How to Sew Quick and Easy Button Plackets

How to Sew Quick and Easy Button Plackets

In 2015, when I was sewing for a television show, I faced some very tight deadlines. Can you imagine having to sew a button down shirt in under 3 hours? Luckily, I worked with a key seamstress who instructed me how to eliminate some of the steps and get the same final result in order to speed up my sewing and increase efficiency. 

Now, I use these techniques in all of my wardrobe sewing and especially to speed up my shirt making. In this post and video tutorial, I'll show you how I button plackets quickly and efficiently by eliminating and combining steps and reducing the amount of fiddle factor that I find in a lot placket sewing instructions. I hope it's helpful for the Fair Fit Method students who are following along and crafting this design, as well as for any of you readers who are looking to learn more approaches to sewing these fine details. 

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How to Sew Quick and Easy Bias Bindings

How to Sew Quick and Easy Bias Bindings

I'm selective of when I pin and when I don't pin. Lots of times, production sewists try their best to not use pins in order to eliminate steps and speed up the process. While I'm all for speed, sometimes pinning can also save me time by ensuring I don't make a mistake that I will have to go back and seam rip. 

However, when it comes to bias binding I find that pins are unnecessary if you have already gained enough muscle memory and confidence to sew it by placing it as you go. In this post and video tutorial, I'll show you how I sew bias binding quickly and efficiently. While I know there's room to add trimming and clipping, I have also found it's not all that necessary for the result I like. I hope it's helpful for the Fair Fit Method students who are following along and crafting this design, as well as for any of you readers who are looking to learn more approaches to sewing these fine details. My private lesson students have asked for this video tutorial for quite awhile and I'm happy to include it here on the blog so everyone can learn.

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Draping for Custom Design - Creating a Placket Front Shirt Dress

Draping for Custom Design - Creating a Placket Front Shirt Dress

I saw this dress popping up everywhere in my Spring and Summer feeds and knew I had to make a Fair Fit version of it as a personal challenge to adapt the pattern quickly to a seasonal trend. The princess seams in the Fair Fit dress pattern allow for me to easily adapt the design and with draping you can lower the neckline a lot more effectively than just cutting into a flat pattern.

I don't know about you but when I was learning about customizing my patterns I learned the hard way it's not just as simple as cutting the neckline lower. In this post and video tutorial, I'll show you how I use draping to customize the neckline of the Fair Fit dress I'm creating, as well as show you how I am adding a front shirt placket to the design in order to customize it to my specific intention. 

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Repurpose - Repurposing a Me Made Shirt

Repurpose - Repurposing a Me Made Shirt

Over the years of continuous repurposing, I've found that there are specific ways I cut out a pattern from a repurpose of an existing garment. Lots of times, you can save a whole lot of time if you make sure to save and utilize parts that are already sewn. Especially collars, collar stands, and button plackets.

In this post and video tutorial, I'll show you how I took the shirt from this blog post and cut it down to make a Deer and Doe Melilot shirt. This shirt is a piece in my wardrobe that I'm always wearing and knew would be the best use of my fabric. The video will show you how I deconstruct a shirt for repurpose, and you can watch and learn how to deconstruct your own me mades or thrift store finds from fabulous fabric.

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Repurpose - Deconstructing a Me Made Shirt

Repurpose - Deconstructing a Me Made Shirt

The other day I was telling my friend I have a conundrum. For the last few years, I've stopped buying clothes and when I want something new, I sew it up myself. And I have sewn a LOT of clothes, and not all of them ended up being favorites or making it to the monthly rotation. What do you do with self sewn clothes?? I've been striving to minimize how many objects are in my home, and I admit to having an over flowing closet. But donating a me made is not an easy thing. 

That's why I've committed to repurposing some of them and making them into new and updated garments. In this post and video tutorial, I'll show you how I took the shirt from this blog post and cut it down to make a Deer and Doe Melilot shirt. This shirt is a piece in my wardrobe that I'm always wearing and knew would be the best use of my fabric. The video will show you how I deconstruct a shirt for repurpose, and you can watch and learn how to deconstruct your own me mades or thrift store finds from fabulous fabric.

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How to Sew Tower Plackets

How to Sew Tower Plackets

Tower plackets can be tricky too, just because they are a few more steps than your conventional lap placket that you find on most shirt sleeves. But knock out a few of them and you will find them just as easy to sew as their quicker cousin. Learning details like these are also an opportunity to practice your own precision and attention to detail in your sewing. 

In this post and video tutorial, I'll show you how I sew the tower placket that I added to the Fair Fit dress I'm creating. I hope it's helpful for the Fair Fit Method students who are following along and crafting this design, as well as for any of you readers who are looking to learn more approaches to sewing these fine details.

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How to Sew Pop Over Plackets

How to Sew Pop Over Plackets

Have you ever found yourself confused by pop over placket instructions? I have found that if you can combine a few of the steps and knock 2 or 3 of them out at a time, it's much easier and faster and actually makes sewing a popover placket fun. Also, pop over plackets are an opportunity to practice your own precision and attention to detail in your sewing. 

In this post and video tutorial, I'll show you how I sew the pop over placket that I added to the Fair Fit dress I'm creating. I hope it's helpful for the Fair Fit Method students who are following along and crafting this design, as well as for any of you readers who are looking to learn more approaches to sewing these tricky details.

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Custom Design - Understanding Design Ease and How to Add Shirt Plackets

Custom Design - Understanding Design Ease and How to Add Shirt Plackets

Design ease is subjective because the pattern drafter or fashion designer decides how much of it is needed to achieve a specific look and feel with their design. Design ease is defined as how loose or tight a garment fits on the body. When you purchase a sewing pattern, the amount of design ease is already included, which is why sometimes it's best to compare the finished garment measurements with the sizing measurements before you start sewing.

