Update on Next Tutorial

I've been wanting to do a video tutorial for some time, but with work and lack of natural light in my studio I've been putting it off. I might do a few short tutorial on hand sewing. Which I've been wonting to do for a long time now. What I really wanted to show you are some tailors techniques for hand sewing, but I haven't been able to find the proper information over the internet. This means a trip downtown to the BIG library ... hmmmm. So what I'll do is make a tutorial on basic techniques.

If you have any request about hand sewing please let me know and I'll include them in my tutorial.


Creating a Sleeve for your DressForm

I've been debating on making this post. In the end I think it would be easier to create a blog entry than to make a video tutorial.

I few weeks ago I purchase this "Draping" book which I've been trying to buy for some time now. I really goes into detail on the history of draping and how it all started. Which my school failed to teach us.

Okay ... its time for the draping part of this tutorial.

[I would like to add that this book deals with CM not INCHES so if you don't have a measuring tape with CM on it you'll need to do some converting here is the formula:

cm x 0.39* = in
in x 2.54 = cm

*Shown as 0.39 after rounding to the nearest hundredth (0.3937008).]

You'll need the following measurements: (size 6 US)
• Upper arm width (27cm)
• Elbow width (23cm)
• Wrist width (16cm)
• Arm length (61cm)
• Lower arm length (25cm)
• Arm hole circumference (40cm)

• Muslin Fabric
• Cardboard
• Poly-Fil
• Pins
• Rulers: L-Ruler, French Curve, Clear Ruler
• Thread: Black, Red, White
• Needle (for hand sewing)
• Sewing Machine
• Iron

Step 1: The book just tells you to draw in the lines from the image onto the fabric. I had to decipher the book which took a long time. They may have left some stuff out when translating the book or it didn't translate well into english. [For this tutorial I'll be making the right sleeve, if you want the left sleeve just mirror steps 3-7]

Step 2: make sure you have at least 1/2 inch of seam allowance around the rectangle then join the end seams, folding S.A. under and pinning. Put a ruler between the fabric, this will make it easier to pin.

Step 3: Go 2cm in at the Elbow (measuring from left to right).The book just tells you to draw in the lines from the image onto the fabric. I had to decipher the book which took a long time. They may have left some stuff out when translating the book or it didn't translate well into english. [For this tutorial I'll be making the right sleeve, if you want the left sleeve just mirror steps 3-7]

Step 4: Match up the following points: Elbow, Wrist, & Half of wrist measurement (use an L-Ruler).

Step 5: a.) Then match up the following points: Upper Arm, Elbow at the 2cm point, and at Wrist (see drawing for details). b.) Then draw a parallel line 2cm away from the line you just finish drawing.

Step 6: Finally measure the Upper Arm, Elbow & Wrist and divide by 2, then connect these points (This will be the "Inner Sleeve Seam").

Step 7: Flip the fabric and transfer or measure again using step 3-6 omitting part b in step 5.

Step 8: Make sure you have 1/2 inch seam allowance all the way around & cut out.

Step 9: Now its time to sew. Using RED thread, stitch the following points: Upper Arm, Elbow, Center Line/Grain Line. Stitch each line twice.

Step 10: Using BLACK thread, stitch all of the Black Dashes indicated in the image below. Stitch each line twice.

Step 11: Create the "Wrist and Arm Plate". a.) First make an oval for the wrist that measures (16cm), then make another one tracing off the armhole of the dressform (40cm). b.) The plates are made from cardboard and lined with muslin fabric, hand sewn closed. Letters A-C shows you how to attach the lining to the cardboard for the "Wrist Plate" & D is the "Arm Plate" using the same method.

Step 12: a.) Sew the seam, the fish eye dart, the wrist dart, and cap dart using a sewing machine.

b.) And then sew the bottom wrist by hand, fill with poly-fil and attach the armhole plate by hand. Note: When stuffing the sleeve I really packed it in, because the one I made in school slowly got softer and softer the more I used it. I also copied the triangle style from the original sleeve. I just traced the shoulder marking the shoulder seam and then draw a kind of triangle. Then I sandwiched it between the arm plate and sleeve, then I hand sewed it closed.

When attaching it to your dressform make sure that the center line/grain line is straight and matching up with the side seam. If they match up you know your sleeve is aligned properly.

Hope this helps, sorry I didn't go into more detail. I didn't want to write a novel. But if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. I'll try to answer them as best as I can.

