Most requested tutorials: pick 5

With all the tutorial suggestions you left back in February, you scared me so badly that it took me several months to recover. Yeah. Seriously, the pile was so big and so deep and so tall that I didn’t know where to dive in. And then a bunch of other stuff happened that I couldn’t tell anybody about since I hadn’t dealt with the first mess. I’ll get there.

Moving on, below is an edited list of the requested tutorial topics. You can each pick 5. Speaking of, some topics I’ve already done so those are hyperlinks. If you don’t think the topic has been covered to your satisfaction, go ahead and include it in your wish list. If there is an asterisk by it, I’m not likely to cover it because I think there is sufficient existing information out there -even if means buying a book or something. My focus has always been to explain what isn’t available elsewhere or what hasn’t been explained as well as I think it could or should have been done. I’m thinking that I may also post a list of the topics I like along with some possible discussion of why I won’t cover some of them.

Zippers

Lining

  • how to line a dress (with or without sleeves) that has a lapped zip. :)
  • lining a sleeveless dress without back zipper and short unlined flutter sleeves.
  • how to line a vent garment.
  • trouser linings, in combination with different zippers (fly front, centered).
  • anything to do with linings — I’m always confused about when a lining should be larger than the shell (because it goes around the body first) and when it should be smaller (so the shell rolls to the inside). Jackets are fine! I just go to the relevant pages in the book. But transferring that theory to other articles of clothing often leaves me baffled.

Fitting

  • tutorials on fitting
  • fitting video with a real model and how you go about fitting a garment in a standard size, What is a good enough fit – and where do you draw the line from making too great corrections for one particular body
  • ‘Refine My Line’ tutorials that show how to fix a pattern from a fit sample
  • I don’t understand when I should add ease to a shoulder seam

Drafting

  • pants drafting/fittings.
  • How to draft and sew a vent
  • How to add seam allowance to a pattern.
  • drafting a balanced drop shoulder that includes how to modify the bodice and the sleeve cap/width from blocks. Is there a ratio to dropping the shoulder/dropping the armhole/widening the bodice and sleeve that produces a well fitted result?
  • *drafting a collar with partial stand.
  • drafting, cutting and sewing a western yoke
  • convert a purchased pattern into my own custom block for those of us who are just starting out and don’t have our own blocks, including what things we should look out for and adjust.
  • how to make changes to the block that already has seam allowances. When I was working with a child’s bodice with seam allowances the shoulder seams matched but when I removed the seam allowance, the did not match. Also truing seems much more difficult with seam allowances
  • flat felled seams. As far as I have learned from extensive dissection of shirts and jeans there are two kinds – the edges meet and are enclosed or the edges overlap and are enclosed, the former mostly found at shoulder seams of shirts and the latter at the inseam of jeans. How does one draft a pattern that allows one to match the edges of the pieces at one end of the seam for the first pass and then have everything work out?

Sleeves

  • how sleeves are drafted, particularly how to make them roll toward the front of the body and not so much at the side and have good range of motion.
  • How to draft a sleeve, or armscye for that matter.
  • how to draft a sleeve cap like the one pictured in the Sam’s Club coat, have a hard time visualizing how you’d get that amount of volume without having to gather and ease it somehow.
  • anything on sleeves – still hoping for someone to scientifically compare different variants of sleeve cap ease (yuck), and set-in methods on the same basic blouse pattern; testing for assembly time, look, restriction of movement, and if any of that changes with the wearer’s bicep measurement (which would require more than one fit model, and thus possibly more than one test garment, I know.)
  • pivot/gusset sleeve
  • setting in a sleeve

QC

  • tutorials on QC Inspections.
  • Fabric testing/standards for clothing (inspired by my Ralph Lauren jeans that continue to have color rub-off )
  • best Quality Assurance techniques for inspecting a sewn product upon completion. What to look for, in what order, etc.

