possible that this is a grading error on the pattern. In any case, it’s great that you contacted Megan directly for some help on it. A dart is meant to fit a contour of the body and should address (point to) the fullest part. I hope you can work it out-it is a cute top.

  11. Oh how lovey, I can’t wait to see them when you’re all done. I am so in awe of the fact that you are drafting so many of your own patterns.

  12. Such lovely colours you have chosen for your Spring wardrobe; they are gorgeous! I love the prints you have chosen too…
    thank you so much for your lovely comment on my blouse too

  13. Ack, it’s the lethargy that gets me! But I’m glad you’re on the other side of it. The fit of that blouse does seem strange and scrunchy above her bust. Last year I tried the Colette Sencha blouse and it was way out of the ballpark on me and probably would’ve taken about 3 muslins to get right. I really just want a basic sleeveless blouse I can modify (like adding cute collars like this!) but it’s always an interesting exercise to see how some patterns are designed for radically different figures.

    • Thanks, Amy! I’m glad I’m on the other side too!
      It really is interesting to see which company’s block is closest to your figure.
      I’ve been slowly coming to terms with the fact that Colette patterns (at least the bodices) do not fit me. I also tried Sencha last year and it has a long way to go before it’s a comfortable, well fit blouse.
      Others, like Pattern Runway and Victory Patterns, need only minor adjustments (like waist length) before they fit me perfectly. I guess you win some, you lose some!

  14. Self-drafted blouses are the best. I always feel an immense amount of freedom working on self-drafted projects. I don’t have to do a lot of fitting since I’m starting with my sloper, and I don’t have to make it look like the picture or illustration or anything.

  15. Oh my… Apparently we have the same taste in fabrics! I searching earlier today for pictures of people’s finished Truffle dresses, and realised that I’ve just ordered the same polkadot print… and now I realise that I also ordered the same multicoloured rayon challis you’ve shown here! Either my brain is subconsciously copying you, or we’re making use of the same super-cheap sales! 😉


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