The next Sleeve I make I will not put cardboard on the arm plate, because it doesn't sit right on my dressform. I will also make the triangle longer.


Documentary Update & Stuff

Little update ... I've been trying to keep up with fashion week and all of that fashion programing on the Sundance Channel. And I finally found time to do some research, so I'll have a new tutorial up very soon.

In the mean while, I want to share my Documentary review. I watched the "The September Issue" not that exciting, but I found out of about the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, which took me to the "Seamless" documentary about this awards program. I guess since they are giving away $200,000 you have to be bankable. In other viral videos I found out that if the Fashion World has a president its Anna Wintour, she can make or break your career. I've known about her and others, even before I started at FIDM, it just seems so surreal to me that one person has so much pull with the marketing aspect of this industry. I've never realized it before or never wanted to admit to my self, but its true.

Next!!!, "Unzipped", I didn't enjoy it much and it was mostly black and white. Some parts of it was fun to watch, but as a whole they could have done better. Not much of the behind of the scene that I was looking for.

"Eleven Minutes" I don't think I listed it in my last entry. But I found it to be very depressing.

"The Secret World of Haute Couture" that was interesting to see some of the people that buy these garments and the secrecy behind it all. To bad it was filmed as SD. I'm so used to seeing thing in HD that I sometimes forget the poor quality of SD. When watching anything that has to do with fashion I want to see every little detail as if I was filming it myself.

"Signe Chanel" I watched this documentary about Lagerfeld & Chanel a long time ago. It was nice to go back and review it again. This is by far one of the best documentaries of Haute Couture. They don't explain what they are doing or why, but you get to see them in acting and pick up little details. The "Valentino: The Last Emperor" also is good to watch. If you watch the DVD they have extended scenes of them creating one of the garments. His personal life doesn't interests me as much, but I love to see the garments being constructed.

I got inspired to create new garments and also try to create an Haute Couture gown. All sewn by hand and if I have time I'll maybe add some embroidery. I might not finish this project by the end of the year, but its worth trying. Even if its just to say that "I made this Haute Couture Gown all by myself".

I almost forgot about "The Day Before" now this was fascinating to watch. Some of the episodes didn't have much to cover, so they added fluff to make it more entertaining. But others gave you a real picture of what happens before the fashion show and how many pieces get cancelled or finished a second before the model goes on the runway. It made me take a step back at how I create garments. I always think I'm doing something wrong or that I'm a failure if it doesn't come out looking right the first time around. But what I discovered is that some garments are not right and some just need more tweaking. Also that it's ok to make mistakes once in a while, thats how we learn.

I think I covered everything I wanted to cover. TTFN


Fashion Documentaries

Yesterday I was doing some research and I stumbled across www.fashion-gorgeois.com. These tutorials are worth watching. I learned some things and others I already knew. But, having designer share ideas or the way they work can help others learn. I've always been interested in watching how other designers work. By watching them even if they don't tell you how they are doing whatever it is that they are doing, one can get a general idea on how something is made. (Wondering if that makes sense :/ )

Here's a list of the recent documentaries I've been watching:

Valentino: The Last Emperor

Lagerfeld Confidential

The September Issue



Starz Inside: Fashion Film

The Secret World of Haute Couture

Signe Chanel

Notebook on cities and clothes

Other Documentaries:

• Haute Couture: A Fashion Documentary -- Film Trailer

• The next documentary I'll be watching later this week is Jay McCarroll: Eleven Minutes.

• Also the Sundance Channel* has a Series called "The Day Before".

"... Prigent chronicles the final 36 hours prior to crucial seasonal runway shows featuring creations by some of the fashion world's leading designers. ..."

Season Two starts on Sept. 8, 2010

◊ On Sept. 11, 2010 they are airing Season One back-to-back.

Also check out Signe Chancel on the Sundance Channel:


Monday, September 13 7:30 PM


Monday, September 13 8:00 PM


Monday, September 13 8:30 PM


Monday, September 13 9:00 PM


Time/Date: ?