Sewing

  • Sewing without pins. Especially when matching plaids or around curves. You’ve said that you see sleeves in with only one pin. Where and why?
  • sewing a notched collar.
  • setting a collar stand in a shirt/blouse bodice.
  • how to do gathers for a girl’s dress — do professionals really stay stitch and pull the strings??
  • sewing without pins as in sewing a curve to a straight
  • perfect patch pockets
  • handling skills. How can anyone know proper handling unless shown by someone else?

Anythings

Misc

  • how to work with 4 way stretch material
  • various jigs and how to make them
  • Do you need to do anything special to add leather to woven fabric. Interfacing to both?
  • making garments from leather
  • notched collar

Business

  • how to get very limited quantities of a garment manufactured (anywhere from 5-10 pieces)
  • editorial on the people you have encountered over the last 10 years, who made it and why, who did’t and why, and why some people are so eager and after about 8 post we never hear from them again. (No names)
  • a virtual tour would be interesting. Either a how to set up your business or look at all these cool machines. Now, I just want to watch videos of different sewing machines. Lol.
  • how many tutorials would convert (time and energy-wise) into a new pattern for the etsy store? Greedy me wants to sew something for herself, not the BF.
  • the safety features required when manufacturing childrenswear

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59 comments

  1. Sherrie says:

    Wow! It was so hard choosing only five : ) Would love to see the following tutorials:

    1. Various jigs and how to make them – #1 choice
    2. Anything related to skirt waistbands
    3. Editorial of people over last 10 years
    4. Handling skills
    5. How to get limited quantities of garments manufactured

  2. Shelley says:

    1. Sleeves >especially how they are drafted so they roll forward and have ROM.
    2. Sleeves> How to draft sleeves & armscye
    3. Drafting >Pants drafting/fittings
    4. Fitting>Fitting video with a real model ( hopefully not size 0)
    5. Drafting>Convert a commercial pattern to a custom block

    Hope I did this right. So much to learn, so hard to choose.
    Shelley

  3. Irene Leatherow says:

    Hi Kathleen-

    LOVE your website. I’m getting back into home sewing after a 30-year hiatus. I want to significantly improve the look and fit of apparel I make for myself and my family. I want to learn the “inside secrets” of sewing to accomplish that end. I am on the verge of purchasing my first industrial sewing machine (seriously considering a needle feed lockstitch with a servo motor) as I’ve come to understand from your website that I cannot achieve industry quality results using an overpriced home machine.

    So, with the goal of improving my skills to get better results, here are my five picks for future tutorials:

    1-fitting tutorials using a real model
    2-convert a purchased pattern into my own custom block
    3-various jigs and how to make them
    4-sewing without pins in all its variations
    5-pants drafting/fitting

    PS. Ordered your book today through Amazon

    Thanks,
    Irene

  4. Katherine says:

    I hope that everything works out for you…I was just thinking this morning that your blog has been quiet (because I am struggling with zippers in faced and waisted garments today, and seeking out tutorials) and up popped this post.

    My picks are
    1. Invisible zipper that covers inserting an invisible zipper in a fully lined garment, (and could this garment include a waist seam – I have trouble translating existing tutorials to dresses with a waist seam.
    2 how sleeves are drafted, particularly how to make them roll toward the front of the body and not so much at the side and have good range of motion.
    3.how to line a dress (with or without sleeves) that has a lapped zip. :)
    4. flat felled seams. As far as I have learned from extensive dissection of shirts and jeans there are two kinds – the edges meet and are enclosed or the edges overlap and are enclosed, the former mostly found at shoulder seams of shirts and the latter at the inseam of jeans. How does one draft a pattern that allows one to match the edges of the pieces at one end of the seam for the first pass and then have everything work out?

    Thanks

  5. emily says:

    Hi Kathleen! I’m so thrilled to see you post again. I was just fretting yesterday that it’s been a long time and i was rationalizing it to myself saying, “now, emily, she’s probably just busy with her *actual* projects…”

    I don’t have a winnowed down list for you thought, because I’m happy to ready anything you’d write about as it always provides me with a level of instruction and detail I’m not likely to find anywhere else.

