Monthly Spark Nov 2015: One Piece Garments

November’s meeting was fantastic with 44 members turning out, amazing Christmas quickies projects members showed how to do, fantastic show and tell items that showcased new members, new talent and new levels of talent for some! A lady named Sheila MacDonald also donated some wonderful fabric and sewing supplies that our members were delighted to have. Thank you Sheila! More will be posted later from these events in the form of pictures, links and so on… and sooner than last month’s content! Apologies from a very busy person! 🙂

This month’s Monthly Spark idea is to sew “garments” which’s patterns is “essentially” one piece. “Garments” can be something worn, or not if you want to try a bowl holder, or other household items, or whatever you can come up with. What is “essentially”? Essentially, it means you can do the garment without any other pieces you might choose to add, like pockets, trims or other decorative features. If you need something like a string to make it work, that’ll be OK as you’d just buy the string, not make it in a pattern.

Some people will have sewn things with only one piece in the pattern, but others might not have. For either, here are some options for you to consider, from simple to more exotic. Click on pictures to enlarge.

Bandanas are triangular, or triangular-ish, while headbands are long rectangular-ish.

These are circular, or circular-ish.

These are elongated rectangular-ish, with a lot of ways to wear!

These tend to be shorter rectangular-ish than scarves, but can be more chic. They are often knitted, but can be sewn like this Craftsy blog entry shows. I am planning on making some of these. There’s a simpler tutorial here but I think it’s oversimplified.

Neck warmer
Neck warmer

These can be anything from triangular-ish to square-ish, to rectangular-ish, and more likely quadrilateral-ish. Here’s a nice one below, with a handle put on, but you could really just cut two slits to create a less attractive handle, so it falls in the “essentially” leeway allowed. 🙂

Tuck Shawl
Tuck Shawl

And speaking of wraps, how’s about

This site has a nice tutorial to make what’s seen below. You’ll have to fit it to you, though, of course.

Wrap Pants
Wrap Pants

This is more about how you wear a square Hermes scarf sort of garment than anything else, but it counts. Sew a square and wear creatively! This site even has cards you can print out to remind yourself of all the creative ways you can wear a square! If you like this sort of thing, you’ll never have sewn so many squares in your life, and can have a wardrobe of it, too!

Square scarf wearing
Square scarf wearing

These rectangles are like the square scarfs in that they give new meaning to “it’s all in how you wear it”. I’m not going to post pics of beach cover ups cause most are just pics of women’s crotches with fabric for background, and most of you would know what I’m talking about.

Cover Up Dress
Cover Up Dress

Did you know you could make underwear can be made in one piece?

One piece underwear
One piece underwear

But seriously. Why sew underwear when you can sew thongs??? I was going to bring these for Christmas quickies, but I thought of them as underwear and not sexy thongs, so I didn’t. People probably wouldn’t want to get underwear for Christmas, but thongs, if from the right person? Probably a small hell yeah! These might save you a small fortune in the long run if you make your own. I’ll blog more about it in the future when it’s colder out and we might need something slightly hot to warm up our lives. 😉

One piece thongs
One piece thongs

Dresses? One piece dresses? Am I serious? Definitely! Here’s the Armhole dress and Whirlaway that Butterick had in the good old days seen below. You’ll have to figure it out, though, as it’s no longer sold.

Armhole Dress
Armhole Dress
Whirlaway dress
Whirlaway dress

I’m not sure of the proper name or pattern for these, but one looks like what’s below. There’s a tutorial here. Men were intended to wear these as well as women. You can try modifying the Whirlaway dress above with this to add sleeve if you want.

Caftan / Viking Coat
Caftan / Viking Coat

You will need one of these for cooking sushi. 😉

Japanese apron
Japanese apron

OMG!!! I want to do this to ALL of my towels! Here’s how.