* Directv - Sundance Channel: 558


Serger Problem

After using the Serger for my BF's Jeans, it stopped working. I was in a panic because I had orders to fill. Long story short I had to use a clean edge and bias tape for the raw edges of the seams, because I dropped my serger off at a locale sewing repair shop. Prier to dropping it off I called around and fold what at the time seemed like a reliable repair shop. But when I received a call from them 2 days later I was enraged. I was told that it was going to be $145 which included timing and oiling. I just wanted them to do the timing, so I can continue working. They said they wouldn't because the timing wouldn't hold if I didn't oil it. They tried to convince me that the oiling was needed because the handle felt ruff when you turned it. The handle felt a little ruff or tight, but it only after the timing happened. So they where full of shit. I think they wanted more money. Yes, the machine needs grease on the inside of the machine, but that has nothing to do with the timing nor the handle. So I declined the work and took my machine home and started searching. During my search I found this blog ... bangerlm.blogspot.com

"So I think there is some kind of conspiracy going on. Considering that the local repair shops charge $100, it becomes very pricy to get your machine(s) serviced every year as recommended. Especially if you have machines that only cost around $100-$200. ..." [Link]

I totally agree with her, it does feel like a conspiracy.

The pictures are detailed and you could see the alignment points. My BF was the master mind behind fixing my machine. It took a little while before we go it just right. We had to eliminate why it wasn't working, what was loose, and what didn't needed fixing. We narrowed it down to the upper looper wasn't aligned correctly and we did some tweaking and many test until we got it up and running again. I still need to grease the inside of the machine, but that can wait for another day.

This is a very poor design, because the machine needs to be keyed. If this was a man's machine, you can bet that the adjustable points would be marked in case it went out of alignment. Since people like to pray on the weak, they feel the need to charge us tones money to get one little thing fixed.

After this fiasco I'm going to learn as much as I can about fixing my own machines. I'm never going to take one of my machines to get repaired again. Its not worth buying a $200-$500 machine to turn around and fix it every year for $100 or more. Let say that the machine last about 10 year that $1,000 plus the $200-$500 you spent the the machine. The repairs are more than the machine itself. You are better off buying a new machine if your going to spend that money to repair it. I'm done talking about this for now.

I have video of the before and after that I might upload at a later date. It doesn't show us fixing it, which I regret not filming, but we didn't know if we would get it fixed or not. At the very least if we didn't get it fixed I was going to take it in to get repaired and pay the $145. I'm so happy that we got it working you can't imagine.

Click on image to see larger.

White Speedylock 1600

More LINKS re: Serger Timing/Adjustment


New Tutorial :: Setting up Industrial Sewing Machine

I think it was two weeks ago I purchased a Juki DDL-8300N sewing machine. I've always wanted an industrial sewing machine, but I didn't start researching it until recently when my home sewing machine started braking down on me. I sew way too much not to have an industrial sewing machine. Also the machine sews 10 times faster than a home sewing machine.

I made a very quick tutorial on how to thread the machine, threading the bobbin, threading the bobbin case, drawing Up bobbin thread, and removing or placing bobbin case into the machine.

Visit pandemicapparel.com to view the tutorial.

Replacing Broken Zipper on Jeans

My boyfriend (BF) had two pairs of jeans one had a perfect zipper but was torn; the other had a broken zipper and was otherwise perfect. He had asked me to take both jeans and make one. Rather than make a video tutorial which would take more time that I at the moment I decided to make a blog entry.

The following picture is from the jean that is missing the tooth, a second tooth broke alter on. But you can see that it needed replacing.

This next picture I'm removing the stitches of the waistband. If this is your first time replacing a zipper on jean or any other garment take notes on how its constructed or better yet take a few pictures before you start ripping seams.

Once the waistband seams were removed I started on removing the zipper on the left side of the pants.

I also had to remove some stitches that were holding the zipper in place at the crotch seam.

Next I moved to removing the zipper on the right side of the pants. After doing this to both pants, which took some time, I had my zipper and the broken one.

Here you can see the missing teeth on the lower zipper. These zippers didn't have a "top stops" so when I closed it the pull tab take flying off the teeth. I was left with the pull tab in my hand and surprised look on my face almost comical. It took forever to try to get the pull tab back on the zipper teeth. So keep in my don't close the zipper all the way and secure it with a safety pin.

Now I can finally attach the zipper to the pants.

First I hand stitched the zipper in place, serged the edges that needed it.

Then using my new Juki sewing machine I top stitched the zipper. Since this machine doesn't allow for 2 needle for the top stitching. I had to sew it twice and make sure to be careful about the distance between both.

I started off by attaching the right side of the zipper first then the left side I attached the zipper to the under flap and then top stitched it. Finally I top stitched the crotch seam and the little notch. I'm not sure what its called so I use "little notch". It the zigzag stitch that holds down the inner flap to the jeans.

After finishing the top stitching I moved on to attach the waistband, that was the easiest part.