  6. Liz says:

    Hi Kathleen,
    What a beautiful smorgasbord of possible knowledge!
    Here are my picks:
    fly-front zippers
    trouser linings, in combination with different zippers (fly front, centered)
    sleeve drafting
    fitting tutorials using a real model
    pants drafting/fittings

    I’d love to see the Kathleen-approved fly-front zipper method!

  7. katyrenee says:

    Oh!! What a gift.

    My top 5:
    1. editorial on the people you have encountered over the last 10 years, who made it and why, who did’t and why, and why some people are so eager and after about 8 post we never hear from them again. (No names)
    2. how to get very limited quantities of a garment manufactured (anywhere from 5-10 pieces)
    3. sewing without pins
    4. Invisible zipper that covers inserting an invisible zipper in a fully lined garment,
    5. best Quality Assurance techniques for inspecting a sewn product upon completion. What to look for, in what order, etc.

  8. Amy says:

    I would love to see

    1. Sleeves: especially how they are drafted so they roll forward and have ROM.
    2. Sleeves: How to draft sleeves & armscye
    3. Misc: Handling 4 way stretch fabrics
    4. Sewing: Sewing without pins
    5. Fitting: Fitting video with a real model and how you go about fitting a garment in a standard size, What is a good enough fit – and where do you draw the line from making too great corrections for one particular body

  9. Lisa Blank says:

    Two new ideas came to me this morning as I was thinking about my current projects. I’m going to list them along with the rest of my votes. Note that some of my votes are for topics that I learned from you last year, but I’m voting for them anyway because I liked your method and think others would benefit.

    1. Drafting facings. Even though this is covered in the book, you’ve since written that there are many different ways to do it. Let’s see some other ways.
    2. Bluff pocket. I’m surprised this didn’t come up, because I don’t think it was ever revealed… unless it was and I just don’t remember it. :-)
    3. Fly-front zippers
    4. Drafting, cutting, and sewing a western yoke
    5. Handling skills

    And if bringing up new ideas isn’t allowed, then I submit the following instead of 1 and 2 above.
    – sewing a notched collar
    – anything about fitting

  10. Susan Hunziker says:

    Only 5? ;-)

    1. fly-front zipper
    2. flat-felled seam
    3. Lining dresses
    4. Lining vent garments
    5. Lining pants

    If 3 and 5 morph into “lining garments with zippers,” then

    6. various jigs and how to make them.

    Thanks.

    Susan

  11. linda says:

    1- how sleeves are drafted, particularly how to make them roll toward the front of the body and not so much at the side and have good range of motion.
    2-Invisible zipper that covers inserting an invisible zipper in a fully lined garment,
    3-drafting a collar with partial stand

    That’s it for me!! I love your posts and tutorials!!

  12. Sounds as if you need to write another book!

    Here are my picks:
    1. best Quality Assurance techniques for inspecting a sewn product upon completion. What to look for, in what order, etc
    2. Fabric handling
    3. tutorials on QC Inspections
    4. various jigs and how to make them
    5. drafting, cutting and sewing a western yoke (for me this falls into the category of those TV shows “How do they do this?” I’d love to see how this is done.
    6. (cause I just can’t pick 5) editorial on the people you have encountered over the last 10 years, who made it and why, who did’t and why, and why some people are so eager and after about 8 post we never hear from them again. (No names)
    Thanks, Kathleen, for being so generous.

    Marguerite

  13. Jen L says:

    A veritable candy store! Here are my votes:

    1. how sleeves are drafted, particularly…range of motion.
    2. Invisible zipper… in a fully lined garment.
    3. fly-front zippers (methods).
    4. pants drafting/fittings (especially drafting the crotch curve/length).
    5. editorial on the people you have encountered over the last 10 years, who made it and why…

  14. Lois says:

    Nice to see a post from you–and many thanks for your generosity! I vote for sleeves x 5. I can’t seem to figure out how to deal with proportions that are not the typical ones, the specific mystery being narrow shoulders, large bicep, short length from shoulder to armpit.

