Sewing from a Retro Pattern Book (with no instructions)

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(upbeat music) – [Annika] A little content
warning for this video, We’ll be discussing body
size and measurements quite in depth in this video. So if you find that
difficult to listen to, then you can skip the part of
the video with the timestamps listed now on the screen. This video is supported
in part by Skillshare. Hello, what is sewing on my dudes? Today I’m gonna be making
something out of this book, which has the very catchy title, “Collection of Fresh Summer Dresses. “Easiest to Make With Some Fashion Tips.” So I found this in a vintage store, and it’s actually a translation of a popular Japanese
sewing book from the 1980’s. (upbeat music) And it was so popular it
was translated into English. And some of the translations
are really (laughs) good. Really very good. It was like it was all
done by Google Translate, if Google Translate
was around in the 80’s. Cutter shoes with punch
holes, cool enough! Sloppiness is an art of expression. And don’t forget, I feel
public gaze on my back. Now, apparently the dresses are easy. It says that everything can
be finished in half a day. And apparently they fit any body. Small, medium, and large,
depending on how she wears. They are quite small. More importantly, making this for me, so I wanna be able to fit in them. It’s all in centimeters,
so I’ll do my best to translate to inches,
for people who use those. So their standard height
is 158 centimeters. And then we have bust
80, waist 60, hip 88. Which is much smaller than me. But they do say they
have a margin if you are bigger or smaller by 10
centimeters, then it’ll be fine. Which is a big margin, but I
guess they’re all pretty baggy. So giving it the largest
possible margins we’ve got, Alright, so comparing
this to my measurements now this is looking like
it might just fit me. The height is bang on, so that’s great. My bust is a little bit bigger, but the difference is so minimal and the clothes aren’t meant to be fitted, so I doubt it’ll matter. And my hip measurement is
also very close to this. The only major discrepancy
is my waist measurement here. And this is with the quote-unquote
larger error of margin. But we’ll just see what
we can do with that. It’s nearly there, so
I think it will work, especially as they’re real baggy styles. All right book, you talk a big game, but let’s see if you can
live up to your claims. Okay, plot twist. I’m gonna make a romper, not a dress. I am going to make this one, because there only has one pattern piece. And I’m old, and sore
and have creaky joints and I can’t sit on the floor all day. Plus, it’s got shirring and
that is my jam right now. And like all the other drawings, they’ve got some helpful fashion pointers. Madras check and gingham
become a marine scene. And a mini-length such as
this makes both the plump and the slim look cute. Hey book from the 80’s, that’s almost some body
positivity you got going on there. The secret of getting brown skin is to tan gradually on cloudy days. Knew it? Yikes. Okay, so all I have to do is to make this into a pattern piece and then use it to cut out fabric I guess. So, I’m going to pull
out some butcher’s paper Hi, it’s my fabric room. I don’t think I’ve ever
shown you all this. Butcher’s paper. The pattern was just too big for one piece so I’ve had to add a second. All right now to put this, onto this. And I’ve never actually done
something like this before so wish me all the luck, please I need it. So basically, what I did was to copy this pattern down onto my butcher’s paper using the measurements
given on the pattern which are written in centimeters, to guide how long each edge
and each bit needed to be, I used the straight bottom
edge of the butcher’s paper, for the straight bottom
edge of the romper pattern to save me having to draw one line there. Then I decided this would look
good filmed from above all time lapsed and super pro, you know. But jokes on me, ’cause you can’t see my
pencil markings on the paper from this distance, like at all. So after standing up and
realizing this, I re-traced all the pencil lines in a thick marker so you can actually see what I did. And you know what? I actually did a pretty good darn job. They both actually look
like the same thing and it’s in scale too,
as far as I can tell. So, yay! Now, because my waist measurement is the one measurement
that’s a little too big, I’m gonna add a bit of extra to the waist by making it larger at
the waist point here and then extending the
pattern to there at the waist and smoothing the line back up to the bust and down to the hips. (upbeat music) Now, according to the book I can now add whatever size seam allowance that I want around the outside of the pattern. So I’m gonna add a seam
allowance of 1.5 centimeters, that’s 5/8ths of an inch,
all the way around the sides. I’ll then sew with a one
centimeter, or 3/8ths of an inch, seam allowance to make the
romper just a little bit bigger than it would’ve been otherwise. Seeing as I was on the
larger end of the sizing, creating a large seam
allowance and then sewing with a deliberately smaller seam allowance is a good way to slightly increase the size of non-fitted
patterns, up to a point. So this is something I cannot figure out. It says to add seam allowance yourself but it doesn’t mention anything
about hemming allowance. So I don’t know what to do for the top and bottom of the romper here. I’m not sure if the hemming allowance for the top and bottom
has already been added or if I have to add that. So, that’s something we’re
all gonna figure out together. To be on the safe side,
I’m just gonna add it because I can always take away fabric but it’s not so easy to add it. So I decided on an extra 2.5
centimeters, that’s one inch, hemming allowance on both the top and the bottom of the pattern. I drew on the seam allowance by first marking at regular intervals where the seam allowance will go and then, basically, I