My BF didn't care that I couldn't match the thread color, so you'll be able to see my top stitching.


Update regarding Alice Cullen Trench Coat

I had originally scheduled to make a tutorial about the Alice Cullen Trench Coat worn in the movie New Moon. But As I discovered with my last two episodes making a technical tutorial takes too much time and ends up being too lengthy to upload on youtube.
I still want to show you you how its made, I just cant figure out how to do it and not boar you to tears.

I'll keep you posted ...


New Tutorial :: Draping 101 - Trueing Front/Back Bodice Part 2 of 2

My new tutorial takes you step-by-step on transferring all of your muslin marking onto dotted paper & then onto manila paper. In pattern making one usually has two scissors one for cutting paper and one for fabric. Designers usually have many scissors, but two scissors should be the minimal amount you should have. Never use your fabric scissors for cutting paper & vice-versa.
I've added a PDF to my tutorial for anyone that needs a pattern card. I'll either do a tutorial explaining a pattern card or I'll start a blog post. Either way I'll explain how to fill out a pattern card at a later date.

Tips for Pattern Making:

I just had way too much info that didn't fit in my tutorial, so I'm including it in this blog post. Let me know if this information is useful to any of you.

Circle Symbol:

To make a perfect circle to mark the dart punch, I used a template. To make one all you'll need is a piece of manila paper & a rabbit hole-punch. First cut out a 2 inch squares (you'll need two of them), staple them together and punch out a hole using your rabbit hole-punch, then find the center and draw to lines. Drawing the two lines will help when trying to find the center.

Using the Notcher:

A tip when using the notcher, turn it up-side-down, you'll find you can accualy see the what you are doing and it will be more accurate.

Tracing Wheel:

I store my tracing wheel in its original box with tape on the bottom, so when I need to take it out to use I don't prick myself in the process.

AWL vs. Japanese Punch:

The Awl doesn't punch the paper, it just leaves a hole.

On the other hand the Japanese or Screw punch removes the paper, leaving the back of my patterns looking very professional. I prefer the Japanese punch, although I don't like getting out my cutting mat every time I need to use it. I have several Japanese punches, but the one I like the most is made buy Martha Stewart for $25. It has 3 different sizes and I generally use the smallest to make my dart punch.

Another use for the Tracing Wheel:

When the dart is folded you can't see the seam line between the dart. A trick is to close the dart and trace the seam line with the tracing wheel, now you have a clear view of the seam between the dart. Doing this can make it easier if you are having trouble cutting your patterns when the dart is folded or when adding seam allowances to your pattern.

• Visit PandemicApparel.com to watch this tutorial and to get detailed step-by-step instructions.

• And to view this tutorial on youtube.com, click here. Don't forget to subscribe to my youtube channel while you are there.

• If your interesting in receiving updates regarding my tutorials or website, follow me on Twitter, click here.

List of Tools You'll need for Patternmaking:

Buying Supplies

• I usually go downtown to the fashion district to buy supplies. I've added a link if anybody is interested in buying these supplies online. The cost of shipping paper might be expensive, so try to find it locally.

Atlas Levy Sewing Machine, Co. has a Basic Designer Package

Which includes: 1 Pattern Notcher 45N-1/16 Depth 1/4" Width 1/16", 12 Large pattern hooks for 1" and 1/12" pipes, 1 7" Needle Point & Pattern Tracer, 1 Awl (Punch Hole) 1 Package of Pins, 1 Seam Ripper, & 1 Measuring Tape. If you're starting out and need a starter kit, then this is for you.



I would like some feedback regarding my tutorials. I'm starting to think they are too technical for my time limit of 10 minutes. So maybe, I should start doing some that are easier and more entertaining. What do you guys think?


New Tutorial :: Draping 101 - Front/Back Bodice Part 1 or 2

My new tutorial takes you step-by-step on draping the front & back bodice. You will need a dress form, if you wish to try out this tutorial. I've also been working on Part 2, so hopefully I'll have it uploaded by next week. I'm trying not to have such a big gap between tutorials. Unfortunately I have to work and having two family members in the hospital this year doesn't help. Plus making tutorials doesn't bring in any cash, I just do it because I want to shear my knowledge with people who want to learn.

You will be able to find step-by-step instruction if you visit my website PandemicApparel.com.

To view this tutorial on youtube.com, click here. Don't forget to subscribe to my youtube channel while you are there.

I also have this tutorial on vimeo.com, click here.