  15. Siobhan says:

    Excellent list. I really like the methodical way you are whittling down the suggestions. My choices from the list:

    1. fly-front zippers!
    2. tutorials on fitting
    3. anything about sleeves and armholes (especially armhole balance and how to tell if a commercial pattern is correctly balanced and sitting on the shoulder)
    4. Sewing without pins. Especially when matching plaids or around curves. You’ve said that you see sleeves in with only one pin. Where and why? (I sew without pins in the method that Janet Prey of Islander Sewing teaches, no idea whether this is industry standard or not)
    5. handling skills. How can anyone know proper handling unless shown by someone else?

  16. Karin says:

    1. Fitting.
    2. Fitting as it relates to pattern alterations
    3. Fitting.
    4. Fitting.
    5. Fitting.

    I obviously have hit a wall with fitting. When I was a relatively small person of 117 pounds at 5’5″, with a not quite B-cup, fitting was relatively easy, I just had to shorten the back-neck waist line of a size 10 or 12 pattern.

    After three children and 30 years, I have a D-cup, the same small frame and about 50 pounds more weight, and a zillion fitting changes, and I’ve been trying for years and can’t sort them out; still seem to need the size 12 pattern for my shoulders, but after that it is pot luck. Back-neck-waist is still short, but need length in the front for the FBA….

    Help.

  17. Karen Cook says:

    I’m looking forward to whatever tutorials you give us, but here are my top 5:
    1. Fly front zipper
    2. Flat felled seams
    3. Pants drafting / fitting
    4. Lining vent garments
    5. Drafting a drop shoulder
    Thank you so much!

  18. V says:

    I love that you’re soliciting topics to cover. That’s how education should be designed – with the audience in mind! I’d love (need, desperately desire, willing to make a deal with the devil for) more solid information on fitting.

    (my selects are cut and pasted from your list)

    –> Fitting tutorial: **I would love to see how you fit lesser talked about body quirks like areas where fat accumulation restricts movement in apparel or causes bodily discomfort (like waistband cutting in only when sitting); skeletal structural abnormalities like lordosis, drooped shoulders, scoliosis; protrusions likes thighs, abdomen, shoulder blades; fitting a large bust with a hollow-chest and/or short upper-chest (the armhole is the devil!); anything to do with crotches, especially if it solves the whole shortened psoas muscle-crotch lines issue. Just to name a few :)

    –> Fitting video with a real model and how you go about fitting a garment in a standard size, What is a good enough fit – and where do you draw the line from making too great corrections for one particular body

    –> ‘Refine My Line’ tutorials that show how to fix a pattern from a fit sample

    –> How sleeves are drafted, particularly how to make them roll toward the front of the body and not so much at the side and have good range of motion.

    –> anything on sleeves – still hoping for someone to scientifically compare different variants of sleeve cap ease (yuck), and set-in methods on the same basic blouse pattern; testing for assembly time, look, restriction of movement, and if any of that changes with the wearer’s bicep measurement (which would require more than one fit model, and thus possibly more than one test garment, I know.)

  19. Colleen says:

    Hi Kathleen,

    My five are:

    Tutorials on fitting

    Fitting Video on Live Model

    Refine my line

    Sleeves – how they are drafted

    Adding Ease to Shoulder Seam

    Having said that, almost any topic you do will be enlightening.

    Thanks!

  20. Stephanie says:

    Sleeves, sleeves, sleeves: any and all of the topics in the sleeve section. Sleeves are mystifying to me, even after years of sewing. And you seem to have a lot of knowledge on sleeves. Since reeading previous articles of yours, my sleeve knowledge has certainly improved :)

    But then again, I’m really looking forward to any topic. I’m sure even if it is not on sleeves, it will be enlightening.

    Thank you!

  21. Melissa says:

    I’ve seen the future. It is not going to be full of tailored garments. Clothing is going to fit closer to the body and have fewer decorative elements that stand away from the body. Turns out that we are in fact heading towards solid-color unitards made of spandex.

