Tuesday, April 15, 2008

How Do E-Patterns Work?

Here is a step-by-step guide to downloading and printing Hint of History e-patterns.

Once you buy the pattern, you will be sent an email with the download link. Save the patterns to your computer as instructed on the download page.

The patterns are in .pdf format. If you do not already have it, download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader which you will need to open the .pdf files.

Included in the download package for the Basic Kimono Dress are three files:

All files are formatted to print on standard 8.5" x 11" paper. When you click on "print", check the printer settings to make sure that "page scaling" is set to "none".

Once you have printed out the pages, check the reference line which will be on one of the pages and make sure that it is 4" long.

Each pattern piece has a number and letter in the corner. A diagram is included in the pattern file that shows you how the pieces go together. Simply tape the pieces together in the correct order, and you're ready to go!

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Day-Before-Easter Circle Skirt

On the Friday evening before Easter, my sister decided that she wanted a new skirt to wear on Sunday. Fortunately, the size of our fabric stash makes such spur-of-the-moment projects possible! We found some pretty spring-colored calico and sent it to the washing machine so it would be ready to cut out on Saturday morning.

I folded the fabric to form a square, then cut the pieces out without a pattern, using pins to mark a few important lines. Because of the size of the fabric, the skirt had three seams: one at each side and one in the center back. The only measurements I needed were the waist to hem length (though that was determined by the size of the fabric) and the waist measurement. We decided to put in an elasticized waistband, so the waist measurement took that into account.

Here is a diagram showing how the pieces were cut out:
My sister did all of the sewing herself (with the exception of the top stitching on the bias tape, when I took pity on her!) and was able to finish the skirt by early Saturday afternoon.

We decided to bind the hem with double fold bias tape for three reasons:

1. The fabric was so lightweight I thought it would benefit from a heavier and more defined hemline.

2. The pink of the bias tape helped bring out the pink flowers in the fabric, which were otherwise lost in a sea of blue-green.

3. Circular skirts are a pain to hem. =D

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Adapting the Shawl Collar Dress for Nursing

A mother asked me if I had any ideas for altering the Shawl Collar Dress so that it can be worn as a nursing dress. After a much-too-long delay, here is my proposed solution:

There would be an inner front waistband sewn to the skirt and the center front inset. The outer waistband, sewn to the two fronts of the bodice, would be attached to the inner waistband and each other by snaps (the circles) and skirt hooks and eyes (the dots).

Here is a diagram showing how to cut out the inset, using as a guide the bodice pattern and the original triangular inset piece.

I have not tested this idea, so I will not guarantee that it works! If you try this, or have discovered your own way to adapt the pattern for nursing mothers, I would love to hear about it.