joined all those marks up, kind of like a dot-to-dot, to get an even seam allowance all around. After cutting it out, to add that extra hemming allowance at the bottom, I just added a little extra strip of paper that was 2.5 centimeters, one inch, wide. Now, I’m gonna use this pattern to cut out two pieces of
fabric of the same size. It is time to choose a
fabric from my stash. In the illustration they are
using some kind of gingham, so I’m gonna be thoroughly unoriginal and use gingham myself. So first, as all good sewers
should do, I ironed the fabric. That’s definitely me
there, ironing the fabric. It’s definitely me. – You know, sewing’s
not just the fun part. People like Annika really
put in the hard yards to also do the boring
bits like the ironing. – [Annika] So after ironing the fabric, I folded it in half. Here’s the folded edge, and then next, I’m gonna
lay the pattern down flat onto the fabric. Hey Luc. – Hi. – [Annika] And the next step
is to cut around the pattern through both layers of fabric and we’ll end up with two
symmetrical pieces of these in gingham fabric. I usually put a bunch of heavy stuff down onto the pattern to hold
it in place on the fabric and then cut around it
with my rotary cutter, because in the past seven years
or so that I’ve been sewing, I still somehow haven’t managed to get, or make myself any sort
of pattern weights. Now we’ve got two of the pattern cut-out, identical shape but symmetrical, and my fabric. Okay, now there’s no sewing instructions so I’m really gonna be
making this up as I go along. I figured I would sew these
just like a pair of shorts because that’s essentially what they are. So first, I placed the pieces of fabric right sides together, I clipped them, and then I
sewed down these edges here. Then I flipped it so that the side seams were now in the middle and I lined up the front
crotch with the back crotch, clipped them together with my clips and I sewed them together like this. Then I tried it on. Hmm… (laughs) So remember when I made it
a bit bigger at the waist? Yeah, that didn’t work
out as I was expecting. And it wasn’t even needed because this pattern really is quite baggy, baggier than I thought it was gonna be, so it allows for plenty
of room for my stomach. I really didn’t need
to make it any bigger. And the bulge in the pattern
just kind of makes it bulge out here in a very unflattering way but I’m not sure the
shirring will be able to fix. So I unpicked everything, and what I did was to
remove the added belly part on the actual paper pattern first, restoring the pattern
to its original state, seam allowances included. So then I put the paper pattern back down on top of the fabric pieces and cut off that extra belly part to make them the same
as the original pattern. And then I sewed it back
up just like I did before. So I’m not gonna bother showing you that. However this time, I also
remembered to finish all the seams with an overlocking stitch as well. So it was for the best really. Now it’s looking all right. Well, okay, it does look a little bit like a Tweedledee cosplay at this point, but hopefully that particular aesthetic will be erased by the shirring. Now while it’s on my
body, it’s a good time to figure out how much I
need to hem the top edge and the leg holes by. I have a really short torso, so I was actually able to hem
it by a lot at the top edge about six centimeters, which
is a little over two inches. So I pinned it roughly where
I wanted it to be hemmed, then I took it off and I folded the top edge
over twice to that length, then I ironed the folded edge, and then top-stitched all the way around the top of the romper. Nice. Now to add the straps. And the instructions are lacking
because there aren’t any. And therefore this drawing is very much up for interpretation. For example, are both straps together equal to 60 centimeters long, or are the straps 60
centimeters long each? There are not enough
instructions in this book. After throwing a little tantrum, I decided that 60 centimeters seemed like the reasonable length for each strap by using my flexible tape measure
to check out both lengths. Each strap will definitely
have to be 60 centimeters. That’s 23 and a half inches for those following along
at home in imperial. And because, I’m assuming, each strap is supposed to
end up one centimeter wide, that’s 3/8ths of an inch, I multiplied that by four
to give me four centimeters. So the fabrics I need
for the straps will be two of these, each 60
centimeters by four centimeters. To make each strap, I first pressed the long rectangle in half length ways with my iron to make a nice
crease right down the middle. Then I folded each half
of the strap in half, towards the middle crease, ironing it down to make yet another two creases. Basically what I’ve done is quarter each strap with
creases, length ways. Then I folded the whole strap in half along that middle crease,
folding in each crease. And then I sewed along the open edge with a straight stitch to close it up. On both ends of each strap, I cut the ends with pinking
shears to prevent fraying then folded the ends over like this once, and then sewed them across here. I then attached one end of
each strap to the romper, both 12 centimeters,
that’s four and 3/4 inches, from the center front seam, sewing them on at two
points, here and here. Now, it’s time to stop this looking like a Tweedledum cosplay
and add that shirring. I’ll be adding three rows of shirring at two points on the romper, ’round the top of the bust
and around my natural waist. First I’m gonna do these top ones. Now I have a whole video up on shirring if you don’t already know how to do that. I’m gonna assume you’ve all
watched that video already, so let’s get shirring. I did the first row of shirring one inch, that’s 2.5 centimeters from the top edge, going all the way around
the top of the romper until I reached the first stitch. By the way, to finish off