    Jeans will still be relevant for another hundred years, but they will be one of the last things that people wear that isn’t made out of 4-way stretch.

    So I vote against anything related to zippers, linings, or fitting woven and/or leather garments.

    I vote for any topics that touches upon stretch materials, QC, fabric testing, and getting small runs produced.

  22. Timmie McBride says:

    Anything fitting or drafting in any garment.
    –> Fitting tutorial: **I would love to see how you fit lesser talked about body quirks like areas where fat accumulation restricts movement in apparel or causes bodily discomfort (like waistband cutting in only when sitting); skeletal structural abnormalities like lordosis, drooped shoulders, scoliosis; protrusions likes thighs, abdomen, shoulder blades; fitting a large bust with a hollow-chest and/or short upper-chest (the armhole is the devil!); anything to do with crotches, especially if it solves the whole shortened psoas muscle-crotch lines issue.

    -how sleeves are drafted, particularly how to make them roll toward the front of the body and not so much at the side and have good range of motion.

  23. Lisa Laree says:

    Sleeve/shoulder/ armsceye fitting. I think there were at least five under that topic? Commercial patterns are so sloppily drafted that I’m still trying to find the golden ticket of sleeve/shoulder fit to copy from that point forward…

    Good to see you in my feedburner again! :-)

  24. Richard says:

    1. drafting, cutting and sewing a western yoke
    2. Front fly zippers
    3. Handling skills
    4. Pants drafting/fitting
    5. Various jigs and how to make them

  25. Tim van Kluyve says:

    Hello Kathleen,
    I was so happy to finally see a new entry. I was hoping the long hiatus wasn’t due to health issues.
    My wishes for tutorials are:
    1-insert a flat front zipper on pants and trousers and clarification of putting on a waistband
    2-trouser linings, in combination with different zippers (fly front, centered)
    3-tutorials on fitting
    4-flat felled seams, drafting and sewing
    5-setting a collar stand in a shirt/blouse bodice
    Thank you

  26. Anne says:

    1. Invisible zipper with full lining or with a waistband – skirt/slax; smilar to Katherine’s comment
    2. anthing about fitting.

  27. Pam says:

    My choices are:

    1. Sleeve & Armscye Drafting (In particular Tailored Jackets)
    2. Anything on sleeves
    3. Anything you have to say about jackets (tailored)
    4. Anything you have to say about sleeves in jackets
    5. Anything you have to say about sleeves and armholes

    I would like to learn how to draft a sleeve & armscye that are more fitted & not so far past the shoulder. I guess you could say, more fitted, if that makes sense.

    Thank you for the opportunity, Kathleen.
    Pam

  28. Marissa says:

    ummm all of it. **DEAD SERIOUS** I would study each one.

    but since you are making me choose…
    1)how to get very limited quantities of a garment manufactured (anywhere from 5-10 pieces)
    editorial on the people you have encountered over the last 10 years, who made it and why, who did’t and why, and why some people are so eager and after about 8 post we never hear from them again. (No names)
    2) Sewing without pins. Especially when matching plaids or around curves. You’ve said that you see sleeves in with only one pin. Where and why?
    3) best Quality Assurance techniques for inspecting a sewn product upon completion. What to look for, in what order, etc
    4)fitting video with a real model and how you go about fitting a garment in a standard size, What is a good enough fit – and where do you draw the line from making too great corrections for one particular body
    5) convert a purchased pattern into my own custom block for those of us who are just starting out and don’t have our own blocks, including what things we should look out for and adjust.

  29. Demetra Rowan says:

    1) How to get very limited quantities of a garment manufactured (anywhere from 5-10 pieces)
    2) Best Quality Assurance techniques for inspecting a sewn product upon completion. What to look for, in what order, etc
    3) editorial on the people you have encountered over the last 10 years, who made it and why, who did’t and why, and why some people are so eager and after about 8 post we never hear from them again. (No names)
    4) making garments from leather (selection, seams, interfacing and pressing).
    5) how to line a vent garment.

