Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Cal Patch study

One of my goals for the Seam Allowance project is to finally work my way through Cal Patch's Design-it-Yourself Clothes. I bought this book right after it came out with the best of intentions. Jenny and I kept saying that we were going to make a date to take our measurements. We never did. Periodically I would take the book out and flip through it, but I never committed to reading it or working through the exercise of making a pattern. As part of Seam Allowance I am making myself a schedule so that by the end of the year I will have made myself the basic pattern for each garment type and have attempted a variation. The schedule looks like this:

July 2012: Read part one of the book and take full set of measurements.

Cal suggests that you work as you read and I will certainly do that. However, I am approaching her book as a textbook and this as a self-guided course, so this month I will also read the instructions for the each of the basic patterns and browse part three about customizing and stylizing.

August 2012: Basic skirt pattern

September 2012: Skirt variation, either from the book or of my own design.

October 2012: Basic T

November 2012: T variation, either from the book or of my own design.

December 2012: Basic woven shirt

January 2013: Woven shirt variation, either from the book or of my own design.

February 2013: Basic dress

March 2013: Dress variation, either from the book or of my own design.

April 2013: Basic pant

May 2013: Pant variation, either from the book or of my own design.

Anyone interested in joining me? I would love to exchange ideas with others engaged in the same study and see what others create. No one is obligated to follow along for every single month (maybe you don't wear woven tops and you're not a skirt woman, that's cool). Or perhaps you just want to do the basic patterns. Check out this Flickr group for inspiration! Comment below and leave your blog address or Flickr ID if you want to work alongside me.


  1. Count me in! I've been wanting to get started on the skirt and just haven't set aside the time to do it. This would be a good motivation to do so.

  2. you are awesome nicole! no one else has yet "Julie & Julia'd" my book that i know of. i'll be following along and am here for support and guidance if needed ;n)

    have FUN!

  3. I just picked up this book from my shelf last week, having purchased it years ago. I was prompted to do so because I was about to purchase another sewing book (Burda) and then remembered that I never worked through this book as I had planned. I would love to work through it! I do not have a blog or a flckr account. So far the book is eye candy. I need to "take a bite" and measure myself (hey, that would definitely encourage me to intake less real candy, I'm sure). Great idea!

  4. Me! Me! I'll be a bit late to join since we're off to Florida next week, but hopefully I'll be able to catch up in August.


  5. I am in. Ordered the book and am raring to go. Just have to finish a quilt.

  6. Okay, I took a few measurements, enough to get going on the skirt and a few more. I'm going to scrounge for some fabric, but unfortunately most of my supply is quilting-weight cotton and wearing that makes me feel like I'm in hospital scrubs or pajamas. Guess a trip to the fabric store is in order. I'm excited to get going on a project for some wardrobe enhancement!

  7. Nicole, I listen to Stash and Burn and LOVE IT! I wish you recorded every week, but I also know you and Jenny are really busy so I will just always be super excited when I see a new podcast is up! Anyway, I really like that you added sewing to the mix. It is fun to read your blog about your adventures and now I am all enthusiastic again to sew for myself! I am going to check out Cal Patch's book right now, and thanks for the Flickr link - that IS inspirational!!! PS - your skirt looked really cute!!!