Topsy Towel
Topsy Towel

OMG2!!! Try making this by these instructions! I need to get some chairs for my apt!

buttoned chair covers

Those are just some ideas to get you started. I’m sure there are a LOT more out there. Please feel free to share ideas in the Comments section. And anything you make that you have a picture of, please share as well! I can’t wait to see what people come up with, whenever they do it because these Monthly Spark ideas are only timely for when we share them, not when you do them.


Big List of Online Canadian Fabric, Pattern and Notion Stores

Thanks to our member Kathleen for finding this huge list of online Canadian fabric, pattern and notion stores from The Finished Garment blog.

At the time of this writing, their list was last updated on January 6, 2015. I imagine they will update it as time goes by.

For your future reference, you can either bookmark the page the link above goes to. Or if you use our site, it is now an item in the drop down LINKS menu at upper right of our site. Click on the Canadian Online Stores choice and it will take you there!

Feeling Fall Frosties?

by Faye Morrison

I like to wear scarves and gloves at this time of the year. Coats, not so much.

I just saw a blog post with lots of ideas for scarves to suit every taste. (100 free scarf patterns)

There are no sew options, either. One that really took my fancy was a stamped one using the ends of celery (#58).

Check out the patchwork option (Pieced section, #54-59) for all the tote bag ladies as you probably have a few scraps hanging around.

Have a wonderful thanksgiving everyone!

Free Historical Costume Patterns, Anyone?

This Diary of a Renaissance Seamstress site and page has what looks like quite a few pretty serious free patterns for historical costumes! Some look a bit more authentic than costumes, including the corsets! I haven’t looked at every link, but I can tell you the corset download has 6 beautiful corsets (from another site) in PDF files you’d want a plotter to print out rather than tiling together from letter sized pages. You can do it at Staples from a post I once wrote.

Can’t wait to check out more!

Pattern Printing at Staples

I have been thinking about creating patterns with software. Wild Ginger had been suggested to me by Nancy. I’m not there yet, but one deterrent had been the thought of having to print out things on letter or legal sized paper, then cutting them out and piecing them together with crop marks on each sheet to make a bigger pattern piece. Most pattern pieces would be this way so I’d be doing it a lot, if so. I know what that’s about, having been a graphic designer, and it’s NOT fun!

So today, I finally got out to a Staples store a block from where I live to see what their printing capacity was. Turns out, they could print things up to 36″ wide (with 24″ and a few other standard widths being the option). And they could print any length a pattern might use since it’s on a pretty long roll of paper. You could even upload it to a Staples copy and print site (Canadian site), in PDF format which Wild Ginger produces, and pick it up rather soon or after 2 hours for a discount! Talk about saving time and money of a plotter, essentially, rather than a printer!

Cost for black and white wide printing is 49 cents a square foot if you can wait the 2 hours, 64 cents a square foot if you can’t. That would be the square footage of paper used, not of your pattern. So if you had a tie piece 6″ wide and 18″ long, for sake of an example, to make 0.75 square foot for your pattern. If you printed only 1, you’d still be paying for 3 feet wide by 0.5 foot long or 1.5 square foot. Or 1 square foot if you printed on a 24″ roll (2′ x 0.5′).

Figure out square footage by taking width x length in inches, and dividing by 144. And for costs in your mind, basically think 2 square feet for a dollar (plus tax). It’s a pretty good deal!

There are two slight drawbacks to this process. First, I’m not sure Wild Ginger would allow you to make the most efficient use of paper by jamming your pieces optimally. I’m glad I have software to manipulate that with Adobe Illustrator. Second, Staples doesn’t print on soft paper like pattern paper. It’s a bit more like your office paper. Still, to be able to print my patterns somewhere close by at an affordable price, without having to wait at the store or come back for a second trip, is fantastic!

Now, where can I buy time cheaply to learn this Wild Ginger software? I’m starting a new job Monday where I have 3 courses in software I have to take already.

p.s. I’m sure other places provide this sort of service as well. Maybe they’re cheaper, maybe not. I haven’t done the full market research and won’t be given the Staples solutions works for me.