  30. Andrew says:

    Hello,

    I have just started a small men’s shirting company and I have to say your blog and your book have been of much help. Here’s some things I would like some guidance on;

    -Anything in regards to fitting, especially regarding shoulder seam/ease (regarding mens shirting)
    -Revising a sleeve draft from an existing pattern.
    -How to properly sew the flat felled seams you see on the should seam (with or without folders?)
    -Adding a lining to a spring jacket
    -How to find quality suppliers (preferably made in North America) willing to work with small manufacturers (especially shirting button suppliers!)

    Thanks so much!

  31. Ginevra says:

    I don’t want to overwhelm, so I just want to pick 2:
    the fitting video and when not to continue to fit one particular person
    sleeves and range of movement.
    Thank you!

  32. I’ll make this simple and just second Marguerite Swopes’ picks. Also, if you don’t mind me suggesting belatedly, one thing I have had no luck finding anywhere is tutorials about general care and maintenance of my assorted industrial machines. How often should we be oiling? What other things do we check and on what schedule? How do we clean them so they don’t mark white materials in sewing? How do I know what size thread to use with what size needle, Etc.

  33. jadea says:

    I hope you meant 5 topics and not individual topics within the main:0 My choices:

    1. Business (esp. guide to manufacturing low quantities)
    2. Misc (emphasis on working with diff. fabrics other than basic woven)
    3. Linings (basic concepts of linings for diff. fabric/silhouettes!)
    4. Fitting (esp. using a live model, diff. fabrics and silhouettes)
    5. QC (how to deal!)

  34. Åsa says:

    Hi! This is my top five: fitting video, how to make leather garments, anything to do with lining, pant drafting and fitting, sleeve drafting.

    Thanks a lot!

  35. Philippa Y says:

    Hello,
    This is a hard task – picking only 5! This looks to me like a plea for you to write a book for the non-DE’s (ie the home sewers).. Absolutely love your inquiring mind and detailed analysis of methods/solutions and attention to fine detail..
    1. how to line a vent garment.
    2. fitting video with a real model and how you go about fitting a garment in a standard size, What is a good enough fit – and where do you draw the line from making too great corrections for one particular body
    3. setting a collar stand in a shirt/blouse bodice
    4. various jigs and how to make them
    5. anything relating to skirt waistbands
    And a ‘wild card’ – how to fit a bodice (particularly for large busts) and the resultant change to the armscye and its impact on the sleeve head shape..

  36. Elizabeth says:

    I’m a chemical engineer-turned-nurse anesthetist (long story) who keeps rediscovering your awesome blog and tutorials when free time re-appears in my life and I can then sew. I see that under the category of Fitting, others (like me) are looking for anything and everything that we can find. Do you have favorite (i.e., accurate) resources on fitting? I get frustrated by: seemingly conflicting methods of correcting the same fitting problem; inability to ‘read the wrinkles’ the same way an ‘expert’ or blogger does (compounded by not knowing whether they, or I, or neither of us is correct); not knowing whether I’m making progress on a multi-factorial fitting problem or just creating another problem; and probably more that I can’t quite wrap my brain around right now.

    Thanks for all the great information you’ve made available through the years!

  37. I bought your book and thought I had subscribed to your blog but I hadn’t. I’ve missed a lot of interesting posts. I tried to subscribe today and couldn’t. There isn’t a Bloglovin link is there? Neither email subscription nor RSS feed subscription would work. I’ll try the yahoo one again.
    On the choice of 5 – clearly I am very late to the party so I’ll say ‘anything from anything’. My personal biggest challenge at present is insertion of collar with stand.
    Hoping I can find a way to subscribe!

  38. Tracy says:

    It wasn’t easy but my five favorites are as follows:
    1. Invisible zipper that covers inserting an invisible zipper in a fully lined garment,
    2. Sewing without pins. Especially when matching plaids or around curves. You’ve said that you see sleeves in with only one pin. Where and why?
    3. how to line a vent garment.
    4. drafting a balanced drop shoulder that includes how to modify the bodice and the sleeve cap/width from blocks. Is there a ratio to dropping the shoulder/dropping the armhole/widening the bodice and sleeve that produces a well fitted result?
    5. how sleeves are drafted, particularly how to make them roll toward the front of the body and not so much at the side and have good range of motion.
    Thanks again for an already great set of tutorials!