Often, I want to change the amount of design ease to better customize a garment. In my personal sewing practice, I've found that the best way for me to add or subtract design ease has been by draping the garment on my dress form to see how it will fit me. In this post and video tutorial, I'll show you how much design ease I added to the Fair Fit dress I'm creating, as well as show you how I am adding shirt plackets to the design in order to customize it to my specific intention. 

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My Design Process for Adapting the Fair Fit Dress for Summer Trends

My Design Process for Adapting the Fair Fit Dress for Summer Trends

I love analyzing the photo or technical sketch of an intriguing sewing pattern to ready to wear garment that I would like to have in my wardrobe. And when you know how to analyze an existing garment or pattern, you start seeing the current trends and new designs are really just a few key changes and improvements to the pattern and your design can be the latest thing you see on the cool fashion blogs and instagram.

For this summer, I wanted to have some fun with the Fair Fit pattern and make my own adaptations to it to show how I use my design, drafting, and sewing skills to keep it current. In this series of posts, I've included sewing, pattern drafting, and custom design tutorials to illustrate the process I use in my personal practice to adapt my pattern to current trends. In this post and video tutorial, I'll show you my planning process and break down the skills and steps needed to craft your own custom design.

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Fair Fit Spring/Summer Dress Collection - Megan's Dress and How I Designed Dress 7

Fair Fit Spring/Summer Dress Collection - Megan's Dress and How I Designed Dress 7

 I can't wait to share Megan's dress with you today. In the development of the Fair Fit Method, and all of its courses, I am continuously testing the course with experienced makers in order to make sure my instructions are clear, the pattern is refined, and add more explanation that is helpful as the course grows and develops.

Megan is an experienced fashion design PHD student at LSU, and I had the intention of working with her during her winter break for over 6 months. She was highly recommended by my friend Dr. Casey Stannard, and when Megan agreed to test the course and work with me during the winter to add some finishing touches on the course work I was thrilled. 

In today's post and video, I break down the process of design for Megan's dress, and our final dress in the Spring/Summer Fair Fit Dress collection. 

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Fair Fit Spring/Summer Dress Collection - How I Designed Dress 5 and 6

Fair Fit Spring/Summer Dress Collection - How I Designed Dress 5 and 6

Fashion really can't be copyrighted most of the time, even though there's been many battles fought for it.

It's hard to copyright fashion design because clothes are designed from the same basic shapes that get changed over the years to adapt to trends. And the shapes go back 100's of years, so who really owns them? A wrap dress could be said to mimic Roman or Egyptian dress. When you really look at enough patterns, and sew up enough garments you start to see that they are consistently derived from the same blocks and shapes over and over again. So where does innovation occur?

In this week's post, I discuss adding design ease and customizing the pattern to incorporate sleeves. Watch the video and read the full article to learn more.

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Fair Fit Spring/Summer Dress Collection - How I Designed Dress 3 and 4

Fair Fit Spring/Summer Dress Collection - How I Designed Dress 3 and 4

I know this isn't the most fun way to do it, but a lot of the time planning out a me made wardrobe usually comes down to the math for me!

When I was composing the latest Fair Fit collection, I focused on lifestyle design. Dress 3 and 4 in the collection provided me the opportunity to consider and create garments using the Fair Fit Pattern that could feasibly be worn in a work setting. I know that we dress for different kinds of work, so I had to choose a type of environment, and for this part of the collection I focused on office professional/business casual attire.

In this week's blog post and video, I break down the thought process I used to design dress 3 and 4, as the considerations of how the dress layers with other garments in order to style it for specific purposes and environments. 

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Fair Fit Spring/Summer Dress Collection - How I Designed Dress 1 and 2

Fair Fit Spring/Summer Dress Collection - How I Designed Dress 1 and 2

In today's post, I wanted to show the process of making the Fair Fit Dress Collection for Spring and Summer 2018 a little more in depth. I'll focus on just the first two designs featured in the video and the process of collecting items from previous work and collections to use for repurpose. I also made a short video that breaks down the dresses, showing their previous incarnations, with a quick demonstration of the thought process of repurpose and redesign that I used to create these 2 new garments. 

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The Process I Used to Create the Latest Fair Fit Dress Collection

The Process I Used to Create the Latest Fair Fit Dress Collection

I am thrilled to share with you today what I’ve been working on behind the scenes for the last 2 months! With the launch of the Fair Fit Method this past winter and the opportunity to share ideas and design projects within the course, I spent January and February coming up with new designs for the Fair Fit Dress with the intention of sharing these designs with the current Fair Fit Method students to inspire their work in the upcoming Learn and Make the Fair Fit Dress course.  I created a collection for a video collaboration I did with my friend Jill Hall. In this post, read more and check out the video!

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The Fair Fit Method Sewing + Design - How sewing professionals have used the sewing patterns and methods in the course

The Fair Fit Method Sewing + Design - How sewing professionals have used the sewing patterns and methods in the course

My friends Brooke Wilkerson and Dr. Casey Stannard PHD are my peers, and so when sharing the methods with them I saw it not as a form of teaching, rather it was a collaboration. Both bring such a high level of experience, expertise, and refinement to their work, and played a critical role of encouragement and support while I was developing the Fair Fit Method.  I thought it would be really fun to share the process of working with them, as well as what they were able to do with the pattern. 

And, for me, it was like getting to have those fun sewing days with a friend, with Casey in person and Brooke from a distance, because we bounced ideas back and forth and they inspired me to change my perceptions of how I saw and experienced my own process.

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