Today, we continue our series of blog posts from some of our favorite makers highlighting DIY garments, customized using the techniques and patterns of Alabama Studio Sewing Patterns. We last heard from Amy Herzog, who described the fit issues she has faced over the years—particularly garment length. This week, we are blushingly grateful to post Heather Ross’ review.
I have long been an admirer of Heather, who has an exceptional eye for design and motif. She is also a talented writer who can combine the poignant and humorous in her books and her designs. We once asked her how she translated humor into her fabric designs and she said something that still sticks with me: “Funny is just a mix of happy and ridiculous. Ridiculous is easy.”
In her review, Heather talks about the difficulty of finding ready-to-wear clothing that fits her long torso. She writes, “…in many Ready To Wear dresses and blouses I find myself hunching over to make up for their lack of length, as though I can bring a waistline down by scrunching myself up.” And she shares memories of her grandmother’s handmade clothing and how wearing those custom dresses gave her confidence. “I felt flattered, rather than awkward, and much more myself. This is the thing about wearing clothing that really fits you: It makes you feel good.”
And I agree. Though I have my own body image struggles, my clothing makes me more comfortable in my own skin. (Most of the time) I know exactly who I am in these clothes. I wrote Alabama Studio Sewing Patterns with the hope that more women can have that feeling, by taking control of their wardrobes and dressing their bodies exactly as they are.
On page 114 of Alabama Studio Sewing Patterns, we talk about how to lengthen or shorten a garment at the high hip, low hip, or both. We also offer other solutions to length problems in Chapter 2: Fit + Customization.
HEATHER’S DESIGN CHOICES
Garment Design – Long Fitted Dress
Fit Customization – Lengthen with an internal pattern adjustment at the high hip
Fabric weight – 100% organic medium-weight organic cotton jersey
Fabric color for outer layer – Storm Blue
Fabric color for inner layer – Denim
Technique – Reverse appliqué
Button Craft thread – Navy #13
Textile paint color – Navy
Stencil – Large Scallops
Knots – Inside
Seams – Inside felled
Binding stitch – Cretan
P.S.: We highly recommend Heather’s book, Heather Ross Prints, for some truly unique and lovely DIY projects.