  39. Demetra says:

    Thanks so much, great gift:

    1. How to line a vent garment
    2. Making garments from leather
    3. How to get very limited quantities of a garment manufactured (anywhere from 5-10 pieces)
    4. Fitting video with a real model and how you go about fitting a garment in a standard size, What is a good enough fit
    5. Where do you draw the line from making too great corrections for one particular body

  40. JustGail says:

    Welcome back! And if you don’t already have enough on your plate, I second the suggestion of a book aimed at home sewers :-). I already look at your links often, but it’s nice to be able to take a book to the machine or off somewhere quiet to study.

    I know it’s way late, but here’s my list anyway –
    1. any of the sleeve drafting/ease/range of motion topics
    2. trouser linings, in combination with different zippers (fly front, centered).
    3. insert a flat front zipper on pants and trousers (bonus if you can clarify putting on a waistband as well).
    4. various jigs and how to make them
    5. even though I’m not in the sewing business, people from the last 10 years.

  41. marcela says:

    Dear Kathleen, would you consider covering ALL the requests? Choosing just 5 is a pure torture. You could make themed tutorial bundles (video or pictorial) for which you could charge a fee to access. Surely you have a HUGE crowd of followers around the world so it would be worth all the effort. By the way, I am a beginner dressmaker hobbist.

    • Kathleen Fasanella

      Hi Marcela

      I wish it were possible. I had planned to post an entry explaining why before now but I couldn’t. I’ll try to explain now.

      1. Many requests are outside the scope of my mission. For example, it is unlikely I’ll describe how to do a specific fit adjustment for an individual fitting problem. The keys here are “individual’ and “mission”. My mission is (for better or worse) RTW, not individuals. This does not mean I don’t think there is value in helping individuals with their sewing projects only that there is a lot of help for enthusiasts but nothing for RTW. There are many “enterprising” individuals who purport do teach industrial sewing but [perhaps not] oddly enough, they target home sewers with their advice -I don’t want to be shoe horned into the same category. I do RTW for RTW but of course, enthusiasts are welcome to use what they can.

      2. Data points -many requests for given topics are for methods or processes that are also discussed widely elsewhere. Many people, even those asking, have already determined how they like to do something. They’re just asking me for my way to see how it stacks up to their own and most likely, will continue to do it their own way. Most people don’t want something new, they want their own familiar way, just done differently. Since my mission is to show something truly new, most people won’t try it -which won’t keep them from criticizing something they haven’t even tried.

      3. Duplicating information- if there is already existing information that explains something, I’m not going to duplicate it. I don’t replicate information. How many sites have we seen that show the same tired old ways of doing things that most everybody already knows? There is already an abundance of Sewing 101. I don’t want my site to be yet another rehash of the Reader’s Digest Guide to Sewing.

      4. Out of scope -an example would be drafting a sleeve. In real life, once you’re out of school, you’ll never draft a block/sleeve etc from scratch again, so why do it? In truth, it is pretty close to impossible to write instructions that will work for most people and most garments due to fitting requirements, styling details and garment types. I have come to the conclusion that people truly don’t understand just how individualized all of these things are. The usual strategy is to correct and modify an existing sleeve and armscye rather than to start over from zero. This post, How we make patterns in real life explains why this is so.

      I’ve also already written how to correct sleeves -this is the process I use.
      http://fashion-incubator.com/archive/how-to-re-shape-armholes/
      http://fashion-incubator.com/archive/how-to-remove-sleeve-cap-ease/
      http://fashion-incubator.com/archive/how-to-remove-sleeve-cap-ease-pt-2/

      I also think that people assume that armed with a magic formula, their problems are solved. Maybe there is magic out there but I don’t have it. Sleeves are very difficult and time consuming to do well. If I spend 8 hours on a lined jacket, it is not unusual for 4 of those hours to be on the sleeve. There are no short cuts -and I think that’s what people really want.