the ends of the shirring, I did a back stich on each end,
which secures the top thread but the elastic on the
underside can still come undone even when you’ve back stitched. So I left the elastic ends long and then when I was done each row, I tied the ends of elastic together, doing a couple of knots to secure them before cutting them short. The second row of shirring is going just underneath the first one, and instead of drawing a
guideline in chalk or something all around the romper for me to follow, I’m setting my needle to the far left, insert witty political joke here, and then setting the
presser foot down so that the right edge of it is just next to that previous row of shirring. And then I used the presser
foot as a guide to keep this row parallel with the last one. Same thing with the third row. And now I’ve got the top part shirred, I’m gonna try it on, see how it fits, and figure out where I need
the waist shirring to go. So the pattern told me
to put the waist shirring right up here, but that’s way above my natural waistline, so if I just followed the pattern, it wouldn’t end up fitting right. In fact, this is a good example of why store-bought clothes don’t
look great on most people. If ready-to-wear clothes
don’t look good on you, that’s not your fault. it’s the clothes’ fault,
because ready-to-wear clothes are made from quote-unquote
standard patterns that are based on a limited
number of body shapes. But because I’m making
this piece of clothing, I can change the pattern. And I can move the shirring
down to my actual natural waist, which I’m marking with chalk right now. I was a little skeptical of
this pattern when I started but I actually think I’m gonna
like it when it’s finished. We’re almost there. Okay, three rows of shirring with the middle one going
around my natural waist line. One, two and three. The very last thing to do
is to hem the leg holes. And Ella hates when I stand
in front of the camera, she just doesn’t understand
why I’m just standing there not paying attention to her, which is why she looks
so uncomfortable here. Now, I actually quite liked
the length of them unhemmed so I don’t want to lose much fabric here. So what I’m gonna do is overlock
the bottom edge of the legs then with the romper inside out, I’ll flip the ends over
and make a narrow hem, sewing it down with a straight stitch. And that’s it, we are all done. Time for the reveal. (upbeat music) (camera shutters) – [Luciano] Put your back
foot behind your leg again. Behind your leg. Put your back foot forward,
forward, no forward, yeah. – Ow, my arm hurts! – (laughs) Lean back, but look at your arm. – Oh! This is not natural. (camera shutters) – Ah! Oh god. Well random book that I
found in a vintage store, you actually made a pretty cute pattern. It sure took longer than the
advertised half a day though. I don’t know if you saw
how many outfit changes I went through in this video, but I filmed it at least
over six different days. I think if you were super energetic and you’re really really focused, you might be able to make
this in half a day, maybe. But for a piece of clothing
that covers my whole bod, it honestly didn’t take too long. And even though they were the
most minimal of instructions I actually found it quite
fun to figure it out. I think this was one of the
easier ones in the book, but there are heaps more patterns in here that I think would be really fun to try. Like I really like this wrap dress, and some of these other
pattens just look like good basics to have. What do you think, should I
make more out of this book? If you enjoyed this video
and want to see more, let me know. I want to make the stuff
that you want to watch. Hey! You there! It is time to stop watching, and it’s time to start leveling up. But please watch to the end of this video. You think it’s easy to sew
using mind power alone? (laser burning) Well, think again. It’s difficult as frick! But never fear. Being able to do something
super skilled, like me, starts with learning. So why don’t you sign up to Skillshare and kick your butt into
learning some new skills! Skillshare is an online
learning community, with thousands of classes
covering a whole range of creative and entrepreneurial skills. You can learn how to illustrate,
you can learn animation, graphic design, photography,
app design, fine art, film and video production,
and oh so much more. All from the comfort
of your very own home. The premium membership,
an annual subscription which is less than $10 a month, gives you unlimited access to every
single class on their site. Learning is something that
always gets me, The Super Sewist, out of a real existential funk. Even if I’m already the
best, I am and always will be a lifelong learner. And if I could clone myself
like my arch nemesis, the evil overlord of crochet,
Radavnia the Raveller, Radavnia, I’ll get you one day! Then I’d absolutely do that, because if I could have 10 of me around, then I’d learn 10 times as much. And because Skillshare
is sponsoring this video, you can sign up with the link
below in the description box to try out Skillshare
for an entire two months, totally for free. So try it today! Level up! And one day you might even
be almost as powerful as me. The Super Sewist! (laughs) Hold on, I have received a call. Someone is out and their pants
have ripped at the crotch. Duty calls! Check that link in the description. I’m like peak dad humor
right now, like what is this? – [Luciano] (laughs) And
the fact that you don’t even look like any modern
integration of Catwoman, you look like (laughs)– – 1960’s Catwoman? – (laughs) you look like the
Adam West era of Catwoman, I love it. – Do the romper, do the romper, do the romper, do the romper. This is gonna look great. – [Luciano] You’re a butternut pumpkin. – A what? – [Luciano] You’re a butternut. – So why don’t you learn a– – [Luciano] So why don’t you
learn a butt you skill butts!

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