And if your interesting in receiving updates regarding my tutorials or website, follow me on Twitter, click here.


New Nail Color

I've been neglecting my nails for some time now. And since I was about to video tape part 2 of draping 101. I figured this would be a good of a time as any to paint my nails a different color. I found the following nail colors at the drugstore on sale; buy 1 get the 2nd one at 50% off, not bad.


Whimsy: Neckroll Pillow with Ric Rac

Check out this tutorial from Sew4Home.com. It's a step-by-step tutorial on how to make a nickroll pillow with a great fabric from Fig Tree & Company for Moda called "Whimsy Ric Rac".


New Tutorial :: Stitch Markers & Coffee Cup Sleeve

My new tutorial shows you step-by-step how to make two stitch markers & a coffee cup sleeve.

You will be able to find step-by-step instruction if you visit my website PandemicApparel.com

To view this tutorial on youtube.com, click here. Don't forget to subscribe to my youtube channel while you are there.

I also have this tutorial on vimeo.com, click here.
And if your interesting in receiving updates regarding my tutorials or website, follow me on Twitter, click here.


New Tutorial :: Fingerless Mittens inspired by Alice Cullen

My new tutorial shows you step-by-step how to knit Fingerless Mittens. I recently got inspired by the Alice Cullen character in the movie "New Moon".

Vimeo's doing some maintenance on their site, so in the mean while check out my video on YouTube.com. Don't forget to subscribe to my youtube channel while you are there.

And if your interesting in receiving updates regarding my tutorials or website, follow me on Twitter, click here.

Here are a list of supplies you'll need for this tutorial:

Visit PandemicApparel.com for more info and to download the pattern.


Vimeo Group DIY Sewing

For those of you interested in finding out when the next fashion show will be, then check my Vimeo Group DIY Sewing. I have a calendar filled with dates. And if your interested in international fashion shows drop me a line and I'll them too.



18th Annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibition @ FIDM

Sat., February 6, 2010, was the opening night of FIDM's 18th Annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design exhibition. While attending FIDM and after graduating I never found a reason for attending this event on opening night. However this year I thought it would be fun to experience it for the first time. And let me tell you, it was great. I was only expecting to go to the museum, but they had the front of the building decorated like a red carpet event, a tent catering service and music. I wish I would have taken pictures of the party, oh well, maybe next year.

Upon arriving at FIDM we were just a few minutes early, so we got to see Monique Prudhomme (Costume Designer for The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus) being interviewed by the press. I did not speak to her … I'm kind of a chicken when it come to things like that. Nick Verreos was there also giving an interview at the same time.

Here is a
sneak peek at this years costumes.

0-posters1 0-posters2

The Duchess
Michael O'Connor | Paramount Vantage Pathe
2009 Academy Award Winner


Bright Star*
Janet Paterson | Sony Pictures Classics

The Last Station
Monika Jacobs | Sony Pictures Classics

Sherlock Holmes
Jenny Beavan | Warner bros. Pictures

Kasia Walicka Maimone | Fox Searchlight Pictures

Broken Embraces
Sonia Grande | Sony Pictures Classics

Inglourious Basterds
Anna Sheppard | The Weinstein Company

The Young Victoria*
Sandy Powell | Apparition



My One and Only
Helen Butler & Doug Hall | Freestyle Releasing

An Education
Odile Dicks-Mireaux | Sony PIctures Classics

Pirate Radio
Joanna Johnston | Universal Pictures

Public Enemies
Colleen Atwood | Universal Pictures

Julie & Julia
Ann Roth | Columbia PIctures

Michael Wilkinson | Warner bros. Pictures

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
Ellen Mirojnick | Paramount Pictures

Colleen Atwood | The Weinstein Company

Night At The Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
Marlene Stewart (FIDM Graduate) | 20th Century Fox Film Corporation

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus*
Monique Prudhomme | Sony PIctures Classics



Where The Wild Things Are
Casey Storm | Warner Bros. Pictures


A Single Man
Arianne Phillips | The Weinstein Company

Star Trek
Michael Kaplan | Paramount Pictures

Aliens In The Attic
Mona May (FIDM Graduate) | 20th Century Fox Film Corporation

Coco Before Chanel*
Catherine Leterrier | Soney Pictures Classics
[This nominee's designs was not selected for the exhibit.]

* Achievement in Costume Design

If you would like to know more about FIDM's Art of Motion Pictures Costume Design read this article from The Los Angeles Times by Julie Neigher.
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