  42. Kathleen Fasanella

    Marcela, forgot to add:
    I really enjoy this blog and the interaction from readers around the world but it is but one small part of what I do. Creating content for resale is something I aspire to doing but I haven’t been able to work it in around my full time job -yet.

    My full time job is working in RTW production, until now, mostly patterns, samples and markers (and consulting and training). What hasn’t yet been announced officially is that I’ve expanded my business to production sewing. We bought a building, remodeled it and I just moved in this week. All I need now are manufacturers who need some sewing done.

    • Karen J says:

      Does that make *contact Kathleen* one answer to “How to get very limited quantities of a garment manufactured (anywhere from 5-10 pieces)”?

  43. MULAN says:

    Love the information on your blog! Here’s my top 5!

    °Invisible zipper that covers inserting an invisible zipper in a fully lined garment,
    °fitting video with a real model and how you go about fitting a garment in a standard size, What is a good enough fit – and where do you draw the line from making too great corrections for one particular body
    °convert a purchased pattern into my own custom block for those of us who are just starting out and don’t have our own blocks, including what things we should look out for and adjust.
    °how to work with 4 way stretch material(or a post on working with KNITWEAR pattern/sewing/etc)
    °editorial on the people you have encountered over the last 10 years, who made it and why, who did’t and why, and why some people are so eager and after about 8 post we never hear from them again.
    THANKs for your hard work!

  44. Sophie-Lee says:

    Ooh this is a tricky one – no wonder you were overwhelmed with the number of suggestions!

    My top picks:
    1. How to line a dress (with or without sleeves) that has a lapped zip – mainly I want to know how to finish off the waist seam cleanly (I assume I can extrapolate from the lapped zipper with facing tutorial for the lining itself)
    2. How to line a vent garment – I’ve read tutorials on this before but they were bloody confusing and you tend to explain it much clearer
    3. Flat felled seams – I KNOW there has to be an easier way to do these than what I do now (which is a total faff, whether I’m using light weight fabrics or denim)
    4. Setting a collar stand in a shirt/blouse bodice/anything to do with shirt collars – again, there must be a proper way of setting these in and top-stitching them down to give a professional look. I know smaller seam allowances will help (1.5cm S.A. in commercial patterns make it very difficult to be accurate)
    5. Waistbands. Oh, waistbands! This isn’t on your list but I’m putting it on here anyway. I cannot work out a good way to attach waistbands and top stitch so they look equally nice on both sides.

    I’m not quite so interested in the fitting side of things, because I think there’s already so much out there on it and it’s much more individual so would be very hard for you to cover enough to make people happy. I’m more interested in the techniques side of things, and how to draft patterns so that the techniques just WORK (rather than, as you say, having to bail myself out later on with the sewing or the pressing)

    Out of interest, regarding your book – I know it’s mainly aimed at people wanting to go into business like it says, but is it “worth it” for hobby sewists as well?

    P.S. I can finally post a comment!

    • Lisa Blank says:

      Sophie-Lee, I’m a hobbyist myself, and I think Kathleen’s book was well worth the price paid. I especially appreciate the sections on drafting linings and facings and on pattern making conventions.

      • Sophie-Lee says:

        Awesome, thanks for your comment Lisa! Looks like it’s increased in price on amazon so I might have to wait a bit (the exchange rate is not so good right now), or maybe I can convince my library to get it!

      • Kathleen says:

        I think you’re looking at used copies. The new price hasn’t changed. If you get new, you can join our private forum -Lisa’s been a member for years.

        Book sales underwrite and make this site possible in a very direct way.

      • Sophie-Lee says:

        Ah, that was surprisingly tricky to find the proper version. With the exchange rate it’s about $130 incl. shipping, but I’ll keep an eye and nab it when the NZD improves. Or earlier if I get impatient. Thanks for your help Kathleen!

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